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Who Gives a Duck?

Can you believe the media sensation surrounding one redneck from Louisiana?  (I am not talking about Drew Brees or the Bayou Mauler!)

Of course, I am talking about Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame..  Phil, much like Paula Deen before him, is being castigated in the media because of his interview with GQ magazine.   The interviewer asked very pointed questions of Phil.  These questions centered on his Christian faith and his family values.  In the event that you have been living under a rock these last few days, I will tell you that Phil said that homosexuals, as well as those engaging in other behaviors frowned upon in the Bible, are not going to inherit the Kingdom of God.  Phil was trying to be nice in saying that people practicing these behaviors were ‘going to hell.’

Can you believe it?  People practicing these behaviors took exception to his comments!

Because GQ is also media, the magazine just could not resist creating interest in their upcoming January issue, all in the hope of selling more magazines.  They did this by releasing the contents of the interview with Phil.  Thus the media storm.

I have never watched a Paula Deen program.  I have watched most of the Duck Dynasty programs. Why?  Both Grandma P and I like to be entertained without the excessive use of foul language, blatant sex, violence or gore.  Such offensive programs were not prevalent in our formative years, but they monopolize the programming today.  Along came Duck Dynasty.  A program not afraid to illustrate people who openly and proudly practice their Christian faith.  A family that is not ashamed of demonstrating their family values.  A zany cast of characters, some with beards and camouflage clothing, that appears to be having a really good time.  It provides good entertainment.  The family dynamics are amusing.

Phil Robertson is the patriarch of the family.  He is devoutly Christian.  He is honest.  He is rich.  He is a target.  He is a target because he speaks what is on his mind and when he does, he can get himself into trouble.  The ‘politically correct’ disagree with his life philosophies.  More on that later.

Because of their reality show on A & E, we know quite a bit about Phil and the entire Robertson family.  He frankly admits that he was both an alcoholic and a womanizer until he found faith.  Not too many people would fess up to that, but Phil does.  As a child of the 60s, he has stated that early life was ‘sex, drugs and rock-and-roll.’  That is totally understandable to me as I am a child of the 60s.  The temptations were there.  Life choices are a bit blurry when you are subjected to so many temptations as a teenager.

But enough about Phil.  After all, he is what he is.  He is the patriarch of a family that has the most popular show on cable television.

What I find most interesting, is  A & E’s initial response to Phil’s interview:

‘We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty.  His personal view in no way reflects those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.  The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.’

Champions of the LGBT community?  That indicates to me that A & E are supporters of that lifestyle, and embrace it as being more important than any other lifestyle.  When you champion a cause, is that not what is meant?  I could be in trouble!  On all these forms that I have filled out over the years asking sexual preference, I have always  answered ‘flaming heterosexual.’   Admittedly, the writer of the A & E response is gay.

A & E, do you really believe his personal beliefs are not reflected in the Duck Dynasty program?  Do you ever watch what you televise?  His beliefs are everywhere in that program!  Look at his sons.  Are they not a reflection of his beliefs?  Alan is a minister.  Look at Phil’s daughters- in-laws and grandkids.  Phil’s imprint is everywhere!  Have you not seen them closing each show with a prayer at a family dinner?  It is usually at Phil’s house.

I am not an advocate of gun control, but maybe we need to revisit that issue when it comes to stupidity.  A & E has the most popular cable television program ever, and then someone decides to shoot themselves and the network in the foot with that stupid response.  Thus the gun control for stupidity.  I am sure Phil would lend a shotgun to the A & E writer of the response.  He would likely throw in the ammo.  What makes this all the more amazing is that A & E receives royalties for all things Duck Dynasty!  Bring extra ammo, Phil!  (Duck Commander and Buck Commander are strictly the Robertson family.)

What are some smart responses?

Under Armour,  the maker of all that fine Duck Dynasty camouflage clothing and hunting gear responded: “We are obviously aware of the situation, and his comments are not indicative of Under Armour’s views.  We have no plans to change our current relationship.”  Short and sweet.

