Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The hand under butt disease

"For the Democrats - either grow up or grow a pair. My three year old grandson has better manners. Next year just stay home. You contribute nothing."

I really hope no aliens were tuned in last night to watch the State of the Union address. If they had seen how many of our Senators and Congressmen reacted, they might just nuke the planet. No intelligent life here, no civil life. Not worth keeping around.

Well, we could explain it this way to the aliens before they pulled the trigger. The Democrats were sitting on their hands because they were really at the doctor's office. They were in the waiting room for their once every 10 year colonoscopy. I mean, that is what they looked like. Either scared or pissed (or both).

So what is going on here? Why did the Congressional Black Caucus (the few that decided to come), not get up and cheer madly when it was announced the black unemployment rate is about as low as it has ever been? Why sit on their hands? If Obama was still President, there would be a new monument being chiseled right now next to Crazy Horse in South Dakota. But the hated Donald Trump? They will sit on their hands, thank you!

I have said this before. Trump plays with, or just plays the Democrats. They are way too predictable. While the Dems are playing checkers, Trump is playing three dimensional chess. In other words, he is smoking them. What was the reaction from the SOU speech last night? Many thought the President hit it out of the park. Some say best SOU ever. And the Democrats? They looked like fools. Like spoiled children. 

Meanwhile, stuff continues to happen. America is being made great again. Ms. Nancy and Chucky can only sit and watch. The funniest thing, which they don't know yet, is if the Democrats take the House and Senate in January of 2019, Trump will continue to play them. Compared to some of the major deals he brokered in Midtown Manhattan, dealing with these clowns is like a walk in the park.

How did I like the President's SOU? First off, I need to agree with Laura Ingraham. All of these SOU speeches are way too long. Other than that, it was a total winner. Touched all the bases. And having the North Korean escapee there, was the frosting on the cake. Many, many good touches last night, and I loved it.

For the Democrats - either grow up or grow a pair. My three year old grandson has better manners. Next year just stay home. You contribute nothing.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Big Country

This land is your land, this land is my land,
from the California, to the New York Island.
From the Redwood forest to the gulf stream waters,
This land was made for you and me. 

Woody Guthrie

I have not written about this for quite a while. While in the working world, a company I worked with was located in the Midlands in the UK. One of the guys I chummed from that company told me he loved coming to America on either business, vacation or a "busman's holiday". Why? He loved this country. He loved the wide open spaces. He could drive and drive and drive and only see more beautiful country. One day he told me, "You Yanks don't realize how good you have it". As time has gone on, I understand just how right he was.

Two summers ago, we went out west to see the Teddy Roosevelt National Park, Devil's Tower and the Black Hills. It was awesome! This past summer we went into the heartland to see the eclipse. Awesome again! And this year we are in the lower Midwest, and we have seen the same thing as our previous trips. Miles and miles, and uncounted miles, of seeing beautiful open country. Often times, we are driving for hours without seeing large of medium sized cities. We have been on the interstates, the highways, and the byways. We have taken the road well traveled, as well as the road less traveled. 

Do we still fly on vacations? Sometimes. But I hate it. Boring and crowded. So, last year we went through the Flint Hills in Kansas on our way down to Florida. A must see, if you have not been there. We have traveled the same route that Zebulon Pike did on his way to discover the now famous Pike's Peak. We have been on some the same trails as Lewis and Clark rode. We have trod many trails where the mighty Sioux tribes did over a hundred years ago.

Why would someone not want to see this invaluable part of Americana? Time. In our hurry up, on demand world, we want to get from "Point A" to "Point B" in slightly over a nanosecond. Me? Now that I am retired, and have traveled (flown) to Washington DC alone over 200 times, I am all in, for see the clouds from the ground up. I love this country dearly and to drive for miles in our heartland, always rekindles my desire to help make this country even better. Our land is truly a gift from God, and sometimes due to our busy schedules, we fail see the forest through the trees.  

Tomorrow? More of the same, only different. We will leave this land of epic beauty in southern Missouri, and head towards Mississippi. The next day, on to the warmer climate of Florida. Is all this better than Minnesota? Not a bit - only different. When we come home, we will be glad to get there - regardless of how much snow awaits us. We will have had more experiences to learn from and share.

As we travel, I often times remember the song I learned as a young boy:

This land is your land, this land is my land,
from the California, to the New York Island.
From the Redwood forest to the gulf stream waters,
This land was made for you and me. 

Amen Woody Guthrie, amen to that. This land was made for you and me, along with the rest of us. Enjoy folks! It is one of our gifts from the Almighty. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Deal or no deal?

"Rumor has it that tomorrow night at the State of the Union address, the Democrats are inviting 'dreamers' as guests and the President is inviting ICE Agents. Should be quite a show." 

There is an old saying that in every good negotiation each side has to feel a bit of the burn. In other words, everybody walks away from the table satisfied, but also a bit skinned. I think the proposal the White House is floating about how to fix this DACA mess is a textbook example of that theory. None of the hard liners on either side are that happy with it. But the bottom line is this - it WILL help to fix a big problem which has been going on for years.

The first thing which will need to be fixed for this proposal to go forward is the number of "dreamers" affected. It is not 1.6 or 1.8 million. It is about 3/4 of a million, or a bit less. That number needs to be capped. Next the amount for border security on the southern border needs to be defined. How much for the physical wall? How much for the new technology wall? How much for more border agents? 

Truthfully, we all have done a horse***t job in our immigration control. We really have. This "dreamer" issue should have never been allowed to get to this point. And I am so sick of limp wristed Democrats getting up on the floor of the House and Senate and crying about how we are a nation of immigrants. I want to shout back, we are - LEGAL IMMIGRANTS! It is crap like that which has allowed this mess to go on so long.

