Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving -- 2016

Today is Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Kathi and I woke up early to get the day started. We opened our shades and around 8:30 we noticed that we did not see any sunshine. We got a small rain shower about 9:15, but it did not last long. It is still dark outside with no sunshine, but the temperature is moderate.
Kathi is making deviled eggs and candied yams. We picked up a nine pound honey-baked spiral cut ham yesterday. We will be having Thanksgiving tomorrow at Andrea Clark's home in La Porte, TX. Our oven is not big enough to warm the ham, so we will take it to Andrea's house today so it will be there early tomorrow for warming. It would have fit in our convection oven, but it is broken. We tried unsuccessfully to have it fixed earlier this year, but the attempt failed. We will try again next year.
Our son, AJ is coming in from Austin by bus and we will pick him up at Greyhound later this afternoon. Our youngest son Christopher lives in Deer Park and will join us at Andrea's home tomorrow, along with the rest of Kathi's family. One of Andrea's three sisters and her family is coming in from the east coast and we are anticipating a fun filled day stuffing ourselves with food and enjoying being together.
I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Safe travels for everyone and hopefully a day of peace for our world.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Not to Fear

I hear a lot of people on television talking about how they are afraid, because a Republican was elected as President of the United States. I have some family members that express the same fear. Most of my friends and most of my family members are not afraid, because we know something the people with fear do not know. The people in fear have no idea what Republican stand for and believe. The reason they do not know is because all they hear is what the Democrat party tells them. The main stream media in this country gets all their cues from the Democrat party.

In other words, Democrats do not know anything about Republicans. All they will ever know is the lies, because they collectively choose ignorance. They would rather listen to people that support the lies they already believe, instead of learning what the truth is for themselves. Part of it is laziness, part of it is lack of interest and part of it is unwillingness to get out of their comfort zone. If you have grown up all your life in a liberal household, all you know is spin,

Much of the fear is directed at Donald Trump and examples given for this fear is some of the things he said while he was running for President and while he was a star on TV. What the people in fear do not know and refuse to recognize is that Donald Trump used the same tactics Democrats have used for generations to win elections. Political class Republicans would never use the Democrat playbook to win an election, but Donald Trump did not have any reservations about using the same tactics Hillary Clinton used – the same Tactics Barack Obama used to defeat Clinton, McCain and Romney. Like I said, Democrats have used these smear tactics for years.

For some reason Democrats lying to people does not bother Democrats. Many of them even believe what they are told. Most people that do not like conservative messages, never hear a conservative message from a conservative. They only listen to the liberal pundit translation of what the conservative says and it is usually a complete fabrication.

Republicans believe in freedom and a free enterprise system. Republicans want everyone to be successful. Republicans want laws that allow people and business to prosper. Republicans want our government to enforce our laws and follow the Constitution.

The Democrat Party has become more socialist over time. They want to win elections any way they can. People voting multiple times does not bother them. Dead people voting for them does not bother them, People ineligible to vote, but voting anyway does not bother them. They just want to win. Using our tax money to buy votes with welfare is okay with Democrats. Ignoring our laws and flooding our country with illegal aliens that will become Democrats does not bother them. Basically, they have no values and work very hard to assign that label to their opponents.

People who know the truth are not afraid. If more people learn the truth, another Democrat will never be elected until they absorb a value system.

Republicans are not the ones you should fear. You should rejoice that we finally have a President that will work for the betterment of all the American people.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Purpose of Education

When I started to school in Orange, TX I had no idea why I was going. I noticed it was what other people were doing and I remember my mother taking me to school my very first day. Mom always told me I left her at the sidewalk and told her I wanted to do it myself. I may have, but I have no recollection of that. I was shy and did not do well with strangers, but I always did what adults told me to do. If the teacher told me to read, I read. If she told me to draw little ovals on the paper, I drew little ovals. When they told me to stick my hand in a jar of paint and make a picture on a sheet of paper, I stuck my hand in the mucky stuff and smeared it on the paper. I do not think I can claim to have ever made a picture.

I remember going to music class and told to stand on a little bleacher and sing along with the other kids. I remember singing “Erie Canal” and I still hear it in my head sometimes. “Low bridge, everybody down. Low bridge cause we're coming to town.” There was another line about an old mule named Sal and navigating the canal. Probably not a song I would have chosen, but I did what the adult teacher told me to do.

I remember being on the safety patrol in the fifth or sixth grade and I had a little white belt across my chest and I helped other students cross the street. I still do not remember anyone telling me why I went to school.

