Monday, May 30, 2016

"Why The 'Grown-Ups' Have To Start Finally Getting It Right"


President Obama, on a Presidential visit to Vietnam, signed a number of trade agreements with Vietnam. He also authorized the sale of American defense equipment to that country.

While that is not unusual, (we nearly always eventually sign agreements with those we have been at war with), it never the less proves that we've simply got to get a better grip on how we wage war.

55,000 American men died in Vietnam. Another half million or so came home with fewer limbs than they left home with. Another million, those who made it out, suffer from PTSD, Agent Orange, or from homelessness.

And, here we are, fifty years later, buying shrimp and Nike shoes from Vietnam. And, even as thousands of our soldiers, missing in action, remain unaccounted for, we're ready to sell Vietnam tanks and planes and defense electronics.

It seems a vicious circle. A million Americans died fighting Germany, and then they became our largest trading partner. Japan attacked us, and a million men died, hop-scotching across the Pacific, their bodies scattered across a hundred island beaches...then we rebuilt Japanese factories...and then bought their automobiles and VCR's and Sony televisions.

And, in the Civil War the North and South battled...and 750,000 men lost their many that the Civil War literally erased a whole generation of young men during those four bloody years. And now we watch Alabama play Rutgers, and northerners vacation in Florida, and New Yorkers travel to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

So, it's pretty clear; the grown-ups need to "grow up". We've got to stop sacrificing our young people. We've got to stop making the young people the only "losers" on our bloody little wars.

Having spent more than my own share in those wars, I'm firmly convinced that, if we passed a law that said only those men and women fifty and older will fight our wars, there would be far fewer of them.

I'm not saying that some wars are not justified...I'm simply saying let's "re-arrange the deck chairs" and send the older folks to fight our wars. They've already had their fair share of living and loving...and it might just change our attitudes about warfare.

General Robert E. Lee, in my mind our greatest general, once said "it is good war is so horrible, otherwise we could grow to fond of it".

Sad. Damned Sad.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Why Did The Organic Chicken Cross The Road?


Does this chicken sandwich look good?  I thought so.  It's prepared with organic chicken breast and fried in coconut oil, so it's seemingly healthier for you.

However, that chicken sandwich became a bit less tasty after I read of how much it will cost.  But, before we reveal the price of this sandwich, let's explore who will be preparing it.

It seems that a former Costco manager has teamed up with some of his rich pals and have begun operating a chain of organic chicken stores  called "Organic Coup".  They currently have two restaurants in the bay area of San Francisco and just garnered a whole passel of money to open more.  

And who are they hiring to prepare that chicken for you?  Well, it will be folks standing in a long job application line.  Organic Coup plans to pay their chicken fryers $16 an hour, provide medical and retirement benefits, and foot the costs of a college education for their workers.

That's great, huh?  Well...not so fast.  In truth, YOU..yes, the big YOU are going to be paying for all those job benefits, because that one chicken sandwich is being priced at $9.99!  With San Francisco's 10% sales tax that chicken sandwich is gonna set you back $11 bucks...and no, there's no fries with that, nor a drink to wash it down.

I confess, when I first saw this sandwich, I shuddered a bit for Chic Fil-A.  However, since Chic Fil-A sells their chicken sandwich for less than $4 bucks, I relaxed a bit.  I can imagine the only customers Organic Coup is going to draw in are Apple Geek employees and the "pink shirt" crowd who would pony up a whole U.S. Grant for a sandwich if it was the in-thing to do.

As for myself, I'm all for organic.  For example, I like holding on to that organic green paper in my organic leather wallet, so I guess I won't be buying any Organic Coup Chicken sandwiches any time soon.

But I wish them all the luck in the world!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Happy Birthday, Millie


After cancer surgery 9 years ago, I was admitted to the hospital for ten days. Each day of my stay I had two regular visitors; a priest who would approach my bed, take my hand, and ask if he could pray for me.

The second was an elderly lady, sporting a "volunteer" name tag, whose job was to fill my water pitcher in the morning, and refresh it in the afternoon.

I thought little about the elderly lady who brought me fresh water, except to admire her for her selfless volunteer work.

Just this past week I learned who my "water lady" was. Her name is Millie Ford and she's been volunteering at Banner Boswell Hospital for 23 years, logging more than 6,500 hours of dedicated volunteer service.