The Walmart comment was that it would have ‘no comment.’  I find that interesting as they were one of the first companies to dump Paula Deen during her media crisis.  All in the name of political correctness. (It is also interesting to know that you can still buy Paula Deen items on the Walmart website.)  Maybe capitalism is winning over ‘political correctness.’

Duck Dynasty is another animal.  (Pardon the pun.)  The latest Wall Street estimates are that Duck Dynasty has created over $400 million in merchandise and clothing sales.  Walmart is estimated to be responsible for half of that total.  By far, the most popular line of clothing sold in Walmart is anything that has to do with our favorite bearded, camouflaged family.  That is for both men’s and women’s clothing!  That’s not chicken feed!

Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, said it best, “The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with.”

I could not agree more.  As I have mentioned in numerous posts, I am tolerant until someone engraves their cause on a Louisville Slugger, and hits me between the eyes.  I had to look up what LGBT meant.  I am more than tired of the media attention given to states that are allowing same-sex marriages.  In Minneapolis, the mayor married 50 same-sex couples in city hall the day the law went into effect.  Am I becoming homophobic, or are these people attempting to impose their lifestyle on our society?  In referring to the A & E response about being ‘champions of the LGBT community,’ I think the Louisville Slugger has been swung.  And we now know in which direction they swing.

Why is Phil the target of so much venom by the ‘politically correct?’  Short answer: He is a Christian and he believes in the Bible.  In essence, he swung his bat, and the ‘politically correct’ don’t like it.

I don’t necessarily agree with all of Phil Robertson’s beliefs, but I do support his right to state his beliefs.  After all, we are subjected every week to brainless comments made by athletes, entertainers, and politicians.  If they can get the podium, Phil should get it, too. (Charlie Sheen, the epitome of virtuous lifestyle, has jumped on the Phil bashing bandwagon.  Need I say more?)

Here are the repercussions of Phil’s interview.  Firstly, prominent people have risen to his defense.  Too many to mention.  Secondly, the Duck Dynasty merchandise is flying off the shelves in support of Phil.  Many of the Walmart stores have run out of the DD merchandise.  Thirdly, the silent majority has become very verbal in their defense of Phil.

Sorry, A & E, I do not see Duck Dynasty continuing without Phil.  They have enough money.  You need them more than they need you.  Good luck in negotiating further contracts with the Robertson family.  How many major networks do you think have contacted the Robertsons?

Aha!  I finished this article, and while the Bayou Mauler was editing it, lo and behold, the A & E network released a statement:

“After discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A & E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family”

Well isn’t that just ducky?

The network has put aside their moral dilemma to keep their ducks afloat.  They’ve been offended, but not so offended they would completely abandon the Number 1 series on cable TV.  To completely ruin their alliance with the merchandising phenomenon would be a bad call – a bad duck call, that is.


December 28 is the one year anniversary of Common Sense by Grandpa T.  We have received over 43,000 hits on the blog site, about 40,000 more than I thought we would get.  I have enjoyed writing it and hope you have enjoyed reading it.  My thanks to Grandma P, Houston Nefoo, and my hotshot proof reader, Bayou Mauler, a proud Christian and Louisiana gal.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Grandpa T

The Media and Cowardice – Contributing Factors for Mass Shootings

I am a baby boomer. Baby boomers are the generation that are now grandpas and grandmas. We are an easily recognizable bunch. The gray thinning hair, wrinkles in places you never knew could wrinkle; well, you get the picture. We are never mistaken for Gen X’ers, Y’ers, or any other generation. We are also the generation from whom kids expect to receive large birthday and Chrismas presents.

I am proud to say that, in recent history, no mass killings have been committed in the United States by baby boomers. That is not to say we did not have our usual assortment of “nut cases” and murderers. It is the younger generation committing these heinous crimes, such as shooting grade school children, innocent moviegoers, or people in Washington, D.C.

My theory about why these tragic events are occurring today is based on cowardice and the media. Let me explain.

