Saturday, March 31, 2018

Happy Easter from the Bird!

Because this is the end of Holy Week, that special time between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, I will have no new postings. Yesterday, I re-posted one of my favorites - "Around the Bend Gently". To me, this week, especially these three days, are a time for reflection. Are there things going on which I could address right now? That and more. But they can wait. Right now it is the time to reflect on the event which changed the world for everyone for evermore. 

If you are with friends and/or family this weekend, enjoy the time. If you are not, you are still not truly alone. Even though it looks a whole lot more like Christmas than Easter, have a blessed day tomorrow. And to quote my good friend Jack, tell someone in your family you love them. I know I will.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

300 Sheriffs

"Will the President be alone on this? No - he will have 300 sheriffs watching his back. And the patriots (as usual), will be watching the sheriff's backs."

Put 300 sheriffs in a room together, and see if there is ANYTHING they can agree on. Seems there might be. 300 sheriffs from all over the country have gotten together and signed a letter to Congress. Did it ask our law makers to take it easy on illegals? You know, like they are doing in California? Nope. It said "BUILD THE DAMN WALL!

Why in the world should sheriffs give a rip about some dang 30 foot wall on our southern border? When many who signed this letter are not even from border states? Because they are the stable hands of those who have to clean up the manure from the politicians. They are the ones who have seen these criminal aliens come over the border over and over and over again. And with recrimination from local politicians, they are let go. 

One sheriff was on the cable news today, asked about this letter. 'We have been waiting 20 years for Washington to do something, but it seems many are more concerned with illegals than legals". Bingo times 10 sheriff! Why should we put up with the steady stream of fence jumpers, gang members, drug runners, and sex traffickers? When they arrive illegally in this country, they are shuttled to one of our major cities, some to cause havoc. When the sheriff's apprehend them, often times they see they are frequent flyers. Sometimes as many as ten times over our porous border.

It is nice to know after eight years of "catch and release", we now have a President with some testicular fortitude. Want to come to our country? Show us what you have to offer. Show us you can contribute. Show us you can assimilate. Too harsh? Sorry. Then try going to Australia. I have been there on a visa. I had to open my financial kimono wide. Why? Just in case I overstayed my visa and wanted to stay there.

President Trump is in his first full year as our President. Much has happened, much has been accomplished. For what he is frustrated with (the rest of the Wall funding), he will continue to reach out to the American people. Will the President be alone on this? No - he will have 300 sheriffs watching his back. And the patriots (as usual), will be watching the sheriff's backs.

The credo I want to live by...

"My two heroes in life were my Dad and Ronald Reagan. Both were simply great in dealing with other people. Even though many on the other side of the aisle disagreed with President Reagan's policies, most everyone liked him."

The Lenten Season is always a good season for reflection. I know it is for me. Where have I been, where am I going, what have I done, and what is left for me to do. All good questions for self-reflection. I think these can all be summed up by one question - am I on the right track?

In these days of sharp and divisive disagreements, it is easy to paint others with a broad brush. Also, it is easy for others to paint us with a broad brush. Sometimes when you hear what others thing of us, it hurts more than helps. But out of that hurt often times comes growth. 

Many folks I have known in the past would gloss over feedback from others by saying, "Oh, I don't give a rip what they think of me." True confessions - I do. Even though I may have disagreements with others (mostly political in nature), I want to be a fair arbiter. I really do try not to offend, and if I do offend, I take that as a personal failure on my part. 

Now that the endorsement conventions are over, and the district and state conventions are coming up, political sparing will be in full season. One of my good friends always counsels to "disagree, agreeably". Amen to that. Saying hurtful things to people who are on the other side of the political spectrum does nothing to win the day, does nothing to win the argument. All it does is cause deeper bitterness and deeper divisions.

The candidate I am supporting for Governor has only one criticism which I have heard from more than one person - he is too nice. How many of us would give their eye teeth to have that same criticism? I know I would. And by the way, being nice does mean you are meek or weak. Not a bit. You can still be stronger than steel with your resolve and nice at the same time. 

I have said this before. My two heroes in life were my Dad and Ronald Reagan. Both were simply great in dealing with other people. Even though many on the other side of the aisle disagreed with President Reagan's policies, most liked him. And President Reagan, as well as my Dad, liked people - a lot.

The Easter gift which was given to us was life everlasting. All we need do is believe in the redemptive power of the risen Jesus, love God, and love others. Sometimes the loving others means loving, not necessarily having to like.

This my credo is simply this. Some say my weakness, others say it is my strength strength. I really do like most everyone I meet. It has not always been that way with me. Often times, it was just the opposite. But God has opened my eyes to the goodness in people, and taught me to accept and ignore their faults.

I know, I know. Many right now are thinking I have a long way to go to live by that credo. And they are right - I do. I am just a work in progress. What I can do is this - each day, every day, try to do better than the last day. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Join the NRA!

"The battle for our rights is real and non-stop. I have said this before, the NRA is like the Little Dutch Boy with his finger in the dike. Help the NRA help us. $30 is peanuts for what we get in return."

Last weekend on Fox and Friends, Pete Hegseth was so outraged by the student march about disarming America, he sent some money into the NRA. Why is that such a big deal? Anyone paying attention yesterday saw the Left let slip their real intentions. And it had to come from a 97 year old former Supreme Court Justice. 

Justice Stephens believes the Second Amendment should be repealed. Let that sink in for a minute. Repealed. Done away with. The guardian of our other liberties - gone. Why would he say that? Number one, he is a bleeding heart liberal. He was the BIG MISTAKE that President Ford made. Second, Stephens believes that the Second Amendment is an anachronism - a relic of the 18th century. 

