Monthly Archives: August 2014

Uncommon Sense

Common Sense – A Hardy, Yet Uncommon Tool

As I was growing up in the 50’s, I thought that common sense was pretty common.  Thus the name of this blog site.

Don’t run with a pair of scissors in your hand.  Never put your finger into an electrical socket.  Look both ways before crossing a busy street.  Never put your tongue on a frozen piece of metal.  (Okay.  People from the south have no idea what I am talking about.  People from the northern climates have only done this once in their lives.  That is why we talk funny.)

How difficult can it be?

How uncommon can common sense be?  Apparently – common sense can be very uncommon.  About as common as ice cubes on Florida sidewalk in August.  Common sense has become as uncommon as exposing a ring of Lutheran suicide bombers.

Here are some varied examples of what should clearly be common sense,

The Ukraine

Have you seen pictures of the Ukrainian separatists?  Have you seen any teenagers, women or older men in any of those pictures?  The only pictures I have seen involving women, teenagers and older men show them going in the opposite direction of the warring factions.

What I have noticed is that the typical male, Ukrainian separatist  (age 20-35) could join an Olympic push-up team!  And the sit-up and chin-up team.  And no doubt an Olympic shooting team!

Common sense tells me that these are not your typical Ukrainian civilians, but rather, they are more likely to be paratroopers from the Russian army!  Typical civilian separatists do not have the weaponry that these separatists possess.  They have even managed to shoot down a civilian aircraft with a very technologically-advanced missile system!  Another indication is the skull with jump wings decal that is visible on some of their armored vehicles.

Do not be fooled by the façade that Putin is attempting to put on this affair.  He is attempting to regain the power of the former USSR during the Cold War.  He will continue to do this until someone puts a halt on the Russian aggression.

The fact that the ‘separatists’ are acting on the orders of Putin seems fairly obvious to me, an advocate of utilizing common sense.

Italy

It is every parents desire to have their children go to college.  We desire this so that they can be instructed by the best and the brightest professors available.  Or are they that bright?

In Italy, one college professor has asked Captain Francesco Schettino to give a guest lecture on Emergency Procedures.  Do you remember Captain Schettino’s claim to fame?  Wait for it.  Wait for it.  Captain Francesco Schettino is the former captain of the Costa Concordia.  If you don’t remember him, you certainly remember the ship that was lying on its side off the coast of Italy on January, 2012.  Carelessness caused this ship to become grounded, causing an at-sea accident resulting in 32 lives being lost.  By many accounts, the good captain was canoodling with one of the showgirls on the bridge.  He then abandoned the ship, virtually leaving every passenger to their own fate. It is amazing that the loss of life was not catastrophically higher. It easily could have been much more disastrous .

What does his selection of a lecturer say about the common sense of this college professor?

Common sense tells me that Captain Schettino should be in prison and not on a college campus enlightening the minds of Italy’s future workforce.

Profiling

Profiling has become a politically incorrect word.

Personally, I do not mind being profiled.  More importantly, I do not mind if our security/police personnel profile others as well.  Why?  For the safety of the masses.

After doing some research on the profile of a typical suicide bomber, I was surprised to learn that depending on which country the bomber is targeting, that profile changes drastically.  For instance, the profile of a suicide bomber in Iraq or Afghanistan is much different than that of one targeting Israel.  The profile of a suicide bomber targeting a predominantly Christian nation is much different from one targeting a Muslim nation.

Do you know why El Al, the airline of Israel has never had a bombing incident?  They profile!  Apparently the entire Israeli security apparatus is very good at profiling.

So let me be the first to go out on a limb and say that we will never expose that ring of suicide Lutheran bombers I referred to in my opening paragraph.  Suicide bombers will likely be Muslim, not Christian.

My biggest fear has been the ‘home-grown’ terrorist.  An American that thinks our democratic society sucks, he had a bad childhood, his parents don’t love him, he is more loved by Allah than God – and he is going to take revenge on the infidels.   A somewhat lesser fear is the Muslims that have moved to our country.

Common sense indicates we need to profile to protect the civilian population.   The ‘home-grown’ terrorist presents a very different and difficult challenge.

Social Media

Listen up, people!  Do you think when you post something on a social media website that only your friends and relatives can see it?  EVERYONE in the WORLD can see it!

For those of you applying for jobs, perspective employers are searching these sites to find out about you before hiring.  If you want pictures of yourself getting drunk, skinny-dipping, or generally acting like an idiot on the internet, good luck with getting that job.

Men, do you think anyone is interested in seeing a selfie of your feet with a bottle of beer on a foot stool?  You have athlete’s foot.  You need a pedicure.  Hairy legs are not sexy.  I have seen this twice in the last month.  Egads!

Don’t think that posting more ‘stuff’ makes you appear smarter.  Quite the opposite is true.

Common sense tells me that over half the material posted on a social website should be forwarded through a private email account.  If a message is designed primarily for one person, send a text message or make a personal phone call.  That way, only you, the recipient and the NSA will know what you said or sent!

Congressional Summer Recess

August is the month when our federal legislators go home and ‘glad hand’ with their constituents.  What harm can the government do when they are out of session?

Well, apparently they don’t stop working, or in this case, meddling.

With all of the serious things taking place around the world (Ukraine, Gaza, ISIL, North Korea, ebola) and in our own country (national debt, Obamacare, droughts and floods), Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN) has decided to take on the Redskin name when the Redskins take on the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis on November 2.

The Vikings are building a new stadium.  In the interim, they are playing on the University of Minnesota football field for the next two years.  They are paying $250,000 per game to rent the TCF Bank Stadium.  If the Vikings were playing in their old stadium, they would probably politely tell Representative McCollum to ‘suck eggs.’  But because they are renting the stadium of a land-grant university, the government funding for the university provides a ‘hook’ for the politician.

She has sent a letter to the Vikings and to the U of M, requesting that there be an effort to keep the Washington Redskins’ name from being used in ‘promotional’ and game date materials.  She has argued with the owner of the Vikings that  he needs to ‘take a stand against that hateful slur.’

Here is what common sense tells me.  Common sense suggests that with all the serious happenings in the world and in our own country, our elected officials should focus on what is important and get  their noses out of private business.  The football game will last three hours.  The items that she should be concerned about could have far-reaching consequences. (Common sense tells me that the Redskins name will change.  But that should be their decision and not one made with government intervention)

Exactly what will the Washington Redskins be called, if not Redskins, during this game?  They could always refer to them as ‘those guys from Washington.’  But that could be mistaken for  the entire Congress of the US.   Now that would be frightening!

Common sense people!  It is as simple as knowing the difference between right, wrong, and stupid.

Like the old American Express card – don’t leave home without it!

PS.  With the midterm elections approaching, I would like to state the party platform for our new political party in my next blog.  I am requesting any input on the name of our new party and on any issues you would like to see in our party plank.   Of course, all submissions must pass the ‘common sense’ test.

Grandpa T