Friday, July 12, 2019

Give Me The Cage Anytime!

Typical caged conditions of border crossers, minus crying babies, as depicted by the media.

In this country, people who love tennis are forced against their will to play inside a cage.  Conditions can be brutal in the Texas humidity and heat and often debris must be cleared from the cage in order to use the facility.



I worked inside a cage for almost 40 years in the Chemical Plant industry and they wouldn't let me leave when I wanted and rarely fed us and acted like they were expecting something in return! When they did feed us, you would think it was amazing by the way they acted, but a lot of times we had to stand in lines and stuff -  just terrible. Showers were available, but they kept me busy enough I never really had time to take one. It was awful.

The reality is the "cages" on the border look nothing like what people envision when the slanted news coverage appears.


Bamboo Cage used to hold prisoners.
 

Monday, July 08, 2019

Beer Drinkers Throw Harder


 Who knew that people who drink and drive can throw an empty beer can like a professional athlete?
There has been an alarming trend on Blue Heron Parkway when it comes to litter. I feel it is my obligation to report the facts on this bizarre mystery.

The beer drinkers are throwing their cans and bottles further than the Monster drink and Red Bull crowd. Mind-boggling comes to my... mind to attempt to explain this phenomenon.

Have they secretly infused Michelob Ultra-lite with caffeine and not told anyone? I mean it has become apparent there is an issue with the once powerful sports drinks.

I used to find the littered cans 30 or more feet from the road and the beer cans were 20 feet closer. In the last two weeks I've found more and more cans of "powerfully explosive powered" sports drink close to curb, as if the poor athletic wannabe barely had the energy to drop it beside their moving hooptie.

Now it appears if you really want to throw that empty can a long ways, you have to switch to beer. Hollywood has proven over and over again that people who drink alcohol are full of energy. If you are going to litter, you might as well throw it like Randy Johnson.
 Disclaimer: In no way am I advocating littering, throwing any kind of litter out of a car or truck, or soiling the good name of Randy Johnson.

MAGA is what we really want

If you think constantly bashing the President of the United States is benefiting you and the people around you... try it at work with and around your bosses. Never say anything to agree with them and constantly run them down behind their back and see, just see if your life and those around you prospers. It won't and you will be unhappier and folks will avoid you. No one wants to hear it.
 

Making America great again (MAGA) has NOTHING to do with restoring the bad things this country has went through. Its about placing America ahead and before any other country. Plain and simple, so when you hear folks lie to you and say it is a racist saying, simply walk away from that ignorant and decidedly racist person.
 

If we are all not working to better the state of affairs for America's future, we are working against it.
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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Trump is our President


I love this President! Of course, I would like him to talk less, but if he wants to talk, go for it. He is more candid and honest when talking to the American people than any other president in my lifetime. YMMV Notice how quiet the Democrats have been about the border and Trump’s harsh treatment toward people entering the country illegally? There is a reason and a shameful one at that.
They are quiet because more illegals have entered the country under Trump than Obama and Obama deported far more. Of course they won’t admit this or apologize because they don’t care anything about anything except retaining power. The country could fall into a chasm and as long as they held the reins, they would yell, “giddy up horsey”.
After 2 years, Obama was turning gray-headed and looked tired. Trump looks like he’s barely warmed up. The presidents before him played politics. Trump looks world leaders in the eye and tells them it is quid pro quo or we cut off their allowance. No other president has done this that I know of. 
Henry Kissinger said world leaders are all off-balance around Trump because unlike other presidents, he looks you in the eye when he threatens to stab you in the chest and they know he will do it. It is no secret they laughed in Obama’s face, but they sure as the Dickens aren’t laughing now, are they?
Understand that for the first time in our lifetime we have a president who has the guts and backbone to break tradition. Understand that a global economy like we have had under Clinton, Bush, & Obama is a thing of our past. If it doesn’t set right on our stomach, we have no stomach for global equality. I for one do not want to see American standards lowered to salve over any Third World country.
The tariff issue will balance out (1-5 years) and we will see prices rise as the Chinese have to compete with the rest of the world for our money. We will also see higher quality American-made products that can now compete. In other words, stay the course. Vote Trump 2020
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Monday, June 17, 2019

Why we should read the Dew Point



Here is why looking at the humidity outside to understand how yucky it feels is misleading. We should be watching the dew point temperature to tell how sticky it feels to our skin.

The humidity can be high and the dew point low and it feels great and vice versa. Look at our current weather here. It is only 75 and should feel great, but our dew point is 73 AND our humidity is 95%. This makes it feel sopping wet outside even with our 8mph southeasterly wind.


