Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Oh, do we have gas!

"And how much of this exists? 90 years? Nope. 900 years? No again. Try 9,000 years. WOW!" 

Calm down. I don't need a Tums nor a Di-gel. I am talking about natural gas. That colorless, odorless stuff most of use in our furnaces. And what many people don't understand about this product is this - it was once considered a waste product and burned off at the well. In fact, it still is burned off if it cannot be shipped out fast enough. Wait! If we do that, does it mean we will run out of it quicker? Not a bit.

So how much gas do we have? I mean, just us - where we don't have to import from anyone. Using the most conservative estimates, we have 10 years of "dry" natural gas. That is the gas which we absolutely know is there and how to get it using today's or even yesterday's technology. 

Here is where it gets interesting. With our newer technology in how to extract gas from shale, we could have have a whole lot more. How much more? About 80 years or so. Now truthfully, most scientists don't put a lot of brain power into figuring out the exact number. Why? Most feel we will be on to the next big energy "shebang" long before the 80 years is up. 

Do you really want to walk on the wild side? Petroleum scientists are now talking about our "frozen" gas reserves. This is stuff we really don't have the technology to go after (yet). It is called "frozen" as it is under pressure from the US Outer Continental Shelf. Right now it is called either methane hydrates or methane clathrates. Like I said, we don't have the technology to go after it. However, most petroleum scientists believe within 80 years, we will. And how much of this exists? 90 years? Nope. 900 years? No again. Try 9,000 years (give or take a century). WOW! 

Why do I bring this up today? The former "big, bad, OPEC", which not too long ago would scare the heck out of us and have us over a barrel, cut back oil production today. Big whoop. Not only do we have centuries, many millenniums worth of natural gas, we have a butt load of oil and coal also. And (this is the kicker), we keep finding more all the time! By the way - that recent discovery in Texas is one of the biggest finds ever!

Go ahead OPEC. This is not a bad thing. Recently, the prices have been so depressed they have been "cold stacking" equipment in North Dakota. We have plenty, and I mean plenty left to extract in North Dakota. And that is not including this gargantuan field we just discovered in Texas.

Some day the Saudis will run out of oil when we still have plenty. They will come to us, hat in hand. Will we tell them to "pound sand"? No. We will help them. We will treat them a whole lot better than they treated us in 1973. Why? That is just the way we roll - even when we do have gas.

Housecleaning in Minnesota

"Earlier this month, the nation did a good job of housecleaning. In other words, we threw the bums out. That is most of the bums."

We have a dirty house. No, it is beyond dirty - it is filthy. Not the house I live in, the state I live in. As usual in national elections where there is a mandate declared, Minnesota did not get the message. We prefer to live in our little "bubble" of ignorance. We have an over abundance of "snowflakes", statists and progressives which keep us mired in la-la land. And who is the ringleader of this? Governor Mark "Goofy" Dayton.

Earlier this month, the nation did a good job of housecleaning. In other words, we threw the bums out. That is most of the bums. California will never do it because...well, it is called the land of fruits and nuts for a reason. In fact, both coasts seem to dance to the beat of a different drummer. But Minnesota? We should not. We should be more main steam. Wisconsin gets it. The Dakotas get it. Heck even Iowa gets it. But Minnesota? Time for a housecleaning.

By now we all know about the Governor's temper tantrum yesterday. That does not bother me, as this is just who he is - a trust fund baby (heavy on the baby). But what is happening with the Stadium Commission is very illustrative of what is really happening here. Well healed DFL cronyism. Even our left leaning paper is expressing outrage over this absolute misuse of power. Our Governor? Not a peep. And the morons on the Stadium Commission work for him for crying out loud!

We already have another statist who has thrown her hat in the ring to be our next governor. Please, no more! It is time to elect a change agent. We need a governor who will represent most of the state, not just the very blue Twin Cities proper. The Republicans now have the Minnesota House and Senate. All that is needed now is the governor's job. To finish the housecleaning.

Housecleaning would do the following, much needed tasks:

  • MNSure - With the impending demise of the ACA, we need to ditch this worthless portal and do it now. It had done nothing but hemorrhage money since inception.
  • Met Council - This group has never heard of "by the people and for the people". They are unelected czars who for some reason yield incredible power. Time to take back out government by showing this group of losers the door.
  • Stadium Commission - (same comment as above).
  • Tax Reform - Dayton started to really kill this state when he backed one of the highest income tax rates in the country. That needs to be repealed. We need to lower our corporate tax to attract more businesses here. And (this is a big one), we need to stop taxing our seniors on their social security. It is breaking up families by driving the seniors out of state.
  • IRRRB - Get rid of it. It is nothing but a cronyism funded money pit.
  • Education - Needs major reform. Across the board. We need to get a much better product for much less cost. That includes the university systems. The unholy alliance that exists between Education Minnesota and the Department of Education needs to be eliminated.
It is not too early to look towards 2018. That could be the year of the final housecleaning. I am sick to death of these later day hippies ruining our lives. Get rid of them. Time to be treated like citizens instead of subjects. Time to elect a real governor. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Reversal of Fortune...

"The smart Democrats are trying to shake off the sucker punch and ask 'what just happened?' The not so smart Democrats are reacting with anger and acting like - well, crybabies."

My, oh my, does time ever fly! It is hard to believe it was just a month ago, with the 2016 election looming, many pundits were forecasting the end, the demise, of the Republican Party. This renegade named Donald Trump, was going to split this party open like an overripe watermelon. The Republicans were not only going to get shut out of the White House (again), but they were going to lose the Senate and a good chance of even losing the House. What was left of the Republican Party would have to be reconstituted into some kind of new party.

