Thursday, September 29, 2016

Our western gambit

"Normally, when a CR is being worked on, it is reported in the news. Not this week. Too much other stuff going on."

Our long awaited vacation to visit both the badlands has an element of risk attached to it. True, every time you travel anywhere there is risk, but this is a risk of a different nature. The government shutting down. And what if they do? Normally it is just a big shrug from most of us. HOWEVER, both the feds and the our state do the same thing in the event of a shutdown. They close down the parks. They want the people to feel the pain.

To say this would screw us up on this vacation is an understatement. Right before we left I called Congressman Emmer's office. Yes I was told, the House was going to be working on a continuing resolution (CR) on Tuesday (the clock runs out at midnight on Friday). Other than that, there has been no news.

Normally, when a CR is being worked on, it is reported in the news. Not this week. Too much other stuff going on. There is also some contentious items that need to be reconciled before it is in a condition that Obama would sign it. Any my feeling is he would be happy if the government would shut down for a short period of time. Why? The Republicans always seemed to get blamed.

There is some humor buried in with this story. My wife and I have been listening to all the news shows while in the car. When we checked into both hotels we have stayed at, we flipped between Fox, CNN and the regular stations. No news on the CR. No news on the shut down. 

Yesterday during our blizzard of extra driving, we could not take it anymore. Way, way too much news. So we switched on the 60's oldie station. About 10 minutes into listening, the DJ comes on and says he will not be taking his usual vacation this year. He is going to wait a few weeks. He went on to say it was too risky with the possibility of a government shutdown and then the parks being closed. After hours and hours of listening to the news channels and getting nothing, we get some news about a shut down from an oldies station!

Anyhow, if the parks are shut down on Saturday, we have a Plan "B". We will have already been to Teddy Roosevelt Park in North Dakota and Devil's Tower. We would miss the South Dakota national parks. But there are a ton of state parks to visit. So that is what we would do to finish up our trip.

One word about some serious politics before I close. Many, probably most of us, have zero tolerance for Congress not getting their work done on time. There is no reason why we do not have a 2017 budget agreed to and signed into law by now. We are sick and tired of CRs and the omnibus bills which always seem to follow. Very, very sick and tired.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Tales from the Great Prairie

"Next, the countryside is absolutely gorgeous. It really is - especially this time of year. Finally, I could just imagine how Lewis and Clark felt when they first saw this great land so many years ago."

Today was really something. We decided to make it across the Great Prairie of North Dakota. There is no getting around it. If you want to get to the threshold of the Great West, you must first venture across the Great Prairie of North Dakota. Now the bad news - it is just about 300 miles of flat prairie. And the good news - Interstate 94 has a speed limit of 75 mph (which most folks push up close to 80).

The day was set. We spent the first night in Fargo, so we would not have to drive the 500 miles in one day to Dickinson. That would make a easier day for day two of our journey. We would get off on Bismarck exit and travel to Washburn to hit the Sakakawea Scenic Byway. This was going to be great! We had heard so much about the history and the heritage of this land. 

About twelve miles outside of Washburn, our cell phone rang. It was the hotel we stayed in the night before in Fargo. When I answered, the man at the front desk informed us we had left some things behind in our room. Now we are just about 2/3 of the way to Dickinson across the Great Prairie of North Dakota. But he told me we left all my meds and some other valuables. First time that had EVER happened! 

After spending almost 3 hours of going through the Great Prairie of North Dakota, we decided we needed to go back to Fargo to pick up what we left. So, we scrapped the 
Sakakawea Scenic Byway, beat feet back to Interstate 94, and headed back to Fargo. 

Once we hit Fargo, I had about had it. We went to the motel and picked up what we had forgotten. We then left and gassed up the truck. My wife was wondering if I had enough mojo left in me to do anything, much less drive more hours. I told her one of the things I learned early in the Navy years was "if you break it, you fix it".

Shortly before 3pm, we headed back west. It was going to be another 300 miles on top of what we already had driven. We got back on Interstate 94, cranked the cruise up to 80, and off we went. With only two short bio breaks, we made to our motel in Dickinson before dark.

Now that I am reflecting in our comfortable motel, rather than fighting the wheels in the  driver's seat of my truck, here are some observations. First, this state is another example of how we feed the world. The fields of corn, sunflowers and wheat go on to just about forever. Next, the countryside is absolutely gorgeous. It really is - especially this time of year. Finally, I could just imagine how Lewis and Clark felt when they first saw this great land so many years ago. This history here is deep and profound. I am so anxious for tomorrow to come. 

How is the trip going so far? A bit more exciting than I had imagined. But tomorrow is another day, and history awaits. Don't worry - before we leave for Devil's Tower in two days, I will ENSURE all is packed before checkout! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Playing defense seldom wins the game

"I mean, when the topic of cyber security came up, it was a low hanging fast ball for the Trumpster. He could have knocked that one out of the park."

I watched the debate last night. Parts of it more than once, as it was played over and over and over again. Was I pleased, surprised or disappointed? None of the above. Okay - maybe it was a bit disappointing that Donald Trump did not go for the kill shot a couple of times. It seems that Lester was too busy trying to be the truth detective with Trump - he did have the time to ask the "low fruit on the tree" questions of Hillary.

I mean, when the topic of cyber security came up, it was a low hanging fast ball for the Trumpster. He could have knocked that one out of the park. And when questioned about how he has treated women, Donald could have looked directly at Hillary and asked, "Do we really want to go down this road?" Instead, he played defense.

