Tuesday, June 18, 2019

6-18-19 in New Jersey

Well this is no surprise:
MADISON - One-third of adult New Jersey residents cannot name the state’s current governor, according to a poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University.  
The survey by the school found that only 67% of adults surveyed knew that New Jersey’s governor is named Gov. Phil Murphy.

Some New Jerseyans could only remember the name “Phil” or “Murphy”, while others referred to the governor as “William Murphy” or “Bill Murphy.”

And apparently 21 out of the 802 people surveyed said that they knew the name of the governor and then named former Gov. Chris Christie.
Murphy is pretty forgettable while Chris Christie, for whom we twice voted, is not.

As we have stated before, in New Jersey the governor's office is more or less a non-partisan thing. You really have to piss people off to be hated. 

Ask Jim Florio, Florio Free in '93!

NJ12 reports that 1/3 number is in line with other states.

Wither Tories

Via Breitbart, Nigel Farage's two month old Brexit Party is first past the post:
Still less that three months old, The Brexit Party has taken a comfortable lead over the establishment parties for Westminster voting intentions in three consecutive YouGov polls.

The latest poll published by The Times placed the pro-Brexit party in first place, with 24 per cent, followed by the Conservative Party and Labour Party on joint second with 21 per cent, with the pro-Remain Liberal Democrats on 19 per cent. Fieldwork was conducted between the 13th and 14th of June, with 1,672 adults being asked who they would vote for in the next General Election.
Here in America Trump didn't destroy the Republican party. He destroyed the moribund disconnected elite, represented by Jeb Bush. Trump was the Hound and Jeb was Ned Stark.

What's Paul Ryan doing these days?

What if Farage destroys the Tories outright? What if he does it before this year's election? Does it really seem that far-fetched? 

Even when they're in charge the Tories don't deliver to the base. Conservatives  can vote for Brexit but as far as Theresa May* is concerned, Leave means Remain.

So what's the bloody point?

Sclerotic institutions die slowly then all at once. One morning we woke up to be told the Soviet Union was dissolving later in the day.

We have three daughters and twice tried to name one Margaret. Today we wouldn't vote for the Tories at gunpoint.

*Worst PM since David Cameron.

Hong Kong Persists

Yesterday two million people took to Hong Kong's streets to demand Carrie Lam's resignation.

Remarkable.

Even Beijing has to pay attention, right? Right?

Won't it be easier to not back down in Hong Kong, put a general in charge and troops in the streets?

This blog once again fears that if Beijing backs down in Hong Kong, it will try to save face somewhere else. 

Does the Philippines pay? Vietnam? Taiwan? Here's a thought, since China is also loosing the trade war, it decides the USA is responsible for the Hong Kong fiasco.

Monday, June 17, 2019

6-17-19 in New Jersey

New Jersey Legislature to Governor Murphy: Drop Dead:
In the state budget they will unveil Monday, Democratic lawmakers reject Gov. Phil Murphy’s calls for tax hikes on millionaires and increased fees on gun owners, corporations, opioid manufacturers and bear hunters in New Jersey, NJ Advance Media has learned.

The Democrats who control the state Legislature have insisted they won’t support a millionaires tax, and their proposed $38.7 billion budget preserves just one of the Democratic governor’s proposed tax increases. They would raise a single tax — paid by HMOs — while taking money out of the state rainy day fund, cutting spending and tweaking revenue estimates for the coming fiscal year to balance the budget.
Rainy. Day. Fund.

New Jersey, while expensive, is actually pretty well run. The roads get fixed. The snow gets cleared.

New Jersey is also not as blue as you think. We've had a GOP governor in every decade since the 70's, including the last one. The northwest part of the state is mountain wilderness with an anual bear hunt, which the usual dip heads want to end. Hence the legislsature killing the hunting and gun fees.

Anyway, this budget is a victory for New Jersey, common sense, and not becoming California.

Writing this, Writing that

No matter what, we're working on Pershing's War, finalizing Battle of the Three Seas this summer and getting the later out this fall.

