Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Suicide by cop...

"If that results in the North starting a shooting war, so be it. The war would be over as fast as Desert Storm was in 1991. Maybe even quicker."

There is a term used today which describes a form of suicide. It is where someone goes up against a law enforcement officer, with no real intent of doing him or her harm. In fact sometime the person even has an unloaded gun. The sole purpose of the action is to fool the cop into thinking he is in a life threatening situation, and thereby causing the use of deadly force. It is a crappy situation. Everyone loses, especially the cop who had to use deadly force. He has to live with it. However this does happen. And today, I can see it happening on a much larger scale in world events.

Yes, I am talking about North Korea, and the loose canon who runs the joint. Kim Jong-un has now upped the ante towards war once again. Within the past six months, he has continuously poked the west (and the feckless UN) in the eye by 1) coming close to having a workable hydrogen bomb, 2) testing a solid fuel rocket, and 3) using the deadly VX to kill his half brother, Kim Jong Nam.

This past provocation was particularly troubling. The fact that the Norks have VX is like letting a mass murderer have a machine gun with unlimited ammunition. And North Korea (according to reports) has quite a bit of this witch's brew. How much? Tons. Enough to kill millions of people. 

We have made it clear to North Korea (for decades now) that should they ever decide to use a nuke or any other bio or chemical WMD on South Korea, Japan, Australia, or even us - they are finished. For example, North Korea is rumored to have about 20 nuclear weapons. We have about 4,500. It has been told both subtlety and not so subtlety that should North Korea ever use a nuke in anger, we will turn the northern part of the Korean Peninsula into a sheet of glass. 

Here is the weird part. Kim Jong-un knows it. If he starts a war, we will finish it -decisively and quickly. Colin Powell is rumored to have said (when he was still in uniform) that if North Korea ever started a war, North Korea would soon look like a "smoldering charcoal briquette".

So what motivates North Korea in it's pursuit of WMD? Heaven only knows. Are they suicidal? Maybe. If they are, it would be very similar to "death by cop" - and we are the cop. My vote has been very simple for a very long time. It is time we take the gloves off with this country. Short of a shooting war, we should embargo, blockade, sanction, or whatever else to force regime change.

If that results in the North starting a shooting war, so be it. The war would be over as fast as Desert Storm was in 1991. Maybe even quicker.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Our new Reagan

"Like Reagan, Trump is asking for a boatload of money. About $54B more for our defense budget. Like Reagan, this is a huge amount - it is needed however, just because the former President was a disillusioned peacenik." 

Okay - shock to some, well know to others. I was alive and kicking during the near melt down of our country during the Jimmy (Peanuts) Carter era. This former nuke officer from the Georgia, decided all by himself he was going to show the world we are nice by unilaterally disarming. As he did that, the Soviet Union went to town. Yes, I was in the work a day work at that time. And I was also in the active reserves. I know the back story. I remember it very well.

About a year or so before the 1980 election, the Iranian Revolution happened. All of a sudden, we had a terrorist state (which at a short time ago), had been our ally. And what did this new terrorist state do? They stormed our embassy (an act of war mind you), and held dozens of our citizens hostage for 444 days. What did Carter do? Not much. He did launch a failed rescue attempt with a depleted military. It ended in disaster. 

In the election on 1980, Reagan smoked the sitting President. This former actor and Governor of California, burst on to the national scene. And he did it big time. Candidate Reagan promised to rebuild our military. He was so convincing in that and other promises, on the day the Gipper was inaugurated, the Iranians let our people (the hostages) go. 

Flash forward to today. The "globalist" Obama decided to be an apologist for our country instead of restoring world peace. And while he was doing that, the bad guys went to town. Hello, Russia expansionism. Hello China's Blue Water Navy. Hello Iran spinning centrifuges faster than than the speed of light. Hello North Korea building a rocket with a solid fuel booster and maybe, just maybe, an "H" bomb.

Shortly after swearing in, our new President looked over the landscape and told Congress this will not do. We need more money for defense.. Like it or hate it, we are the "guardians of the galaxy". Okay - maybe not not much. But we are the police for this world. The UN cannot do it. Policing is always up to us. 

Like Reagan, Trump is asking for a boatload of money. About $54B more for our defense budget. Like Reagan, this is a huge amount - it is needed however, just because the former President was a disillusioned peacenik. 

I have said this before and I will say it again. At the start, I was not on the "Trump Train" - I was a Ted Cruz guy. At the end however, I was all about Trump. So far, he has done NOTHING but what he has said he would do on the campaign trail. As long as he stays true to his word - I am actively supporting him.

Spending the day in misery...

"But, we made to to Iowa. And as much as I try to avoid Iowa, I have never been happier to see this Hawkeye State." 

Anyone who knows anyone (not all people) who are from Missouri, often refers to their state as "Misery" instead of Missouri. When I first heard that term, the first thing that popped into my head was "ouch!". I mean, quite often I hear of my state referred to as "Minnesnowta" (because from time to time it does get hammered with snow), or the "Land of 10,000 Taxes" (because it is), but besides for the winter weather and Democrat induced taxes, I really do love the land of my birth. I would never refer to my state as just plain "misery".

Five years ago, we had to drive through Missouri twice - once going down, and once coming back home. Both ways it was brutal. It makes driving through North Dakota on a January day seem like being in Nirvana. So this year on the way down to Florida, I added a day onto our driving. We went all the way down I-35 to Oklahoma City and then on I-44 all the way east to Arkansas and then Mississippi. However, this year because we were gone so long, my wife said, "Make it quick!" coming home. Translation = we had to drive through "Misery" once again.