Stephens then continued to babble on. He talked about what a mistake the Heller Case was. For gun nuts like me, that was a pivotal case. That case gave legs to the Castle Doctrine. Without the Heller case and the resulting Castle Doctrine, anytime someone broke into your house to rob, injure or kill you, you would just be a patsy. He said (in so many words), the Heller case gave the NRA the swagger it has today, to be obstructionist in any proposed gun legislation. Without the Second Amendment, much of the NRA's power goes away.

Bingo! Thank you Justice Stephens! You just revealed the prize inside the box! Most of us gun nuts already suspected that total disarmament was the ultimate objective. "Oh, no - we are not against guns. We just need better background checks and a ban on military type assault weapons. That is it" Right. Sure. Not one inch we will give. The slope is very slippery and we know the final objective. The only change I would like to see in our gun laws is Constitutional Carry enacted in every state. 

Right now, only somewhere between 5% and 10% of all legal gun owners are members of the NRA. If you are part of the 85% to 90% who are not members, please consider joining - today. If you don't own a gun and never will, yet still believe in our Second Amendment, please consider joining. For $30/year, you can help us fight off the gun grabbers. And if you live in Minnesota, consider joining Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.

The battle for our rights is real and non-stop. I have said this before, the NRA is like the Little Dutch Boy with his finger in the dike. Help the NRA help us. $30 is peanuts for what we get in return.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Are kids off limits?

"To answer the question, should kids be off limits? My answer is yes. So long as they don't cause havoc and help find real solutions instead. As my old boss would say, 'Don't throw a bag of manure out the front window unless the back window is rolled up'. Don't know that means kids? Think about it."

It does not seem that long ago, when someone was running for office, his or her family was off limits. Of course, the candidate's family stayed in the wings and never tried to steal the spotlight. For Presidents up until we had Slick Willie, the President's wife and kids were seldom seen except for ceremonial purposes. But then we had "I am not the type just to stay home and bake cookies!" With the unelected Hillary mucking with our health care, all bets were off the table. 

I don't feel bad in the least that Hillary let herself come under fire when she was supposed to only be the First Lady. It was her husband who first set the table. Remember? "With the Clintons, you get two for the price of one". Okay. But that is not what the Constitution says. But who cares these days, if your favorite color is blue.

The children and professional actors who have been protesting since the high school shooting in Florida are starting to get slammed on social media. Many on the Left are crying foul and "Unfair!" Well, here is the bottom line. Those on the Right are trying to fix this problem. Find the root cause and get rid of it. Those on the Left are using kids to be their pawns. To set an agenda. To get a good wedge issue for November. Thus, when brainwashed kids come after innocent, law abiding patriots, mega pushback is the logical result.

I don't know if Gonzalez and Hogg (as well as some others), are smelling a big paycheck  by getting in thick with the party apparatchiks. I would like to think they are not. The sage advice I would give to them (should they ever listen), is get out of the limelight. Then, help the citizens find viable solutions to this problem. Attacking the Second Amendment AND the NRA are not solutions. If you bite the NRA, the NRA is are going to bite back. The country and our freedoms are too important not to.

To answer the question, should kids be off limits? My answer is yes. So long as they don't cause havoc, and help find real solutions instead. As my old boss would say, "Don't throw a bag of manure out the front window unless the back window is rolled up". Don't know that means kids? Think about it.

The real story on guns in America

"Bottom line kids, stop being 'useful idiots' and try being useful citizens instead. Learn true American history. Learn civics. Learn how our government works. We are ready to march with you kids, once you learn the real issues which need to be fixed in our great country." 

Many of us have read Mona Charen's book Useful Idiots. In that book, she tells the origin of that term. No, it is not something derogatory said by "zealots" on the Right about sheeple on the Left. It really does however, have to do with many on the Left. The ones who take their radicalism so far, it mimics socialism - or worse. These "intellectual types" which willingly strayed over to the dark side, have been referred to as "useful idiots" by communists starting as far back as the 1940's. 

Watching the march by some of the kids this past weekend, made me think of that term. The march was probably funded by the usual suspect Lefties who are just itching for a fight. The march had many of these kids dancing on the end of strings, like they were the marionettes, and Soros and Steyer were the marionettists. 

Why would I say such a thing? Have I no heart? I sure do. And as I have said before, nobody HATES school shootings more than people us on the Right. By the way, that includes the NRA. We want our soft targets (like schools) hardened, until we can fix the real culprit behind these shootings. Hint - it is not the gun, nor the bullets, nor the magazine, no matter what the size. 

As horrible as school shootings are, they are rare compared to what is happening in Chicago. I will only use Chicago as it is the city getting all of the attention for their out of control gun violence. How bad is it? Listen up kids - this is for you. It is not even April 1st yet, and already there have been close to 500 people shot in Chicago - with 100 of those being killed. Young people in Chicago (especially those of color) are told not to expect to live a normal or long life. Who is marching for those young kids? Who live each day, every day with this type of horror? 

Who is marching for the slaughter of the unborn? According to the CDC, almost 2,000 innocent babies die every day due to abortion. This is thought by many to be the most egregious crime ever committed in this great country. I am one of those who believes that to be true.

Here is the real story kids. The vast, vast majority of legal and trained gun owners in this country are as innocent and harmless as a lamb. They have gone through background checks to get their permits. They keep their guns properly secured. They are not the enemy, they are not the problem.

Our Second Amendment, the great protector of our other Amendments, is also not the problem. Your demonizing of, and protests against, the NRA and the Second Amendment are in vain.

