Friday, September 23, 2016

Quit Pussyfooting Around With Terrorism



For some time now, authorities have been reluctant to label anyone as a terrorist until it has definitively been proved that they are affiliated with a known terrorist group.  They would rather be as politically correct and simply label them as a deranged person acting alone. They feel safer doing this I guess. Safer for their reputation, safer for their voting base, safer in that it won’t offend any particular group, and thus causes division in the logical masses that know terror when they see it.

From serial killers to gang warfare to random acts of violence, all of them instill a sense of terror in law abiding citizens.  Terrorism is the old boogeyman reincarnated.  In case you are young enough to not remember who this character is, I’ll educate you.  The bogeyman was a mythical creature used by adults to frighten children into good behavior.  He or it could take on most any appearance and would get you if you went where you shouldn’t.

Bill de Blasio
Anyone who hides bombs or goes on a shooting/stabbing spree represents the kind of threat which disrupts the government’s ability to maintain law and order, and thus is terrorism by definition.  New York City’s mayor was so reluctant to call it what it was that he wiggled around the subject.  He has since safely announced that it was indeed an act of terror to his feeble credit.  Hillary Clinton took the same cautious approach and our President, although is quick to point out the smallest injustice to Muslims and people of his own race, was silent as a Texas oyster.  He was also silent and absent when Louisiana flooded, choosing golf and pleasure over domestic issues.

US Army Major Nidal Hasan
Remember when the militant Muslim US Army Major Nidal Hasan began shooting unarmed soldiers at Fort Hood and shouting Allahu Akbar?  Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, he should have been shot and shot again until he looked like a colander.  But where is he now?  Investigators in the FBI and U.S. Army determined that Hasan acted alone and they have found no evidence of links to terrorist groups. They are satisfied that his communications with Awlaki posed no threat at the time.” Wiki

The traitor is incarcerated at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on death row and will probably gain about 40 pounds of fat eating more than he can exercise off until he is eventually put to death, if ever.  “On August 28, 2014, his attorney said Hasan had written a letter to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (head of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). In the letter, Hasan requested to be made a citizen of the Islamic State and included his signature and the abbreviation SoA (Soldier of Allah)” wiki

It is sad that so many of us down here in blue collar America plainly see terrorism for what it is and our leaders are more interested in side-stepping the issue than making the call. It simply adds to the list of reasons we would like to clean house in Washington.  When the US Army cannot enforce the UCMJ on something as monstrous as Nidal Hasan, there is little hope for America as it was fifty years ago.  Under George Washington’s command, he would never have left that cafeteria alive and the 13 people he murdered would be at peace, as would their families. 

Abu_Bakr_al-Baghdadi
Terrorists are the ultimate proxy bullies and the apex of cowardice. They lurk in the shadows for the most part and then kill randomly and this scares law-abiding citizens and it should. The only way to stop them is to fight back and when they are caught red-handed, justice should be swift and brutal.  When they pull these acts in Russia, their punishment is immediate and it sends a very strong message to the next guy or gal who enlists in this aberrant and perverted behavior.

The list of Islamic terrorist acts around the world is staggering and growing every single day. One fellow on the BaytownTalks.net forum noted that there is a deliberate attempt by our government to salve over these incidents as normal every day acts and nothing to worry about. What? Tell that to someone who lost a family member to a bomb or a knife. It all becomes real when someone you know is killed or maimed.

In the White House we apparently have a President who is hell bent on bringing in more Islamists than care for military Veterans or seniors on Social Security in this country. Almost every day we read where he is demanding we flood the country with more Muslims and yet, the huge bulk of terrorism around the world is being caused by people with that religious belief. He doesn’t make the connection or maybe he does.

We Texans don’t want a police state, we want freedom. We don’t want to fear for our lives at the hands of terrorists, as we already have that with criminals. We will continue to arm ourselves and go about our business with the same caution we’ve learned to accept as normal. In the meantime, our leaders need to call terrorism for what it is and quit pussyfooting around.
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Monday, September 19, 2016

BB's take on bullying.

BB's take on bullying. Always resist, even if it means you will take a beating.

Sorry I ain't got no money
I'm not trying to be funny but I left it all at home today
You can call me what you wanna I ain't giving you a dollar
This time I ain't gonna run away
You might knock me down, you might knock me down
But I will get back up again
You can call it how you wanna, I ain't giving you a dollar
This time I ain't gonna run away, run away, run away
This time, this time
This time, this time I ain't gonna run, run, run, run, run
Not this time, not this time
Not this time
Not this time
Sorry I ain't got no money
I'm not trying to be funny but I left it all at home today
You can call me what you wanna I ain't giving you a dollar
This time I ain't gonna run away
You might knock me down, you might knock me down
But I will get back up again
You can call it how you wanna I ain't giving you a dollar
This time I ain't gonna run away, run away, run away
This time, this time
This time, this time I ain't gonna run, run, run, run, run, run
Not this time, not this time
This time I ain't gonna run, run, run, run
Not this time
Not this time
Not this time
Not this time
Not this time


Lyrics by Galantis  No money 
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Sunday, September 18, 2016

"Who is Donald Trump?"



"Who is Donald Trump?"  The better question may be, "What is Donald Trump?"   
 An article from Don Fredrick.  

The answer? A giant middle finger from average Americans to the political and media establishment.

Some Trump supporters are like the 60s white girls who dated black guys just to annoy their parents.  But most Trump supporters have simply had it with the Demo-socialists and the "Republicans In Name Only."  They know there isn't a dime's worth of difference between Hillary Rodham and Jeb Bush, and only a few cents worth between Rodham and the other GOP candidates.