During the past two presidential elections, we had John McCain and Mitt Romney throwing softballs at our very vulnerable President and President to be. Why? They did not want to be accused of being a "you know what". And now we have a woman running for President, and it seems that Trump is being cowed by her sex. You know - another "historic first". Makes we wonder who the Democrats will run the next time - a Martian, so it can be one more "historic first"?

Some people think these debates don't mean squat. Others say they are of the highest importance. My feeling is simply this - it is not only a chance to sell yourself to the American people, but when you have a total phony like Hillary sharing the stage with you, what an opportunity to peel her skin off and expose here for the charlatan she is. 

I suppose the good news is that Donald did not step on any land mines last night. The bad news is he did not return fire as effectively as many of us hoped he would. I hope his team has him looking over the films from last night's event - just like a football team does after a game. 

The next debate will be your chance Mr. Trump. Remember, in this battle we go for the win. Not the tie, not a gentle loss, we go for the BIG WIN. You are a smart man sir - let's go for it!

Binary choices

"We will take the chance he will be a game changer and not a wrecking ball. True, we could be wrong. So what I always tell people is this - with Trump we not what we might get. With Hillary, we know what we will get. And we don't like that at all." 

Some of us who backed Ted Cruz during the primaries know that he and Donald Trump were at big odds with each other. Not too many kind words were exchanged between the two of them. Glenn Beck, who seldom endorses anyone, took a big leap and traveled the countryside to be a pitchman for Ted Cruz. My wife and I went to see Glenn Beck this past summer at a rally in downtown Minneapolis. It was most enjoyable and motivating.

But that was then and this is now. All the contenders have left the field save one - Donald Trump. He is the one who will fight it out with Hillary in the November election. Slowly (and I mean slowly), establishment Republicans as well as some conservative Republicans, have come out to support Trump. Over the weekend, even Ted Cruz came out and gave a somewhat tepid endorsement for Donald Trump.

Glenn Beck had Senator Cruz on his program yesterday. And Glenn was out for bear. After being a true believer in what Ted Cruz stood for in his campaign, one could sense that Beck felt betrayed. So when Ted threw in the towel and backed Donald Trump, that was too much for Beck. Glenn and his team wanted to grill him on the air. They wanted to make him squirm.

Cruz, as promised, called in. And Beck, as promised to the audience, grilled him hard. Ted took it like a man, and responded to Beck this way - "This year we have a binary choice. My choice is never Hillary."

As much as Beck tried to poke holes in that response, Cruz did not waiver. I knew what he meant. A vote for third party, a vote for a write in, a no-vote, is really a vote for Hillary. His distaste for Donald Trump was eclipsed by his visceral distaste for a President Hillary Clinton.

Some of my social media friends are similar to Glenn Beck in that fashion. They will not vote for Trump if the world depended on it - and it might. I see a President Hillary Clinton as not being a fatal blow for our country, but another disabling blow. Our economy is in tatters right now, and her plan is more of the same. Or as someone said a while ago, Hillary's name should be "status quo".

Even though Donald Trump is not our cup of tea, my wife and I will gladly vote for him in the general election. We will take the chance he will be a game changer and not a wrecking ball. True, we could be wrong. So what I always tell people is this - with Trump we not what we might get. With Hillary, we know what we will get. And we don't like that at all. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

This week's main event!

"I fear the floor fighting between the Republicans and Democrats will look more like Cain and Able than the statesmen (or women) they are."

We have waited a long time for this. The drama, the build up, everyone wondering how it is going to end. And there is a lot at stake for sure. You know what I am talking about, right? The debate on Monday night? Oh, that will be full of drama also. But the big show will happen on Tuesday when the "clown car", better known as the United States Congress, will try and pass legislation which will keep the government open past Friday night.

Right now it looks like passage of something, ANYTHING, might indeed be a bridge too far. Because the students did not get their homework done during the school year, an extension is being requested. Only in the world of the federal government, an extension is known as a CR (Continuing Resolution). And for most people, Continuing Resolutions are as popular as getting a root canal. 

Why is this taking so long, and why is this so hard? First off, there was the Planned Parenthood issue with Zika funding. Many did not want any of the $1.1B of Zika funding to be funneled through Planned Parenthood. It really did look like that was going to be a deal breaker for a while. But conservatives caved in and the Zika issue was cleared. But then there is Flint.

Just like in an omnibus bill, there is a tendency to load up a CR with goodies. Federal help for Flint is one of them. Also some more help for the flooding victims in Louisiana. On Tuesday, the battles and barters will begin deep in the wells of the House and Senate. Most everyone will be trying to cobble together SOMETHING which will keep the lights on until December 9th. PLUS (and this is a big one), something the President will sign. 

To be perfectly clear, conservatives HATE this process. It is not only a very sloppy way to do the people's business, but CR's often times open the door for a bloated omnibus bill once the CR has expired. The end result is an out of control budget process which leads to an out of control national debt. This is no way to run a railroad, nor a country.

The best thing to do this week is enjoy the debate tonight and then buckle up. The sausage factory will be working overtime from Tuesday until Friday night at 11:59 pm. I fear the floor fighting between the Republicans and Democrats will look more like Cain and Able than the statesmen (or women) they are.

Plug your noses folks - sometimes the sausage factory does not smell very good at times this this. In fact, it stinks.  

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Upside down world

"One of the black leaders who I respect was recently asked how to stop the madness. How to get our upside world righted again. He said it ALL starts in the home." 

Cops having to shoot people of color. Demonstrations, marches and riots breaking out in large cities. Professional and student athletes taking a knee or raising a fist during the national anthem. Add into that, many large cities seeing record or near record amount of shootings and/or homicides. What in the world is going on here? 