And I learned more. Millie Ford spent her career in hospitals, helping people to get well. She retired at 75, moved to Sun City, and cared for her husband until his death from Alzeimer's 23 years ago.

When Millie's husband died she tried to occupy her time with bridge games and with arts and crafts, but still felt a greater calling. So she began volunteering at our local hospital....and she's been doling out tender care ever since.

This past week Millie Ford turned 100 years old...and she hasn't lost a step...still caring for others who are sick.

Two thousands years ago another lady stood at the well...a lady from Samaria. She was blessed to draw a cup of water for Christ. Millie Ford is doing no less for the thirsty...and doing it well in her 100th year.

Happy Birthday, Millie.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Old King Coal


Seriously, how many of you know that, while Obama and Company are bankrupting American coal companies, that we are importing coal from China?  Yes, China!  Does that make any sense at all?  

And how many of the "greenies" know that, without the 67% of energy sourced from fossil fuels, they'd be freezing in winter, and burned to a crisp in summer?

And how many of America's "fossil fuel haters" understand that we are getting only 13% of our energy from solar...and that it is extremely expensive because it is largely subsidized by the American taxpayer?  

And even as Obama and Hillary pledge to bankrupt American coal the name of the environment, the rest of the world is polluting like never before.  Just yesterday, I heard a report on the BBC about the mighty Ganges River in India.  It is so polluted that "effluent" (read human excrement) floats to a depth of six feet in that once mighty river.  And has anyone taken the time to review an image of the air quality over Beijing lately?

And, just this past week, 60 Minutes did an interview with Obama.  They challenged him on his absolutely horrible trade and foreign policies.  His response?  "Well, I'm a great leader because I'm fighting Climate Change!"

Really?  Climate Change?  Again, go take a look at the Ganges River.  Have a go at trying to see Beijing through that nasty sludge that hangs over every Chinese city!

And yet India and China are cleaning our clock, economically!  China holds $3 billion dollars of our bonds....and threatens to cash them in should we ever stop buying their poison laced, prison labor produced products!

So Obama and Company, unable to do anything about China, or India, or anyone else for that matter, has decided to stick it to the American Coal worker, or the oil boys, or the natural gas producers....cause someone has to be the villain, right?

Look, everyone wants clean air and clean water.  But let's use some common sense.  Let's put incentives in place to develop "free market solar"...not subsidized by government, but allowed to thrive in a free market!  And, if we are serious about cleaning up the world, let's sign fair trade agreements that hold other nations to the same high standards that America aspires to!

Meantime, I want the "greenies" to put their money where their mouths are...stop using those fossil based energy sources or shut the f*ck up!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Obama's Final "Apology Tour"


In his first months in office, Barack Hussein Obama flew over to Stockholm and accepted his Nobel Peace Prize (for what, we still don't know), then flew to Cairo and made that now famous "apology" speech before the Egyptian Parliament.

It was in that speech that Obama declared America "not special", praised the glory of Islam, then went home to draw up plans for "Mideast Spring", that turbulent, never ending chaos that is the Middle East today.

Each year of his administration Obama goes somewhere and apologizes to someone.  Last year it was Cuba and the Castro brothers.

So, in his final year in office, Obama is heading over to Japan on May 27th, where he will bow deeply to the Emperor, and apologize for our A-bombs...hell, probably for those bullets that we fired at Japanese Zero's over Pearl Harbor.

The Bernie followers and the Hillary followers are just gonna love Obama's cow-towing to the Japanese.  That's because, being totally ignorant of history, they can't possibly know that a million American men would have died had we been forced to invade Japan to end the war.  

So, really, Nagasaki and Hiroshima came down to "do we want a million Americans to die?"..or will we end it by having some of the aggressors bite the dust?

I really don't know whose worst; Obama and his Islamic buddies, John Kerry urging European businessmen to trade with Iran, or Killary Clinton taking $100 million dollars in pay-offs from Middle East sheiks.

While we're on the apology thing, I'd like to apologize to the American people for these idiots.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

"Better Angels"


Nine year old Tayler Benedetto, and her seven year old brother, Caleb, don't have much time for children's games these days. Touched by a story about a police k-9 being stabbed to death by a criminal assailant, they've been busy raising funds to buy police k-9 protective vests.