We spent last night on a Navy base just north of Memphis. We left early this morning (before colors), and headed west towards Arkansas. We did not mind Arkansas a month ago, and were looking forward to a return visit. But alas and alack, we were only in Arkansas for exactly one hour. Then we saw the sign we had been dreading - "Welcome to Missouri". I almost threw up in my mouth.

The first hour was brutal. I now know what Neil Armstrong thought when he set foot on the Moon. Okay, the next few hours have to be better. I looked at my GPS and saw we had more miles to go than dollars in national debt. I tried to look at something different as we drove, talk about something different, listen to something different - but then it happened. Both of us started to slip into highway hypnosis. 

About 3pm our GPS guided us onto a "shortcut" up into Iowa. Anything, I screamed! I will take it! Big mistake. We went from divided highway, to non-divided highway to road, to dirt road. And when I looked at the GPS, it said we still had 90 miles to go. My wife said she was getting a headache from all the dust, turns and hills. So she checked out for a while. I wanted to also, until I remembered I was driving.

To make a long story short, towards the end of the journey we went through some areas which made the movie "Deliverance" look like downtown Manhattan. It was beyond brutal. But, we made to to Iowa. And as much as I try to avoid Iowa, I have never been happier to see this Hawkeye State.   

Tomorrow morning the Bird flies home. Mom (and I) are missing the little guy, so the earlier the better. Been a good trip. More stories to come. Of course, there well also be my opinions about the the mayhem going on within our politics. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Road Well Traveled

"One can get in a car and drive from state to state and just enjoy. In the UK, one can only drive so far before running into water."

Today after just being away for just about a month, we did a "wheels up" and left the condo we were staying in on Tranquility Bay. As usual, when we travel, we leave on "Navy time". That means, first light. Since the prior two mornings were very foggy, I was a bit concerned today might have been the same. No such bad luck. There was a good sea breeze coming in, and no fog. 

We left Pensacola and then merged on to Interstate 10. For those who are not familiar with I-10, it goes all the way from northern Florida to San Diego. One of these wonderful paths one could take to "see real America". I have been on it many times before. Mostly the stretch between New Orleans to Fort Walton Beach. Plus, one of the things on my "bucket list", is to take I-90 to the east coast, connect with I-95, and then take it down to Florida connecting with I-10. Then the fun would really start.

We took I-10 west until we connected with I-55 heading north from Louisiana. From Louisiana we went into Mississippi and then into Tennessee. While driving, we saw the temperature change, and well as the topography change. But the one thing which did not see change were the wonders and beauty of driving up through America's heartland. Every time we stopped to get a bite to eat, stretch our legs, or get gas - we ran into real Americans. Friendly, talkative, caring and sharing people. 

I have told this story before. A man I worked with when my company was teamed with Royal Ordnance in the UK, always spent his "holidays" in America. And he always did the same thing. He rented a car and just drove. When I asked him why he did that, his response was not in the least bit quizzical. "You Yanks have no clue as to what you have over here. One can get in a car and drive from state to state and just enjoy. Drive for endless miles. In the UK, one can only drive so far before running into water."

Bingo. As much as we like to travel the road less traveled, when we are on major trips we travel the roads well traveled. And even though we don't learn as much as we do on a road less traveled, we still learn. Plus (and this is a big one), after living on a small island for 18 months early in my life, I LOVE driving for hours at end without running into another ocean.

Tomorrow it will be more driving and more learning. As much as I have seen our heartland, I never tire of it. On the Navy base we are staying at, they just played evening colors. That too, I never tire of. Tomorrow at 8 bells, it will be morning colors. If we are still here at that time, I will stand tall and put my hand over my heart. 

This is America. This is not the shameful land that Obama told us and the rest of the world about. This is the proud land - a proud land that Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump remind us about in almost every speech.

So this may be the land well traveled - and if it is, so be it. Whatever it is called, I love it.  

Friday, February 24, 2017

Real ID and the future

"Bottom line? Don't lose any sleep over Real ID. It just scratched the surface."

I guess I am a bit stupid on this entire enhanced or Read ID issue. I have heard that to get onto a military base these days, your need to have one of three things: 1) military ID (which I have), 2) passport, or 3) enhanced ID (Read ID drivers license). If you don't have one of the three, you don't get on. At the Naval Air Station, there are parts of the base which are for tourism. And to get on base, you will need one of those forms of ID. There are other parts of the base which are operational, and only a military ID will get you in those areas.

Now that Minnesota has passed their version of compliance with Real ID, here is the bad news for the Libertarians. I don't think this dance is over. Between the continuing War on Terror and the advancements in identity theft, look for more of the same in the near future. Like what? Facial recognition, bio-metrics, and (gasp!) - maybe even DNA mapping.

To truly figure out "who is who" in today's complex world, I really do think it is coming. Try going on a cruise these days. The first day you check in, your picture is taken with a special camera. Why? It is for facial recognition. So when you come back on the boat with your room card and badge, the security on board can also check your picture against their data base.

I have said for quite a while now this Real ID thing is a nothing burger. Big whopping deal. However while working at IBM, I attended a seminar about the future of the identification badge. It was all about bio-metrics. In fact, we were all given an ID badge which held just a sample of what our bio-metrics might look like. It was almost Orwellian. But in a world of over 7 billion people, there really does need to be a way to identify each of us as unique. In other words, where our identity cannot be copied by someone, or something with nefarious intentions.