Ben Carson is not an "establishment" candidate, but the Clinton machine would pulverize Carson ; and the somewhat rebellious Ted Cruz will (justifiably so) be tied up with natural born citizen lawsuits (as might Marco Rubio).  The Trump supporters figure they may as well have some fun tossing Molotov cocktails at Wall Street and Georgetown while they watch the nation collapse.  Besides - lightning might strike, Trump might get elected, and he might actually fix a few things.  Stranger things have happened (the nation elected an[islamo-]Marxist in 2008 and Bruce Jenner now wears designer dresses.)

Millions of conservatives are justifiably furious.  They gave the Republicans control of the House in 2010 and control of the Senate in 2014, and have seen them govern no differently than Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  Yet those same voters are supposed to trust the GOP in 2016?  Why?

Trump did not come from out of nowhere.  His candidacy was created by the last six years of Republican failures.

No reasonable person can believe that any of the establishment candidates [dems or reps] will slash federal spending, rein in the Federal Reserve, cut burdensome business regulations, reform the tax code, or eliminate useless federal departments (the Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, etc.).  Even Ronald Reagan was unable to eliminate the Department of Education.  (Of course, getting shot at tends to make a person less of a risk-taker.)  No reasonable person can believe that any of the nation's major problems will be solved by Rodham, Bush, and the other dishers of donkey fazoo now eagerly eating corn in Iowa and pancakes in New Hampshire .

Many Americans, and especially Trump supporters, have had it with:
·     Anyone named Bush
·     Anyone named Clinton
·     Anyone who's held political office
·     Political correctness
·     Illegal immigration
·     Massive unemployment
·     Phony "official" unemployment and inflation figures
·     Welfare waste and fraud
·     People faking disabilities to go on the dole
·     VA waiting lists
·     TSA airport groping
·     ObamaCare
·     The Federal Reserve's money-printing schemes
·     Wall Street crooks like Jon Corzine
·     Michelle Obama's vacations
·     Michelle Obama's food police
·     Barack Obama's golf
·     Barack Obama's arrogant and condescending lectures
·     Barack Obama's criticism/hatred of America
·     Valerie Jarrett
·     " Holiday trees"
·     Hollywood hypocrites
·     Global warming nonsense
·     Cop killers
·     Gun confiscation threats
·     Stagnant wages
·     Boys in girls' bathrooms
·     Whiny, spoiled college students who can't even place the Civil War in the correct century... and that's just the short list.

Trump supporters believe that no Democrat wants to address these issues, and that few Republicans have the courage to address these issues.  They certainly know that none of the establishment candidates are better than barely listening to them, and Trump is their way of saying, "Screw you, Hillary Rodham Rove Bush!"  The more the talking head political pundits insult the Trump supporters, the more supporters he gains.  (The only pundits who seem to understand what is going on are Democrats Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell and Republican John LeBoutillier.  All the others argue that the voters will eventually "come to their senses" and support an establishment candidate.)

But America does not need a tune-up at the same old garage.  It needs a new engine installed by experts - and neither Rodham nor Bush are mechanics with the skills or experience to install it.  Hillary Rodham is not a mechanic; she merely manages a garage her philandering husband abandoned.  Jeb Bush is not a mechanic; he merely inherited a garage.  Granted, Trump is also not a mechanic, but he knows where to find the best ones to work in his garage.  He won't hire his brother-in-law or someone to whom he owes a favor; he will hire someone who lives and breathes cars.

"How dare they revolt!" the "elites" are bellowing.  Well, the citizens are daring to revolt, and the RINOs had better get used to it.  "But Trump will hand the election to Clinton !"  That is what the Karl Rove-types want people to believe, just as the leftist media eagerly shoved "Maverick" McCain down GOP throats in 2008 - knowing he would lose to Obama.  But even if Trump loses and Rodham wins, she would not be dramatically different than Bush or most of his fellow candidates.  They would be nothing more than caretakers, not working to restore America 's greatness but merely presiding over the collapse of a massively in-debt nation.  A nation can perhaps survive open borders; a nation can perhaps survive a generous welfare system.  But no nation can survive both - and there is little evidence that the establishment candidates of either party understand that.  The United States cannot forever continue on the path it is on.  At some point it will be destroyed by its debt.

Yes, Trump speaks like a bull wander[ing] through a china shop, but the truth is that the borders do need to be sealed; we cannot afford to feed, house, and clothe 200,000 Syrian immigrants for decades (even if we get inordinately lucky and none of them are ISIS infiltrators or Syed Farook wannabes); the world is at war with radical Islamists; all the world's glaciers are not melting; and Rosie O'Donnell is a fat pig.

Is Trump the perfect candidate?  Of course not.  Neither was Ronald Reagan.  But unless we close our borders and restrict immigration, all the other issues are irrelevant.  One terrorist blowing up a bridge or a tunnel could kill thousands.  One jihadist poisoning a city's water supply could kill tens of thousands.  One electromagnetic pulse attack from a single Iranian nuclear device could kill tens of millions.  Faced with those possibilities, most Americans probably don't care that Trump relied on eminent domain to grab up a final quarter acre of property for a hotel, or that he boils the blood of the Muslim Brotherhood thugs running the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  While Attorney General Loretta Lynch's greatest fear is someone giving a Muslim a dirty look, most Americans are more worried about being gunned down at a shopping mall by a crazed [islamic] lunatic who treats his prayer mat better than his three wives and who thinks 72 virgins are waiting for him in paradise.