However, if you want our support in your protestations, try protesting the following:

  • Roe v. Wade - the mass murder of millions of our very young
  • Unchecked violence by thugs and outlaws in our big cities
  • Criminal alien gangs such as MS-13 who are terrorizing our citizenry
  • Un-diagnosed and untreated mental illness which have plagued many of our school shooters. 
Bottom line kids, stop being "useful idiots" and try being useful citizens instead. Learn true American history. Learn civics. Learn how our government works. We are ready to march with you kids, once you learn the real issues which need to be fixed in our great country. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Building the Wall

"Do I think The Wall will be built in the near future? Absolutely - the very near future. 'Don the builder' will make this happen. And true to form, it will be built under budget and in record time. Count on it."

Today is the day. This is the day President Trump promised us The Wall would get started. Even though Congress tried to pull a fast one on the President by only giving him a fraction of his funding, plus some caveat stating the parsimonious funding authorized will NOT be used for The Wall, but instead a fence, Trump has a plan. Sooner or later the Washington establishment will realize that they are out maneuvered at every corner by our CEO turned President.

First off, let's go back a few years and review the bidding. Why do we need The Wall? Is this just a stunt? Some campaign trail nonsense? Let's look at this more closely.

We have at least four big problems on our southern border:

  • Drug runners - the vast majority of our illegal drug trade comes into this country via the southern border. And that number is huge - we seize over 1,000,000 pounds of illegal drugs each year on the border. The DEA figures that to be only 10% to 15% of the trade. Tens, maybe hundreds of billions of our dollars go back across the border to enrich the drug cartels - the cartels which sell us this illegal poison.
  • Human and Sex Traffickers -  Many of the migrants who are smuggled into this country by human traffickers end up paying their debt by getting into crime or prostitution. This is a horrible situation as it often involves children. But the traffickers don't care - these are not humans, they are just a commodity. Human and sex trafficking has gotten way out of hand in the past few years. It is a real stain on our society.
  • Terrorists - In 2017, over 2,500 people suspected of having terror connections were denied entrance into the United States. True, many of those encounters happened at our airports - but some also happened on the southern border. The fact remains this - if is terrorist wants into our country, he or she will use the easiest and safest way possible. Right now that is our large and vulnerable southern border.
  • Criminal Aliens - We all know the issue of the gangs sneaking over the border and setting up shop in our country. Most famous (or infamous) of the gangs is MS-13. Right now it is a walk in the park to cross the border. For the sake of our inner cities being torn up by these thugs, we need to do something - now.

With any one of these issues, the President could declare a national emergency. Once he does that, he has certain powers at his discretion. He can build the wall using funds from the the military using a "borrow and replace" process. There are many sources of money the President could tap into. As we all know, there is no shortage of money in the Emerald City.

Do I think The Wall will be built in the near future? Absolutely - the very near future. "Don the builder" will make this happen. And true to form, it will be built under budget and in record time. Count on it.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Just happy to be here

"Bottom line - I am just VERY happy to be here today, and not in the hospital - or worse."

It was just this month I got into a big conversation with my Nurse Practitioner during my nephropathy treatment. We talked about falling, and how dangerous it is for anyone over 65. She told be the mortality and morbidity factors go up like a roman candle when one gets past 65. Bone density, brain fragility, joint weakness - she went on and on. It made it sound like our bodies become old rusting junkers. I told her ever since I had my fall 3 years ago (balance) before I started treatment, I have been very, very careful. She advised me that was good, as March in Minnesota is the top month for falls (re-freezing of ice). I told her I would be very careful. I wanted to keep my three year record of no falls going.

My fall yesterday was not due to my nephropathy - it was me missing the fact I was on a curb due to my bifocals. It was over in an instant - and it was a true "header". I have been told that is the worst kind of fall to have, regardless of age. I have re-played that fall many times in my mind. I had no business getting out of that fall as gently as I did. I should be in Mercy Hospital waiting to have dental surgery, facial reconstruction, or worse. 

This is the umpteenth time in my life the Hand of God has saved me from something worse. For those who do not believe in God, you may snicker. However, for those who believe, will know what I am talking about. Right after I fell, my wife feared for the worse. My head was dripping blood, my hands were a mess, but a quiet voice inside me told me I was okay to walk. I could get up. With a bit of help from my wife, I did. Then we walked over to the car. 

Once in the car, we could not get the head wound to stop bleeding. We really wanted to get down to Union Gospel Mission for the event we were going to attend. But then that quiet voice said, "you need to go to the hospital". It is a good thing we did. We needed medical help we could not do at home. 

This morning in church, we learned about how to keep growing in our faith. How God knows our potential much more than we do. How God has plans for us which far exceed our own plans. After yesterday, I felt once again that God has other things for me to do. Maybe great, maybe (and more probably) more modest. Yet, every plan is important to God. 

Bottom line - I am just VERY happy to be here today, and not in the hospital - or worse. God will call all of us home sometime, at his choosing. But until then, I need to do a better job in listening for the quiet voice. 

Some Fourth for some Second?

"No, besides my unscheduled fall yesterday, seeing America's youth spouting total ignorance about our founding and governing documents was a real bummer. Go back to school, and learn kids."

Yesterday was a very interesting day. For the most part good. I had a "bifocal accident" while stepping off a curb, and ended up with an unscheduled trip to the ER. Other than that, it was a good day. Well - there was one more thing which kind of put a damper on yesterday. Seeing almost a million kids gather to protest. Protest what? The Second Amendment and the favorite scapegoat of the Loony Left - the NRA.

Heard plenty of soundbites this morning on the news. Some by the potty mouthed, David "Hogg the Spotlight". Also some from that bald girl with the attitude, and some from the huddled masses. Yesterday was a picture perfect example of ignorance on display. First off - do I think these kids want school shootings stopped? Absolutely. We all do. Next, is the BIG MONEY from the Loony Left using these kids? Using them as pawns to develop a wedge issue for November? Duh!