Chain migration HAS TO END. It is killing our cities. Look at Minneapolis and St. Cloud for example. There has to be some kind of sanity on who and how many people come into our communities. Besides changing the culture of those communities, chain migration is breaking the bank. The same goes for this nutty program called visa lottery. Why that has not been killed years ago is beyond me.

I think Donald Trump feels so passionate about this issue that he will be front and center in these negotiations. I think he will broker a deal which will fix a big part of the dysfunction in our immigration system. Will it be a perfect fix? Nope. Will everyone be happy with it? Absolutely not. However, he will have fixed the unfixable. This will be one of the defining accomplishments of his Presidency. It may involve letting some "dreamers" cut into line ahead of others, but it needs to be done.

Tomorrow night at the State of the Union address, the Democrats are inviting "dreamers" as guests and it is rumored the President is inviting ICE Agents. If true, it should be quite a show. But beyond the theatrics, we will hear in depth the President's plan. It is something everyone on both sides of the aisle should take seriously. Even those progressive haters who will stop at nothing to destroy this President.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

State of the Union under Trump

"I could not imagine what the State of the Union address would have been like if Hillary had won the election."

This coming Tuesday will be the State of the Union. I think the hardest thing the President will do this month will be to encapsulate everything which has happened this past year, and then shine the light on the path going forward. Why? There is so much to talk about in such a short amount of time.

Here is what I hopes he talks about:

  • OPEN FOR BUSINESS! - Oh, my goodness! What a year! The stock market took off after the election and has not looked back since. Let the good times roll! But it is not just about the market being up over 40% and setting almost weekly records. It is what is going on behind the curtain. Thousands of job killing regulations were killed last year. The President himself said on the first day he took office, he killed some very important ones. Then he took a two month hiatus. He and his team sharpened their focus. After that short hiatus, they have become a regulation killing machine. Are they done yet? Heavens no. To kill every needless regulation the Obama Administration promulgated will take months, if not years. 
  • Taxes - To go hand in hand with the point above, President Trump was able to get a historic tax bill signed into law. And it is a whopper. The President knew if he could get the corporate rate down to 21%, the floodgates would open. And they have. Trump was practically mugged in Davos by CEO's who wanted to once again take part in the American dream. Invest in America. Bring overseas back on shore. Not only has the corporate rate been slashed (I think that was the cornerstone), but also personal taxes for the middle class. Although I was hoping for more of a bold stroke on the personal taxes, all in all, I am satisfied.
  • ISIS - Trump vowed to drive ISIS out of Syria and Iraq and we are about 99% there. How did he do it? He let the generals be the generals. Is the job done yet? No - the Islamic State keeps popping up in different trouble spots. We do however, have them on the run.
  • Border Security - Better in 2017 than it was in 2016. Look for even more improvements in 2018 as "the wall" gets funded, chain migration gets curtailed, and the visa lottery ends. 
  • North Korea - Status quo. Has not gotten better, has not gotten worse.
  • ObamaCare- Congress wiffed on the first pitch last summer. Still and issue which needs to be fixed. The mandate however, was killed in the tax bill. Meanwhile, many people are still getting hosed with sky high premiums, deductibles and co-pays.
  • Education - On January 16th of this year, Education Betsy Devos proclaimed that Common Core is dead. Excellent! Now the next step Ms. Devos. Put yourself out of a job by killing this huge waste of space called the Department of Education. That would be a wonderful "looking ahead" goal for the President to share on Tuesday night. 
  • Military - Better, but not yet fixed. In the dark of night, I don't think many realize how badly Obama hurt our forces. It will take time and money to get them back to full readiness. The President is aware of this and has made it a high priority.
Every year at the State of the Union, the Democrats parade in someone to act as a pawn to suit their political purposes. This year it will be the "Dreamers". However, as the Democrats continue to play checkers, the President plays chess. Look for a surprise announcement on Tuesday night as it relates to the "Dreamer" issue.

How was 2017? For the most part, very good. The world stayed at peace (relatively), the stock market boomed, and hundreds of thousands of jobs were created. The unemployment rate for African Americans now stands at a historic low. For the most part, ANYONE who wants a job, can find one. Maybe not the best job, but a job nevertheless. 

I could not imagine what the State of the Union address would have been like if Hillary had won the election. Do you want to be thankful for something already this year? That would be a good place to start, Be thankful we have a President Trump and not a warmed over, crooked grifter like President Hillary. 


Friday, January 26, 2018

Medicine by robots

"Is this going to be the Brave New World? Is it going to be Skynet issue like in the Terminator series? Or is it going to be a solution to a huge problem we will be facing. Stay tuned - and be nice to your Alexa, Siri, Cortana, or what ever AI you are using!"

Better be nice to your AI. It might be remembering all those insults you have throwing at it just out of fun. Advances in the world of AI and robotics are really starting to roll. How so? How about robots as surgeons. In fact, I recently saw a Verizon commercial where the company said it is trying to develop a 5g network across the country. If they can do that, the network would be stout enough to have a surgeon in one city (remotely), direct a robot in another city's operating room. Far fetched? Maybe not.

Good or bad, this is where we are. We are in the final phase before we allow AI to take over what we have been guiding. What? Yes - we are remotely piloting drones into battle. It is working fine, thank you. But soon the drones will not need guidance from humans. They will be getting their guidance from on board AI. And it does not stop there.

With the graying of America, and the projected doctor and surgeon shortage, robotics might be the answer. With the recent advances in nanotechnology, tomorrow's robots could have skills better than the greatest doctors who have ever lived. Robots might be able to take the new non-invasive surgeries to a whole new level. Need a heart valve replaced? Bring an overnight bag. We will have you home tomorrow, not as good as new, but better than new.

The coming advances in medicine are going to be jaw dropping, for sure. Not for old fossils like me - but for my kids and for sure my grand kids. Not only will robots be operating on us - they might be getting their new "parts" for us by using 3D or 4D printing. Yes, that is in the hopper also. Using some of your DNA, a new part can be constructed which will be rejection proof. Heart transplants might become as common as having wisdom teeth extracted.