The future might hold retina identification and a licking a swap to check your DNA. Why? Fingerprints (although somewhat archaic), retinas and the DNA obtained from saliva are all unique markers. I am sure in some not too distant year the bad guys will be trying to trick those measures also. Then there will be even more intrusive identity markers developed. Back and forth, cat and mouse. 

Bottom line? Don't lose any sleep over Real ID. It just scratched the surface. Sure, you can try and hide from the future. You may not want the government to know anything about you, but the bad guys will. And not having an iron clad way of proving you are you, may put you in peril. Sorry to be a rain cloud on this issue - but that is our reality today.   

Thursday, February 23, 2017

NOT in the plan...

"Death and sickness are the two intruders who enter our lives, often uninvited. They can change everything in either an instant, or chip away at someone's life, inch by inch."

It has been a tough week for those of us who like the folks on Fox News or Fox Business News. Earlier in the week, it was reported that Brenda Buttner from Fox Business Channel had died in her fifties. Today, it was reported that Alan Colmes had passed away in his mid-sixties. And between those two sad announcements, it was reported that David Cassidy from the Partridge Family has developed dementia, also in his mid-sixties.

Why do I bring this up? I imagine that all of these folks did not choose this. I would bet that this time last year, they were plotting out the rest of their lives. Death or a debilitating sickness was not part of that planning. And that brings me to the core of the issue. It is good and wise to plan for the future. However, when given the opportunity to do something either from your bucket list, or outside of your bucket, do it sooner rather than later.

Death and sickness are the two intruders who enter our lives, often uninvited. They can change everything in either an instant, or chip away at a life, inch by inch. They are the destroyer of dreams, the changer of relationships, and the ender of an existence. They can announce themselves during a routine doctor's visit, having a prolonged sickness, or result in a sudden ending.

But the purpose of this article is not to be macabre. By all means, it is meant to be joyful and hopeful. We all know there is a omega to the alpha - we just don't know when. One of my wife's relatives was visiting us this past week. In a casual conversation, he mentioned he would like to live to be 100. And I hope he does. But the bottom line is this - he does not know when this fantastic journey called life will end. None of us to.

Bottom line - if you have a dream, and have the resources to chase that dream, do it now. Don't wait until tomorrow. Why? Tomorrow might never come. Or to repeat an old (and very wise) saying, "The past is gone, the future is not yet here, so live for the present. The present is a gift - that is why it is called the present." 

The bomb which keeps ticking...

"Here is the irony. When Obama was President, the Republicans were free to criticize this mess from dawn till dusk. After all, the Democrats owned it lock, stock and barrel." 

He really did it to us. Some think it is a Trojan Horse. I think it is a ticking bomb. Now we have taken control of that bomb and don't know how to defuse it. What am I talking about? This thing, this destroyer of economies, this socialized program called known as ObamaCare.

It seems like every morning on the news there is yet another story about a Republican hosting a town hall meeting. And many of them are not turning out to be pleasant. In fact, some are out and out nasty. The demonstrators seemed to have recently switched the subject line. Not too long ago, they were demanding that an outside, independent council be brought in to "get to the bottom of the Russia/Trump issue". Now it is all about ObamaCare.

Here is the irony. When Obama was President, the Republicans were free to criticize this mess from dawn till dusk. After all, the Democrats owned it lock, stock and barrel. Nary a Republican anywhere had laid a finger on this thing as it was being hatched. Then the wheels started to come off. People could not keep their doctors. They could not keep their insurance providers. Premiums started to go up like Roman candles. It was disintegrating right before our very eyes. Then the November 2016 election happened. All of a sudden, the Republicans got stuck with this Rosemary's Baby.

Flash forward to now. The Republicans are out of session and going back home to meet and greet the voters. They are being met by some legitimate, and some illegitimate (that be outside, paid agitator type) voters. They are coming to the meetings to yell, chant, argue, carry signs, blah, blah, blah. I find it interesting they did not show up at town hall meetings when Obama was President. ObamaCare is after all, Obama's offspring.

Now President Trump and the Republican led Congress are stuck in a quagmire. As Colin Powell would say - "You break it, you own it." Despite all the years of preparing for this moment, my single biggest fear is this - all this talk about "repeal and replace" might have been just that - talk. If we repeal this mess without having a much better mousetrap in the ready mode, the "lap dog" media as well as the Democrats will club us to death with it. And then we can probably kiss the 2018 midterms goodbye.

Was Obama dumb like a fox in 2009 when he signed this mess into law? Did he look out over the chessboard and plan about three or four moves ahead? As much as I appreciate President Trump's ambitious schedule of doing everything the first year, the ObamaCare replacement is probably the most critical item as well as the most tricky.

I wish we had someone on our side of the fence who also could have seen three or four moves ahead. That person might have seen this entire mess develop and be able to warn the rest of us. As Admiral Ackbar said in Star Wars, that person should have yelled at the top of his lungs, "Its a trap!"

And now that we are in the trap, the secret will be in how to get out of this trap without further destroying our healthcare system, the Republican Party, and the trust of the American people. Ouch.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The medium and the message

"Today however, we have really made the big jump. We have left the editorial comments back in the dust. We are onto bigger and better things. Now it is 'fake news'."

In 1964, Marshall McLuhan wrote a trendy book called The Medium is the Message. One of the core tenants of the book was the way news was delivered sometimes eclipsed the news itself. McLuhan was wise beyond his years and certainly beyond his time. Oh if he could see the news today!