Flash forward to today. Less than a month after the election. Much of the narrative from above is still true. Only not with the Republican Party - now with the Democrat Party. The smart Democrats are trying to shake off the sucker punch and ask "what just happened?" The not so smart Democrats are reacting with anger and acting like - well, crybabies. 

Donald Trump, who many on the Left thought was nothing but a buffoon, has made the Democrat Party look like the party of buffoons. Because many Democrats have forgotten their history, they fell into the same trap they did in 1980 and 1984. They underestimated a unconventional Republican candidate.

It seems like every time the Republicans (as of late) have run a conventional candidate, they end up having had their hats handed to them. However, with Reagan and Trump, both unconventional candidates, the opposite happened. In fact, the Republican revolution in 2016 was even greater than in the 1984 Reagan landslide 1984. We now have more Republicans in office (including state and local) since just about forever.

I will be watching in interest to see how the Democratic Party reconstitutes itself in the months going forward. Will it elect Keith Ellison to be the Chair of the DNC and continue to lurch leftwards? I sure hope so. It will be their death spiral. Will Elizabeth Warren continue to shriek and moan in the Well of the Senate? Will she be the new face of the Democratic Party. Again, I sure hope so. She only helps Republicans.

The bottom line is simply this. This historic majority the Republicans have now can only be threatened by one thing - the Republican Party. Right now they control just about everything. The world (or should I say the country) is their oyster. They can do great things, historic things, and fill up many history books for years to come.

Or they can do like they have done in the past - nothing. And when the American public sees that the Republican Party was all show and no go - the Republicans will be gone. Replaced by either a "new" Democratic Party or maybe a new party all together.

This is going to be the best, and maybe last chance the Republicans have to govern. Let's see if they can get it right this time.    

Monday, November 28, 2016

The TRUTH about voting

"Well, it was blasphemy in the ears of the Left. In the ears of the Right, it was right on. President Elect Trump had the gall to say millions of Democrats voted illegally."

Please, please, please - no more drama like we had in 2000. That was the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers. We came within inches of having ALGORE as our President. And if ALGORE had won, I could kiss my V-8 Avalanche good-bye. I (along with the rest of us), would be driving Kyoto-mobile type transport. In fact a Prius would be considered a luxury mobile by ALGORE's standards.

But he did not win. We elected G.W. Bush for eight years and now Obama for another eight. Meanwhile, ALGORE became fabulously wealthy selling his fable to students as well as the easily led.

Now we have elected Donald Trump and the natives are getting restless. One of the members of the electoral college says he or she will quit before voting for Trump. Go ahead. Bye-bye. Others are getting death threats. It ain't like the old days for sure. PLUS - the election results in three states are now being contested by some 60 year old hippie who received about 1% of the vote. And today, Donald Trump spoke blasphemy. 

Well, it was blasphemy in the ears of the Left. In the ears of the Right, it was right on. President Elect Trump had the gall to say millions of Democrats voted illegally. Was it millions? We will never know. But the fact that we had illegal votes is nothing more than learning from history. In fact (this is only one person's opinion), if we factored out all the illegal votes in 2000, that election might not have been a cliffhanger.

In 2008, the man who gave us ObamaCare (Al Franken) beat Norm Coleman by the whisker thin margin of 312 votes. Finally in early 2009, and for the good of the state, Coleman conceded so this issue could be put behind us. Then when Franken became a Senator, he became the 60th vote to ratify ObamaCare.

Following the election of Franken, books and articles were written both national and locally, about alleged voter fraud in that election. That without voter fraud, Franken would have never stood a chance. 

The same was true with Emmer lost to Dayton. That also really stunk. Emmer lost by not as narrow of a margin as Coleman did, but it was close. Since Minnesota DOES NOT have voter ID, anything is possible at the polling place.

My feeling is this. And I believe this to be the truth about voting. Until we get an iron clad system, one which is "non-hackable" from foreign and domestic sources, plus one which is set up to ensure ONLY LEGAL citizens can vote (and vote only once) - we will continue to have post election circus shows like we had in 2000 and are having today.

Yes, there is one more thing. Our system must ensure that voters do not come in to vote when they are at room temperature, You know - like many dead "voters" in Chicago. We like our voters to have a temperature of about 98.6 and have a pulse. Is that too much to ask? 

The WIPP Solution?

"Not to be Dr. Rain Cloud, so I will give the ray of hope. First off, the 4th generation of reactors which are currently being developed are much more efficient. In other words, what is waste today, will be more fuel tomorrow."

As some of my social media friends know, I have come down hard on the bloated Department of Energy. This organization came to life under the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974. Also coming out of that act was the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission). And intertwined between the Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the development, safety and disposal of our nuclear energy and weapons. Of all this things they do wrong or poorly, the disposal of nuclear waste is at the top of that list.

First the good news. Nuclear energy keeps getting better all the time. And it is virtually carbon free, so the "Greenies" should love it. Now the bad news. Because of the complexity of bringing a nuclear plant on-line, it takes forever and a day to get a new plant approved. Then comes the much bigger problem - what in the world do we do with the spent uranium fuel rods? 

Some of our most lethal nuclear waste is currently being stored at a facility called the Waste Isolation Pilot Project. This is in a vast salt repository located in New Mexico. It is an interesting formation. And in large part, it was picked as a repository as the salt formation yields some of the most "tightly packed" soil we could find anywhere. In other words (According to the Scientific American), besides being practically leach free, it could take as long as 10,000 years before the salt caverns became unstable and then collapse in on themselves. One small problem. Some of the nuclear waste we have already put there has plutonium which could take as long as 250,000 years to lose its lethality.

