All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


BJW -- Spring Break Edition

Walking To School The First Day Back
by Misty Bus

The Day The Car Pool Forgot Me
by I. Rhoda Bike

Can't See The Chalkboard
by Sidney Backrow

Practical Jokes I Played On The First Day Of School
by Major Crackupp

What I Dislike About Returning To School
by Mona Lott

Making It Through The First Week Of School
by Gladys Saturday

Is Life Over When Summer Ends?
by Midas Welbee

What I Love About Returning To School
by I. M. Kidding

Will Jimmy Finally Graduate?
by I. Betty Wont

What Happens When You Get Caught Skipping School
by U. Will Gettitt


Trumping VP

I've seen a couple of stories proclaiming that Chris Christie is lining up to be Trumps running mate.  I'm surprised by this.  I have some doubts about this as a practical course of action.

Donald Trump's tendency to come off as brash, and abrasive is one of his biggest negative attributes with Republican voters.  I'm not as prone to place style over substance.

The majority of Republican voters do place a high value on the style and presentation of ideas.  Conservatives like a more refined way of doing things.  Donald Trump comes off as a stereotypical New Yorker.  If you are from the North East United States or the West Coast, that probably isn't a problem for you.  If you are from the Midwest, South or West, New Yorker ways don't generate warm fuzzy feelings.

Chris Christie is from New Jersey.  In flyover country, New Jersey is Gomorrah to New York's Sodom. If Trump was to pair up with Christie his ticket would lose appeal for many traditional Republicans.  That's not an argument based on what kind of job Christie would do, its a style over substance evaluation.  Republican voters are likely to make that kind of evaluation.

Who should Trump pick as his running mate?

From a purely electability point of view, it should be someone who helps balance out Trump's negatives.  What are Trump's negatives?  Despite the media's bombardment on the subject, it isn't the ideas or policies that Trump advocates.  Trump's biggest negative with Republican voters is his abrasiveness.  Right behind that is a perception that Trump might not be as strong in the religious value department as some would like.

To balance that out, Trump should pick a VP that is viewed in a positive manor by the evangelical voter and as a gentleman by the social conservative.  The VP has to fit in one other way as well.  The VP has to be a political outsider who is adamantly against the status quo, because that is how Trump has fashioned his campaign.  Preferably, this person would also bring a following of voters in the general election.

The most practical name that comes to my mind is Dr. Ben Carson.  Dr. Carson comes across in a respectable manor.  He is known to have a strong life long marriage.  He is viewed as religiously conservative.  He was speaking out against the evils of political correctness years before he ran for president. He also ran as an anti-establishment candidate.  As his own candidate he was pulling 3-5% of primary voters.  That isn't too bad considering the number of candidates that started the race.  Along with that, Ben Carson is black.

As a group blacks have a strong sense of racial identity.  Blacks vote for blacks.  Between 13% and 15% of the total population is black.  If Trump wins the nomination some establishment republicans have vowed to go over to Hillary.  Nobody has solid figure on that number but the black voter will more than make up for it. 

Chris Christie doesn't bring as much to the ticket as someone like Carson.  Christie may very well end up with a cabinet level job, but it would be a mistake to put him on the ticket, there are better choices that will resonate with voters in the general election.


Stimulus and Bailouts

I heard a remark the other day about the bank bailouts, auto bailouts and stimulus payouts during the Obama administration.  That remark got me thinking and doing some math on my own.  Here is what I came up with:

According to Forbes:  The bank bailouts rack up to $4.6 Trillion already spent with an additional $12.2 Trillion committed for future contingencies.

Sum Total on the auto bailout, a measly $26.5 Billion.

Obama Stimulus comes in at $830 Billion.

In case you are interested there are 121.76 million people working full time in the United States and 28.3 million working part time.

Now for some money math:

Provided I lined up all those zeros correctly that number is $17.656 Trillion.  To be fair the government hasn't given the bankers that $12.2 Trillion, yet.  For argument sake lets drop that out of our equation.  The new number is $5.456 Trillion dollars that has already been blown by the government for bailouts and stimulus.
By comparison people working:
That's 150.06 million working folks.  A number of those part timers are kids and some of them are working retirees that are just trying to keep busy.  In other words, they are working but might not really need a job.  The problem is, I can't tell from the statistics who is who.  I'm going to include all of those as "employed".  I'm also going to do some rounding.
If we divide the $17.6 Trillion by the number of folks working we get $117,700 per person.  If we divide the $12.2 Trillion by the number of folks working we get $81,000 per person working.  It doesn't matter how much they make, its just what the numbers break down to based on being employed.
The government didn't really have that money.  They browed most of it from future generations that will have to pay it back at interest.  The reasons given for this depend on who you are taking to, but the more common ones included a need to introduce "liquidity" in the markets, stimulate spending and aid cash flows for the banks.  Assuming that those are legitimate reasons (they aren't) for our government to borrow trillions of dollars, wasn't there a better way to handle the process?
What if the big ATM on Potomac had given every single wage earner $117,700 tax free to do whatever they wanted to with it?  Talk about economic stimulus.   What would happen to all that money?
For a married couple that both work, that would mean $235,400 in one big chunk.  In our house that would more than pay off the mortgage and purchase a new vehicle with plenty left over to save, spend or invest.  For a kid working part time that might mean a car and college paid for.  For a young adult just getting started, that would pay off some serous student loans and probably get them a car as well as some other goodies.  Retired or near retirement?  How about a nice little addition to your savings or investment account?
In every one of the above life situations individuals would have the ability to decide what to do with the money that was borrowed on their behalf.  The individual could choose what was best to do with the debt they incurred, save, spend, invest, or pay off their personal debts.
So what would happen to the banks and auto makers and that faceless thing called an economy?  I think we already covered that.  Some people would pay off or down their mortgage, car, student loans or credit cards.  In which case the banks would have received their injection of liquidity.  Folks would suddenly have the ability to purchase big ticket items, like cars, boats, appliances, new furniture, etc.  When that happened the car manufactures and other industrialists would have been the beneficiaries of new sales.  In the short term that money would go into the bank and then been used to pay wages, suppliers etc.  In other words, more liquidity for the banks.
What would happen if everyone saved or invested that money instead of spending it?  Not everybody is going to do that, but some will.  If they save it in a bank, more liquid assets are available for the banks (see a pattern yet?).   If they invest in the market, companies will have that capital available to use to increase production or engage in new opportunities.  That in turn helps out the great money go round; again increased bank liquidity. Those investments potentially will produce future income and capital gains for the individual, which would created tax revenue.
The thing that doesn't happen with the individual wage earner getting the bailout money is congressmen don't get campaign contributions.  The Clintons don't get foundation donations.  Bankers don't get multi-million dollar bonuses.  People who write grant proposals don't get nearly a million bucks to study why kids drink malt liquor and smoke pot.
Every Keynesian theory economic goal would be met, and probably more effectively, by handing the cash over to the people with jobs, with no strings attached, and letting them do as they please.
But what if the common man spends his check on coke and whores?  I guess that would be two steps up from donating it to a congressman.


Of Utah

I was going to start a rant about Mormons and their lack of sufficient intelligence to vote.  Then I started thinking about the Mormons I know or have met personally since this election cycle began.  About 2/3 of them support Trump.  I realize that my personal sample size is rather small, less than a dozen or so that I know are Mormon and a fan of Trump.  Still it seems like Trump would have picked up a couple of delegates.  So what happened in Utah? 

I'm not going to rule out GOP grassroots shenanigans similar to what we had here in Wyoming.  That is a real possibility.  I think that there might be another reason that is at least partially responsible for Trump not getting any delegates there yesterday.

Utah is one of the most culturally homogeneous states in the Union.  According to Gallup Utah is 67% Mormon and 23.1% some other Christian denomination.  That works out to just over 90% of the states citizens having a firm religious preference.  When it comes to crime rates, guess again which state is near the bottom in terms of criminal activity, Utah.  Notice, they aren't dead last, but they are very near the bottom in almost every category of criminal activity.  It's this way year after year in Utah.

Which state has the best perceived outlook on future economic opportunities? Utah Residents Most Positive About Their State EconomyUnemployment in Utah is running under 3.5%.  What about racial demographics? Utah is 91.4% white, and less than 1.4% black, there seems to be a decent amount of racial intermixing with whites and Latinos.  I tried to get hard data about refugee resettlement and illegal immigration in Utah.  I came up with (by adding together numbers in various SLC Tribune articles) less than 3,000 refugees over a period of 5 years.  Compare that to Minnesota.

As a state Utah is over 90% white.  They have a great economy with low unemployment and a positive economic perception.  The state is very religious (over 90% attend religious services) and 67% go to the same denomination.  Crime is low.  There is minimal refugee resettlement and thus minimal fear of Islamic fundamentalism.

Donald Trump is a candidate whose primary appeal is to those fed up with the status quo.  If you lived in Utah, you'd want to preserve the status quo indefinitely.  The Status quo in Utah is better than America circa 1960.  It's not surprising that Trump didn't do well in a state like Utah.  What is surprising is that Ted Establishment Staking Horse Cruse didn't do better. 

BJW -- Picture Puns


Obama Immigration Success

How's that for a headline?  Nobody's ever seen those three words together in the same place before.