One final thing. I mentioned this before that in one of my former jobs I dabbled in robotics. It blew me away with how much technology was used! And that was in 1990! Robotics in 2020 (two years away), and robotics in 2030 is going to be like something out of a Issac Asimov novel. If we don't do something stupid, I think what is coming will be awesome.  

Is this going to be the Brave New World? Is it going to be Skynet issue like in the Terminator series? Or is it going to be a solution to a huge problem we will be facing. Stay tuned - and be nice to your Alexa, Siri, Cortana, or what ever AI you are using. Your future might be in their hands.

Crying wolf

"The irony is this. The better the news gets, the more the media hates our President. And the people who believe the plethora of fake news the media spews out, also hate our President." 

Many of us remember the Aesop Fable, The boy who cried wolf. Good story containing a good lesson. Which lesson? The penalty of not being a truth teller. Some people are natural "BS-er's". We have all known one or two in our life time. People who will tell a white lie, exaggerate, embellish, and so forth. Even the Bird has been accused once or twice with putting some spin on a good story. But there are people, and institutions, who we expect (or did at one time) to give us the unvarnished truth. Like the media. Like our government.

This morning headlines in the "fish wrap" this town calls a paper, is a good example of this. It was all about Trump trying to fire Mueller a few months ago. The story should have been about President Trump in Davos. About meeting with different CEO's who now want to invest in America. Or about Starbucks, this bastion of liberalism, who also wants to share its tax savings with its employees. Or more about Apple, how wants to invest $350B in our country. Nope - it was a story about firing Mueller. Which by the way - never happened. 

Did Trump consider firing Mueller? Maybe. But he didn't. And so what? Mueller, along with his crony Clinton loving staff, probably deserved to be replaced. But what is the truth right now? Is it is the paper? On cable news? We don't know, because the media has become the modern day version of the "boy who cried wolf". Because of the proliferation of "fake news", we don't know which is real and which is a lie. So many of us assume it is all lies.

The once great "fourth estate", a free press, has abused their power. They have become tabloid journalism. The once bright red line which separated the front page from the editorial page is now all but gone. We are bombarded with opinions, spin, assumptions and yes - lies. Whereas I used to enjoy leisurely paging through the paper in the morning, now I just give it a quick run through.

While the media continues to pedal fake news, Donald Trump is changing this country. Each day, every day, his Administration is righting the wrongs from the past Administration. In fact, the Trump Administration is righting the wrongs which go back many Administrations. 

The irony is this. The better the news gets, the more the media hates our President. And the people who believe the plethora of fake news the media spews out, also hate our President. And wither the media years down the road? Many of us believe down the drain. Right now? They are starting to circle the drain.     

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Washington parlour games continue...

"And one more thing. Getting rid of Donald Trump will solve nothing. The movement will continue. Which movement? MAGA, of course!"   

Our President has left for Davos, Switzerland to address the World Economic Forum. What is he going to tell this assembled group of statists and globalists? Come to America with your business. We are back, and we are developing (once again) the finest place on the globe to make a buck. Do more with less. High quality and under budget. Should be quite a show.

Meanwhile, back home, the parlour games continue. Last night I switched on CNN just to see their reporting on the Davos meeting. Nope. Instead they had the evil former general, James Clapper (I swear he now lives at CNN), talking trash about our President. He and Don Lemon (good name for a show which is a lemon) were having a love fest just imagining what could happen if Robert Mueller got the President in a room under oath. Oh, how the castle would crumble! 

Sorry CNN, MSNBC, Democrats and media. You are all talking into an echo chamber. As your sleazy hero once said when he got caught with this pants down (literally), "there is no there, there." You have been chasing ghosts and shadows now for over a year, and have basically come up with squat. In fact, besides being a terrible waste of time and taxpayer money, I think the President somewhat enjoys watching you chase your tails.

The other part of the parlour games however, is much, much more interesting. As has been suspected for years now, a deep state within our government exists. We first saw it under n the Justice Department under Fast and furious. Then the IRS with Lois Learner. Followed by the unlawful civilian surveillance at the NSA. To top it all off, the raft of unanswered questions from the State Department about the massacre at Benghazi. But that was then, and this is now.

What we are finding out is this - we might not only have a deep state, but also a developing shadow government. Two vital ingredients for a massive and intrusive swamp. How do we know this? Corruption. Lots of corruption, led by holdovers from the Clinton and Obama regimes. They are literal skunks in the national woodpile. But Trey Dowdy and others in Congress know the smell of skunks. They have learned the smell of skunks after spending years as federal prosecutors.

What is the future of these parlour games? More of the same. I am afraid that for the next three to seven years, this new axis of evil (other wise known as the media and Democrats) will stop at NOTHING to dethrone our President. And now that the skunks have made their smell known, patriots in Congress will do their best to root them out. 

What do see ahead? The great cleansing of our government. Expose the damage the deep state has done and then eliminate it. Stop the developing shadow government in its tracks. Fire people, jail people. Right the wrongs. And one more thing. Getting rid of Donald Trump will solve nothing. The movement will continue. Which movement? MAGA, of course!   

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The nightmare in Philly

"Worry not good people from Philadelphia, should you venture to Minneapolis a week from Sunday to see your precious Eagles play the hated Patriots, you will NOT be treated the same way."

Okay. I am now ready to address this issue. I could not address it the past two days for a multitude of reasons, one of which I was still pretty raw. I have followed the Eagles most of the season. I really liked this new upstart quarterback of theirs. Mostly because he came out of a no-name football school in North Dakota - and yet played the game like he was from a powerhouse like Alabama. I liked how the Eagles cut through the east coast teams like a hot knife through butter. And it surprised me not, that the number 1 and 2 seeds in the NFC would end up in the title game.