Some might ask about Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Was that not suppose to be the super site that all types of nuclear waste could be deposited in? Yes and no. Yes, in that we have sunk $12B into it so far, just getting it ready. Studies have recently shown Yucca's rock formation are not impervious to leaching. For that reason alone, this site has lost its luster with former proponents. Now, it is just an expensive hole in the ground, not that far outside of Las Vegas.

Not to be Dr. Rain Cloud, so I will give the ray of hope. First off, the 4th generation of reactors which are currently under development are much more efficient than what we have now. In other words, what is waste today, will be more fuel tomorrow. Also, some countries are using a decades old technology of reprocessing spent fuel rods. A lower grade of uranium may then be obtained. Bottom line - both will yield less waste for us to deal with.

If we truly are to go down the path of carbon neutral fuel sources, then nuclear energy will have to be in the mix. But as one of my former Econ Professors would say, "We have some huge externalities of production to overcome first." In other words, we need to fix the waste issue, and fast. A bit of global warming will seem like a walk in the park compared to a permanent, highly contaminated, and lethal dumping ground for nuclear waste.   

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Reason # 35 - Why Trump Won

"Even Teddy's old man, Fritz, found his way on the gravy train. How about us who are paying the tab? Tough toenails if you are not a DFL 'insider'."

Well, here is a "Duh!" The paper this morning had a very good article (for a change) about our new $1.1B stadium. This boondoggle that the good taxpayers in Minnesota got swizzled into paying a good portion for. Okay - that was then and this is now. The dang thing got built and the Vikings still struggle to be a contender. BUT - (and this is the part which should come as NO surprise) - some of the nicer box seats in the enclosed areas have been handed out to the well connected Democrats in town. 

Crony, crony, crony. Shame on you Mark Dayton! You hypocrite! These are all YOUR people who have made this "gift" possible. EVERY one of these free riders, from the woman on the stadium commission with the squeaky voice and many names, to Larry Pogemiller (her former boss), have received this "gift". Even Teddy's old man, Fritz, found his way on the gravy train. And how about us who are paying the tab? Tough toenails if you are not a DFL "insider".

This is why in over 90% of the landmass of this country, the people have spoken with a resounding voice - NO MORE! We are sick to death of the dirty, low down, get rich quick cronyism that takes place in all facets of government. I have said this before - Donald Trump heard the voices. And those voices were angry - fed up! Government has become a beast, a monster, a behemoth who feeds on largess.

Here is a news flash to those in power who somehow missed the message from the last election. And in Minnesota, where the corruption runs higher than normal, there is a new sheriff in town. And that new sheriff is not a person, but an institution. It is called the Minnesota Senate. With the Minnesota House and Senate working together, they should be able to blunt the abject cronyism which has and is spewing from the Dayton Administration.

In fact, speaking of our impaired Governor, he seems to be the last man standing. And in 2018, his position will be the that most of us will looking to flip. The people have voted to replace the President, keep the House, keep the Senate, keep the Minnesota House, and take the Minnesota Senate. Get the picture? The "house cleaning" is almost done.

So why did Donald Trump win? Read the article about the stadium in the local paper today. It sums up Reason # 35 nicely - to why Donald Trump won the election.   

Saturday, November 26, 2016

And what if???

"The election is over. The transition has begun. The adults in the room understand that. Snowflakes and sixty year old hippies - not so much." 

Let me first start off by saying the chance of this happening does not have a snowball's chance. However, for the sake of entertainment this afternoon, let's play with it. We will assume that the recount is done in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, and all three states flipped over to Hillary. What would the outcome be?

Assume that once the recounts are done, they are verified within a fraction of an inch. There is no doubt - Hillary barely takes all three of those states. Donald Trump would have already picked his cabinet. The train is barreling down the tracks, headed for a January 20th inauguration. Even if Trump did not contest the recount and conceded the election to Clinton, she would be hard pressed to have a cabinet ready by inauguration day.

Next, is this a job she still wants? There are more elected Republicans in this country now then since before the Great Depression. Paul Ryan already has his legislative plan set for 2017 - and it ain't like Hillary's. With a recalcitrant House and Senate, nothing of hers would get passed. None of her SCOTUS appointees would get confirmed. All she would be able to do is veto everything that the House and Senate threw at her, and then hope her vetoes are sustained.

With a President Trump, the House might (just might) take its foot off the gas with further investigations of Hillary. However if we end up with a President Clinton, I have a feeling it would be full speed ahead. The House would be investigating every nook and cranny on "server-gate" as well as Benghazi. It would make the Watergate hearings look like a church picnic.

Okay - back to reality. This might have been the dumbest thing Jill Stein ever did in her life. There is a chance it will succeed - about the same chance as winning the Power Ball. Even Clinton's team looked into the possibility of any tampering or hacking with the polling booths. They found nothing - and they would have the most to gain by finding ANYTHING!

The election is over. The transition has begun. The adults in the room understand that. Snowflakes and sixty year old hippies - not so much. 

A parting of the clouds?

"That trio from the 1959 revolution - Fidel, Raul and Che, they made life a living hell on that island nation."

I would like to be more like John Donne. Remember his most famous quote? Part of it goes (From No Man is an Island), "any man's death diminishes me". However with the death of dictator Fidel Castro, it is hard not to celebrate. As many of us know (who have been on this planet for a while), Castro was not a nice man. In fact, he was a killer. And he was brutal. Now at long last he is gone, and the question remains - what now?