What the reader has to understand is that the current immigration situation in the US is exactly what I've said it is, a success.  As a nation the USA is now beginning to enjoy the exact expected, planned for and desired result of Obama's immigration policy.  For evidence I offer this breaking news story:

Illegals held in vicious Framingham rape
Federal immigration officials are requesting detainers on four illegal aliens accused of a heinous attack on a Framingham couple in which the woman was raped and her boyfriend was beaten and threatened with death, the Herald has learned.
Two of the illegals had previously been deported to Guatemala, said Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement spokesman Shawn Neudauer.
Elmer Diaz, 19, is charged with rape, assault with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping and threatening to commit a crime. His brother, Ariel Diaz, 24, was charged with unarmed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, indecent assault and battery, kidnapping and witness intimidation.
He was deported to Guatemala in May 2014 after convictions.
Did you catch that last part about deportation?  Two of the four had been deported once before, but thank Obama, they're back.  This is as planned.  Destabilizing the nation is the goal.  If that can not be accomplished fast enough from internal decay, then destabilizing forces must be imported.  That is what has been happening for some time now.

A story of rape and mayhem as a sign of danger for society. In this case, its a sign that Obama's policies are having the intended effect.


A Year in Review

When you are a kid, birthdays are a time of fun, cake and gifts.  As you get older they become a rite of passage.  At 16 you can drive.  At 18 you can vote.  At 21 you can legally buy the alcohol you've been drinking since you were 15.  Birthdays in your 20's are no big deal, you are an adult but you are young and having fun.  At 30 you are officially getting old.  At 40 life is probably half over, maybe more.  50?  You know the clock is ticking.  How much money is in the 401K anyway? 

My birthday was this last week.  As I've started getting older birthdays have become a reflection on time left instead of a celebration of time passed.  Last year this time I was feeling particularly reflective and I made a decision to try an experiment for a year.  It was a spiritual experiment.  Actually I tried two new things this year.

I made a commitment ( a vow) to fast for one 24 hour period each week.  From midnight Wednesday to midnight Thursday I would eat no solid food.  I could drink water, tea etc but no food.  I would use this time of fasting for prayer.

The second thing, came around the same time in the form of a prayer.  I prayed, requesting Hashem grant me the fullest manifestation possible of His Holy Spirit in my life and make me sensitive to the leading of His Spirit.

The most difficult thing about my "experiments" was having them bear fruit.  In many ways it would have been easier for me if little or nothing came from my fasting or my audacious prayer.  Hebrews 11:6 is true.  God rewarded my fasting.  He granted my prayer.

I don't speak in tongues or heal people.  I've never flopped around on the floor or lost control of bodily functions.  There is no danger of me joining a Pentecostal Church.  I bear witness that the Holy Spirit is real and that He lives in and engages in my life.  I believe that He will answer the prayer I made for any Christian who asks.

Taking one day a week to fast was a separate practice, although the two things are linked.  I had fasted before in my life, but hadn't made it a regular practice.  Fasting on a weekly basis was sometimes enlightening.  As the year went on there were times when it was merely functional.  I had vowed that I would do it.  I did it.  That sometimes was all there was to that.

Other times the fasting seemed to allow me access to spiritual insights that I don't think I would have gained otherwise.  Prayers in general this last year became more connected, not just on days I fasted.  Prayers of praise and acknowledgement have been more frequent.  I've had fewer incidents of praying for myself and more awareness of the needs of others and the plans of God.

It's been a weird and rewarding year spiritually.


BJ - Green

What is out on the lawn all summer and is Irish?
Patty O'Furniture

What do you call a fake stone in Ireland?
Sham rock

Why do frogs like St. Patrick's Day?
Because they are always wearing green

When is an Irish potato not an Irish potato?
When it's a French fry

What does a leprechaun call a happy man wearing green?
A jolly green giant

What is Blarney's favorite thing on St. Patrick's Day?
A Blarney Stone

What happens when a leprechaun falls into a river?
He gets wet.

Why do people wear shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day?
Sure now, but them regular rocks be way too heavy, don't you know.

What do you call a diseased Irish criminal?
A leper con

What did one Irish ghost say to the other?
"Top o' the moaning!"

Where would you find a leprechaun baseball team?
In the Little League!

What do you call a leprechaun's vacation home?
A lepre-condo!

What do you call a leprechaun with a sore throat?
A streprechaun!

What did St. Patrick say to the snakes?
He told them to "hiss off"

Where does a leprechaun go to the bathroom?
In a lepre john!

Do leprechauns get angry when you make fun of their height?
Yeah, but only a little!

Why are leprechauns so hard to get along with?
They're very short-tempered!

Jared in the Joint

Jared Fogle made his fortune as the fat guy who lost a lot of weight eating Subway sandwiches.  He grew in fame and fortune as his waist size shrunk.  The same over indulgence that made him fat, according to his own report, lead him to drink and porn, which soon had him visiting prostitutes.

Again according to Jared, he soon found that those distractions were not enough, he stated viewing child pornography.  When those fantasies no longer satisfied him, he made arrangements to try out the real deal.  He doesn't say how long this went on.  What we do know is that he got caught.  His court confirmed victim count is at least 14 individuals, not counting images. He is one sick puppy.