It seems the "post racial America" we were promised under Obama has turned out to be something quite different. As bad as things were during the Rodney King event, they are much worse now. And all our President can do is lecture us. And he will not take any blame for what has happened. Yet he should.

Here is the bottom line. In the past, being a police officer was a tough and dangerous job. In today's world, it is ten times worse. Life and death decisions need to be made in seconds. Sometimes a split second. And I know this for a fact. The last thing any police officer wants to do while on duty is to fire his or her weapon in anger.

Yet, some on the Left want the police vilified. Just listen to Hillary sometime when she addresses this issue. A few people with a high violence quotient, want anyone in a police uniform seen as a target. However, the vast majority of us respect our police. We know they have the most difficult job. Keeping the peace in a world which has become more and more devoid of peace. Making it through a watch string without killing or being killed. Not too many other occupations share that concern.

One of the black leaders who I respect recently was asked how to stop this madness. How to get our upside world righted again. He said it ALL starts in the home. We have way too many homes which are broken or dysfunctional. And that affects everything. It affects how kids do in school. If they can get a job. If they will dabble in crime. Or if they will dive head first into serious crime. 

He went on to say something very interesting. The black family was very, very strong prior to 1965. The Great Society was nothing more than a wrecking ball on the black family. Now, fifty years later under President Obama, many black families are in tatters. Over 70% of all black babies are born to single mothers. The unemployment rate for black youth is through the roof. Many cities (like the Twin Cities), have fairly good results in education - except they have a huge achievement gap between white and non-white students.

This man finished up the discussion by telling us he believes all in not lost with the black family. It can once again be as strong as it was. The fix comes from the government. In other words, the government screwed this up fifty years ago, and the government can fix it by staying the heck out of it. He said we need to un-do many things the Great Society screwed up. 

One final thought. Someone penned a good letter to the editor in the paper this weekend. It asked why we don't have better non-lethal solutions the police could use. The taser only works at a close distance. Plus, it is not effective with some people. The article said we need something like a "stun gun". Something similar to what was used in the TV show Star Trek. Stun someone, and they pass out, and wake up with a headache. But nobody dies.

What I do know is we need to fix this, and now. We are in a mess. We are coming apart at the seems. If we don't fix it, and it gets worse, Heaven help us. Seriously, Heaven will need to help us.  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Pre-debate thoughts

"A couple of my social media friends think I have taken a long walk off a short pier. That I have taken leave of me senses now that I am backing Trump. Maybe I have."

Those who know Roger Ailes are convinced that having him on Donald Trump's team has changed the race. That may or may not be true. My feeling is having Kellyanne Conway on the team has been a new rudder on the USS Trump. Whatever, or whomever it is, change is in the air. And I am looking forward to Monday night's debate like nobody's business. I am very hopeful to see a Donald Trump unlike the one I saw in the primary debates.

A couple of my social media friends think I have taken a long walk off a short pier. That I have taken leave of my senses, now that I am supporting Trump. Maybe I have. But I have said this before - I find a Clinton Presidency so awful, so catastrophic for our country, that I would chose Trump over Clinton in a New York minute. And Gary Johnson? A very nice man, but really a long ways away from being ready for prime time. And Dr. Stein? Lost in la-la land.

I am very anxious to hear both candidates describe their views on prosperity and national defense. It was said in the media today, the only thing the two candidates seem to agree upon is killing the TPP trade agreement (for different reasons). Other than that, they are about as different as the east is from the west. 

One of the things I really hope Trump does in at least one of the debates, is to rip the skin off the myth the economy is booming. It is not booming. It is anemic. It is all smoke and mirrors. And Hillary of course, is going to try and defend it. My feeling is Trump is smart enough, and cagey enough, to expose this fraud. I really don't understand why more folks on our side have not done this as yet. To me, this is low fruit on the tree.

One more word about the age of our candidates. Not just this year, but in many a year. All eyes will be on Hillary to see if she shows any signs of neurological or respiratory illness. And Hillary was very indignant when she was asked if she had any history of dementia or Alzheimer's. Well guess what Hillary? I was asked the same questions two years ago when we applied for our long term care insurance. I even had to take a cognitive test. Stuff can happen when you age. 

Many people when they age lose the circulation they had earlier in life. Standing in one spot for 90 minutes is tough for many people. I have neuropathy. I would tip over in about 30 minutes. We need younger people running for office. Both these candidates are either 70 or very close to it. 

In any event, I am looking forward to Monday night. I am even giving up a rite of the fall season (MNF) to watch the debate. Those who are still on the fence about supporting Donald Trump this year, please watch with an open mind. With Trump we can hope what we might get, with Hillary, we KNOW what we will get. 


Oh, Susan...

"Truthfully, and it pains me to say this, she would be much better suited in running for a seat in the heart of Minneapolis. Her politics would be much more in sync."

As many know by now, one of the more interesting races for the Minnesota House is taking place up in House District 31 B. I know it well. It is my district. Tom Hackbarth served this district for over 20 years. Up until the very end, he served it well. Now the race is between Calvin Bahr and Susan Larson. My job right now is to publish some information which defines just who these two people are.

Let me first tell you what they have in common. They both live in the district. They are both small business owners. They are both married with adult children and some grandchildren. There is where the similarity ends. Since I have recently penned an article about Cal, I will devote most of this article to shining the light of truth on Susan Larson.

