Coping: Ure Becomes Candidate (Gulp!)

imageWho was that political candidate who said “if nominated, I will not run. And, if elected, I will not serve“?

General William Tecumseh Sherman of Civil War fame is the correct answer, BTW.

I sort of feel like that.

As promised, I attended the local County Commissioner meeting on Monday. Our roads are helplessly f/u’ed.  I’m pissed and so are neighbors.

Someone has to do something about it and the County Commissioners have managed to do bupkis about it, so far.  Into the breach…

  • – – – –
A word here about “Leverage.”  The reason we have a Second Amendment here in the U.S. of A. is that the Founders knew that without guns, The People would never have a chance against the kind of despots that run for office (including now, me…).  Without the “fear of replacement” there is just not enough incentive in most people’s hearts to “Just do a good job of it…”  Probably because doing a good job means lots of time on task.  And, by golly, that’s work and who needs more of that?
Yet, leverage is incredibly important.  It’s the foundation on which all of the great “Art of the Deal” kinds of plays are based.  You always need an undeniable, irresistible, totally compelling reasonwhy someone should act in a certain way.
If you want a raise, you get it by demonstrating superiority – that could go to a key competitor if your palm is not crossed right.
As a rural Texas property owner – whose roads have been ruined – I have essential zero leverage.  Or, at least I didn’t have until I filed as an independent candidate.  (As we discussed before, both of the formal parties (Rs and Ds)  cost $750 to play. Running as an independent is free, at least so far.  $20-bucks worth of notarizing, aside.

As expected, there was no sign of a new plan to end the large gravel operation which has destroyed several roads in this part of Anderson County, Texas.  No penalty, no forfeited bond…nadda.

After considering Elaine’s comments about this being the time of life when we should be traveling, exploring, and visiting a few casinos, and after much soul – searching, I made the strategic decision to file and run as an independent candidate.

Before doing so, however, I did speak briefly with the gentleman I will be running against. I told him that I did not want all of the grief that goes with being a County Commissioner. I told him that I respect the difficulty of the position.  Hell, I will vote for him in the Primary.

However, with a county road that is little more than a muddy goat trail due to heavy trucks tearing it up, I was at my wits end. One reason for this is that about a dozen residents took time off work a few months ago to complain about the lack of maintenance and control over heavy loads on our somewhat delicate rural oil – sand paved roads.

The County Judge went into mumble-speak at this, and to a local resident he wanted a “petition” before anything would go on the docket.  Which a buddy who is a commissioner in a Texas county with 70-times more people says indicated there is a firestorm on this issue.  The “right answer” would have been to simply put the issue on the calendar, hold a hearing, work out an arrangement of some kind, and end of the problem.

But since that didn’t happen, back to behavioral economics:  Now why would they behave that way?  Behavioral economics operates at every level of life….

Firestorm of public opinion, or not, the County hasn’t forced the rock crusher to leave, and is acting disinclined to do so.  And when that kind of thing happens, I begin looking for the “motivator” behind the scene because in behavioral economics, there is always leverage around if you go looking for it.

This is why America is on the brink of disaster, too:  People show up, express their feelings and government ignores ’em,  f*cks ’em, and usually both.

Subs,  Doms, and Bondage

Numerous other counties have set up systems which involve bonding, and repair of any damage, at the end of gravel pit operations.

Come to find out, our County residents are not the only ones with a gravel pit operation and road destruction problem.

Sources tell me that in Limestone County, similar problems have arisen.  Gravel pits are an equal opportunity nuisance.

The situation is made more complicated to address because local government is not consolidated. How to streamline an organization chart seems to be off the table.

There is little reason, especially in a big County, to have multiple road planning fiefdoms. I don’t have any problem with individual districts having their own governmental representatives, but in many counties, there is a single County Engineer.

County Engineers, tend to do a very good job of applying even standards of highway and roadway maintenance throughout their service areas.  They have to keep the Commissioners happy – which would leave more time for day trading and gambling trips.

One (CE) in particular, who I knew in King County, Washington (Seattle) 40 years ago, took extreme pride in making sure that all of the roads in the suburban areas surrounding Seattle were about equally maintained. This was done by allocating budget for road maintenance based on traffic counts.

You may remember I am a huge fan of the scientific school of management: What gets measured, gets done.

In all of the time I have lived in this part of Texas, I don’t think I have seen but one or two traffic counters. If memory serves, one was in the Frankston Texas area in advance of completing a conversion of a 2 Lane State Hwy. into a four-lane state highway. I’m not sure where the other one was.

My point is, that in order to ensure that government provides equal dollars for residents of an area, there should be some basis in fact, such as traffic counting data.  On rural feeder roads, too.

