Monday, April 30, 2018

Gas woes





"What will happen to the price of gasoline when a 'go to market' fuel cell hits the scene? Or electric cars which can go 500 miles on a charge? Oh, they are both coming - sooner rather than later. The oil barons might just be stuffing their pockets right now for their last big shebang."



I seriously don't get it. I just read an article this morning (not the first I have read about this issue), stating that gasoline is going to be crazy expensive this summer. Like close to $3/gallon. Why is that? A coming oil shortage? Not hardly. By year's end, it is predicted we will be an energy exporter on par with Saudi Arabia. Then what the what?

It is no secret that the world is clamoring to get off its oil diet. All that carbon nonsense and climate change stuff. Plus - it is a fact with the proven reserves we know about today, we only have 50 years of oil left at today's consumption. Huh? I thought we were suppose to run out of oil years ago, per the 1990's panic merchants. Wrong. Plus, we keep upping our predictions as we discover more proven reserves. 

In addition, many of us have seen a growing number of buses and small trucks which run on natural gas. Well we must be running out of that stuff! Nope - about 100 years supply remains. Well then, if the world is still "awash" in oil, and we have natural gas coming out of our ears, why in the world are we going to be paying so much more for gas this summer?

I have heard this explained to me so many times I get dizzy. World markets, spot markets, boutique gasoline for summer driving, refineries shut down for summer maintenance, blah, blah, blah. Someone a whole lot brighter than I then might ask the following question - "Why do we have a Department of Energy?" I mean, what good is it, if it cannot guarantee price stability in our gasoline prices, regardless of these external market forces. I mean, we are sitting on a boatload of oil right now. 

In any event, all this bellyaching will not do a ding dang thing about the upcoming summer driving. What will happen to the price of gasoline when a "go to market" fuel cell hits the scene? Or electric cars which can go 500 miles on a charge? Oh, they are both coming - sooner rather than later. The oil barons might just be stuffing their pockets right now for their last big shebang.

The "good" news however, is the paper this morning said we will also have world class gridlock in getting around town this summer. George Jetson - where are you with that flying car?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A warning from Stuart





"There you have it my good friends from Minnesota. I am reminded of the Lady Thatcher re-quote - 'Socialism works great until you run out of other people's money.' And by the way - soon we will run out of other people's money." 



I hope many of you have seen that short video floating around on social media. It is a You Tube video from the Fox Business Channel. It is from the Stuart Varney show. Speaking of the word "show" - this video is a show stopper. Varney is presenting data from some famous economists (like Art Laffer). The data concerns what the new federal tax law is going to do to high SALT states. And it ain't pretty should you happen to live in one of them.

Anyhow, this video states that in the very near future, 800,000 people PER YEAR will flee  from California and New York to a lower SALT state. In anybody's book, that is a whole lot of cheddar leaving any state. Then (here is the real kicker), it is estimated that 500,000 per year will be leaving Connecticut, New Jersey and (drum roll, please) - Minnesota.

Wait a minute Bird! You have made a BIG mistake! We are not like those ultra-lefty coastal states! We are the hard working mid-west, dang it! Well, that is partially true. We are in the mid-west. But the Garrison Keillor "Prairie Populists" who live in the darkest blue area of the Twin Cities, thought it would be cool and hip to have Marx Dayton as our Governor. Who? That be, Mr. "we are a high tax, high value state" for Governor. 

In 2016, this trust fund baby from the Dayton-Hudson fortune, decided it would be the right thing to do by jacking our highest income rate up to just south of 10%. Translation = that took us from a "sort of" high SALT state, to one of the highest SALT states. Bingo! We made the club! Tax the socks off of high income earners, and everything will be just peachy! Except for one thing. Money is already leaving this business/senior unfriendly state. Starting this year with the new tax law, the trickle of money lost will turn into a flood.

Choices of what to do:

  • Nothing - Just sit back and take it in the shorts. It is after all, for the common good. Then once enough other people start to vacate the state, Governor Walz will ask the DFL controlled legislature to raise the top rate to close to California's - about 13%.
  • Move - Join the crowd of 500,000/year. Go to a state with better weather and/or better taxes. Trust me - I have heard this dozens upon dozens of times. We have friends who have done it.
  • CHANGE THE GAME! - Enough of this crap! Dayton is done (thank goodness!) and now it is on to fixing the brokenness of Minnesota. How do you fix what is broken? You hire a real fixer. And that person is JEFF JOHNSON. He will stop the exodus of money leaving our state by making this state business friendly. Senior friendly. But be warned. Jeff is very familiar with what the powers reserved are as Governor. There is only so much he can do as Governor if he has a DFL House and Senate. To be a REAL game changer, let Governor Johnson keep a red House and Senate. Elect Jeff, keep the House and Senate Republican, and then hold on to your seat!
There you have it my good friends from Minnesota. I am reminded of the Lady Thatcher re-quote - "Socialism works great until you run out of other people's money." And by the way - soon we will run out of other people's money. 



Tales from south of the border...







"President Trump had it right on the campaign trail and he still does. Build the wall. Secure the borders. A nation without secure borders will not stay a nation for very long." 



This is another one of those days. I am going to conflate two separate and distinct articles from this morning's newspaper into the same topic. Both have to do with events taking place south of our southern border, and both are very bothersome. So, here we go.

