Sunday, May 29, 2016

JUST SAYIN’…



JUST SAYIN’…
In my surfing the various television channels I noticed some really weird program titles, not the least of which was “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”.   Am I missing some really important thing about this bunch of no-talent, big-butt people?  We have so many other, important things going on in, and about, this country that we really shouldn’t be worried about a group like that…should we?   There are easily half-a-dozen channels devoted entirely to sports, and several of them are for one sport only.   Again, in the midst of a pretty bad economic, moral, military and political crisis, is all that emphasis on sports really necessary?  Ok, call me an oddball(as many have) but I grew up reading books about this country, about heroes of this and other countries, thrilling stories of adventure, many of them fiction, but interesting enough to make a great impression on me.   There was Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, the Call Of The Wild, and Treasure Island.  Does anyone read books these days?   Who knows of the mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu, the Invisible Man, Allan Quartermain or Count Dracula?   Books are the magic carpet for the imagination…taking you places and meeting people you might never otherwise know about.
Ever hear of Oriental, North Carolina?  Me either, but they’re on the map now.  The city of Oriental has hired a Gender Compliance Officer.   Oriental’s public bathroom opened to great acclaim in December 2015.  However, the Town was forced to quickly shutter the facility when the NC legislature passed HB2 on March 26. NC Law HB2 mandates that “users of public restrooms use bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate.” Without a way to check birth certificates, bathroom use had to be shut down, or the town was vulnerable to a stiff $10,000 daily Gender Non-Compliance fine.  Here comes the GCO to save the day…a genuine pecker checker, which leads to a whole bunch of questions: So.... how exactly does a “gender compliance officer” do their job? Do you have to show them your fancy to be allowed into the bathroom?   Who will pay the Pecker Checker?   How much money will a Pecker Checker make?   Do we pay a Pecker Checker by the pecker?   How many peckers can a Pecker Checker check if a Pecker Checker can check peckers?   Finally, If things get out of hand, so to speak, we can hire PC Restroom Services!    Their motto? If you gotta pee, we gotta see!
If you haven’t noticed lately, the guy in the White House is looking more and more like a king and less and less like a president.   When the Founding Fathers drafted the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, they knew what they wanted, but more important, they knew what they didn’t want, and that was a king!   Soldiers may not just barge into your house and take it over…you can thank the Founding Fathers for that.   Private citizens have the right to be armed, and secure in their homes, and you can thank them for that also.   Things that didn’t exist back then are routinely brought up in Congress, because they make the law, and the Supreme Court interprets the law…but wait…wasn’t Obamacare passed without Congressional approval?   Didn’t we go to war under President Bush, without the approval of Congress?   Through various executive orders Obama has drawn to himself many powers that are only applicable in time of national emergencies…and he gets to decide when and what constitutes a national emergency.  That certainly sounds like a king…or a dictator to me.  It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if he just up and declared martial law, because he can, suspended the United States Constitution, dismissed Congress and declared himself President-for-life.
That’s the sort of power we, the sheep, have allowed him to gather unto himself because he was elected twice through what I believe was massive voter fraud.
            While on the subject of elections, what about the Electoral College?   As I understand it, the college was set up so that designated people could go to Washington with the “approval” of their state’s constituents.  At the time it was set up, communication was slow and counting a popular vote might have, and sometimes did, take weeks.  Our elections are in November, but the actual swearing-in is in January for the very reason that it sometimes took that long for everything to be settled as to who had won the White House.   Now, with seemingly instant results flashed across television screens from coast to coast, is the Electoral College a dinosaur?   Should we now go to a strictly popular vote?  Personally, I like the latter, but I’m not a political genius and I try to look at both sides.   Would the popular vote be swayed by the people in the big cities, and the smaller towns be penalized?   No matter how this election turns out, there will have to be some significant changes made…not just in the election process, but in the governmental processes also.
            Wake up America, your country needs you…desperately.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

HE NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE!




