Monday, February 20, 2017

American Dollars Flying South

                                                                     

During my research last week I found three numbers that caught my eye.  1)  In 2015 we gave $423 million dollars to Mexico in Foreign Aid.  2)  Banks and Wire Transfer businesses, like Western Union reported that Mexicans in the U.S. sent home $23.5 billion dollars back to Mexico.  That $23.4 billion was more money than Mexico generates in their entire economy, except for oil revenue.  3) The U.S. spends $500 billion dollars a year to feed, shelter, educate, medicate, and incarcerate illegal Mexicans.

You need not read that map above.  It's just showing the money flow...where the American dollars originate and where they flow to.  A quick glance shows you that Arizona, California and Texas are Mexico's biggest sugar daddies.

And, before we say anything else, we should note that much of the money that comes from illegal drug sales are not necessarily included in the above numbers.  The U.S. Department of Justice has said Mexican drug cartels have formulated means to horse money south by less obvious means.

Okay, so let's look at the numbers individually.  That half a billion or so in foreign aid to Mexico could easily be diverted to building the wall.  So Trump's right...there are means to have Mexico indirectly pay for the wall.  Just stop giving them nearly half a billion a year and let those funds be installments on the wall.

With respect to the $23 plus billion the Mexicans are sending home....to their families, or to their banks accounts, we can solve that problem in two fell swoops....as Trump has suggested, start laying a tax on Western Union and Bank money orders, and best of all, quit spending $500 billion a year on illegals and at least make them pay for their shelter, food and education freight while their here.  They certainly won't be fattening their Mexican bank accounts if we stop subsidizing their lifestyle.

Friday, February 17, 2017

"Why I Love Arizona"

                                                                   


A friend messaged me yesterday, asking what I thought about a particular place in the Valley of The Sun. I answered back, then began thinking about all the things I love about Arizona.
The best part of Arizona are her people...solid, hard-working people who, for the most part, come from a heritage of folks who tamed a barren desert and made themselves an oasis....folks who are open hearted and forward thinking as any in America. Maybe it is our wide open vistas, so vast that it allows us to dream big.
One thinks about our water planning. While other westerns states stood pat, Arizona was building reservoirs and canals and underground aquifers...to store water in the good years and to see them through the drought years. And tens of thousands of Arizonans designed their lawns and gardens with wonderful drought tolerate desertscapes...and still made them a paradise for birds and bees and our native wildlife. Other western states are only now beginning to follow Arizona's lead in water management.
And, as in California, our natural environment is varied and wonderful! One can hike Camelback Mountain under sunny 70 degree temps in the morning, then two hours later be on skis up in the snowy mountains of Flagstaff. You can day trip to Bisbee, to see a thousand acres of desert flowers stretching to the horizon, and return to Phoenix, take in an opera, or catch a mega star concert and dine on the most cosmopolitan fare one can imagine in the evening.
And in our restaurants one can find more than 200 different ethnic meals...being served to folks in cowboy boots or Cole-Haan alligator loafers. 
And, gosh, do we have a sense of humor. We once had a governor who so believed in UFO's that he once held a news conference and staged an "alien walk-on" to liven up the conversation We have rodeos and annual Barrett Jackson vintage car auctions, and on Cinco De Mayo we have Chihuahua races. 
And we have political leaders unafraid to challenge our government masters in Washington D.C. No one will ever forget Governor Jan Brewer's finger in the face as she lectured Barack Obama on illegal immigration. And, during a government shutdown during the Clinton Administration, when the feds threatened to shut down the Grand Canyon, our Governor "deputized" a posse, commandeered the National Guard, and went up and opened up Grand Canyon National Park, then sent the bill to the feds for the maintenance costs, and got repaid!
Our baseball spring training facilities are second to none and draw millions of baseball fans every year...and every winter we welcome over 2 million snow birds from the wilds of Minnesota and Nebraska...and they keep the cash registers ringing all winter!
Perhaps our greatest accomplishment is our state's leadership in school choice! Our state was a pioneer in school vouchers and there's not a kid in Phoenix who doesn't have the right to go to any school he chooses...public or private...and that has kept school costs down and promoted competition among school districts.
When it comes to voting, Arizona makes it easy. For the first time in history more people cast their ballots at their dining room table than go to the polls.
Our Thunderbird School of Business is attended by students from around the world and the Cronkite Journalism School at Arizona State University is second to none for turning out some of the best journalists in the world. And the University co-ops with thousands of both local, state, national and international industries who intern and are mentored by Apple and Intel and the like.
And when all the play and all the work is done at the end of the day, we are can enjoy watching the night skies. Only a few places on earth are as well-positioned to view the cosmos as is Arizona. We have amazing telescopes trained on the night skies and leading space experts at our universities. And we turn out folks who launched the Mars Rover, and when they retire, run our Space Center for us....to teach our children the wonders of the universe. We have cities like Sedona and Flagstaff that are willing to take on the hard work of eliminating light pollution so our unique atmosphere can support the next big break in astronomy. And, I dare anyone to stand in the middle of the desert, and look up into those Arizona night skies, and deny the existence of a divine "creator".