There's probably no reason why this autumn we can't sneak in there and finish up World War 1990: NL. Remember the whole point of that project was to see if we could crank something out fast. 

We can't.

In that sense the project is a failure. But we're still left with a good novel.

This blog doesn't beleive war  between the USA and Iran is in the offing.

But there's some serious juju there, creatively speaking.

So maybe we spend the fall writing America Strikes and the winter editing it? 

We'll see.

Notes on Father's Day

Our dad spent Father's Day weekend with us. Among other things we and the Stroocklettes saw a Somerset Patriots game, our local minor league team.

In our youth Dad and I used to go to a lot of Yankees games, it was one of our things. Giants too, during  the Parcells-LT era. So this was nice. I don't think we'd been to a ballgame together since 2003.

In 1993 we saw the Yankees play the Milwaukee Brewers. Early in the game Yankees catcher Mike Stanley hit a home run that landed right at our feet. We still have the ball somewhere.

Last night, after our online thingy with Cindy Sheehan, we attended a neighborhood block party. The girls had a great time, as always.

Things like that put us in mind of our grandfather, our second father's day without the old bastard.

He was a powerful man, a dominant man, a patriarchal man. In his final years Mark Stroock the II was simply an old man who liked hearing about what his great grandchildren were up to and he loved knowing that the family was enjoying the lake house he bought in 1973. Nothing made him happier. 

In a relationship that was often difficult, and filled with stress for me, we enjoyed those evening phone calls from Massachusetts and simply stating when we got off the phone, 'He is pleased.'

He would have loved hearing about the ballgame and block party and I wish I could tell him about it.

Trump Occupies the Golan Heights

Via Sputnik, the Israelis name a community on the Golan after Trump.
I'll tell you one thing, give Trump 18 month he'll get the plans approved, the permits necessary, the environmental impact study written, and the whole community completed within 18 months, and that's with a first-rate hotel and casino.

The Golan has always been underdeveloped.

Live Debate, the Bitter Aftermath

Just kidding.

We had our live debate at Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox with Lebanese journalist Ali Musawi.

We couldn't be happier with the experience. It went great and was more of a discussion, really.

Once  again we slipped into our, 'I'm Will and I'm on TV' announcers voice.

Those interested can listen here.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Will's Good Idea for the week of 6-16-19

Or series of ideas.

So yesterday we did some outlining of America Strikes. We were left with a lot of people in offices talking about what to do and being told what was happening. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

We would run the entire aerial campaign over Iran out of a bunker in Bahrain or something.

We'd probably run the Lebanon campaign the same way.

The question is how much blood and guts in the field do we want.

Might the Iranians attack Kuwait? The Kuwaiti's fighting that off would be interesting no?

So a chapter on Kuwait, a chapter on Lebanon, a chapter on the aerial campaign.

Question: is this something you people want to see?

Hong Kong

Via the Beeb, China has caved:
The Hong Kong government has suspended its highly controversial plan to allow extraditions to mainland China, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced.

She had previously refused to scrap the bill despite mass protests from Hong Kong residents.

"I feel deep sorrow and regret that deficiencies in our work – and various other factors – have stirred up substantial controversies," she said.

Protesters expressed concern at increased Chinese influence.

Ms Lam said she had heard the calls for her government to "pause and think".
Beijing is currently herding Uyghurs into camps, forcing them to drink alcohol, shave their beards and eat pork, all while demolishing their shrines and cemeteries.

We had feared another Tiananmen Square.  So this developement is stunning, especially given that China is getting its ass kicked in the trade war. Beijing will soon suffer back to back defeats. 

How will it save face? We shudder.

Live Debate 3 PM ET Today

We are participating in a live debate, hosted by Cindy Sheehan at 3 PM Eastern. Details here.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Saturday Updates

America Strikes, the War with Iran, glows, sparkles, shines in our heart.

Things coming along real good with Pershing's War and our contribution for To Slip the Surly Bonds.

The editing of the former is coming along real good.

We have officially 'snuck in' and are working on Pershing's War all summer.


Friday, June 14, 2019

Whatever Happened to World War 1990 NL?