Billings, Montana where my BIL  works, it is 56 degrees and has a humidity rating of 88%. It should feel cool and damp, right? Maybe even cold for us Gulf Coast Texans.

Wrong. It has a dew point of 53 degrees and with a 6 mph wind, it feels downright dry, cool, and pleasant. Montana folks would swim in this weather if the rivers and lakes weren't about 35 degrees. In fact, Montana folks fish in the water instead of swimming in it.
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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Democratic leadership in 2019
If Bill and Hillary had a press conference and admitted everything bad they and the Democratic Party did since he became President through to this date, the Democrats would acknowledge it was indeed the Clinton’s but deny they were telling the truth.
If Jesus the Christ and almighty God was to announce that there was no collusion between Russia and Trump, the Democratic leadership would acknowledge it was indeed the Messiah, but he “is misremembering” what actually happened and be very smug about it to boot.

If Mother Teresa were to come back from the grave with a warning about wholesale abortion she would be discounted as mentally feeble by the Democratic leadership, which is suffering from the same issue. If a Socialist Democrat’s own mother came out for contraceptive by abortion, they would agree with her.


There are now over 20 Democrats running for President in 2020 and soon, they will begin debating and throwing mud on each other. It will probably be ugly, but highly entertaining. I believe DT will be our next elected President by a land slide that crushes the Democrats hope of turning our Republic into Venezuela.
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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Baytown Texas Takes on the #TrashTag Challenge


 
This is SH-146 at Tabb's Bay in 1974. We were a dirty and smelly Tri-city town with a lot of growth in our future.
We used to be viewed as just another stinky oil town. That is no longer the case. Baytown is actually cleaner than many cities surrounding Houston, but we can do better by educating the masses and actually going outside and removing debris from our town.
I've started a grass-root effort here on Facebook to address educating the public AND getting them involved in litter abatement and I am going to pursue this over the next year with great passion.  



We already have over 100 like-minded members and it is a vision where all members are accountable to contribute effort to remove litter on a daily basis.



Possibly quarterly we will tackle a large project and have a potluck meal afterward. There will be no galas, no scholarships awarded, just people actually working to make our city very clean. There will also be no kings, or queens and no $65 a plate to raise money at this event... just people working.

I took this photo in the parking lot of Food Town on N. Main in Baytown.


It is the goal for this group of volunteers to be heavily represented by the Baytown Sun and any TV news station we can entice to cover it. I want Baytown to shine and I do believe it will have an almost magical effect on our perception of the city.



It is important that we document through photography and placing the photos on our individual pages to encourage others to help. There is also an opportunity to shame litterers into stopping. People who litter look just like us, our family, and our friends. They need to be educated to stop throwing trash out the window of their cars and truck.



Here is today’s photo of #TrashTag (add this to your photo when you post it to FB) and the difference ONE person can make: 
The idea is each person works every day to remove litter. Small amounts add up quickly.

The #TrashTag movement is an international effort for the average person to make a positive impact on the litter problem.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Is Keep Baytown Beautiful really doing anything?




BB's take: Keep Baytown Beautiful just had a great big "Gala" and handed out awards all over the place, with lots of high fives and back-slapping celebrating all kinds of accomplishments unrelated to making Baytown beautiful. "The Baytown Sun was awarded as Media of the year." Boy, I feel our city is more beautiful than ever and that award exemplifies making Baytown more beautiful, now doesn't it?
It was a major success according to the fact-based Baytown Sun. Baytown is surely cleaner and nicer than it was last year, right?

I went to their website, but it is down. You mean they had a great big event and their web site ain't workin'? I was looking for a great big list of all their projects and accomplishments (as they are not listed in the newspaper column) so I could applaud the organization.

I'll have to wait until an expert fixes the website to see what they have done, because frankly, I'm not really feeling it. Sure, I participate in the yearly Keep Texas Trash-off like many, but we need a monthly clean-up event that involves the whole city, like #TrashTag efforts going on across the planet.

One productive year from now at the next gala, they first need to interview 10 random people off the street and ask them in front of everyone in attendance to explain how Baytown is more beautiful than it was last year. If the average denizen of Baytown does not perceive that improvements have been made, this organization has not done their job.



