Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Ben Shaprio at CPAC

He comes off as a little nervous, which I don't understand as he speaks in public all the time, but still, Ben Shapiro hits a home run at CPAC.  Yeah, he does throw some red meat to the crowd, but his takedown of Political Correctness is virtuoso.

However, there is some lecture to the crowd as well.  His points that we must ALWAYS tell the truth, and that virtue matters need to be heard, and more importantly, lived.

I admit to a raging man-crush on Mr. Shapiro.  This speech is prime example of why:

Monday, February 26, 2018

Jake Trapper Asks Hard Questions of Sheriff Scott Isreal

Just last week Broward (rhymes with coward) County Sheriff Scott Isreal was a darling of he left as he lectured the NRA at the "town hall" and blamed them for the massacre at his local school.  Unfortunately, CNN found out too late that Isreal's deputies were at the scene of the shooting, guns drawn and cowering, while kids were getting slaughtered and were bleeding out in the school.

We don't know all the details yet, but one thing the Blue Wall can't tolerate is cowardace, and in between on-the-record accounts which should come and video which is everywhere, the whole truth will come forth.  In the meantime, Trapper takes apart Isreal.

Isreal's reaction is quite telling.  His lip licking and eye movements are classic behavior for one that is deceiving.  As a cop, that's exactly what he's looking for when grilling a suspect.

Isreal needs to resign.  The failure of his office - from following up on calls about the killer up to and including failure to literally save lives - should have him leaving in disgrace.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Recap of CNN Town Hall

Lots of thoughts on last night's "Town Hall":

  • What a shit show.  The lack of decorum, respect, and a display of those drunken with their time in the spotlight turned this into a version of the Wellstone Memorial.  I understand the trauma these folks faced.  But opening a vein to that trauma is not a "Town Hall."  It is an emotional rant.  Call it what it is.
  • Along those lines, that's the last one of these we'll see.  The smugness, mugging to the camera, and canned questions were too much.  There certainly will be rallies, but you'll never see someone with a different point of view on stage there to discuss.  Rubio and the NRA were merely there to shut up and take their punishment.  Period.
  • Marco Rubio was a punching bag, and the example that will be pointed to when republicans turn down future invites to "discussions" like these.  He was the Christian that was served to the lions to satisfy the crowd's lust for someone to pay.  Despite making a couple of good points, nobody was there to listen to him.  They wanted blood.  They got it.  
  • That being said, Dana Loesch of the NRA came across as very grounded, versed, level-headed, and sympathetic.  If this was a prize fight, folks there wanted (and truly expected) a first round knock out.  In reality, not many gloves landed.  She still loses on decision due to the emotion of the night, but she made it all 15 rounds and was not bloodied.
  • Loesch's argument that law enforcement had dropped the ball was spot on, although nobody wanted to hear it.  And there, gentle reader, is your sign.  Nobody wants to "fix" the situation if the fix doesn't involve banning guns.  
  • Sherriff Scott Isreal came prepared to turn any accountability of law enforcement back to "too many guns on the streets."  He played to the crowd, told them what they wanted to hear, and accepted zero responsibility for the failure of his office to keep kids from being killed.  As a law enforcement official, he's truly a disgusting individual.
What happens from here?  Like the Wellstone memorial, it sure feels like the hand is being overplayed.  The kids are being told by their betters in the liberal stratosphere about how great they are and how they're going to change the world.  Money and adulation are rushing in, and that usually brings out the worst in people.  We're seeing that.  

While this screed can play extremely well to those drunk on the liberal Kool-Aid, I feel it's time is not going to last too long with middle America.  Sympathetic figures will look less so.  "With us or against us," demands require that folks choose an immediate side on a very nuanced issue, and such demands aren't typically received well.  Real solutions that would have done something but don't ban guns will continue to be rejected because they don't deliver upon the Final Solution.

But CNN will continue to drive this; scripting questions and events.  Big money will continue to flow.  Kids will continue to gain in celebrity, driven by their political hatred and refusal of comprimise.  

In essence, expect the shit show to continue.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Kill the NRA Billboard - Anti-Gun's Next Step

Surely emboldened by the 24/7 anti-gun coverage on CNN, someone in Kentucky scaled a billboard and crafted this message of unity.  Immediately the NRA picked up on it and communicated out to its members that "they're coming for us."