My former boss is from Philly. He took an assignment to work at a division in Minneapolis years ago, and that is where we met. We have maintained a friendship over social media, and I enjoy him as a friend. Of course, there was a bit of trash talk between us prior to the game. I think both of us thought the game would be a slug fest, not a massacre. However, my friend from Philly is NOTHING like we saw on display with the Eagle fan base.

I spent some time on the east coast during my working days. Okay - I spent a LOT of time on the east coast. I know people on the east coast are different than the folks in Minnesota. If you ever think "Minnesota Nice" is a fable, spend some time on the east coast. Whereas the folks on the east coast can be somewhat edgy, to out and out rude, most native born Minnesotans are just plain nice.

That being said, what I along with many witnessed from the Eagle fans before, during, and after Sunday night's game was beyond shocking. In fact, it was disgusting. If I was a native of Philadelphia (oddly referred to as "The City of Brotherly Love"), I would renounce my city citizenship. In other words, I would move. 

First off, the game Sunday night was a football game. Did I use the word "game". Yes - it was a GAME. Not war, a game. Next, watching sports is called sports entertainment. Did I say "entertainment"? YES! Prior to what I witnessed Sunday night, the worse example of Americanism I have seen in this country was from the Antifa protests and riots. This vulgar, crude, in your face behavior was beyond belief. How bad was it in the stands? After shelling out a tone of money to come to the game, one family from Minnesota left at halftime as they feared for their safety. Safety! At a game! At an entertainment venue!

Worry not good people from Philadelphia, should you venture to Minneapolis a week from Sunday to see your precious Eagles play the hated Patriots, you will NOT be treated the same way. Even though the folks in this town feel your behavior was boorish at best, we will show you nothing but the finest in hospitality. You will be treated as welcomed guests. You might want to bring something to write on so you can take notes on how this is done. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Blessed Assurance?

"Does the Senate Majority Leader give a blessed assurance? Not hardly."

A favorite hymn of many church going folks is the old stalwart, Blessed Assurance. This article is not about that hymn. It is about a different kind of assurance. The kind which has the Left all up in arms right now. The dreaded government shutdown is over, put to bed by a negotiation brokered by a nonpartisan group of Senators. And the lynch pin of the agreement was nothing more than an "assurance" by Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader. An assurance that in the next 17 days of the once again extended CR, the Senate would address the issue of DACA. 

There is so much to say about this issue, I hardly know where to start. So I will start from the beginning. The dreaded CR - Continuing Resolution. The stop gap measure we all love to hate, and yet are addicted to it like crack cocaine. During the campaign in 2016, just about everyone running for office vowed that the CR is going the way of the dinosaur. That in the past it was used as a stop gap, due mostly to lousy planning. Elect me however, and I PROMISE NEVER to let that beast control us again! Well it is January going into February, and we are still operating off of last year's extended budget.

Dare I say this? As most of us know, Government moves at the speed of a stuck glacier. Or worse. Now that the "deal" to open the government has allowed 17 days for everyone on Capitol Hill to get their poop in a group, it is almost laughable. If I were a betting man, I would over in Vegas betting the house that come 17 days from now, the next tranche of a CR will be signed into law.

Why can't our government operate like a business or even a household? Where every year a budget is established, and at least there is an effort to stick by it? Why does the government act like a bunch of bumbling idiots when it comes to signing a budget into law on time every year? Ready? We all know the answer, but I will say it anyhow. Way, way, way too much time off with way, way, way too much work to do on the plate. Mix in all the parlor games which are played in the Senate and you have the perfect recipe for many annual CR events.  

I saved the best for last. The blessed assurance everyone received from the Senate Majority Leader. The "trust me" move. Here is the only problem. Those who know and have worked with McConnell know him to be very slippery. Not just on the Democrat side - on both sides. So when the Senate Leader told the minions that "we will address it", what exactly does that mean? And by the way - the cornerstone issues to DACA are still there. The wall, chain migration, and the lotto system. 

Now I am going to be like Johnny Carson was when he put on his carnac hat. In 17 days, we will NOT have another government shut down. We WILL however, have another continuation on the CR. The Democrats will feel like jilted lovers, as Mitch will not deliver on a DACA "deal". To make the next CR work, the President, not Mitch, will have to be the promise maker. 

Does the Senate Majority Leader give a blessed assurance? Not hardly. I put Mitch's promises right up there with "under ObamaCare, we will all pay $2,500 less for health insurance". And that is bad.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

"Anchor Babies" and "Dreamers"

"Until we secure our borders, end chain migration, eliminate the visa lottery system, our 'dreamer' issue is bound to repeat. I really don't believe this is what our Founders had in mind for this country."

Yesterday I made a huge boo-boo on a post. I confused "anchor babies" with "dreamers". I was corrected gently by a friend of mine, and then not so gently (and rightly so) by someone I don't know, when she called my article "fake news". In reality, due to the magnitude of the error, it was "fake news". I issued a mea culpa on the article, and then on my FB page. But it is over, I have taken the article down (even though I corrected it), and it is time to move on.

But out of everything bad can come some good. It allowed me to think deeper about our immigration system. Why it is so confusing. Why it is so controversial. Coming into this country we have people who are legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers, chain migration, visa lottery, TPS (Temporary Protective Status), I-9 visa holders, student visa holders, and so forth. Is our immigration broken like so many on the Left believe it is? No, but we have sure made it about as complicated as it need be.

A word about "anchor babies", even though it is the "dreamers" right now which are getting all the press. Every now an again, the "anchor baby" issue pops up to the surface. Does our Constitution allow for anyone born on United States soil to be a citizen? Yes. Under the Fourteen Amendment, it does. This Amendment, originally penned in 1868, was part of reconstruction after the Civil War. It was to ensure former slaves were treated fairly - that they would be considered to be citizens. That WAS the intent.