The establishment is frightened to death that Trump will win, but not because they believe he will harm the nation.  They are afraid he will upset their taxpayer-subsidized apple carts.  While Obama threatens to veto legislation that spends too little, they worry that Trump will veto legislation that spends too much.

You can be certain that if an establishment candidate wins in November 2016 €¦ [their] cabinet positions will be filled with the same people we've seen before.  The washed-up has-beens of the Clinton and Bush administrations will be back in charge.  The hacks from Goldman Sachs will continue to call the shots.  Whether it is Bush's Karl Rove or Clinton 's John Podesta, who makes the decisions in the White House will matter little. 

If the establishment wins, America loses



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Friday, September 16, 2016

The American Privilege Issue




There is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t remember living in Southeast Asia for almost 2 years. According to my DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Military Duty) it was exactly 651 days. What sparks this reoccurring memory is usually the fact that I have clean sheets, air conditioning, security, or potable water coming out of my faucet.

The old proverb that you never know what you have until it’s gone is very true, but in my case, it was and still is just the opposite. After experiencing the culture shock of leaving modern American life and being dropped into Third World country conditions, I got an instant education into American privilege. Notice I didn’t say white privilege? What I experienced affected all of us military folks who have lived this.

“People say you don't know what you've got until it’s gone. Truth is, you knew what you had; you just never thought you'd lose it, or frankly, took it for granted.”

I remember carrying a half dozen canteens over to the Security Police Squadron to fill them from a hanging canvas bag, G.I.’s referred to as a water buffalo. If I wanted potable water, this is where I had to go. My hootch room had one hanging light bulb, for which I was thankful and eventually I procured not one, but 2 oscillating fans to keep the room temperature bearable. Being in Base Supply had its perks, as hardly anyone had more than one fan.

Being stationed in the dreaded Cobra Triangle of Central Thailand, walking to the communal shower at night meant that it was a “Do I rinse off before I try to sleep, or just lay sweating?” conundrum. One way or the other, I was going to begin sweating within 15 minutes anyway, even with the fans. This meant that all night or day, depending on my schedule, I was going to toss and turn rotisserie style in my sleep, or cook on the bottom side.

“Appreciate what you have before it becomes what you had.”

My hootch had wooden slats that were screened and kept most critters out and those first months were fraught with anxiety, but we humans can learn to adapt to almost any condition – if we are forced to that is. Roaches the size of a pack of gum would sometimes crawl over me when I slept, or a large lizard would find its way in my small room. Occasionally other crawling things would come in goodly numbers and at first it really shook me. One time I sprayed one of these hug roaches with official C-130 aircraft insecticide, which was supposed to kill any bug trying to get back to the States on a free ride.

After 30 minutes, I squashed it with my jungle boot and this was after it jumped, flew, and crawled all over the room, flicking its wings. It was an impressive display and one that was quite educational and I’ll be honest and say I never took my eyes off it.  Months into my double deployment, I would squash a crawling bug in my half sleep, toss it on the floor and rolling over, go back to sleep.

“Don't take things for granted because they might not be there tomorrow.”

I remember coming back to the States and marveling at how rich of a country we had. The year was 1974 and everywhere I looked were new cars and signs of prosperity. People owned a lot of stuff and guess what? None of that has changed. In fact, we own 2 and 3 times more now than then. Every car has air conditioning and automatic transmissions. People have so much food, they could literally live on half what they eat. Every person here is privileged, make no mistake about it and don’t let some rich athlete or entertainer try to convince you otherwise. They need to hop on a jet airplane and be dropped off in a stinking jungle like we were and have the same options we did and by golly, they will change their tune right quick.

Belly aching and whining is for wimpy over-paid elitists looking for a cause that most of us don’t want to hear about. They live the life of luxury and can afford to lose endorsements while they get by on their 19 or 30 million dollar salaries. They can’t be content to take their kids crabbing, or spend the night in a tent after sitting around a campfire in one of our beautiful State parks. They have to act up and regardless of their constitutional right; they appear to be what they are – overpaid elitists, using their status to draw attention to something they can’t really relate to.

They’ve lost sight of what they have and live in a fantasy world where they think they represent those of us who still appreciate the small conveniences and blessings. They don’t represent me. If they really want to make a difference, there are better ways than acting in such a manner as to divide this great country. Anyone can become a rock in a shoe, but it takes someone special to have the vision of an ambassador and act on it.
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Friday, September 09, 2016

Old dogs and new tricks



My two little dogs are both smarter than I realize, easily manipulating my bride and I into getting whatever they want. She taught them both to high-five about 6 years ago and that was enough to get a treat every time and still works today. My 8 pound shih tzu will sit and stare at me until I look away and then for some reason, I’ll give her a treat. My Pomeranian/Pappillon mix will approach my chair and begin this chuffing and moaning sound, signaling she wants outside, simply so she can check the smells and I obediently open the door for her.

She rushes out barking and this causes my shih tzu to excitedly follow her, barking like they have a major announcement. Once outside a serious amount of sniffing goes on before they find that perfect spot to tinkle. The shih tzu at this time will sit down on the far side of the yard and stare at me.  The Pom/Pap goes into investigative mode for 5 minutes, finding nothing that I can see or smell and only the word “treat” gets them back inside.

Twice a day, Bella (Pom mix) takes anti-seizure medicine which I administer in a small blob of peanut butter.  I shake the pill bottle and wherever she is in the house, she comes running to this preconditioned sound.  Coca (shih tzu) will magically appear on the back of the couch 10 feet away and I have to bring her a sample of the magic goo. She swallows the blob quickly, so she can lick my finger. The finger remnant appears to be more important than the blob for some reason.