When growing up in the small town of Soft Rock, (population 969) we had a movie theater. As a matter of fact, the name of the theater was the Soft Rock Family Theater. Our little theater had about 200 seats. Movies were 25 cents, and popcorn and a soda were a dime each. The theater ran two different movies each week. One movie ran Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The second movie would run Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. So, in the early 60s when my parents wanted the kids out of the house, we would use our weekly allowance of fifty cents. We would be dropped off at the door of the theater. Now here is how life was very different from today. My parents would drop me off without even looking at the marquee to see what movie was playing. They knew that no movie would be shown at the Soft Rock Family Theater that was inappropriate for children. There wasn’t any PG, PG-13, R, or any other designation. There weren’t any warnings regarding language, nudity, sexually explicitness, extreme violence, etc. Warnings were not needed.

Our parents never had to worry about what was on nighttime television. It was appropriate for all ages. Sunday night was family night in front of the TV, a tradition that is sorely lacking today. Everyone was home. There were no acceptable excuses for not being home on Sunday night. The shows included Ed Sullivan, Bonanza, a host of variety shows, and my very favorite, the Wonderful World of Disney. Walt Disney provided some of the best programming anywhere and at any time. Today Disney is known for their theme parks, but their entertainment during the golden age of television was so much more impressive.

We also had Saturday morning television with shows featuring real people actors. Our shows had people like Roy Rogers (my personal favorite), Hoppalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, Zorro, The Lone Ranger, Sky King, Pinky Lee, Superman, Wild Bill Hickok, Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody. We even had animal shows like Fury and Rin Tin Tin. I don’t know how they did it, but that horse and dog either saved a kid, or they assisted in capturing a bad guy in every episode. Amazing!

At 6:00AM on Saturdays, while the parents were sleeping, I would sneak downstairs and turn on that cherished 19″ black and white TV, wait for that baby to warm up (about 30-45 seconds), and watch an hour of cartoons before my real live heroes came on the air. And when they came on, I was excited. I knew that good was going to triumph over evil, and the world was going to be a safer place because of the efforts of my heroes. Never mind the fact that most of them were westerns taking place in the 1800s, I just knew that they made America safe for me today.

My heroes were my role models. The bad guys always got what they deserved. And, if one of my heroes had to pull out a gun to bring him to justice, he shot to “wing” him. The hero was always an excellent shot, only shooting the villians in the shoulder, and occasionally, a leg. No hero ever shot a “baddie” in the head or torso. Apparently in the Old West this was not allowed, either on purpose or by accident. My heroes were so considerate that even when they had to shoot the villian, my heroes would not let him bleed. Obviously, there was no blood in those bad guys.

You could say that our entertaiment was “white-washed.” Many people would argue that it was not realistic. But to us baby boomers, it was entertainment!

There is a reason why it was whitewashed. Our parents, what Tom Brokaw calls the “greatest generation”, were the responsible parties for this whitewashing. They had lived through the Depression, lived in houses without electricity and indoor plumbing, and had won World War II. They were a tough, hardworking generation that lived at a time when you really did “eat what you killed.” And, they saw, lived in, and experienced the horrors associated with World War II. The returning service members lived in the mud and saw the blood and the death that is inherent to warfare.

Now that the war was over, the returning servicemen made bowling the second most popular indoor sport. The baby boomer generation was the result. “And by God, no kid of mine was going to experience what I did during the Depression and during the War!” Thus, television and movies were entertaining, upbeat, and bloodless. And, as a result, there were no shortage of role models for any of us young boomers.

The “greatest generation” had WWII, and the baby boomers had a country and a war called Viet Nam.

Viet Nam. The first time in our history that television reporting could be reported instantaneously. And the media, particularly television, did not pass up that opportunity. For the first time, the horrors of warfare were brought to the American public. It was dubbed the “living room” war because pictures of dead and dying enemies, dead and wounded civilians, and the carnage of war were shown up front and personal. The opportunity to show a dying American serviceman drawing his last breath while medics and doctors were frantically attempting to save him was also not wasted.

At first, Americans were appalled. But as the war lingered, and the casualties and carnage increased, the American public became “desensitized” by the whole affair. After seeing so much blood, so many bodies, and cities and towns destroyed, it just did not affect the public as did the initial onset of the war. (I quit watching television news during the Viet Nam war. I was a young Army officer not in the war, who’d lost too many friends and quit watching. I currently read newspapers and peruse news sites on the internet, and I can choose what I want to read.)