I changed schools a lot while I was growing up and it seems like I was always behind what the other kids knew. I stayed lost most of the time, but then again, I did not know why I was going to school anyway. I just did what the adults told me to do.

I think in my first year in Galena Park High School it finally dawned on me that teachers expected me to remember what they said. No one told me that but they asked a lot of questions and were disappointed in me when I did not know the answer. I took that as a clue.

After high school I joined the army. While I was in the army I took college placement courses, both in the United States and in Korea. I had no personal desire to go to college, but my mother thought it was important, so I took courses. Some of my army friends had college degrees and they said it was so they could get better jobs. There they were in the army with me, so that did not work out so well.

I got out of the army, got married and went to work. While I worked, I attended San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX and on to the University of Houston where I got a bachelor of science degree in math. My first semester and my last semester I did not work, but the rest of my college time, I had a full time job. I got better jobs because I had a little education.

I have known for a while that education has become a source of social justice training, instead of education. Children are being taught the perils of democracy and how bad they are treated if they do not get what they want with no effort of their own. Now teachers are even encouraging the kids not to go to social justice training, not because it was painful to learn to hate your neighbors, but because they found out the neighbors might have a voice also. Education by the liberals is a crock. Finding a job created by a liberal drive you to become an educator.

We all need to support change in our educational systems in the United States. We owe our children better than what we are offering them.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Milo Yiannopoulos

I am not sure how many of my readers have heard of Milo Yiannopoulos. Those that have may not pay much attention to him. He is a British journalist that is currently the Technical Editor for Breitbart News. He is a well know public speaker and is most well-known recently for his controversial “Dangerous Faggot Tour” in 2015. His tour included colleges in the US and in Britain. The US colleges he spoke at include: Rutgers, the University of Minnesota, DePaul and UCLA.

Milo’s speeches are always controversial on college campuses. Many of his college appearances were cancelled, both here and in England. He considers himself as a cultural libertarian and I do not even know what that means, but I like most of what he says. Because he is a gay man, he is expected to speak “liberal Democrat.” He does not do that. He says what he thinks is the truth and it is closer to what I believe than most other writers and speakers I am exposed to in my normal routine.

Earlier today, I shared an article on Facebook that Milo wrote for Breitbart News called “What Trump Means.” It had Trump’s picture on it, but it is Milo’s article. It is long, but well worth reading. He seems to have the same understanding that I have about the significance of the Trump presidency and Trump’s intended accomplishments as President.

I am not advocating for Milo, but I do think his voice is worthy of some attention.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I Was Wrong

The title of my blog post yesterday was: “My Last Post on Obama.” Well, I was wrong. Here is another. Reading comments from my liberal and Democrat friends and especially my black friends, I realized that I may have failed to acknowledge the historic event that Barack Hussein Obama’s presidency has been for multiple reasons. Older black people in this country never thought they would live to see a black President. That milestone and their feelings are worth our consideration. It will never be something I can feel, but they feel it deeply.

Obama is our first black President. We are a country that is still in formation and we will be as long as it exists. Will we learn to be more tolerant of each other? Maybe and maybe not. No matter what you grow up believing or grow up learning, tolerance is not “out there.” Tolerance is “in here.” It is inside each of us. We either choose it or we do not choose it. Even worse than that, you cannot choose tolerance once and be done with it. You have to choose it with every new human interaction. We will only get better as a people when most of us choose tolerance as a way of life at the individual level. It will be hard, but worth our effort.

There are many things that drive us apart. Almost any word can be deemed unacceptable. As long as we make value judgments on everything we see and hear, how could we not be doing the same thing with people? We do not even allow them to express themselves without dissent. We can do better. I can do better.

President Obama has the highest likability rating of any President in our history at the end of his presidency. Many black people will always view him as out best President ever. Many Democrats think he has done an excellent job during his eight years in office. We should respect their right to believe that and let the historians tell their story fifty years from now.

Because of his job as President, Obama has had to live his life the last eight years in public. His family was in the news constantly and that is not unusual. The Obama family has been both praised and criticized on a daily basis. Families do not deserve this kind of scrutiny. It is unfair, but it is the way of the world for people in leadership positions. With all that going on, Barack and Michelle have raised two daughters and demonstrated to the world what a cohesive and loving family looks like.

We still have some growing to do as people and as a country. Our governments and our laws need to reflect that growth.