It is what it is folks. Boots on the ground is what this city needs. It needs the average citizen educated and involved. It will take an entire city to shift their perception and become proactive. To John and Joan Q. Smith, hosting big shindigs with lots of awards is just more bureaucrats awarding each other and passing smoke for real work. When I see EVIDENCE of KBB's efforts on a regular basis, then and only then will I think the organization’s leadership is paying more than lip service to the community.  #KeepBaytownBeautiful



Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Reminicing the Vietnam War

 
I arrived in a C-130 out of Clark AFB in July 1972 and left in May 1974. I was the lone human passenger and an E-3. I came from Malmstrom AFB and was a tool issue supply clerk with supply point experience in Minuteman Missiles (SAC). It was so cold in that plane I liked to have froze solid in my 1505 short-sleeved tropical uniform and the crew chief neglected me. 
 
1505 tropical uniform
To this day I would like to kick his arse.  Especially when by the time we actually landed, it was about a hundred degrees inside the cargo compartment of the plane.

Tent city was still going strong and I elected to move into a hootch from the open bay barrack that I stayed in the 1st week. That was awful with no fan and lizards all over the walls and ceilings combined with the National Geographic/Vietnam War in full swing with aircraft blasting the skies on afterburner. We had F-4 Phantom jets and when they took off in pairs it was so loud my ears would ring and all conversation would stop until it was over.

The point is I came when the base reopened and it was wild and woolly in the extreme. 19 bars opened up on the strip and a good number that were off limits. My buddy and roommate Tim Wheeler told me that in all the years he was in the AF, he remembers this time as the best.

There is a tale to be told in the middle and we all have them, but I was also there when most of the G.I’s and working girls left and many of the bars and stores closed and it was a quiet and very sad time. Takhli AFB and Bahn Takhli will always be a major part of my coming of age experience and like many, I cherish the memory and forget how many long hours I worked.

Just like when I arrived, I caught the freedom jet and I was the lone passenger leaving Takhli. I think this is one of the reasons so many airmen didn’t experience the “spitting” and derogatory remarks of protestors. Many of us came back one at a time and we made very small imprints on agitators. I have always claimed and believe I would have knocked the teeth out of anyone who spit on me because I was in uniform.

I would be interested in your initial response when you arrived. I remember the jungle humid mildew smell when the door opened on that C-130 and the thought that I would have to spend a year in this jungle hell-hole. So my initial thought was very sad and very negative. it changed very shortly when the world class adventure began.
Freedom bird back to the States (not mine)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Education on marijuana is every voters responsibility!

BB's take: Get educated. You can't expect the news channels to tell you anything other than the network's opinion:

Some drugs are too dangerous to be legal. Marijuana isn’t one of them.
Some 24 million Americans said in 2018 that they used marijuana in the past month — twice the number who abuse prescriptions and 12 times the number who use cocaine. Of the 70,000 fatal overdoses in America in 2017, nearly 50,000 were tied to opioids, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Deaths tied to pot are so rare the National Center for Health Statistics doesn’t track them.
It’s absurd that the federal government considers pot a Schedule 1 narcotic — a regressive stance that damages thousands of lives and squanders millions in law enforcement dollars.

 
 
I've recently wrote Governor Abbot and Dan Patrick and remarked that I would not support them if they kept denying the wish of the Texan voters (70% are for decriminalization on some level) concerning decriminalization of pot. Both have made it clear they will not support decriminalization or changing the marijuana laws in Texas. 
 
 No doubt the current pot that is available on the street is unregulated and supplied by the cartels and just like in the 70's, there is no gauge to determine what exactly a person is buying, making it possibly Russian roulette. Legalization and regulation would make this drug so much safer its obvious to me that this is the direction we should go.
 
 Marijuana should not be a politically partisan issue. It is a health issue and concerns everyone. You may be 100% against legalizing pot and then you find that it is the only medicine that actually works for you. Now you are a believer. Do your homework. No one can answer if this is for you or not, but you.
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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Money for nothing, chicks for free



If the government promises free... free anything... it means they will raise your taxes to pay for it. They have no huge pile of money in reserve. They borrow money and give it to foreign countries, so how exactly are they going to give you something free? There are no free lunches folks. The Democratic Party is real big on offering carrots, but understand that in order to give you something, they have to take something away and that is a huge chunk of your income. The Democrats have ALWAYS raised your taxes. Remember that when you vote in 2020.

Anytime our government promises to give me something for nothing, I envision them as a used car salesman. Why do they want to give me anything when our whole system is set up to pay? Think about it.