I have read her bio. I have read how her DFL party defines her. I have read how Susan defines herself. Truthfully, and it pains me to say this, she would be much better suited in running for a seat in the heart of Minneapolis. Her politics would be much more in sync. How so? Examples to follow:

  • NLX (Northern Lights Express) - Some refer to this train as the "Casino Train", as most of who would ride it would probably exit at the Hinkley or Black Bear Casino exits. True, some would take it all the way to Duluth, but probably not too many. It is a $1B boon doggle which is being backed by the tribes and some greedy politicians who have land on the route. Susan Larson backs this huge waste of taxpayer money.
  • Pre-K - Susan will fit right in with the Dayton crowd on this one. I guess this is to be expected since Susan is backed by that most evil organization, Education Minnesota. To date, there is still not one shred of evidence that Pre-K helps kids as they getting deeper into school. It does however, help Education Minnesota. Susan has been quoted as saying, "Pre-K is important due to expectations that are much higher today." Huh?
  • Health Care - I am so anxious for Susan to come knocking at my door this fall. She is quoted as saying her goal is "Heath care needs to be affordable for all." That is the same gobblety gook we heard from Obama prior to passing his very expensive and highly ineffective ObamaCare. As usual, Democrat health care talk is short on specifics and long on rhetoric.
My sage advise to Susan is simply this - folks up in this neck of the woods are high on liberty, and very suspicious of big government. If that is the soup you are selling, more government and less liberty, you will not find many buyers here.

Cal Bahr on the other hand, has the right ideas. He has the right solutions. He has a deep love for our Constitution and liberty. He is the right person to represent the good folks in HD 31B. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Trap

"The Democrats have laid out a nice trap for us. And it has been going on for years. They herd us into a boxed canyon, year after year."

Sometimes I think I am slowing down (thinking wise) as I grow older. I had an epiphany today as I was driving to an appointment. It should not have been a "ah-ha" moment for me, but it was. I all started when I was thinking about the article I penned early this morning. How we are once again stuck in the land of CR (Continuing Resolutions). Then it hit me like a bolt out of the blue.

The Democrats have laid out a nice trap for us. And it has been going on for years. They herd us into a boxed canyon, year after year. So long as we have a Democrat President, they win on budget deals. Even it we maintain slim majority in both sides of Congress. If we had huge majorities, like over 2/3, then it would be a different story. But we don't, and is unlikely we will for some time to come.

I believe that every year, one of the chief road blocks is the funding of Planned Parenthood. The conservative wing of the Republican Party does not want tax dollars funding Planned Parenthood. The Democrats, almost without exception, do. So when there is an effort to delete Planned Parenthood funding from a appropriation bill, the bill bogs down. Even if it passes by a slim majority, Obama would veto it. And if Clinton is elected, she would veto these bills also.

Now we come to the end of the year. Any CR written will also defund Planned Parenthood. Again, should it pass out of the House or Senate, Obama would veto it. The government would shut down, and the Republicans would get the blame.

The trap is simply this. So long as we have divided government with a Democratic President, we can either get blamed for the government shutting down, or accept the continual funding of the largest group of abortionists in the country. It is that basic. And unless we win the Presidency, or get HUGE majorities in the House and Senate, nothing is going to change. 

What is going to happen this year? As was said in the Navy, we are screwed, blued and tattooed. We might as well send up a clean CR that Obama will sign. We have no other option. If the government shuts down, at some time we will have to re-open it. And when we do, Obama will get his way after all. What a trap this is...

Same Stuff, Different Year (SSDY)

"As much as I would love to hang this one around Obama's neck, I can't. This one is on us. The Republicans who run the House and Senate."

Today is September 22nd. It is a Thursday. In about a week or so, it will be September 30th. So what, one might ask? Time marches on. But the time for the GFY 16 budget year turns into a pumpkin on September 30th. And if there is no GFY 17 budget funding to take its place on October 1st, technically the government shuts down.

As much as I would love to hang this one around Obama's neck, I can't. This one is on us. The Republicans who run the House and Senate. What makes this year different from the past years is we have Paul Ryan running the House. Mr. Budget himself. And there still is no budget. So this year, like many years in the past, we have a choice. Shut down the government until a budget is passed (a real poison pill for the Republicans), or pass the dreaded CR (Continuing Resolution).

Some don't fully understand what a CR is. As an analogy, it is 13 o'clock. It is the 31st of September or the 32nd of October. In football, it is overtime. In baseball, it is extra innings. In the world of government, it is the life preserver for not getting the work done during normal hours.

So what if we operate using a CR rather than a fresh budget? First off, spending which should stop, continues. Next, the new year's spending has no foundation in budgeting. Washington becomes a drunken orgy of spending as there simply is no budget which means anything. And as most of us homeowners know, spending without a basis (budget) often time leads to excessive indebtedness. Like almost $20T in national debt. 

Yes, I remember all the promises at the start of this Congress. No more omnibus bills. No more CR type of patching. Each of the twelve appropriation bills will be passed on its own merit. It will be neat, it will be orderly. There will be no more end of the fiscal year scrambles. Right...

So here we are again. Same Stuff, Different Year (SSDY). What have we learned from the mistakes we have made this year? Nothing. We will most likely be back in the same pickle in the near future. 

Usually I don't have a dog in this budget fight. If the government closes down, it really does not. Life goes on. However during a closure, there are some symbolic things the government does to impose inconvenience on the citizens. Like closing down the national park system. And this year that would be tough. 

First off, it is the 100th anniversary of our park system. That is a big butt deal!Second (from a personal viewpoint), we are leaving at the end of the month to visit about four or five of the national parks. If they are closed when we get there, I am not going to be a happy camper. And my wife will be about three degrees worse than unhappy.

Just as an observer, I would think that during an election year, the people running the joint would want to appear to really have their poop in a group. That they deserve to stay in their jobs for another term. Instead they look like the gang who could not shoot straight. And this - is another reason why so many are fed up with government.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

In the land of the blind...

