10/14/18

The World is a Dangerous Place

Big Red Car here on a glorious Sunday morning thinking about the strange doings in L’Affaire Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist who has come up missing in Turkey at the Saudi Arabian consulate under suspicious circumstances.

It is alleged that Mr. Khashoggi has been murdered by the Saudis for having written columns in the Washington Post critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and the government.

Khashoggi is documented (video) as having entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on 2 October and was never seen exiting thereafter. His fiance was waiting in a car across the street from the consulate.

What is alleged is that the Saudis dispatched a fifteen man assassination squad who murdered him and dismembered him within the consulate.

He was, apparently, set up by being told to return four days later after an earlier meeting. In that interim, the Saudis dispatched their hit squad. The hit squad departed immediately after Khashoggi went missing.

The Saudis deny all allegations – in fact, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself made the denials, which greatly elevates the stakes – and say that Khashoggi left by a rear entrance which was not covered by a camera. [OK, so he didn’t hook back up with the fiance waiting across the street in the Mercedes?]

The Turks, who claim to have a recording and video of Khashoggi’s last minutes taken through his Apple watch (a technology which the American NSA has kept secret for years), say that the story is fiction. The Turks also note that the local Turk staff was given an unscheduled day off on the day Khashoggi was scheduled to come get some papers. WTF?

In any event, Khashoggi, who was seeking paperwork (proof that he had been divorced from a previous wife) to be able to marry a fiance, Hatice Cengiz, showed up and disappeared. These facts are not in dispute.

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10/11/18

Labor by the Numbers

Big Red Car here looking for some labor love. Nah, I’m way overstocked in love, but I do want to talk about how the labor picture looks in the United States.

The top line shout out is — low unemployment, wage gains, and more job openings than people to fill them, but the real picture requires us to look a little deeper. So, we shall.

Image result for images labor day

OK, I get it. It’s not labor day, but we’re talking “labor” right? If you have a job, every day is labor day.

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04/24/18

James Shaw Jr — American Hero

James Shaw Jr. is an American hero. Let me tell you about him, may I?

On this night, this man refused to die in a Waffle House at 3:30 AM. He refused to accept his fate. He took matters into his own, capable, strong hands. His actions saved lives, most importantly, his own. He is a great American.

The Antioch Waffle House shooting was an enormous tragedy, but from it emerged an interesting story – that of James Shaw Jr, an unlikely hero who went mano-a-mano with the gunman and wrestled his weapon from him, throwing it behind the Waffle House countertop thereby stopping the killing spree. At 3:30 AM in a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee this man found out who he was and he let us in on the secret.

James is a reluctant hero who makes no bones about the proposition that he was acting in his own self-interest. Faced with the highly likely proposition of death, James refused to go quietly into that dark night. If the gunman was going to kill him, it would not be without a fight. It is a strikingly American thought. We Americans will not go without a fight.

What did he do? He attacked the gunman when the gunman was dealing with his weapon – not clear whether the gunman was dealing with a jam or re-loading. James was smart. James picked his moment and acted.

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09/27/17

The American Flag, a Veteran’s Perspective

Veterans have a special attachment to the American flag. Allow me to explain why.

Big Red Car here in a cloudy Austin By God Texas day with some reflections from a veteran on the flag of our great country. This is written to explain how enraged veterans may be over recent events which they interpret to be disrespectful to the flag under which they served and, by reference, disrespectful to them. The Big Red Car is not doing missionary work here, not trying to espouse a view, but trying to provide information for you to be able to understand how a veteran might feel about this.

“I want you to see how this became about the flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, veterans, and patriotism. It is not an illogical conclusion,” said your Big Red Car.

Firstly, this controversy was initiated by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he sat down and then, subsequently, took a knee during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner at the start of a San Francisco 49ers game (26 August 2016) . He explained his action thusly, “I AM NOT GOING TO STAND UP TO SHOW PRIDE IN A FLAG FOR A COUNTRY THAT OPPRESSES BLACK PEOPLE AND PEOPLE OF COLOR.”

His words are the glue that attaches his protest to the flag. The flag was being displayed during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. There is no necessity to look for linkages to the flag and the Star-Spangled Banner, they were there from the beginning. They were put there by Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick went on to say, “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

In this manner, Kaepernick drew attention to the idea that policemen killing innocent people should not be tolerated. He fleshed this out in numerous statements which identified specific police killings of black men.

Let’s stop for a second and reason together. Regardless of whether one agrees with Kaepernick’s actions, is there anyone in favor of cops killing black men? As a foundation value, that is not particularly controversial. Nobody wants cops killing anybody, if it can be avoided.

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07/23/17

Russia — The Bear Who Shat in the Woods?

Russia, the Big Red Car is talking Russia today. Let me bottom line it, Russia is a punk.

Let me tell you why.

US GDP $17,947,000,000,000 — $18 TRILLION.

European Union GDP $16,220,000,000,000 — $16 TRILLION.

Russian GDP $1,324,000,000,000 — $1.3 TRILLION.

Italy GDP $1,815,757,000,000 — $1.8 TRILLION.

As you can see, the US and the EU (a fair approximation for NATO) has a GDP of $34 TRILLION v $1.3 TRILLION for Russia.

Hell, Italy is bigger than Russia!

Hello, world, you getting this? Russia is tiny when compared to the West. Hello, America!

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07/5/17

Volvo v Tesla v Jaguar

In a few minutes, we talk about Volvo, Tesla, Jaguar, but now, let’s talk about a Big Red Car.

Big Red Car here on a post 4th of July let down. Ahhh, the Fourth was great!

Big Red Car chatting up the flag on the 4th of July. Quiet car time for all!

So, comes now Volvo with the announcement that the internal combustion engine is dead and it is going to phase them out completely by 2019 whereafter every Volvo will be either a hyrbid or an electric car.

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05/4/17

US Budget and Other Bedtime Fables

The US budget, Big Red Car? Couldn’t you come up with anything more boring?

Big Red Car here on a perfectly delightful Texas day — convertible weather, y’all.

So, today, we chat about the US budget. [Boring, Big Red Car. Can we talk about … anything … else? No, dear reader, please be quiet and eat your vegetables. Act like an adult.]

This week the Congress passed a CR (continuing resolution) to fund the government through the end of September when the government’s fiscal year ends. It was a piece o’ crap, but that is not the story today. The story is what is a continuing resolution?

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01/2/17

Predictions 2017

Predictions made by a Big Red Car, who has an uncanny ability to see the future and to keep you informed about it, y’all. Here goes.

The year 2017 is going to be YOUR year, dear reader. This year, you hang the moon, run the table, draw successfully to the inside straight, and you win. Winning — 2017 is going to be a great year to be a winner.

Ahh, and here it is, y’all.

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09/24/16

Exemplars and Role Models

Exemplars? Role models? Met any good ones?

So, The Boss and his wife are at dinner last night enjoying some friends and some great Italian food at Juliet’s on Barton Springs Road in the little townlet of Austin by God Texas.

The night is filled with good food, good drinks, and good conversation. The kind of conversation that folks, who have known each other for a long time and watched their kids grow up together, engage in with all barriers lowered and minds in gear.

The Boss ponders the question — who would a young person today look to in public life as an exemplar? As a role model? If you say Hillary or Donald, I will come to your house and do donuts in your flower beds, y’all. I am a Big Red Car and I can be very dangerous when provoked. Do not trifle with me.

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