"Now look at them yo-yo's, that's the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain't workin', that's the way you do it
Money for nothin' and your chicks for free
Now that ain't workin', that's the way you do it
Lemme tell ya, them guys ain't dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb

 Somewhere in a politician's life they make the conscientious decision to sell out to the system. Those that don't, get no protection from their colleagues. Those that do, get richer and become the real issue and problem. They are so caught up in the world of politics that they forget the people who voted them into office and like a unsupervised kid at a family reunion, they eat, and eat, and eat and if you don't get your share; tough noogies baby.

To them it is a dog eat dog world and you better grab everything you can while you can, cause they sure as heck are.
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Friday, April 05, 2019

Distracted Drivers Need Remedial Training!


In response to a friend complaining about traffic congestion on Garth road, I offer this vision:
BB's take: I can get on Garth at SH-146 clear down by Park Street and drive almost all the way to I-10 usually without triggering a light change. Sometimes I catch the red light near Home Depot, but then when it turns green, I can go all the way to I-10, so my experience is not the same as yours with one giant exception.

The dead-heads driving all around me appear to be on some sort of mind-numbing Quaalude-ish drug that delays their reaction to... everything. They will get me stuck at the green light 3 cars back while each of them check their phone and this is the prime reason traffic is congested IMO.
Bump in rush hour traffic and you might as well walk.

Adding more lanes or removing traffic lights will have no impact on traffic congestion until people quit driving while distracted. Road rage should become a legal sport where cars are tagged with a sign that reads "Look at me. I need remedial training!" or "Honk if you love distracted driving!".

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Redefining public education in Baytown, Texas


If you could make major changes in how our public schools educate our kids, what direction would you take? I'll go first:
1. Aptitude tests every 3 years (3rd, 6th, & 9th grade) with counselors helping the children recognize their strengths.
2. No more state testing as is currently in place.
3. Reading, writing, and arithmetic heavily stressed first, followed by science, history, & geography.
4. Wood/metal/drafting classes & Home economics for both sexes as mandatory.
5. Turn one of our 3 high schools into a full fledged vocational/technical school with first rate instructors. Students will graduate as 1st class apprentice/entry level journeymen/women in whatever discipline they chose with OJT work programs taking up the 2nd half of the school day.
6. Institute community service for infractions over fining the parents (fist-fights, etc).
7. Extend recess in grade schools for over-active children instead of punishments and color-coded behavior reports.
8. Schools could become competitive based on what disciplines they offer.

Note: I realize these suggestions might not be doable, but I would like folks to explain why they are not and what they would do to make our schools better.




Saturday, March 30, 2019

White Supremecy and Joe Biden's Shaky Future

Concerning White Supremacy as being reported by the media: The news media has taken the position to viciously goad "white men" ultimately making all of us into racist demons. If white men respond on any level other than agreement, it is labelled as White Supremacy by politicians and the news media.

The absolute racist thing going on is white people denouncing all white people like we are all alike. "You people!" is not tolerated on any level of the PC spectrum, so why does the news media ignore it?

Why are old white men being grouped together by the Left? Mark my words, it will be old white women next. Don't believe the hyperbolic nonsense.


All that I've written so far is what is being "reported" on a daily basis by the news publishers. It is all baloney. Don't take the bait folks. Look at your friends, we are all different colors and customs and yet, we are friends.

Judge others by their code of conduct, not by their skin color, religion, or culture. If they are peaceful and law-abiding, then we should be good neighbors. There are those among us who delight in spreading discord. Ignore all this stupid rhetoric the talking heads spread and go with your gut. Live in harmony.



Concerning Jo Biden's future announcement to run for President of the United States:  Just an observation here and I may be wrong, but it looks like Joe Biden is going to be systematically removed as a viable candidate by his own party even before he formerly announces he's running. Take note that I'm not saying if he is guilty or not and it may be too early to be obvious. Let's wait and see who else screams foul and I'm sure we won't have to wait long. My take on it is it must have been okay with every Democrat while he was VP, so what's the issue now?

The sad thing is, Joe Biden is a conservative/moderate Democrat and would probably make a good president. However, the current hard Left bent of his party are going to make him look like a Republican to those who want to steer the Democratic party into hard core socialism. I figure Joe will seek out a female for his VP, preferably one who is not openly white, as this would appear to be racist. His safest bet right now is Kamala Harris. She is most likely less than 15% black heritage, but it is enough for her to be the 1st black female VP!


Joe will have a hard time shaking his "old white man" image, regardless of how many female minority candidates he embraces. Then there is all the stuff he said working for Obama that is just not hardcore left enough now warranted by the outspoken stump-standers in the Democratic Party. 