Yep....there's a lot to love about Arizona!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

About That Wall

                                                                 

Our liberal media masters are filling their news sites with the screaming headline "Trump's Wall Will Cost $21 Billion!".

Good.  I don't care if it costs $100 billion.  Here's why.  

According to Numbers USA we're spending $500 billion a year on illegal Mexicans.  The cost to educate, medicate, and incarcerate them runs into the hundreds of billions.  And the indirect costs are nothing to sneeze at....the higher property taxes to build more schools to educate some 20 million illegal kids, higher home and auto insurance rates wherever illegals gather, the millions of lives ruined by having their Social Security and Credit Records stolen, and last but not least, the $13 billion in Child Tax Credits we award to illegal Mexicans filing the INIT tax form each year.

So, the wall's a bargain at $21 billion.  Will it solve our illegal immigration problem?  Not by a long shot...most of our illegals come and stay by overstaying a perfectly legitimate tourist visa.  And we won't solve that problem until we nail employers to the wall and put some teeth into the E-Verify Program...making it mandatory and not elective as it pretty much is today.

An added bonus to stopping the flow of illegals into this country includes getting a grip on illegal voting fraud.  Just this past week the courts, finally freed to levy punishment, sentenced an illegal Mexican woman who voted five times an eight year prison sentence.  More please!

So, let's build that damn wall!  I don't care if it costs $100 billion!  And let's levy heavy fines on employers who hire illegal workers.  And let's finally start admitting those millions of immigration applicants who have waited for years to come here, but told to wait longer, even as we give succor and shelter to those 30 million illegal invaders who chose not to follow the law.

To borrow, and alter a phrase from that baseball movie; "Build it...and they won't come."

Monday, February 13, 2017

"You Must Remember This"

                                                                   

Three weeks ago America celebrated the 75th Anniversary of one of my favorite films, "Casa Blanca".  And since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, I thought I'd write a little about it, and tell you what the film means to me.

"Casa Blanca" was released on January 23rd, 1942, a Friday.  It was just seven weeks after the Japanese dragged America into the war with the attack on Pearl Harbor.   Those who were not already off to war, might have been tired on that Friday night.  They might have volunteered for a paper drive, or a rubber drive, or perhaps Mom had walked down to the local butcher shop with an old Crisco can of used bacon grease.  That too was sought after....the government's collection being used to extract glycerin to make explosives.

So, on that Friday night, weary folks dropped into the plush velvet seats of the Rialto, or The Crest, or a Warners Theater, and sat quietly, waiting to be told a story.

And that story was that the world was at war, had been at war for five long years, and that the struggle was between freedom loving people, against those who wished to subjugate the whole human race.  

But "Casa Blanca" was about much more than war.  It was about "sacrifice", and how good people make decisions to do noble things...even when those noble things were not in your best interests....when they would hurt more than anything has ever hurt.

And, amidst the fog of war, love still matters.....in fact "only love" matters...romantic love as well as the love that one human has for every other human being.

And since I cannot say what "Casa Blanca" means to you, I can only say what it means, and has meant, to me.

When I watch "Casa Blanca" I think about every time I prepared to step on an airplane, and say goodbye to my love and my lovelies for a year, possibly forever.  And as I hugged and kissed them goodbye I felt the tactile realization of what they meant to me, and how my heart ached when I said goodbye.