What I would like to see would be a simple class system. Perhaps Class I roads would be those which have the highest traffic counts. Class II roads would be the main arterials. Class III roads would be those that have fairly small traffic counts. And then there would be terminal roads which would be class for. In rural areas, where there are so many dead ends, class IV roads would be very common. However, because they get very little use, they could be maintained. Once everyone’s world was brought up to standard.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Philistine Herald newspaper when the farm – to – market Road, up the hill from us was paved with terribly large aggregate. I don’t know if you realize this, but aggregate size has everything to do with how quiet our roadway is to drive.

In the case of farm to FM 315, some of the gravel was almost as big as your fist. To be sure it is marvelously safe when there are very light amounts of snow on the road, because the precipitation tends to get down in the cracks until an inch, or so of snow has been deposited.  which, oh BTW never happens. This is Texas, for cryin out loud.  And not up around Armadillo…

Unfortunately, the boulder-paved road is noisier than hell. Since we have our little home recording studio, we keep our professional audio level meter handy. On freshly paved, small aggregate Road, at 60 mph we get about 65-74 dB of road noise. When we turn onto the other road – this monster with the fist -sized rocks – the noise level jumps up to 80 – 85 dB.

NO one from our county seems understands this stuff, but it’s how aggregate/acoustics work.

Here is the truth of the matter: in the primary election, I will probably vote for the fellow I am running against. The reason is simple: there is nobody else on the ballot.

Deadline:  My next 75-days as a candidate are all fully scheduled. I have multiple trips planned (casinos and flying the airplane around), not to mention catching up on my sleep.

If my road is not fixed by the County by April Fools’ Day (seems like a proper decision-making date to me) then I will get deadly serious about getting the 300 signatures or whatever is required under Texas state law to ensure I will appear on the ballot in November.  Max is 500.  Work, but doable.

Since it’s not worth loading up a VoiceLink to do automated calling to such a small group of people, there are lots of software programs around my office which could be used for this purpose. For example, many people don’t know this, but in ACT (sales management database system I have used in many past assignments). It is fairly trivial to add fields in order to keep track of what telephone conversations are revealing about issues, as well as tabulated reports.

I can strap on a headset, and plan on completing about 10 -15 calls per hour. Because the likely calling list will be in the vicinity of 2000 names, this translates to 200 hours of work. My wife Elaine, being a really good sport, would no doubt participate as well. At 10 calls per hour, I would be accounting for total calls completed.

I don’t know how deeply you have gotten into the science of telemarketing. But since we started making telephone calls with predictive dialing systems back then, we came to realize that the prime time for making phone calls was (redacted). If you call (redacted), many people are not home from work yet. If you call people after (redacted) most of them get pissed or irritated because you are starting to intrude into family and/or television time.

(I don’t want to dredge up details like this from memories long buried…just fix the road.  But YES I am the prick who got you out of the shower in 1986 because you didn’t pay your Consolidated Detroit Edison bill.  sorry.  Shit happens.  Pay your bills.)

If I have a three-minute canned speech and a call completion rate of 20 to 23%, talking to everybody who is a likely voter becomes highly probable.

Or, instead of telemarketing, I just hire a direct-mail outfit and have them send out a snazzy letter, a lapper (the thing that falls in your lap as a second sales pitch) and a PPBRPO (postage paid business reply envelope) along with a mail-in

That would be the least work (design mailer – 4 hours) but the largest check ($3-5-thousand) but it still leaves time for casino trips, flying, writing and actual work.

One new strategic problem for telemarketing machines is that so many people have gone to cell phones. In this particular backwater, (a domestic third-world enclave) cell coverage of homes is perhaps 50% in the target. Not only will my campaign signs have to give people access to our website but also a reason to vote for me. Since the main issue is maintenance of roads, a question like “I’ll fix your roads” is almost a no-brainer.

I helped build/built an online direct marketing (mail) firm as a consulting project once…may have to look ’em up. More freaking work, though.

Speaking of manipulation of voting persuasion blocks, Faux Snooze the other day had on a story about how officials were not able to monitor Facebook for hate speech. That is not quite true. If you have ever seen our outputs at our website, you will hopefully appreciate that to our predictive software system, it makes no difference whether we are monitoring the entire contents of multiple large newspaper websites, or an assortment of several hundred Facebook websites. Each of these is simply another “mission” that we can load into our systems and happily scanned the Internet.

We’s data-agonistics.

Candidate’s Day One

So much for my first day in politics. I am officially an independent candidate, who is only running because of one issue. And believe me, I am willing to withdraw as soon as good roads are reestablished in my immediate vicinity.