We are really falling down the hill quickly these days. It is bad enough that new anchors like Dan Rather has burred the line between journalism and editorial comment, we are also seeing in the print media these days also. Plus, whenever confronted by someone on the Right who is sick of editorial comment being intermixed with the news, many anchors fall back on First Amendment rights. And that is fine - then just don't call the reporting "news". Call it opinion.

Today however, we have really made the big jump. We have left editorial comments mixed in with the news back in the dust. We are now on to bigger and better things. Now we have "fake news". And what exactly is "fake news"? It is the spreading of rumor and half truth without first vetting the source. It is taking a story and putting some extra "English on the cue ball", to help the story fit a narrative. And sadly, some of the "fake news" is just pure, unadulterated fiction. Bottom line - the news media now has an approval rating lower than Congress. Some say lower than whale poop.

How do we fix this? One of my friends who does pod casting has a simple remedy - just tune out on any main stream media. It does not mean he stops learning - on the contrary, he is very informed. There is a boat load of information out in the ether-net which is valid and unblemished.

So what would cause a professional news reporter to take unblemished news and turn it into editorial? An abdication of professional responsibility and personal pride. In other words, the once great "fourth estate", our free press, has sold out.

I get a kick out of the moral outrage that Don Lemon from CNN has when accused of CNN either promulgating or spreading "fake news". Okay, maybe that is a stretch. Maybe CNN does not do "fake news". They sure as heck do biased news however. And not by just a little bit - a lot. 

Even the "fair and balanced" Fox News is not all that fair and balanced. They have a conservative tilt. MSNBC and CNN have a liberal tilt. CBS, NBC, and ABC also have a slight liberal tilt. So if you want to get true, unbiased news today - good luck with that one. 

Yes, the medium truly is the message. Way, way too much. Get used to it folks. I don't see this changing any time soon - maybe ever. The "fourth estate"? Gone. Today, we are all responsible now for finding out our own information.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Turn about is fair play....

"If women are going to continue to walk around protesting, dressed as vaginas, if youth are going to continue to act like anarchists, if the radical Left continues to act like Sandinista revolutionaries rather than Americans, then there will be hell to pay in the future."

Shortly before we left on vacation, I heard the following from a friend of mine (if I may paraphrase): "When G. W. Bush was President, anarchist protesters from the Left showed up at his rallies to yell obscenities at him and wear 'F... Bush" shirts. We on the right did no such thing under Clinton, even when it was proven he received oral sex in the Oval Office. When Obama was President, even though he took the country to the brink of socialism, crowds did not gather in the street to yell 'Not my President!' Well after seeing the treatment our legally elected President is getting from these malcontents, just wait until the next Democratic President is elected. Turn about will (and it will be massive) be fair play."

Get the picture? This person is just a microcosm of what now lives on the Right. Many of us are tired of the crap which has been going on in the Left. One of my first managers told me a long time ago, if you throw a bad of crap out of the front window, make sure the back window is rolled up. Translation - what goes around comes around. The Right have been saints compared to the Left over the past 20 years or so. After this Presidency, that might be all over. 

Now I will talk only for myself. Why don't people on the Right protest more when there so much to protest about? First off, many on the Right work. They have J-O-B-S (whatever that means). Next, most realize the best way to protest is at the ballot box. Not tying up traffic on the highways and byways. Finally (and this is the big one), that is not the way we roll. But that can change after Trump is out of office. We have a deep well of patience, but that well also has a bottom.

The most radical thing the Right has done for a long time was the care and feeding of the Tea Party shortly after the 2008 election. And every time there was a Tea Party gathering, it might have been fiery, but civil; somewhat raucous, yet very respectful; and one very important element - they had a valid point to demonstrate. And no, they did not dress up to look like a penis. Finally, once the gathering was over, there was no garbage - no mess. That would include the Tea Party, the 9/12 Project or whatever other group the folks on the Right belonged to.

However, I will say this. If the Left settles down and decides to help the rest of us get this country back on track, this conversation never happened. All is forgiven, all is forgotten. That being said, if women are going to continue to walk around protesting, dressed as vaginas, if youth are going to continue to act like anarchists, if the radical Left continues to act like Sandinista revolutionaries rather than Americans, then there will be hell to pay in the future.

I am sorry. Did this article sound like I was fed up and pissed? You are damn right I am! Along with many other on my side of the street!   

Monday, February 20, 2017

Rare in Minnesota

"What do I want? I want Minnesota to be ordinary. Not exceptionally unlivable due to stupid policies and laws." 

The mythical Mayor of Garage Logic would often say, "Minnesota - the state where absolutely nothing is allowed." True dat. Minnesota sticks out like a very blue sore thumb when it comes to many important issues. In fact when a friend of mine recently found out that Minnesota had a carry law for handguns, he was amazed. "Wow! I can't believe Minnesota would allow that!" Me neither - but I am glad we have it.

This week could be the week that we finally get over the Sunday liquor sales hump. I know, I know - other states have had it for almost forever. So what is up with Minnesota? Why has it taken this long? Good question. In fact, my opinion is we should leap frog the liquor issue on Sundays and then include it in a much larger bill. Yes, Sunday sales with wine and beer sold in grocery stores (gasp!).

What do I want? I want Minnesota to be ordinary. Not exceptionally unlivable due to stupid policies and laws. For example, I want our Social Security benefits to be tax free for seniors like so many other states do. This will help keep extended families closer.  I want Minnesota's top income rate cut in half so we can keep more high income people in this state. I want our corporate income tax of 10% to be cut in half so we too, can hang the "open for business" sign on our borders.