Not an easy task. Those bullet proof, stab-proof k-9 vests cost a thousand bucks apiece. So, you might find Tayler and Caleb anywhere around the valley, a card table set up, "begging pleas" on their young faces, as they solicit donations from the public for their cause.
So far the two siblings have raised $2,000 dollars, enough to equip two police dogs with those life-saving vests. Their quest is not over....they pledge not to cease their efforts until every one of those police doggies are wearing protection.

They also stay busy writing "thank-you" letters, to every police department around the country who provide protective vests for their canine partners.

Rest easy, people....the "better angels" are hard at work.

Monday, May 16, 2016

"Earth To Burger Flippers"


Earth to those $15 per hour burger flipping wannabes:   Bernie cannot save you.  Neither can Barry.  Nor Hillary.  Burger King moved to Canada, Carl's Jr flipped the bird to California and moved their headquarters to Tennessee, and, on Wednesday, May 11th, Wendy's announced that they are installing 6,000 ordering kiosks and installing food handling equipment in their restaurants.

As has happened every time labor gets a bit "uppity", businesses find a way to cut jobs.  That's a fact of life.  Business owners cannot live on the promises of political hacks...they have to show a profit to stay in business.  So, despite whatever Bernie and Hillary promise, those burger flippers, trying to make a "living wage career" out of jobs that were meant as entry level jobs for teens, are in a world of shit.

Unless, and until our government masters demand business operate on a deficit (as they do), capitalism will always demand the efficient use of resources in order to survive.  So, we saw Burger King, tired of paying the highest corporate taxes (35%) in the free world, moved to Canada where taxes were lower.  And Carl's Jr, tired of California's ever increasing utility costs, state taxes, and oppressive regulations, flew south, to Tennessee, where the state government is more welcoming.

Investors Business Daily is now projecting millions of job losses in the fast food industry as the cost of surly, unskilled burger flipping socialists are demanding more and more.  Within a decade you are going to go through the drive-thru, or walk in to a fast food franchise, place your order in a machine, swipe your credit card, and the last of the fast food labor force will assemble it and send it out on a conveyer belt.  And the machine will not talk snark to you, or whine, or mumble foggily into a microphone.  All of the major franchises are scurrying to implement a system that doesn't involve a welfare mother with four kids..wanting a "living wage" for a job that should have either been reserved for high school kids and retired grannies and not for a culinary welfare office for those who didn't finish high school and couldn't spell "cat" if you spotted them the "c" and the "a".

But, to the dear burger flippers; don't sweat this...Hillary will continue Barry's quest to get everyone on food stamps, Section 8 housing, a welfare check, child tax credits for those four illegitimate kids you bred, government funded pre-school, and kindergarten, free school breakfasts and lunches....and you will even be able to swipe your food stamp card at one of those automated kiosks and enjoy a Big Mac with fries.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Facebook Censorship


In light of the news reports that came out yesterday, I'm at least giving thought to giving up my Facebook. I would dearly miss keeping up with my FB family and friends, surely. And, yes, I would miss having an outlet for my writing. But, this morning, after reading all those former FB staffers revealing how they censored conservative viewpoints in their news feeds, and promoted the liberal ones, I have to feel a little bit of guilt for aiding and abetting a company that censors the news.

Sadly, America is awash in liberals demanding "safe space" from any social or political view that might challenge the facts, and put their liberal viewpoints in peril. We see it on college campuses, where students are demanding the removal of our more conservative founders, Presidents, and even artists who might tack toward a conservative viewpoint. We already see the mainstream media tilt their news coverage toward the liberal political philosophy. (When was the last time you saw the mainstream media report on Hillary's email scandal? Or reported on illegal crime? Or even presented an alternative viewpoint on urban Black crime?)

Facebook says they are not a media outlet...that they are just a site where folks can get together and share their lives. That assert that they are not a media outlet so have no responsibility to "report objectively". Pardon me, but that seems to be a grand cop out...when you surrender the "non-personal algorhythems" that determine what news feeds one should see, and voluntarily delete news feeds that promote a conservative viewpoint, you are censoring the news. As stated, we are already seeing enough of our media, on our college campuses, and, yes, even with our government masters who routinely suppress any truth that might make them look bad.

We Facebook users already have the tools to filter out what we consider ridiculous, what we don't want to read or we don't need FB to make that choice for us.

So, Facebook, for me these days, is like the favored girlfriend, that you caught picking her nose, or beating a dog, or being a bit less fastidious with her bathing habits. I'm starting to look around, beginning to flirt with other sites that remain objective, that allow me to make my own decisions about what I wish to read.