Sounds kind of stupid, I suppose: running for office because my brother-in-law is buying too many front end realignments. But maybe that’s why the American system works: people get pissed, people then get active. They run for office. They kick out the dead wood.  If an issue resonates, they win. If the issue doesn’t resonate, they don’t win. It’s pretty straightforward.

I sure don’t want to run for office… All the mean, spiteful, terrible things I have said about politicians come roaring  back into memory.  (Never mind they were all true…)

But may not be all bad! I’ve already told Elaine to expect to fish me out of a municipal fountain one of these days and don’t my the hookers. I’ve bought her a blue dress, and here shortly, I will begin posting body part pictures on social media. m II have a frigging great sense of Humah, as it were….

This may set a new low point for American political decorum. But you know what?

This could really be fun.

We Need a Fresh Party

I don’t have the name for my independent party, but the word lick spittle is sufficiently different from most every day speech that it would have a high recall factor.

And what would the Lickspittle Party stand for?  Honestly, not much since a lick spittle is by definition a what?  (Hand me the UrbanDictionary, pleeze…_) See here.

Lick-spittle. A slimy grovelling and devious person who will do anything to get ahead in their life and career including accepting an order from the boss to lick a big green greasy lump of spit in the hope of promotion or a pat on the head.

Every politician in American would join if they were in touch with who they really are…

An alternative political party name would be the Porcupine Party.

Get a slogan like “Get the other pricks out of government” would have mass appeal.

That’s not a done deal, either.  If you would like the high honor of naming a new political party, please send it along.  The ones se have now aren’t cutting it.

Write when you break-even… we’re off to study statistics in Louisiana this morning.  Panama’s  on patrol here at Uretopia in our absence.


28 thoughts on “Coping: Ure Becomes Candidate (Gulp!)”

  1. “The reason we have a Second Amendment here in the U.S. of A. is that the Founders knew that without guns, The People would never have a chance against the kind of despots that run for office ”

    I keep hearing the arguments for gun control. the reasons they say is that they could control terrorists.. in reality it if gun control was in effect then the only ones that would have guns are the armies and terrorists.. and who would be the one supplying them of these weapons..

    Now my thought is also this.. terrorists know how to make bombs pipe bombs being one biggie so do we make buying and using pipe illegal.. they use cars should we now make cars illegal to etc etc. etc..
    I think everyone should have the right to owning a gun if they want. Its not the gun that kills but the person behind it. and with our country now more a fascist nation being controlled by the wants of our industrial leaders than a democracy giving in to gun control would just hasten the leaders to gain total control. but then this is all my opinion..

    • Also to be noted: Yamamoto worked in a kitchen in the USA before returning to Japan to fight as a admiral in WW2. He mentioned that most, if not all, people in the USA had guns. Word is that this is the reason the continental United States was not attacked during the war.

  2. Unsolicited recommendation
    Make a 3 or 4 minute YouTube video about your road problem. Get shots of the road. Moving shots inside of the car. Shots of the dB meter getting pegged. Shots of the trucks going by, etc. Put a link on UrbanSurvival and get thousands of YouTube views, then send link to judge mumble-speak. Would probably be less trouble than running for public office and more effective than writing the Philistine (LOL) Herald.

  3. Americans, you have two choices. Do nothing, which is a choice, or become a consequence for those who do not wish you life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And when I say victim, I mean one who supports their own demise.

  4. To borrow from the man running in New York on the “The Rent is too #$@* high” party, you should name yours “Just fix the #*$&@*# roads” party.

  5. My retired ex-hubby once worked for county gubmint(36 yrs), was chrmn of the local zoning board then ran for office on the wrong ticket as a democrat in a republican region.
    Being wife of such was interesting so I suggest you deeply consult Elaine about this especially when projects don’t go well and you are up nights with the pepto bismal for chronic, stress related indigestion.
    That aside, we know you won’t become another Hillary, however, be vigilant of some ‘not-so-benign’ organizations that are infiltrating at the local grassroots level to insert and inject them with their own insidious $-profit-$ motivated agendas.
    These would be ALEC:
    U.N. Agenda 21:
    Well, we know you are above and beyond all that.
    Keep in mind too that others are calling out politicians and D.C. crime bosses in quite the grand way these days- keeping them honest?
    Here is a sample: “This keynote address delivered by Gordon Duff was historic because for the very first time ever a Top Intel and Security Consultant publicly explained how the problem with ISIS/Daish is not terrorism but is Crime. He clarified that ISIS/Daish is a result of Criminal Behavior of an Israeli based International Crime Syndicate which essentially bought control over the US Congress during the last election.”

    Iron mountain here?

  6. George, With respect to the Facebook overview; are you saying that we have really been watching all of this, and are aware, but that the word from the top down is “Do nothing, say nothing”? If that’s the case, it looks like those in charge are responsible for the front end loading of the problem individuals. Somehow, this would not surprise me.