And when I see the fog roll in, in that final scene, I see that foggy morning on a flightline in Vietnam, after a steamy monsoon rain, the props whirling on a C-130, lumbering down the runway like a gooney bird, ferrying men and their fighting gear to some godforsaken place in the jungles of the Central Highlands.

And, in that film, I see the "Art Deco Frenchness"....of the front facade of Ric's Cafe, and I remember the old French Fort on the air base, and in Saigon the bright red pepper trees on the Rue Catinat, that lovely old boulevard that wound it's way past France inspired villas, with "mademoiselles" waving colorful kerchiefs while standing on the balconies as folks drove by.

But "Casa Blanca" is so much more than "geography"....it exemplifies the wonder of a love so powerful that the lover is willing to endure great pain if it means a better life for the one he loves.  And I believe every man alive hungers for the look in Ingrid Bergman's eyes as she walks away to get on that plane.

You must remember this
A kiss is still a kiss
A sigh is just a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by
And when two lovers woo
They still say, I love you
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by
Moonlight and love songs never out of date
Hearts full of passion, jealousy and hate
Woman needs man and man must have his mate
That no one can deny
It's still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by




Friday, February 10, 2017

23AndMe

                                                                             

Well, for Christmas, my daughter, Crystal, sent me one of those 23andMe ancestry test kits.  I promptly read the directions, spit in the tube, then sent it off to the labs for testing.  Last night my reports showed up in my inbox and I anxiously signed on to the site to read about my genetic makeup, and what it all might mean.

There were several surprises and some things I already knew.  For example, the Scandinavian blood was there; about 9 percent Scandinavian and 1 percent Finnish to polish it off.  So, the blood of old Johan Frande, who immigrated to America from Sweden in the 1640's was well represented.  But, wouldn't you know, the Payne line that shoved their way in during the period 1890 to 1920, gave me 66% English-Irish primordial goop.  The Frogs (French) and Jerries (German) kicked in 2% and then I got tossed into the "broadly northwest European" pot for another 22%.  

There were two surprises; one minor, one quite astounding.  Seems somewhere about 7 generations ago, one of my ancestors was cruising the casbahs of southwest Africa and threw a little ebony into the genetic pile.  I'm .02 percent African, a fact I find hard to believe since I've not had a single craving for hog jowls and collard greens.  Perhaps the most unsettling surprise was my test not showing even a smidgeon of Native America blood.  Since I know for a fact that my maternal grandfather was 50 percent Cherokee I look at these results with something of a jaundiced eye.  I guess I'm not alone as one of the most frequently asked questions to the lab involve queries about why their Native American DNA is not showing up, even as folks could prove their Native American bloodlines.  23 And Me offered a rather convoluted explanation about that; something that has to do with the recessive factors in Native American genetics that simply get crowded out by more robust European derived genetic goop.

With respect to genetic variants, my liberal friends will be pleased to know that I own somewhere around 4% of the Neanderthal variants, which 23 and Me says is more than 69 percent of other people who test out with far less.  My liberal friends will say they knew it all along, and clearly explains why I'm so stupid and hard-headed.  Four of those Neanderthal variants, according to the lab testers, contribute to my being a bit taller than the average male, that I have no proclivity to sneeze after eating dark chocolate, that, blessedly, I'm not inclined to grow back hair, and that my hair tends to be straight, without curl.  (A fact that I find, in these latter days of baldness, quite cruel.)

23AndMe then provided innumerable sources for further investigating my ancestry, including links to dozens and dozens of cousins who share my chromosomal history.  The Neanderthal stuff was quite thrilling, as anthropological studies describe in graphic detail how the first humans shared their "rolls in the hay" with my Neanderthal ancestors, then slithered off into the night, shame-faced, deathly afraid that someone might have caught them and issued a "he'd screw a (fill in the blank) as long as it feels good."

So, the reports are in. They're chock full of genetic confirmations, and a few surprises.  That .02 percent West African now has me contemplating sampling some fried chicken and collard greens.  And that 4 percent of Neanderthal variant has me hankering to go out and whittle me a nice billy club....and drag some nubile human type female back to the cave...to show her my cave etchings.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

"Wherever Two Or More Have Gathered" or "Elvis W. Might Have Died For Your Sins"

                                                                 

In 1966 Department of Defense Chief Robert McNamara came up with what he conceived as a brilliant idea to fill the rapidly growing troop needs for Vietnam.  The program he initiated with Lyndon Johnson's blessing was called "Project 100,000".    Essentially the Project allowed DOD to recruit folks who were either medically handicapped, or whose mental capacities were less than normal.  McNamara felt the program would achieve several objectives...some of them publicized, some not, with the biggest selling point being that Project 100,000 was part of Johnson's "War on Poverty".  