Speaker Pelosi is like a tenderfoot trying to steer a 4 mule team wagon smelling water for the first time in 2 years. She has lost all semblance of strategy and is reactionary toward the fresh-women congress-women who are microphone hungry. Poor Nancy is one step behind every announcement they make, desperately trying to plaster over unplanned holes.

With all the Democratic politicians announcing their candidacy and claiming to have a better plan for the future of the country , it will be interesting to watch them systematically rip each other to pieces to prove they are the golden child.
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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Why does Reefer madness still exist?

BB's take: Doesn't anyone else find it odd that so many seniors who smoked pot by the bushels in the 60's and 70's are now returning to it for medicinal and/or also "recreational" use (which is a way of saying they smoke it to relax or sleep better)? AFAIK, none of these people are currently against its use.

The naysayers are those who have never really indulged in it other than a toke after getting drunk in their teens or attending HS/college parties? The issue has become septic to Republicans because the Democrats are voting for it. This automatically demonizes it to many Conservatives. Add in religious folks who are against it along with alcohol and tobacco and you have a block of resistance that is unjustified.

Education is key here. Please look into it for yourself and forget what you have been fed. Hemp and marijuana were considered the same by our government until recently. The next step is to decriminalize the plant so it can be openly researched. Heck, it might cure the very health problem you are struggling against and in most cases you won't even feel it in your system. It might stop the pain you live with even when taking your prescription opioids.

Dr. Oz claims in the States that have legalized it, there has been a 25% decrease in opioid deaths.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Just say NO to extending the school year

BB's take: I agree with the professor's assessment of the problem and his solution of stopping the standardized testing and have raised these concerns in the Baytown Sun for years. We do not need more hours of school. What we need is to clip the wing of state mandated testing and allow school management to dictate a more robust approach, where school boards are allowed to set curriculum and be competitive with other institutions. Reading, writing, and arithmetic should be taught as a strong foundation and by junior school students should be allowed to take courses that massage their propensities and aptitude instead of passing state standardized testing.  Listen to Professor Showalter:

Steve Showalter is a government professor at Lee College in Baytown.

"Two weeks ago, the legislature discussed a proposal to add up to 30 days of instruction to the school year.   The online reader poll showed no interest in it, but the idea raises an important issue for discussion. Currently, the state of Texas requires 180 days of instruction every year. Nations that are kicking our butts in the worldwide education rankings generally require over 200 days of instruction per year. 

Well over half of public school students in Texas live below the federal poverty line. Advocates for these at-risk students feel that low income students and English language learners need far more than 180 days of instruction to catch up to their middle and upper class peers. The advocates also claim that the extended summer break harms low income students. Over the course of a three-month summer hiatus, at risk students lose ground because they do not have access to enrichment activities available to children in financially stable families.

Middle and upper income parents send their children to summer camps, enroll them in summer reading activities, and can afford to take their kids to museums, science exhibits, and historical sites.  Because of this, the gap between stable and poor students gets wider and wider each year. By the time they reach high school, low income kids could be two to three years behind in reading, writing, and math, and it is highly unlikely that they will ever catch up.

The problem is more complex than simply adding 15 instructional days in August and 15 instructional days in June. It would require a complete re-working of the school calendar, which would generate howls of opposition from all quarters.

A 210 day school calendar would require classes to be held almost year round with quarterly breaks of two to three weeks. From an educational standpoint, that would be better for students.  Periodic breaks give them enough time off to re-charge their batteries, but not so much time off that their knowledge and skills deteriorate.

Let the howling begin. Politicians do not want to increase taxes to pay for the additional six weeks of instruction. The Legislature estimates the cost to be $50 million for each extra day of instruction. Teachers might protest. No doubt they would appreciate the additional compensation, but they really need the time off.  The job is very stressful and demanding, and the long summer break keeps them from losing what is left of their marbles.

The tourism and hospitality industry would immediately mobilize against it. Summer is their bread and butter, and their business models are built around three months of sun and fun. Some readers supported a longer school day. Additional daily hours of instruction would negate the need to add days in August or June, but that would interfere with sacred cows, namely sports and extracurricular activities. 

There is a much simpler solution.  Cut back on standardized testing. 

School districts already spend up to one quarter of their instructional days (45 days) each year on test preparation, practice tests, test taking, and remediation for students who fail the silly tests. Those 45 days could be used for much meaningful activities. If the Legislature backed away from its peculiar obsession with standardized tests, the schools could use their existing time and money much more efficiently."