Topic 1: The Re-emerging Meth Crisis - Wait a minute. There must be some mistake here. We don't have a "meth crisis". That was so very yesterday. We now have a very serious opioid crisis. 

Well guess what. The meth crisis is back and in full force. I remember when the meth crisis first became a crisis. I tried to learn more about it, as I really did not know squat. I found out it is made from chemicals that can do really, really bad things to your body. Like forever bad. I learned it was horribly addicting. And I learned that the really good stuff was made in Mexico and smuggled across the southern border. The lesser grade stuff is made in local meth labs. 

I also remember one king pin of distribution being caught and questioned. When asked why he was trying to smuggle this poison across our border, his reply was simple and blunt - "Supply and demand bro. As long as you people have such a strong demand, our supply will be there for you."

Well the demand must be very strong once again for the really good stuff, as the supply lines are alive and well coming up from Mexico. Since we cannot control out demand, it is up to our government to choke off the supply lines at the border. Translation = build the damn wall! Secure the border!

Topic 2: The Caravan - I almost penned this article only about this topic. I was going to call it, "what was promised, what was received". I do feel for these people from Honduras and Guatemala. Worthless governments, out of control gangs, and abject poverty. This is ripe territory for "mules". They fill the heads of these desperate people with tales of a promised land, just to the north. Enough food to eat, good schools, endless benefits - all you have to do is get there, cross the border, and plead for asylum.

The problem is, that is not what is waiting for them. Once they get here, they will be caught betwixt and between. They will be detained, and case by case, adjudicated. Some will be sent back, some will stay. The ones who stay will find the "promised land" is not really what was promised. Life is tough here when you have no skills, no education, and don't speak the language. The ones going back, will be in the same hell they tried to escape.

The Nexus - These topics are related how? Simple. Border security. I want our southern border locked down tighter than a drum. I have told this story before. Right after 9/11, when we were reeling from the attack and trying to figure out what just happened, we locked down our borders for a few days. Nothing got across. Not drugs, not anything. 

We need to lock down our borders again. Why? Even our border control admit they only catch about 15% of the dope being smuggled in. That is just scrap and attrition for the cartels. Lock it down, and only have a single point of entry from Mexico. It does not matter where it is. Anyone on foot, or any vehicle will be thoroughly vetted and inspected before allowed entry. Enough is enough!

One more thing. If Honduras and Guatemala are that out of control, send in the blue helmets to restore order and have the UN monitor fair elections. That is the right answer. The wrong answer is to turn the citizens of those Central American countries into refugees or immigrants. 

President Trump had it right on the campaign trail and he still does. Build the wall. Secure the borders. A nation without secure borders will not stay a nation for very long. 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

My Indisputable Facts of Life






I have had these hanging on a wall in my study for almost twenty years.  I put them together when I was not feeling good about where I was and where I was going. Going as a person, a friend, a member of my family. Every now and again when I need “grounding", I  dust these off and re-read them. I believe every person has a similar unique list, written or unwritten, that fits his or her needs. This list has truly become my "Indisputable Facts of Life".

  • ·      Always be more tolerant of other people than they are of you.


  • ·      Try to kill other people with kindness (don’t worry – they won’t die).


  • ·     If you live on the edge, you will never have any margin – the smallest misstep will be either a game changer or a life changer.


  • ·     If a mistake is made, go from it and grow from it. Go from it (don’t dwell on it), and grow from it (become better by learning to avoid it again).


  • ·     People that succeed are able to turn lemons into lemonade – the more lemonade that can be made, the more success that can be obtained.


  • ·     ALL people are born free – someone has to take that freedom away from them. Protecting freedom is the most noble of all causes.


  • ·     Happiness and joy only come from within you. Never rely on things or people to create happiness and joy for you.


  • ·     Always give more in a relationship than you expect to receive. In the long run, you will receive more than you give.


  • ·     Balance in life in more important than money. Without balance, all the money in the world will not satisfy you.


  • ·     Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and give unto God what is God’s. Just make sure that Caesar does not get too greedy.


  • ·      Life is tough, but is a lot tougher if you are ignorant. Never stop learning.


  • ·     Your friends will come and go, your family should always love you, but it is God who will never desert you (even if you have deserted Him).



A very close call up north






"As it is, we can just write this off as a very close call. Or we can learn from it. Not just in the Twin Ports, but all over the nation where hazardous chemicals and large population centers coexist. That is what smart people do. And as smart as we think we might have been, it is time to get even smarter."   



I knew the fire this week up in Superior was bad, I did not know it was this bad. Yes, people were injured, property was damaged, and parts of Superior had to be evacuated. I wonder how many times evacuation drills were practiced in case something bad happened at the refinery. I dare say not many. Turns out, we came within a whisker of having a world class catastrophe.

I will be amazed to learn if even a small percentage of the population of Superior knew they were living under the Sword of Damocles. This refinery, located very close to the population center, is a witches brew of toxic products. What almost happened, but thank God it did not, was a large tank of hydrogen fluoride which was almost breached by the fire. Should that have happened (according to an article in this morning's paper), a "large, cold cloud of suffocating gas" could have put 180,000 souls in danger of injury or death.

One of the articles I read this morning addressed the unbelievable gridlock in getting people out of the blast and smoke area. It was a mess - or as we would say in the service, a real "cluster". It is a blessing, and totally amazing, that nobody died. 