THE NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE!
            Recently, the head honcho of the InFernal Revenue Service(and that’s “service” like what a bull does to a cow) IRS Commissioner John Koskinen basically said that the answer-to-no-one agency that he oversees completely ignores the fact that illegal aliens are stealing Social Security numbers. Because the FBI also ignored the issue, it is simply encouraging more lawlessness by those who have already broken the law.  We know, or it’s alleged, that another member of the current administration, one Barack Hussein Obama, used Social Security number 042-68-4425 and which was issued by Connecticut, though he never lived in the state. In fact, that number was actually issued to one Harry Bounel, who was born in 1890!   The Social Security Administration(SSA) will tell you that they never duplicate numbers, so how is this possible?  Mr. Koskinen, no stranger to committee hearings, has said that the agency is more responsive to taxpayers.  Oh, really?  I seriously doubt that.
            For those of us on Social Security, and I’m one…there was no Cost Of Living Allowance or COLA in 2016.  In 2014 we got 1.5% and in 2015 we got 1.7%...hardly enough to cover the rising costs of the stuff we purchase to live on, or with.   The current occupant of the White House has made numerous vacation trips on the taxpayer’s dime, as has his family, and several on separate occasions.  He has asked for a raise in pay for himself.   The Former Presidents Act, enacted in 1958, provides living former presidents with a pension, office staff and support, funds for travel, Secret Service protection, and mailing privileges. It also provides benefits for presidential spouses. Currently, former presidents are awarded a pension equal to the salary of cabinet secretaries, which totaled $203,700 for the 2015 calendar year and was boosted by $2,000 for the current calendar year.  To this lavish benefit package, he wants a raise in pay for himself of 18%!  What gall!
            Back in 2013, when Lois Lerner officially retired, scot-free from any punishment, she also got a nice golden parachute.   She collected her salary during the hearings, at which she said nothing, and that salary was 177 thousand a year.   Then, upon her retirement, the National Taxpayers Union calculations show that Lerner could qualify for a starting pension at the annual equivalent of as much as $102,600 a year!  Not too shabby for a person that got no punishment for underhanded, dirty dealings, eh?  If any of us ordinary citizens did half of what she was accused of doing, they’d put us UNDER the jail and forget about us for the rest of our lives.  It seems to me that, in this current administration, the bad guys and gals get to go off into the sunset and live lives of happiness.  Certainly most of us could be very happy on 100 or more thousand a year, don’t you think?
Regarding Obama's budget cuts, here’s an excerpt from American Action News staff on April 15, 2016… “Marine Corps Aviation has been severely suffering from budget cuts, and meeting deployment demands.  Out of 276 F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters in the Marine Corps inventory, only about 30% are ready to fly, according to statistics provided by the Corps. Similarly, only 42 of 147 heavy-lift CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters are airworthy.   Attrition is common in the military, where parts break regularly due to wear and tear, but these levels are unprecedently low, compromising national security. This is not the first time that attrition levels have been so high as to cause operational issues. Just last year, the US Navy was unable to sustain an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf for 2 months, relying on the French Aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle for air support.   Time will tell if Obama's budget cuts will lead to the demise of Marine aviation.    Marines have resorted to cannibalize current aircrafts to fix damaged ones. Marines have been operating the aging F/A-18 Hornet for several decades now, waiting for the F-35 to be operational. Obama's budget cuts have delayed upkeep of current aircrafts and procurement of new ones, putting our men and women in uniform at risk.”  This is simply not acceptable.
By a law enacted in 1989, Congress obtains an annual automatic pay adjustment, which simply means that they don’t have to vote for it…and certainly very few have ever voted against a pay raise.   The public, therefore, is probably not aware that they have this nice thing going for them.   In 1992 passage of the 27th Constitutional Amendment, which required that any pay adjustment Congress votes for itself, would not take effect until after the next election, which may explain why so many of them aggressively seek re-election.   Members of Congress have rather nice benefits also, such as free parking at Washington’s airports, preferential treatment for airline seating, private dining rooms, an on-site complete gymnasium, up to 239 days off and that means that it’s possible they could only work 28% of the year, healthcare subsidies, and a better retirement program than most of us could ever afford.
So, there you have it.  The colossal nerve of these people is almost beyond description.  Wake up America, your country needs you…desperately!
           