Some very interesting comments from our "educated" youth. "Why do we need that dumb old Second Amendment anyway?" Or, "Ban guns and hunting." Or, "Why can't we just get rid of the Constitution and write a new one?" My favorite however, came from the Hogg man himself - "Any member of Congress getting who gets money from the NRA, get your resume up to date!" My version of Hogg's statement would have been somewhat different. "Any educator who has not taught our kids true American history AND civics, get YOUR resume up to date!"

Hogg was not done yet showing off his lack of education. When asked about the decision Parkland High School to have transparent backpacks, he bristled. "You can't do that! That is a violation of my First Amendment rights!" So Hogg does not give a rat's butt about the Second Amendment, but wants to protect the First? 

Then I had this thought. If we are going to cherry pick the Amendments, we can do that too. I know for a fact that many young people in crime ridden areas of large cities carry illegal weapons. There was a time when cops could stop and frisk youth who looked like trouble. A great many illegal guns were taken off the streets. Then the ACLU stepped in. "STOP! That is a violation of the Fourth Amendment!" True, it is. So to protect the sanctity of our Fourth Amendment, we now allow thugs to carry illegal guns. What do they do with them? Kill more young people in Chicago than in any of our combat zones. Did not see any of those protesters yesterday.

For those on the Loony Left, that's the deal. Want to tinker with the Second? Then the rest of us get to tinker with the Amendments we want changed. Like the First. Can't assemble and protest until you are at least 30. The Fourth. Police get to go back to a stop and frisk policy. Practice good old broken window policing. You see kids, we know how to play this game also.

No, besides my unscheduled fall yesterday, seeing America's youth spouting total ignorance about our founding and governing documents was a real bummer. Go back to school, and learn kids. Let us harden the schools to keep you safe. While you are learning, find out why the Constitution is really a contract between the people and their government. And the only "check and balance" in this contract is the Second Amendment. That is why the Founders put in "shall not be infringed". 

Until you learn that, (and I will use David Hogg's lingo), sit down and STFU!.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

A journey for the heart

"Whenever we are down there, I think of the worship song, 'Open the eyes of my heart Lord'. This is a great place to open the eyes of your heart. I know it does mine. To see up close, servant leaders acting as the hands and feet of Jesus. Should be a great day." 

Today we take what has become an annual trip into the depths of St. Paul. What - Winter Carnival? Nope - that is long over. We are going to visit an organization we have been teamed with for a few years now. And each year which passes, our passion to help this organization grows deeper. It is a place which does wonderful things to help those who are down on their luck, or less fortunate than most. That place is the Union Gospel Mission (UGM).

I have written about the UGM before. It is a food shelf on steroids. It is a safe place to stay when there are none others. It is a place to get some much needed dental work done at no expense. It is truly a place where the rubber meets the road. Where mission is not something which is talked about in the abstract - it is practiced there each day, every day.

Today is kind of a fun trip. As the Mission gets ready to host their annual Easter meal (and they do feed thousands), leading up to Easter they have an annual event called "Soup for the homeless soul". Anyone is invited to share a bowl of homemade soup and a bread stick or two with some of the regular guests. Local pottery artists are there, ready to sell made soup bowls, serving bowls, coffee cups, and so forth. All proceeds of course, go to fund he Mission.

One of the reasons we partner with the UGM is simply their size. Where they are located, the need is huge, and so is their facility. I have said many times, I have never seen an organization who can stretch a dollar further than the UGM does. For example, if you donate $200 for the Easter meal, that is enough to feed (a full meal) to over 100 people. Now THAT is getting a lot of bang for the buck!

One more thing about UGM. They are a full service stop. What they strive to do is to first feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, help the addicted, and minister to the hurting. But what they want most of all is to help get people back on their feet. Amazing things are done at the Mission each day.

Whenever we are down there, I think of the worship song, "Open the eyes of my heart Lord". This is a great place to open the eyes of your heart. I know it does mine. To see up close, servant leaders acting as the hands and feet of Jesus. Should be a great day. 

Friday, March 23, 2018

What is done is done.

"We are paying attention. We know who the reformers are, and who the swamp trolls are. And when November comes, we will know how to separate the wheat from the chaff." 

I know there are millions of patriots who are scratching their heads right now, wondering what just happened. I am one of them. I also know most of those millions of patriots are madder than a wet hornet. I am one of them. We feel let down, betrayed and somewhat lost. Our last great hope to get this swamp fixed just caved in, and signed a pork laden, bloated, most of it unnecessary, funding bill. That being said, please don't hang up when I say the following - what is done is done.

Why do I say that? I believe if it were not for Secretary Mattis, President Trump would have vetoed the bill. Am I blaming Mattis then? No. He did what he had to do. The Democrats, who for some reason always seem to come down on the wrong side of every issue, did not give two poops and a holler that the readiness level in our military is dangerously low. Mattis and the President knew what they needed to make up for years of readiness killing sequester - and the Democrats were not going to let them have it. They would filibuster the hell out of the bill until it died.

So the President was left with a no win decision. Veto the bill and risk having our military continue to decline, or sign this monster with more bells and whistles than a Christmas Tree. So this morning he signed it into law. 

There is an old saying in negotiations. Screw me once, shame of me. Screw me twice, shame on you. In other words, Schumer just got his Mulligan. There will be no more. From now on it is down and dirty. Trump put the Senate Majority Leader on notice that this type of bill would NEVER happen again. First he wants the Congress to give him line item veto. Then he wants the Senate rules changed so passage of this type of bill can be done with a simple majority instead of 60 votes.