What I hope comes out of this very, very close call is honest to goodness lessons learned. How would Superior and Duluth handle a worst case scenario at the refinery? What are the iron clad evacuation plans? Or, is it impossible to get people out of the danger area in case of a mishap? These are all things the people of Superior need to know prior to this facility going on-line again.

As it is, we can just write this off as a very close call. Or we can learn from it. Not just in the Twin Ports, but all over the nation where hazardous chemicals and large population centers coexist. That is what smart people do. And as smart as we think we might have been, it is time to get smarter.   

Friday, April 27, 2018

Help for the snowflakes





"It has everything to do with the heart. If you had gone to Sunday School, you would have learned about the first murder in the world. A gun? Nope - the jawbone of a donkey. Like I say - the heart."



In the local, local paper today, there was a very cute story about the local school district kids. It was about them leaving school to march for gun control. Whoops! Almost said to march to end school violence, but that would have been inaccurate.

One young snowflake, happier than a clam to get the day off of school, painted a cute sign which said "Arms are only for hugging". Bingo! Where was this kid during World War II? He could have marched up the shores of Normandy holding that sign up. The Germans would have surrendered in an instant, and then sunshine and lolly pops would have broken out all over the world!

Here is some help for the snowflakes, both far and wide. During World War II, over 400,000 young folk, many about your age, made the ultimate sacrifice to keep future generations free and liberated. Many other thousands were wounded, some gravely. Oh, and to do so, to fight for our freedom, they needed arms - firearms. Not "arms to hug you with."

But you are correct. We do have a gun violence problem in this country. The schools? Not really. Even though a single death is one too many for a kid to die in school, the total number of kids killed in school shootings during the past 30 years is pale compared to other statistics. Like black on black violence for example. This is the one statistic that very few seem to give a rip about. That is, until Kanye West brought it up this week. 

Did you know, just in Chicago alone during the past 30 years, over 18,000 people have been murdered. Think about that. That is over 1/3 of all who were killed during Viet Nam. According to Hey Jackass (a great site, regardless of the name), most of the killings are young black people, shot by other young black people. Forget gun control - Chicago has some of the strictest in the country. And yet, young people die. Die in numbers greater than our combat troops.

By the way young ones. Before you write us off as being insensitive and cruel, we do care about your safety in school. We want to go after the real root problem which is causing some kids to go off the tracks. But trust me on this - it has nothing to do with legal, responsible gun ownership. It has everything to do with the heart. If you had gone to Sunday School, you would have learned about the first murder in the world. A gun? Nope - the jawbone of a donkey. Like I say - the heart.

Demand your teachers teach real history. Demand to learn civics. When in doubt, look up Wallbuilders.com on the internet. David Barton will give you the real story on the why and how our country was founded. And one more thing. The NRA are the good guys. Learn about them as you learn about our history. You will be amazed at the wrong turn the Loony Left has put you on.

Immutable facts of life






"Ceding all or some, of one's liberty and freedoms to any government has inherent risks. It is a very slippery slope indeed. This is why our founding documents were crafted the way they were. They are crystal clear in the people own the government, not visa versa."



Years ago, decades before I started blogging, I had an inspiration. I wanted to jot down in a very simple format, some of the truths which I had found in my life. I did it for me, so I could refer to them from time to time. But I mostly did them for my daughters. For years I had this list mounted in a frame, hanging on a wall in my study. I think I still have it someplace, but the current location escapes me.

One of my favorite truths which has been brought to mind as of late, goes as follows: "All men are born free - you will remain free until someone takes that freedom away from you". If I were to write my immutable facts down again, this one would look somewhat different. Why? Because in the decades since I penned this one, I have learned much more.

The new version would read, "All men are born free, with natural or God given rights. That freedom, and those rights, remain with us until either someone takes them away, or they are given away." Bingo! There is not a person on this planet who does not have the same rights we have. The problem with many, is those rights have either been stolen away by an invading force, or given away to a tyrannical or oppressive government. 

The point that Emmanuel Macron made over and over during his visit to America was simply this - France and the United States are joined at the hip when it comes to liberty and freedom. Both nations "get it". Both nations were enslaved to either a foreign government or a tyrannical government. Then they threw off their chains, via revolutions. 

For some reason, and I have never understood why, some are okay with not being totally free. Maybe it is because freedom is never truly free. That freedom quite often has a cost, and responsibilities. Ceding all or some, of one's liberty and freedoms to any government has inherent risks. It is a very slippery slope indeed. This is why our founding documents were crafted the way they were. They are crystal clear in their most important point. The people own the government, not visa versa.

One more of my immutable truths which I remember. "Kill people with kindness, even when they don't deserve it. Don't worry, they won't die from it". That is a good one to remember when spreading our story of liberty and freedom. Do it with conviction, as well as two cups of kindness. Don't worry - they won't die from it.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Deliver us from this evil...





"In my book, Trump has earned his place on Mount Rushmore if he does two things - get North Korea under control, and then Iran. North Korea is on the road to redemption. Hopefully, Iran is right behind them."  


The recent bromance of record seems to have a fissure in it. Like, how to treat Iran. France and the US seem to have a much different view on this issue. Since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, Iran has gone from an allie to the US, to an adversary. Today, they are not only a problem child for us, but also for Israel, and much of the more normal nations in the Middle East. To throw a bit of gas on the fire, President Trump has been a truth teller on the Obama Iran deal. Worst - deal - ever. Amen, Mr. President, amen.

