Friday, October 20, 2017

Thank God for the Catholics!

"The next time you chat with someone who is pro-choice, remind that person that the decision to have an abortion is a very binary issue. Turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to this issue is not okay."

Coming home from a funeral today, we passed a Catholic Church which had hundreds of crosses in the lawn in front of the sanctuary. It was called the "Cemetery of the Innocent". What? This was not a legal cemetery. What is the deal? The deal is just this. All the innocent unborn who are killed by being ripped apart in their mother's womb need to have some kind of remembrance. And if not for the Catholic Church, many would be forgotten.

If this sounds like I am calling out the other churches on this issue for saying nothing - you win the prize. I am. The Catholic Church, which does have its share of Democrats as parishioners, is not a bit bashful in calling out abortion being nothing more that infanticide. Whoops - I am sorry - did that sound impolitic? Well tough toenails if it did. Abortion is murder - murder of the most innocent. And most churches (including mine) do a very good job in sitting on their hands on this issue. However, the Catholic Church does not.

Why is this such a big deal? To start with, in the United States in 2017, when birth control is handed out like candy, we have had almost 900,000 abortions so far this year. How many brave soldiers, airmen and sailors have we lost in war zones this year? Nowhere near the 900,000. We lost just south of 60,000 in all the years we were involved in Viet Nam, and that was terrible. But 900,000? Where is the outrage?

One of the things the Catholic Church has done, which has taken a lot of guts, is to deny senior government officials from taking communion if they land on the side of taking innocent life. And that tired, worn out excuse of, "It is not really a life yet, just a hunk of matter" does not fly well at all. In the eyes of many, especially the Catholic Church, life begins at conception. To end that life through abortion, is nothing short of murder.

A week from tonight, we will be going to attend a banquet for New Life Ministries. New Life does amazing work in counseling women who are pregnant and might consider an abortion to those who have had an abortion and are trying to reconcile what they have done. Of the charities we give to, this is one the most worthy.

The next time you chat with someone who is pro-choice, remind that person that the decision to have an abortion is a very binary issue. Turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to this issue is not okay. You are either okay with the killing of innocents or you are not. If more who are not okay with abortion would make their voices heard (like the Catholic Church does), we would end this crime against humanity in our lifetime.

Once again I will say this. And I will say it over and over again. Thank God for the Catholics!


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Minnesota's awkward tilt

"Someday Minneapolis, when you are totally hollowed out, you will come to us for help. Like the prodigal son, you will not be shunned." 

This election year in Minneapolis, as well as the state wide elections next year are going to be very interesting to say the least. This morning there was an very good article in the paper about business owners in Minneapolis who are becoming increasingly concerned. Why? The ruling elite in the city could take a turn to the Left after next month's election. I almost fell off my chair laughing at that  one. Turn Left? If Minneapolis was any further Left right now, it would be standing on its head.

As Minneapolis continues to fade off into the abyss, the rest of the state is poised to make a right turn. Yes, this next year could really be the year that Minnesota becomes a red state. How so? The Emmer, Paulsen, and Lewis seats need to be defended. The seats in CD 8, CD 1, and CD 7 could be low fruit on the tree for a pick up by MN GOP. The Governor's seat? After eight years of "Moonbeam Light", the masses are ready for a change. We should be able to pick the AG spot and IF WE CAN GET SOMEONE TO FILE, we also could have a chance to get the SOS and Auditor position. In other words, next year could be a bell weather year for the red team.

If this can happen, things in Minnesota will really start to peculate. Government will finally be "right sized". The light of truth can be shined on the numerous wasteful and expensive programs this state has had for decades. Farmers can be treated like humans once again. Minnesota can hang the "open for business" sign our borders. And education can start to be fixed.

Education? What is wrong with it? Plenty. Our K-12 has become more and more hosed up ever since the "Minnesota Miracle" and the encroachment of Education Minnesota. I recently heard a story which typified what the problem is. A young lady in one of the failing schools in Minneapolis rose above the failure and received almost perfect grades all the way to graduation. She was given a scholarship to an Ivy League school. Once there, she was given an entrance exam to find out if she had any areas of weakness. To her surprise and dismay, she scored at an 8th grade level. Why? To mask the increasing failures of the Minneapolis schools, the classes are being "dumbed down".

Is Minneapolis going to be an island of blue in a sea of red? Very well could be. The most interesting thing is the good folks who live in Minneapolis don't care. All they care about is driving out business, dumbing down education, turning their streets into bike paths, and most importantly - fighting Donald J. Trump. Because of their myopic viewpoint being in the middle of that swamp, they cannot see what they are doing to themselves. They are like misbehaving teenagers with no parent to guide them. 