The gloves came off of our media, particularly television and movies. Nothing was off-limits. The “whitewashing” done by the media in the 50s was gone in the 70s.

We needed rating systems not only for the movies, but also for television. These ratings were to warn of: sexually explicit language, nudity, adult situations, graphic violence, and any one of numerous other reasons. So much for “whitewashing.”

Then, as technology advanced, we were subjected to computers and video games. The video games require a rating also. And one of the ratings is “not advised for people under 18.”

So here we are. With all of our technological advances we finally arrived at the “Freddy Kruger” generation. I know this is not the technical term, but it does signify that we left my Roy Rogers era and came to grips with a whole new era where the parents are not protecting their children from the crap that is now being pandered as entertainment. Now there is even a “Chain Saw Massacre” sequel. It astounds me that this stuff is both popular and profitable enough to continue with sequels.

It has also spilled into television. During my childhood, there was no lack of entertaining comedy. Now, it is difficult to find comedy that should really be seen by children. But there it is! There is no lack of blood and gore. Moreover, the plot takes a backseat to the gratuitous blood and gore.

I want to be entertained and relaxed while watching television. I do not want to see pedofilia on Criminal Minds, or 15 different ways to decompose a body on Bones. Have you seen the warnings preceding Bones? It baffles me that it can be shown during family prime time. Grandma and I quit watching both shows, because they went from educating to sensationalizing.

Now kids play video games loaded with violence.

Last weekend, a group whose objective is to clean up media, sent people to audit the violence shown in the 5 biggest box office drawing movies. Between these 5 movies, there were 185 incidents of violence, with many of them being murder. Apparently, this is what sells, and this is what the public wants.

My heroes used a six-shooter to bring the bad guys to justice. The modern protagonists (not heroes, by my standards) use a sixty shooter to eliminate the bad guys. Every person appears to have an assault rifle. My heroes were intelligent and attempted to minimize harm to everyone, including the villians. The modern protagonist is idolized for his strength and weaponry, and ability to cause mass destruction and carnage. In retrospect, I realize my heroes were actors playing a part. The characters being portrayed were good. In my young mind, they were real. I wanted to emulate them.

Who are the role models today? Cartoons do not qualify as a role model. Can you think of five people who are providing our youth with positive role models from the media? Someone a child can look up to and say,” I want to be like him.” And you would be proud.

The current crop movie and TV producers, as well as the video game makers, claim that they are in no way responsible for any of these mass killings. They may not be the “reapers” of their products, but common sense tells me that they have “sown” the seeds of heinous crimes with their products. When young, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction. My heroes were real to me. Some people do not mature past that level. They may be unbalanced. They are provided with many media “field manuals” to violent behavior. Our children have been desensitized by all the blood, gore, violence and killing from which they have been exposed. And as long as we, the public, keep buying it, they will continue to make it.

During the 50s, a school yard fight usually entailed two fifth-graders slugging it out. The damage done by these fisticuffs was minimal. It was just the way all disagreements were settled. In Medieval warfare, one combatant stood face to face with his foe.

Both of these scenarios have one thing in common; both combatants were within arms’ reach.

It takes a lot of “guts” to stand in a fist fight and fight within arms’ reach of your opponent. It takes a coward to gun down and murder unarmed, defenseless people.

I wondered why the Colorado theater shooter was not shot during his spree? The answer is that he picked a theater that did not allow guns. He passed two theaters that did allow guns to get to the theater that did not allow guns. Thus he was unmolested during his killing spree. If there were three or four guns in the theater, there would surely have been fewer innocent victims, and possibly one shooter victim. The coward went to a theater where he would be unmolested while committing his heinous act. (His trial has been delayed, because his attorneys are not prepared to enter a plea. Three hundred witnesses, and he has not stood trial.)

Do you think the Fort Hood psychiatrist would have had a chance if any of his soldier victims had their weapons? You can surmise that there may have been two or three victims, and he surely would have been one of them. But this coward also chose to shoot people who could not retaliate. His trial has not begun, even though the crime took place over a year ago.

