Category Archives: Common Sense Solutions

‘Obstruction and Negativity’—-The Liberal Party Plank!

How long can you tolerate watching national and world news?  In the good old days of my youth with vigor and vitality, I could tolerate up to 30 minutes.  Now that I am older and wiser, I can tolerate watching national and world news for 20 minutes.  If I am having a really, really good day, I’ll watch it for 10 minutes!

Why the decrease in time, you ask?  It is quite easy to understand.  The vast majority of the news being reported (or made up!) has a negative connotation for either our country or for the POTUS.  Between the liberal media and the Democratic party, they will go to ungodly and disrespectful lengths to assure that anything this POTUS has accomplished be minimized.  The negatives get accentuated and the positives fade into obscurity.

The greatest example of obstruction took place about 4 months ago.  Do you remember when the Democratic party was vehement about the fact that something had to be done to address the problem of the ‘dreamers.’  The ‘dreamers’ are those people that were brought into this country by their parents who were illegal immigrants.  The Liberal ‘warm and fuzzy’ feeling regarding this issue was that as children, these ‘dreamers’ did not have any choice.  Consequently, they should be granted US citizenship.  The extension to this was that their parents should also be given US citizenship, because, gosh darn it, look at how long they have been here.  The liberals stated that there were 900,000 dreamers in the US, and gosh darn it, every one of them was a smart and productive American citizen candidate.  (My first thought about hearing this liberal approach was that if these ‘dreamers’ were so smart, why didn’t they go through the naturalization procedure long before.  I digress.)  Do you remember Trump’s response?  Trump said that a 10 year procedure would be put in place for 1.8 million dreamers.  This would allow twice the number of dreamers to become naturalized American citizens as being vetted by the Liberals.  The one big caveat that required 10 years to become a citizen?  A clean criminal record history.  In other words, if you have a criminal record, you could not become an American citizen, and could be deported.  The Liberal response?  Have you heard one word about the ‘dreamer’ issue in the last 4 months? The ‘dreamer’ issue was an issue thrown up against the Washington crap wall to see if it would stick in making Trump look like he was a racist and opposed to any path for the ‘dreamers’ to become US citizens.  It backfired on the Liberals and the liberal media instantaneously obliged by eliminating any more coverage of the ‘dreamer’ issue.  In the meantime, a very good and fair proposal got tossed onto the Washington crap pile.

What is the continued purpose of the Mueller investigation?  When I was young and living on the farm, one of our dogs strayed.  After a couple of weeks, we were pretty gosh darn sure that Chuck, my samoyed was not coming home.  After almost a year and a half of investigating, Mueller and his team of seventeen lawyers, a  prosecutorial dream team have not come up with anything.  Remember, this investigation was put together for two purposes, even though they are more inclined to focus on one of the purposes.  The first purpose was to investigate the possibility of Russian influence in our last election.  The second purpose was to investigate possible collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign.  So Robert, let me help you and your very expensive staff of attorneys.  Russian influence in our last election?  Yup. No doubt about it.  Collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians?  Probably not.  But…what if that answer was just ‘probably.’  Then what?  I would think you and your staff of legal geniuses would know that even if the collusion existed, it is not illegal!  So, Robert, what is the real purpose of your investigation?  Is this another attempt at throwing more defecation at the Washington crap wall?  Another arrow in the quiver of impeaching Trump because Hillary lost the election?

Remember, Robert, your whole investigation was triggered by a fictitious piece of propaganda by Fusion GPS that was funded by the Democratic National Committee; and yet you treat it with more relevance than Moses receiving the ten commandments on Mount Sinai.  At least Moses received the commandments on stone tablets.  Your Fusion GPS propaganda was written on used toilet paper. Yet you have kept this expensive charade up for well over a year.  My suggestion?  End this politically motivated (yup, I do believe there is a definite liberal agenda) witch hunt now, and send your bill to the Democratic National Committee instead of the taxpayers of America.  And Robert, if you really need something to investigate concerning the Russians?  Please start with the Uranium One deal between the Obama administration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Russians where we sold them our uranium reserves.  Remarkably, the Clinton Foundation received a $147 million donation after the sale.  That whole incident smacks of treason.  Where did that uranium go?  To Iran?  To North Korea? To Syria?  What if that uranium is used against us or our allies in the future.  Could you possibly find it in your black heart to investigate that?  Or, rather than worrying about the Russians stuffing the ballot boxes, why not investigate voting requirements in each state.  I am sure that there were many more votes cast by non-US citizens than the Russians could dream of.