When we began World War 1990: NL this winter, our hope was to write fast and crank something out quickly.

Right now we'd have to say that effort was a failure. Not the book, that's fine, just the crank it out quickly part.

Checking now...we haven't opened the actual doc in three months. In the meantime we've been fixing Three Seas, wrote that Hawaiian short story, and are working on Pershing's War.

After Three Seas comes The Final Storm. Perhaps we should consign NL to our post Final Storm projects timeline. 

That would give us a whole series of novels, Esercito Italiano, Thatcher's War, Before the Weser, Election '92 and NL, outside the main narrative thread.

Yes, no backtracking until after The Final Storm.

War with Iran looms...in Will's Head

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Iran attacked those two tankers yesterday and has the film to prove it.

We believe Pompeo. But man this all sounds familiar, like the WMD fiasco and the Gulf of Tonkin all rolled into one. It seems obvious to us that the Trump sanctions are working and Iran is trying to goad us into some sort of military action to distract from the worsening economic situation.

Trump has offered to talk, and we'd much rather talk than fight.

If there is a war between America and Iran, let us confine it to the realm of fiction, say a 400 page novel called America Strikes. There'd be some interesting ops in the Persian Gulf, seizing the straits, taking Iranian islands, destroying oil platforms.

Beats having a real war.

Friday Flag

Oh Canada, blame Canada, congrats Canada.

First the Starks win Game of Thrones then the Raptors win the NBA Finals.

We the North indeed.

6-14-19 in New Jersey

Public sector unions rally to support Governor Murphy's stupid Millionaires Tax:
The coalition of unions included members of the powerful New Jersey Education, which represents teachers, and the Communications Workers of America, the largest state workers union. The unions have supported Murphy...
Well of course they do! Tax payer's money, who wouldn't want more of that! And they get summers off, a week vacation in the spring and at Christmas. Tough work, those teachers do.
But he needs the Democratic-controlled state Legislature to agree to the tax hike. Sweeney, D-Gloucester, and state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex, remain against it, arguing that cost-cutting government reforms should come before taxes.

Sweeney is pushing a comprehensive 27-bill reform he calls a “Path to Progress,” saying New Jersey can no longer afford soaring costs.

The unions are steadfastly opposed to Sweeney’s plan because it includes cuts to their benefits. They are deriding it as “a path to poverty.”
Path to poverty...Oh my god....

Taxpayers, no matter how much you pay into their pensions it will never be enough for the public sector unions.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

6-13-19 in New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy presses ahead with his stupid Millionaires Tax. 
Murphy has been pushing for months for New Jersey to enact a millionaires tax to infuse the taxpayer-funded state budget with more money for education, transportation, and public-worker pensions.

But he needs the Democratic-controlled state Legislature to pass the plan. And the top lawmakers who decide which bills come up for a vote — Sweeney, D-Gloucester, and state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex — have remained fiercely opposed to a millionaires tax. They say the upcoming budget doesn’t need the money and New Jersey is already rife with taxes.
That's the Dems telling Murphy no, mind you.

Senator Sweeney would much rather do something about the state's huge unfunded liabilities:
Meanwhile, Sweeney is pushing his own controversial “Path to Progress” proposals to scale back public-worker pension and health benefits, which is opposed by government-employee unions and unlikely to be supported by the progressive Murphy. The Senate president said the current cost of pensions and benefits is not sustainable for the state.
Quite right and sensible of Sweeney, no?

Murphy understands that Trump is going to be reelected and wants to be in position to run in 2024, doesn't he?

If virtue signaling toward the Dem nomination means turning New Jersey into California, then Murphy's willing to do it.

Iran Tries to Goad Will into Writing America Strikes

Do you want another Middle East War? Who wants another Middle East War.

Breaking, two tankers torpedoed in Straits of Hormuz.

On the one hand, it's more fodder for us to write America Strikes.

On the other hand, if we get a general Middle Eastern war we won't have to write America Strikes and that problem is solved.

Becuase we gotta tell ya, we're really feeling the burn.

Just imagine...Stealth Bomber raids on Iranian nuclear sites. One of the those Ohio SSBMs launches 154 Tomahawks on Iranian airfields.