It appears the Sandy Hook elementary school shooter was mentally unbalanced. His crime was the most vile and heinous of any, as he targeted elementary school children. Unfortunately, this is the crime that is causing knee jerk reactions in cities, in states, and in Washington D.C. Enough bad legislation cannot be written and passed quickly enough by our politicians. All of this done to convince their voting public that they are on top of the current situation.

These cowards would not have done their deeds, had they not thought they could get away with doing so.

And our media? They have provided these surviving killers, and any future copycats with more press coverage and television time than they could ever had hoped, yet they cleanse themselves of any responsibility.

Gun Control in America – the new Big Bang Theory

In early American history, our forefathers viewed the “right to bear arms” as important for the following reasons:

*  deterring tyrannical government

*  repelling invasion

*  suppressing insurrection

*  facilitating a natural right of self-defense

*  participating in law enforcement

*  enabling the people to establish a militia system

Because of the listed concerns, the “right to bear arms” became the second amendment.   If it had not been important to our forefathers, this right would have had a higher number, rather than immediately following the first amendment granting “freedom of speech.”

It is hard to imagine that any other amendment to our Constitution has been under more scrutiny than the second amendment, especially in light of the recent Sandy Hook School massacre in Connecticut.

So now let’s get into the present.  Legislation is currently being introduced into Congress to reenact a ban on assault weapons.  There was a 10-year ban on assault weapons from 1994 to 2003.  It appears that this law did have more holes than a wheel of Swiss cheese, but had little effect, either positive or negative, because assault rifle weapons are only used in two to eight percent of all gun crimes.  Why the difference in the percentages?  Which was it, two or eight percent?  Well, one thing that Grandpa T learned regarding statistics about crimes and guns is that you can find a myriad of statistics supporting one view or the opposing view.

What is my personal take on assault rifles?  Well, as a former hunter, former soldier, and current owner of guns, I do not see why anyone would want to own one.  They are not so accurate compared to other non-assault rifles.  Also, they cannot be used for hunting because of the small caliber of the ammunition.  Lastly, it can get kind of spendy if you decide to shoot magazine after magazine.  But what are you shooting?

Common Sense tells me that there are only five reasons why someone would want to have an assault weapon:

*  1.  Because you are in the military or in law enforcement.

*  2.  Because you are either a frickin’ soldier or cop wannabe, and you have watched way too much television.

*  3.  Because you want to investment.  The value is rising because people are stockpiling arms and ammunition.

*   4.  Because you are a collector.   Your collection simply would not be complete without a crappy- looking Rumanian-made AK-47.

*   5. Because you plan to commit a crime and therefore possess as much firepower as you can obtain.

I am sure there must be other reasons, but I would be hard pressed to provide them.  I am sure-shootin’ that I am going to get a response to this last paragraph.

I am not anti-NRA.  During my military career, the NRA was unmerciful in attempting to make members of my fellow soldiers and me.  We were a poor group to target  because we possessed and trained with assault weapons.  For purely selfish reasons, we never wanted to face an enemy that was armed as well as or better than we were.  That survival thing kicked in.  I am pretty sure that most law enforcement people feel the same.  As a result, we did not join the NRA because of their concerted efforts to protect assault weapon ownership.  Second amendment – si; assault weapons – no.

But like most things Washingtonian, our politicians are sure to screw up this law.  The 1994 assault weapon ban made illegal any magazines that held more than 10 rounds of ammo.  A good thing in my opinion, as I never shot over three times at any game I ever hunted.  So what happened?  While the law was being debated in Congress, manufacturers flooded the market with large capacity magazines.  They are all available today. Gun dealers cannot keep assault weapons on the shelf, as the pending legislation is causing panic buying at lucrative profit once again.  It is too late.   There are too many of them already in circulation.

As an aside, when assault weapons first started becoming available, especially AK-47’s from either Russia or China or some other third world sinkhole at gun shows, you could buy an AK and get a crate of ammo for $150.  This was less than 15 years ago, and those crates contained 2200 rounds of ammo.  I never bought one.  They looked junky.  I did not need one, and I did not need to fill my soldier wannabe void.