Earlier this year my wife and I had the honor of sharing a dinner with Pastor Cruz (that would be Senator Cruz's father). A most interesting man, he knows all about Fidel Castro. He had the chance to experience his brutality up close and personal. Like spending time in Cuba's famous and despicable prison system. That trio from the 1959 revolution - Fidel, Raul and Che, they made life a living hell on that island nation.

But now Che and Fidel are gone, and Raul is getting long in the tooth. But the face of Cuba for decades now has been Fidel. With his death, are we going to get more of the same from Raul, or is this a parting of the clouds? Will it be a chance to establish newer and better relations with this neighbor of ours? 

I don't garner a lot of support from some of my more conservative friends when I go down this path. But I will anyhow. I want us to establish better, much better relations with Cuba. I want the people in Cuba, who have suffered for so long under this repressive regime, to see freedom for what it is. My belief is freedom is organic within most people. When they can see it up close, when they can experience even a touch of it, freedom can flourish. 

Many Cubans older than I can remember what life was like in Cuba under Batista prior to the 1953 -1959 revolution. Batista was no saint either. In fact, he set the table for what followed. Cuba was ripe for change. Today, after trying out communism for over a half a century, I believe that Cuba is once again ripe for a change. 

I for one, would love to welcome a free Cuba into the league of civilized and free nations. Life is good in a free country. Liberty is the drink which always quenches, always refreshes. The clouds have now parted, it is time for the sun to shine on Cuba.  

Friday, November 25, 2016

Snowflakes in Minneapolis!

"According to an urban dictionary, a "snowflake" is a young adult who is prone to taking offense to just about anything and less much resilient than previous generations."

Sorry, my friend - this is not a weather report. Nor am I posting on something I hope happens this winter. No, "snowflake" seems to have taken on a new meaning - and it ain't good. What do I mean by that? Before I go into the new "urban definition", let me just start by saying if our parents or grandparents who fought in World War II were "snowflakes", we would all be fluent in German and Japanese right now. 

Okay - so what in the heck is a "snowflake"? According to an urban dictionary, a "snowflake" is a young adult who is prone to taking offense to just about anything, and less much resilient than previous generations. Many times they are Millennials. And also, frequently (like in the City of Minneapolis), very liberal. 

For example, after this last election they are crushed. The "snowflakes" started to melt. They don't know how to cope with defeat or disappointment. Not how they were raised. What happened was not suppose to happen.

I have seen plenty of these "snowflakes" in the depths of Minneapolis. And they are not all Millennials. Some are Gen-X types as well. They live in their own cocoon. Some of them are anarchists - yet some of them love Big Government. They despise absolute authority, such as what comes out of the Holy Bible and the United States Constitution. I will be the first to say that not all Millenniums and Gen-X types are "snowflakes". I have met some who are not. But based on what I read in the local paper, there are many, many "snowflakes" in that town.

By the way - the Mayor of Minneapolis (whom I assume to be Gen-X), is one of the biggest "snowflakes". How she and the Chief of Police (who might also be one) want to handle crime is more than a joke. There was a article in today's paper about the Mayor and Police Chief. How to deal with gangs. Maybe pay them not to be bad? We don't want to offend anyone. And no profiling of any type. I have read some of the things the Mayor has proposed. What a flipping Euphorian she is, as well as "snowflake"!

Well "snowflakes", here is the truth. Grow up! It will not help putting 100 diaper pins on your jacket. Your girl lost, and it is a good thing. The grown ups had to suffer through 8 years of Obama, 8 years of Clinton and 4 years of Carter. None of us wore diaper pins. This is life. If you don't like the outcome of an election, grow up and come up with a candidate who will gain the support of the majority of the voters. We did in 2016 - and he won.

It pains me to write this article, it really does. I would like the next generation to be heartier than the past ones. Instead, they are "snowflakes" - delicate little flowers who can start to fade at the drop of a hat. "Snowflakes" don't build nations - they melt whenever the heat is just a bit high. We need glaciers to move forward. They can stand the heat as well as move mountains.


Stick a fork in it!

"First off, I would say this woman is nuttier than a fruitcake, but that is an insult to fruitcakes." 

Oh - my - gosh! Someone please tell me this is a joke! It should be a joke as it became a LOL moment for me when I first heard the news! It seems that Dr. Stein (who might need a cognitive exam herself after this one is over), suspects skulduggery in the 2016 election. "Powerful Forces" (oh, to have some thunder and lighting to go along with that phrase) were at work! FOR SURE in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. 

And why would the good doctor think that something was "rotten in Denmark" in those three states? Because Donald Trump won them of course! It had NOTHING to do with Trump out working Clinton. It had NOTHING to do with the people of those rust belt states being sick and tired of being sick and tired. No - Dr. Stein suspects something sinister. Sinister like hacking the voting machines. There is simply no other explanation. These states are owned by the Democratic Party. There is no way a new comer Republican like Trump could have won any of them!

Well here is the rest of the story. First off, I would say this woman is nuttier than a fruitcake, but that is an insult to fruitcakes. Second, why in the world would someone who received less than 1% of the vote nationally, give a rip. If anyone should, it should be Hillary. If Stein really wants to track down a conspiracy, have her look in the mirror. Third (and most important), there is no "there", there. No indication by anyone there were any problems with any of the voting machines. 