The price to pay to get our fighting men and women a decent raise, to get more money allocated to training our troops, to maintain our aging equipment, to buy state of the art weaponry, was buried in a 2,200 page bill which was over a foot tall. It was a disgrace. Nobody read it. Just about anything could be buried in it, and now that is just tough toenails. Do you think Trump was being dramatic when he talked about the Washington Swamp? This morning you saw it up close and personal. It is as real as real gets.

Am I going to blame the President for this mess. Not a bit. Like I said, he was boxed in. Am I going to blame Congress? You bet your bippie - and I mean BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE! We are paying attention. We know who the reformers are, and who the swamp trolls are. And when November comes, we will know how to separate the wheat from the chaff. 

Monopoly money galore!!!

"Welcome to 2018 - where the November wave might have just changed from purple to blue."


t is raining money outside! I will say this much, nobody on Planet Earth can spend money the way politicians can. And why not? It is not their money - however, they might think it is. In any event, the GFY 18 spending bill passed the Senate last night and is on to the President's desk for almost a sure signature. Do we care what is in it? Na! Better question - do we even know what is in it? Na, again!

Don't worry however, it is not just the feds who know how to spend and waste your money. Minnesota does  pretty darn good also. How about that MNLARS? You know, the solution who first started looking for a problem, and then became the problem? Another $10M to fix this mess? I really would have expected the House, the controller of our tax money, to tell the Dayton Administration, "you broke it, you fix it". Tell them to take the money out of one of the other bloated pots.

In a church on Sunday, the congregation gives its tithes and offerings.  The money is supposed to go for the work of the Lord. If the church staff mismanages the money offered, either heads roll on the church staff, or people leave the church to worship someplace else. With our tax money, we are stuck. We are spectators on the side lines, strapped in straight jackets. There is nothing we can do other than watch our tax money being wasted.

Wait! There is something we can do! We can vote the bastards out! Really? And vote in who? The people who promise to fix our broken system? The people who promise to control spending? The people who told us in no uncertain terms they were going to drain the swamp? Been there, done that. Some of the most pious on the campaign trail turn into the biggest financial sinners once they get to Washington or St. Paul.

Today is not a good day for the party faithful. Why? Many have lost faith. And when the base loses faith, they disengage. And when they disengage, they stay home. And when they stay home, the Democrats win. Welcome to 2018 - where the November wave might have just changed from purple to blue. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Behold! The son of Porkulus has arrived!!!

"Do it right, get it right. Remember, you are on the Right. Failure to deliver will result in a failure to get re-elected. Joking? No, just a fact." 

Sorry to report on this. The Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, is no longer with us. He has been abducted by a UFO, taken to a far away planet, and replaced with some kind of out of control robot. BTW, the same thing happened to Senate Leader McConnell. How do I know this? Did I hear from the aliens? Nope. I could tell these robots who replaced Ryan and McConnell are fake. The REAL Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would NEVER put a 2,200 page, $1.3T omnibus spending bill on the floor for a vote.

Some might think that this a joke. That our Republicans would parade around acting like Democrats. The best part of this bill? It shows the base, they wasted their vote in 2016. A time long, long ago - Republicans stood for fiscal sanity. Today - not so much. Today the sucking of the swamp is just too strong. So strong it takes people of principal and turns them into Washington centrists. Go along, get along. Meanwhile, the cost and size of our government is going up like a rocket.

Back to reality. Hey Ryan - do you want to be a "back bencher" again? What the flip is wrong with you? This is what we rallied against when we were in the minority. Now that we are controlling the House, Senate and White House, we are acting just like the other side did- maybe worse!

The only thing in the entire bill which made sense to me, was the increase in military funding. Not that I am a war hawk - the "sequester" has put our military in a state of non-readiness. I am good with our troops getting a normal pay raise. I am good with more money for operation and maintenance. I am good with more money for training. And I am even good with more money for equipment and additional troops. 

Other than that, this POS spending bill off the floor. Defense - yes. Border security - put it back in. Planned Parenthood - get that murdering **** out of this bill. There are a hundred other things I could mention, but they have already been exposed by others smarter than I. 

Bottom line, get this thing right, and then get the President to sign it. Most of us don't give a rat's behind if the government shuts down for a few days (or longer). Do it right, get it right. Remember, you are on the Right. Failure to deliver will result in a failure to get re-elected. Joking? No, just a fact. 

The gathering storm for 2020

"Read up on our (true, not revised) history. Study our founding documents. Vote the way our Framers intended this country to be run. If we do that, no matter how strong the storm is, we should be fine."  

Bird! Pay attention! Your drifting again! We have a very important election coming up in 2018, not 2020! Why would you be thinking that far ahead? True - we do have a very important state and local election this year. And I will fight like crazy to get the right people elected. But despite the warnings set forth by our President (as well as others), apathy seems to have settled into the red team for this year. I am afraid he once theoretical "blue wave" might end up being more of a reality in 2018. 

As of this article, over 50 incumbent House members and 3 Senators have decided to pull the plug and not run for re-election. Most are Republican. The President's base remains strong, but his unique style has also been a unifier for those on the other side of the aisle. I fear losing the Senate and maybe the House is a real possibility in 2018. History has shown this is often the case after a change in White House leadership. The following off-year elections do not usually go well for the ruling party. This year, that might be particularly bad. 

That is why from a national perspective, I am looking to 2020. Even if the Republicans maintain control of the House and/or the Senate after the 2018 elections, their margins will probably be way down. The day after the results are known, posturing will have already begun for the next election - 2020. And the Democrats want the White House back so badly, they can almost taste it.