So, now that we have weapons galore in the U.S., how do we protect ourselves?

Two of our ally nations have taken the path of attempting to eliminate guns entirely in their countries: England and Australia.

Now here is where the statistics get so divergent that I am not going to attempt to scrutinize who is right or wrong.   I will attempt to generalize what has been published in the 5 consulted sources. Who is right and who is wrong is going to be determined by what you want to believe.  Currently, the passions have been raised to fever pitch on both sides as both sides are very passionate about the subject.  So here we go!

The State of Illinois has the most stringent gun laws in the U.S.  However, the City of Chicago experienced over 500 homicides in 2012.  More homicides in Chicago than soldier deaths in Afghanistan. Obviously gun control laws have failed.

It appears you cannot get a consensus in England as to the effect of their gun law.  The law took guns out of the hands of the citizenry.  Having said that,  Common Sense tells me that only law-abiding people will turn in their weapons. The non-law abiding people will keep their weapons.  The British police force has had to arm themselves after the passage of the law for the first time in history!  We all have seen the old movies with the Bobbies walking the beat with a whistle and a nightstick.  Since the passage of the gun law, they are now carrying weapons.  The absence of all other statistics with regard  to crime reduction or increase is amazing. But name one legislative body that will admit they have made a major league screw-up at taxpayers expense.

Australia is another matter.  The government paid their citizens to turn in weapons.  As a result, 640,381 weapons were turned in at a cost of $500,000,000 to the government.  That is about $780 per weapon and this was done over ten years ago.  Now here is the irony of this.  The government knows exactly  how many weapons were turned in, but the results ofthis  buy-back program in relation to crime statistics run the gamut from “no effect on the crime rate” to “huge increases in the crime rate.”  Bear in mind, the government spent a big boatload of money and does not want to admit failure in the program.  The general concensus?  Crime increased dramatically in all categories as a result of the buy-back program.  Just like in England, the law abiders turned in their weapons, and the crooks, felons, and thieves all kept theirs.  If you can believe some of the statistics, homicides increased 171% in Victoria and armed robbery increased by 200% across the whole country.  The assault rate has increased from 200% to 800% after the buy-back depending on whose statistics you want to believe.  If home invasions are included in the 800% number, then it appears plausible as home invasions increased dramatically.  I could not find any statistics to substantiate a crime reduction.

Think about it.  Would a potential home robber feel more emboldened if he knew the house he was going to rob was unprotected?  Well, that is exactly what is happening in Australia.

Another of our allies, Israel, has taken a totally opposite course.  They are an armed citizenry, because they are the only country in the world that has had to fight for its existence every day since its founding in 1948.  Their crime rates are low.  Grandma and I saw this at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.  A group of about 10 preschoolers were walking single file, being lead and followed by two military aged men.  As they passed, we noticed that each man had a pistol tucked into their belts behind their backs.   When they crossed the busy street, one man led, and the other stopped all the traffic and the kids crossed.  Now that added a whole new dimension to street-crossing guard! (Damn!  I was a street-crossing guard in grade school, and I would have given anything to have had a “heater” with my Sam Brown belt!)   In addition, teachers in Israeli schools are armed.  Is this a possible solution to our problem of school shootings?

We need to be more diligent and detailed in determining who can purchase and carry weapons.  Unfortunately, our massacres of late have been caused by people with mental problems and a death wish.  Because of privacy laws, even law enforcement cannot find out if a weapons purchaser or permit seeker has mental problems. So when one of these massacres occurs, the shooter is in the mindset to die, but he wants to go out with a big bang.  The media appears to be a willing accomplice in sensationalizing these crimes, thus begetting more attempts.   How do you legislate against insanity?

I will be the first to say that guns do not kill people.   People kill people.  The gun is only one of the instruments  that can be used to murder.  Knives, fists, feet, cars, mad dogs, have all been used to kill people, but there is not a movement “afoot” to have “feet” control.