I know exactly why Donald Trump has become a moving target to the Liberals and their media.  Firstly, the Liberals are deathly afraid that Trump may actually accomplish something that may benefit America and make them look bad.  Thus their ‘obstructionism’ policy.  Don’t vote for any of his programs.  Don’t vote for his cabinet/department/supreme court nominees.  Besmirch the reputation of any nominee and get the media to sensationalize it.  Attack the mental state of the POTUS. Does any of this sound familiar?  Secondly, it has shaken the Washington cesspool to the core that a none-politician could be elected, and succeed as POTUS.  Every other President during my lifetime has had a political background.  What these liberal geniuses have not figured out is that Trump got elected because he did not have the political background.   Hillary Clinton was swimming in the Washington cesspool up to her neck.  Trump was not.  Thirdly, Trump fights back!  When some liberal politician of liberal media outlet makes an outlandish claim (and there are many of them!) about Trump, he responds.  Like most people, I wish he would tweet less, but I understand why he does.  Trump is being Trump.  Fourthly, Donald Trump did not have to rely on selling his soul to any lobbyist for political funding to get elected.  He spent half the money on his campaign as Hillary Clinton.  And, lets face it, anyone that can’t be bought or controlled scares the hell out of all those career politicians in Washington.

So, to demonstrate the negativism that exists in the media, let me recap some of the Donald Trump accomplishments in his 16 months as POTUS: 1.  Reduced corporate and individual income taxes.  2.  Stimulated the economy and stock market.  3.  Lowered the unemployment rate to the lowest point in decades.  4. Smacked the crap out of ISIS, something the previous POTUS said was impossible.  5.  Faced down a North Korean deviate which may lead to the de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. 6.  Forced a better trade deal with China.  According to Newsweek Magazine on the one year anniversary of the Trump presidency, he has achieved 82 significant accomplishments.  Holy Cow!  How many of those accomplishments have you seen denoted in the media?  I read the list in that Newsweek and if you would read it, you would be amazed at what he has done!  (OK.  Name three Obama accomplishments.  When you get them, text me.)

During Ronald Reagan’s administration, he was referred to as “The Teflon President.”  That is because regardless of what Reagan did, nothing seemed to stick to him.  Politicians and the media treated Reagan respectfully.  During George ‘Dubya’ Bush’s years, he was referred to as “The Velcro President”.  This was because everything he did, but mostly the perceived bad decisions, stuck to him like Velcro.  He was the POTUS during the second Iraqi War and received much flack about it.  Now we get to Trump.  What should we call him?  Many may want to call him the ‘hamburger’ President, because everyone wants to take a bite out of him.  I would rather call him the ‘Oreo’ President, because when it comes to being between the Liberals and the liberal press, Trump is definitely the white filling of an Oreo cookie.

PS.  This is blog 101.  I was going to stop at 100.  Two of my faithful readers have convinced me not to quit blogging.  Grandma P also wants me out of her hair.  I’m back.  Enjoy.

I Love Sarah Huckabee Sanders!

I am in love with Sarah Huckabee Sanders!  But first….a little history pre-Sarah….

My first love-from-afar love interest was Juliet Prowse.  In 1960, Juliet starred in two movies, Can-Can and GI Blues.  I particularly admired her in GI Blues because she played opposite one of my favorite people, Elvis Presley.  Juliet had a fantastic smile, a cheery personality, red hair, and at 5’11”, she had beautiful legs up to her neck.  What more could a farm boy of 12 want from a girl?  Tragically, Juliet died at the age of 59 from cancer.  She jumped started my puberty by at least 3 years!

In 1963, at the age of 15, my taste in women changed.  I discovered that I really was attracted more to brunettes than to blonds.   My theory at the time was that most of the brunettes had natural color brunette hair, whereas, during the 60’s, most of the blonds had natural brunette hair, too.  So, into my young tender life comes who I consider to be the most attractive actress to ever live…..Elizabeth Taylor.  I mention the year 1963 because it was the year that great movie, Cleopatra, was released.  To this day, with all of the actresses that have had cosmetic surgery, I still consider Elizabeth Taylor to be the most beautiful actress of my lifetime.  If you have seen the movie, Cleopatra, and her entrance into the city of Rome, well it was truly spectacular and I have never seen a woman look more stunning.  The term used by men would be ‘drop dead gorgeous.’  And if you did not think so after seeing her, you did not have a pulse.

In the 1970’s, we had Charlie’s Angels.  Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson were the ‘Angels.’  While all of my male friends were going ‘ga-ga’ over Farrah Fawcett and bought her swimsuit poster, I remained true to my brunette belief and actually liked Kate Jackson the best.