"I have talked to some of our low to no information voters out there. I get the glazed over look very quickly when I start talking about the metrics on our economy over the past four years." 

One of my favorite sayings is, "In the land of the blind, a one eyed man is King." A real world example of this saying is what is going on right now in America. Using every metric possible, Barack Obama has been a substandard President. Maybe the worst in a generation. Maybe the worst longer than one generation. But his approval level keeps rising. To an almost crazy level. What gives here?

I hate to say this, as I am finally warming up to Donald Trump. But this negatives are so high, it makes Obama looked ten times better than what he really is. And with Hillary, the ten times might be as high as twenty times. 

To discerning observers on the political landscape (which I believe many, if not most of my blog readers are), they can see clearly through this chaff. The problem is (and I think this is a huge problem within our country), we have a raft of low to no information voters out there.

I have talked to some of our low to no information voters out there. I get the glazed over look very quickly when I start talking about the metrics of our economy over the past four years. OR (and this is very timely), the civil unrest which seems to beset our country almost on a weekly scale. OR, the increasing number of terror attacks perpetrated by the ones who shall go nameless. OR the increasing provocations by the Russians, the Chinese, the North Koreans or the Iranians.

Bottom line - everything is relative. Compared to Ronald Reagan, Obama would have an approval rate of low to non-existent. Just like Jimmy Carter had.  BUT, Obama came into office on the heals of the worst recession in forever, brought to us live and in color by Chris Dodd and Barney Frank (Not Bush!). And ANYTHING Obama did looked good to the uninformed.

The land of the blind. Are we? Some are, for sure. Maybe more than some. It does not have to be that way. It is not that hard to pay attention. To not be seduced by the MSM. Remember this. We elected Obama (a community organizer) twice over a war hero and a guy who started numerous companies. 

What can we do to help the good guys win? Keep telling the truth. Sharing the facts. Even blind folks will start to understand.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Establishment Game

"Guess who is not establishment this year? Yup - Donald Trump. And the Republican establishment hates him."

Most of us oldies remember from our youth sayings such as "Don't trust anyone over 30", or "Beware of the establishment". The "establishment". It had bad connotations back then. It has bad connotations today. Only today the establishment is something quite different. It is establishment politics. That fun group who gives us Republicans and Democrats who are indistinguishable from each other.

Outsiders can recognize the new establishment from miles away. Insiders, not so much. Our former Governor Jessie could call it. He referred to our two parties as the "Crips and the Bloods". Same type of gangs, just a slightly different uniforms. Garry Johnson who is running as the Libertarian Candidate, also can see it. On his campaign commercials, he tells us it does not matter which of the two major parties you vote for, you will get the same outcome.

Guess who is not establishment this year? Yup - Donald Trump. And the Republican establishment hates him. So much so, that many of the establishment Republicans are going to cross over and vote for the establishment Democrat (that be Hillary). In fact, the press this morning reported that George Bush (41) was thinking about voting for Hillary. Huh?

For those in the power structure, a President Hillary Clinton would be just fine, thank you. The beat would go on. Yes, there would be the usual wrangling in the well of the House and Senate, but at the end of the day, everyone would still be fixed up ginger peachy. Money would be spent, earmarks would be recognized, and crony capitalism would continue to flourish. No tables would be kicked over, no changes made. Thanks to the out of control Fed, our Wall Street casino would be allowed to roll on, unimpeded.

I have seen the establishment in action at a local level in this state. It was simply amazing. What did I learn? Change agents need not apply for any seat. Don't rock the boat. Go along, come along. Well guess what? We have now seen this with the ascendancy of Donald Trump. There are a whole lot of us who do want the tables kicked over. Who do want change. We want the corruption excoriated out of the system!

We are down to about a month and a half now before the election. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I have said this before - now more than ever, we need to focus on the down tickets. Vote for people who eschew the principles of the establishment. Vote for those who know and love our Constitution. That is our hope - our only hope. 


Monday, September 19, 2016

Our collateral damage

"Some progressives might feel that a terror attack leaving a few dead Americans is just collateral damage to achieve the greater good of legalizing more voters."

It really hit me today. Even though it was not that much of an epiphany, the gravity of it really sunk in. There is a major difference between the way progressives and conservatives think - this time on immigration. And it is a huge difference. For example, when asked about the three attacks which took place over the weekend, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump gave quite different opinions on why they happened. 

Trump puts the problem squarely on the shoulders of our broken immigration enforcement system. Hillary on the other hand, puts the problem squarely on the shoulders of our broken immigration system. Not the enforcement - just the system itself. She believes we need a quicker path to citizenship. And the ones who are here illegally, need to be legalized - and soon.

In other words, in the eyes of the progressives, if a few bad apples should sneak in with the waves of un-vetted immigrants, so what? Some progressives might even feel that a terror attack leaving a few dead Americans is just collateral damage to achieve the greater good of legalizing more voters.

Conservatives on the other hand, feel our immigration system has been set up just fine, thank you. The reason we have so many undocumented people in this country right now is quite simple. Our legal system is not being followed by many who sneak in.

Donald Trump on the other hand, really wants to tamp down on our immigration system. To "super vet" any immigrant coming in from a war torn country. He wants to ensure we don't let people in this country who hate us, who want to hurt us. I never hear those words from Hillary. The only thing we hear from her is Trump supporters are rotten and they all have Islamophobia.

Every time there is a terror attack either at home or abroad, the Administration and Hillary are scrambling to come up with the proper PC words to explain it. And somehow, each attack, either directly or indirectly, is our fault.