Minnesota is not in compliance with Real ID. Say what you want about the constitutionality of this issue, we are not even in partial compliance like liberal bastions such as South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Two of the other four states which are not in compliance are the deep blue states of Maine and Washington. Go figure.

I am sick of Minnesota always being a "one off" on issues. I want us to be ordinary. Not rare, but ordinary. I want to go into a Target on Sunday and buy a bottle of wine. And I don't want to be forced to move away from my kids and grand kids because my home state is taxing the socks off of me.

When I run into people from outside Minnesota, the most common question I get is not about our quality of life. It is how in the world could we be so stupid to elect Al Franken to the Senate - twice. And why in the world are our taxes so high? 

Having normal taxes should not be rare. Buying booze on Sunday should not be rare. Having normal congressional representation (unlike Franken and Nolan) should also not be rare - it should be common. Not in this state however. The state where "absolutely nothing is allowed." 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Men for all reasons

"Watching one of President Trump's pressers, it is hard to choose who enjoys them more - the President or the crowds who come to see and hear him." 

They are so different. Yet in some respects, so similar. Yes, I am talking about Presidents Reagan and Trump. They both have (or in Reagan's case had) the ability to really speak directly to a crowd. Rather than have their messages go through the meat grinder and deep blue filter of the dishonest press, they could really speak to the people. Yesterday's presser down in Florida was once again, inspiring.

Now it is true that Barack Obama and Bill Clinton could also fire up their base. However, they also had the dishonest media slobbering all over them. Again, their message went through the deep blue filter of the press and often times came out looking like the Gettysburg Address. The difference between how a Democrat is covered and how a Republican is covered by the press is stark. Only someone who is deaf, dumb and blind does not understand the difference between the two.

During the presser earlier last week (the one which really got the media's underwear in a wad), was nothing less than fantastic. My favorite part was right in the middle of the presser, when many of the reporters were trying unsuccessfully to dissect the President. Donald Trump looked directly at the press and said, "How much time do we have left? I am really enjoying this." If as if someone told a bully, after the bully punched that person over and over again, "Is that all you got?" 

After this short time in office, here is how I think things are settling out. Who hates the President? Establishment Republicans. Progressives. The dishonest media. Takers. Status quo sheeple. Who loves the President? Just about everyone else. When I say that, I mean Americans who are sick and tired of seeing out great country devolve into the ordinary. People who share the President's vision of wanting to see us great again. Rather than constantly tapping on the brake like we did under Obama, Trump wants to put the "pedal to the metal".

Watching one of President Trump's events, it is hard to choose who enjoys them more - the President or the crowds who come to see and hear him. We have waited a long time for this moment. Suffered through eight long years of hoping for a change. No - Donald Trump, just like Ronald Reagan, is truly a man for all (the right) reasons. Enjoy these moments folks - they won't last forever. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Nothing new under the sun...

"It is that old tired play book of the Left. It is tattered, worn and very dated. In short - there is nothing new under the sun."

"They are going to poison the water! They are going to dirty up the air! They hate minorities! They only care about the rich!" Blah, blah, blah. This bull crap has been going on since Moses was a boy. What is it? It is the ranting of the Loony Left. Everyone on Trump's cabinet is an "extremist". Just about every one in Trump's inner circle is a racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or whateverphobic. Whereas everyone in Obama's administration could just about walk on water. Sound familiar?

Here is a news flash from someone who has associated with conservatives most of my life. I have NEVER met a conservative who favored dirty water. Or dirty air. Or favored throwing grandma out of a nursing home. Or who hated minorities (check your history, and you will find who the real racists were).

What conservatives DO want however, is truly alien to the Loony Left. They favor paychecks over welfare checks. They do not want ANY American to go hungry or malnourished, but find it criminal that 46 million need to be on food stamps. That is the sign of an anemic economy which needs to be fixed. Conservatives find the fact our government education system fails so many kids to be unacceptable. Conservatives DO however, want the best bang for the buck in educating EVERY American. Right now, we getting the worst bang for the buck in education, and it is costing us a mint.

Plus (and this a big one), conservatives do NOT want to eliminate Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. They DO however, want them fixed so they continue in solvency for many years to come. Now, all three of them are driving 100 mph towards a brick wall, and only fools don't see it.

The narrative for the next four to eight years has already been written. Actually, it has been written for a long time. It was used under Nixon, under Reagan, under Bush (41) and Bush (43), and now under Trump. It is that old tired play book of the Left. It is tattered, worn and very dated. In short - there is nothing new under the sun. 

Here is the bad news for the Loony Left. Your gig is up. We have a President whose feelings you cannot hurt. He is bullet proof to all your nonsense. And the real Americans who voted for Donald Trump are also sick of your lies. In short - our BS filters are full, and we cannot take any more of your bull crap.

So go to the streets and rant and rave. Spread false stories which the MSM will turn into fake news. Protest, strike and destroy. You will only hurt yourself. The real Americans will be working with this President to make this country great again. Not only great at home, but also great overseas. 

To quote Ken Kesey from The Electric Kool aide Acid Test, "You can either be on the bus or off the bus". I suggest that being on the bus is the place to be in the next four to eight years. That is where I am going to be. And the bus is headed for American greatness, once again.

Friday, February 17, 2017

OMG! Real ID and Liberty Lost!

"To my Libertarian friends - I am with you. This is a hill not worth dying for. Trust me, it is not. There are others I will stand side by side with you. Just not this hill."