 So what does President Hassan Rouhani of Iran intend to do? Teach the "Great Satan" a lesson, of course. One of Rouhani's admirals said Iran will "sink all of our ships". My comment - just try. 

Rouhani himself, is trying to rally all the Muslims in the world to rise up against the United States. All Muslims? Really? How would have played if President Trump asked every Christian in the world to rise up against Iran. Not well, since we are civilized. Note to Rouhani - the Crusades are over. This is not a war against two major world religions - or is it? 

Can we please set all the BS aside? Iran is a bad actor. Not the people, just the government. They are spreading hate and discontent all over the region. They are flush with money (thank you Obama!), and are not bashful in using it. If they could nuke Israel tomorrow and get away with it, they would do it without ever looking back. So long as this regime exists, they are a clear and present existential threat to Israel, and and near term existential threat to America.

I worked at Sperry Univac from 1975 to 1980. We had a team from Iran who were on site to learn how to operate the ships and system the US was selling them. In 1979, when the revolution happened, these young men were lost. They did not know what to do, or where to go.

In my book, Trump has earned his place on Mount Rushmore if he does two things - get North Korea under control, and then Iran. North Korea is currently on the road to redemption. The next few weeks will tell the story. If they are, and the North Korean issue is solved, hopefully, Iran is right behind them.  

The match game




"This is not a dark, dsytopian view of the future. It is reality."



The match game! What channel is it on? No channel, as it is not a game. It is a real life problem we have in the country right now. President Trump understands it. Obama did not. In fact, most Democrats don't really understand it. The match game is getting the people with the right skills into jobs which are evolving to keep this country on the cutting edge.

There have been several articles of late addressing this issue. An 2017 article in USA Today addressed the fact it is estimated by the year 2020, one million computing jobs will go unfilled. Why? Not enough young people pursuing a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. And here is a statistic almost as alarming. Only 11% of employers think our higher education system adequately prepares students for today's workplace.

Meanwhile, our immigration system does not give two hoots and a holler if a person coming into this country can help fill this gap. We continue to get more takers than makers. Smart countries, funnel their immigration to attract folks with much needed skills via a I 9 Visa program.

But what about the young people in this country who have not prepared themselves for the future? A very good question indeed.

A July 2017 article penned by the Dell computer company really put things in perspective. By 2030 (a scant 12 years from now), it is estimated that 85% of technology jobs don't even exist today! That is a jaw dropping statistic. The message from Dell to young people is simple and blunt - get ready for a lifetime of more globalization in the workforce and constant re-training.

Those of us with young grand-kids have no clue what they will be doing for a job when they are adults. A very smart man I worked for years ago said the only way for a company to stay in business, and stay relevant, is to be NIMBLE. The same holds true (from a micro view), with young people. Get as much relevant education as you can, work hard, and be flexible.

This is not a dark, dsytopian view of the future. It is reality. Think about this with the "wave" about to hit our southern border. Will they be able to help our high tech worker shortage? Will they be "makers"? Or just more of the "takers". I know this sounds harsh, but for a country to continue to survive and thrive, these are the tough choices which need to be made. Like I said earlier, our President seems to get it. We all should.   

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Millennial USSA?





"By depriving our kids of true knowledge, driving God out of every part of their lives, and then filling their heads with the crap that some of our so called educators are spewing, the future looks dim indeed."



Yesterday, my wife and I met a friend for lunch at a local faith based college he teaches at. It was the first time I had set foot on that campus for years, and I was impressed with the growth, the attitude, and the reputation this place has. It even allows (gasp!) prayer. Well, it should - since it also contains a seminary on campus.

It was (as the Mayor Garage Logic would say), a "ray of hope". The kids we saw looked like the solid citizens we need to take over this world once our generation departs. But then I started to think about the tremendous challenges we also have. Like a great many of the millennial generation today are not ready for prime time - not at all.

My friend yesterday said the same thing my wife's brother (who taught at U of W) would also say. Many kids coming out of high school are in no way prepared for college. Some were barely prepared for high school. Then how in the world could these kids get this far? Two reasons really - dumbed down curriculum, and social promotion. What you get upon graduation is an semi-educated, un-prepared, often immature, child.

But here is what worries me the most. And I have penned and railed about this many times in the past. History and civics have all but disappeared from the landscape. The result? Kids today not only do not understand our founding documents, they also are starting to, in shocking numbers, eschew and reject our system of government. That is right. Many are following the Pied Piper of Vermont - the Socialist Bernie Sanders.

I have heard that an astonishing number of our millennial crowd think it would be cool to live under socialism. Capitalism is so yesterday, so unfair. Socialism on the other hand, provides equal outcomes to all. They don't give a tinker's dam that our present system is set up to give equal opportunity to all - it is the outcome which matters. And socialism seems to fill that bill nicely. 

The United States of America, our great American experiment, might soon be headed for extinction if this millennial craze gains momentum. By depriving our kids of true knowledge, driving God out of every part of their lives, and then filling their heads with the crap that some of our so called educators are spewing, the future looks dim indeed. 

The United Socialist States of America, USSA? To many of us baby boomers that is a very, very scary sound to utter. To millennials however, they might just be saying, "bring it on!"   