Trump on the other hand, is brutally honest. Terror is terror, killing is killing. He knows, like many of us do, we have allowed the enemy to be inside the gate. It is time to play "who is who" in this country. If you are not one of us, you are gone. If you are here to kill us, you are dead or on your way to Gitmo. It is as simple, and straight forward, as that. 

St. Cloud's BIG problem

"Flash forward to today. The St. Cloud area has absorbed a huge number of refugees. And the number keeps increasing." 

First a point of disclosure. I am somewhat familiar with St. Cloud. I went to college up there for a short while before joining the Navy. My oldest daughter graduated from St. Cloud State. I know what the culture is like up there. What the people are like. They are good people. Hard working people. Many come from a strong German background. Many are Catholic by faith.

I can remember in the fall of 1968. Anti-war protests had come to town. Some idiot said he had obtained a napalm type substance and he was going to burn a dog on the court house steps. It turned out to be a hoax. However, before the hoax was revealed, there were hundreds of local folks who took an hour or so off of work to come downtown and stop this madness. But that was St. Cloud back then. The patriotic culture was very strong.

Flash forward to today. The St. Cloud area has absorbed a huge number of refugees. And the number keeps increasing. These refugees come from lands which are much different than St. Cloud. Different climate, different politics, much different religion. Plus (and this is a huge one), these new refugees seem to have no interest in assimilation. None. 

I have some political friends up there who have fill me in from time to time on the issues in St. Cloud. It is a huge culture war. Take a city steeped in Minnesota history with a strong Germanic background, and then mix in thousands of Muslim immigrants from Northern Africa or Syria who are very clannish. Not good. It was really only a matter of time before one of the refugees became seduced by the calls for jihad in America.

Today our Governor is traveling to St. Cloud to meet with the Mayor. Our Goofy Governor has already blamed the citizens of Minnesota for their anticipated lack of tolerance after the attack. Rather than blaming the perp, Goofy is blaming us - typical Democrat.

The people in St. Cloud remain being very frustrated by this issue - runaway immigration. We all know the recipe. VOLAGs like Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities bring these people into the country and dump them on the community. It is then up to the community to not only provide services to the newly arrived refugees, but also to incorporate them into the community. And to date, that has not worked very well.

I will go on this rant one more time. We have a refugee crisis in the world today primarily because the UN has not done their job. These people should never have been rooted up from their homeland in the first place. The UN blue helmets should have come in and restored the peace. Instead, they decided the easiest way out was just to displace millions of people. What a waste.

To the people of St. Cloud, you are owed an apology by our government. I think the new arrivals will eventually assimilate, but it will take a long, long time. In the meanwhile, buckle up. The next few decades could be a bit rocky.  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Things to consider...

"The signs. Why don't the bad guys obey the signs which say 'Guns not allowed on these premises'? They just don't."

There is an old saying - "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight!" Why? Because if you did, you would lose badly. However there is something even worse. Don't go places where nobody is armed except the bad guys. I know, I know. The signs. Why don't the bad guys obey the signs which say "Guns not allowed on these premises"? They just don't. The only ones who seem to obey those signs are law abiding citizenry. And that has got to change.

I am sorry. Did that sound harsh? I am sick to death of hearing about some nut ball coming in to a school and massacring a bunch of kids and teachers. I am sick to death of someone yelling "Allah Akbar" in a theater, shopping mall or church and then opening fire. I am sick to death of someone with a simple knife being the instrument of destruction to innocents.

While the progressives try to disarm the law abiding citizens, I am calling for more guns and more trained citizens to carry them. Why? We are at war, and the enemy is inside the gate. And they would love to kill each and every one of us.

We have many, many people in this state who responsibly teach gun safety as well as the carry class. I took my carry class from one of the best. When I travel, I go NO PLACE without one or both of my handguns. The .357 sleeps next to me at night. In the daytime, it is safely out of reach of any young picky fingers. If I am not carrying one of them, it is tucked away in my gun safe. 

Like my good friend Ken said this morning, he carries just about everywhere. Like most of us, he went on to say that he hopes and prays he will never have to use any of his weapons in anger. Never. But like Ken, if I have to, I would take the shot in a heartbeat. I would do it against any evil doer who was hell bent on killing innocents. I would not hesitate for a second.

Let me be as clear as possible to those who are on the fence with getting a gun - and then being trained by a professional. This carnage will not stop. Period. DO NOT leave yourself undefended. Buy a gun, take it with you, and know how to use it.

Even though Obama and Hillary will NEVER tell you this, I will. We are at war. And the war is here. To quote a line from the movie We were soldiers when it looked like the good guys were going to be overrun by the North Viet Nam Army, "Gentlemen, prepare to defend yourselves!"

I will modify that for today's war. "Ladies and gentlemen, BE PREPARED to defend yourself!" Help may come in time, or it may not if you are defenseless. If you are armed and prepared, help is already there.  


Terror comes home

"The police cannot be everywhere at all times. But the citizens can. If enough are armed and trained."

I have been expecting this. And dreading it. The table has been set for quite a while now. Our somewhat naive state of Minnesota is a cornucopia of soft targets for evil doers. For those who just want to kill and maim. And last night, in the quite Midwestern town of St. Cloud, terror struck. The politically correct do not want to call this terror, but I will. 

Last night was a busy night for terrorists. Besides the knife attack at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, we also had a bombing in Manhattan, and almost a pipe bomb going off in a race in another East Coast city.

Our rule of law is becoming tattered. Our melting pot has become a cauldron, and it is boiling over. Evil doers have exploited our good nature and open borders to come in and do us harm. I am not going into any specifics of any of the events which happened last night. As of this morning, the facts simply are not complete as yet.