But Pershing's War...Pershing's War...

Dear Woodstock: Die Already

For Woodstock's fiftieth anniversary Balding Boomers want to take their moth-ridden Woodstock T-shirt out of the dusty old trunk one more time while the rest of us are gently saying, Grandpa, it's time for your nap.

Some people aren't getting the goddamn hint:
June 10 (Reuters) - Watkins Glen International, the owners of the planned site in upstate New York for the Woodstock 50 festival, said on Monday they would no longer be hosting it, the latest setback for the troubled three-day event.

Woodstock 50 is backed by the co-producer of the original 1969 Woodstock festival, which was billed as "three days of peace and music" and is regarded as one of the pivotal moments in music history.
He's still alive? 
The festival, with a previously announced 80-act lineup that included rapper Jay-Z and pop singer Miley Cyrus, was thrown into chaos in April after the lead Japanese investors abruptly pulled out.
Jay Z., Miley Cyrus. The acts alone are a sad commentary on modern music.
Tickets for the festival, expected to attract about 60,000 people, have not yet gone on sale.
Sixty-Thousand. Half a million attended Woodstock '69 and Woodstock '94.

We historians have a technical term for things as old as Woodstock: Ancient Fucking History. 

Could you imagine someone in 1969 holding a revival for a music festival from 1919? Hey kids, Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, John Phillip Souza!

I know you kids are really into this Disco thing.

The Polls are Wrong and Will is Right...Again

We said we weren't going to blog about the Dem primary because it's obscene that this much politicking is happening this far out from the actual, you know, election. We plan, god laughs. For as it is written, we plan, god laughs.

By now you've heard about the Q Poll showing every Democrat beating Trump.87i 

[Yeah, Biden's leading Trump by 13 points-Ed]

No, he isn't.

[Yeah but the poll-Ed]

Oh my sweet summer child. Did we not learn our lesson about believing  polls the last time? In 2016 polls said Hillary would beat Trump. We said Trump would beat Hillary. The polls were wrong and we were right.

We wrote that there would be no Blue Wave and there was no Blue Wave. Don't believe me. Believe Stacey Abrams and Robert Francis O'Rourke.

We are right now, too. To believe these opinion polls is to believe opinion polls in a country where it is illegal to hold certain opinions. Don't belive me, believe all the people getting kicked off YouTube, Twitter, etc...

And conservatives screw around with pollsters.

We know we do. #war.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Reminder: Upcomming Debate 16 June

6-12-19 in New Jersey

Another amorous teacher takes it out on a student:

An art instructor for the Newark school district sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy on multiple occasions while school was in session, authorities said

Luis Aviles, 50, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, committed the assaults on school property between December 2017 and September 2018, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement Wednesday. He is charged with multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault
Our guess is this is a homosexual dalliance. 

The man commuted from Allentown, PA to Newark, that's an hour plus each way. Don't feel to bad though, it's smooth sailing on I-287 and then I-78 at off traffic times too. 

We will never understand the impulse to schtup a student.

We were a sub at Bernards High for seven years. You think we never thought a student was pretty? Please. If the young men of the Class of 2006 hadn't voted what's-her-name most beautiful we would have been disappointed in them.

We weren't dead. Just a responsable adult.

As one of the regulars at Bernards High once remarked to us about another such scandal (not there), 'Hope it was worth it.'

Chernobyl Gets Religious (Door to Door)

That awkward moment when the Jehovah's Witness comes to your door, and tells you she is from Ukraine, without knowing you are obsessed with HBO's Chernobyl and she tries to tell you about her religion, but you keep asking her about Ukraine and Chernobyl and Chernobyl.