I was not going to address this issue this afternoon. Lord knows, there are dozens of other issues which are happening right now. But please - can we put some sanity on this issue? Some of my social media friends think I have taken a long walk off a short pier. That I don't read nor understand the Constitution anymore. Oh, that is not correct. But I have tried to mix in a small dose or realism in with this "enhanced" ID issue.

One of the things I learned when I was "in the business" of having a high level clearance is simply this (and anyone who has had a high level clearance will tell you the same) - similar to an iceberg, only 10% is given out to the public. The other 90% is hidden. Bottom line - the government knows just about everything on each of us. Unless we can live 100% off the grid (good luck on that one), the government knows who we are, what we do, and how and when we do it.

What? You don't believe that? Read up on the metadata which is collected on each of us at the NSA facility in Bluffdale, Utah. They have the most powerful computers in the world. And storage space which would make your head spin. Please, forget the government for a second. Google is collecting tons of information on each of us right now. Why? They want to know how and why we tick. Why? Google knows the next big shebang is AI. And Google wants to lead the pack in AI. Knowing how we tick will give them a heads up.

Back to Real ID for a minute. Fact one: It was passed into law under G.W. Bush. Not an Obama conspiracy. And BTW, the feds control the airports. If MN does not have accept Real ID, the choice will be simple. Either we don't fly, use a passport, or we comply with a Real ID system. Fact two: According to the DMV, the proof required to get the Real ID is no different than what is required to get a Social Security Card or a passport. Big flipping deal.

One final thing for my absolute Libertarians. For those who have been in the service AND had a high level clearance, you know what it like to have the skin stripped off of you.  After my first background investigation, the government knew everything about me, including how often I changed my underwear. And every time I went though a five year update, the intrusion started all over again. Why did I put up with it?  Because even though not absolute, the government wanted to keep "Bradley Manning" types out of the security business.

One final thing about Real ID. You don't have to get one. But it you don't get one, be aware. Flying will be tough. Going into Canada or Mexico will be tough. Getting on to a military base will be tough. But if you are a homebody, no sweat. You don't need one. Some, who work for the federal government in certain jobs, or are retired from the military, there is no problem.

To my Libertarian friends - I am with you. This is a hill not worth dying for. Trust me, it is not. There are others I will stand side by side with you. Just not this hill.

The Russian Ruse

"However, if we keep down going down the path the Left is taking us, the only thing we will make is America done and gone."  

"This is bigger than Watergate!" cries out Dan Rather and others on the Left. "This is the most dysfunctional and corrupt White House ever!" prattles MSNBC every morning. "This Administration is nothing but chaos!" yells a very shrill CNN.

If the truth be told, I am amazed how much is getting done considering our President has zero government experience and the Senate Democrats have left his cabinet looking like Mother Hubbard's Cupboard.

Here is the story many on the Left so desperately want. Trump and the Russians were colluding prior to the election. So were many on Trump's team. General Flynn was the point man. A deal was made with the Russians. If they helped Trump beat Hillary, there would be some kind of payoff. Plus, if Trump killed the sanctions that Obama had enacted, the payoff would be even higher. Trump knew all about the hacking of the DNC, and even endorsed it. This is a great story except for one thing - it is not true. It is a ruse.

Here is the story many on the Right so desperately want. Tax cuts across the board. A myriad of job killing regulations killed. ObamaCare repealed and replaced. The Islamic State defeated. The Russian Bear controlled. And I could go on and on and on. This is the real story that real American's want. 

Yesterday there was a ceremony at the White House. President Trump made good on yet another campaign promise. He is fixing the coal industry which Obama tried single handedly to destroy. He even invited Joe Manchin (D-WV) to be part of the event. Fox televised it. Nobody else did. They were too busy working on the narrative I described in the first scenario. The one which real Americans don't believe, and are sick to death hearing about it.

For those Loony Left pantywaists like Dan Rather, hear me out. There are a few of us out here who lived through Watergate. And Watergate was a low level nothing burger. However, the House of Cards which developed after it to protect the President (post facto) almost destroyed our government. Anyone who is wishing for another Watergate scandal is crazy. Including that nut ball Sally Kohn who thinks a scandal would topple both Trump and Pence, set up a special election between Ryan and Clinton, with Clinton winning and taking her rightful place in the West Wing. Really?

I am also old enough to remember Nikita Khrushchev. He once told the west (that be us) that he would "bury us". He later explained he did not mean he would kill us. Rather, we would destroy ourselves by infighting between the classes. Another Watergate type scandal, even when there is "no there, there", would play right into Khrushchev's prophecy. 

We are indeed at a tipping point in our country's history. If we play our cards right, and give our new President a fair chance, we just might make America great again. However, if we keep down going down the path the Left is taking us, the only thing we will make is America done and gone.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The "Club"

"The two sides may have to work together, but that is where it can end. The only friends any representative should have at any level of government are first the Constitution (federal and/or state), and the voters who sent them." 

We all know it exists. Some call it the "shadow government". Some call it the "establishment". Ike called it the "military-industrial complex". Whatever you want to call it, it exists. It exists now and has existed for decades - maybe longer. In fact, some think this goes back as far as the Illuminati. For the sake of simplicity, I will just call it the "Club". And whatever it is called, it hates an outsider. Especially an iconoclast like Donald Trump.

As if that is not bad enough, the news gets worse. This exists in all forms of government. The coziness. The cronyism. The resulting corruption. And these days, it is the only thing in government which is non-partisan. It is pervasive. It is endemic. And it is destructive.