Then something truly amazing happened.  I grew up.  While in my earlier life, like most young men, I considered appearance as the only component of beauty.  Then I began to mature and realized that there were other components to beauty.  One such component is personality.  I discovered that it was not enough to have just an attractive woman on your arm, but you had to enjoy being with that woman as well.  Then I discovered another component to beauty, intelligence.  The conversation cannot continue about puppy dogs and unicorns, eventually there needs to be a conversation with a little depth to it. Those are the characteristics that make a woman appealing to me.  (Is this the definition of maturity?)

Enter Sarah Huckabee Sanders.  (Also, Grandma P over 30 years ago.)  I have to mention Grandma P or I’ll be eating cereal alone at dinner for the next 30 years!  Beautiful, intelligent and personable. Check.  (A fourth criteria is that I decided I could live with Grandma P.)  On to Sarah!  Sarah is 35 years old, married in 2010, and the mother of 3 children all under the age of 8.  Whew!  All of this while being appointed White House press secretary last July 17 upon the resignation of Sean Spicer.

I find Sarah very appealing because she has all of the components that I have outlined as being beautiful.  Personality?  Check.  Appearance?  Check.  Intelligence?   Well………..here are the headlines that I pulled off the internet today, Sunday, that she no doubt will have to address in the White House press briefing tomorrow and the coming week:

  1.  Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham warn Trump will be impeached after signing spending bill.
  2. Ivanka takes President Trump to task over his treatment of Jared Kushner.
  3. There are the worst things Donald Trump’s “friends” have said about him
  4. Donald Trump routinely humiliates whoever he pleases.
  5. Melania joins Trump amid cheating scandals as family leaves D.C. ahead of March For Our Lives.
  6. Americans will pay the price for Trump’s toughened approach with China
  7. Trump’s new National Security Adviser has ties to Cambridge Analytica.

These are headlines from today’s news!  Do you see a pattern?  Does anything positive about Trump or his presidency or positive about America make it to the news anymore?

And, dear readers, who will be standing on the podium before a room full of media types to bring levity to a litany of negative headlines?  Why, that would be Sarah Huckabee Sanders.  (Did you notice I did not call the media types; reporters?  If I called them reporters, that would imply that they researched a subject and then ‘reported’ it in an unbiased manner.  That doesn’t happen anymore.)  I challenge you to watch the White House press briefings this week so that you can see first hand that Sarah is the sharpest knife in that drawer of people in the White House press room.  I admire her for being able to raise 3 children under the age of 8, and then handle a room full of media types who ask questions as if they were 8.  And like an 8 year old, they will ask the same question repeatedly, expecting a different answer if they ask it four times.  Watch how Sarah will handle them like the ringmaster of a three ring circus!

Even though the media has attacked her physical appearance, I find Sarah extremely attractive.  After all, any juggler can juggle 3 tennis balls, but Sarah can juggle at least 5 running chainsaws at a time.  And….working for Donald Trump cannot be easy, especially since he is a media target.

Admittedly, I don’t really love Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the biblical sense of the word.  After all, I just celebrated the 30th anniversary of my 40th birthday, making me 8 years older than her dad, Mike Huckabee.  That would be creepy.  But I do greatly admire her for who she is, what she has done, and her capabilities. Because of this, I find her extremely beautiful.   So, Sarah, if you read this blog, I would be happy to be the president of your fan club, and Grandma P and I live close to your dad so we would be happy to babysit your kids one night.  You Go Girl!!!!

My One Hundredth Blog!

Yup, this is blog numero 100!

I wrote this blog for three reasons:

  1.  I needed something to do after retirement.  It became evident that I only had so many lawn ornaments to paint, one lawn to cut, and too few bushes to trim to keep me busy.  And, I did not really like writing high school and college term papers so I decided to ‘step out of the box.’
  2. I wanted to write something that my grandkids may eventually read so they can see how their grandpa and grandma were raised and how America was much different during our formative years.  They would be appalled to learn that I can remember when both of my sets of grandparents did not have indoor plumbing.  We left our houses and cars unlocked.  I have tried to include some of those items in my blogs to create historical interest.  So far, no grandkid readers.
  3. It is no secret that I am a conservative.  I was irritated and disappointed that Barrack Obama got reelected, pretty much because he was black and not because he was qualified.  I understand why he beat John McCain in 2008.  McCain ran on a platform of being a political maverick.  He did not connect with the younger voters at all.  And…lets be honest, many people wanted to say they voted for the first black president. (Read blog #1, November 2012.)  But Mitt Romney was a different and much better candidate.  Successful businessman, successful governor, he had all the qualifications of being a great president.  But the campaign became racist, the biased liberal media did not pass up an opportunity to smear him, even though we had high unemployment, stagnant growth, an escalating national debt, a declining military, radical Islamic terrorism….all of the important issues that should have been of concern to Americans were overlooked for the sake of reelecting a marginal-at-best black president.  Now we have learned that the Obama campaign hired Fusion GPS to deliberately smear Mitt Romney.. History will bear this out.  So, as I am typing this,  I am contemplating whether there will be a blog 101.  My original goal of 100 blogs has now been met.  My thanks to Houston Nefoo, Grandma P and the Bayou Mauler for assisting me with my hobby.