Thursday, February 07, 2019

The State of the Union 2019




I thought Donald Trump looked and spoke very "presidential".  In 2 years he has really improved his delivery. I also though Nancy Pelosi behaved herself and this was most likely due to the fact that Chuck Schumer wasn't whispering in her ear.  That man's smirk rankles me. Is smug partisanship the message he is trying to send to America? The man is the Senate Minority leader for God's sake representing a huge portion of the voting population. I believe the man only cares about his personal vision for America and not the voters in general. Are there no scraps for the other 165 million of us that didn’t vote for Hillary?
The Senate Minority leader, Chuck Schumer

Is there a voter in this country that can’t see the border wall battle is nothing more than a political tug of war that has nothing to do with the budget or America’s security? The Democrats simply want to keep Trump from fulfilling his campaign promises, as most of them have walls around their mansions. If Nancy and Chuck don’t believe walls keep strangers off their property, why do they have them? Why do they lock their doors and gates?
The accused and the accuser (Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford
Let’s step back to the Brett Kavanaugh hearing for a second, I want to make a point.

A giant wake-up call for me as a voter was the outrages behavior and blatant stalling of confirmation by the Democrats in attendance and how their only goal besides denying Kavanaugh was denying Trump AND Kavanaugh. The overwhelming ridiculous kid glove handling of Christine Ford by both parties was so over the top, you would think they were attempting to save the last hope for humanity. I had no problem with that one hour they took to hear her side of the claim and I gave her a guarded benefit of the doubt which I later retracted.

Her unsubstantiated claims were treated as fact and I am waiting for the day when someone comes forward and exposes her for the liar she is. If the roles had been reversed and Kavanaugh was accusing any female of the same thing it would have been booted out in a heartbeat. Every reasoning voter knows it would.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
However, when the Democrats viciously accused BK for hours even though he denied knowledge and no witness could corroborate her version, I felt like I had been violated as a voter and a citizen as much as the man being questioned. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) asked for clarification from the onset: "We’re talking today about Judge Kavanaugh’s conduct in high school — and even then, and as a freshman in college, I guess, as well."

The hearing should have stopped right then. After watching this attempted witch trial by the Democrats, I now hate the extreme side of the Party, whereas before, I had no idea just how twisted their vision is for the country. It appears to me that the far-left leaning Democratic Party’s vision for America is twisted and each bill they pass is destructive to the American way of life as we know it. They will not relent until the country has become socialist and anyone who has studied history knows this vision has failed all across the globe.

The ridiculous display of partisan politics led by a junior congressperson with no experience who proclaims a solid socialist agenda.

I believe the Democratic Party will never return far enough toward the middle to change my mind, but I am hopeful. I hold the same attitude toward the extreme right’s efforts to force the country in a direction most of us would not like. As a country I believe we must be progressive as times change, but too much too soon is always a recipe for disaster. The SOTU address by Trump was maybe the best he’s done, yet so many Democrats couldn’t even stand and clap when their Party agreed with what he was saying. They would look to Nancy to see if they were supposed to clap... or grimace. Chuck never gave up anything except his pat smugness.
Nope. American politics are worse than the Jerry Springer show and just as preposterous. We need a bi-partisan government which expends all of its energy on making the United States the greatest country in every way. Anything else is unacceptable.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

What is wrong with this picture?



My grandson is 5 years old and over 4 feet tall. He weighs 76 pounds and is not fat. He’s a big boy with a 5 year old rapidly developing brain. He’s as tall as most kids 2-3 years older than him and at first glance; everyone thinks he acts like a “5 year old” instead of his supposed age. Many of the children in his kindergarten class are a year older and at this stage of development, that is considerable. Recognizing his future starting school, I advised him to explain to his teacher on the first day, “I am easily distracted, so I would like to be placed on the front row.”

I also explained that school can be a lot of fun if a student zips their mouth, opens their eyes and ears, and does their homework. All the actions and philosophy I described are repeated on a regular basis. On his first day of school he got a yellow mark for disrupting the class by talking. Now months into the school year, he battles with this same problem of talking or standing up or some such problem due mostly to his age and the fact that – gasp! He’s a boy and a hands-on child to boot. He likes to handle everything and this is not uncommon..

When he came in with the yellow mark after day one, I asked if he had explained to his teacher his issue of being distracted and he said he had. I asked what their reply was and he told me, “She said I was too tall and moved me to the back of the room.” Now months later he is still anywhere but where he asked to be seated and it is a 50-50 chance he will score below the acceptable green mark on behavior.