Obama will not be our last black President, but he will always be our first black President. Bill Clinton tried, but I am reserving that honor for Barack Obama. Considering out history, it is a momentous occasion and should not be minimized.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My Last Post on Obama

This is a short walk down memory lane. When President Barack Obama swept into office with a Hope and Change message, his first task was to save the economy in collapse left behind by the Bush 43 administration. He had majorities in the house and senate and had an opportunity to do a lot for the country and for the benefit of all Americans. Unfortunately, he had three things in his way. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and his own personal ideology.

The arrogance of Reid and Pelosi ramming legislation down the throat of America without allowing any dissenting voices from the Republican Party to be heard. Obama wanted a big government and the Congress gave him a 25% budget increase and two trillion dollars in stimulus money. All this over the objections of Republicans that were trying to add some balance, realism and understanding to the measures. They were brushed aside as pests.

Obama’s radical climate change ideology came to fore and the Democrats gave $1.5 trillion to their friends to make solar panels. The Obama administration settled bankruptcy disputes in favor of their friends and supporters instead of the investors. This was a divergence from existing law and common practice.

Then along came Obamacare. They bribed several states and several Democrat legislators to get this bad bill passed without the benefit of any Republican input or Republican votes.

Many Americans did not see this as change with hope. They viewed it closer to dictatorship and they rebelled. They saw jobs disappearing because of a radically ideological President and a bureaucracy willing to push his radical agenda. The voters gave the House of Representatives to the Republicans at the next election and displaced a few Democrat Senators. This influx of new legislators arrived to do what their constituents asked – oppose this radical president. Oppose they did to the consternation of establishment Republicans in the Congress.

The Democrats stepped up their rhetoric about obstructionism and racism. Why would Republicans not try to stop what was going on? Obama policies were diametrically opposed to what Republicans believed in their entire political life.

It took two more elections to replace enough Senators to turn the Senate back to the Republicans. The people were talking loudly and clearly. Unfortunately, the Republican leadership was anemic and preferred to work with the President and suppress the new voices recently elected to Congress.

Yesterday, the pushback from the American people was completed. We did not like the lack of disclosure, the secret deals, the job killing policies and the illegal executive orders that Obama resorted to using to push his radicalism. He even went as far as encouraging people ineligible to vote to vote anyway, assuring them they would not get caught.

Everyone that opposed Obama’s policies was branded as a racist by Democrats and their news organizations. That diatribe continues until this day. I have news for them. Bad policies do not cause racism. Obama is still popular. That is good. Now I think we have a new President that will be for all the American people, not just his friends.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Police

Have you ever thought about the purpose of police officers? Politicians tell us all the time that the police are there to keep us safe. I assume us is the public. But is that true? Private security guards usually have a specific assignment, whether it being to protect a person or protect someone’s property. What are their priorities? One of my favorite police slogans is: To Protect and Serve.” Protect what? Serve what?

I think if we talk about security guards, city police, country sheriffs, city sheriffs, highway patrol or state police, Texas Rangers or the FBI they almost always have the same priorities. Secret Service officers may be the exception. I understand their priority is always the person they are charged to protect. I hope that is true.

Dick Tracy

Fearless Fosdick

In practice, the first duty of most law enforcement officers is to themselves. They protect their person and other law enforcement with them. If you question them in groups they protect each other. When they fight, they fight together, I am not saying this is bad, just a recognition that if they do not stay safe themselves, their second priority is in jeopardy.

Their second priority and loyalty is to the people that hires them or pays them. For city police this is normally the mayor and city council. For counties, it is often a county judge or judges and their administrations. State police and rangers probably have the governor and the governor’s staff as a second priority. For the FBI, their second priority is the Justice Department and the administration that appoints the Attorney General.

Their third priority is often public safety or just the public, as long as that does not conflict with priorities one and two. I would put protecting the innocent into this category. That is why sometimes crimes are committed in front of law enforcement and they stand by and watch. They do this mainly for two reasons. Either they do not have the manpower to prevail or action on their part could be a political liability to the people that hired them.

The third priority might include stopping altercations. Now we are in the public safety realm. This does not mean solving the problem, as that is often left to the courts. The police priority is to stop the violence, assure cool down time and often to walk away. The more the community supports law enforcement, the easier it is for them to do their job properly.

When arrests are made, the next priority comes into play. I think their fourth priority is to protect people they have in custody. The next lower priority is probably evidence gathering, often gained by talking to witnesses or potential witnesses. Then comes the paperwork – meticulous records are usually required.

I may be wrong about all of this, but this is kind of what I see in practice. The idea that the public safety and the truth are the most important things sounds like a myth, but at least they are on the list.