Mexifornia! Could We Be So Lucky To See It Happen?

Have you heard about the rumblings coming from the left (West) coast about California seceding from the Union?  Yeah, I have heard those rumblings, too.  So, like a desperate poker player in a high stakes tournament, I am throwing all of my chips into the pot and calling their bluff.  But….before we all get hasty about our opinion on this matter, let’s review the pros and the cons to the State of California and to the United States of America as a result of a California succession.

The advantages for California.

Did you see on the news this morning that the Department of Justice is filing suit against California over the issue of non-cooperation between ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and California law enforcement agencies?  Yup.  Many of the mayors of large cities in California have directed their law enforcement agencies not to cooperate with any federal enforcement agency.  The mayor of Oakland warned illegal immigrants that there was an impending ICE sweep.   So, if California seceded, this would all go away.  Problem solved for the future Mexifornia!  No matter if a person is there illegally, or if they have a criminal record, they would all be welcome with open arms in the new, tolerant country of Mexifornia.

California has 53 Representatives in Congress.  They could disband their state legislature, and these 53 representatives could replace them and save lots of money.  That just leaves two US Senators out in the wind.  That would be Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris.  But think of this, maybe Dianne Feinstein could become the president of Mexifornia, as she is the senior senator, and Kamala Harris could become Vice President.  For this to happen, Governor Jerry Brown would have to retire so as to not mess up the pecking order.  But Jerry will be 80 years old next month and should retire.  After all, Governor Jerry is responding to the DOJ lawsuit as a ‘political stunt.’  He goes on to say that ‘political stunts’, (in this case, federal laws!), will not work in California.  Way to go Jerry!  Now if we could only get you to go out the door to retirement so that we can implement our plan to make Dianne Feinstein president of Mexifornia.

Just think of the cabinet that could be selected for Mexifornia.  The Kardashian sisters could be the joint secretaries of state.  After all, what group would know more about international affairs?  If experience is the best teacher, that great liberal political contributor, Harvey Weinstein should be the Human Resources director.  The door would have to be removed from his office for security reasons and his office must be devoid of any sofas or couches.

I would nominate Kathy Griffin for Mexifornia Homeland Security.  Firstly, she scares the hell out of me, so that would make her qualified.  Secondly, wouldn’t you like to see Donald Trump holding her bloody head at a White House press briefing?  Just sayin’.

If California seceded, they could raise the taxes on everything and everybody without recourse.  If a bunch of foreign conservatives (those from the USA!) were visiting Disneyland or taking the Hollywood tour, they could have an additional 100% tariff assessed to their tickets.  Nancy Pelosi would absolutely love the opportunity to assess ridiculous amount of tariffs to visiting conservatives.  After all, she is the person responsible for saying that the $1000 employee bonuses as a result of the Trump tax plan were ‘crumbs.’  With that in mind, the entrance fee to visit Disneyland would be a crumby $1500 per day per person, or, in other words….a crumb and a half per person.  She has also said that the latest federal budget proposal is a lot of ‘dog-do.’  How would Disney like to be paid in that?  Yup.  She qualifies as the new head of the IRS for Mexifornia.

The new country of Mexifornia would not have to be concerned about enforcing voter registration eligibility laws.  Oh wait, that is not an advantage, they don’t enforce these laws now.  California follows the blood pressure theory of voter eligibility….if you have a pulse, you can vote.  But here is an advantage, most of the Mexifornia citizens could vote in two countries, Mexifornia and Mexico.  The next time I visit Mexico, I am going to vote in their election.  Isn’t that what reciprocity is all about?

In all seriousness, I believe that if a vote was to be taken in California on succession, it would be a close election.  With 39 of the 53 US Representatives being liberals, you can see my point.  (20% of the Democratic US Respresetatives in Congress come from California.)

Advantages to the United States with a California Succession

A big advantage for the US of A would be that the Department of Justice would not have to enforce federal jurisdiction over the new country of Mexifornia.  This would save the taxpayers money and the DOJ a whole lot of headaches.  No cost for FBI agents in Mexifornia.  No cost for Border Patrol in Mexifornia.  No ICE agents in Mexifornia.  Isn’t that what California wants?  That would save lots of money for the US.