Let's face facts. Even though she ran under the Green Party logo, Jill Stein is nothing but a Democrat and former hippie. The election is over, President Elect Trump has been talking to foreign leaders, selecting his cabinet, and rounding out his first 100 days agenda. The train has left the station Dr. Stein. And no matter how much money you and Soros throw at this thing, it is not going to change the outcome.

So as they say when the roast is done and it is time to eat, "stick a fork in it". It is done, over, and see ya later.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving - and so it starts....

"So the feast of Thanksgiving is a gathering time. If not with friends and family, then helping those who are in need. For this one day, nobody should be without a hot meal and people to share it with."

I just read the Thursday morning paper. To say it was thick would be an understatement. It was like a Sunday paper on steroids. Lots of news today? Nope. Lots of ads. For what? The season of thanks which has turned for many into the season of hub-bub. Yes, our three holidays of 1) giving thanks, 2) celebrating the birth of Jesus and 3) celebrating the new year has turned into five to six weeks of madness.

It did not start out this way. Somewhere on the path from George Washington to today, Christmas has become a "black" event - "black" as in Black Friday - as in, sell as much as possible, buy as much as possible, for the merchants to get as healthy as possible. And it all starts on Thanksgiving. Have a turkey dinner sometime in-between or competing with the three NFL football game which are on the TV. Then, as the ads direct, plan your attack for which stores to hit first. Some are open at 3pm this afternoon. That would be somewhere between your second helping of dressing and your first piece of pumpkin pie. 

I have said this many times. Black Friday is the worst thing which ever happened to Thanksgiving. And before someone jumps up and yells "Hypocrite!", I will admit in the past I too, have taken part of this madness. Since then, I believe Black Friday casts a pall over Thanksgiving. And then continues with the mayhem which goes on and often times casts a pall over Christmas. New Years (other than the long lines for returns) seems to be the only holiday of three which escapes somewhat untouched. 

So what is Thanksgiving then, if not the launching pad for the Christmas shopping season. Quite simply, it should be the start of the "quieting period". A time to reflect on the past year and how blessed we are. Even though we can think of many of many misgivings and shortcomings we have had since last January, the truth is simply this. In this country, we are blessed beyond measure. We really are. So the feast of Thanksgiving is a gathering time. If not with friends and family, then helping those who are in need. For this one day, nobody should be without a hot meal and people to share it with.

The "quieting period" leads us up to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Rather than just a consumer's paradise, Christmas time really is a season to share and care. This is the day we all recognize and remember the birth of the One. The One who changed everything for everyone for ever more. It is a reminder for us to share and care. It is the best way, really the only way, to celebrate this most special of all days.

Back to reality. We will be watching the home town team play football on the early game. There will be fire, there will be a feast sometime about mid-afternoon. There will however, be no leaving early for Black Friday shopping. Nor tomorrow morning.

But - there will be giving thanks, and lots of it. Why? Because we are grateful. Grateful for so much. And because of that, we give thanks to the Lord, because He is good!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The mellowing?

"For those who are disappointed in Donald Trump two months before he assumes the office - don't be. I am not going to start judging his performance until after January 20th."

Some of the Trump watchers are left scratching their collective heads this morning. On one hand, his cabinet picks, as well as his inkles on who he might pick, are for the most part excellent. No disappointment here. But some folks are beginning to worry about a few of the hard and fast campaign promises which now seem to be flying out the window.

There is not one cabinet nor adviser pick so far which has caused me to flinch. Not even having Mitt Romney as our Secretary of State. When candidate Trump said he would surround himself with the best and the brightest, he is showing that he is good to his word. And this morning, the news buzz is that Nikki Haley might get the nod to be our UN Ambassador. Again, a strong "thumbs up".

However, I am sensing some trouble spots. First off, telling the press that his Administration would not prosecute Hillary for her serious crimes, is a show stopper. Why not? The excuse that "she has been through enough", falls short. This woman (and her husband), made more money using "pay for play" than many of use could make in fifty lifetimes. And the mishandling of classified emails? If we are going to let her off the hook for that one, every other person who has been fined or jailed for the same offense should have their records expunged. 

Also, Donald Trump has got to figure out a way to set up a firewall between what he is doing as President and his company business. If not, this will be a constant source of friction and and negative reporting from the press. Just this morning a pundit said, "It will be hard for Trump to 'drain the swamp' when he is bringing the swamp with him, via this businesses entanglement." I could not agree more. He may be as pure as the driven snow by not having the proper firewall, but the optics will stink.

ObamaCare. A wee bit tougher than it looks from the outside. "Pulling it up by its roots" was great campaign fodder. However, when the rubber meets the road, this dog might not hunt. The roots now run very deep in many areas of the government, insurance companies and the medical profession. I hate to say this, I really do, as I hate this program. But we might be stuck with doing a major overhaul rather than replacing it. If we tried to replace it and just one person lost coverage for only one day, the press would have a field day. No, Obama left us a "stinky turd" with this program.

The "Wall". Again, great campaign lingo. Especially when our new President Elect said he was going to get Mexico to pay for it. Ain't going to happen. Ever. To build a "wall" similar to the Great Wall of China would take a King's ransom and decades to complete. However, to get rid of "catch and release", bolster the numbers of ICE and Border Patrol, and use better technology on the border - now we are talking. All are possible to do, and quick to implement. 

Forget some of the bloviating which happened on the trail. Focus in on what people really want. The economy. More than anything else, they want a "fixer" to fix our anemic economy. Followed up closely is a truly transparent government. After the past eight years, the people deserve better. Finally, the people want to know they are safe in their homeland. This is the hardest of the three. The balance between safety and our freedoms. But we must strike that balance. 