It should be no surprise the FBI works for the President. Protecting the government obviously has priority over the truth.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Common Sense Economics III

Primarily households use labor to accumulate money for goods and services they want. If the government raises taxes, the household must adjust to the lesser income. If government gives you a subsidy, it usually means you have more income to spend on things that are not subsidized. Taxes and subsidies are the basic way government decides what should be valuable to you. Get that. Not what you think is valuable, but what government wants you to have. If government gives you free electricity, you get rid of the gas stove and buy an electric stove. You also realize there is no incentive to save electricity so you buy more products that use way more electricity than you need. You may even have neighbors that think bigger than you and become electricity hogs.

Someone is going to have to pay for the necessary electricity and the excess electricity. Since the government pays the bill for the excess electricity, they need more money. The only way they can get your money is through taxes, so they raise your taxes. Now you have less money to spend on things you need. You are also in debt for the extra electric devices you bought because of free electricity. Free sounded great when they gave it to you, but now you are paying for it. You are also paying extra tax money to subsidize the electricity hogs.

You complain to your government contact that you are paying more of your fair share of taxes to subsidize your neighbor’s electricity usage. The government thinks you are right and hires a few bureaucrats to monitor individual household electrical usage. One day you wake up for a good night’s sleep and realize you were taken advantage of by the government again, because they thought they knew what you needed better than you did. Even worse than that, your tax money is now paying the exorbitant salaries for these people to make decisions that take advantage of you.

Everyone understands these concepts and ideas. Nothing is free. If your government wants you to have less of something they tax it. If the government wants you to have more of something they subsidize it. Either way the government is involved it requires more government bureaucrats, so not only do you pay for subsidies you pay more money for a bigger government you would not have needed if they would have stayed out of your household’s business. Anytime government is involved the cost goes up. It is a fact of life.

If we need more jobs, the best opportunity to get more jobs is to have more employers. When you raise taxes on employers do you get more jobs or fewer jobs? Remember the basic tenet. If you want less of something, you tax it. Raising taxes on employers reduces the number of employers.

Let us raise taxes on employers anyway and make up the job losses by funding government projects. Of course, government is going to have to raise your taxes to pay for the additional government services and even more taxes for the bureaucrats to monitor the additional workers providing the new services. As soon as government gets involved, the price goes up. There is never a time this does not happen. It is worth repeating. Anytime the government is involved, the price goes up. Government is almost never the best answer economically.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Common Sense Economics II

Today, I am going to continue my discussion on economics and bring in the effects of government involvement.  First I would like to state my personal definition of economics. Economics is the study of the distribution of scarce resources to benefit mankind. I prefer my definition for several reasons and many economists might disagree with my brevity, but I like it for that very reason. Yin and yang, truth or consequences, hot or cold, free or costly, synonym and antonym or any other pair of opposites explains how you need to think about economics. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander is a different story and I will not discuss geese in this treatise.

I think the word scarce is important in my definition. If we were not talking about scarce resources, we would not need economics. Everyone would live a life of luxury with an abundance of everything. Of course, we would all become depraved and covetous because someone had bigger hands, bigger arms, bigger storage bins or bigger dreams. Let us stay in the real world and avoid the depravity caused by abundance.

For the discussion about government involvement in economics, it is best to remember the two premises. If you want less of something you tax it. If you want more of something, you subsidize it. Yin and yang. My discussion works for all government structures, but I am going to limit my discussion to the U. S. federal government. For instance, if the government wants more people to own their own home, they allow you to deduct the cost of your mortgage on your federal income tax. That is a subsidy. Think about that. They give you a tax break on your home, giving them less tax income which means raising taxes on someone to make up for the loss of revenue. Sooner or later that person with their taxes raised is you. To us it is a tax – money out of our pocket. To the government it is income.

For a mini-case study, consider the war on poverty. The government expresses a will to pay our tax money to help poor people. The more government money that is involved increases the incentive for more people to get into the poverty removal business. Next thing you know the group of poverty suppressors realizes that if they actually got rid of poverty, their government paycheck would go away. So, the poverty suppressors job has changed from getting people out of poverty to assuring more people live in poverty to increase your check from the government. Now we have our government subsidizing poverty. Get the idea?

The government needs more tax money to keep the subsidies going, so the increase taxes on corporations to pay for their social program. What happens next should surprise no one. Raising corporate taxes means the companies have less income, so they either raise prices or cut back on hiring new people. At some tax level the corporations will realize it would be more profitable to live in an environment that was more corporate friendly, i.e. lower taxation countries. Corporations reduce jobs and leave the country which means more people out of work and more poverty.

