2017 Holiday Dinner Speech

unedited without proofreading……this was originally delivered to the attendees of the 2017 Leiber Holiday Party. As part of their free meal, they are required to hear what I have to say.

Facts Don’t give a fuck about Feelings!

Idealogues on either side suck;  Bombastic and boorish on the right, elitist and condescending from the left.  There is a middle ground out there, but is anyone capable of harnessing it?

Did you happen to see that heartwarming image of a California man saving a rabbit from the wildfire?  It was a great image sure, but in many ways it represents to me our society today.

Rabbits and other creatures have dealt with wild fires for hundreds of thousands of years.  It’s not like they haven’t run across it.  But yes, let’s laud the person as a hero who makes the effort to save someone, or something, from something they didn’t need help with.  (side note, many desert rabbits will continually run along the flames to find a path through.  They also bury their litter during fires to protect them.  Let’s hope that man didn’t separate the babies from their mother.

In our virtue signaling world, everyone is fighting each other on a crusade to save others from the problems they see them having. 

For me, The biggest question I have today is can a developed country with a service economy maintain a vibrant middle class?  And more importantly, what are the political ramifications if we can’t?

There was a time when the rich were depicted as the monopoly guy with the top hat and walking stick.  Ironically, when the board game came out in the 1930’s, that was the last time inequality was as extreme as it is now, with the richest 0.1% owning virtually the same share of the nation’s wealth as the bottom 90%.

The 1930’s were also the time when populist and even radical politics were on the rise.  One narrative holds that President Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal staved off even more extreme attacks on capitalism, although that debate is better left to historians.  But today, even with the White House and Congress controlled by republicans, radical redistribution ideas are stirring on the left.  A people’s investment fund being one example.

The widening gap in wealth and income should be recognized by policy makers.  It’s been a flashpoint since wage growth stalled in 1999 (which have yet to recover) and, with the great financial crisis of 2008, has helped to fuel a political tsunami, which I feel, is just getting started.

Disillusioned with false promises (after all, since 2008 central bankers have given absolute no incentive for politicians to do anything at all), and with the universal customer complaint box of social media, populism has taken root and given us Donald Trump.

READ:   Book Recommendations October 2017

In an effort to label everything that bothers us, our media has given us the term “Age of Trump.” Let me remind you…. trump is the result, not the cause, of the decades of failings of policy makers.

Age of Trump…ha ha…Should we not be calling this the age of the knee jerk reaction?  Brought on by the immediate mob reaction, everything is a perceived insult.  In this 12 hour news cycle, media conglomerates issue doom in their echo chambers hoping to continue their profit growth.  Your injuries are nothing more than an abject disagreement with the president. 

Last year we were fearful of invasion.  China and Russia, they were going to take us over.  Geography laughs at those assertions, so now we must worry about a nuclear war.   Let’s forget about the lack of fruition with the former and continue to be enraged about the current fear the future.   (don’t we just love our media sowing fear for profit?)

Let’s be clear….even as a dictator, Kim Jong Un has political pressures like the rest of the world.  He needs to maintain certain power and authority at home and abroad, and his continuous desire for nuclear weapons are borne out of necessity at home as well as from a geopolitical standpoint.  His desire to use nuclear weapons is nil, and there is little evidence, besides the media reminding us it COULD happen, the US will launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike.  NOTE: Even basic research in nuclear preparation industries (like bomb shelters) will tell you the media is more fearful than the individual in this regard, which is quite informative.

When we look at this Korean Missile Crisis, as I like to call it, one can see parallels with Iraq and similarities with India and Pakistan.  Sadaam’s domestic and regional geopolitical needs to represent the possession of WMD’s is consistent with Kim Jung Un’s need to represent strength at home.  (ask mark if we’ve found those WMD’s yet.)

And why is defending South Korea important?  They are responsible for 17% of the global semiconductor, 64% of memory chips and 10% of auto parts.  You’re basically talking about undermining the entire global supply chain in technology.

If the Rocket Man does indeed have the capabilities, we can look to India and Pakistan as a hopeful reminder of how erratic hateful nuclear regimes interact.  Given that the Auburn/Alabama equivalent of Nation states have shown restraint with such an arsenal provides support to the idea that Rocket Man seeks his own arsenal to solidify his regional legitimacy.

READ:   LL's Musings and Thoughts, 2015

Tax Reform:

It’s hard to take anyone who explains to you the benefits or fallacies of tax reform seriously; Anyone who can break down 2600 pages and the 2 million words that make up our tax code into a one sentence sound byte should be greeted with suspicion.  Any simplification of this should be welcome, but of course nothing can go uncontested. 

For democrats to say republicans are looting the treasury, it is interesting to note that government debt increased more during the past administration than ever before in the history of our nation.  The US government now makes up 40% of our GDP. 