Will: 'What's your accent?'
JW: 'I am from Ukraine.'
Will: 'Have you seen HBO's Chernobyl.'
JW: 'Yes. Very scary. You know Eve bit the apple and we have suffered...'
'Will: 'What did you do when the accident happened.'
JW: 'Actually, my mother was from town of Chernobyl... and so God...'
Will: 'OMG! OMG! Was she evacuated?'
JW: [Says something unintelligible in Russian]

[Curses, no doubt-Ed]

JW: So have you thought about God's plan for...'
Will: Do you think the show accurately depicted life in the USSR?'
JW: '...you on this Earth....why no...Pripyat was beautiful, much like Garden of Eden...'
Will: You've been there?'
JW: 'Yes, and God says...'
Will: OMG! So you saw the actual Chernobyl plant?!' 

[He did the same thing to me when he found out I was from a city in the English coal ring. Winter of Discontent this, and Miner's Strike of '84 that, even though I'm not even real-Ed].

And so that nice woman from Ukraine endured our questioning. She had too. She's a Jehovah's Witness.

Battle Extraordinaire

We give you the first attack run from The Dam Busters:
The stakes, 'Stand by to pull me out of my seat if I get hit', the chatter and crosstalk, the release of tension.

Just perfect.

Alert reader(s), for that matter anyone paying any attention at all should recognize where they saw this sequence later in film history.

And there ain't nuthin wrong with that.

As Lemmy once said, it's all derivative.

More than that, it's tribute and dedication.

We've ripped scenes from movies and put them in our own books. If reader(s) can find them, I'll send 'em a copy.

Kirsten Gillibrand Aborts

The Dem's race to authoritarianism...continues:
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) compared pro-life beliefs to racism and suggested the pro-life viewpoint is "not acceptable" during an interview with the Des Moines Register.

Gillibrand's comments came in response to a question about if having a litmus test for judicial nominees would threaten judicial independence. The senator has promised to only appoint justices who would uphold Roe v. Wade.

"I think there's some issues that have such moral clarity that we have as a society decided that the other side is not acceptable. Imagine saying that it's okay to appoint a judge who's racist or anti-Semitic or homophobic. Asking someone to appoint someone who takes away basic human rights of any group of people in America—I don't think that those are political issues anymore," Gillibrand said.
It's not ok to even disagree with them anymore.

You, reader, might say you're pro-choice.

We might say, here's why we think abortion is almost always wrong.

And you might ask, do you really think a 16 year old girl pregnant by her 17 year old boyfriend should keep the baby?

And we might say, that's right, a baby.

And you might say, even at four or five weeks?

And we might reply, all the genetic info is already there.

And you might say, I just don't think it's quite human yet. 

And we might reply, you and I were once both 6 week fetuses in the womb.

And you might say, I just don't think that's fair.

And we might reply, we're sorry, we don't mean to resort to moral blackmail.

And so we have a civil discussion in which we both learn something about one another and ourselves.

You can't do that with the modern Democrat Party, certainly not the Abortionist, now can you?

God, Kirsten Gillibrand is dumb and blonde, stupidly pandering to whomever she's speaking.

To think that seat was one held by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, for whom we once voted. 

Dumb Blonde.

Hezbollah Taunts Will into Writing America Strikes

Via Legal Insurrection, in 2015 British police foiled a Hezbollah terror plot in London:
The British intelligence service and the Metropolitan Police uncovered a secret bomb factory in North West London in the autumn of 2015. They recovered thousands of packets containing ammonium nitrate, an explosive ingredient often used in homemade bombs.

According to media reports, the UK Intelligence services stopped the bomb plot based on the information from “a foreign government.”
Gee, wonder who the foreign government is: 
“MI5 worked independently and closely with international partners to disrupt the threat of malign intent from Iran and its proxies in the UK,” The Sun reported quoting a British Intelligence source. Israeli public broadcaster Kan confirmed that Mossad, the country’s intelligence agency, tipped off the British authorities about Hezbollah’s stockpiling of explosives in London.
As the Imams say, the Jew is clever.

Great fodder for a novel.

Just think, as the war rages Hezbollah blows up the London Eye. A terrorist consortium detonates a dirty bomb in Santa Fe.

A Muslim Congressman is assassinated. A Mosque in Phoenix is burned to the ground. 

The US Airforce drone strikes targets in Mexico. The Delta Force attacks an ISIS training camp outside of Monterey.

Ohhhhh the idea burns, America Strikes.