For those who are disappointed in Donald Trump two months before he assumes the office - don't be. I am not going to start judging his performance until after January 20th. I still believe he will be a huge "impact player" and will rise to the occasion. That being said, President Elect Trump, just like anyone else in power, I (along with many others) am keeping an eye on him.    


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Texas Crude

"Just when we thought Texas might have already seen its better days in oil production - BAM! Along comes the Permian Basin find. How big is it? Geologists think maybe three times bigger than the giant Bakken Field discovery in North Dakota."

No, this is not about any Texas politician with an attitude. It is about oil, and lots of it. Recently, I have penned a couple of articles about running out of patience. I almost could have named this one as the third in the series. I was running out of patience with our energy policy (or lack thereof). Then suddenly, the United States is awash in newly found petroleum reserves. Not just a little awash - quite a bit actually.

Just when we thought Texas might have already seen its better days in oil production - BAM! Along comes the Permian Basin find. How big is it? Geologists think maybe three times bigger than the giant Bakken Field discovery in North Dakota. In other words, it is estimated that this new field alone might contain 20 billion barrels of oil and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas!

It just seems like yesterday when President Carter would chide the nation about using too much energy. He would have "fireside chats", kind of like the way FDR would. Jimmy would be in front of a fireplace with a roaring fire (sorry carbon footprint!). He would be in a cardigan sweater, and look kind of like Mr. Rogers. He would tell us to keep our thermostats no higher than 65 during the day. Cooler at night. When we drive, we should never go over 55 on any highway. It was a mess. And OPEC had us right where they wanted us. 

But those days are over! This is the new era of energy. OPEC is becoming irrelevant. Russia has oil. Canada has oil. Mexico has oil. And we have a ton of it! And not just oil - natural gas. We have enough natural gas to satisfy our home heating needs, enough to power our electrical plants, and enough left over to export for sale. That should keep the "global warmers" happy, as natural gas is much cleaner than scrubbed coal.

President Elect Trump has vowed to be an energy President much different than Obama. Will Trump still pursue renewable energy sources? Sure, it they make sense financially. But one thing he has vowed to do is to unlock our vast energy sources. The irony is even though Obama has tried to minimize our petrol discoveries during the past eight years, many still happened anyhow. Just imagine how much we will have with a President who takes his foot off the brake.

We have come a long way since those pathetic days under the Carter Administration. Just as Carter made the country ripe for a visionary like Ronald Reagan, Obama has made the country ripe for a President like Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton said on the campaign trail that America does not need to become great again, as we are already great. Maybe so. However, I feel under Donald Trump we will be become even greater.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Now what?

"As a former Naval Officer, I love the picks for National Security Adviser (Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn) and his Secretary of Defense (Gen. James 'Mad Dog' Mattis). One Army, one Marine. Both proven leaders and respected by their peers."

So far, so good. A couple of hiccups, but for the most part, the first few days of the transition planning have gone well. I love most of the picks that the President Elect has come up with. Good, solid, experienced people. Even having Mitt as the SOS (if he is the one who gets the nod), I am okay with. However, there is one hiccup. One thing I would change. I would take that damn Twitter account of Trump's, and corrupt it so it never worked again!

Here is an example. That stupid, over priced Broadway play that Vice President Pence went to. He got boo'ed and lectured by some limo liberal elitists. Was it wrong for them to do so? Absolutely! Did it make them look like idiots? Again, absolutely! Did Mike Pence react to it the right way by blowing it off? Yes, yes, and yes again! Mr. Trump on the other hand, took the bait. He reacted on Twitter. When the Loony Left act like ass hats, the proper thing to do is get out of the way and let them self-destruct.

"Now what" as we move forward. As a former Naval Officer, I love the picks for National Security Adviser (Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn) and his Secretary of Defense (Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis). One Army, one Marine. Both proven leaders and respected by their peers. Mike Flynn had been "shown the door" by Barack Obama. However, people who have worked with General Flynn say he is the best of the best at what he did. Intel. Turning Intel into a lethal weapon on the battle field. And General Mattis? A "Marine's Marine", through and through.

Now to add the "Ying" to the "Yang". Mitt Romney as the SOS. Mitt is no dummy. He knows stuff. And by the way, he called out Russia for what it was becoming during the 2012 debates. Even though Obama made run of Romney by saying, "Hello - this is the sixties calling" - Mitt was right.

And now Mitt is smooth enough to put a velvet glove on the brick. And if the velvet glove ever needs to come off the brick, we have our two generals to send the message home.

I really like what I am hearing through the rumor mill. Laura Ingraham as the Press Secretary? Please, please be true! Jamie Diamond for Commerce? Or Eric Bolling in some financial job? David Clarke possible for Homeland Security? Great, great and great again! This could end up being the best cabinet ever.

Those who thought Trump would stumble into the White House like the village idiot - think again. He is being good to his word about going for the best and brightest. And (this is a big one) - he has people who agree with the basic thoughts and goals of the Commander-in-Chief. Stay tuned - this might only get better!

Running out of Patience - NASA

"In fact, we have not even been back to the Moon for 40 years. Plus, we have scrapped the shuttle program to be replaced with ... nothing."

Tonight is the first episode of a type of a docudrama different than what was been seen before. It is called Mars, and it is all about human visitation to the red planet. Of course it is fiction as we have not been to Mars as yet. In fact, we have not even been back to the Moon for 40 years. Plus, we have scrapped the shuttle program to be replaced with ... nothing.