For a group that didn’t do shit when they had a chance over the past decade to help the ‘poor person,’ there is a lot of complaining on their behalf today.

The media has proven itself uncapable of our respect.  Developing an echo chamber for their customers, today’s mainstream media has become reactionary to their customer desires rather than reporting of facts.  Which leads me to point of all this; Facts don’t give a fuck about your feelings!

ROBOTICS AND A.I.:  One of the main issues we’ve heard from everyone, but mostly from the right, 

RACISM : The racism cry of early 2017 was a failed attempt at labeling anyone who disagreed with leftist identity politics as an ignorant racist filled with hate.  Don’t agree, call someone a racist. You don’t even need facts or proof, because plenty of stories ran by the vaunted NY Times will explain being white is enough. 

Sexual Harassment:  Disclosure: Never have I ever misread a situation, overstepped the line of good taste or every presented unwanted advance upon a woman.  IN fact, I’ve always been thanked for my drunken slovenly attempts at courtship and I’m pretty sure the courtship of my wife was based on today’s definition of sexual harassment.  

Jokes aside, anyone who thinks ‘I’m going to jerk off in front of this woman’ has some problems to deal with.

Not that sexual harassment isn’t an issue, but the knee jerk reaction these days we are doing all we can to prevent courtship in the future.   AIDS ruined my sexual prime, and I pity the boys and men who must navigate this current environment. 

the parallels of both these situations should cause alarm for all of us.  Allegations of racism and sexual harassment are easy to make and immediately impactful.  It doesn’t matter if the claims are true, as merely the accusation is enough for proof in this knee jerk society.  What will be the next subjective claim that no one can defend themselves against?

READ:   LL's Musings, 2016 Part 1

When we think about the sexual harassment, is that all that bad?   We have 7 billion people on this planet.  If we could minimize growth by a couple of percentages from reigning in male aggression, could we not see a positive?  I mean, of all the solutions we all offer on how to fix the issues of our world, the one answer no one gives, and the one answer we should all explore, is ‘stop having so many kids.’

We take for granted our vaulted and luxurious status in this world and choose to become the victim.  We speak on behalf of the disenfranchised, the ‘empathy,’ oh the buzzword of the day, we reserve for those who are on our side only.  The complaints from the other side have been debased as ignorance and hateful to make our own positions more valid.

We are a tribal creature who continues to identify with our own group.  We see anything outside of our group as a threat.  Happy with our own

I suggest we all worry about our own lives.  Stop worrying about everyone else and focus on making us happy.   In the past year, I have contributed to the Lakewood City Council in many ways, the biggest being a proposal on energy efficiency in October.  I was nominated and elected the Chair the volunteer advisory arm for the City Council and have been a Ambassador for Lakewood in both Jefferson County and in Denver.    

What would you tell your children?  I tell my children that the world is an unpredictable place and that nothing is assured in your future.  You are capable of much more than you give yourself credit for, but you must work hard in ensuring your own future.  Your destiny is your own.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Christmas traditions that need to be retired:  Ugly sweaters, Christmas Trees that aren’t green, never ending holiday sales events and elf on the shelf.

Things I’d like to see implemented in 2018 ; 

  • maximum and minimum ages for men eligible to wear a super man shirt.  Max age: 15, Minumum age, 70.
  • news stories that don’t quote twitter comments (particularly from folks w 5 followers or less) as support for their argument.
  • Less slut shaming.
  • Cyber Security to be accomplished with non-state actors.  No government has ever solved a cyber crisis without the help of a non-state actor.

Predictions from NostraLarry for 2018

  • Oklahoma will win the NCAA championship (WRONG)
  • New Orleans Saints will win the Superbowl (WRONG)
  • Michigan State will win the NCAA tournament (WRONG)
  • Golden State Warriors will win the NBA championship (CORRECT)
  • Washington Nationals will win the World Series (WRONG)
  • A young busty girl will top the music charts next year. (CORRECT)
  • Bitcoin will come back to earth (MIXED)

Chivalry ain’t dead, it’s just not needed.

Automated Car wash – an example of the benefits of AI/Robotics and pretty sure car washers of yesteryear have found different jobs.

Can a developed country with a service economy maintain a vibrant middle class?  More importantly, what kind of political ramifications would there be if we can’t?

1 Comment

  1. Thank God I didn’t have to sit through this. I would have gotten up to go to the bathroom no doubt. But not all bad thoughts. It comes across as a bit smug (hey, look what i have done in Lakewood and here’s how I am raising my kids) but it was well written. And the whole, facts don’t care about your feelings is a Ben Shapiro line. Not sure that’s who you really want to idolize, but who am I to judge. We can all do better, right?

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