The winds of hatred have whipped up to hurricane force.  People are likely going to be attacked and killed.  If some congressmen can shot up merely because of the (R) after their name, how could one doubt that some unhinged lefty will fell compelled to take it upon himself to act on this?

In the meantime, the rhetoric of appeal of the 2nd Amendment, "blood on their hands," "if you're not for us you're against us," is having the opposite effect, per usual.

Are gun sales up or down the past couple of days?
How about ammunition sales?
NRA memberships?


We're now at the point where one side believes that the right to protect our selves and our families is a core of our existence, and that right is close to being taken away.  The other side believes people that own guns are as guilty of murder as the evil individuals the pulled the trigger.  

There is no middle ground.  There certainly could be, but emotions and rhetoric have caused that ship to sail.  All that is left is hate and mistrust.

And, in all likelihood, a whole lot of violence.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Who is Behind The March for Our Lives?

Yesterday, the victems of the latest school shooting did the rounds on the Sunday morning talk shows.  They were well scripted, angry, and announcing a march on Washington to protest gun ownership.

I don't begrudge them their opionion.  Had I personally witnessed my friends being slaughtered, I would expect a lot of people would be hearing from me.  What worries me, though, is how quickly this all came about.

The shooting happened late Wednesday afternoon.  In less than three days, a URL was negotiated and purchased (marchforourlives.com surely was not just sitting there), a website, social media sites, talk show interviews, and a march on Washington were all planned and launched.  Even merchadise was made available for sale.  Three days.  High school kids, fresh of a tramatic event.  Three days.

Likewise, their media appearances were EXTREMELY well scripted.  Perhaps they're all naturally gifted at being in front of a camera and handling questions from the media.  Or, perhaps, there was some practice.

Again, I don't begrudge these kids.  However, I do want to know who they're working with, and where exactly the money and coaching is coming from.  It sure looks like things are being fast tracked by someone.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Another School Shooting

Yesterday we experienced yet another horrific school shooting.  Our hearts ache, and we search for solutions and meanings.  Unfortunately, there are few of either.

The knee-jerk reaction is to simply ban guns; as if those hundreds of millions in circulation would just up and disappear, and as if the evil that truly causes these events would just shrug its shoulders and not seek another method of meeting out mayhem and death.  

A sober and unemotional view of the situation knows that a ban is folly.  It'd be nice if it were that easy.  It's not.

So what then?  Certainly, this case will teach us something as the shooter was taken alive.  I can't ever remember a shooting where that was the case, and the perp will be studied endlessly to see what we can glean.  

More than that, the stories are being told about the shooter are that people EXPECTED him to do something like this.  What do we do with information like that?

We can't talk civilly to each other anymore (don't believe me - just watch the gun arguments by the talking heads this week).  We don't go to church anymore.  Our fathers aren't involved in raising their kids anymore.  We attribute the absolute worst to people that oppose us; easily dropping terms like Nazi and racist to fan our hate.

We don't care about each other anymore.  We look for slights and when we perceive them we lash out in hatred.  Most times it's done via a social media screed.

But sometimes it's done with an AR-15 in a school.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Ash Wednesday

Some Van the Man to get us started on our journey.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Good Time for Lent

With Ash Wednesday tomorrow, Lent begins.

It couldn't come at a better time.  It has been a really, really hard winter.  The weather has been so cold for so long that it has been a struggle to do much else other than go to work and come back.  

Sure, heartier souls are doing things like ice fishing, snowmobiling, and skiing, but not this guy.  It literally has been painful to get out.  

We're finally getting a rare break today.  It is already 10 above (a rarity) and on its way to 37 tomorrow.  If that occurs, it will be our highest temp since early December.  Unfortunately, after that we head back down and we'll be well below freezing the next ten days.  Hence, the sooner we can get Lent started and the sooner we get to Easter, maybe the sooner we get to Spring.

Stay warm.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Saturday Song Share: Mandolin Orange - Never Die

I'm not much of a folk guy, but this song is so damn good.  The harmonies at the bridge are chilling.  

Such a pretty song...

Thursday, February 8, 2018

I Love Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Smart.  Intense.  Intolerant of fools.  Tough.

It has been a long time since we've seen a Press Secretary of this stature.  Here's a recent example of how she rolls:

How big of an ass-kicker is she?  Big enough to inspire a meme like this:

Man, I do dig tough women.  Hat's off, Sarah.  You rock.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Little Perspective on Life

Important words, delivered in virtuoso fashion.  