Good people who live in the burbs', who live out state close by, and who live out state far - there is hope on the horizon. Other than Minneapolis, we can save Minnesota in 2018. We can fix the loony tunes which have been visited upon us for years now by the DFL. We can undo eight years of Goofy. We can quit driving high earners and seniors out of our state. All we need to do is show up and vote red. And vote red in record numbers.

Someday Minneapolis, when you are totally hollowed out, you will come to us for help. Like the prodigal son, you will not be shunned. We will help you, and welcome you back into the 21st century. We will help you to become citizens once again, and not subjects, beholden only to the false gods of progressiveness. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Under the calm waves of the DOD

"Just know that until that budget is released, the DOD "duck" is paddling like hell under the water. Trust me - stuff is happening as you read this. Each day, every day, we are one day safer."

There is an old saying. Some things in life are like a duck on the water. On the surface, it appears the duck is just sitting around enjoying the day. However under the water, the duck may be using those webbed feet to paddle like mad. The DOD (Defense Department) today may be something similar to that duck. It may not look like much is happening, but trust me, those webbed feet are going in hyper-drive.

I had the honor and privilege to not only serve this country (in the Naval Reserve) under Ronald Reagan, but also be employed as a defense contractor. Similar to today, the military was a mess after four years Jimmy Carter. I can only imagine what it looks like after eight years of Barrack Obama. 

I was employed at Control Data's Aerospace Division during the entire 1980's decade. To say life was hectic as a defense contractor back then is a gross understatement. It seemed like the division was involved in everything, all the way from the Navy to NASA (and everything in-between). However, my bread and butter program was AEGIS - and it was very, very busy. Most orders I dealt with had a DPAS (Defense Priorities and Allocation System) of DOA7. If was a run of the mill priority, but higher than orders which came in with no priority at all.

About halfway through the 1980's decade. things really started to get hot and heavy. It was almost like the DOD could smell blood in the water with the Soviets. Maybe a little more gas under the pedal might actually defeat these guys. All of a sudden, many of the new orders coming in had a DX rating. Some existing DOA7 orders were also changed to DX. And what is a DX rating? A critical rating, where no DO order gets done before fulfilling the DX orders first.

I believe what is happening in the DOD is similar today to what was going on in the 1980's. A big difference however, is Ronald Reagan had a souped up DOD budget to work with - compliments of Congress. Donald Trump does not have that luxury as yet. He needs to work under the confines of the CR budget he has. However, there are many things the DOD can do "under the water" which will help move critical programs along and still be legal.

For example, beside issuing DX orders, there was this. Many times when I was sitting in acquisition meetings in Washington, I would hear side conversations under the heading of "If you scratch my back now, I will scratch yours later." Translation = the government does not have the money allocated to fund this, but if the company can spend some R+D dollars to help out, the government will make you whole at a later time. I can attest that many times, that "later time", never came. And the company knew that from the get-go. But it was for the greater good, so they did it.

One more thing I should mention. For a time, I was the Contract Manager for engineering programs on the Vertical Launching System Programs while employed at FMC/BAE. I spent quite a bit of time with the scores of engineers who were working on that most critical program. Never once did I see anyone sitting around trying to figure out what to do. Every day, it was a madhouse of activity. Many different things, done by many different people, all at once. At the end of each day, the goal was to have the can kicked a bit further down the road. And it was.

My belief is today, the companies who are working on any part of our Ballistic Missile Defense System, are operating somewhere between over-drive and hyper-drive. Every day the Norks or the Iranians have not launched something at us is a gift. It makes us one day better prepared. The Trump Administration is quickly making up for the remiss of the eight years of the Obama Administration.

When the budget is finally signed in December (it better be!), I will be interested to see the types of things authorized in the DOD portion. I know this President puts a very high priority in making America strong again.

Just know that until that budget is released, the DOD "duck" is paddling like hell under the water. Trust me - stuff is happening as you read this. Each day, every day, we are one day safer.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Bunker, bug or both?

"We have seen this now in Katrina, Super Storm Sandy, Harvey, Irma, and Maria - help is slow to come."

Okay. I will say it. Forget about the Hollywood scandal. Forget the NFL. Forget about the Russian influence on our elections. Forget about the horrible storms that hit Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico. Even forget about the nut ball who shot up Las Vegas. We might have bigger fish to fry.

I have mentioned this before. I had a high level clearance for over 20 years while in the Navy. Ask anyone who has had a high level clearance, and they will tell you the same thing. What is reported in the news and what is really happening are not nearly the same. And there are reasons for that. One being, you don't want to scare the "bleep" out of the public. But those on the inside, who can peek under the tent, have many sleepless nights.