Fogle was sentenced to almost 16 years in federal prison for his crimes.  That's where he met fellow inmate Steven Nigg.

According to WND:
Steven Nigg, 60, beat Fogle until his face was swollen and bloodied during a Jan. 29 fight inside Englewood FCI’s recreation yard, TMZ reported Wednesday. Nigg, who is serving time at the Littleton facility on a gun conviction, was punished with solitary confinement.
Prisons are by nature filled with unhappy people.  Like any other social group the prisoners have a hierarchy.  Where a prisoner finds himself in that hierarchy depends on three factors:
  1. How tough he is
  2. What subgroup (gang) he belongs to
  3. His crime
Drugs, stealing, assault, even murder are all crimes that inmates can rationalize.  Even the crime of rape is rationalized depending on the facts.  One thing they don't rationalize is sex with little kids. 
If an inmate is in for sex with a minor, the facts matter, at least to the other inmates.  A man can be convicted of sex with an underage girl and the other inmates won't care.  "The ho was full grown and said she was 19" is a valid defense in the eyes of the other prisoners.  It might not fly in court, which is why he's doing time, but its not grounds for concern among the prisoners.  It might be illegal, its not evil in their minds.
The guy who gets off on pictures of kids under 5 and has sex with kids under 12 is a freak.  He is evil.  He is something else, at least in the minds of some of the other prisoners.  He is the personification of someone else, someone from many of their pasts.  He is just like the guy that violated them when they were kids.
Except now they can do something about it.  Now they are societies outcasts.  They are already in jail.  They have nothing left to lose, except some rage. 
I don't know that Steven Nigg is an adult survivor of child abuse.  He might not be.  He might be some guy with anger issues that saw an easy mark that the guards and other inmates wouldn't stick up for.  He might have had a beef with Jared over some thing else.  We don't know. 
I'm surprised it hasn't happened before this.  If Jared doesn't toughen up, its going to happen again and again.  Count on it. 


Silence of the Bams

The Huffington Post was upset this last week and reported on the GOP's move to make silencers for firearms more accessible.  At issue is The Hearing Protection Act of 2015.  Basically the proposition is that silencers shouldn't be taxed and restricted. 

This is a good law.

Silencers are a good tool when used properly.  Guns are loud and turning down the volume is always a good idea. 

The last time I worked  ITRC there were some cool toys on display.  One of those toys was a souped full auto M4 on a sub-compact frame with a can screwed on the end of the very short barrel.  It was a manufactures sample piece that was brought in for demonstration for some Rangers.  I was told that this set up was the best full auto silenced machine gun in the world. 

I don't really know if it was the "best" set up, or if the gun reps were just saying that to sell the army some guns.  What I do know is that a lot of ammo went down range out of that gun.  I was standing around watching the demonstration when I was asked if I'd like to run a couple of mags.

Being offered a gun guys equivalent of a romp in the sack with a supermodel....I said no I'm married.  Just kidding.  I loving pressed the butt into my shoulder, leaned towards the target and compensated for barrel climb.  It was good.  I mean getting caught by your ex girlfriend rounding second base with the head cheerleader the same day she dumped you, GOOD.  I did it without protection.

That's right, full auto, no hearing protection.  I didn't have my ears in the entire time I was on the line.  It didn't cause me any discomfort.  I was even able to hear something that I never experienced in over 40 years of shooting.  I could hear the action cycling.  For all of that, the gun still wasn't truly silent.  It sounded similar to an air compressor in a mechanics shop. 

Silencer use should be encouraged.  Of course it would be great for city or suburban gun ranges.  Practice in general would improve with quieter guns.  Hunting would improve as hunters would create less of an impact on the surrounding wildlife during the season.

I'm all for silencers.  I hope they pass this law.


Christian Political Theology

This post is in response to Susan's request.

Christians come in all shapes and sizes.  They have different levels of spiritual insight and application.  They also have tendency to see their particular point of view as the "correct one".  One distinguishing characteristic is something called "the Christian World View" (CWV).  The CWV is the idea that Christians should have a unique theologically informed philosophy that governs how they see the world.

The CWV runs the spectrum from people who call themselves Christians but whose personal philosophy is identical with the cultural around them (Worldly World View i.e. WWV), to Christians who have a highly developed sense of how Hashem sees the world (Highly Christian World View, HCWV). 

Of the three types of Christians (WWV, CWV, HCWV) the CWV group can be further divided into those who recognize or are Aware of a CWV (ACWV) and those who have a CWV but are consciously Unaware of their CWV (UCWV).

Folks who tend to be involved in what Susan is identifying as "dominion theology" tend to have a CWV and also tend to be very aware of that view ACWV and have a desire to act on it in a political forum.  Being ACWV and politically active is not new.  The first modern example that popped into my mind was the Moral Majority movement that Jerry Falwell started up in 1979.