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

What about Option "C"?





"Not a RINO, not a statist, just a game changer. A true friend of the Minnesota taxpayer. Gosh, would that not be nice for a change?"  


Funny story. I received a forwarded e-mail from an organization who is going to do a mock debate. For our next Governor. Were they going to put a favorite candidate forward? Not really. But it was going to be interesting non the same. What I am going to do now, is cut and paste part of what I received for this article. I hope you find this as interesting as I did.

THERE’S AN OLD SAYING THAT A LEOPARD doesn’t change its spots. Likewise, don’t hold your breath waiting for a RINO to change its political "stripes"! Twice, conservative voters sent Tim Pawlenty to the governor’s office, and twice, he let them down, increasing both government spending and government control over their lives, and rolling over and playing dead rather than standing strong in the path of charging liberal legislation.

Ethanol, mass transit, publicly financed stadiums, minimum wage increases, importation of price-controlled Canadian drugs, a "health impact" cigarette fee/tax, and a smoking ban – did he ever meet an expansion of government that he did not like? We must not get fooled again. The candidate may coo conservatively, but as governor he will hiss, "You knew I was a RINO when you voted me in."

Sounds a bit like a hit piece on our former Governor, right? Well, it was of sorts, but then the invite to this debate took a bizarre twist:

ON THE OTHER HAND, a hypothetical governor – no matter how perfectly conservative – cannot sign (nor veto) any bills. It is imperative that someone – anyone – who is not a liberal Democrat be elected governor of Minnesota in 2018. And Pawlenty has shown the ability to defeat the Dems. He may be a RINO, but doggonit, he’s our RINO. This year, it may just come down to a case of the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.

Wow! Hey Minnesota! Here is your choice! Option "A" is lets vote in a Purple Barney type of RINO. Options "B is get stuck with another Democrat progressive statist. To bad we do not have an Option "C". What? We do? We have someone who is NOT a RINO and NOT a progressive and can still win? Who? Jeff Johnson. Please note that his team will NEVER put forth a flimsily endorsement like this group did - "Well, he should be better than a Democrat". No, Jeff Johnson will not be a little better than a Democrat - rather, he will be a game changer. 

Folks, we don't need to settle for four to eight more years of disappointment once again from a RINO. Nor do we need to suffer through another four to eight years of a job killing Democrat. How about Option "C" this year? A true conservative. One who will change the trajectory of this state. One who will go toe to toe, eyeball to eyeball with the DFL elite and say "NO!" to BS! 

Jeff Johnson is a man who will kill the Met Council as much as he can as Governor. He will NEVER let our Second Amendment rights be diluted. He will "right size" our state taxes and throw out hundreds of obsolete and/or useless regulations. As much as he can, he will protect the lives of our most innocent (the unborn). He will give law enforcement the support they need to fight the growing crime in our state.

Bottom line - Jeff Johnson will help this state do more with less. He will make it a tax friendly place for higher income job creators to live and work as well as the seniors who already have given so much. Then any excess - will go back to the owners (the taxpayers). 

For the purposes of this article, I will call Jeff's election Option "C". However, what it should be for those who have heard his message, is Option "A". Not a RINO, not a statist, just a game changer. A true friend of the Minnesota taxpayer. Gosh, would that not be nice for a change?  

A train too far...





"Take the existing assets, and sell them to California. They don't seem to mind losers. Then take the money from the sale, and put it towards adding more lanes onto Highway 10."



Dang it! Okay - here is a secret. I usually start crafting my next day's article in the afternoon. Sometimes in the evening, or early morn. I had a whopper ready to go for today - until I read the paper. I could not resist this one. At first I thought it was a joke, or something out of the Onion. Nope - it is for real. And being backed by a (drum roll please) - a Republican!

I have railed against the North Star many times now. Some think picking on the North Star is unfair - kind of like a bully picking on a weakling. I make no excuses for my rants on this worthless piece of train trash. This train was supposed to be the best thing since canned beer. Take the traffic on Highway 10, which has been horrible since I started to drive, and tame it down. This bright new and shiny yellow, blue and white train would buzz people from as far away as St. Cloud, into downtown Minneapolis to work very high paying jobs. It all sounded good except for one thing - it was not true.

Yes, it was built and went into service with a Democrat controlled House and a Republican Governor (Pawlenty). My wife and I were even invited to take a sample ride before normal service started (pictured above). The legislature and the Governor did not quite have enough juice to get the thing built up to St. Cloud, but maybe later they said. So service started from Big Lake with some stops down to Target Field.

So how is it going? First off, traffic on Highway 10 sucks even worse than before. The cost to run this thing? Lets ask an independent source like WCCO. On a Reality Check segment in 2017, they disclosed the cost TO THE TAXPAYERS for each round trip on the North Star is $18.31. A mistake? A typo? Nope. Fact. 

Never let it be said that our government does not know how to pour good money after bad. And also how to tell the taxpayers a whopper from time to time. Representative Jim Knoblach (R-St. Cloud), is pushing a bill to have the line extended up to St. Cloud. And it would cost practically nothing to build(huh?). Our current Democrat Governor is taking after the Republican Governor who built the first part of the North Star - he is all in. In fact (hold on), Dayton wants almost a million more tax dollars to study to death this proposed expansion!