I will say this however. On the national news this morning, these three incidents were discussed. There was a panel of experts which was hastily put together. There was a retired NYC cop, a retired FBI agent, and a terror expert. Without exception, they used the word "terror" when they discussed these attacks. Period. 

Here is the one take away from the St. Cloud attack that we know already. The terrorist was dressed up as a mall security agent. When the attack started, he was running throughout the mall stabbing people at random. We also know that (according to the local paper), he asked at least one of the victims if that person was Muslim before attacking. He is also to have said "Allah" something or other, as he ran throughout the mall. Thank God an off duty policeman from another jurisdiction was at the mall. With a few shots, the officer put an end to the terror.

My question is simply this - what would have happened if that off duty policeman had not been at the mall? Instead of eight people wounded, would it have been fifty wounded with six dead? That brings back to our conceal carry issue. Rather than just being a victim to a crazed terrorist with a knife, a person with a carry permit could have been a hero. A reluctant hero, but still a hero.

Most of us already know this, but I will say it anyway. Wake up America! We continue to be a paradise for those looking to exploit the soft targets we offer. We did not start this war, but we are in it. The biggest mistake we can make is to assume it is not a war, and does not concern us. It does. 

We need more citizens to be armed citizens. To fight this terror. To drop bad guys like a bad habit as soon as they start to terrorize. The police cannot be everywhere at all times. But the citizens can. If enough are armed and trained.      

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The fighting Sue!

"Sue has the unique talent of being wickedly smart, a devout patriot, having a crisp sense of humor, and possessing some of the best communication skills I have ever seen."

At first I was upset that North Dakota had to change the name of their team. Even when I put my most PC hat on, for the life of me, I could see nothing wrong with the name. But the weenies won out and North Dakota lost. However - that name is so good, I have given it a new home. As many of us know our own Sue Jeffers is running to be on the Ramsey County Board. And is she ever going to be so good if elected!

I have known Sue for a while now. Not a real long time, but long enough to get to know her. I listened to her on KSTP, and then I listened to her on KTLK - long before I met her. I have said this in the past, and it still holds true today. Many people are drawn to Sue like bees to honey. And why is that? Sue has the unique talent of being wickedly smart, a devout patriot, having a crisp sense of humor, and possessing some of the best communication skills I have ever seen.

Now I am a friend. Politically, I don't have a dog in this fight - I don't live in Ramsey County. I do live in Anoka County, where a few years ago we had to do a purge and get some Commissioners elected who think similar to Sue. That changed everything. And I am sure once Sue gets on the Board, it will be the start of a change long needed. The old days of tax and spend have worn thin with many taxpayers. I don't care if it is nationally, at the state level, or in the county.

The Anoka County Board has done an outstanding job in fighting off the Met Council. At times, they have been like the Little Dutch Boy trying to plug all the holes in the dyke with not enough fingers. They have allies on other county boards, but not enough. They need, we need, much more.

Sue Jeffers is fully up to speed with the shenanigans this unelected band of thugs have tried to pull on us. Getting Sue on the Ramsey County Board will be a big step in our march towards liberty. Not only to liberty, but also to justice. So long as this Met Council exists, there can be no justice.

If you know Sue, if you know of her, even if you had never heard of her, please support her bid for the Ramsey County Board. It does not matter which county one lives in. Why? Not too long ago, I discovered just how important our counties are to us. From the Boards to the Sheriffs. 

We need more people like Sue running for county boards in the metro area. We need Sue Jeffers for the Ramsey County Board. For all of us, no matter which county we live in, we need her elected. 

Fat and ugly

"I really do hate it when I hear anyone on the campaign trail, running for any office, resort to name calling. I especially hate it when I hear it coming from someone running for President."

I worked with a man years ago who had a sign hanging up in his office. It said, "I may be fat, but you are ugly - and I can always lose weight." It was a humorous sign, and I got a kick out of it the first few times I saw it. But that sign covered up a growing cancer (in my opinion) in our country. The scourge of meanness and name calling.

It has been said when someone uses slang or invective in their language, it shows a lack of a good vocabulary. I think the use of name calling is even worse than using invective. Why? Because the use of invective focuses back on the person using it. But name calling is used to degrade, besmirch or marginalize another person. 

I really do hate it when I hear anyone on the campaign trail, running for any office, resort to name calling. I especially hate it when I hear it coming from someone running for President. The argument can be won without being mean or rude. It can be won with facts, with intellect, and with humor. Ronald Reagan was simply a master at it. He could carve someone up in a debate without saying one mean word. And do it with a smile on his face.

When I hear both Hillary and Donald talking about each other, one would think they both just were released from prison. Despicable. I think the most favorable I have heard Donald Trump on the campaign trail is when he asked the minority community, "What do you have to lose by voting for me?" No name calling. No rudeness. No mean talk. Just a question. And a very good one at that.

Of course, Hillary out did Donald in the "mean category" when she went after his supporters. By using one phrase on the trail, she became the undisputed "Queen of mean".  Yes, by using a few big words to say that half of Trump's supporters hate women, minorities, gays, Muslims, you name it - she won the prize. 

When I was in high school, I had a part time job in the paint department at Montgomery Wards after school. A man (Tony) that I worked with, also worked at a paint factory in North Minneapolis for his day job. At 5 pm, he would show up Wards paint department to work until closing. 

One evening, a customer came in (probably after a few drinks) and was spitting mad. His paint did not cover in one coat. He cornered Tony, yelled at him, swore at him and called him names. All the while Tony listened with a smile on his face. Once the man stopped to catch his breath, Tony simply asked the man what he could do to make him happy. That he understood his frustration. 

A short time later, the man left the store with a couple of gallons of paint. I asked Tony how he could take all that verbal abuse. He looked at me and smiled. "I like to kill people with kindness. And don't worry - they won't die from it."