In the United States CWV has been linked with political philosophy since before the beginning of the country.  The first amendment to the constitution of the United States was widely understood as a declaration to practice the Christian religion without fear of a state sponsored church.  The founders were very much ACWV and willing to incorporate it into their political philosophy. This ideological phenomenon was a direct consequence of the First Great Awakening 1730 to 1740.

Regardless of the CWV of the founders, the populace of the United States increasing followed a secular personal philosophy.  The public institutions in the United States, such as the courts and the public schools, still maintained the tenets of the Christian religion.  School children were taught that morality, character etc were based on the Bible.  Judges still used scriptural principles in their findings.  The upper classes of American society held to a firm belief in the basic Christian tenets as commonly taught.  The result was that when the nations clergy looked around and saw the falling state of public morality, and preached against it America enjoyed the Second Great awakening 1820-1850.

One idea that became increasingly common in both religious circles and in political environments was that of manifest destiny.  Also very common in the minds of America Christians in the 19th centaury was the theological belief that Christians could and should make heaven on earth.  This doctrine is sometimes identified with the eschatological position of Postmillennialism.  The post millennialist paradise was the goal of most of the ACWV crowd from 1800 to the 1930's.

For examples major trends in American Cultural Topics:

Public Education
The first tax-supported public school was run by Rev. Ralph Wheelock.

As  a sub-issue / proof examine the laws requiring slave owners to educate their slaves to read so that they could understand scripture and reject their heathen religions.

Temperance Movement


Christian Socialists

Modern Welfare State
Has roots in the policy beliefs of Christian Socialists of the 1920's and 30's.

Faith Based Initiative
Involves using Christian Social Justice organizations to execute government policy programs.  For example:  Refugee resettlement programs.

The seven examples cited above all share the common link of making the United States into a Christian paradise.  Third Great Awakening 1880-1930 laid the groundwork for the modern Poltical Dominion Theologists (PDT).

The modern American PDT tends to be ACWV and aware of the American history and the role of Christian Political Activism.  In the past, the gains in America's economic, cultural and political followed, i.e. came after, the periods of spiritual revival.  In my estimation todays PDT wants to create a spiritual revival by using political power as a means to that end.

I see Donald Trump as a person who claims Christianity but has acted as if he had a WWV for his adult life.  He may be moving towards a CWV at this time.  If that is the case he is probably UCWV.  He seems to want to restore the basic institutions of a historically great America by focusing on the political and cultural institutions that have been corrupted and broken.  He believes that he can do that because he understands the fundamental flaws in the decision making process that have brought us to where we are today.  That may seem egotistical, but I believe it is an accurate estimation.  He doesn't wave a Christian Battle flag around, because he doesn't see the political as a reflection of the spiritual.

I have no idea what Cruz believes.  I don't think anyone else does either.  Most of his association is because of his dad's remarks, not his.  Based on his dad, Cruz is probably ACWV.  How highly developed that is, I can't say.  Being ACWV gives him the ability to see and tell others about issues that are important to people with CWV.  Communication along those lines seems to be popular with others who are CWV.  Ted Cruz is willing to wave that flag if it rallies supporters to his campaign.

Personally, as a ACWV person, I believe that America must follow the same path today as it has in the past.  The spiritual revival must take place first.  Then we might see some worldly benefits.  Ted Cruz isn't interested in doing that, so I can't take his version of occupying the Whitehouse as some form of Spiritual Manifest Destiny.  I don't see Trump as that guy either, but he's not trying to tell people that he is.

Hope that helps Susan.

Home Run

I only wish I was as succinct and descriptive a writer as Gavin McInnes.  In his recent "Deep Thoughts" column, McInnes explains why comedians hate Donald Trump as much as they do.
Sure, he’s had a bunch of divorces and yes, there are plenty of comedians who are happily married with kids, but we’re talking about the culture here and in America’s eyes, Trump represents a good dad with great kids who wants to get back to when America was great, and comedians represent a reboot of everything traditional and that’s the nuclear family. Comedians are deeply scarred human beings who shudder at the very idea of a family. They’re not pro–gay marriage because they give a shit about two random homos who want to fuck everything that moves while pretending they live for matrimony. They’re pro–gay marriage because they’re anti-marriage because they’re anti-family because their childhood sucked.
I'm going to go a step further.  It's not just comedians.  The so called "elite" or "opinion leaders" hate Trump.  The reaction isn't rational, as it might be if the reason was tied to some policy issue or decision making paradigm. The complaints I hear about Trump aren't what you might call "substantive" arguments.  When they get around to an actual argument its all about style over substance.  The tone is based in envy and spite.
Trump isn't bad because of his ideas.  Trump is bad, because he is successful.  Trump is bad because he is popular.  Trump is bad because he has a message, that voters (gasp) like.  Trump is bad because he is Trump.
Donald Trump is a constant reminder that plenty of us had parents who loved us and made us feel good about ourselves. We have mimicked this success story and created families of our own. We’re happy and what’s worse, we’re content. For the most part, comics are miserable people who developed the ability to make light of a bad situation. We get laughs from them because we’re not in a bad situation so it’s like doing a shot after you won the lottery. To us, seeing a comedy show is like taking Prozac when you’re not depressed. It’s a bonus. To the comedians, it’s what they need to stave off suicide. The more America becomes great again, the less resonance the kvetchers have. And when your entire ethos is based on complaining, you don’t want prosperity. It bums you out.
 I'd only change one thing about Mr. McInnes's piece:
For the most part, Liberals are miserable people. To the American Center and Left, constant bitching is what they need to stave off suicide. The more America becomes great again, the less resonance the Republican and Democratic Political Parties have. And when your entire ethos is based on complaining, you don’t want prosperity.
Other than that little edit, Gavin McInnes was spot on.  For those of you who don't know, Gavin McInnes is kind of like Fred Reed, except he knows which fork to use and how to order foo-foo drinks.