I wish this were tongue in cheek, but it is not. The best thing we could do for the taxpayers of Minnesota is to just park this thing. We tried it, and it did not work out well. Take the existing assets, and sell them to California. They don't seem to mind losers. Then take the money from the sale, and put it towards adding more lanes onto Highway 10. 




Monday, April 23, 2018

Knowing what to vote for...





"Seeing these kids take to the streets acting as tools of the Left reminds me of days gone by. Which days? Abbie Hoffman and 'Revolution for the hell of it'. Welcome back Abbie..."



Heaven help us. We have a bunch of millennials ready to turn 18, and for the first time in their life - vote. And vote for what you might ask? No clue. Oh yes - gun control. Abolish that neo-Nazi organization (so they have been taught) the NRA. Taxes? Tax the socks off the rich. And while we are at it, lets change out system of government to socialism. That is pretty cool, cause one of their teachers told them so. It is more "fair". Get the picture? These kids don't have a clue on what to vote for. But their uniformed vote will count just as much as one of our informed votes.

Every now and again, someone will take to the street (usually around Spring Break time), and question some of our youth about some very basic knowledge topics. Topics like our country and our government. If it is cool to look stupid, most of these kids looked very cool indeed. Of course, the vast majority of these kids did not even know we live in a Republic. Many just gave a blank stare when asked what kind of government we had. A surprising number did not know who we gained our independence from, and why.

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron is meeting with President Trump this week. Yesterday he was asked on a news show why he and our President, being so unlike, have forged this close friendship. He seemed a bit taken aback by that question. Like it was a "duh!" He replied (and I will paraphrase a bit), "We are close because our histories are so close. Our revolutions. We both understand freedom and liberty". BINGO! And how many of our half naked youngins in Florida on Spring Break know that fact? I would hazard not too many!

What our kids today do not understand, is the complexity and debate which went on by these very, very insightful Founders as they constructed our Constitution. Many think our DOI and Constitution were signed on the same date, whatever that date was. To me (and no, I did not have an education like this when I was young), I would like to see American History taught IN DEPTH when kids are in high school. Not just glossing over some facts, really, really peeling back the onion.

Like what? Know by heart the DOI. Who wrote it. Who were the 56 very brave patriots who signed it, and the risks they took by doing so. What happened in our country between the signing of the DOI in 1776 and the Constitutional Convention in 1787? Hint - those were critical years in the shaping of this most important document. The Federalist Papers are a must to read to really get a better understanding of the why and what in crafting our Constitution. 

But that was so yesterday. Who cares? All those guys are all dead, and these are different times. Welcome to 1984, only a few years late. Our Group Think is not an informed or cogent think - it is a brainwashed think. Seeing these kids take to the streets acting as tools of the Left reminds me of days gone by. Which days? Abbie Hoffman and "Revolution for the hell of it". Welcome back Abbie...

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Our NEW, four party system!




"Sorry to be this blunt folks. I have been talking to Jeff Johnson about this run long before he announced. He is the right man, at the right time, for the right job. It has been eons since we have had a REAL conservative as Governor. As the old saying goes, 'Try it - you might like it.'"  



I am sorry if I am smarting a bit this afternoon. I have been on the receiving end of a major "smack down" by some who believe differently than I - and in the same party! First off - two points of clarity. First, I am a purist. A rule follower. Been that way for a long time. Second - I am on Jeff Johnson's team. I am in charge of "Vets for Jeff". That being said, it is time to vent.

This is my third time of being selected to be a state delegate. It is an honor to do so. Why? I have seen the impassioned speeches by many at the BPOU endorsing convention to represent the BPOU at the district and state conventions. I never take it for granted that I will be selected. Like I say - it is an honor. 

The way I was taught the system worked made perfectly good sense to me. Go to caucus, try to be a delegate to the BPOU convention (easy), then go to the BPOU convention, ENDORSE your rep(s) and if it is the right year, your senator. Then you can run as a delegate to represent your BPOU at the district and/or state convention (not as easy). Once the state convention is over, the endorsed candidates are set (unless the convention is brokered), and it is on to battle the Dems.

Not so fast cowboy. There might be an "Arnie Carlson" Republican lurking in the shadows, or someone who lost the endorsement yet has a bucket full of money. Rather than honoring the endorsement of their party, this outsider will try to upset the apple cart by trying to win the primary. Meanwhile, all the faithful who have supported the endorsed candidate since the get-go, are scratching their heads, wondering what just happened.

Here is what I have been told as of late. Minnesota has changed. A true conservative, like Jeff Johnson does not have a prayer. We need an Arnie Carlson Republican who can appeal to the purple middle. Or maybe TPaw. We all know Pawlenty will grow state government like he did before, but not as fast as Watz. With TPaw, it is all good. We are ready to go. Status quo - full steam ahead!

So here is my final and most vital point. Minnesota is no longer a two party system. No sir re bob. We are now a four party state. Conservatives, Republicans, Democrats, and progressives. All three candidates on the blue ticket are progressives (in my book). On our side, the conservatives are Jeff, Phil and maybe Mary. Tim Pawlenty is not a conservative. He knows it - we know it. Plus, he did not govern as such before.

Sorry to be this blunt folks. I have been talking to Jeff Johnson now about this run before he announced. He is the right man, at the right time, for the right job. It has been eons since we have had a REAL conservative as Governor. As the old saying goes, "Try it - you might like it."  


The North Korea shuffle...