Do you want to know how our immigration system has becomes so abused? Here is one example. A few years ago on a cable show, I remember people from two opposing sides discussing the "anchor baby" issue. First off, many on the Left hate that term. They think it is disrespectful. Then the discussion turned to the "unfairness" of breaking up families. Again, someone on the Left suggested that if a baby was born here, we should make all efforts to keep the family together. In other words, make the parents legal also, just to keep the family together. Not to have the entire family stay together by going back to their country of origin. Nope. The entire family stays together and stays here - legally.

So how do we fix the "dreamer" issue? These kids who were dragged across the border by illegal parents? How do we keep those families together? If we granted amnesty to those "dreamers", whose numbers range somewhere between 800,000 and 4,000,000, what about the rest of the illegal family? Can you already hear the Left clamoring to let all the family stay over here? Maybe even grandma and grandpa or aunts and uncles. Is this starting to sound a bit like chain migration?

Why is this issue so important to President Trump and the Republicans in Congress? That fixing the "dreamer" issue needs to be coupled with fixing some parts of our immigration system? Because they, like the rest of us, have seen this movie before. Until we secure our borders, end chain migration, eliminate the visa lottery system, our "dreamer" issue is bound to repeat. I really don't believe this is what our Founders had in mind for this country.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Terror in Washington!!!! (not really)

"2018 will be another year of the 'great reckoning'. Fixing what Obama broke. Obama's 'catch and release' policy is part of what got us into this mess."

Guess what kids? The federal government might shut down again. (Yawn....) Not to worry - I will not write about that boring subject. As most of us know, shutting down the federal government only shutters the National Parks (who cares in January?), and sends home "non-essential" workers (if they are "non-essential", they should stay home permanently).

No - I am going to address another issue this morning which pertains to our federal government. One which is not boring. One which has not happened before. California, the state many of us love to hate, is going to be ground zero for a constitutional showdown. Where the rule of law is going to be tested. Where the aegis of the "sanctuary city" will meet a real acid test. Yes California, the feds are coming to arrest and deport some of your illegal citizens. And you have promised to protect these illegals at all costs.

Last night I was at a political forum for candidates running for Governor. Guess what one of the topics was? Immigration - primarily, chain immigration. What it has done to this state. And with the chain immigration, comes more illegal immigration. And in the words of one candidate who has a military intel background, more terrorists come also.

True patriots know we have a big problem on our hands. What started out as a trickle, has now become a flood. And more and more citizens in this state are now shouting, ENOUGH! Some of the citizens in California might be saying the same. But their voices are being drown out by the ruling elite. Why? The ruling elite do not see it that way. More immigrants, legal or not, means more Democratic votes at election time. So California will try and protect these people at all costs from ICE. And ICE is just as determined to finally get a handle on this problem. 

Every now and again a story comes along which I believe has legs. This is one of them. Who is going to blink on this issue? Will it be peaceful? Will there be bloodshed? Will the courts (once again) get involved? All unknown at this time. But our President is firm on this issue. No more sanctuary cites. No more harboring law breakers. 

2018 will be another year of the "great reckoning". Fixing what Obama broke. Obama's "catch and release" policy is part of what got us into this mess. Now Trump needs to fix it. And fix it he will. Stay tuned - this might get very interesting, very soon. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Home schooling - menace or welcomed phenomenon

"Do we truly want real reform in education? And not just tinkering around the edges? Home schools, private schools, charter schools are the wave of the future. Costly and inefficient government schools? They are so very yesterday. Time to sunset them."  

Anybody else notice it as of late? If you are out and about during any day of the week, you seen more and more school age kids with their parents. It was at a time, when you would see that, it was only because the child had a day off of school or the child was sick. No longer. Some days we see kids with their parents all over the place.

One of the smartest things this country has done with education is allow our kids to be home schooled in all 50 states. And that happened a long time ago - in 1993. How has it been going? Well to start with, the number keeps growing all the time. In 2007 (eleven years ago) about 3% of all school aged kids (about 1.5 million) were home schooled (according to USA Today). That number today is undoubtedly higher.

How are they doing? The statists who live and breathe government education will argue this point. They will tell you home schooling is bad for kids. However, more neutral statistics speak differently. For example, one study shows that home schooled kids score about 72 points higher than traditionally schooled kids on the SAT tests. The average score for the ACT test for traditionally schooled kids is 21 out of 36 points. For home schooled kids it is 22.8 out of 36 points. Again higher. Finally home schooled kids are in the 77th percentile with the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. And that is a good place to be.

Okay. Those are just statistics, and we all know statistics can be selective or manipulated. So I will talk about my own experience. We have friends who have home schooled kids and they have turned out very well, thank you. High achievers. One of my friends I met in politics has a son she has home schooled for years. I have watched this young man grow up. He is not only excellent with his social skills, he is very, very smart. Plus (and this a big one), he has been exposed to many experiences (thanks to his Mom), that he would have never received in a traditional school setting.

One more observation which many of us have seen. Many schools have turned into low achieving, low expectations bastions of liberalism. "How do you feel", more than what do you know. Personally, I hate how our public schools have turned out. I really do. When I was in the ISD 281 school district in MN, schools were good - very good. Now they are good primarily for social engineering.

We don't need expensive brick and mortar schools anymore. K-12, graduate and post-graduate can all have a good portion of the teaching done online. For younger kids, home schooling is excellent as with the parent's tutoring, experimental learning is the name of the game. And if not home schooling, private or charter schools. If you want to really talk about "no child left behind", nothing says it better than non-government schooling. 

I have said for years now that education is the lowest fruit on the tree when it comes to cutting spending. Millions upon millions could be cut, and yet get better results. Using today's teaching methods at home, we can educate our future generation better, and at a fraction of the cost. Learning how to learn from computer based teaching will prepare these kids for graduate and post-graduate learning from a laptop - not a class room. 