Now I am the oldest of 4 boys and there is nothing in his behavior that is outside of normality for a kid his age. He is active yes and will never be the kid that sits quietly for hours and does nothing to be noticed. The teacher did my grandson, herself, and every kid in the class a disservice by not listening to him on day one.

Now some may point out that a kid’s behavior is directly proportional to the teaching they get at home and years ago before experience taught me otherwise, I would agree with them. Ask any cop of preacher if their daughter or son is a bastion of righteous decisions and they’ll spew coffee, soda, or water all over you when they explode in laughter.

I’m not a doctor or therapist, but I think many of our boys are over-medicated to keep them from being boys and we refuse to think this child of ours needs help from pills. He has more energy than many and taking recess away from him because he won’t sit down in class is the direct opposite of what he needs.

Back in the day if a kid couldn’t sit still they would send them to the football coach and he would run the kid inside the gym for 10 minutes. The same went if fisticuffs broke out. The coach would have the boys put on boxing gloves and after that; they would become best of friends. These days the parents are fined a chunk of money and nothing is resolved. Its called zero tolerance and keeps liabilities at a minimum since no one is to blame for correcting the child.
 
When graduation from kindergarten finally arrives, my grandson will still be just 5 years old. Of course he will be 8 inches taller than the other kids when he begins 1st grade and it is my prayer that this teacher will listen to his request.

In the past I have made it clear that I am for empowering our educators and bringing back a certain amount of curriculum control aside from State and Federal dictates. I have not changed this one bit, but like the football coach of old, I would rather see these high activity kids do exercise than be herded like cats or some pat formula cover all students alike.
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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Is marijuana really the tool of the devil?

This letter appeared in the Baytown Sun, January 2019
I'm going to counter what this well-meaning fellow Charles Kelly submitted concerning marijuana being the tool of the devil.

(1) First off "after many years of medical research" is a serious deviation from the truth. There is ONE lab in the United States that gets a token (yeah, I know) amount of funds to give the appearance research is being conducted. One under-funded lab.

"Under the 1961 international Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1970 Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the federal government is the single “agent” allowed to provide marijuana for research. As of now, the DEA has only authorized one grower, the University of Mississippi, which grows marijuana under contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). As part of this contract, UM holds a DEA Schedule-I Bulk Manufacturer registration to cultivate plants for this purpose."

They openly admit that the strict Schedule 1 drug classification hobbles them to do research by purchasing other strains of the weed, while illegal independent labs are miles ahead of them in research. The classification makes research almost impossible.

(2) He claims that marijuana has caused "accidents, deaths, and murders!" I would like to see data on that one. I would be willing to wager that cell phones cause 100X more accidents and deaths than pot usage and I would like to see sources quoted on the murder part. In other words, this is false or at the very least a gross exaggeration.

(3) Anytime anyone introduces "God" into an argument, they automatically invoke righteousness on their part. It appears the man believes it is sinful to even live next door to someone who uses medical marijuana and as bizarre as his argument is, visiting a state where it is legal also makes you guilty by association.

In summary, a person with an argument is not in the same league as someone with experience. My suggestion for this fellow is to get more education on the subject and leave his personal religious fervor out of it.
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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Jimmy


Through my grandson I’ve met a 10 year old boy in my neighborhood. His name is, well let’s call him Jimmy. He is one of the politest kids I’ve met and I’m talking over a lifetime of children. Over the last so many months I’ve observed this polite child and how considerate he is in almost extraordinary ways. Today he basically watched over my grandson for hours as he and the other kids played on the street. He looked me in the eye and assured me he would make sure my grandson was safe. I took him for his word.

My great friend and fellow Vietnam Veteran Ren Fitts gave me a VHS camera with all the accouterments and it was in my garage when Jimmy came up the driveway pushing his bike. I noted both tires were thread-bare and I commented on it. In the most adult manner, he politely explained to me that he “did indeed need new tires, but at this present time, my dad is not financially able to actually replace them… but, if you would just air up the tire, sir, it will be good for 3 days.” It’s important to note he is either an Academy Award nominee, or totally without guile.

In my heart I wanted to immediately replace those tubes and tires, well remembering how it was when I rode that iron horse and how many soda bottles I had to redeem to get the money for new rubber. Replacing a boy’s tires and tube in 2019 could be considered a pervert crime of some sorts and as bad as I want to help, I couldn’t. That’s his parent’s job… but I do have something I may can donate toward this young boys future. (Please excuse my Texan)

The day I met Jimmy he revealed that he had written a number of “stories” and did I want to read them? Of course I did and I explained that some regard me as a writer. He rode off on his bike only to return with an 8X11 binder with about 5 multi-sheet drawings with captions. It was his vision and he wanted to share it… with me. Heck yes I was interested. I gave him a very encouraging nerdish review of his work and he seemed pleased.