If we have learned nothing from the past few months, I hope we have at least learned this. Bad things can happen and they can happen in bunches. Remember the videos of cars trying to make it out of Houston? I do. The videos of cars trying to get out of Florida? I do. What is your plan Puerto Rico, if you have another storm like Maria? Blame Trump? That is so yesterday.

The people in Houston and Florida learned a very good lesson from these storms. Some who waited until the last minute and then became part of the world's largest traffic jam. And go where? And with what? This are all questions every family should have documented in a "E" (Emergency) Plan. Let me say that again - every family should have one. 

I read a very good article not too long ago about logical prepping. And please - don't be turned off by the term "prepping". Just because you prep does not mean you are a nut ball. It just means you are prepared. Anyhow, in this article, it said every family should have a bunker as well as a bug out plan. And the bug out plan should have a few options. For example, if there was an emergency where you needed to vacate immediately, what to bring. If you have four hours, what to bring. If you have a full day, what to bring. 

A home bunker is fairly easy to set up. Home bunkers can range from a three day supply of food and water all the way up to months. They can be in a pantry, closet, or part of the basement. I will say again, should something happen which paralyzes the shipment of goods locally or nationally, your home becomes your store. Because of "just in time" inventory, most stores only have a few days (or less) of provisions on hand. If there is an emergency, any story can be stripped bare in hours.

We have seen this now in Katrina, Super Storm Sandy, Harvey, Irma, and Maria - help is slow to come. It is critical everyone is prepared to help themselves for a period of time. Need help on coming up with ideas? Go on the internet. It is replete with sites which offer very good ideas.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Urban legends

"Now the nice thing about urban legend is it might just stay at 'legend'. Or - there might just be a smidgen of truth which will lead us somewhere unexpected."

Have you ever wondered how urban legends are formed? Are they fact, fiction, or a bit of both? For example, the other night I was watching a documentary on Operation Paper Clip. I have known about this operation for years now, and continue to be fascinated by it. Is there some truth in it? Sure - we ended up with Wernher von Braun didn't we? The brains behind the V2 rocket, which killed so many in London. His punishment for his World War II war crimes? We made him the head of the newly formed NASA.

Okay, okay - the Russians were after this guy also. He was "Mr. Rocket", and whoever had him, had the keys to the future. But was he the only person who came over in the clandestine Operation Paper Clip? That is where urban legend comes in. Some say a few, others say thousands. Some say the Nazi's we offered asylum, offered very little (other than Von Braun), others say we received some of the secrets to the universe. Where is the truth on this? Check the Book of Secrets in Washington. 

How about Operation High Jump? This is where one can really fall down the rabbit hole. According to Navy records, this operation was strictly to send a force to Antarctica to do some military research. Nothing truculent nor clandestine - just routine. ADM Byrd, who was in charge of this expedition, seems to have some followers of the different kind. They doubt if that was even close to being the reason. It was primarily to clean out the Nazis who were still stationed there in secret bases. 

Now this where the urban legends of Operation Paper Clip and Operation High Jump form a nexus. Some say the reason that Von Braun and his associates were able to leap frog ahead of everyone else in rocket technology was they had help. Help from something or someone beyond this planet. And in Operation High Jump, that is where ADM Byrd discovered the secret base that the Nazis has been using with the "helpers". 

Now the nice thing about urban legend is it might just stay at "legend". Or - there might just be a smidgen of truth which will lead us somewhere unexpected. I will say this however. If you are bored sometime, go in the internet and poke up Paper Clip or High Jump. There are a vast array of theory's as to what each of these operations were truly about.

And don't worry - there are more. These two are just the most popular. If you decide to travel down the rabbit holes - good hunting. I have taken a few trips down there, and all I can say is this. It is never boring and seldom satisfying.  Why? The truth is out there - some place. Just not down these particular rabbit holes.  

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Been there, done that...

"Sorry Tim. You can go back to "K" Street and continue to be a lobbyist. You seem to like it. We need a someone who has not been infected by the swamp to come into St. Paul with his fiscal guns blazing." 

Yet another article in this morning's fish wrap about Tim the tool man making another run for governor. So I am going to say something nice about our former Governor Pawlenty - he is a nice man. As far as being our Governor is concerned, Tim was affected by the same disease many in the past have been infected with - largess. The growth of government under his watch was not as high as if a Democrat were in the Governor's seat, but it still headed north.