Jail for Mosquitoes?

I enjoy the Hotchkiss and Paonia area of Colorado.  They have orchards and farms surrounded by mountains.  As a rule I make a trip down to visit my friend Kriss and pick up several bushels of fruit from him each year.  I'm familiar with the area, if not the people in this story.

Colorado rancher jail-bound for spraying pesticides to protect wife from mosquitoes
An 81-year-old Colorado rancher who waged war on mosquitoes after his wife nearly died from West Nile virus has launched a last-minute fight against going to jail this week for spraying pesticides that wafted over his neighbors' organic farm.
"This is such a bogus deal. ... It is really ridiculous," James Hopper said last week on the land in Hotchkiss he has worked for 50 years. "All I'm trying to do is protect us from the mosquitoes."
State Judge Jeff Herron sentenced Hopper to jail for two days — and fined him $7,500 — ruling that his spraying until 2015 violated a 2012 court order that protected his neighbors, vegetable growers Rosemary Bilchak and Gordon MacAlpine, who suffers from leukemia.
You know what I think of a 81 year old rancher going to jail?  Get ready, brace yourself, setting down?  I'm all for it.

First off its only two days.  That's right 48 hours.  You know how he got that 48 hr sentence?  Over 3 years of violating other peoples property rights.  That doesn't even work out to one day in jail for every year he refused to stop spraying chemicals on his neighbors.

Before you think I'm fooled by Bilchak and MacAlpine (the people he was spraying) tale of woe, I'm not.  Leukemia isn't aggravated by airborne spray.  Leukemia is a form of cancer of the blood.  I'm also not buying the story that they were actually honest to gosh legitimate certified organic farmers.  Because they never bothered with certification prior to looking for an excuse for monetary damages.

See Bilchak and MacAlpine bought their 20 acres off of Hooper in 2005.  It takes 5 years to demonstrate that your farming has been free of artificial or chemical agents to achieve a USAD organic producer certification. Which means in 2010 they could have received their organic certificate.  When did they apply?  Not until they decided to go to court.

The practice of "organic farming" without actually doing the paperwork and paying the fee to be legitimately "certified organic"  is fairly common in Colorado.  It costs time, effort and money to be able to charge more for organic produce.  So what happens is folks claim to be producing naturally, "just like organic" or that they are in the 5 year period where they are proving up for the certificate.  In the mean time they try to charge you $4 for a zucchini.

I know this because like I said, I love going to Hotchkiss to buy fruit.  There are a few things I can't grow that I will buy off a farmers truck.  Blueberries, tomatillos, and okra don't grow well here.  So I buy them if they are available when I'm there.  I've been dealing with some of the same guys who are "in the process" of going organic for over 10 years.  My conversation with them plays out the same every year.  They claim $25 for a sack of okra or tomatillos is fair because they are "almost" organic.  I remind them that they've been almost organic for a decade and we had this conversation last year, and the year before that etc.  Then I get my grocery sack of okra for $10.  It's a game. 

Bilchak and MacAlpine's story falls apart pretty fast when you know how the game is played.  They were playing a game and they saw a chance to make a claim and grab some cash.  So why am I against Hopper?  He's an idiot.  First, he sold off 20 acres to a couple of hippie wannabe farmers.  Then he knew he was pissing them off with the spray.  Which is probably why he was doing it.  But, and this is the kicker, he knew he didn't have the right to do it.  When the judge told him to stop in 2012, he just ignored the court order for three years.

As much as I'd like to be on Hopper's side, he's brought his trouble on himself.