The two years leading up to 2020 are going to be crucial for both sides. The Republicans MUST show they can still govern - even with a more sharply divided government. If the two years leading up to 2020 only results in a non-stop food fight instead of good governance, 2020 is going to be a mess. Both parties will be looked upon as obstructionists, and honest solutions given by honest brokers will be rare at best. The table will be set for the formation of a strong third party (or parties).

On the bright side for the Republicans, are their unwilling and unknowing torch bearers. The people who can rally support for the red team like no others can. That would be Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi. Chuck Schumer, and of course the crowd favorite - Maxine Waters. 

Win, lose or draw in 2018, once the American public gets two years of listening and watching the village idiots on the Left side of the aisle, they will be clamoring for the adults to get back in charge in 2020. 

The road to 2020 promises to be bumpy and stormy. But the stakes are high. What can we do before then to prepare? Read up on our (true, not revised) history. Study our founding documents. Vote the way our Framers intended this country to be run. If we do that, no matter how strong the storm is, we should be fine.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What snapped?

"I don't care if you are Republican, Democrat, Independent or other - as an American this should concern all of us. We need to fix this disease, NOW! It is causing us to decay from the inside out." 

During this past week, there were two very scary incidents. The first was in the City of Austin - being held hostage by a serial bomber. It was only by good, hard police work, mixed in with a bit of luck, that brought this nightmare to an end.

The other incident was a 17 year old kid bringing a handgun into school and then shooting two students. Once again, only due to a armed school safety officer doing what he was trained to do, brought this incident to an abrupt end.

The school shooter was 17. The Austin bomber was 23. Both normal looking white kids. The Austin bomber had no record of any trouble in his past. In fact, after he left school, he considered going on a mission trip. But then for some reason, he decided to be the most feared bomber since the days of the Uni-bomber. From going on a mission trip to killing innocent people? What happened? Or better yet, what snapped?

A 17 year old kid goes into a gun free zone at school with a loaded handgun. First off, some might ask this important question - HOW did he do it? It is against the law to bring a gun into a school - it is a gun free zone. Next, it is against the law in Maryland to own or possess a handgun if you are under 21. Right off the bat, this young man broke two laws before he even fired a shot. 

The next thing that happened was really confusing. This young man, whose brain was still forming, shot two innocent students. He was then fatally shot by an alert school safety officer. 17 years old. And now he is dead. What happened? What snapped? Even though this cop did the right thing, the fact he had to kill a kid will stay with him - maybe forever. 

More than anything else, these two events should be wake up calls for our entire country. Something is wrong here. Something is amiss. This is not normal - not even close. We need to find out the reason WHY! And please, for you narrow minded NRA haters, this has NOTHING to do with the NRA or guns! We need to find out the REAL reason why these things keep happening as of late. It is not the weapon that matters, it is what has happened to the heart.

We all have our theories - I know I do. Some of the theories are secular, others are not. All I know is this. Two young people went off the rails for reasons we don't know, and now there are innocent people injured and/or killed. 

I don't care if you are Republican, Democrat, Independent or other - as an American this should concern all of us. We need to fix this disease, NOW! It is causing us to decay, from the inside out. 

If you are a believer, this is a good time to pray. Pray for healing for our great country. If you are not a believer, this might be a good time to start. Think it is too late? Trust me, it is not.

Electing the most conservative who can win the general

"If you want the most conservative person who is electable, nominate Jeff. If you want to bring Minnesota back from the cliff, Jeff Johnson is the one to do it." 

It has been said politically there are three main groups of people who live in Minnesota. The first and largest group, are the "blue pill" people. Or the "whatever" types. Many are Democrats, some are independents, and sadly, some are Republicans who have checked out. They don't really care who is running the state. Could be Karl Marx, could be Genghis Kahn, could be James Madison. It simply does not matter. They just go along, come along.

The second group is what I call the "Minnesota Lost" group. They have either fled the state, or are making plans to do so. Why? Most are conservatives who believe the long term damage the progressives have done to this state is irreversible. In other words, get out while the getting is good. Sad to see many of these folks go. For years they have been part of the backbone keeping things together.

The final group is what I call the "Minnesota Fixers". These are the people who believe with the right type of governance, Minnesota can start to heal. Can become livable again. I am part of that group. I don't want to cede this state to the progressives quite yet. My family lives here. Many of my friends live here. My history is here. As much as I bitch about the winter weather (right Daryl?), I still think this state is worth fighting for. If I do leave, I want it to be under my own conditions, with my terms. Not because I was driven from here economically.

To fix this state, we need to fall back on an old (yet true) axiom. For Governor, for our Constitutional offices, for the Minnesota House, or Minnesota Senate, we need to run people who are the most electable conservatives. It does no good to nominate someone who cannot be elected. Plus, it does no good to elect Republicans who govern like Democrats.

For many years, Republicans in the first group I mentioned, have decided to run squishy and purple RINOs for just about any office. The result? Those who won ended up governing similar to Democrats. State spending went up, taxes went up, and the size of government went up. Ergo, the growing size of the "Minnesota Lost" group. 

This year, we have a chance to nominate for Governor someone quite different. Not a re-run, not a has been, not a pretender. This year we can get a real, honest to goodness conservative who can win the general election. If I did not know this to be true, I would be penning another subject this morning. Yes, I am talking about Hennepin County Commission Jeff Johnson. 

For those who do not know Jeff, or are not yet sold on him, here is what Jeff would invite you to do. First, don't take my word for Jeff's qualifications. He would like you to check his record. Check his LEA scores when he served in the Minnesota House. Check his voting record on the Hennepin County Board. 