Come feeding time, the routine doesn’t vary or the shih tzu goes on a literal hunger strike. I mix a small amount of soft food with the high dollar dry food I buy at the Pet store. If I run out of the soft food, forget it. Bella will eat whatever and is never in a hurry. To me, she acts like a dog. Coco however is a curious mix of rabbit, cat, dog, and female something. She wants what she wants, when she wants it, or no dice buddy. No soft food? No problem. She won’t eat.
 
Their routine is important to them and Bella just turned 7 and Coco is a year older. I’m not sure they will learn or want to learn anything new. In so many ways, we are the same way. I know I have to fight the urge to stick with what I know, instead of thinking progressively. I imagine you feel the same way.

Now I repair computers, sweeping viruses, etc. off of them and that technological field changes constantly. I am forced to keep up with it and it amazes me how complicated it all has become. If I had to start right now learning what I know, the task would be overwhelming and “pert near” unattainable. This progressive technology has been good for me, as it carries over into other parts of my life and has kept me from falling into the rut of only knowing what I already know.

I have forced myself to read so many technical manuals that almost anything new, is just one more study to know it. Take for instance that new vehicle you bought with 400+ whiz-bang gizmo programmable dealies on the dashboard. How many of us will learn and actually use a quarter of those things? Most of us will not, but I know I will. I’ll fiddle with it until I am like a jet pilot, because I am that curious. I want to know how they work and then use them.

We recently bought a high-tech washing machine.  My bride stared at it like it was a copper-headed cobra moccasin. I was like “Cool!”. I am still discovering things it will do and when all else fails, I’ll read the manual to see where they screwed up.  Most likely none of us read the manual and utilize the product by trial and error. We figure we will read it later, but that is the epitome of “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks.”

The reason we can’t learn is because we don’t want to. Wow! What an epiphany! “Waa, I can’t get this to work, Bert! My PC is going crazy!”

“Did you do research and reboot and then run the anti-virus software I told you to run once a week?”  (Silence)

“Uh, I’ll get back with you.” The next day, I hear from them. “Hey, this is (insert name here) It is working! I don’t know what I did.” My answer is always the same and I tell them they are now computer repairmen. Note: This is not in reference to Royce Owens. LOL Progressive learning is like walking up hill. It is determination and work and that is why it is so easy to just stick with what we know.
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Thursday, September 01, 2016

Open Mouth, Insert Foot




I heard the other day that NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was auditioning to replace Natalie Maines as the spokesperson for the band Dixie Chicks.  Seems the guy forgot who his demographic supporters are, which gives him a real shot at the job. At the rate he’s going, he needs to run for higher public office, as in my experience that is par for the course.  Get to the top, forget how you got there, and then do your own thing.  It helps to have a righteous cause to convince yourself it is worth the risk.

I have no problem with Colin or Natalie exercising their 1st Amendment rights, which are freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. I do it all the time. I also know who I am talking to most of the time and if it offends them, I am pretty sure they are not paying me a salary, or expecting me to endorse a product for a fee or salary.

When Dixie Chick numero uno stood on that stage in England and declared she was embarrassed of the President of the United States, she made a couple very serious errors. One, she was in a foreign country and she’s an American Country and Western singer. Two, a whole bunch of people who buy her records supported GWB. Three, she forgot she was a singer and pulled the classic Smothers Brothers routine of using the entertainment stage to express her political views. Four, her remarks ultimately killed her band and income stream.

They are finally active again and guess where they are entertaining?  Small venues.  The top C&W band went from the mountain top to the valley low and like Jane Fonda’s legacy, many red-blooded patriots will turn the channel when their music plays, let alone attend a concert.

Now let’s a take a look at this NFL Quarterback for a second, who has a yearly salary of 19 million dollars. Like Ms. Maines, he has forgotten a couple of things, so he can push a cause which has nothing to do with football. His cause is so sensitive that the politically correct crowd have no option, but to back him and they will. The truth of the matter is no one wants an athlete to use their position in a sport to do anything other than play that sport. Next, he represents this franchise and as quarterback, the brains of the team. What he is doing is not team related and he’s doing it on the field. If it were not of the race card being played, I imagine they would set his butt down and probably fine him to boot.

Let’s take a simple traffic cop who decides to make a political statement right in the middle of an intersection as an example. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Let him do that on his own time. If Colin Kaepernick wants to make an impact, he should set up a fund to help black people out of poverty and the social punji stakes laid down by white people. He makes 19 Million dollars a year for goodness sake and has a palatial mansion that you can view on the Internet.

Sadly, by all accounts his talent is waning and he’s sort of engaged to the radical Islamic militant disc jockey Nessa Diab and has become “all riled up” mainly due to her perceived injustices and liberal Berkeley education. Never mind that she is also semi-famous and kind of successful and has a blooming career in TV and radio.

Why can’t people just be happy to be doing well? Why do so many privileged and financially blessed people feel the need to go on the warpath to expose the evil system that made them successful? Why does George Clooney (estimated personal wealth 180 million) support a party that wants to tax him more than it currently does?  Why would George Soros (24.9 billion) support a political candidate who wants to redistribute his wealth? It makes no sense to me at all.

The only distribution of my wealth I support is my own spending. I want the government to keep its stinking fingers out of my wallet and I have no trouble saying that to anyone. Football players need to support their teams and keep politics and personal biases and opinions off the playing field. The same goes for all sporting events, award shows, and entertainment venues. 
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Friday, August 26, 2016

How do you eat an entire elephant?