Our government has subsidized poverty reduction groups and paid for it by driving away the tax base that could have solved the problem.

A couple of Reagan quotes. “The most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”  He also said, “Government is not the solution, government is the problem.” Some people may never understand the way Reagan did. We need less government. No doubt about it.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Basic Economics I

Today I would like to discuss economics from a common-sense point of view. First let us define economics:

“Economics is a social science that is concerned with factors that determine production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.”   -- Wikipedia

That sounded a little complicated to me so I looked for a simpler definition.

As a social science that studies how a society's resources are shared, economics (a) describes and analyzes choices about the way goods and services are produced, distributed, and consumed, and (b) assesses the consequences of those choices.”   -- Encyclopedia Britannica – Kids

That’s the kid’s version? Wow. Maybe it is not so simple after all. Britannica goes further to explain the root of the word:

“The word “economics” comes from the Greek oikos, meaning “household,” and nomos, meaning “rule,” or “governance.”

I find that interesting. The word began as household rule. Governance mean Mom and Dad, so a kid’s definition is probably a waste of time, anyway. Of course, some of us are not kids, so we see economics much bigger than that. The problem is we probably should not do that. If you think about economics of a country and all that entails, it gets too complicated to discuss easily. What we learn at home is that you need to manage your resources in a way that suits the needs of the family.

I hate to do this, but I am going to talk about resources at home. I am going to leave out air, because that is even too basic for me. Resources are money, food, water, labor, shelter, clothing, cars, gas, gasoline, electricity, education, laundry, dry cleaning, etc. These things are so common we do not even think about them, unless we do not have them. By then, it is probably too late to discuss economics.

We grow up with economics. It becomes second nature to us. Other than the family budget, people normally do not spend a lot of time talking about economics. Unless a child arrives, a destitute family member moves in. your car breaks down or you lose your job.

Nothing is static. Things change constantly that affect the resources available to you. Most things are slow and economically aware and economically capable families have some sort of savings they can rely on for emergencies. Many families do not have that luxury today.

A couple of things that are basic to economics. If you want more of something, you make it easier to get. If you want less of something, you make it harder to get. Pretty simple, right?

Next post I will discuss the impact of subsidies and taxes and how they affect households.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Same Things

I think most people want the same things in life. Basic needs are air, water, food, clothing and shelter for themselves. Even to get basic needs, a person needs some type of employment. If you work outside the home, you may need transportation to get to your place of employment. After basic needs are met, most people want someone to love and someone to love them. Some people want families. With families you need more clothes and because they need more room, a larger shelter is required. They may want a vehicle that will carry more people. In order to get bigger, better and more, people often feel the need for more education. People also get sick and need medical care. Everyone with more than one mouth to feed knows that with larger families you deal with much more need for medical attention.

For most of the time the earth has existed, life was not possible. The air and water were unfit for consumption, the way we think of it today. Plants evolved from the mire while one celled animals came into existence about two billion years ago. Next came fish and amphibians, then dinosaurs. After the dinosaur’s extinction there was an ice age where it was so cold life as we think about it was non-existent. At this point the earth had been around for 98 percent of its total existence and people had not arrived.

People similar to us have been around less than two million years. Plant life was vociferous in parts of the world and non-existent in other parts. About 11,000 years ago, grasses began sprouting around the earth and people discovered they could move and survive. Humans started roaming the earth looking for food, better climates and often just curiosity. Those migrants still had the same needs that we have today.

Industrious people took advantage of their skill and often created or grew more than they needed, so they used the excess to trade for things they did not have the skills or resources to make or grow for themselves. People conglomerated in groups because they discovered some tasks took more than one person or one family to achieve. As communities were formed it became apparent we needed some kind of structure to keep people from taking advantage of one another. Next thing you know we have government. Your mind can take you from a single village to the huge monstrosity of a government we have today. Other countries have the same issues, although man has made living together with others more difficult. There are social differences, cultural differences as well as different desires and different ideas of what constitutes success.

With all that going on we all need air, water, food clothing and shelter. And a little love.

Our political discussions and disagreements in this country are all based on how our government helps or hinders us getting what we want to achieve in life. Our country is still evolving, just like the earth had to have time to evolve to what it is today. We are all trying to strive toward a government that treats every individual and every embedded organization fairly.