"But the history of dealing with these guys is not good. From Kim to his daddy to his grand-dad. Not good. But then again, they are dealing with Donald Trump right now. He ain't no Jimmy Carter - that is all I will say."


There are many times I wish I were a fly on the wall. A fly? Why? To ease-drop. I would have loved to hear the conversation between Mike Pompeo and Little Kim. It was like, all of a sudden, Little Kim went from a life of total debauchery to finding the Lord. Yes, the turn around in North Korea is that amazing. Or is it?

I am reminded of that old saying, "If it sounds to good to be true, then it probably isn't." After the Pompeo visit, North Korea suddenly has dropped all its conditions to disarm. Huh? Those were cast in stone for years! What you mean "dropped"? First, they will stop testing of all ICBM rockets and nukes. Without asking anything in return - including their biggest bug-a-boo - our troops being stationed in the South. 

Now, as we all know, North Korea has a long and distinguished history of making us look like fools. They are accomplished liars and cheats. Either Pompeo threw the fear of Almighty into Little Kim, or North Korea is playing us (again). But that is why I wanted to be a fly on the wall. Did we promise Kim the Moon and back if he behaves? Did we threaten him with destruction if he does not? Both, or neither?

The glass half full in me hopes the following to happen this year:

  • North and South Korea sign an agreement to end this ancient war.
  • A process to re-unify the two Korea's is put in place.
  • The United States starts to pull troops out of South Korea.
  • The people in North Korea finally start to see more freedoms. 
The glass half empty in me believes the following will happen this year:
  • North and South Korea sign an agreement to end this ancient war.
  • North Korea continues its nefarious WMD programs in the dark of night.
  • The United States finds out and the "ship really hits the sand".
Time will tell. I really am hoping that we will end up with the glass half full, or at least something close. But the history of dealing with these guys is not good. From Kim to his daddy to his grand-dad. Not good. But then again, they are dealing with Donald Trump right now. He ain't no Jimmy Carter - that is all I will say.
  

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Main Street or Wall Street?





"If you lose the endorsement and decide to go to primary, get ready. It will get ugly early. Oh, not by Jeff or his team - by the base."



It is starting to feel like we are being carpet bombed with money from Wall Street. That is good, right? Sure, if it were going in our pockets. But here is a dirty little secret. Raising money for a statewide campaign is hard. It is mile by mile, handshake by handshake, dollar by dollar. Most campaigns are tighter than a tightwad with donations. Every possible dollar is used to get the message out.  

A week ago, the worst kept secret in Minnesota was no longer a secret. Our own former Governor, Tim Pawlenty had returned from the hallowed grounds of Wall Street to save us from the neophytes we had running to replace Marx Dayton. Then by the miracle of all miracles, money which is so very tough to come by for normal candidates, suddenly became like low fruit on the tree for the TPaw team. What the what? A million dollars right out of the get-go?

Jeff Johnson has been cleaning up in the straw polls. He is doing well getting his message out. Unlike TPaw, he has been working on his campaign since at least February of last year. His message is vital to the interests of the residents of Main Street. But even though Jeff has worked his rear end off for the past 14+ months, he has promised each district convention (and he will again at the state), that he will abide by the endorsement. Translation = he will not go to primary. What say you, former Governor Pawlenty? Are you a team player? Will you make the same promise? Listening...

Lets cut to the chase. Did TPaw win two times? Yes, he did. Did Jeff lose last time? Yes, he did. And if you ask Jeff about his lose, he is not proud of it, but said it was one of the best things that could have happened to shape this campaign. A lessons learned was conducted, and the soft areas from four years ago, fixed. The message is basically the same, only stronger. 

I am going to make this plea one more time. Governor Pawlenty - please be a team player. Please help us beat Tim Walz. Don't fight us - help us. I really don't want to break Reagan's 11th commandment with you sir. I want us all to be on the same team. But this race is Jeff's. Give him a chance to govern to see how good he can be. Help us win. Help us find a SOS who can win.

However, here is the stick. If you lose the endorsement and decide to go to primary, get ready. It will get ugly early. Oh, not by Jeff or his team - by the base. To quote a friend of mine who recently moved to another state - "We are tougher on our traitors than we are on the other side". Remember that Tim - that is not coming from me. It is coming from many.


The election which could split the country wide open







"If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand"

Mark 3:25



The harbingers of bad things to come. Have you heard them? Seen them? They are all over the place. Everything seems to headed for a crescendo this November. It is a juggernaut which cannot be stopped. Some think it is long overdue. Others believe it will be the end of days for our great nation. In any event, we cannot continue to go on this way. It is unnatural and unhealthy. For all of us.

The Great American Experiment will go on, but not for all of us. Some will leave this great nation. This next election could very well be the match which lights the fuse. The more I think of it, the more I believe that might be a good thing.

Why would I wish this country to split? I don't, really. But right now, I see no other option. For the first time in my life, I fear if we continue to try and bond the un-bond-able factions who live here, violence could erupt. Civil war type of violence. 

Whose fault is it? Ours. All of us. Our parents. We have been warned of the fragility of our republic, all the way from Ben Franklin to Ronald Reagan. Don't take your eye off the ball. Pay attention. Don't get lazy. But we did get lazy. Starting in the 60's, we went from a serving others mentality, to "if it feels good, do it". The "we" became "me". Our founding motto of e pluribus unum became nothing more than mumbo jumbo.