Five days a week, Joe and Joan Blow scoot across the leather seat of their $62,000 luxury SUV ready to go to work. They pride themselves on their 5600 square foot home and their four vehicles. On the armrest next to them is their morning healthy breakfast, a pair of nutritious and carbs-enhanced protein bars which cost 4 dollars each.  Their appearance is very important to them, as is efficiency at work and this is why they will consume this healthy snack on the way to work instead of eating it when they should be working. They wouldn’t want their coworkers to think they are slackers.

The drive takes 11 minutes and exactly 6 minutes after they leave home, they toss the wrappers out the window of their lavish SUV, as they are quite serious about keeping the interior as clean as possible. After all, it did cost a lot of money.

10 minutes pass and along comes Mike and Martha Somebody out for their morning walk. They take their morning stroll very seriously, as they believe the key to longevity is not only a proper diet, but regular exercise. In hand are used grocery bags and each day they pick up plastic bottles thrown down by other jogger/walkers and 5 times a week, a pair of protein/granola bar wrappers. When they drop the bags into the park garbage can, they get a rewarding amount of satisfaction out of not only picking up trash, but reusing the garbage bag.

The trash picker-uppers cannot comprehend how other people driving by the park or out exercising, justify throwing plastic bottles along the road and trail, but continue to pick them up and dispose of other people’s trash. The thought comes to them that more people like themselves are not the solution. All this could be prevented by people stopping this socially unacceptable, aberrant, and criminal behavior.

Mike Doe has been smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day for about 30 years and plans to quit. It’s just that driving a truck 5 days a week for a living leaves him with a lot of time on his hands and frankly, he likes smoking. The only time he smokes is when he is driving and this realization hits him, as he unrolls the window of his truck and flips the smoldering butt out. What he doesn’t realize is that over the course of his driving career, he has tossed out close to a half million cigarette butts, or that at the minimum, one of those butts will take a year and a half to decompose. He is also responsible for the burning of 112 acres on the edge of the Sam Houston National forest 6 years ago.
He has no clue that four houses were also destroyed by him flicking a burning butt out the window of his truck down close to Falfurrias in the late 90’s when everything was so dry. He may be shocked to find out he’s not the only one doing this and that each year 1.69 billion POUNDS of cigarette butts end up as toxic waste.

A long time ago, I came up with a saying I am fond of repeating to… me.  “You can’t save the world, Bert.” No, I cannot change anyone. I cannot force my beliefs about littering on a single soul. I can however pick up trash everywhere I go including parking lots when I’m walking from my Jeep to the door. I can attempt to influence other like-minded people to do likewise through conversation, social media, and this column, but the real answer is education and understanding by those people who continue to drop trash everywhere they go.

My saying helps me cope with people who seem oblivious to the obvious. Take for instance the walker who eats a protein bar or drinks an energy drink while exercising in Jenkins Park and then without so much as a care in the world, drops the empty bottle or wrapper along the wooded trail. Incomprehensible! They go there to enjoy the wooded trail and then they trash it?  I can sum my reaction with one word: huh? This is witnessed every single day by those of us who pick it up.

Like the elephant meal, it can be consumed one bite at a time, but only if the elephant doesn’t continue to revive itself along the way. Each parent, each peer, each casual acquaintance can do their part by either teaching their children, stopping this behavior, or by example and that my friend is the answer.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

The Most Monstrous of Misleads


I was 14 when I began my work career and registered for my social security card. The year was 1965 and my family lived in Woodstock, Georgia. My younger brother was 13, and did likewise. This was before child labor laws changed, or heck, maybe not, as like I said, we loved in rural Georgia.

We were grocery sackers and worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for 3 five dollar bills. My Mom took one 5 from each of us every payday as room and board and this taught us there was no free ride in life.  It was a valuable lesson that I’ve written about before and only a reference point.

My next job was at the local Tastee Freeze and each day after school and weekends, my same brother and I toiled in the kitchen, mopped floors, chopped onions, and took out the trash just to name a few of our duties. My mom exacted the same recompense as before and we had no choice but to pay it. Back in those days, there was no such notion as resisting your parents and I can truthfully say, I did not resent the mandatory room and board. Dad turned over his paycheck in its entirety and we were allowed to keep two thirds.

The summer between the 10th and 11th grade, I lied about my age and said I was 16 and had a driver’s license and hired on with my friend with a subsidiary of the Georgia Power Company, as ground men. We were making about a buck an hour if I remember rightly and that was a lot of cash. I had no idea what a ground man was, but quickly learned anywhere the backhoe couldn’t dig, we could with shovels. It was back-breaking hard work tunneling through that Georgia red clay in the same kind of weather we experience here.

Within 10 minutes of arriving on the job, we found out we were moving the equipment 10 miles down the road. My buddy got the 6-wheel drive truck and I got the dodge pick-up with “3 on the tree”. I was already very familiar with the column shifter and we rolled down the freeway like pros. Side note: many of today’s Millennial’s not only can’t drive a stick shift, but also can’t change a flat tire or know where to add oil to their car’s motor.

My Dad had taken a job in St. Louis and we moved quite suddenly and I became a clerk at a milk and bread drive thru, called a Pop-In store. Along the way, I bought and paid for my first car (at 15), 4 new tires, rebuilt the two one-barrel carburetors, a 10-speed bike, a stereo, and my first television.

I cannot recall anyone helping me out along the way as a sponsor or a mentor. I worked and scraped for everything I got. It was the way it was. Many of my friends did not work and they only had what their parents provided. I wanted more and I went in the Air Force, rather than risk being drafted and upon exit after 2 tours in Southeast Asia, I got a job through interviews based on my work career and skills I had learned and have worked non-stop until retirement 2 years ago. The worldly goods I own were earned along the way through constant work and paydays.