One group feels individuals have insufficient skills and abilities to take care of themselves and wants more government and more government involvement in individual activities. Another group thinks individuals can take care of themselves and they want less government and less interference in individual lives. With all that said, we all want the same basic things. We should spend more time understanding each other and less time bickering. We are all in this together.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Choosing Ignorance

Why do the FCC, the FEC, the Obama administration and the Democrat party want to stifle the news? There is a lot of print media available. Most of the newspapers support the Democrat party. Most broadcast channel news stations favor the Democrat party. Most cable news, except Fox news is biased toward the Democrat party. They have also hinted at trying to control news stories available on the internet. The Drudge report is their favorite internet news whipping boy. The FEC is even talking about suppressing what kind of political information you can put in books.

Newsroom of the past
The Obama administration has been trying to shut down dissenting news organizations ever since he got into office. He appointed people into FEC and FCC positions that would try and suppress conservative viewpoints. Why are they doing that? Certainly people that hear and read news stories can reject any story that does not fit their beliefs.

What are they trying to hide? It is very simple. They are trying to keep people from hearing the truth. CNN, MSNBC, Headline news, ABC, CBS and NBC news are all biased toward the left. So what? Everyone knows that. Fox is biased toward the right. So what?

What the Democrats want to stifle is not the bias. What they want to stifle is the truth. If you watch Fox news, listen to Rush Limbaugh on the radio and regularly read the Drudge report, you get about 20% more news stories than you will hear on the left-leaning media sources. If you do not believe me, run a test for yourself.

Record CNN and Fox news for a month. Each day watch CNN, then Fox new and I guarantee you get stories on Fox that CNN will not broadcast. That is the key. It is not the biased way that stories are printed or shown that is the issue. The real bias is shown by what is suppressed.

Normally stories that hurt Republicans show up on page one. Stories that may hurt Democrats are on page 19. Fox news does not suppress stories. Every story they tell may have a right slant, but you always hear the opposing view – not so with left leaning media coverage. CNN often tells only one side of the story. Likewise, in print and broadcast media.

Democrats know that if people know the truth, they lose their support. The Democrat party thrives on misinformation and omissions. Obama may be the greatest obfuscator in our history. He stalls, bobs and weaves and ignores requests for information, but if it will damage him, he keeps it hidden. The news media is complicit.

I have some pretty smart friends that refuse to watch Fox news. Why the fear? They probably do not even realize they are choosing ignorance about the available news. The reason they tune out Rush Limbaugh, the Drudge Report and Fox news is because the left and their media support lie to the public about what the right leaning venues represent. If you have any interest in the truth, go to the source. You cannot believe what people with an agenda tell you someone else said. They lie distort and hide the truth. Do not choose ignorance.

If the stories do not matter, why are the Democrats and progressives so determined to shut them up?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

My Thoughts on Immigration

This post is a repeat of a post with a similar title posted on July 6th of this year. Immigration has become more and more an issue in this election season. I have never repeated a post before, but I think this issue has some importance.

The United States population is made up of immigrants. The first settlers were explorers. Then came the trappers and tradesmen. Indigenous peoples were encountered sporadically throughout the country. Some people left their homelands to get away from tyrannical governments. The Puritans came for religious freedom. Some people came just because they had a spirit of adventure. Some people came because the United States needed workers to construct large projects, like the Chinese who helped build our railroads. Many of the Irish came because of famine in their homeland. All the people that came here throughout the short history of our country were looking for a better life and they thought they could find it here.

Immigrants who came here learned to blend in with their neighbors. It was not quick and easy – it always takes time for new arrivals to integrate. Immigration laws were created to meter entry into the country at a rate that allowed new arrivals to assimilate, find employment and become assets to the country. The more successful immigrants learn the language of their neighbors and meld into society.

Historically, the people that came here became Americans, with loyalty to their new country while maintaining allegiance and feelings for their heritage and the family they left behind in their old countries. They wanted citizenship and happily swore an oath of allegiance to this country and showed a willingness to fight to keep the country free. They contributed to the growth of our population and our prosperity. Immigration was a good thing.

Then something changed. Many people that have lived here all their lives no longer respect the country that allowed them to prosper and families to improve their position in life. Immigration stopped being metered. The borders became porous. The efforts to assimilate stopped. Even the oath of allegiance for new citizens was changed so that people no longer had to swear allegiance to this country. They no longer had to agree to support the country’s military in times of war. For the first time we started inviting new people into the country who were a burden to the United States and expected to be on the welfare rolls throughout their lives.