Here are my main issues with Tim Pawlenty. First, the size of government. I know, he did not have a Republican House and Senate. But with that in mind, the size of our government still went up $10B during his two terms! Not only that, the number of people employed state wide increased only by a smidgen. It is true that Governor Pawlenty did not allow a tax increase (except on cigarettes), but the state's economy was not as robust when he left office as it was when he assumed the duties.

My other big issue is the Metropolitan Council. He could have neutered the council. Instead, he allowed it to continue. Most of us know the only way to kill the existing council and replace it with a governing body which is duly elected rather than appointed, is to have a Republican Governor as well as Republican House and Senate. If it is only a Republican Governor, the Governor can't kill the council, but can make it very inept by his appointments. By not doing anything during his term, he set the table for Dayton to go hog wild with the council for his two terms.

The paper said the current list of candidates did not have "star power". Oh, I disagree with that one! The biggest complaint that I have heard about my candidate (that be Commissioner Jeff Johnson) is he is "too nice".  I wish people would say that about me! But Jeff has one of the best resumes to be Governor that I have ever seen. Let me just list a few of his accomplishments:

  • Born and raised in out state Minnesota. Understands rural as well as urban Minnesota.
  • Undergrad degrees in economics, history, and political science from Concordia College in Minnesota.
  • Law Degree from Georgetown University Law School. 
  • Worked for large law firms in Chicago and Minneapolis practicing employment and labor law.
  • Started his own company (Midwest Employment Resources). 
  • Did three terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
  • Currently serving his third term as a Hennepin County Commissioner.
Jeff has a lifetime conservative rating of 95% from the Taxpayer's League. He is very conservative and he can govern. Most who remember how Tim Pawlenty governed do not refer to him as a conservative. Best I have heard - he was just "okay".

In 2018, we need to elect a game changer. Don't be fooled by Jeff Johnson's nice guy appearance. He can be as tough as he is nice. And he hates largess. He KNOWS our state budget is way out of wack. He knows how to fix it. He knows how to fix the unelected, out of control Met Council. He is the right person for the right job and the right time.

Sorry Tim. You can go back to "K" Street and continue to be a lobbyist. You seem to like it. We need a someone who has not been infected by the swamp to come into St. Paul with his fiscal guns blazing. Jeff is my guy for all the right reasons. Need more reasons? Just ask me some time.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Undoing Obama

"Here is the problem when you do as Obama did with extra-Constitutional actions. When you tell people all you need to govern is a "pen and a phone". It was easy come and now it is easy go."

This has been some week for our 45th President. Any olive branch that might have existed between the President, Chuckles, and Ms. Nancy, was swept away in a firestorm of Presidential actions. I have addressed this before - little by little, the non-statutory actions which Obama took are being undone by this White House. However this week, Trump got to some very large chunks.

The first thing this week which fell was the illegal ObamaCare subsidy to insurance companies. Now before some get their undies in a wad about this, one thing needs to be crystal clear. We can still do it, if that is what the American people want. However, it needs to be done in accordance with Article One of our Constitution. In other words, Congress needs to appropriate the money. President Obama had no legal standing to appropriate this money without the consent and authority of Congress. All President Trump did was to get rid of an illegality.

The next issue is a bit different, but along the same lines. President Trump will not certify the Iran JCPOA (or should the last three initials be POS instead). Now Trump did not cancel the agreement, he would just not certify Iran was in compliance. The Democrats, still smarting from the ObamaCare issue, are hopping mad about this one. "Of course Iran is in compliance! That has been proven!" Trump's position - Iran may be in compliance with a bad deal, and all that does is let it remain a bad deal. Trump wants to make this a better deal.

Guess what Trump did with this issue? That is correct - dumped it over in Congress. Why? This is where it should have been from the get-go. It may be an "agreement", but anything which even smells like a treaty, needs reside in the Congressional in-basket.

Just like Obama tried to undo many of the Bush (43) era items, Trump is now doing the same to Obama. Should anyone be surprised? Only if they were living under a rock during the campaign. What happened this week came directly out of Donald Trump's platform.

I know, I know. It would have been better if Ryan and the House had fixed the ObamaCare issue instead. Why didn't they? Courage. Donald Trump is not a swamp dweller. He is a former CEO who knows how to get things done. How to challenge people to do their jobs. He gave Ryan first crack at ObamaCare. Ryan fumbled the ball (twice), so Trump scored the touchdown instead.

Here is the problem when you do as Obama did with extra-Constitutional actions. When you tell people all you need to govern is a "pen and a phone". It was easy come and now it is easy go. Hopefully, the American people will have learned a lesson from this the next time someone who wants to be dictator comes into the White House. So long as our Constitution stands, so stands our rule of law.