A number of times I worked side jobs to make ends meet, or to have extra cash and again, I didn’t have a single soul hand me anything without working for it and this is why I think, in my case, white privilege has been a myth, a lie, and some politically correct fallacy that needs to be exposed for what it is – an excuse.

White privilege went out with the OJ Simpson verdict and Affirmative action and many of us qualified folks witnessed this, as we were pushed back behind less qualified applicants and if that isn’t discrimination, I am a monkey’s uncle. Dare I write it? Dang tootin’, I will. When all across this country, minorities fill top government offices including Fire Marshal and Police Chief positions, white privilege is non-existent. The demographics prove it.

As a person who worked up the ladder unassisted by the system, I refuse to take the tuck head due to the color of my skin. Some reading this will shake their head, thinking I have it so wrong, but I only know what I’ve witnessed over the last 60 years or so.  Sure there have been injustices, but there has been reoccurring behavior which perpetuates the negative responses. “Doc, it hurts when I do this!”  “Well, stop doing it!”

No, I don’t buy the politically correct brain-washing agenda many white people are accepting as fact. It also embarrasses me when they teach their kids this falsehood. In the words of the urbanites, I want them to “grow a pair” and quit making excuses for people who refuse to step up their game and get off the government dime. It is never too late to become a contributor to society, but you may have to start near the bottom sacking groceries.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Rudeness Pays Mighty Small Dividends



The quickest way to cut off a conversation with me is to say something angry, arrogant, condescending, or rude.  Do it to me and inwardly I wish I could be beamed up and gone. I don’t like it insinuated that I’m an idiot, or a jerk, or a (insert an expletive here).  I wish I could write that I am blameless, because I’m not, but I do believe I earnestly try to be socially graceful.

Almost every issue of the Baytown Sun will reveal a letter to the editor concerning politics and how stupid someone is. Occasionally my name is specifically mentioned as being “unpatriotic, stupid, idiotic, a dolt, a joke, or uninformed”. I marvel at all of this, as its apparent these fine citizens are zealous, passionate, and worked up enough to pound out a letter to the community to, what? Defend their political views with good solid non-accusatory facts? Not for the most part. What they write appears angry and condescending almost every time and we the readers, if we actually read it, feel like we were just slimed.

In their defense, they see themselves as righteous, witty, humorous, informed, educated, and as a spokesperson for their party’s dogmas. I wish I could report that is how other readers view them, but I can’t speak for anyone but me. Although I tend to agree with those who vote against the Democratic Party’s policies, I find both “sides” do not represent me in their “arguments”.

Quite a bit that is written in these exchanges are so offensive that if they were said face to face, it would be a downright physical confrontation. Calling me Mister and then telling me I’m a buffoon pretty much negates the fact that someone started the insult with a social title.  For instance, do I think Obama and Clinton are idiots?  No, not by a long shot. I think they are intelligent and extremely clever manipulators pushing a socialist brand of government I want to steer clear of.

They believe in giant government with hundreds of programs designed to even the playing field, so that those who were not motivated to get an education and a job can have everything you and I have who did our homework. And the working Middle Class gets to pay for it through increased taxes. This is no mean secret and yet, people who make 50 to a 100,000 dollars a year will vote for the very platform that will take food off their own table.

Do I think that people who will vote for Hillary are idiots?  Nope. I know too many good people who are educated and friendly who will punch her card on voting day. What I do find is they should understand for themselves how much they want the government nosing around in their personal lives. If they want more government, then vote for Hillary. I want less government and that is why I am voting for a political outsider over a hardcore political conservative who has more interest in the party lines, than in the people’s wishes. I think both party extremes do not represent me.

I’ve been clear about my stance on this for a long time and it throws me right in the middle of the Tea Party in some ways. To reiterate, I will pay my taxes and obey the laws and in exchange, I want our government to stay out of my life unless there is a disaster. Sure, it is a good thing that they work hard to keep our country defended against enemy both foreign and stateside. It should be a priority of our government to offer stimuli to keep jobs here and a great number of other programs that “offer” a solution, but when they cram something like healthcare down our throats, it gets stuck every time.

You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar, right, so why do we feel it is socially acceptable to attack each other in print? Do we do this face to face with strangers because their political opinion differs from ours? I personally don’t carry a spare hockey mask around with me to protect my mouth from a violent reaction to my vitriolic political eruptions. What I do as a defense when I meet a person like this (or read what they wrote) is I avoid them. I have no interest in meeting them again or reading what they write in the letters to the editor section on page 4. Because of their sarcastic and acidic diatribe, I simply ignore them and in the occasional Facebook arena, I unfriend them.

As Kimberly “Sweet Brown” Wilkins so eloquently put it, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

IF WE FAIL TO ELECT TRUMP, THE PARTY IS OVER!



This letter is a contribution from my SIL's grandfather.  He spent many years in Air Force intelligence working with the CIA and NSA and we are both columnists.

       Sometimes I imagine that I’ve fallen into some deep crevasse miles from where my screams for help could ever be heard.

       It’s sort of analogous to the hopeless feeling I got when I was forced to recognize just how many gullibles, ignorant dolts, mentally deficient ideologues, and morons there are that are registered to vote, and unfortunately for our beloved country, show up at the polls.

      Eighteen-year olds should never have been given that right unless they were wearing a uniform. That said, it’s my opinion we’re at the crisis crossroads of my lifetime.

