Category Archives: The Old Man today

Urban Democrat’s Dilemma

Disclaimer: Before you get into this post, know that I voted for Liberal Justin Trudeau in the last Canadian Election, and for Conservative Steven Harper prior to that.  I am simply an interested observer about the US and what’s unfolding there. I grew up in a rural setting, looked after our livestock every morning before school, then worked in various cities and wilderness around the world for many years as a Professional Engineer. You’d likely call me a moderate Independent Voter in the US where many of my Democratic and Republican friends live.

Under the banner of shock therapy,  it’s time for the Democrats to think about how they managed to go from holding the celebrated high ground for the last two election cycles to becoming so politically despised that they decidedly lost the election to a … (your choice)… without anyone realizing in advance.  All this Post-election yelling and chasing a straw Placebo is a badly misguided and misdirected use of scarce resources as time ticks relentlessly on toward the next run in.

Remaining adrift in a sea of emotional confusion after the fact, the Dem’s are reduced to being superficially represented by the likes of pretend Hollywood, SNL and Stephen (nice suit) Colbert; – All cheerleading the stalwart frightened, apparently angry-and-not-taking –it-anymore  blue Urbanite followers from their strongholds on both coasts.

You may recall “Slick” Colbert’s now infamous night of the election broadcast. He came on set with the assured confidence of a trial lawyer, “knowing” for sure who would win. His production team even had him go live as the results rolled in!!! (Gutsy move, born of assured confidence, no doubt). It was fun to watch him go from ‘Suave Assured’ in his $8,000 suit and soles to morph into a dry mouth muffin mumbling cotton ball before our very eyes on that live stage of spinning disorientation as the numbers actually unfolded. (Like exposure to Chinese Water Torture or waterboarding, he has probably learned that lesson, tho).  Enough. Let’s move on.

What the Post-Election “I’ve seen the light” Colbert might tell you after the fact (if he bothered to read these trivial threads) could be this:

You may think that what matters is that we still have a core of media savvy followers of the already brilliant to assure and comfort. But what ‘really’ matters to you and your kids’ lives for the future  is that the physical food, water, energy, rail and transportation systems keep on getting delivered to our cities efficiently, economically and affordable for all.   (nawwww.. he wouldn’t say that at all… I’m just yanking your chain… he’s a professional jokester, for heaven’s sake!)

The USA problem is, of course, that many self-absorbed Urbanites (derived from 80% of the US population) occupy only 3% of the total geographical footprint, yet count upon, and are totally dependent on the 97% land/resource rural goodwill to maintain the vital connections to their various massive resource and supply lines in order to keep the Urbanite twitter feeds alive on their tiny pinpoint three percent of the USA land mass. Fortunately, the Electoral College has long understood, accounted for and balanced that weighted average long ago.

To put it in physical perspective for those who remain self-absorbed and angry, the popular vote mantra of “what’s fair” won’t feed your family or keep you warm, even in the Big Apple. Some justifiable humility and humble (apple?) pie towards the greater stewards of the major land mass might.

In blunt summary, the Rurals are still the primary vital suppliers for the very existence of the cozy, convenient urban lifestyle. Suck it up.  After all, possession is nine-tenths of the law, and the Rurals occupy 97% of that precious geography even though they are a distributed 20% of the electorate. Push those so called “Deplorables” aside as collateral damage in the political process, and you already begin to see what happens. It’s not lost on them that the protest marches are primarily organized on multilane paved asphalt in the city streets and not on the other 97% of America’s land mass.

Know that the Donald Proxy is just a temporary populist placeholder to feel out the opening practice round. Next time it could very well be the real thing, not an expendable placebo. Based on the apparent bitterness of the liberal social backlash, the Dem’s could be setting themselves up lose the next shuffle also.  Smart pragmatic political folks on the sidelines have already incorporated the Cole’s Notes success story just invented by the proxy/placebo’s very successful dry run.

There is no point going back to the six o’clock news and the paid talking head pundits about the next big ‘oh my god’ with hair on fire topic of the day.  The reality of the shift is physically distributed out on the land, diffused,  happening now, in real time.  The news crowd still thinks it’s about legalese parsing sentences and ideas, nouns and verbs and are somewhat confused by the real math and physics of the new underlying show.  Apparently they don’t care much about the tangible stuff like gravity and falling unless it can be legislated.