Here is another advantage for the USA.  The average staff salaries for a US senator is $2.8 million for Democratic senators, and $2.3 million for Republican senators.  But not to be outdone, in 2011 the two California senators were 1 and 2 in having the highest senatorial staff salaries.  Barbara Boxer was at $4.412 million and Dianne Feinstein was at $4.125 million for their respective staff salaries.  Yup.  They won and placed in the senatorial staff salary horse race.  You can imagine that Kamala Harris is not far behind after replacing Boxer.  That would be almost $10 million saved for the USA team.  But wait…..there’s more!  The average staff budgets for a Democratic representative is $1.024 million, while that for a Republican representative is $900 thousand.  That would save about another $53 million.  Throw in travel expenses and miscellaneous expense accounts, it would be a fair estimate that we would save about $100 million in the US budget.  I have no plausible explanation as to why staff salaries are much higher for the Democrats than the Republicans.  I guess the Democrats just want to spend more money.

As I am the blog writer, I am going to exercise my right of literary license and insert an advantage for the succession of California that may only be of benefit to me.  I would do anything not to have to hear Nancy Pelosi on the national news expounding idiotic drivel that she does so well.  I have already referred to the ‘crumbs’ comment and the one about ‘dog-do.’  Yet, there she is, getting way more camera time than one nitwit deserves.  I would do anything not to have to hear Maxine Waters talk about how she is going to get Donald Trump removed from the oval office, even if she has to do it herself physically.   She wants to impeach him.  No respect.  No cooperation.  Just more Californian drivel.  Again, another example of getting excessive media attention.  It seems that the more insane their comments..the more media attention.  (I do not think I am alone in this belief.)  If Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts would move to the succeeding California, my life would be complete!

Then there are the overly verbal, whackadoodles in Hollywood.  These are the elite people who spend way too much time attempting to convince you that they are average Americans, just like you and me.  Then they jump into their chauffeur driven limousines, head to some who-gives-a-crap ceremony, and award themselves more trophies and adoration.  They spew their political opinions as if anyone gives a damn.  News flash!  America is waking up to the fact that most of you don’t have a clue what average America is about, nor do we care about your political rantings.

Here’s an advantage to the US.  Think of how much fun it would be to replace California, so we could be back to an even fifty states.  Think of the possibilities!  Puerto Rico?  Nah.  Guam?  Maybe.  Samoa?  I would vote for the Western, free Samoa rather than American Samoa.  If you have been to them, you would know what I mean.  Cuba?  Only by invasion, but don’t totally eliminate it.  Possibly Ontario?  No.  Trudeau would get upset and ban Canadian hockey teams from playing in America.  Bummer, eh.  I cast my vote that the Virgin Islands replace California as the fiftieth state.  That way, we will not have to replace our flags.  Small population = less representatives.   Problem solved.

With all the bluster that comes out of California, here is one advantage for the US that many people are not aware.  California has 17% of the population in the United States.  California receives 34% of all social/welfare dollars distributed in the United States.  If my math and information is correct, that means that the state of California receives over $250 billion dollars from the federal government every year.  That is not chump change or crumbs or dog-do.  And yet they want to flaunt the fact that they do not want to abide by federal government laws, especially those pertaining to immigration.

Trump has threatened to withhold different federal funds for California non-compliance.  Faster than a firecracker, some Federal judge from the left coast will place an injunction on the withholding of the funds.  California getting money from the federal government is like a vasectomy….they want all the fun without the responsibility.

With all of this in mind, who really needs who?  California, with their already high real estate and income taxes would go bust in a second without federal government support.  If I were from California, I would muzzle my politicians, replace them with intelligent people and tread lightly on the succession question.  Maybe it should be left up to the other 49 states to vote if California should secede.  Wouldn’t that be interesting.

I think my ‘all in’ poker ploy has caused all the bluffers to fold.  Another pot for Grandpa T!

Stop Killing Our Kids!

Since the tragic school shooting in Florida, there have been no shortage of theories as to why it took place.  And, as is common in today’s society, there is no shortage of blame.   I have a different theory from most, but it requires some background history.