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Audacious Audi Commercial

Audi won the preachy prize for this year's Super Bowl commercial cavalcade.  According to Audi, women are worth less than men.

I'm tired of suffering this lie.  I've been responsible for a payroll of over 40, and in no circumstances did I see any examples where women were paid less than men for comparable work.  In 2018 talent is too scarce, business too cutthroat, stakes too high, that if a company did indeed pay qualified people less than others with the same skill, they'd be out of business in no time.  

Has it always been easy for women in the workplace?  Hell no, and even in what should be "enlightened" environs like the media and entertainment, some women are still treated like meat.  But in business, where folks have to build teams to compete and win or die?  I'm sorry, the lie just doesn't apply anymore.

In the meantime, Audi preaches in hopes that it drives sales, but here's the dirt: they only have 2 women on their 14-person US senior leadership team, and have ZERO women on their board.  Kind of hard to pay women the same as men, when they don't even get a seat at the table.  Perhaps that's why they produced this ad for the game, went to the expense of producing it and getting George Clooney to voice it, but decided not to air it.  

That pretty much tells you everything you need to know.  

Monday, February 5, 2018

Super Bowl Ad Recap

A pretty good crop of ads this year.  We didn't get too preachy, things were pretty entertaining, and a number of brands did very well for themselves.  

Tide won the night, and by a wide margin.  At first, I was put off as they're involved in some controversy related to kids eating their Tide pods, but they went right past that and put out a massive advertising blitz that had them owning the night.  It was not even close.

Here are others of note:

The Good

Another mash-up of brands worked just awesome together.  Big names, big production, big entertainment value:

Avocados from Mexico

Conveys a strong expansion of use in an extremely funny manner.  Really effective advertising:


The "bleep" don't stink was hilarious.  Admit it - it's tough as hell to sell poop spray.  They approached the subject in impressive fashion:

Special props to the NFL for the Dirty Dancing TD celebration.  Great stuff!

The Bad

M&M Danny DeVito 

The punch line of DeVito playing an M&M has been public for weeks now, so it was no surprise when he showed up.  Since the big surprise was out, you'd think their content would be out of the park.  Not so much.  Huge miss by M&Ms:

Kia Steven Tyler

I do marketing for a living, and I honestly don't understand the point of this ad.  


When did Coke fire their ad agency and go with Pepsi's?  The most preachy ad of the night.  We got all of the lefty bases covered, including the obligatory hajib shot, because Islam!  I believe this campaign will actually hurt their brand.  They must be privy to some incredibly damaging research to have moved so far away from their traditional brand.  Really disturbing:

The Ugly

I'm running out of time to embed them, but they are:

Diet Coke Girl Dancing (Coke, how bad can you suck?)
Squarespace with Kenau Reeves

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Delta Recaps My Year

I recently received a great email from Delta airlines which thanked me for my patronage in the past year and recapped my experiences with them.

I can't embed the video here, but you can check it out at this link.

How smart!  A loyalty program is just that - something designed to endear me to their brand and make me choose them over other providers.  Likewise, they have all the data they needed to pull off this very personal video right at their fingertips.

Kudos to Delta.  What they're doing is exactly what one should do with loyal customers, especially when you've already gone to all the trouble of tracking their interactions.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Livin' is Winter Hard

I've lived in Minnesota nearly all of my life, and this winter is by far the hardest, and by a good stretch.  We've had a massive run of incredibly cold weather which started in early December and has continued unabated until now (it's currently -12 as I write this).

By incredibly cold, I mean below zero.  Nearly all of the days have been below zero, and too many to count never got above zero.  The worst temp in which I was outside was -33, and the worst windchill was -59.

The bitter cold makes everything hard.  Going to the grocery store, getting gas, going to the gym, and other mundane tasks all the sudden become quite trying.  Just a quick shuffle from the car to wherever you're headed is painful, uncomfortable, and trying.

In the meantime, our energy bill is through the roof, my dog is bored out of her mind, cabin fever is setting in, and the scale is moving in the wrong direction.  Unfortunately, it is going to be that way for a while - the current 10 day forecast doesn't have us with a day without a minus in front of it until 7 days from today, and even then the high will only be 14.

Brutal, and really no end in sight.