This government within a government has recently shown its ugly face in what they are trying to do to our new President. First, they tried to embarrass him on a world stage by releasing the "golden shower" lie. Next, they did manage to take down his National Security Chief, by illegally leaking classified information to the press.

It is sad to say, but many on the Left are seduced by the lies of the "Club". They seem to get sucked into the vortex, time and time again. And this club has infested our court system.

When President Trump said the courts have too much power, he was not just whistling Dixie. They do. True Constitutional Scholars will all say the same thing. Our government was set up by the Founders to NOT have three co-equal parts of government. In order of priority our government should be the following: the Legislative, then the Executive, and way back in a distant third place - the Judiciary. Somewhere along the path, this ranking has somehow become mixed up. 

The other day, one of the pundits on the Left said, "The only check and balance the President truly has is the courts - the Judiciary". Ah - not true sir. The only check and balance that ANYONE in government has is the Constitution. It is as simple as that. 

I used the picture above not that it represents the most egregious example of the "Club". It does not. But it does represent something that drives many conservatives crazy. To quote a good friend of mine who when running for the state legislature said something true and profound. "I am not going to St. Paul to make friends, I am going to serve my district and the state." 

True words. The two sides may have to work together, but that is where it can and should end. The only friends any representative should have (at any level of government) are first the Constitution (federal and/or state), and the voters who sent them. Period.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Bear is back in town!

"As a retired Cold Warrior, I find what the Russians are doing right now to be fascinating. Not scary as yet, but simply fascinating." 

Our international game of chess has just become three dimensional. In other words, if you are confused as to what is going on with the Russians, join the crowd. Yesterday, was a huge news day concerning the Russians. Fist off, the Left leaning MSM is all over the fact that our new Administration is "in bed" with the Russians. That the incursion of Russian influence into our new Administration goes much deeper than General Flynn. And then yesterday, we had the provocation of Russian forces against our military. If you are thinking, what a mess, I say this - Bingo! 

As a retired Cold Warrior, I find what the Russians are doing right now to be fascinating. Not scary as yet, but simply fascinating. First off, the Russians are anything but "willy nilly". In other words, everything they do, they do for a reason. The causal observer might look at yesterday's events as puzzling. They park a spy ship off the coast of Groton. Then Russian aircraft buzz one of our ships. Some might then say, "What up? I thought Putin loved Trump?" Well, maybe not. 

Here is my take on what is going on with Russia right now. I do believe that Putin really did want Trump to be our next President. In Putin's eyes, Hillary was too trigger happy. He might have thought she would drag the two countries into some kind of armed conflict. 

However, I think Putin is trying to send a strong signal right now - to the Left. He is not Trump's puppet, and Trump is not his. The Russian Bear is alive and well, growing, growling, and getting meaner. Plus the Bear had a long time to rehearse for this moment. We did after all, take a "pause in the action" for the past eight years.

Where do we go from here? Putin still remembers the Cold War, and how to act. He was after all, a player back then. Well even though the Cold War has been over for decades, many of us remember also. Russia, like any other bully, only respects one thing - strength. If they park a spy ship off our sub base in Groton, we park on off the coast of their sub base in Petropavlovsk. If they buzz one of our warships, we buzz the Kuznetsov. And we do all of this with NATO's full knowledge and blessings.

Here is where the chess game really becomes three dimensional. Russia and the United States really need each other today. As allies in defeating the Islamic State. As trading partners. Yet, Russia has shown some old habits from their Soviet days starting to reappear. Hegemonic intrusions in Crimea (or Korea as Maxine Waters calls it). State sponsored cyber meddling in other country's elections and infrastructure. And large scale troop re-positioning in areas they should not be in.

How Russia is going to be "handled" in this very complex environment will take some extreme acumen and savvy. In other words, President Trump needs to fill the rest of his National Security team with seasoned professionals (at all levels) - and do it NOW.

Yesterday I addressed the Norks. Today, the Bear. Soon we will look once again at the biggest menace in the Middle East - Iran. I wonder as Trump's head hits the pillow, if he wonders about the world he just landed in. This is why so many Presidents finish their terms looking much grayer and much older.   

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Norks - revisited - once again

"Oh yes, the Security Council sent the Norks a stern warning (again). Sanctions? We have sanctioned them to death, and all it does it hurt the people and stir up their anger against the west."

Some might grow weary of me talking about the North Koreans this much. Trust me - I get tired of writing about them. They are a nuisance. A blight on civilization. A tumor in what should be the growth capital of the western Pacific. Instead you have an almost third world country (with nukes I might add), led by a lunatic, preparing for nuclear war with just about every western country - including ours. And this story just gets worse all the time.

It has been reported by reliable sources that in their first meeting, President Obama told President Trump the following: "You can worry about fixing ObamaCare, you can worry about how to do tax cuts, but the one thing which will keep you up at night is North Korea."
It was also disclosed during the past few days, that we knew this rocket launch was coming even before Obama left office. And we knew the significance of this one - it was the first using solid fuel.

Oh yes, the Security Council sent the Norks a stern warning (again). Sanctions? We have sanctioned them to death, and all it does it hurt the people and stir their anger against the west. Meanwhile, during the next four years, the Norks (left to their own devices) will have a three stage ICBM and maybe even a deliverable hydrogen bomb.