In the late 80s and early 90s I was very much involved with the military.  For some unknown reason, my fellow officers and I and the NCO’s were continually being contacted about joining the NRA.  For the most part, none of us joined the NRA.  I am not a member today, even though I strongly support the 2nd Amendment.   There was a major controversy taking place at the time about assault weapons in the United States.  All of us in the military were very familiar with the M-16 rifle.  The Vietnam veterans were intimately familiar with the rifle and its characteristics as they utilized the weapon in a combat environment.  The M-16 was adopted by the military in 1964, replacing the heavier M-14.  The rifle utilized a high velocity 5.56 mm cartridge, with a 20 round magazine.  Later, along with other improvements, that capacity was increased to a 30 round magazine.  By taping two  30 round magazines together, 60 rounds were available in a matter of seconds by changing magazines..  With the use of a selector switch, the military version rifle could fired automatic or semi-automatic.

So here we were with the NRA facing off against Congress to determine the future of assault weapons in the United States.  I place part of the blame on the NRA, because they were using the 2nd Amendment (and their political contributions) as a sledge hammer to bludgeon politicians into assuring there would be no restrictions on any weapon.  Let me point out that this is the primary purpose of the NRA; to assure there are no restrictions on any weapon.  In other words….they were doing their job as required by their very extensive paying membership.

But, I also put part of the blame on Congress.  Many of these politicians received significant funds from the NRA in their election and reelection campaigns.  So at a time when common sense could have prevailed, nothing happened.  For instance, there could have been a limit as to the number of rounds for magazine capacity.  I was a hunter, and the largest capacity that any of my hunting rifles or shotguns had was 7.  Where I hunted, if you didn’t hit what you were aiming for in the first three shots, you were pretty much screwed.  Mostly, the third shot was a desperation/frustration shot after having missed with the first two shots.  So could the magazine capacity been limited to 8?  10?  Should assault style weapons have been banned from the beginning before becoming available to the civilian population?

The reason my fellow military compatriots and I did not join the NRA was because we felt that only the police and the military should have that weapon.  Military and police ‘wannabes’ began buying the M-16 and other assault style weapons by the millions, even though they weren’t for hunting and were not very good target weapons.  There have been over 8 million M-16’s produced.  But the real winner of the assault weapon sweepstakes is the Russian AK-47.  Originally designed with a 30 round magazine, later versions allowed for a 40 round magazine and a 75 round drum magazine.  Russia was the initial manufacturer of the weapon, but then China and many of the old Soviet satellite countries began knocking them off.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, the gun markets were flooded with some version of the AK-47.  While attending gun shows in the early 90s, a person could purchase some version of the AK-47 with a case of ammunition for $200!  There are over 100 million AK-47s or it’s knockoffs in the world!

Now we fast forward to today and face the tragedy that there have been over 200 school shootings in the United States.  In order to be classified a ‘mass shooting,’ there must be four or more victims.  In the first two hundred years of this countries existence, there were 7 mass shooting school incidences.  (The first occurred in 1764 in Pennsylvania, when a schoolmaster was shot by marauding Indians, and nine students were bludgeoned to death!)  Since July 4, 1976, this country has experienced 17 mass-murder school shootings!  Twelve of these shootings have taken place since 1999, beginning with the infamous Columbine School shooting in Littleton, Colorado.  If we include school shootings with less than four victims, the number of school shootings would increase to 17 since Columbine.

Why the large increase since 1999?

Well, for one thing, let us look at our entertainment since 1999.  For starters, our television and our movies have become more violent, more sexually explicit, and more vulgar.  During my childhood, what use to take imagination now takes little imagination as everything in so explicit.  We did not see the murder, but would see blood on a wall or shadows on a curtain.   Today, many programs are a compendium as to how many ways a victim can be murdered.  The more gruesome, the better.  What happened to comedies?  What happened to shows showing a normal, stable family environment?  What happened to westerns?   What happened to variety shows?  If you don’t remember these shows, ask your grandparents.  They can give you a list.

Video games.  Have you seen some of these?  They are very similar to our TV and movie entertainment, except worse!  You may think they are a cartoon, but these games are nothing like any cartoons during my childhood.  Killing, sex, and vulgarity are the mainstay of many of these video games. (Can’t the Angry Birds become the Happy Birds?)

Our news reporting does not miss an opportunity to sensationalize a tragic event.  I had to stop watching the news for four days because of the Florida school shooting.  There was not a facet of that event that was not discussed at depth….24/7.  Unfortunately, because of this extensive news coverage, what is a tragic event for the sane becomes a pathway to infamy for the disturbed.  (Gee, if I kill a bunch of people, I can be on television!)  And, because of their extensive, in-depth coverage, they almost provide a road map as to how the crime can be done.

What happened to respect?  We don’t respect the police.  We don’t respect our teachers.  We don’t respect the opinion of others.  We don’t respect the rights of others.  It appears to me that the word ‘compromise’ has been removed from the English language and replaced by the word, ‘confrontation.’  I was continually told while growing up that I should ‘respect my elders.’  Now that I am an elder, that is not working out real well for me.  What’s with that?