The result of unmetered immigration is a weaker country with a growing disloyal population. There are few jobs available for the currently unemployed citizens and certainly no jobs for new arrivals. Their enclaves have many destined for poverty row. They will join gangs and riot in our streets, since their progress is almost nil. Their allegiance is to the country they left behind and destruction of the United States is of no consequence to them. Their dire circumstances turn them to violence increasing the crime rates in their vicinity.

No one is anti-immigrant. The people that are accused of being anti-immigrant for wanting metered immigration are the people with the knowledge of the history of our country. The accusers have no interest in history and no knowledge and obviously no foresight of the outcome of their positions.

We have become a weaker country with a less loyal population and I think it is by design. A sad situation, Ollie.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cam Newton

If you are a football fan, you probably recognize the name Cam Newton. Many others will recognize the name because he was the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers in the last Super Bowl when the Panthers were defeated by the Denver Broncos. Even in defeat, Newton was named the MVP of the game.

Cam Newton is 27 years old and 6”5” tall. He is big, strong young man and is a double threat as a passer and a runner on the football field. As he gains experience his coaches will convince him that he is too valuable to his team to take a chance on getting hurt by running with the football. He was successful running with the football in high school and college, but in pro-football the opponents are faster and bigger than opponents he faced before becoming a professional football player.

He played on a winning football team at Westlake High School in Atlanta, GA. He was offered scholarships from over half a dozen major college football programs. He selected the University of Florida. He had some problems at Florida and transferred to Blinn College in Brenham, TX in 2009. After completing academic work at Blinn, Newton attended Auburn and won the Heisman trophy as their quarterback.

He was rookie of the year in his first NFL season in 2011. Carolina rode his strength and leadership to a 15-1 record in 2015 and got into the Super Bowl mentioned earlier.

Cam Newton is a class act. The only reason he does not have a Super Bowl ring is that the Denver Broncos best defensive team in the NFL had an outstanding game against him. Barring serious injury, he is destined to have one of the best records in NFL history.

Following the police shooting of a Black man in Charlotte, NC and the subsequent riots and turmoil, Newton used his weekly press conference to address the situation. He continued to be a class act and took a community-oriented stance to put his leadership on display. He was obviously distressed about Black men losing their lives at a result of police shootings or other types of violence. He also reminded all of us that we have a responsibility to ourselves and our community. I will not quote what he had to say, because he related the words better than I could. If you are interested the video is available.

Newton has a position of influence and is trying to use it in a positive manner. He is a young man worthy of respect and worthy of a lended ear. I hope people listen.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Demise of the F. B. I.

Since Teddy Roosevelt ordered his Attorney General, Charles Bonaparte to create an investigative service for the Justice Department in 1908 and until 2016 the FBI has been a non-partisan investigative agency and recognized to have some of the best criminal investigators in the world. Bonaparte hired about 35 agents, taking some from the Secret Service and formed the Bureau of Investigation (BOI) headed by Stanley Finch and reporting only to the Attorney General.

The BOI existed until 1935 when the name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). J. Edgar Hoover was head of the FBI from 1924-1972 and is considered to be the most influential person in giving the FBI the character and prestige it enjoyed until 2016.

Today the FBI is not only our domestic federal law enforcement agency, but it also has responsibilities for gathering intelligence and providing security. James Comey is currently the director of the FBI and reports both to the Attorney General, Loretta Lynch and the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper.

In 2016 the FBI lost some of its prestige by allowing politics to sway its decision making. The FBI has made it clear that people with power and influence are above the law. Many people have thought that was the case for many years and it is often brushed off by thinking the people with money can afford better lawyers. That inane argument is now gone. Now we know that people with political influence are immune to FBI criminal charges. We have exclusive rules for the political class and a different set of rules that are applied more severely for the rest of us.

The demise of the FBI may be the biggest legacy item President Barack Obama takes with him as he leaves office. I think this is worse than the creation of Obamacare. I think this is worse than allowing ISIS to become a formidable terrorist organization. I think this is worse than the Iran deal that gave Iran everything they wanted in secret and gained nothing for the United States. I think this is worse than allowing the Russians to have most of our domestic uranium. I think this is worse than reducing our nuclear arsenal while China, Russia, North Korea and Iran are increasing theirs. I think this is worse than finding a Russian Spy ring working inside our country and expelling the spies without consequence to them or their country. I think this is worse than paying 1.7 billion dollars ransom to Iran for four political prisoners. I think this is worse than releasing terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to return to terrorism. I think this is worse than Obama releasing 550 criminals from federal prisons and putting them on the street with us. I think this is worse than Obama allowing hardened criminal illegal aliens to walk the streets of the USA.