Sunday, May 15, 2016

ONCE UPON A TIME…



ONCE UPON A TIME…

          This is how most fairy tales and bedtime stories for little children begin.  Let’s see how we may apply that phrase now.
          Once upon a time the United States was the shining city on the hill…a place that many legally emigrated to because of the opportunities.   It was THE power among powers and yet it was the most devoted to peace.   It was, and still is, where the governmental power is peacefully transferred every four years, or at least has an opportunity to do so.   We should keep in mind, however, that the United States, once a colony of Great Britain fought a war to rid themselves of a government just like the one we have in the Obama administration.   Will the American people become so fed up with the type of government that is now running the country, and rise up in some sort of revolution?   We’ll sit back and wait and see on that one.
          Once upon a time men went into a restroom that said “Gents”, “Men” or by some graphic, indicated that it was for men.  Women went into a restroom that said “Women” or “Ladies” or by some graphic that indicated it was for women.  Now here comes the crowd that THINKS they are something other than what they gender were born and nut-jobs in private business and government say they can use whatever restroom they want, because now they think or feel they’re a different gender.  Once upon a time women used to take their small children into the bathroom with them…even boys.  So it wasn’t uncommon to see a small child waiting patiently for his or her mother to finish what she had to do.  Nowadays with grown men going into women’s restrooms, would you take a small child in there, and leave him or her alone…for even a minute?   Back in August, in Jacksonville, Florida, two small boys went into the restroom at a McDonalds…their mother used the “buddy system” but it didn’t work.  One of the boys was assaulted…this particular story has a relatively good ending because they caught the rapist.   Not all stories like this end this well.
          Once upon a time, around 1939 or 1940 the United States Army trained with broomsticks for rifles, automobiles for tanks, used what equipment they had from The Great War, and had a complement of about 450 thousand troops.   Under the current administration, which is drawing down all of the services because of budget constraints, the Army is expected to bottom-out at 420 thousand troops, just slightly below the pre-war level.   Considering that these draw-downs place the United States in a position of jeopardy, how can it be justified that we are still giving money in foreign aid to countries that, at best, just tolerate us?   What does it mean to the average citizen that our military may be under-manned to the point where it couldn’t defend the homeland, much less wage a successful war on foreign soil?
          Once upon a time it seemed that the entire “free” world wanted to emigrate to the United States and, to a large degree that’s still the same.  The only difference is that now we have a problem of illegal aliens walking across a seemingly non-existent border.  Along with the illegal aliens who may be coming here for employment are probably people that have the destruction of the United States as their goal.   From video clips shown on television it would seem that even high metal fences are not the whole answer to keep unwanted people from entering.   There are other, workable, solutions to the border problem but few in the Washington hierarchy are inclined to listen to them because they WANT those illegal aliens here.  Those illegal aliens will, if Democrats have their way, eventually gain or be granted citizenship and they will most likely vote for the party that brought them in and gave them the power to bite the hand that fed them.   You only need to look to California to see the handwriting on the wall.  In that state illegal aliens can have a driver’s license which, in most instances, is the key document to getting the rest of whatever is available, including voting.
          Once upon a time, and it wasn’t that long ago, Americans spoke up when they decided that something was wrong…and the dissentions were peaceful, but meaningful.  Nowadays the protests are loud, violent and meaningless because many of the young people involved have no idea what they are protesting about, or for.  They don’t know what Socialism is, they have no clue as to how the government works, only that they want to change it, and if you ask them about something of a historical nature you probably will get a blank stare or a giggle.  Yeah…once upon a time, but that’s just a bedtime story’s beginning and I certainly hope the United States is not being tucked into bed for a long sleep.  Wake up America, your country needs you…desperately.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

TWILIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING…



TWILIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING…
            In the first stanza of our national anthem, there is the phrase, “twilight’s last gleaming”.   Francis Scott Key was a prisoner on a British ship when he wrote the song.  When the sun set in the evening- "in the twilight's last gleaming"- the last thing he saw was the flag waving overhead at Fort McHenry. In the morning, the first thing he saw- "by the dawns early light"- was the flag still waving, indicating we had not been defeated overnight.   Now, the United States is under attack by foreign forces again, but this time they are not en masse, but singly, or in very small groups.  Are we to be witnesses of our own version of the twilight’s last gleaming?   Are we to be the last, truly free Americans…or has the surrender already begun?
            For over fifteen years our country has been under attack from without and within.  Evidence comes along, sometimes good and sometimes bad, and from that my opinions have been formed.   Mostly, because of that evidence, it seems that the United States is in a downward spiral…economically, scholastically, militarily and morally.  Our economy is barely bumping along when it should have continued to be robust and provide jobs and security for the working people.   The armed forces have been systematically shredded to the point where we have a politically-compliant military which, some experts say, cannot properly defend the homeland.   Morally we have entered into a quagmire of questions about sexuality.   Our schools, from kindergarten to college are turning out people that have no clue as to what’s what in our government, much less the world.  It does not bode well for us.
            When, “in the dawn’s early light”, shall we see a nation rising up like the phoenix, out of the ashes…or will those ashes cover “the land of the free and the home of the brave”?   We have been extremely fortunate that, when needed, we had men and women rise up and step into the fray and save the day for us.  We call these people heroes, but if you speak to them, most of them would probably say that they were just doing their job…either the job we elected them to do, or the job we asked them to put their lives in jeopardy to do.   Do we have those heroes today?   Of course we do, but in the anti-hero atmosphere that surrounds the present administration, they are virtually ignored except when it’s impossible to do so.
            If the last century, the twentieth, was the American Century, is there any reason to believe that we could not continue with our exceptionalism?   This is an exceptional nation, “conceived in liberty”, and  we are being tested “whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”   We are a republic…not a democracy, although we are a democratic nation.   We are a republic…not a monarchy, although some might believe that we’ve crossed into that territory.  We are a nation of independent people, although some seem to be more independent than others, while others seem to be more dependent than some.   Once we shook off the chains that tied us to a tyrannical government and, if necessary, we could do it again.   That is the premise under which we govern ourselves, and the Constitution clearly states what is, and what is not, permissible for the government to do…to us, and for us.
            Recently, retired Marine General Mattis said, “Since coming back from overseas, this is more of a foreign country than the places overseas. I don’t understand it. It’s like America has lost faith in rational thought.”  So, as we approach another peaceful change of government, let us know and understand the great burden that has been placed on our shoulders…we the people, have the ability to turn the United States back onto a course of prosperity, power and prestige.   We must not shirk what I believe to be our responsibility, which is to truly represent what the statue in New York harbor means…Liberty enlightening the world.  Finally, this…”Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls…it tolls for thee.”  from Meditation 17 by John Donne.   Wake up America.  Your country needs you…desperately.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