So how do we stop school shootings in America?  It has been proposed to arm certain teachers.  An ‘in-school’ reaction squad.  Check.  We can provide in-depth background checks for gun purchasers.  Check.  We can raise the minimum age for purchasing a gun.  Check.  We could ask for military and police retirees to volunteer to assist in providing school security.  Check.  Have our legislators enact legislation against high capacity rifles and pistols.  (Pistols are actually the murderer weapon of choice.)  Check.  Increase gun violation punishments.  Check.  There are a myriad of things that can be proposed or enacted.  Many of which I do not agree.  But here is the one thing and one problem no one has ever approached……..

Our world and our society has changed significantly during my lifetime.  The technological advances have been amazing.  The technological advances have impacted every facet of our society:  how we eat, how we travel, our recreation, information resources, our military hardware, health treatment and services…..the list is endless!

But the one thing that has remained constant during this entire tumultuous period?  Parenting.  Our kids are bombarded and are exposed to sensory overload like no other previous generation.  Who is responsible for the movies and television that children are subjected to and watch?  The parents.  Who controls the usage of video games?  Parents.  Who teaches respect for others?  Parents.  Who has the best idea if a child is emotionally or mentally disturbed?  It would be the parent.

I empathize with anyone who has lost a child to violence.  But the fact remains, a gun or rifle did not load itself, jump out of a box, and then deliberately kill.  It requires the human element to pull the trigger and that is where the weakness of our murder prevention system lies.  Most mass school shootings are done by the young.  Blame others if it makes you feel better, blame the guns if it makes you feel better, but until our young are raised by parents that get into every aspect of their children’s lives, you can expect more of the same.  Stop being a friend and begin being a parent.  Its a much more difficult job, but society will get a better result.

Retirement and Politics…..Bad for Your Health?

Being retired definitely has its advantages.  I can play video games any time I want….and in my pajamas!  I can go days without shaving.  I get ‘old fart’ discounts at restaurants.  I can watch anything I want on television, anytime I want.  Vacations aren’t a problem…we can go whenever and wherever we please.  We just need to make a withdrawal from the grandkids college funds. Voila!  We’re sailing in the Caribbean!

But, alas, there are some disadvantages.  For instance, If Grandma P and I did not have doctors appointments, we would not have a social life.  In that regard, it sucks to get old.  Another disadvantage is that Grandma P knows she can shame me into doing any repair work around the house, any time it needs to be done.  In her eyes, I am a ‘handy man’ available 24/7.  Change that light bulb.  Mow that yard.  Paint those faded lawn ornaments.  You get the drift.

But there is one really, really big disadvantage about being retired.  As I am doing the fun things I want to do, usually in my office, usually with the television on, I get to watch all the political machinations that are taking place in Washington, D.C.  I get to watch the daily press briefings.  I get to watch any congressional fact finding commissions or panels.  And, as a result, I have noticed two things.  Firstly, how stupid most of the reporters are at the press briefings and how stupid most of our elected officials really are.  Secondly, it is obvious that most politicians are not concerned about what is best for our country.  They are far more concerned about pandering to their political base (whatever that is!) and getting reelected.

As I am writing this blog, the government is approaching its third day of shutdown.  A very unnecessary, dangerous shutdown.  As a former business owner, there were times, because of the economic environment, when I had to expand or contract my work force.  It is logical that I would want to hire the best most productive people possible.  It is also logical that in times of contraction, I would release the least productive people.  So, how is it that the people, in this case the Congress of the United States, that are responsible for this shutdown are the only people exempt from the ramifications of the shutdown?  I think their paychecks should be the first casualties of a shutdown!  Just sayin’.

Our country is currently facing many challenges.  The war in Afghanistan.  The federal budget.  North Korea has not gone away.  The wall.   Dreamers.  Illegal immigration.  And now, we have a government shutdown.

My frustration grows…..

A couple of weeks ago, much media attention was given to Donald Trump allegedly referring to Haiti as a ‘shithole.’  Many people attending this meeting said that the POTUS did not say this.  The POTUS stated he did not say it.  The one person who got the press was Senator Dick Durbin (D) from Illinois. (Nothing is sacred or secret in our government if the slightest tinge of political gain can be gotten.)  So this issue became a political hot potato.  It got better.  There was a Senate Judicial Hearing concerning Homeland Security.  You know these Homeland Security people, they are responsible for  everything about public security in the U.S., including TSA, Immigration, border security,  cyber security, the Secret Service, etc.  During this hearing with the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Neilsen; Senator Cory Booker (D) New Jersey, decided that rather than asking pertinent questions about the public security of our country, he would go into a tirade about how he cried when he heard the purported remarks the POTUS made about Haiti from Dick Durbin.  He passed up his opportunity to better our country to pander to his constituents. After all, Cory Booker has never met a television camera he did not like.  (This is not an uncommon trait among senators!)