If you want to know Jeff's vision for Minnesota, please visit his website at Or, talk to anyone on Jeff's team. Talk to me. If you get the chance to meet Jeff while he is on the trail, ask Jeff the hard questions. He is ready to answer. Jeff does not hide the truth nor duck tough questions. He would love for all Minnesotans to get to know about himself and his positions. 

Four years ago when I was on Jeff's team, I would often refer to him as "the mechanic". Why? Unlike a glossy car salesman who will promise the moon and back, Jeff is a fixer. He is not glossy with a bunch of affectations, he is just real. He knows what needs to be fixed in this state, and how to do it. Most importantly, he wants the "Minnesota Lost" group to once again feel welcomed in this state. He wants Minnesota to be business friendly, family friendly and senior friendly. 

This year, don't be fooled by oxymoron's like "conservative Democrat" or "progressive Republican". Both are more purple than Barney the Dinosaur. If you want the real deal, vote Jeff Johnson. If you want the most conservative person who is electable, nominate Jeff. If you want to bring Minnesota back from the cliff, Jeff Johnson is the one to do it. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Our morphed culture

"The world expects more of America. They always have, they always will."

When I read the news these days, I wonder what has happened to us. I really do. Our once great cities have become hollowed out. The division between races has gone from bitter to acerbic. The government spends money we don't have like it is monopoly money. Worst of all - we don't cherish human life as much as we should. 

If you think this is just the Bird exercising histrionics, I am not. I am dead serious when I say this. I also hear it in spades from others who graduated about the time that I did. Things have changed. Most things have changed - and not for the better.

Another school shooting today. It was predicted. Two kids wounded, and the young gunman was killed in an exchange of bullets with an armed patrolman. As serious as this was (and it was very serious), it became last page news compared to the other stories happening today. Other stories? Like the package bomber? Yes. Something else, we did not have to deal with when I was young.

Okay. I will say it. Why? First off, I have the guts to ask this question in a PC quagmire. Second, this is my blog. Sorry if that sounds bad, but it is. So, let me spit this out. We need to turn the clock back on our country. Like now - or maybe yesterday.

I HATE what our country has morphed into. I HATE how human life has been redefined as nothing more than a tumor. I HATE how we have shown God the closet, rather than the front entrance. I really HATE how we have dumbed down teaching so much, our kids don't know American history or civics when they graduate - that is, if they graduate at all. And I really hate what has happened to our family life. We have gone from Ozzie and Harriet families to something worse than The Simpsons.

Two words I would love to have eviscerated from our lexicon is dysfunctional and entropy. I have heard those loathsome words describe our society and/or our families way too many times. You can describe me as anachronistic - that is fine with me. I don't want to end up like a Homer Simpson. I want to be like Ward Cleaver instead.

Why this rant on a Tuesday afternoon? Call it a plea for action instead. Rescue our families. Save our schools. Protect our children. Secure our borders. Renew our faith in God. We need help folks, we really do. We have been like frogs in slowly boiling water. The changes have come slow and steady. So much so, we take them for granted. But they are ruining us as a people.

Some reporter asked at the daily press conference today if our President lectured Putin on civil rights. How about if we first look in the mirror rather than out the front window. We need to get our bearings back, and fast. Until then, we have no right to lecture anyone about anything. Our house needs to cleaned, our clock needs to be turned back, and we need to rediscover ourselves. Time to get to this Mr. President. We are ready to follow in this most important renewal.

Until then, we are just another troubled country in search of itself. The world expects more of America. They always have, they always will.

Saved by a salty popcorn napkin...

"Thanks Bart, for writing one of my favorite songs of all time. And thanks for your story. It enriched me, uplifted me, and yes - emoted me." 

Yesterday my wife and I had the "day off". I know - sounds funny for a couple of old retired folks to say that. But for retired folks with two young grand kids, we do stay busy. We decided to go and see a movie. For a change, Hollywood has a couple of movies out right now that peaked our interest. The first is "7 Days in Entebbe" (love that very true story), and the other is "I can only imagine". Both sounded like worthwhile shows to see. After some discussion, we decided on "I can only imagine".

My wife and I both like Christian contemporary music. The group Mercy Me, with lead singer Bart Millard is one of our favorites. Their hit song "I can only imagine", has been sung by just about every Christian music performer around. This movie is the life story of how Bart became the man he is today, how Mercy Me came to be, and, the true significance of the song "I can only imagine". Most importantly however, it is a story of forgiveness and redemption.

We saw it around lunchtime, so we split a box of popcorn for lunch. We have seen faith based movies in the past. Some good, some very good, others just tried to be good. I had no clue going in if this movie would be good or maybe not so good. 

Dennis Quaid played Bart's father and Trace Adkins played his manager. Both men did simply stellar jobs. But the young man who played Bart (J. Michael Finley), was a show stopper. The writing, the acting, the music, the editing were are award winning caliber.

My wife and I recently saw on pay for view, one of the shows which was up for an Oscar this year. It was dark, depressing, and contained no message. When it was over, I felt like I needed a shower. "I can only imagine" was just the opposite of that movie.

I don't emote much when I see a movie. At best, I might get a lump in my throat. This movie was so good, the pathos so strong - my eyes started getting very moist towards the end. I can't remember the last time that has happened. All I had at my disposal was my used up, salty, popcorn napkin. I wasn't much, but it saved the day.

Hey Hollywood! Listen up! This is the kind of movie my parents took us to back in the day. No violence, no bad language, no sex. Just an excellent story about something very, very uplifting. Do you want to get your audience back Hollywood? The new deluxe seats are not the answer. Nor is the unlimited popcorn. It is the caliber of movies made that will bring people back. And one more thing. Make more movies like this, and maybe our young people will more pattern after the goodness in life rather than the dark side. 