The folks who voted this time somehow coalesced and agreed democratically on what really needs to happen to shake things up in the “who’s been zooming who”  Political Bull baffles Brains bubble. They have decided to diverge and play a longer game with a different stick, something the short term old school newly confused Washington  politicians both left and right haven’t yet twigged on.

-the old man

the American Dream

Boston Dynamics 101

This kind of stuff is why I loved being a design engineer.

Success in a project never comes from the social media 97% group think consensus, it depends on the clear understanding of the  unbending laws of physics, differential equations, latency, timing, etc. – no matter how convincing a debater you might be among your peers.

When it all works out there can be no greater internal satisfaction, and above all,  no need to armwave and convince any random group in a badly lit bar that you actually understand what you’re talking about.

Boston Dynamics 101

-the old man

Popular Vote and the College


Urbanites, their Rural Sustainers, the Popular Vote and the Electoral College approach to Democracy


Let me first say that I have lived and worked extensively in both Rural and Urban settings over my 70 plus years on this earth. I have voted both left and right during my life, always considering the merits of the arguments of the day. I don’t have an ideological preference based on party for the purpose of this post.

As the World turns

The Physical Reality of the USA is that the bulk of the population (over 80%) is concentrated in a small aggregated Urban chunk of the country’s geographical footprint (about 3%).

Living Urban allows the citizenry to delegate and offload the intense and time consuming human requirement to be self-sufficient competent universal problem solvers. In such a concentrated social setting, the economies of scale and commerce allow for narrow verticals for everything imaginable. No need to grow or hunt for your food, figure out how to store it, worry about massive energy needs, how to personally mitigate / resolve issues or anything like MacGyver would have to do just to get by.  It’s all readily available, from niche skills like sewing on buttons to commuting home on the ‘A’ train. If you don’t like the service, simply tweet a complaint to the Urban bureaucracy in charge to get it fixed.  Done- Next!

Rarely does an Urbanite give a second thought about whether the toilet will flush, or how the condo is actually heated and cooled, where the gas and electricity comes from, how the food gets to the supermarket, or what  the myriad of mandatory resource requirements are, constantly inbound in the flux to maintain the City’s heartbeat.

Urban concentrations require gargantuan feeder systems, drawing food supplies and raw materials from across vast expanses of the (so called rural) country’s infrastructure in order to thrive and survive. They rarely think about or  appreciate those massive inbound external energy grids, highways, water systems, hydro dams, railroads, communication networks, feeder farmlands and so on that are absolutely vital to their very concentrated and fragile existence.

They need to give their heads a shake if they think they can survive without their Rural Cousins cooperative support. If the country’s extensive flyover geography for the various feeder chains decided to pull up the inbound drawbridge even for a few weeks, it would classify as a category 5 crisis for the concrete jungles.

Be thankful the broader democratic system understands that without the whole geographical land base democratically agreeing to insert the country’s lifeblood intravenous machines into the Cities’ arteries, there can be no show. Urbanites, by their chosen path, are typically not “MacGyver ready” for their selfish survival without the full cooperation of the other 97% of the physical rural land base delivering the goods and services to their doors.

The Popular Vote meme, by its dominant 80%+ Urban weighting  on a pinpoint strip of the total geography will always reflect an urban bias, and can easily drown out the 97% physical geographical resource base of the Country’s rural vote to their own detriment and folly.

Hence, we get to the Electoral College. The basic democratic process compromise as implemented understands that it needs to balance the voices of the comparatively few rural sustainers doing the heavy lifting against the overwhelming popular consensus of the demanding urban dwellers for the leader.  It’s not perfect because it’s a compromise and always remember, despite the seemingly marked differences of voting opinion you still need each other to make the Country work.

If you are on the losing side of this particular chapter, you need to try and understand why you lost the high ground after two successful wins, not how you can try and make it the winner’s fault by spinning it as their deplorable stupidity.  Get to work and do some convincing with those who did the ousting, else you will surely  lose again.  Don’t you see that whining and backbiting makes you look worse and convinces “the deplorable” tide that they were probably right?

-the old man

country living c/w  deer, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels and a blue heeler