I have to admit, when this story first broke about what the POTUS said, I was a little perplexed.  But then I had to fall back on common sense.  I had to consider the source.  In this case, this was the same Dick Durbin that was quoted as saying we need to cease using the term, ‘chain immigration’ because it reminds the black race that their ancestors came to America in chains. Say what?  Are you kidding me?  If that is the case, then there should be marching and burning in protest to the term, ‘ minority whip.’  That is the person from the minority party in the House of Representatives that is tasked with keeping the party members in line with the party platform by supporting the platform with their vote.  In this case, the minority whip would be a Democrat.   I digress.  (Dick Durbin’s analogy is absolutely stupid.)

I wish that the POTUS  would not use the term ‘shithole’ when referring to a third world shithole like Haiti.  It upsets people and creates liberal press fodder, even though it is a spot-on descriptive.  Haiti has had billions of dollars poured into it, without any benefit to the common people.  Where did the money go?   I don’t really care if Trump said it or not, as I know that Haiti is a shithole because it is the only country in the Caribbean that Grandma P and I have not visited in our 20 cruises throughout the area.  If it were anything else, it would be a port of call.  (We have been to the Dominican Republic numerous times at the other end of Hispaniola.  It is beautiful!)  What concerns me is that a US senator turned a serious Senate Judicial hearing into a carnival sideshow.  All of this because another US senator decided to mow political hay with the purported description used by Trump.

Frustration building…..  (1.  Take a deep breath.  2.  Paint some faded lawn ornaments!)

How about the political circus surrounding the government shutdown itself?  95% of the Republicans voted for the funding measure to fund the government, effectively ending the shutdown.  95% of the Democrats voted against the funding measure and initiated a filibuster to halt the vote in the senate.  The Democrats want the funding of our nations military and security apparatuses to go unpaid while they are wanting a full amnesty for the ‘dreamers.’  You know who the ‘dreamers’ are.  They are the children brought into the US by their illegal immigrant parents.  But the Democrats want to take it further.  They want citizenship for the ‘dreamers’ as well as their parents who illegally entered this country.  But, with the assistance of an all-too-willing liberal media, the Democrats are blaming the POTUS and the Republicans for the shutdown.  Hopefully, most people in America are smart enough to see through this.

Speaking of the media, you should have watched the news conference about the president’s health.  The examining doctor was kept on the podium for over an hour because of some of the dumbest questions you would ever want to hear.  How can you say he is physically fit?  How can you say he is mentally acute?  How can you say he is physically fit when he eats cheeseburgers?  (As do 300 million other Americans!)   Apparently these people are of the belief that if you ask the same question four times, the answer may change.  Not likely.  Many press briefings follow this same, repetitive scenario.

(Where is the President’s doctor when I need him!  Blood pressure..up!   Heart rate..rising!  OMG!  I ate a cheeseburger last week!  I’m a goner!)

Did you know that five representatives are not attending the State of the Union Address because they claim that Trump is a racist.  Is that how you want your representative to represent you?   What kind of respect and cooperation can these five people expect in Congress, when they don’t show any respect for others.  These people may be loud, and brash, and get reelected, but they will not get much legislation passed that will benefit your legislative area as other Congressmen will not show respect and cooperation for them.

So I have a challenge for my retired friends.  Please take time to observe a weeks worth of White House press briefings.  Observe the stupidity of the press corps and their questions.  You will be astonished.  For those still working, I am sure you can tape these briefings and watch at night.  They do provide some of the best entertainment on television.

My second challenge is for everyone to make an attempt at observing your federally elected officials at work.  There is no question that some of these people are brilliant and have the best interest of our country at heart.  There is also no question that some of them are egocentric, stupid, and are more concerned about reelection than results.  I have pointed out a couple, but you can make your own judgement.

I get so upset about the maneuvering that is taking place to create shutdowns, belittle the President’s physical condition, belittle the President’s mental condition, and basically ‘stonewalling’ anything that is positive for this country that I have to turn off my television.  Are these the people you want to represent you?  Observe your politicians at work.  You may be surprised  how they represent you.

(Shut off the television.  Heart rate…declining.  Blood pressure…normal.) 

Well, its rainy and dreary outside.  Time for a nap.  Ah. yes.  The advantages of being retired.