Thanks Bart, for writing one of my favorite songs of all time. And thanks for your story. It enriched me, uplifted me, and yes - even emoted me. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Wearing out one's welcome...

"Sorry Tim. Not your year, not your race, no longer your state." 

Most of us have experienced this in the past. It usually happens with relatives instead of friends. But it can happen there also. Overstaying the welcome. Talk about uncomfortable! Really puts the host in a pinch. "Go with the flow, and put a sock in it", or speak truth. Tell the guests it is time for them to move on. And - where it really gets sticky, is when you have a guest who has already overstayed his or her welcome, and then wants to come back for another uncomfortable visit. Ouch! Welcome to the world of Tim Pawlenty.

Just to replay some good Minnesota history. Tim does two terms as our state Governor. By the time his second term was up, he decided not to go for a third term. Why? He wanted to "follow his muse" as a lobbyist. And why not? The "swamp" is very inviting for ex-politicians. He found a good gig which paved the road to Wall Street riches. How do I know? It was reported that last year, his Wall Street firm paid him $2.8M. Meanwhile, from the time he walked out the door to very recently, he has treated Minnesota like a red headed stepchild. In other words, he dropped us like a bad habit.

The independents and conservatives in Minnesota grew tired of Tim's purple leadership. The following election, Minnesota elected a health imparred statist. While this statist was serving as one of our Senators, he was named one of the worst Senators in the history of the galaxy. Thanks for nothing Tim! Tim did not set the table for a steady continuation of Republican Governor leadership. Instead all we got were dirty dishes and eight years of Dayton.

The talk is our unwanted guest wants to come in from the cold. Rumors are also flying he and his donors in Florida and Minnesota, have come up with a scheme to maybe broker our state convention. It involves choosing one of the current candidates for his Lieutenant Governor who has enough pledged delegates to derail the nomination of Jeff Johnson. Rather than putting in the blood, sweat and tears while on the campaign trail, Tim just wanted take a short cut. A short cut which will ruin the convention for hundreds of elected delegates as well as tens of thousands of party faithful.

To be brutally honest, this might only be so much political homespun right now. All we know for sure is Tim quit his very high paying job, and he has been courting big cigar donors. Beyond that, all we have is conjecture. If this rumor has all been "sound and fury signifying nothing", then let me apologize in advance. If however it is not, this will not be the last time I address this issue.

One final thing. Should MN GOP end up with Tim Pawlenty as it's nominee, a plain fact of life needs to be known. Tim Pawlenty is un-electable. He may steal the nomination from Jeff Johnson, but that is as far as it will go. Why? The DFL with chew Pawlenty up and spit him out. In the past few years, he has lived a life Democrats love to stereotype. Big, fat cats with strong ties to Wall Street. Wall Street instead of Main Street.

Pawlenty's frosting on the cake of disappointment will be this. Many in the base will not support him. They want a red meat conservative, not a purple RINO. They will either stay home or vote third party. Witness what happened to Mitt Romney in 2012.

Yes, the animus to have a purple Governor parading as a Republican following eight painful years of Dayton is really that strong. Don't believe it? Ask President Trump. It was his strong, unwavering base which put him over the line. Sorry Tim. Jeff Johnson has put his base together, one voter at a time. His base is broad and strong. This is not your year, not your race, and no longer your state. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The rise of "Grizzly Steppe"

"Time to wake up people. This threat is real. It is not hyperbole. It is just a matter of time."

Me thinks we are watching the wrong show. We are so concerned about the Russians trying to meddle with our elections, we are not seeing what the other hand is doing. And by the way, most of the meddling has not been the Russians messing with voting machines. Rather, it was putting "fake news" on social media about certain candidates. THAT really upsets me! If anyone is to do "fake news" around here, it is CNN and MSNBC!

Did you know that in 2016, the state of Vermont was the victim of a Russian hack? On their voting machines? Nope. On their electric grid. The Russian operation was dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama Administration. The purpose of the operation was to inject malware into the Burlington Electric system. The malware was designed to go out into the grid. Fortunately, the area of the infection was autonomous, and not connected to the grid. To me, this was a warning shot, heard loud and clear.

Oh, the Russians have meddled before. In December of 2015, the Russian group Sandworm injected it's malicious code BlackEnergy3 into the Ukrainian power grid. 80,000 residents lost power for six hours. So what, one might ask. Nobody died, did they? No - that is true. Nobody died. However, this was just a harbinger of what might be yet to come. 

Did you know that this past Friday, Energy Secretary Perry testified on the Hill about the prolonged cyber attacks on our grid in 2017? I was not aware of it. But it happened. Not once, but many times. Again, another warning shot.

How bad can things get with our ancient grid? In the graphic above, this picture from space shows the United States during the 2003 northeast electric grid failure. Now imagine the entire country looking like the northeast did in 2003. And not just for a few hours, try a few months - or longer. That transcends meddling. That is murder on a massive scale.

I for one am sick and tired of this crap. I really am. We knew about the vulnerabilities of our grid since the 1980's. We knew about EMP threats. We knew about the coming cyber threats. We knew how to harden our grid, how to make it smarter. Yet we have done nothing. With the massive amounts of money authorized in the Stimulus Bill  in the early years of the Obama Administration, we could have taken part of that funding and fixed our grid. Yet we did nothing. 

Messing with another county's electric grid should be considered an act of war. It should not be trivialized. People will die from exposure, hunger, dehydration and disease. Our lifestyles will go from good to barely survivable in an instant. Are we just going to sit here an wait for the next intrusion of Grizzly Steppe, BlackEnergy3, or something worse? 

Time to wake up people. This threat is real. It is not hyperbole. It is just a matter of time.