In fact, in a short 40 years, we have gone from pioneers on the Moon to nothing more than hitchhikers. What do you mean hitchhikers? Well, it seems like once we scrapped the shuttle program, should we want to send people to the ISS, we need to stick out our thumb. It is beyond embarrassing.

Before I start beating up NASA too much, let me air something else first. We are a planet of 7.4 people. That is a bunch! With all those people, as of today we have explored less than 5% of the world's oceans! And the oceans cover over 70% of the Earth's surface. Also huge sections of Antarctica and Greenland have never been set foot on. Bottom line? Besides space, we still have a whole lot of exploring left to do on Earth.

After we had been to the Moon a few times, I really thought the next logical step was going to be Mars. When President Kennedy challenged the country to travel to the Moon within a decade, we all rose to the occasion. Much science and many new inventions came out of that decade. Today - not so much. NASA is asleep and doing very little to advance science and discovery. Meanwhile, other countries and private investors are racing to fill the void.

Just a brief history reminder. Even though very controversial, Operation Paperclip towards the end of World War II, allowed us to land Wernher von Braun. He was the preeminent rocket scientist in the world - bar none. We were able to snatch him from the Germans before the Russians could get him. And he changed how we approached space travel. In reality, he all but started NASA. 

Long dead and gone, von Braun would be spinning in his grave if he could see how NASA is run today. It is nothing more than a shell, which is still is able to garner tax dollars out of the budget. I for one have run out of patience with NASA. I would like President Trump during his first State of the Union address to tell the country we will have people on Mars within five years. Sound to idealistic? So did going to the Moon in 1960. And yet in July of 1969, we landed folks on the Moon. 

President Trump needs to appoint a new NASA administrator in the mold of Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos. Not some nambie pambie, boot licking politician. A person of bold vision who is willing to come up with creative solutions.

The time is now. Mars is just sitting there, waiting for us to explore it. And after Mars? As the saying goes, the sky is the limit. 


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Do you hear the people sing?

"Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It will be the music of the people
who will not be slaves again..."
Les Miserables 

No - this has nothing to do with the French Revolution. Or does it? After all, this song is about liberty. And liberty is an ancient word, coming from the Latin word which means "free". And then to the French who cast it as "liberte". And then to our spelling of liberty. The spelling changed, but the meaning did not.

The show (and movie) Les Miserables was about the struggle of the people during the French Revolution. It is one of my favorites. And in the movie is a song which (in my humble opinion) is timeless. It paints the picture of liberty and the people's love for it as good as any song ever written. It is called Do you hear the people sing? and every time I hear it, I get a lump in my throat. It reminds me of why I served, why I love this country so dearly. And the song starts as follows:

"Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It will be the music of the people
who will not be slaves again..." 

A friend of mine pointed out to me (as he also loves this song) that this song does not only apply to the French Revolution, not only the American Revolution, but any struggle, any place, where people yearn to be free. And one thing that history has taught us is that freedom is not free. Freedom is not guaranteed. If it is not protected, and guarded, it can be lost. 

Last week millions of people spoke once again. They thought their freedom, their liberty was at stake. So they voted for what they hoped would be a reformation. However - voting for liberty, and receiving liberty, are not always the same. It is important - no imperative, that liberty loving people stay vigilant. Stay "tuned in". Pay attention. And after any election, liberty can be eroded. Or sometimes even lost. Yes, it is that fragile.

Last Tuesday did the people sing? Maybe. But they did speak. And the collective voice was deafening. So for all people who did not hear that collective voice, including the "nambie pambies" from the Broadway show Hamilton - listen once again. Last Tuesday was not about Donald Trump. It was not about Mike Pence. It was not about holding the House and Senate. It was all about liberty. 

Yes, liberty. Scores of people "singing the song of angry men". Angry that their liberty and freedoms were at stake. Never underestimate a people's yearning for liberty.    

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Our NEW World Order!

"Truthfully, the world has just been marking time as of late. No progress. In fact, we have regressed."

Be very still. Listen closely. Can you feel it? Can you hear it? There is a seismic shift taking place. No, I am not talking about an earthquake. I am talking about a revolutionary change in the world. A chance for globalists, and all their PC nonsense, to go packing. Or putting it another way, the realists are about to take over, and the idealists are about to go home.

Truthfully, the world has just been marking time as of late. No progress. In fact, we have regressed. We are a hair away from slipping into another cold war with Russia. Our trade deals suck. We have hemorrhaged good paying jobs and replaced them with service sector or burger flipping jobs. Terrorists have lit the world on fire and the United Nations has become an organization of bed wetters. The world was ripe for a change.

This is our new world order. Is it because of Donald Trump? Yes and no. Yes, in that Donald Trump was able to hear the voices of the people. The voices very few other leaders could hear. And no, it is not solely due to Donald Trump. This change is seismic. If it were not Donald Trump which heard the voice and acted on it, it would have been someone else of vision.

By the way, this change was so seismic that it reverberated well beyond Washington. It effected most all of the states also (forget California!). In fact, it has been almost 100 years since Republicans have controlled so much of government, from President down to the dog catcher.

These are exciting times right now. For those, and there are a few here and there, who are ignoring or fighting this seismic shift, do it at their own peril. America will become great again. And it will happen not with a whimper, but with a roar. American exceptionalism will once again be the torch which lights the path for the rest of the world to follow. 