BJW -- More Cops

Two girlfriends were speeding down the highway at well over a 100 miles per hour. "Hey," asked the brunette at the wheel, "see any cops following us?" The blonde turned around for a long look. "As a matter of fact, I do." "Oh, NOOOO!" yelled the brunette. "Are his flashers on?" The blonde turned around again. "Yup...nope...yup...nope...yup..."

One day, a Man was filling his gas tank at a Gas Station; he filled the tank so full that gasoline got on his shirt sleeve; unaware that there was gasoline on his sleeve, he lit a cigarette and his sleeve caught fire,  so he jumped into his car, waved his arm up and down in an effort to put out the flames.  He looked into his rear view mirror and saw red, white and blue lights flashing and heard a police siren;
the Policeman pulled him over, got out of his Patrol Car, and arrested the driver for having and illegal Firearm.

Chap walking through the park at night hears a lady's voice in the bushes! "Fancy a good time, only 5 quid?"

 "Why not", he thinks. He is just about to grope the lady when a policeman shines his torch!

 "What's going on?", asked the policeman.

 "Do you mind", replied the chap, "I am about to have sex with my wife!"

 "Sorry", said the policeman "didn't realize it was your wife!"

 "Neither did I till you shone your bloody torch!" responded the husband

Police Officer: "How high are you?"

 Pothead: "No officer, it's "Hi, How are you?"


Receiving a Solid

I used to be in a position to do favors.  I still am in a way, but the favors I do are much smaller today.  Doing favors was fun.  You get to feel good about yourself, because you are a wonderful, generous, person.  More importantly other people tell you that you are wonderful.

Even if we don't always believe people telling us good things about ourselves, we like to hear it.  If we suspect the praise to be a tad bit vain, its nice to hear.  Besides we all like to think we are wonderful.  It's nice to have the ole ego stroked.

Receiving a favor can be trickier.  Especially when we can use it, and it comes totally out of the blue.  That happened to me today.  A customer who knows I am underemployed came in to ask me if I had heard from someone else about a job.  I had not.  He decided to take it upon himself to remedy that.

I have no idea what, if anything is going to come of his involvement in my affairs.  I don't want to speculate or get my hopes up.  Having the CFO of a $100 million dollar institution recommend you to an executive search committee, is a big solid.  I had no idea that he was going to do that, or that it was even a possibility.

Receiving a favor of this magnitude was both gratifying and humbling.  Gratifying because the last week at work has been less than encouraging.  To have someone walk in let me know that they think enough of me to recommend me for a real job is an awesome mood booster.  It's humbling because I needed the help.


Miserable Men

I admit it, I'm a sucker for click bait.  Which is why, even thought I knew it would be a sad reflection of American Masculinity I just had to click on  the link to Miserable Men.

The premise of the instagram site is photo's of men suffering in the malls of America to satisfy their wives shopping instincts.  My favorite is the guy being forced to help his wife shop for her new granny style bra.  My second favorite is the old guy coping a feel from the mannequin at Victoria Secrets.

Enjoy the link and remember to end meaningless suffering and humiliation; ban men from malls.


Profound Consequences

Two time loser, Mitt Romney, the man from Massachusetts, the man who didn't have what it takes to beat the worst president in American history, is critical of Donald Trump.  This isn't a surprise.  Mitt Romney is a prime example of what is wrong with America.

Romney is all about style over substance

Some Romney quotes and my reactions to them.
"I believe with all my heart and soul that we face another time of choosing, one that will have profound consequences for our country" and underscored his belief that "America will remain as it is today, the envy of the world."
I believe that we are facing a time of choosing.  There is nothing profound in saying that, it's called an election year.  This election will have "profound consequences".  I agree.  We will either have business as usual or we will have an opportunity to change the road we're on.
The road we are on is one to ruin.  For politically connected insiders it is a gilded road.  The American Empire isn't likely to fall this year, or even this decade.  There is still time to milk America.  There are still sweetheart deals, no bid contracts, and shovel ready lucre to be had.  If you are an "elite"  or an "insider" or anywhere near the government gravy train, there is still time to enjoy sucking off Uncle Sam's tit.
What happens if a truly independent person gains control of the White House?  What if the man with the hair gets in?  What if he actually does, or even tries to do some of what he has promised?  That would lead to "profound consequences", like maybe less room on the teat for the parasitical class.
And then he got to the point: "Let me put it very plainly: If we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished."
 He probably should have added, "for me and my buddies that depend on working the inside track for our lifestyle".
What will be "less safe"?  Our military has bases in 130 countries according to Ron Paul.  There are only 189 countries, meaning we have a military presence in 68% of the planet.  Alexander the Great never had such power.  How would Trump make us less safe?  His "plans" aren't much more than expecting the nations of the world, who have been free loading on Pax Americana for over 60 years, to start footing more of the bill for their individual nations.  Imagine that, expecting Japan and Germany, our former enemies, for those of you who graduated from public school, to pay for their own defense.  How radical.  How dangerous.  
Trump's economic plan would "sink the country into depression," launch a trade war, and "balloon the deficit," he said.
Balloon the deficit?  The only way the deficit grows is by spending more money than the government takes in in taxes.  FWIW on Bush's last day in office the national debt stood at $10.6 trillion dollars; today its over $19 trillion.  Obama is still an "establishment" approved candidate.
Launch a trade war?  How?  Do you mean industry, manufactures, employers and employees right here in America would get a shot a fighting back?  The last year real wages grew in the United States was 1973.  Our manufacturing and industrial base has shrunk every decade since then.  To me, a war means fighting back.  Fighting back, in my book, is better than rolling over and dying.
Is sinking the country into a depression really a concern at this point?  By "depression" what does he mean?  Less than 50% of the folks in America earn enough wages to pay federal income tax.  Over 1/3 of people who are able and would work are out of the work force.  Government bureaucrats continue to  throw up roadblocks to economic growth. 
He then said: "But you say wait, wait, wait, isn't he a huge business success, doesn't he know what he's talking about? No, he isn't and no he doesn't. His bankruptcies have crushed small businesses and the men and women who worked for them."
In case anyone has missed it, America is broke.  No matter who the next president is, America will still be broke.  We have a on the books national debt of $19 trillion.  We have an additional $205 trillion in unfunded entitlement obligations, for a total of over $224 trillion in outstanding future payments. 