So, if some day, my friends don't see my name listed over there on the right, you'll understand why. I need no "safe spaces" in my life.

Sad. Damned Sad.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Obama "Political Leadership Not Entertainment"


Last week Barack Hussein Obama stepped up to a podium, and without the aid of a teleprompter, said this about Trump's electoral style "Political Leadership is a serious's not entertainment".

Forgive me if I was a bit aghast.  Obama and/or Michelle pretty much spend a good deal of their time appearing on Jimmy Kimmel, or The Tonight Show, rubs shoulders with gang bangers, parties with the Hollywood liberal elite...and when Obama's not on some entertainment show, he's out playing golf.

And when Obama is busy on the golf course, Michelle is up there with the two Jimmys, pushing her flax seed cookie recipes, or dancing to the latest rap tune, or telling school kids why they shouldn't ever eat a hamburger.

Is there anything more hypocritical?  I mean, really, even liberals with their limited reasoning power can see through Obama's utterings from a "false prophet".

I've become accustomed to liberals holding their constituents to a higher standard than themselves, but, still, Obama was just laughable as he stood there criticizing someone else for what he does routinely.  Obama has spent his entire two terms either "campaigning" or schmoozing with celebrities.

Let's just say I was not "entertained" by Obama's "royal proclamation" that "political leadership" is serious business.


Monday, May 9, 2016

We White Privilege Folks Need To Pay Up


Professor Lawrence Brown, who teaches in the Public Health Department of Morgan State University in Baltimore, has a ready solution to achieve "racial equality".  He says the overwhelming life advantages that Whites have in this country is simply detestable.

To right this wrong, Professor Brown believes White folks ought to pony up some serious cash, and turn it over to the first Black you see.  He cites specifics:

1)  A White family, who might have been saving up for a trip to Disney World, ought to withdraw that cash and deposit into the account of the first Black person they meet.

2)  Access that Christmas fund...and, you guessed it, put it into the hands of a Black person...not ample payback for your granddaddy's slaveholding, but a tiny step in righting Whitey wrongs.

3) If you're in a Walmart, and you're planning on buying your child a gaming system, buy for your child and, yes, one for the first Black child that walks into the store.

4) If you've recently come into an inheritance, use any money or property received and donate that money to either the NAACP or to Reverend Al Sharpton's ministry....he will insure that money goes to the Black needy.

After reading Professor Brown's lecture, I'm feeling particularly guilty.  If I ever own a gaming system (I do not), I will consider Brown's suggestion.  And, if I ever have an automobile more valuable than the Cadillacs I see the Blacks driving, I'll give serious consideration to swapping cars with the poor fellow.  

I always thought paying all those taxes to subsidize the Black community was enough.  Since Blacks represent only 12% of the populace, yet command 43% of every welfare dollar, I thought they must be doing pretty good.  I must have been wrong.

Professor Brown has made me truly see the light.  I will never again complain that, when I was pursuing college scholarships, when I was paying my own tuition, I should not have complained about Blacks receiving preferential treatment for those scholarships.

Obviously, I haven't paid enough.  

Friday, May 6, 2016

"Divine Gifts"


Two little minor experiences this morning got me to thinking about God. One was a re-read of one of Hemingway's "The Nick Adams Stories", the other listening to an interview on National Public Radio with Judy Collins who has just finished an album of duets with other celebrated musicians. 
Both the writing and music arts sometimes seem so "heavenly", so perfectly right, that it would seem they emanated from divine inspiration....I just have a really hard time believing that humans can produce this kind of magic without the help of a divine creator.
Hemingway is so perfect, such a master of words, that he had me smelling the campfire coffee and sizzling bacon, the sound of the river rushing past him, the sweet scent of pine in the air. I sit there and stare at Hemingway's words...just so simple and unadorned, and yet they are elegant in their simplicity and one wonders how he arranges those words in such a way to make them so. I would give anything to be that talented.
The other "divine-ness" came from listening to a clip of Judy Collins and Don McLean (of "Bye Bye Miss American Pie" fame) singing "Send In The Clowns". Both Collins and McLean wrote songs that were anthems to our generation. And when I hear McLean's "Vincent" I just can't imagine anyone better describing Vincent Van Gogh's tragic life...and with only six or eight stanzas of a song lyric!
Many people have talent, but some have gifts that are just "other-worldly" and you just have to regard them with a degree of awe, and, at least in my thinking, ascribe that kind of talent to a generous God.
Give me authorship and ownership of "White Christmas", or "Vincent", or "Send In The Clouds"...any single one of them, and I'd be content to die right now...and never worry about my legacy. Just pack me up and send me to a crematorium! 
The same with great writing! Give me the talents to write an "Old Man of The Sea", or "The Grapes of Wrath", or "The Great Gatsby" and you can tote my old bones away, stow me in the closet, and bring me out once a year and stuff me in a Lazy Boy on my birthday....and I'd gladly go out with a smile on my face.
Sometimes the world sucks, and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't it's often because our creator gave us such gifts of human talent.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