Do we truly want real reform in education? And not just tinkering around the edges? Home schools, private schools, charter schools are the wave of the future. Costly and inefficient government schools? They are so very yesterday. Time to sunset them.  

Yellow Dogs and Yellow Republicans

"You can disagree with a candidate and disagree respectfully."

I have heard said many times the worst enemy most Republicans face is other Republicans. Sometimes in a rush to perform some kind of litmus test, we can tar and feather, and then dissect one of our own. How bad can it get? Real bad.

Even the former MN GOP Chair did it, and did it with gusto. He went after his Deputy Chair, hammer and tong. It went way beyond a policy difference - the former MN GOP Chair was out to politically destroy his Deputy. And (this is the amazing part), both the former MN GOP Chair as well as his Deputy were on the same side of the political divide. With friends like that...

One of the few things (make that very few) that I respect about the Democrats is their ability to salute the party flag once a candidate is chosen. Sure, they can fight like dogs and cats until someone wins the endorsement. After the endorsement however, differences do not matter anymore. Democrats could nominate Bozo the Clown, and 100% of the party faithful would fight like heck for Bozo to win. If Bozo were good or bad for America, simply does not matter - Democrats would still support Bozo. These Democrats are once were called "Yellow Dogs". Why? They would vote for a yellow dog if the dog ran on the Democrat ticket.

Yellow Republicans (my term), not so much. They can show the same hatred and vitriol that Democrats show towards Republicans. Sometimes more so. They only problem is the Yellow Republicans shower their hate on fellow Republicans instead of Democrats. 

A couple years ago, a young friend mine was just getting into politics. He witnessed some of this vitriol shown by Republicans towards other Republicans and was very bewildered. He asked me why our party fights so much. Why we still fight when one candidate is endorsed and it is "game on" for the general election. He asked if this hurt our party. I told him it did.

You can disagree with a candidate and disagree respectfully. I have had disagreements with my Congressman as well as other of my representatives. We have discussed those disagreements (respectfully). We hear each other out. That is the way the system is suppose to work. Yellow Republicans on the other hand, take disagreements to social media. They don't want to discuss differences face to face with a representative. Rather, they try to cut the heart out of one of our own. 

As I explained to my young friend, this is how the system is supposed to work. If you don't care for the representation you are receiving from a candidate, before the next election cycle, either support someone running against that person, or run against that person yourself. Start with the caucus system, and then forward to the endorsement cycle. Then the debates can happen. Whichever candidate has the best ideas usually gets the endorsement. Then (baring a useless and expensive primary), it is on to the general.

I don't really give a rip how the Democrats run (or ruin) their business. That is up to them. I do care how we act. I have grown very tired of the snipers in the weeds. I have grown weary of Yellow Republicans. Some think these very visible purity tests are good for the party. Some think having Jeff Flake get up on the Senate floor and say President Trump is no better than Stalin is good for the party. I say no to both. 

I have a lot of respect when those who disagree with a elected official, then will contact that representative and voices those concerns. I have limited, or no respect for those who go on social media, and then rip to shreds elected officials on our side. Just saying...

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Help wanted - NOW!!!

"The brave new world is upon us. The new opportunities are just starting to show green sprouts. There is money to be made, jobs to be created, opportunities to be chased."

Okay young folks. Looking for a career with a future? Oh, there are going to be lots to chose from. BUT - one which is right around the corner, is connected with the new direction the auto industry is going in. ICYMI, I did an article earlier this week about the rapid changes coming in cars. Not just a design change, but a fundamental change on how they will run. The world is going electric on vehicles, that is a certainty, and the logistics to support that change will be sprinting like crazy to catch up with that change.

Today, I attended a monthly political luncheon event. On the way home, I stopped at my auto dealership to get a slow leak in a tire fixed. While I was waiting, I was standing outside enjoying this 20 degree warm-up. I noticed the dealership (a very large one), still had only one charging station for the Volt. I asked one of the people on the sales floor if they we aware in five years, GM was planning on having 20 new models which will be 100% electric. In those five years (and the other car manufacturers are also joining the crowd), we are going to need a boat load of new charging stations to service these cars. 

How many charging stations will be required all over town, on the road, and in most garages? Millions. Maybe tens of millions. So opportunity is there. To be able to have the capacity to manufacture as well as install these stations. These are HUGE opportunities in this developing market. Then (and this is also a big one), is the juice. Will we be able to produce enough electricity at an affordable price to charge all these cars? And how will we produce this electricity? Bring back coal? Nukes? Oil? Wind? Solar?

This is something I can tell you right now is going to be a big problem. The industry has made the choice (and the financial commitment) to evolve from gasoline to electric. And in five years, we will be in the smack dab middle of this change. We better (as a nation), come up with a plan on how this will work. If we don't, we are going to have a whole bunch of electric cars sitting idle and people being stuck in their homes. 

One more thing. As we are starting to phase in the charging stations, we also need to start phasing out gas stations. This change on how we keep our vehicles running is going to be HUGE - MASSIVE. How is it going to work? Pay attention youngins. This is your opportunity to excel and shine. This is virgin territory where there is no plan, no cookbook. You will able to shape the future by the way you solve this opportunity (and problem).

The brave new world is upon us. The new opportunities are just starting to show green sprouts. There is money to be made, jobs to be created, opportunities to be chased. It is now 2018. The clock is ticking. If we don't grab the future, someone else will. 

Move over Gipper! We have some new Teflon here!

"If Trump was a Democrat instead of a dastardly Republican, the Left would already be prepping Mount Rushmore for a fifth sculpture." 

What is wrong with that Donald Trump guy??? Turns out - not much. He has become the new version of the Teflon President. He has even "less stick" on himself than Ronald Reagan had. And the funny part for us on the Right is this - whereas Ronald Reagan had the Left mesmerized with his affable nature and quick wit, Donald Trump has the Left spinning in circles.

