Presidential Libraries: Locations and Ephemera

I’ve had the opportunity to visit several Presidential libraries, homes and historic places.  Most of the ones I have visited are centered around a home. Visiting Spiegel Grove, Rutherford B. Hayes’s home in Fremont, Ohio, is a quiet affair…a lovely home, a library for research, his final resting place.  Mount Vernon, the magnificent home and final resting place of George Washington, has a sprawling museum and estate and has been lovingly cared for by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association since the 1850s.  Other homes include those of Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and FDR.

Some Presidential libraries lack a home, but have outstanding museums and artifacts.  The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL tends toward the Disney-esque, with life-size dioramas and high-tech holographics along with a rotating display of artifacts in a more traditional portion of the museum.  The outstanding Library is across the street from the museum; Lincoln’s home, operated by the National Park Service, is across town and his tomb is also nearby.

The newest Presidential center will apparently be Obama’s. There is some controversy regarding the location, appearance and function of the center.  John Kass, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, calls the proposed Presidential center, to be built on public land near the golf course in Jackson Park, “The Barack Obama Temple of Adoration and Fealty.” The center won’t house any Presidential papers, nor will it be a center for research.  Kass even has a couple of suggestions for the inevitable shop at the center, “Presidential golf clubs or a Michelle Obama vegetable peeler for nutritious school lunches would be nice.”

Regardless of what ends up in the Obama center, I would like to suggest that there only be one item in the future Donald J. Trump Library:

This document captures everything about the current President…all anyone needs to know.  American can-do bravado, shades of General McAuliffe’s memo to the German command “NUTS!”, captured in a letter so clearly dictated by Trump that I can imagine the hand of a nice Katie Gibbs secretary flying across the page in perfect Gregg shorthand.  Presented on the finest Crane Presidential stationery, he signs it with a graffiti-esque Sharpie. Permanent. Bold.  Yes–this is all we need, in so very many ways.

I guarantee his feet weren’t on the surface of the Resolute desk when he signed it.


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FBI v Russian hackers

In other words, average consumers have the ability to stop Russia’s latest cyber attack by rebooting their routers, which will now reach out to the FBI instead of Russian intelligence. According to the court filings, the FBI is collecting the Internet IP addresses of every compromised router that phones home to the address, so agents can use the information to clean up the global infection.

The paragraph above is from an article about the FBI seizing control of a server for a Russian malware botnet.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/exclusive-fbi-seizes-control-of-russian-botnet?ref=scroll


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This football player should be in jail.

[Warning there is a violent hit an the end of the video.]

This late hit has been the talk of Japan. There is no excuse for this. As the title says this player should be in jail. If it had happened on the street and it was video taped that is what would have happened.

The player has said that his Japanese coaches ordered him to injure the quarterback. If there is one thing I can’t stand is someone abusing their authority.  People who do should get twice what they inflicted on others.


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Faith Restored

Today I talked to a restaurant manager and a construction sub contractor. I was sitting there, sipping coffee from the thermos and a realization dawned on the common thread.

Both were struggling with keeping their places staffed

Both were saying it was hard to find people

Both were saying business was booming

Both looked a bit like deer in the headlights.

These were seasoned guys, not novices, but it came to me that it had been before their time since this pattern had occurred. A hot labor market, raising wages, shortages of skilled people.

We have as a nation forgot how to handle this, coupled with managing a touch of inflation in materials along with spot shortages due to high demand.

Ah well, time to dust off the old experience, long filed away , and describe “the way we did it back then….”

I cannot stop smiling these days. My America is back, at least in part. I do see opportunity shining in the eyes of the young folk, the blessed light of fresh possibilities that fires the soul of Americans.

Political Correctness cannot stand in the way of that force. Division cannot stand. Their forebears told the establishment to stick it and headed west. I have faith that will come again.

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TOTD MAY 24, 2018: In the News … and got me smiling.

48 Hours Later, Media Still Keeps Dems’ Total Collapse in Reuters Poll a Secret

 On Monday, Reuters/Ipsos announced that the Democratic Party’s strong lead on the generic ballot question, which had remained stable for most of 2018, had rapidly collapsed over the prior week

Couple of tweets from Elon Musk …

Elon Musk@elonmusk

Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication. Thinking of calling it Pravda …

Elon Musk@elonmusk

The holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie, is why the public no longer respects them

:-))

 

https://pjmedia.com/trending/48-hours-later-media-still-keeps-dems-total-collapse-in-reuters-poll-a-secret/?utm_source=PJMCoffeeBreak&utm_medium=email&utm_term=May2018

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/elon-musk-teases-website-tracking-journalists-and-media-outlets-credibility


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The Broken Feedback Loop

I could have titled this “Listening” but that would have been boring.

In life, there needs to be a feedback loop. This tells people whether they are on the right track or the wrong track. It is rare that one person can be so self aware to be their own feedback loop. They need the responses from others.

In the body, the nervous systems sends back information to tell us the stove is hot. Because of this the hand gets taken off the stove. How does it do this? Pain. Now I think most people would thing of pain as bad but in this case it is good. Why? Because a little pain stops the big pain from coming.

In life, people need positive AND negative feedback. Negative feedback can be painful. And for many people they want to dismiss it. They use various ways to “cover their ears”. Here are some of the methods.