I have been on this rant before. Letting these guys develop bomb # 1 was a huge mistake. It was our naivete by then President Clinton to send former President Carter over to North Korea to "craft a deal" to keep them from getting a nuke. The deal ended up with North Korea GETTING a nuke, and we got nothing. And every year since then, the Norks have been traveling further down that nuclear path.

So what do we do about these guys? Now that is the $64,000 question. We know they have no intention of slowing down. We know China does not want a failed state in North Korea, as they don't want to be flooded with refugees. Also, China would prefer not to have a unified Korea on the peninsula. Do we give the Norks and ultimatum? Disarm or we will disarm you? Would China support us, or fight us on that?

All I know is this. In North Korea, the nuclear genie is almost all the way our of the bottle. Waiting these guys out has not worked well at all. If we are not careful, or continue to be remiss, we might wake up one morning with no power due to an EMP strike. Or seeing LA , San Francisco or Seattle, engulfed in a nuclear fire.

Do I take the Norks seriously when they threaten us with a nuclear inferno or an EMP strike? Yes, I do. Very much so.  

Monday, February 13, 2017

The grooming of a President

"One more thing about our current President. He is fiercely loyal to those who have been fiercely loyal to him."

I had a LOL moment the other day. And it had to do with our President. It related to our new President and how he reacted to the 9th Circus (Circuit) ruling on his executive order. Why was it funny to me? I guess for those of us who have worked with executives for years would understand. Whereas Democrats look at lawyers and judges the same way they look at the Pope, business people in power positions look at lawyers in a different way.

I worked at five Fortune 500 companies in my career. In over half of them, when confronted with a legal issue, an exec would ask his attorney "how can we make this happen". Not "is it legal" - but how can we make this happen. I am sure Donald Trump has dealt with a myriad of legal folks in his career. He might have looked at them the same way many execs do - a pain in the rear end. A barrier to get around.

When the ruling came down, I could almost see the gears turning in Trump's head. His disdain for how lawyers can muck things up. However, what our new President needs to learn is this - these ACLU types and the Loony Left judges on the 9th Circuit, are a different breed. Much different than he has dealt with before. How does he win? Trump needs to learn how to play a different kind of chess.

And what else are we learning about Donald Trump? He is a relational human being. Sure, he can talk tough in the primaries. He is going to have a trade war with China, get Japan in line, teach Canada a lesson on immigration, and make Mexico pay for a wall. However, when he gets face to face, or phone call to phone call with other world leaders, a different, somewhat mollified Donald Trump emerges.

One more thing about our current President. He is fiercely loyal to those who have been fiercely loyal to him. The Kellyanne misstep about Ivanka's clothing; General Flynn's misstep about talking to the Russian ambassador a few days too early; Stephen Miller getting the Constitutional responsibilities of the President mixed up on the Sunday shows. Even though the chattering class had their undies in a bundle and are asking for heads, President Trump could give a wit. He hand picked his team and he likes them - likes them quite a bit.

Get ready America. We have a new kind of President. One who grew up in industry. A job creator. No more pansy PC type. We have a real American who has dealt in real American issues. A job creator. An empire builder. He is not a community organizer.

Killing (or changing) Energy

"You came to Washington to kick over some tables. The Energy Department has more tables than a banquet hall. Start kicking."

Yesterday I wrote an article on getting rid of the Department of Energy. What a huge waste of space that department is. Almost a $70B budget for 4,400 employees. Today I am going to address the Department of Energy. And this one will also make your head spin. But - just so show how much out of step the Department of Education is, the Department of Energy has almost 13,000 employees with a budget of about $30B. That is less than half what Education spends and Energy employees almost three times as many people.

Now one would think that the charter of this cabinet level position should be the energy independence of our country. After all, like the Department of Education, it was established under the Carter Administration. The difference is that Education was established (many believe) as a payback to the teacher unions, and Energy was established due to the OPEC oil embargo.

No, the charter of Energy does not focus on energy independence. It does however, focus on the safe handling of our nukes. That would be civilian power plants as well as our nuclear weapons. The second thing in its charter (get ready for this) - the study of genomics. In fact The Human Genome Project was an initiative of the Department of Energy. 

Okay, okay. I know that the study of DNA has as much to do with energy as food stamps has to do with the Department of Agriculture (stay tuned - that one is next). In fact, there are other science experiments which reside under Energy. Why? For example, I would think The Human Genome Project should reside under the National Institute of Heath (which is under the Department of Heath and Human Services). After all, we are doing research on DNA mapping is to improve the health and life expectancy of all of us.

I guess I have mellowed a bit since first penning an article on this department. I just wanted it gone - eliminated. But my thinking has changed a bit. I still think the care and maintenance of our nation's nukes should come under the DOD. The genome stuff should be under HHS. But the care and feeding of our civilian nukes needs a home. And the long term storage of spent nuclear fuel (since Yucca Mountain appears to be dead), needs attention soon. This we still need a re-tooled and much smaller Department of Energy.

The Energy charter needs to change. Let Rick Perry run with an ambitious charter which will change the shape of our country. ALL energy sources should be on the table, to allow for maximum energy independence. In fact, we have so much proven energy sources, we can take care of ourselves AND export.

For the "greenies", don't worry - we are a decade or two away from having abundant and clean energy. Fossil fuels are on their way out before too long. American ingenuity will win the day for us. We will discover and build the better energy mousetrap. And we are getting closer to that goal all the time.

President Trump, my advice to you is to let Secretary Perry re-write the charter for this department. Make it a game changer. You came to Washington to kick over some tables. The Energy Department has more tables than a banquet hall. Start kicking.