Bingo Tony. A good lesson for our leaders to learn. Rather than name calling, be kind. The argument, the seat being contested for, can be won without being the "King or Queen of mean." 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Peace through strength

"The purpose of the AEGIS system when it was first devised, was to counter the Soviet 'saturation attack' order of battle. And each AEGIS ship was up for that challenge."

It is no secret that I relished the 1980's. It was the golden time in our nation's history. The Reagan Doctrine of "peace through strength" got our hostages released from Iran without firing a shot. It brought down the Berlin Wall without firing a shot. And then it ended the first Cold War without firing a shot.

In my twenty-one years of being in the Navy and the Navel Reserve, I had a high level security clearance. At the same time I was in the reserves, I was working on some of the Navy's more sensitive programs. To do so, I had contractor security clearance. For most of my twenty-five years in the industry, I worked on the AEGIS weapon system. I worked on it while at Sperry Univac, Control Date Aerospace Division, and FMC. Now, I am going to disclose a secret that few in this country know.

Okay, that was a tease. The only reason people don't know about this is secret is it has never been advertised. Under the Carter Administration, our Navy was anemic. Outdated. Poorly equipped. Could not put many ships to sea. Under Ronald Reagan, he decided to put some meat on those bones. Build a 600 ship Navy. The AEGIS weapon system, acting in conjunction with the Vertical Launching System, became fully developed. It could take care of about any threat in this world. And the former Soviets knew it.

The purpose of the AEGIS system, as it was first devised, was to counter the Soviet "saturation attack" order of battle. And each AEGIS platform is up for that challenge. Since then, we have added a smaller version of the AEGIS system (DDG), and many of them. Each is ready to take out a multiple of targets, ranging from wave top to azimuth, and beyond. Bottom line - nothing should be able to get past them.

I really have to chuckle when the Iranians send out PT type of boats to harass or challenge our destroyers. They have absolutely no idea of the kind of hell these ships can unleash on them before they would have a chance to say Ayatoliah Ruhulloh Khomeini. Trust me, these man-o-war ships have more firepower than one could imagine. Should the skipper of one of them ever have been given the "green light", there would have been nothing left of those Iranian boats but sawdust. 

But (and this a message for the North Korans and the Iranians), our ships were built for the purpose of peace through strength. We do not want a war with anyone. We want peace. However, should we be attacked, it will be "Katie bar the door". 

By the way, I have just been talking about our surface ships. Each one of our "boomers" can unleash a hell which could not be imagined on any country. Should North Korea ever launch a missile against the United States, within 30 minutes, North Korea would no longer exist. The same goes for Iran. Our D5 SACE Trident II subs along with our AEGIS fleet, is a force unlike the world has never seen.

I won't even go into the other two legs of our triad of defense. As far as I am concerned, the Navy is enough. Note to Iran and North Korea - be very happy we have a passive President right now. Under other circumstances, the lesson taught could have been very quick and painful.  

AEGIS - means shield. It was indented to shield the carriers from all threats. But it has grown into so much more. It is time our President show the world what we have. How it will keep the peace. Or how if necessary, it can totally eliminate all threats.

Energy still in search of policy

"Ronald Reagan asked the simple question back in the 1980's - 'Why in the world do we need a Department of Energy?' Good question then Mr. President, and a even better question now."

For years now, I have been amazed at our energy policy - or should I say lack thereof. It is a hot mess for sure. The only word I can think of to describe what we have in lieu of a policy is "disjointed". Why do I say that? Think of the recent ruling about the pipeline which was to run through North Dakota. As we know, the pipeline was being protested by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. It had gone to court. When it appeared that the courts were going to rule against the tribe, the government stepped in and shut it down.

Shades of the Keystone Pipeline. Obama did not want it. He is King over the land, so he killed it. No big thing. We will just keep on using those risky oil cars to ship highly volatile tar sand oil across county. Even though it has been proven time and time again that pipelines are safer and cheaper than shipping by rail, who cares? 

Back to our disjointed energy mess. We have plenty of energy in this country. However, we still rely on the Saudis to keep enough oil flowing to maintain stable world markets. What if the Saudis decide to cripple the world market in response to the recent law being passed by the House and Senate? The law which will allow relatives of 9/11 sue the Kingdom? Are we able to manufacture enough energy to maintain our supply and stabilize our prices? Or will go back into another 1970's type of energy crisis?

Yesterday, I addressed the issue of wind turbines (I had mistakenly referred to them as "windmills"). My opinion was they are big, ugly, and inefficient. If our government wants 50% of all our energy coming from renewable sources by the year 2030, we have a ways to go. 

Currently, we get about 13% from renewable sources. And even though the cost curve is coming down for solar (not so much for wind if you bake in the subsidy cost), it still has a ways to go to be not only cost effective, but plentiful enough to prevent brown outs or black outs. Many scientists feel that our biggest hope for the future for sustainable, renewable energy will come from solar more than anything else. But that time is not yet here.

I detest the zero sum game the Administration has given us on energy. Kill the coal industry and prop up the wind industry. Why not exploit every source of energy we have? Trust me, market forces will rule the day. The technology of renewable energy is getting better and better all the time. There are energy sources we have not even tried as yet (like go to market fuel cells) which might be game changers in twenty years.

Ronald Reagan asked the simple question back in the 1980's - "Why in the world do we need a Department of Energy?" Good question then Mr. President, and a even better question now. This bloated department does NOTHING to increase our energy independence. All they do is employee lots and lots of civil servants and spend lots of taxpayer money. The least they could do for us is give us a policy worth the paper it is written on.