Since it is Muhammad Ali's birthday today, I will somewhat quote him. While the MSM has been trying to tag the President with a knockout punch, Donald Trump has been "floating like a butterfly and can sting the press like a bee." In other words, the press cannot lay a glove on him.

Yesterday, the President's doctor gave a presser on the results of 45's first physical while in office. This was the moment the press had been waiting for. The Russian thing kind of went flop, the corruption thing never materialized, and the "palace drama" in the White House has been a bust. But the physical! Now is when they are going to really nail him. Get that copy of the 25th Amendment ready, because now they can use it! Trump is going to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, bad joints, obese, and most of all - he will prove to be a "dotard". 

What the what just happened? This President who is suppose to be five minutes from a heart attack or stoke is in excellent health (for a 71 year old man). He whizzed through the cognitive test and passed the rest of the physical just fine, thank you. His resting BP is 122/78 (okay - I am very jealous of that!) and his eyesight is so good, he does not even need to wear glasses (jealous again). 

Donald Trump continues to play the press just like a master musician plays an instrument. And Trump's Press Secretary? Wow! Sarah Sanders is better than excellent! She handles the daily press briefings like Diggs handles a fourth down pass from Case Keenum. Donald Trump has brought Teflon back to the White House. We have not seen it since the Gipper left. But it is back now. Will that stop the MSM from trying to break through that Teflon? Na! But they will keep trying, and POTUS will continue to make them look like fools. 

One more thing. While the attacks on this Administration keep coming in, stuff keeps happening. The stock market hit 26,000 for the first time this week, and the economy continues to roar along. Even though Trump has not won over the African American community as yet - he should have. The unemployment rate in that community is at a 45 year low. If Trump was a Democrat instead of a dastardly Republican, the Left would already be prepping Mount Rushmore for a fifth sculpture. 

One more thing. Thanks to CNN, the most commonly used word this month is "shit hole". If Trump said it, or did not say it, "shit hole" has become the most commonly used word since "covfefe". Once again, Donald Trump plays the Left like a violin - and his Teflon coating continues to do just fine.    

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Plugged in for the future...

"The gas tax will probably go out the window. It won't be nearly enough to keep our roads in good repair. Get ready for a usage tax."

Wow! This new year is barely a half a month old, and I have already read two articles about how our auto industry is in the beginning stages of a massive change. How big of a change? A total change. Some blame China. After their proclamation that soon all non-electric cars will be banned from their roads, it set the US auto makers into a frenzy. By the way - California might also do the same. The change over to electric cars, which was going to take decades, is now only going to take years.

By 2023, General Motors has plans to introduce 20 new electric models. 20! And Ford also has plans to introduce 13 new electric models, including an F-150 electric truck. It is not just Ford and GM - just about every auto maker on this planet is following suit. Where at one time it was just the Chevy Volt and the Tesla, in five years there will be a wide variety of electrics to choose from. 

As if this revolution in the auto industry will not be massive enough, it will also be happening right on top of another equally massive (or more so) revolution. That would be the self-driving car revolution. Just this month, GM unveiled a concept car on what their version of a self-driving car might look like. Think it looks weird? Get used to it. We will be seeing a lot of weird looking autos being produced in the next 10 years. 

With every improvement however, comes challenges. And these challenges will be huge. The new batteries which will power all these cars are still being refined. Currently, some auto batteries will go up to 300 miles on a charge, but most are still down in the 200 mile range. These batteries need to be at least doubled, or tripled. Long lasting and quick charging will be the name of the game.

The gas tax will probably need to go out the window. It won't be nearly enough to keep our roads in good repair. Get ready for a usage tax. Most believe this usage tax will incorporate a GPS system which will report your miles and location to some governmental taxing authority. Hello, big brother!

I would be remiss if I did not bring this up again. With this projected (and very massive) change as to what we drive, and how we drive (or don't, as in driver-less cars), why in the Sam Hill are we still pouring billions into transportation which runs from a fixed location on a fixed schedule? Yes, I am talking about choo-choo trains. We ALL need to be ALL IN to make this electric revolution work. To take money away from getting our infrastructure ready for driver-less cars, and then pour that money into a rail system which few, if any will ride, is a fool's errand of biblical proportions. 

What? Some are saying right now they don't want to drive an electric car, and they sure don't want one which drives itself? Not to be the bearer of bad news, but those folks need to get with the program. The wave will overtake all of us. The future is coming and in some ways, the future is already here. We need to get plugged in for the future. Much more on this subject coming soon.  

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hello Vikings - welcome to history!

"Welcome to history Vikings. Win, lose or draw next weekend, the 'Minneapolis Miracle' will be talked about for years, and years, and years. My only comment? SKOL!!!!" 

Back when I was a newlywed, and just starting out in the working world, my Dad was also still working. He worked as a Purchasing Director for a manufacturing firm in St. Paul. Back then, the rules for gifting were more lax, so my Dad would occasionally get free tickets to the Vikings or Gophers. My parents had no desire to go to the games, and put up with rowdy fans - but my wife and I did. We went to as many Viking games as we could out at the old Met Stadium. The Gophers - not so much. They kind of sucked back then (sure glad that has changed!). 

One of the more memorable games we went to during the age of the Purple People Eaters was a cold December playoff game in 1975. Yes, it was the now infamous "Hail Mary" game. This game is still being talked about in Dallas. It was that big. And (by some of the older Viking fans) it is still being talked about in Minnesota. How Drew Pearson got away with a flagrant push off on a Minnesota defender and made a miracle catch on a desperation fourth down Hail Mary pass from Roger Staubach. It was the 50 yard catch which broke purple hearts for decades.