Monday, February 6, 2017

The PC Super Bowl

                                                                     

So did you watch?  During the "content" of the program did you notice that Blacks, representing 15 percent of the populace, commanded 50% of the special interest segments.  The NFL trotted out Black college graduates, three Blacks from the play Hamilton sang America The Beautiful, and there were numerous segments about Blacks and police.  

When the NFL wasn't selling "Black is only beautiful....it's the only thing that's beautiful, they were airing "politically correct, liberal suck-up, everybody's a victim" commercials.  There was the BMW commercial that said the only way girls will ever get ahead is to buy a Beemer.  There was the Coke commercial with a hundred different ethnic faces melting into each other, promoting "globalism"...the soft drink equivalent of Obama's "America ain't special" mantra.  

And then we had 84 Lumber telling us how great illegal Mexicans are.  Then Budweiser (no longer American owned, by he way...now owned by European conglomerate In-Bev) was back again, this time portraying old Augie Busch being persecuted as a German immigrant.  Never mind that, when old Augie stepped onto Ellis Island, there were no bans on German immigrants...and most of America didn't give a shit where he walked or where he went.  And Budweiser doesn't mention that old Augie exploited brewer workers for a century before he sold out to that European conglomerate...about as "American" as a french eclair.

I gave up watching the Grammy's when it went political.  Then the SAGs followed and I stopped watching.  And I stopped watching the Oscars when Hanoi Jane and company turned those awards into a liberal political convention.  

And now, God help me, I may have watched my last Super Bowl.  Never thought I'd ever say that...but you can't watch football when you're nauseous over the commercials and ass-kissing.

Sad.  Damned Sad.

Oh, by the way, when they were allowed to play football it was a great game.

Friday, February 3, 2017

"A Clay By Any Other Name...."

                                                                       

Boxing great Cassius Clay, once converting to Islam, changed his name to Mohammed Ali. He said he didn't want to carry a White man's name. Oh, if he had only studied history.

Cassius Marcellus Clay was born in Kentucky, in 1810. The son of a wealthy planter, Cassius was the only one of seven children to survive. Cassius not only came from a very wealthy family, but was family to the great Henry Clay, "The Great Compromiser", who tried for years to head off the Civil War.

Cassius himself learned to hate slavery while attending Yale University. While there, he heard a speech by the great abolitionist champion, William Lloyd Garrison. After Garrison's lecture Cassius would never see slavery the same way ever again.

When Clay finished his education he came back to Kentucky and served three terms in the Kentucky statehouse, all the while trying to pass laws that would ban slavery in that state. Finally the slave-owning voters had had enough and turned him out of office.

Undeterred, Clay set up a publishing house, and began turning out a newspaper that advocated for the end of slavery. His newspaper office was often trashed, and Clay would sweep up the ruins, and begin again.

Once while appearing at an abolitionist rally, Clay was attacked by six men. He was shot in the chest, but managed to stay on his feet, whip all six men, finally saving his own life by stabbing one of his assailants and driving his attackers off. Once the attack was over Clay once again mounted the podium, finishing his speech before seeking medical attention.

When slavery advocates finally succeeded in burning down his publishing house for good, Clay simply relocated it to abolitionist friendly, Cincinnati, Ohio, and continued publishing his abolitionist papers.

As a Captain in the 1st Kentucky Calvary, Clay served in the Mexican-American war, but all the while opposing the annexation of Texas because Texans wanted to expand slavery into that state.

In 1850 Cassius Clay formed the Republican Party of Kentucky. He became good friends with a fellow named Abe Lincoln, and supported Lincoln in his run for the Presidency.

After his election, Lincoln summoned 51 year old Cassius Clay to Washington, intent on naming him Ambassador to Russia. However, in the first weeks leading up to the war, Washington D.C. was without any military forces that might protect the capital from Southern invasion.

No problem. Cassius Clay rounded up a few of his friends, then combed the rooms of Washington hotels, and formed a 300 man posse to protect the President and The White House. Clay would, thereafter be called "The White Lion", leader of the Washington Guards.