VIGNETTES



VIGNETTES
It was April 18th, 1942 and the USS Hornet was turning into the wind, to give the aircraft on the deck the most lift that they could get.  The men in the B-25 Mitchell bombers had trained for this day…a day that would prove to be more symbolic than destructive.  Sixteen aircraft took off, bound for the Japanese homeland, in a surprise attack to show the Empire of The Rising Sun that America was not defeated…not by a long shot.  The raid was successful, but the aftermath was not.  Our ally, Russia, interned one of the crews for a year.  The Japanese captured eight of the fliers and executed three of them.  It was a bold move by brave men who, if they thought about it at all, probably knew that it might very well be a suicide mission.
            In The War Between The States, on December 5th, 1861 a Confederate soldier observed a Union soldier moving, and the distance between them was calculated to be around 1400 yards.  The sniper fired, and a moment or two later the Union soldier lay dead, and the troops around him were completely baffled as to where the shot had come.  Patrols were sent out but because of the distance involved, it was never considered that a sniper could make a shot like that.  Even today, it’s ranked as the 14th longest shot in history.   Considering the technology that was around in the 1860’s, it probably was something of a miracle that the shot could be made, but the Whitworth rifle was the best of what was available.
            Our twenty-sixth President, Theodore Roosevelt, was a man among men.  Once, while giving a speech an assassin shot him in the chest…Teddy continued on with the speech.  He single-handedly changed himself from a sickly boy to a robust man, becoming an expert marksman, running his own cattle ranch and being the leader of  the “Rough Riders” in the Spanish American war.  When his own political party rejected him, he formed the Bull Moose party.  As President he showed the flag by sending the US Navy around the world, and all the ships were painted white, thus earning the name The Great White Fleet, and presenting the United States as a world power.  In 1906 he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize, for actually doing something to bring peace to the world.  He is carved into the Mount Rushmore fa├žade along with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln.   Good company, I’d say.
            More people have probably heard of Edison than Tesla…unless they associate the name Tesla with an electric car.  Nicola Tesla was an American of Serbian birth and one of the great geniuses of his, or any other time.   When Edison was bring light to the world, via direct current, Tesla was working on alternating current…which is the system that the world uses today.  He died in 1943, and a unit of magnetic flux density is called a tesla.   He put on demonstrations of high-voltage by sitting in a chair and having spark-like bolts of thousands of volts crashing around him, with no harm to him.   In the 1893 World’s Fair, Tesla put on an exhibition and an observer noted:  Within the room was suspended two hard-rubber plates covered with tin foil. These were about fifteen feet apart, and served as terminals of the wires leading from the transformers. When the current was turned on, the lamps or tubes, which had no wires connected to them, but lay on a table between the suspended plates, or which might be held in the hand in almost any part of the room, were made luminous. These were the same experiments and the same apparatus shown by Tesla in London about two years previous, "where they produced so much wonder and astonishment"
            We have people like this in the United States today, believe it or not…but between political correctness, silly regulations and downright stupidity on the part of the Federal government many of these people are ignored and their creations never see the light of day.  I remember, way back in the late 1940’s there was a story about something called the Pogue carburetor.  It was a device that would greatly increase the miles-per-gallon of the automobiles on the road.  The story goes that the-then Big Three, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, along with Big Oil bought the patent and buried the idea. 
            Then there was the Winchester, the Sharps, and the Henry rifles which, along with the Colt six-shooter, tamed the wild, wild west.   Firearm technology has always been a painful process primarily due to the failures sometimes being fatal for the shooter.  Samuel Colt, the maker of the six-shooter, had a line attributed to him, that pretty much summed it all up.  It was said that God created Man, but it was Colt that made them all equal.   At a time when single-shot rifles and revolvers were still high on the list of technological wonders, a lever-action repeating rifle and a six-shot repeating revolver were eagerly sought, and gun salesman traversed the west selling everything they could get from the factories.
            We were a nation of doers, makers of wonders and our kids were in what I believe was the finest education system in the world.  Now, most of that is gone and I cry for my beloved country.