Donald Trump is not the war monger the globalists fear. He is one who believes in "winning the day" by making the right deal. I think we will have a non-adversarial relationship with Russia. Not saying we will condone Russia's expansionism - Trump will make them a deal they can't refuse. Or putting it another way, we will modify Putin's behavior by demonstrating what is in the best interest of Russia. With the right deal, the rising tide will lift all boats. 

In the news this morning, there was a story about how excited the Iraqis are with Donald Trump as President. Why? They sense the new world order. They know Donald Trump will not settle for the status quo over there. This turmoil (which is also in Syria) has gone on long enough. One way or another, Trump will fix it so Iraqis and Syrians can live in peace, and with security, in their own homeland once again. 

Am I excited about the future? Now I am. I am ready to move forward. I am ready to see things improve. Yes, I am ready to see America become great once again. Our new world order? It starts right here, right now. The big show however starts on January 20, 2017.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Swamp Draining, Part 2

"We too, have a swamp in St. Paul which is long overdue to be drained."

There seems to be some varying definitions on what "draining the swamp" means for Washington DC. Most think it means to get rid of this unholy alliance between "K" Street and Capitol Hill. Others think it is the greed which so many develop once they get elected. Still others think it is the cronyism which develops, no matter which side of the aisle one sits on. I think it is all of these PLUS the total, absolute dysfunction that exists in all forms of government.

I think it is great that President Elect Trump has set "swamp draining" to be one of his highest goals. But for us in Minnesota, that is only part of it. We too, have a swamp in St. Paul. And it is long overdue to be drained. Yes, we also have unholy alliances between elected officials and lobbyists. We too have cronyism. And we have absolute government dysfunction coming out of our ears.

Let me give an example from just today. My wife and I had just finished grocery shopping and were standing in the the checkout line. There was a young mother with a toddler and a new born in front of us. She turned to us and said, "You might want to find another line, this is going to take a while". I looked in her cart. She had a fair amount of grocery items, but not too many. Besides, she also had both kids in the cart. I thanked her and told her it was okay. I figured it could not take that long. Big, big mistake on my part.

The woman was a WIC mother. I don't know a whole lot about the WIC program, but I know a little bit. Mostly from being behind WIC mothers at checkout time. This woman had about 10 to 12 different WIC checks. Each check allowed her to buy a certain amount and certain type of food item. So this moderate amount of food this WIC mother had turned into about a dozen separate check out events. And sometimes the wrong food item was in the cart, so someone had to go back into the store and get the one which followed WIC rules. It took almost 40 minutes to ring her up. Our ice cream (true story) started to melt, so my wife had to go back and get a fresh one.

I was not mad nor upset we had to wait over a half hour for this checkout. All I could think about was the total waste of manpower in St. Paul to come up with these crazy WIC rules. Heck, if everyone was on WIC and took a half hour to check out, Cub Foods would be out of business. And who makes up these rules anyhow? Some of her items were organic and they were okay. Others were organic and were not okay. It was entropy at the most extreme.

In the past election, Republicans retained the House and took back the Senate (barely). Two years from now, the Republicans absolutely need to grab the Governor's seat. Not any Republican - we need one who wants to come into St. Paul and drain that swamp.

Two years ago I was part of a campaign team of a very capable man. He had plans how to start the St. Paul "fix". How to start the swamp draining. Unfortunately, he lost. Since then, the swamp in St. Paul has become even deeper.

"Drain the swamp!" should be the mantra should be used by every liberty loving citizen for every level of government. Until government returns to being for the people and by the people, it really is nothing more than a swamp. 

The apology tours continue...

"Barack loves to tell the story of America as he sees it through his lens. And that is a much different lens then the one Ronald Reagan used."

One of the many things which really bugged me about Barack Hussein Obama when he took office, were his "apology tours". You know, telling the world what a rotten country we are and how we got to be that way. The Loony Left, the America haters of the world were appreciative of that. So much so, they gave Obama a Noble Peace Prize. He received it for doing ..... nothing. But it was given in advance for what we could do at some time.

Barack loves to tell the story of America as he sees it through his lens. And that is a much different lens then the one Ronald Reagan used. Reagan's lens saw America as that "bright city on the hill". How America has always offered hope for the hopeless. Obama's lens quite often showed how we became great by not doing great things. And then he would apologize to the world for our transgressions. Drove me flipping crazy.

Now he is overseas again, trying to explain to the world just why we have a President Elect Donald Trump. You know, he needs to "talk some world leaders off the ledge". I find that fascinating. Trump has not been in office for one second, and Obama is trying to explain how Trump will govern. Well Barack, let me see if I can help on that one.

The country elected Donald Trump because it has been mismanaged for decades. Yes Barack Obama, even (or especially) under you. We have done what Greece has done, only in spades. Promised more that we could deliver, and spent way more than we take in. In short, of all things we have mismanaged, our finances are the worst.

However despite being mismanaged, up until a few years ago, America has always been the world's policeman. We took over where the UN often came up short. And with NATO - President Elect Trump is right. Many of the NATO countries have been "free riders" for decades. Trump wants more equity in NATO with forces provided, as well as monies contributed. The days of the United States being the "sugar daddy" to NATO might be over after January.

My hope is that Donald Trump will tell the same thing to the United Nations. Pay up or shut up. We have been hosed by the United Nations for years. They have no purpose anymore, other than coming up with some goofy crap like Agenda 21

What is life going to be like in Trump's America? Might be pretty darn good. We should be able to have fair treaties, a strong military, an improving economy, and better finances. And the best part? When our new President travels overseas it will to be to showcase American exceptionalism, not apologize for it.