Now what do you suppose would happen to our crime rates if we required everyone to go through a stringent training program in order to carry a weapon?   A provocative thought, though it will never become reality in our society.  But supposing it did, you would have to be insane to commit a crime. Unfortunately, insanity abounds.   Then gun control would revert to the military definition:  site picture, breathe, squeeze, target hit; perfect gun control – military style.

In the State of Florida, there are now over one million concealed carry permits, the most of any state in the U.S.  That is over 5% of the population and the number of applicants is climbing steadily.  Only time will tell what will happen to crime rates in Florida.

Admittedly, Grandpa T has not offered any Common Sense or sure fire solutions to some of the presented problems.  I do know that we cannot legislate effectively as a result of emotionally charged events like the Sandy Hook School shooting.  Short-term emotionally-charged solutions can lead to long-term consequences.


Welcome Aboard the Grandpa T Express!

At 3:00AM on Wednesday morning on November 7, 2012, I could not sleep.  I did go to bed, woke up and just had to see what was happening with the election returns.  It was obvious that President Obama had been re-elected for a second term.

I was so upset, that I sat at my keyboard, and pounded out all my thoughts about the direction of the world. More specifically, the direction our nation was taking a direction that appears to be askew of the values, aspirations and thoughts of this country during  my childhood.  What is happening to our country?

After reading that post, which appears on this blog site, I made the decision to begin writing about some of my thoughts and sharing them.  I want to get more specific about the wide variety of subjects that were mentioned in that post. After all, I am retired and my wife would really appreciate me getting a more time-consuming hobby.  Painting lawn ornaments is just not cutting it.

I decided this even though, like most baby boomers, I am technologically challenged.  Watching my two 9- year-old grandchildren motor their way through all things electronic certainly does not make me feel any smarter.  Watching my 3-year-old grandchild motor his way through an ipad makes me feel like an absolute idiot.  (Where were these kids when I needed them to program my VCR?)

The one trait that I believe is becoming a rare commodity is “common sense.”  A very timely example of this is the forboding approach of the Fiscal Cliff.  Everyone agrees this is a dangerous event, but all those smart people that we have elected to represent us have not a hint of a solution.  I suspect we will get a temporary patch, with a totally unacceptable solution being forced upon us in two to three months.  I don’t have a crystal ball predicting  this, I just have a genuine belief that when all is said and done; the solution will be more geared to getting our elected officials re-elected, than in actually “biting the bullet” and coming up with a true, long term fiscally responsible solution.  It only takes a small amount of “common sense” to realize that a family could not in any way survive handling their finances as terribly as our governmental institutions.  At one time, it was only the federal government that could not balance their budget.  But amazingly, they had the printing presses.  Now it is common for many states, counties, and municipalities to be in debt and borrowing money to balance their respective budgets.  Does that pass the common sense test?

So this last paragraph was just a teaser as to the topics that will be discussed on this blog.  There will be controversial topics introduced, many of those being topics discussed from my post from my sleep- impaired night in November.  The common thread on this blog will be me bringing up subjects and attempting to offer “common sense” solutions for improving our lives and improving our country.  I will do this by referring to my personal experiences, as well as referring to the carefree times of my childhood during the 50s and 60s. Those were the decades when people did not lock their doors, and you would never lose your car keys, because your parents left them in the ignition.

Want more?  Here is a list of subjects that will be discussed to improve our country:

1.  Term Limits

2.  Medical malpractice insurance limits

3. Frivolous lawsuit legislation

4.  The role of attorneys in our society

5.  Entitlements; specifically welfare programs and unemployment

6.  Mandatory military service?

7.  Education and parenting  (Yes, the lack of the latter leads to being unsuccessful in the former)

8. The media, games, and social networking that shapes our opinion

9  Gun Control

10.  Any other topic that a thinking person wants to discuss

Warning!!! I am not a “touchy-feely” person when it comes to making decisions.  I am always interested in hearing from anyone who has put forethought into their opinion; even if their opinion is totally opposite of mine. If your first three words are”I feel that”, …..I am probably not interested in your health that day, and consequently, less interested in your opinion.  I want the thinkers reading and responding to my blog site.  The “feelers” are free  to watch Ellen or Dr. Phil and blog the cooking channel.