In comparison the value of all work for the entire year, the GDP in the US is $16.7 trillion.  Total tax revenues were $3 trillion in 2014. If interest rates were just 3% the interest owed on just the debt would exceed $500,000,000,000 each year.  If we were paying (and we will be if nothing changes) interest on the entire $224 trillion it would exceed $6.72 trillion, or more than 2 times the entire tax revenue of the country.

The only way to fix this economic reality is to drastically cut government spending to levels that are significantly below tax revenues, then pay off debt and radically axe entitlement programs.  Doing that (Trump hasn't said he will) requires leadership and a willingness to go against the establishment self interest.

This kind of radical fiscal action isn't on anyone's, including Trump, list of campaign promises.  America is playing an economic game of musical chairs.  The music is going to stop.  The question is do we let elites keep milking us dry or do we try to reduce the damage by facing yesterdays failures today?

Mitt Romney's preference is clear, anyone but Trump.   But why?  Trump wants to temporarily halt mass Muslim migration into the US.  His reason?  He wants to screen out people who are coming here to kill us.  According to Romney this policy would make us "less safe".  Trump wants to cut tax rates.  His reason?  To provide an economic self interest for people to participate in growing our economy.  Trump wants to kick out folks that come here illegally.  The reason?  The labor participation rate is less than 66%.  Maybe if we had less illegals we would have more citizens working instead of increasing the cost of entitlement programs. 

America there will be profound consequences.  Why not pick the guy who is at least saying some of the right things?


BJW -- I Am Dad

My kids accuse me of "mess'n with them".  I don't know what they are talking about.

“Whenever the cashier at the grocery store asks my dad if he would like the milk in a bag he replies, ‘No, just leave it in the carton!’”

“How do you make a Kleenex dance? Put a little boogie in it!”

“Whenever we drive past a graveyard my dad says, ‘Do you know why I can’t be buried there?’ And we all say, ‘Why not?’ And he says, ‘Because I’m not dead yet!’”

“A woman is on trial for beating her husband to death with his guitar collection. Judge says, ‘First offender?’ She says, ‘No, first a Gibson! Then a Fender!’”

“I asked my dad for his best dad joke and he said, ‘You.’”


Local Politics

It's Super Tuesday.  I got up this morning and decided to go and vote for the man with the most impressive hair.  I have male pattern baldness.  I keep my hair cut almost boot camp short, so its not as noticeable.  Even with that cosmetic alteration to preserve my vanity, I know I'm losing hair.  Which is why its so high minded and courageously principled of me to vote for a man with conspicuously more hair than I.

Wanting to demonstrate my impressive amount of non-prejudice towards the hair-folicaly gifted, I determined to cast my vote in the primaries.  Wyoming works under a caucus system.  It's been widely reported that Tuesday March 1, 2016 is the day for doing this in my state. 

Except in my county it wasn't.

Someone made the decision that Saturday February 27, 2016 was the best day to have the Super Tuesday caucus.  Despite being a registered member of my political party for 26 years, most of that time in this county, and despite having participated in other primaries, I was not informed of the change.

I managed to find some on line news stories about the caucus.  The general opinion reported was that those participating felt a need to "stump Trump". 

I don't feel personally thwarted in expressing my desire to elect someone with a solid 1978 hairstyle to public office.  Wyoming's collective opinion on matters politic doesn't mean much nationally.  Which means my vote is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. With that being the case, why tell everyone that primaries are on Tuesday but actually have them on Saturday?