     If we don’t find a way to blow a hole through ignorance, apathy, bigotry, stupidity and mental laziness to elect Trump even if it’s a perceived by-far the lesser of evils; the party, if there ever was one, is over and gone and my great-grand-kids and yours will be the ones to suffer for mistakes made.

    There are no guarantees except death, and that’s inevitable.  Americans have made some terrible Presidential choices throughout our history. During my lifetime, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama are by far the worst in more than a century! 

     I truly shudder at the thought of another arrogant sociopath, pathological liar, and treasonous criminal succeeding the current arrogant sociopath and liar. Let’s look at some contrasts between the current candidates: the criminal and the annoying egotist.

    Trump wants to build a wall and stop illegal immigration and block refugees from Islamic nations who can’t be properly vetted (See McCarran-Walter act of 1952, which Jimmy Carter used to block immigration of Iranians). Look what’s happened in Europe!

    With virtually no borders, the European nations are being overrun by Muslim peoples who refuse to assimilate into the societies they enter. They follow an extremely dogmatic and misogynistic religion that espouses more hate than love. Gays and non-believers (e.g., Christians, apostates, etc) are to be shunned or killed. Females are nothing but chattel.

    Hillary wants no prevention of illegal immigration and wants to increase the risk of terrorism on our precious soil by all but clearly inviting un-vetted, potential ISIS operatives to come through the currently wide-open and unguarded gates of Syrian refugee immigration. This is just like leaving the doors and windows of your house unlocked in a high crime neighborhood.

  The difference is stark; “Shrillary” wants to gamble our lives, Trump doesn’t, he’s the clear choice here.

    Hillary’s on record as saying outsourcing of jobs to other countries can’t be stopped. What that really means is her husband duped voters and stupid politicians (oops that’s an oxymoron) into helping outsource millions of jobs via NAFTA which helped them get rich.

    Trump says he can stop outsourcing. Maybe he can, maybe he can’t, but we know Hillary won’t! She’s on record! Clear choice, Trump!

    Hillary’s mentor and a person she was enamored of was “Rules for Radicals” author Saul Alinsky. She was an acolyte, interviewed him and wrote her thesis about him and the “Rules”. He was the expert on community organizing and Obama and thug William Ayres were fellow acolytes.
 
    Trump’s radical ideas are to help us achieve prosperity again, individually and as a nation. Hillary is promising four more years of change without hope. Clear choice, Trump!
   Another contrast, Hillary wants to help Obama transform America into a third world socialist mess (see Greece and France) where the promise is a “chicken in every pot stolen from those who worked for their chicken.”

   Trump wants America to recapture her once premier position as a leader of the free world, regain form as business friendly, again become a manufacturing giant, and rejuvenate a neglected military destroyed by eight years of Obama (that Hillary wants to continue) in order to regain a preparedness second to none.

    Hillary has demonstrated her hatred of our military and her thorough disdain for people who wear the uniform at least from the time she was first lady, if not before. No way in hell should this arrogant, self-centered harridan ever become CIC. Again, a clear contrast to the “Donald” who always shows deference and respect to those who defend.

    Trump repeatedly condemns the fascism of PC that is invading every aspect of our daily lives: free speech is attacked on campuses by professorial nit-wits and their ideologically indoctrinated nit-wit students; majority rights are abridged in favor of the minority at every turn, the end-game being political divisiveness as a means of grabbing power.

     How about perverts having the option to choose whatever bathroom they want with Target stores’ blessings? PC is so fascistically ludicrous some idiots are demanding the right to not ever be offended.

    The ultimate reason why Trump must be the choice is SCOTUS. Hillary can totally wreck the country by appointing activist judges who would abrogate the constitution piece by piece starting with the 1st and 2nd Amendments.  WE MUST ELECT TRUMP AND PENCE AT ALL COST!
Aug 8th, 2016

       

Friday, August 05, 2016

We sink or we swim



 Something Lindsey “Zeb” Wilcox told me when I was interviewing him has stuck with me these many years. He was one of the survivors of the WWII US Navy ship, the USS Indianapolis. If you remember, this is the ship that was torpedoed at the end of the war and had carried the components of the first atomic bomb. Of the crew of 1196 men, only 900 sailors went into the water. 5 days later the survivors were pulled to safety. Many succumbed to their injuries; out of desperation a good number drank salt water and went crazy. Zeb was one of the 317 that kept their wits and survived.

“The difference between those who died and me was I didn’t want to die. I didn’t give up hope. I had things I wanted to accomplish.” Zeb told me he had the same nightmare every night and would wake up sweating. He said one time a crazy-eyed sailor tried to choke him, thinking he was a Japanese soldier. Another suddenly spotted something deep in the ocean and dove down out of site, never again to resurface.

Fate would have it that Zeb and crossed paths more than once before I met him as a survivor of this tragedy.  Call it providence or whatever, but I now believe it was divine intervention.

Zeb was long retired by this time, having spent his time as an Operator at Solvay. I worked next door at a competitor of theirs making the same product. He was big in the Lion’s Club and spent a lot of time raising awareness to the naval tragedy. He stayed busy and I was in his home and later his nursing home room many times. He was full of life and it wasn’t obvious that he still endured those horrible memories. He did his best to put it behind him and move on.

Now I am retired and I am carrying nowhere near the bad memories of this hero and I feel I owe it to his memory to make a mark in life. Remember Tom Hank’s character in epic WWII movie, Saving Private Ryan, when he whispered “James, earn this... earn it.”? No one, but Zeb and God was there for him, but he made it and he made it good. I want to be like that. At my swan song, I want people to tell me I am a good man. I can personally say Zeb was.