  7. Too bad the gravel pit owner has no clue that the roads his trucks are ruining are also ruining his trucks and drivers. A real capitalist would recognized the harm he is doing to the community environment that supports the business.

    The farmer that grew the prize winning corn gave the seed from this corn to his neighbors so that the wind would carry corn pollen to his own patch and thus sustain the quality of his prized corn.

    Before I ran for office, I would endeavor to reach out to the owner to enlighten him on the ways he could improve the demand for his product/services, save maintenance money and keep his workers healthy and happy and reduce his medical/disability outlays. Coming from such a fine economist as yourself, they might well listen more keenly for valuable free information.

  8. Ummm….2 old boys were sitting around one’s living room drinking a cold beer. When one said to the other; I wonder what my little boy will become when he grows older. The other said; well, there is one way to find out. Lay down a Bible, a $20 bill, and a shot of whiskey on the coffee table. If the kid picks up the Bible then he’s going to be a preacher. If he picks up the $20 then he’s going to be a banker. If he drinks the whiskey he’s going to be a drunk.
    Well, The father said, let’s see what he’ll do. They laid out the items. Here waddles the toddler to the table. He picks up the Bible and puts it under his arm, grabs the $20 and sticks it in his diaper, and chugs down the shot of whiskey.
    Oh my God, explained his father……He’s going to be a politician!!!

  9. Back in the 70’s when Pat Paulson was, sort of running for president, his party was called the Stag Party. Maybe ol’ Pat wouldn’t mind you borrowing the name.

  10. Good luck George, Ure gonna need it.

    But you know here on the end of SE &*( Rd on El Ranch de Chaos I and the 2 neighbors tend to enjoy our rather busted up road. Hell it’s mostly red clay and sand with the occasional sandstone rock about the size of a loaf of bread thrown about along with the obligatory ruts. There is one nice smooth spot that’s a slab of rock across the road.

    Now with the exception of my 86 year old Mom who makes the 55 mile(once she hits to blacktop 2 miles from the ranch)round trip drive to the Senior Center daily in her Dodge we all drive 4X4 hoopties and are accustomed to periodic chassis maintenance of some sort and we don’t complain too much if Lester or his nephew Billy don’t make it down our road both times of the year with the grader as they should. Tends to keep folks from sightseeing ya know.

    I keep telling Mom if she would hold the speed down to under 50 she would be OK but she don’t agree that is how fast she drives. I guess if she can make the 90 degree left turn before she gets to the blacktop without fishtailing she is going slow enough.

    • Have I ever mentioned my plan for age=speed limit laws? 21-years olds drive 21 MPH and senior experienced drivers like me could drive at whatever our age is?

      OK, then how about 2 X their age?

  11. ….up here in the more northern east Texas rurals, we have been watching olive drab Chinook helicopters fly over all day, and now even more after dark!! my dogs go bark-crazy,because they are flying low….did Jade Helm come back, or did they neverleave? We have a clear view of north/south flight paths to the airport from our “back forty”, and have never seen this kind of aerial military activity….all we need is some Wagner in the background..

  12. “Running” for mayor of my community some years ago was an enlightening experience on quite a few fronts.

    A suggestion, something I determined for myself at least, is that if I sign up again for an election, I’ll make a point on media that ‘I’m not running, I’m standing…and here’s what I stand for.’ Also I would no longer ask for funding. If’n ya’all want me in office, say so as far and wide as you wish, but taking money puts me beholden to people, and I’d want none of that.

    Maybe, with the right website and info on your life experience found easily by your neighbors, you’d show up right as a well experienced (in life) choice compared to whomever is in place now.

    Best wishes (and fishes) with this enterprise!

  13. Hi George: I just wanted to say that something shifted today, as of Dec. 15th, 2015. Not actually sure what that is, could be the presidential race???? Thanks for letting me input this to you. Nancy

  14. Oh, please, get real. I don’t mind if everyone has a pistol or a rifle, but what about all these assault rifles? Do we really need them for home protection, or hunting? Why are they legal? How many shots do they fire in a second? I looked it up. 800 rounds per minute. The founders didn’t know about these, and they wouldn’t have wanted them to be legal. They should only be allowed for the military.

    • As a refresher, the reason for the Second Amendment was so that We the People would never have to kowtow to government. Government is by and for the people, not for and by the government.
      This is not to condone illegal behavior, but the law is there for a reason.

  15. Nobody with half a lick of sense will allow themselves to be rounded up. Not without a fight. Those who are unprepared for the economic crises upcoming will have no other desirable option. This is contingent upon the Russians and Chinese standing pat and waiting for us to commence economic implosion. I not sure they will with the persistent provocations Obama offers them…

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