  1. Attacking the messenger.
  2. “Yes, but look at the 99% that is good. “
  3. “Everyone does it so why are you picking on me.”
  4. “Yes, but I am better than X.”
  5. “Do you know who you are talking to? I have done great things.”
  6. “I am doing the best I can so quit hassling me.”
  7. “It’s the Minky’s* fault. I am not responsible. I had to do it.”

What is your favorite reason for having a broken feedback loop?

I will try in the future to write a post on having a good feedback loop. It might depend on the feedback I get from this post.

* We all have a favorite person to blame.


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Book Review: Origin

“Origin” by Dan BrownEver since the breakthrough success of Angels & Demons, his first mystery/thriller novel featuring Harvard professor and master of symbology Robert Langdon, Dan Brown has found a formula which turns arcane and esoteric knowledge, exotic and picturesque settings, villains with grandiose ambitions, and plucky female characters into bestsellers, two of which, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, have been adapted into Hollywood movies.

This is the fifth novel in the Robert Langdon series. After reading the fourth, Inferno, it struck me that Brown’s novels have become so formulaic they could probably be generated by an algorithm. Since artificial intelligence figures in the present work, in lieu of a review, which would be difficult to write without spoilers, here are the parameters to the Marinchip Turbo Digital™ Thriller Wizard to generate the story.

Villain: Edmond Kirsch, billionaire computer scientist and former student of Robert Langdon. Made his fortune from breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and robotics.

Megalomaniac scheme: “end the age of religion and usher in an age of science”.

Buzzword technologies: artificial general intelligence, quantum computing.

Big Questions: “Where did we come from?”, “Where are we going?”.

Religious adversary The Palmarian Catholic Church.

Plucky female companion: Ambra Vidal, curator of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (Spain) and fiancée of the crown prince of Spain.

Hero or villain? Details would be a spoiler but, as always, there is one.

Contemporary culture tie-in: social media, an InfoWars-like site called ConspiracyNet.com.

MacGuffins: the 47-character password from Kirsch’s favourite poem (but which?), the mysterious “Winston”, “The Regent”.

Exotic and picturesque locales: The Guggenheim Museum BilbaoCasa Milà and the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Valle de los Caídos near Madrid.

Enigmatic symbol: a typographical mark one must treat carefully in HTML

When Edmond Kirsch is assassinated moments before playing his presentation which will answer the Big Questions, Langdon and Vidal launch into a quest to discover the password required to release the presentation to the world. The murder of two religious leaders to whom Kirsch revealed his discoveries in advance of their public disclosure stokes the media frenzy surrounding Kirsch and his presentation, and spawns conspiracy theories about dark plots to suppress Kirsch’s revelations which may involve religious figures and the Spanish monarchy.

After perils, adventures, conflict, and clues hidden in plain sight, Startling Revelations leave Langdon Stunned and Shaken but Cautiously Hopeful for the Future.

When the next Dan Brown novel comes along, see how well it fits the template. This novel will appeal to people who like this kind of thing: if you enjoyed the last four, this one won’t disappoint. If you’re looking for plausible speculation on the science behind the big questions or the technological future of humanity, it probably will. Now that I know how to crank them out, I doubt I’ll buy the next one when it appears.
Brown, Dan. Origin. New York: Doubleday, 2017. ISBN 978-0-385-51423-1.

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My People

As some of you are aware, I just finished a series of field tests at the Redlands (CA) airport. An unexpected bonus was finding out about the air show and beer festival that was held there last weekend. My wife and I spent Saturday enjoying the aircraft and the beer.

A jet car raced a biplane.

A jet truck raced a T-6 Texan.

A stunt plane landed on the top of a truck and took off again.

A helicopter flew upside down. A couple of Canucks* in CF-18 Hornets buzzed us at twilight. I was too busy enjoying the show to take pictures of those.

But the best part was the people. People were respectful when the Canadian* and US anthems were played at the opening. When a couple of F-18s flew over, some guy said, “That’s the sound of freedom.” The womenfolk could identify military aircraft: “Look, honey, there’s an F-16!” And this guy had a great T-shirt. He even straightened it out so I could take a picture.

Yup, these are my kind of folks.


*Yes, we invited the Canadians: the RCAF.

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A View From The Deplorable Culture

Starbucks, always much in the news and on the lips for the wanna be elites prides itself as the gathering place where the elite meet to transact business over burned and expensive coffee as a vehicle for sugar delivery.

I have spent my time meeting a certain class of clients at such places, usually off the rush hours. It has all the aspects of a tribal place, with the common rituals and intonations.

My current clientele is more oriented to construction trades and manufacturing. Their place to meet seems to be the ubiquitous Golden Arches.

I had to meet my excavator in Chapter 11 client today to exchange data and a review of upcoming contracts he is bidding. He chose the usual place and I pulled up in my F150 around 10am. It seemed the parking lot was about 90% similar Fords, Rams, Silverados, all fairly new with a variety of racking rigs.

Inside it was guys and gals in jeans with laptops, blueprints and folders of bids and RFQs, all reviewing stuff with a serious eye over black coffee and egg mcmuffins.

McDonalds even had a hostess who walked around refreshing coffee and greeting the patrons.

I looked out at the Starbucks across the parking lot and wondered if the cultures would keep moving farther apart, like galaxies after the big bang.

One parking lot full of Beemers, Priusi and Volvos, the other Pickup trucks.

Heck, at least the coffee is not burned beyond recognition at the Arches, and still a dollar a cup with free refills.

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