What in the heck does all of this have to do with you? Everything. You and me both. It’s a challenge of sorts. Do we really need people to rescue us from tragedy to step up our game? I don’t think so. I think it takes a realization that all of can live cleaner, more rational, less selfishly, and kinder. Start by parking father out in the vast parking lots and leave the better spaces to those who aren’t as spry and physically fit as we are. Baby step it.

Tip not only the person bagging your groceries, but hand the checker a buck and tell her she just got a dollar an hour raise. It is not the great big things that make differences in our lives folks; it’s those little unexpected goodies that come our way that we never forget. I have done this many times and the look of surprise on their face is always worth the money.

Many times we wrongly believe we are living a life of hardship, when at out poorest, we live better than most people around the globe. The traffic on Garth Road has some people so angry, they could bite the head off their favorite Hillary/Trump voodoo doll and when you put it in perspective, it is simply no big deal. Why worry about stupid stuff and on second thought, why have a doll like that in the first place?

Zeb told me that one night he awoke and he had drifted about a hundred yards from the larger group. Two 8 foot reef sharks were staring at him trying to decide if he was dead or not. He immediately began to violently swim between them and they followed him all the way back to the group before breaking off. This nightmarish scene was relived every night for over 65 years before he finally passed away a few years ago. And we think we have it rough? Not hardly, my friends.

We sink or we swim folks. You do, I do and it’s entirely our choice which one we make. We can choose to go through life floating and find out where we end up when we get there, or make corrections toward a destination of our choice.
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Friday, July 29, 2016

80,000 people and growing!



Holy all that is sacred! We now have over 80,000 warm bodies to bump into every time we swagger across town! That extra 15,000 from 1980 days sure makes a difference and if my predictions are correct, we are going to see a whole lot more people (and each one of them will try to be on Garth Road at the same time) in the next 4 years. It’s guestimated that at least 20,000 more cruise into the city during the day by undisclosed secret sources which I alone (and probably Jim Finlay) am privy to.

The good news is the City is planning to 6-lane Garth Road and then it will only be about as crowded as it is right now. I want to applaud the city planners in that they are really making a go of getting more roads and connecting parking lots so those of us who like to avoid all of that, can get around a bit better. Of course you have to factor in the parking lot missile cars.

By the time most of are reading this column, the SPAC (the Imagine Baytown People) will be huddled over a huge stack of surveys trying our level best to make a recommendation to the city of what we, the citizens want here in the next 5 years. Now this subject has came up numerous times in social media about it not meaning a danged thing and no one will listen and it confuses and yes, angers me a bit when I have to stress just the opposite.

This ain’t Washington DC honey where they ask for input and then do what they danged well please. This is small town big town Baytown and they, our city council want to know what the citizens want and have given everyone ample time to state those desires.

When Nick Woolery told me the Mayor wanted me on this committee, I made it clear that my biggest concern was family amenities and making Baytown a better place to raise kiddos and nothing has changed in that department. I care very little about new stores, motels, storage facilities, car washes, etc, etc. I want more places to take kids and get out doors and enjoy life here.

We need better and more unique Parks, like the one in the Heights called Donavan Park.  People drive miles to take their children there and it’s free. We don’t need more cookie cutter parks, which look the same as all the other ones in Anytown, USA. Geeze, let’s use our imagination on this. We have waterways that are not being developed and we have a lot of them. We need to push the wide sidewalk plans where cyclists can ride their bikes around the city and shed some of the fat that we get from the many new restaurants.

Captain Jerry Jones of the Cedar Bayou Friends is doing his part in planning the second annual Cedar Bayou Voyager event on October 15th and has enlisted the help of Southeast Texas Geocachers (under the expert assistance of Army Colonel (Ret.) Lee Ann Adams.  Of course I will be there representing the Texas Geocaching Association.  Jerry and I go all the way back to the Vietnam War when were both stationed on the same base.

Calypso Cove just about breaks even money wise (according to my other secret sources) and based on how many people use it, I think we need a second one on the north side of I-10 and no, not on Garth road! These water parks are awesome and if you haven’t taken your kiddos to one, try it and see.  I counted 4 lifeguards the last time I was there and all of them were taking their job seriously.

We need more businesses and clubs organizing quarterly Adopt a Site programs to give back to the community and help their members and employees bend over and remove litter. Hey, don a shirt with your business name on it and go down a street and see if that doesn’t advertise your business like no other way. Eleanor Albon will hug you until you are blue in the face, I promise. I enjoy her hugs every time I see her.

Kathy Nelson and her husband are putting Keep Baytown Beautiful on the map with their Beautiful Business of the Week award program and I salute the pair. That is a lot of work to scout out these places, take time for a photo Op, and then go back and retrieve the sign.

Litter abatement is a real problem here as everywhere and the reason for it is many people still believe throwing trash out the window of their car is a good way to keep the inside clean. I ran a test one week on Blue Heron Parkway and each day for one week at close to the same location, I picked up a Nature Valley Granola bar wrapper.  Now I don’t know how long it took that person to eat it after they left home, but they were very consistent in when it went out the window.

I can’t prove it, but I suspect this person has never participated in a single trash bash in their entire life.  Am I a trash bash expert?  No, but here it is nearly August and I have been in one every month this year.

Texas Avenue is coming along as is the Yepez Vineyard and Baytown is making strides to get a geocaching Geotour under the expert eye of Anna Enderli, so we are making progress.  Now, if we can only get the naysayers to see some sunshine and offer suggestions over criticisms, we will be well on our way to making Baytown a city on the move.
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