My first impression of the boy was he was so polite, he simply must be an abused child.

I was wrong.

It turns out he lost his mother 2 years ago and is damaged goods. He told me he still has nightmares but “has learned to handle it.”

“What is that Mr. Marshall?”

“It is out-dated technology, Jimmy, but is really cool. It’s a VHS camera and all the trappings. It’s yours if you want it…” The plastic box before him had a shoulder-mount large VHS Camera and I showed him how you mounted it up high by his head. His eyes were like saucers as his brain processed what was before him. With his interest in stories and writing, I felt like I was sowing a seed, much like handing a guitar to a 10 year old Jimi Hendrix.

Jimmy took possession of the camera and came back and asked permission to supervise my grandson on the next street over. They were going to stage a water-balloon fight and he promised me all would be okay. I gave him my blessing and the two boys rode off to do what kids on bikes do… much like my brothers and I did 50 years ago.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Is Border Security really all that?


I am not going to interpret their response to what the president said about Border Security, but to me it sounded as if they wrote their rebuttal without hearing what he said.

 I have an alarm system on my house. I also have 8 cameras plus a motion detector at my driveway that sends a signal when anything crosses the beam including squirrels and birds. I’ve became very well acquainted with a black and white long-haired cat because of this. Yesterday it caught and killed a baby squirrel and all of it caught on the edge of one of my camera views.

I have 4 sets of solar lights that are tripped by motion. I have a lock on my back gate. I have 2 very bright high pressure sodium lights that shine on the trail behind my house and illuminate my large back yard. At any given time I have access to a number of loaded weapons inside my house and regularly carry a firearm that shoots a heavy hollow-tipped bullet specifically designed to kill military targets. My perpetually loaded 12 gauge shotgun fires 9 triple-aught buckshot shells before I have to reload from my 50 shell bandoleer and yet, I do not live in fear of being attacked.

Why all this security which sounds overboard and unnecessary? Is there a caravan of ruffians on Massey Tompkins headed my way? Has karate training turned me into a paranoid schizoid gun-licking wannabe shooter who cleans his guns with saliva? No. I rarely even look at my weapons, which include a good number of fighting knives I’ve trained with

Here’s the crux of the matter. I have made all these precautions because I don’t want to worry. It’s the same reason that my house and vehicles stayed locked even when I am inside. If trouble arrives, my first action will be to call Baytown Police. If I am working on my computer and my alarm systems tells me a door or window has opened, I don’t panic. My heart does not raise a beat. I simply arm myself and take a look and I can assure you, I will respond in a defensive way if it is an intruder. I’ve spent a great deal of my life preparing for that moment and yet, if possible, I will still call 911. I live in peace with my environment, but in the event that everything hits the proverbial fan, I am well prepared to deal with it. It sure beats pretending it can’t or won’t happen and just maybe I will survive until my Blue brothers arrive.

I set all of this in motion for my own peace of mind and my family’s safety. Am I anti-social and unfriendly to strangers? No, I feel safe because I have made every attempt to be safe. When I am in public or driving around, I keep my eyes and mind on task and because of that, I have never had an accident I caused.

My home stays secure because my family is there and I am protective. There were no politics involved in my decision. Securing our border literally means creating a barrier. Can you imagine securing your house if you had no doors or windows? How about your car or truck that you have enslaved yourself financially to? Can you imagine how crazy that sounds? Let’s see what it looks like. “I believe in border security, but I want everyone to be able to waltz in at their leisure and everything will be okay.” Crazy and foolish.

Border security with a physical barrier ultimately says there will be a price to pay if you try to sneak in with or without drugs and children and women for sale. The price someone pays for breaking and entering my house (the last time I checked) could well mean the criminal trespasser(s) eat big lead. My family and I decide who enters our homestead, not anyone else. I have legal right to physically stop this person from entering and if it means I kill them, then so be it. Why are our borders any different? If they want what we have earned, then by all means enter legally and I have no sympathy for man, woman, or child that comes across unwanted and uninvited.

Examine why you believe what you do about securing our borders and if you think it is unnecessary, then I humbly ask you to unlock everything you own from this day forward and toss away your keys.

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Give Me The Cage Anytime!

Typical caged conditions of border crossers, minus crying babies, as depicted by the media. In this country, people who love tennis ar...