The 1975 "Hail Mary" pass ranked right up there with the "Immaculate Reception" from the 1972 Steeler/Raider AFC Playoff game. As famous as Franco Harris was before the catch, this play solidified his place in football history. Two great catches, in two critical playoff games. That is until yesterday. Now we have added one more. The one which many are now calling the "Minneapolis Miracle". 

There are so many things that were right about how the game turned out yesterday. First, it helped right a huge wrong from 1975. The Vikings got royally screwed by Dallas on that "Hail Mary" pass. Now all the Vikings fans can think about is the "Minneapolis Miracle". Next, it happened against the Saints, who "mugged" Bret Favre in the 2010 NFC championship playoff game in New Orleans in 2010. The Saints played so dirty, they should have been barred from playing in the Super Bowl, and that honor should have gone to the Vikings.

In any event, that was then, and this is now. The only thing which could have made yesterday even sweeter, is if the Dirty Birds had beat the Eagles. We would have then played Atlanta AT HOME for the NFC championship next Sunday. We could have settled one more playoff score from the past. 

Welcome to history Vikings. Win, lose or draw next weekend, the "Minneapolis Miracle" will be talked about for years, and years, and years. My only comment? SKOL!!!! 

The coming era of the climbers and the coasters

"We can look forward to the next age with dread or anticipation. I would like to think of it as the later. Opportunities will abound."

Heads up kids. The party is almost over. I know - during the age of Obama it was cool to follow your muse. Do what you want, when you want, and the nanny state will provide. The workforce participation level dipped to historic lows and unemployment was often times referred to as "funemployment". In other words, being out of work went from a stigma to a benefit. Buckle up - there is a change in the economic wind coming. 

I have reading more and more articles about the upcoming labor shortage in this country. How bad is it going to be? Many employers which need higher tech skills are starting to lobby Washington for more I-9 Visas. Yes, we are still producing some of our kids who want to "climb". Those who will put in the elbow grease and late nights to get the right type of training and or degrees. However, the numbers to fill those new high tech jobs are not there. Our problem is too low of a birth rate, as well as we still have too many young folks who want to "coast".

Now don't get me wrong - all work is honorable. But this country, as well as the rest of the civilized countries in the world, are getting ready for the next leap forward. And that leap is going to happen in the next seven years. For the "climbers", who really want to be major players in this next industrial revolution, the welcome mat is out. For those who want to remain "coasters", the vertical opportunities will become fewer and fewer. Plus - be prepared to see more and more folks coming here from India, China, Japan and points west. These are the new immigrants who will fill the jobs which we will not be able to.

I have said this before. If you know a young person, the best advice you could give him or her is to 1) get trained and or educated, and 2) stay nimble. The staying nimble part is almost as important as the training part. Why? Many of the jobs on the new frontier are not even jobs yet. They don't exist. But they will. 

One more thing about the coming labor shortage. In some areas, it is already here. Don't think so? Try going in ANY fast food outlet without seeing a help wanted sign. Just about any department store. People can say they are not going to take employment at a low skilled job until it pays $15/hour. To those people I would tell to wake up and smell the coffee. First off, $15/hour is only $30,000/year. Not nearly enough to live on. Next, I would tell them they will cut off their noses despite their faces. Many employers cannot afford to pay that much for low skilled labor and will phase those jobs out.

We can look forward to the next age with dread or anticipation. I would like to think of it as the later. Opportunities will abound. Some opportunities will be low fruit on the tree. That is - for those who want to climb, will grab them. The coasters however, will have to settle for what little falls on the ground.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Is nuclear war really that close?

"Yesterday the very blue state of Hawaii got a wake up call. I would hope the rest of our nation did also. Do we want to live under this (mushroom) cloud, or do we want to do something about it?"

Back in the Cold War days (which now seems so long ago) a standing joke was if the civil defense alarms went off, warning of an impending nuclear strike, we had only minutes to react. So the joke was instead of doing the "duck and cover" as we did in grade school during drills, we were to bend over and "kiss our sweet ass good-bye". Why? Because there was really nothing else you could do. We were all going to be toast (literally).

Yesterday in Hawaii, the good residents (as well as the many tourists this time of year), had a unwelcome dose of deja vu. Early in the morning when most folks were planning out their Saturday, an unbelievable message came across the media as well as the internet. Hawaii had just minutes before a ballistic missile arrived. Then for almost 40 minutes, time stopped for the people who saw that message. Things became real and surreal at the same time. Had the Norks really done it? Were we now at war? Were many about to die?

What happened yesterday was both good and bad at the same time. First off, the butt head who pushed the wrong button should be pushed out his or her comfy government job. Like today. Next, it really showed how ill prepared we are for an event like this. This should have been (as the educators say), a teachable moment. People had absolutely no clue what to do. Some were lowering their kids into sewers. Anything to get away from a blast radius. But for most of the folks, there would have been just a blinding light, and then silence.

Here is a news flash for our federal government. We don't want to live this way. We don't want to live on the precipice of some kind of nuclear holocaust. General Keane was on the news yesterday. He said having a nuke on a ballistic missile and pointed at us (like the Norks say they do), is an absolute provocation. (My words now)...We have every right to go into North Korea and neutralize this threat. The same goes for Iran.

Will we have another nuclear war at some time? I think we will. Why? Ever since 1945 when the nuclear genie was let out of the bottle, it became only a matter of time before some unstable regime or terror group unleashes a nuke or nukes. The United States had done a TERRIBLE job in the past in allowing the proliferation of nukes by unstable countries. Hello Pakistan, North Korea, and soon - Iran. We have nobody to blame but ourselves for this mess.

Yesterday the very blue state of Hawaii got a wake up call. I would hope the rest of our nation did also. Do we want to live under this (mushroom) cloud, or do we want to do something about it? Like I say, it is only a matter of time when this message will come across the media again, followed shortly by that blinding light - and then silence.