The immediate crisis over, Cassius Clay finally made it to Russia, where he would convince Russia to support the Union and sever ties with the South.

Then, in 1862, Lincoln recalled Clay back to America, intent on making him a Major General in the Union Army. However, Clay refused the offer.....saying he would not serve unless Lincoln issued a proclamation that freed the slaves. Not many people know that it was Cassius Clay who was the most formidable influence on Lincoln's freeing the slaves.

Emancipation Proclamation achieved, Cassius Clay returned to his post in Russia, serving admirably for three Presidents until he resigned his post in 1869.

Cassius Clay, the only sibling of seven to survive childhood, would live to the ripe old age of 93, fighting his own family, and his own people, for his entire life, to end the practice of enslaving other human beings.

Cassius Clay, the fighter changed his name to Mohammed Ali. Had he known his history, had he known the history of his name sake, he might have accepted his name with much greater grace. Two "Cassiuses", each a fighter in their own times, and in their own arenas....a glorious legacy for those willing to learn history.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

"King Trump"

                                                                         

How many times on this blog have you readers heard me say "if I were King", then expounded on what I'd do if given a crown for a year or two.  Well, in Trump's first full week he gave us a hint of what the pushback would be when someone tries to steer the ship of state in another direction.

We first saw the Inauguration Day riots, then the women's march, a couple of dozen major immigration marches, and then, to top off the week, the open borders folks gathering at airports to protest Trump's Muslim ban.  It will get worse folks...mostly because, as I speculated, post election, that Trump's the Energizer Bunny who will keep liberal heads spinning.

I have to say here that I agree with every single thing Trump has done to date.  But I do not harbor any assurances that all of Trump's Executive Orders will hold up.  Many, to be effective, will require Congressional action.  That's a bit more complicated than the signing of an EO.  And you can be assured that many of Trump's initiatives will be challenged in the courts.  We saw that in full technicolor on Saturday as a New York judge stepped in and issued a partial stay if Trump's EO, in favor of those Muslim immigrants already holding a visa.  We also saw pushback from the ACLU, their argument being that Trump's EO conflicts with federal laws that prevent immigration decisions based on religion or ethnicity.  I don't believe the latter will hold up since our nation's Commander in Chief indeed has the right to protect us from potential enemies.  We'll see on that one....none of us can be sure just how left wing the courts have gotten on Obama's watch.

With regard to Trump's flurry of Executive Orders, let's be honest here, "righties".  We abhorred Obama's EO's...in fact we argued they were unconstitutional.   So, in all honesty, even as we delight in seeing liberals get their panties twisted, we are now giggling with delight as Trump is doing exactly what we criticized Obama for doing.  Yes, we can argue all day that desperate measures were needed to keep America from going totally bananas, but that does not change the fact that the "turning of the ship" is being achieved in the least satisfactory manner.

Okay, here comes the shocker.  I believe the odds are at least "50-50" that impeachment charges will be filed against Trump in his first term.  With Trump's "Energizer Bunny-ness", he's going to keep a lot of folks busy.  Liberals will be rioting in the streets, Congress will be in a dizzy spin trying to kill Trump's initiatives, or trying to find a way to legislate them, the courts will be busy assessing their constitutionality, and the rest of us will be kept busy just trying to puzzle it all out.

Essentially, we of the conservative bent, are enjoying the chaos Trump is creating.  That enjoyment is derived from all the frustration caused when Obama called the Tea Party "terrorists", when he called those of us against illegal immigration "racists", frustration over the IRS persecution of conservative political groups...frustration over eight years of worrying more about transgendered bathrooms than national security, frustration over Democrats caring more about government tit suckers than taxpayers.  

So, things are getting crazy...and Trump himself might be crazy......and we don't really give a damn if he is...because "chaos" beats the hell out of political correctness seven days a week.  And, again, Trump remains just the "messenger".....it's the sixty six million of us who voted for change who are enjoying the hell out of all this.

Even as Ringling Brothers close their doors forever come May, we are reveling in a circus of another kind, all of us sitting in the bleachers and watching the liberals in the center ring pulling their hair out.  And we're loving it.....a least until the Energizer Bunny runs down...or is impeached.  Only time will tell what comes from all this.