Therefore, I propose we split the union into two countries - Great America and New America. Great America will continue to live under the Constitution our Founders gave us. Great America will have law and order, borders, a strong national defense, and so forth. New America can elect to pen their own new founding documents, leave God out of the mix, ban all weapons, and social engineer everything to the max. 

Will there still be disagreements in Great America? Sure, but they will be manageable. And respectful. If someone decides at any time he or she is not suited for Great America, the door will always be open to apply for citizenship to New America. Will Great America ever take in citizens from New America should they decide to leave their new country? Sure. But they have to pass a citizenship test first. A REAL citizenship test.

That is my suggestion. Since our discourse has become nothing more than toxic barbs, and before we devolve into armed chaos, we need to split. Why? Both the Holy Bible and Abe Lincoln understood why - "A house divided against itself cannot stand". And that house, is US.

Friday, April 20, 2018

More decentralization please!






"I am REALLY, REALLY good with the counties doing more, and the states and the feds doing less. Fund the counties more, and everyone else less."



There are certain things which the federal and state government are good at (not many however). Then there are still some things, skillful or not, we need to have the federal and state government perform. Ronald Reagan always said that government worked the best when it was closest to the people. What does that mean? Decentralization. Have we done it since the Gipper has left office? Not really.

Today in the local, local paper (that means more local than the Red Star), there were letters complaining this huge amorphous blob called the Minnesota State Legislature, was going to rob some much needed medical funding from those who really needed it. Plus - some Ebeneezer Scrooge in St. Paul, wants people on MA (Medical Assistance) to do some kind of work in return for receiving their benefits. 

Now, I am not going to take a stand on this, one way or the other. But I will say this. If I became sick, the people who would advocate the strongest for me, would be my family. Then one layer up from my family, would be my friends within my community. Rather than have some nameless, faceless bureaucrats in St. Paul or Washington put their fingers on my fate, it would be my friends and loved ones close by instead. 

I bring this issue up for a reason. We REALLY need to get Washington's fingers out of our business. Their job is to provide for the common defense of the states. Yes, there are also some ancillary functions the fed does also. The rest of the stuff can flow down.

Why? Many of the other functions we need are either misplaced or duplicates. The Department of Education for example, is in both the federal government as well as state government. They should both be eliminated. Education of the counties, is the responsibilities of the counties and their school boards - nobody else. Trust me - in this county, we should know to educate our youngins.

But then, some snowflakes would argue about the poorer counties. What about them? Right answer - education has NOTHING do do with money - no matter how many times the teacher's union tells you otherwise. If you live in a poorer country - figure it out. That is the way the pioneers did.

I am REALLY, REALLY good with the counties doing more, and the states and the feds doing less. Fund the counties more and everyone else less. Keep the needs closer to home. Maybe President Reagan was right. This is the way to run a railroad - or a government.

Gun protests!!!





"Yes kiddies, the adults in the room also want this senseless school violence to end. When you want to address the real problem, the core issues which cause it, we will be there with you. However, witch hunts against a civil rights organization like the NRA are only going to divide us more." 



Yawn....Sorry - dozed off for a minute. Why? I was just thinking about our little darlings having yet another day off of school. And why again? To protest school shootings. In particular, to protest the people (once again) who have NOTHING to do with a single school shooting. That would be LAW ABIDING citizens who own fire arms, and some of whom happen to belong to a civil rights organization call the NRA.

Since I have addressed this issue dozens of times before, I will take a different slant this time. I want more gun rights, not fewer. Yes, you bleeding hearts out there - that is exactly what I said. For example, in February I went to get a Florida gun permit while on vacation down there. I had already re-upped my Minnesota permit. My background had been thoroughly vetted in Minnesota, and then I went through a deeper anal exam in Florida. 

Then last week, I bought a handgun I have been eyeing for a while. Something with a bit more punch than my 9 mm. I bought a S+W, M+P, 40 cal. Sweet weapon with a very nice feel. However when I went to buy it, I had to show my driver's licence, my gun permit, and then take a test to prove my intentions with this purchase were indeed honorable. (Like if they were not, would I tell them?) Anyhow, that was my third vetting so far this year. All so I can buy and use an item the Constitution has already defined as a natural right. 

So here is what I want. First off, I want reciprocity in all 50 states. Enough of this horse pucky whereas each state may or may not recognize your state's permit. That is crip crap to the 10th degree. Next, I want "Stand your ground" to be the law of the land in all 50 states. After seeing a thug beat the tar out of an innocent bus driver for NO REASON what so ever, it is time to see some of these low lifes get smoked by the victims.

But here is what I really want. Instead of gun permits, I want Constitutional Carry to be the law of the land. Just like in the days of the founders. It was ASSUMED back then, that anyone who bought a gun was innocent, until shown otherwise. We have a ton of gun laws on the books right now. It is up to you when you buy a gun to know what those laws are. In other words, caveat emptor  (let the buyer beware).

Yes kiddies, the adults in the room also want this senseless school violence to end. When you want to address the real problem, the core issues which cause it, we will be there with you. However, witch hunts against a civil rights organization like the NRA are only going to divide us further. 

That is my protest this morning. I plan to walk out of the house at 10 am to signify this protest. I might even do some yard cleanup at the same time - since it is finally Spring.