"Y, oh Y Must We Be Persecuted?"


Well, the "Y" generation is once more on a rampage, demanding they be given a little "safe space" from their persecution by Starbucks! 
Seems that the "Y-ers" are filing a class action suit against Starbucks, because they believe the ratio of ice to coffee in their iced coffee drinks is leading to "predatory pricing!". (…/starbucks-sued-over-ice-to-coffee-…)
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, icon of liberalism, champion of diversity, who once ordered his baristas to accuse Starbucks customers as racists with the flick of a pen, remarked that he was shocked by the lawsuit.
The "Y-ers" assert that a 24 ounce Venti shouldn't be 14 ounces of coffee and 10 ounces of ice.".
Schultz responded by saying "how do you expect me to pay our baristas a nice salary, and fund their retirement, health and education benefits if I can't stiff my customers with $3 dollars worth of ice?"
CEO Schultz also remarked that, in light of the $15 per hour crusade for burger flippers. McDonald's is debuting a "mini-Big Mac" that they plan to sell for the same price of a regular Big Mac. Schultz says "if you want to support higher wages for fast food workers you've got to be willing to pay more at the counter!"
In response, lawyers for the "Y-ers" say the class action suit will continue, saying "The Y generation have heard Bernie Sanders espouse getting something for nothing for months now, and believe they should certainly get more for their money when they shell out $6 bucks for a cup of iced coffee!"
As most know, the Y generation have become suing fools. They sued Subway for not delivering on the "6-inch sub", despite Y men tutoring the ladies on just what "6 inches" really is. And they are suing Frito Lay for the air packed in the top of those lunch box size Frito packages. They feel confident that they can move Starbucks toward "coffee quality" too.
Class action suit claims coffee company rips customers off with the amount of beverage it provides for the price in iced coffee

Monday, May 2, 2016

Idiot-Proofing America


Yesterday, our government masters, specifically, the Federal Railroad Administration, declared Phoenix to have five of the top 15 most dangerous railroad crossings in the nation. And they want Phoenix to spend tens of millions to do something about it....or else!

Well, people, I researched the problem..and came up with some startling results.

At all 5 crossings there are red flashing lights, and crossing guards. And not a train goes through that isn't honking that train whistle with great gusto! When I researched further I found that, in every instance of the train accidents, the driver had either ignored the flashing red lights, AND the whistle. Worse, drivers who got "train-flattened" had taken deliberate action to weave through the crossing barriers, trying to beat that train. And at the crossing where the most accidents have occurred, the crossing is located in our very own Maryvale, home of the most concentrated locale of illegal Mexicans than anywhere in Arizona. These are the folks who already violate our immigration laws, so, hey, what's a few flashing lights and a few crossing barriers to them? And, hey, if these gringos really cared they'd print all train crossing warnings in Spanish, right?

What I find remarkable about all this is that, despite "Mother Government's" massive and expensive effort to "idiot-proof" our lives, there will always be idiots who prove to be immune. Sadly, the more government tries to "idiot-proof", the more idiots we get! Hell, when I was a kid we knew not to drink the under sink bleach, or pour ourselves a nice cup of Drano....but, seemingly kids today seemed not to be able to resist! And if they can't have their Drano they'll whip up a nice concoction of bath salts for a nice after school high...huh kiddies?

But, let's get back to train crossings. The city of Phoenix recently installed a mult-billion dollar light rail system here. The feds kicked in some, and Phoenix residents were assessed a big old sales tax on food to pay for it. The system was finished in 2009. And guess what? In the six short years of it's existence, 118 idiots have plowed into those little light rail cars and sent them and their passengers careening off the rails!

Take heart, people! Our government masters will surely appropriate a few billion of your tax try and come up with another "idiot-fix".