The FBI may recover some prestige in time. The country may rebound from the position of weakness we are currently experiencing. I do not think J. Edgar Hoover would be happy. I do not think historians will think kindly of what President Obama, Attorney General Lynch and Director Comey have done to lower the esteem of the FBI

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Effects of QE

In the United States the central bank is the Fed or Federal Reserve Bank. Remember Ben Bernanke and quantitative easing (QE)? Let’s do a quick refresher. First, what does the term quantitative easing actually mean? QE is a device used by the central bank where they buy government securities (Bonds) in order to lower interest rates and increase the money supply in the country. The idea is by flooding the banks with more currency, regular banks would be willing to lend more money, which in turn would generate more borrowing for growth of businesses. It sounds fine in theory. But it was soon apparent the banks were gun shy about lending and people saw no means to pay back loans.

After the housing crisis began in 2006 when Bush 43 was President, The Fed took no action. Bernanke seemed to have no interest in helping the Bush administration. As soon as Obama became President, Bernanke decide he would try and help him revive the economy by applying QE1 in 2009. When that did not work, he tried QE2 in 2011. Again, no apparent help, thus QE3 in 2013.

This result of the FED buying bonds and driving down bond prices was that investors could make no money on bonds. The only place people could invest in the USA was stocks. This drove and is still driving the stock market to higher and higher values. This has created an extreme disparity between wealthy people and ordinary Americans. It also means our money has less value, thus we pay more for all imported goods. The FED also purchased home mortgages from homes that were under water and no way to unload the debt without taking a loss, so all they could do is hold on to the debt. Bernanke finally gave up and retired in 2014 and was replaced by Janet Yellen as chairman of the FED. She was Bernanke’s protégé and continued his policies.

Bernanke and Yellen did not take into consideration that the recent tax increases, both personal and corporate would kill the job market in the USA. They drove many manufacturing jobs out of the country, forced many corporations to move their headquarters out of the country and basically killed all entrepreneurship which kept new small businesses from starting.  At the same time, we were pressing forward with almost unrestricted immigration of people flooding into the country willing to work for lower wages. This meant more people without jobs, who still had mouths to feed at home and less or no take-home pay to do it with.

Now we have a situation where we have increased the cost of government by spending more on food subsidies, more people on disability, more unemployment assistance and housing for children who entered the country without adult supervision.  

Now interest rates are near zero and the FED has no means left to help with the problem, except to buy more corporate debt. The FED debt which was less than one trillion dollars in 2006 is now about $4.5 trillion. They will sit on it.

All the effort the FED has done comes to naught. They tried to help and made everything worse. The FED is now back to watching for inflation. We have more disparity in wealth, no jobs and no prospect of new jobs, higher import prices and no inflation. Everyone is in stall mode awaiting a game changer to come along. Please vote for someone who will actually help our citizens.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Social Security Trust Fund

I was told by one of my friends a few weeks ago that the Social Security Trust Fund really exists and it has a board of directors. This is different from what I believed for years. I always thought the money collected for Social Security went into the general fund that Congress could allocate in their budget. I thought I would take a few minutes to see what kind of factual information I could find about our Social Security money.

To begin with, there is a Social Security Trust Fund, but there is no “lock box.” The Trust Fund is an accounting device within the Treasury Department. There is never any money in the trust fund and there never has been any money in the trust fund. It is basically a fund filled with IOU’s. Social Security payroll tax goes to the Treasury Department. When the government sends your Social Security check, the Treasury Department puts a credit memo in the Social Security trust fund and at the same time makes a debit memo for withdrawal, then makes a distribution. The two amounts are identical; thus no money is actually in the account.

Here is the real kicker. Congress is allowed to borrow money from the Social Security Trust fund and insert an IOU, with no means or plan to repay the money.  Congress can spend the money any way they choose and leave it up to future generations to pay the IOU.

Looking further there is indeed a Social Security Board of Trustees. They are known as the OASDI Board of Trustees. OASDI is an acronym for Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance. It is a six-member board that includes the Secretary of the Treasury as the managing trustee, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Commissioner and two others, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. As near as I can figure, their main responsibility is to be a signatory on the annual Social Security report generated by the Treasury Department.

We currently have more money being paid out each year to retirees, survivors and people on disability than the money coming into Social security from payroll taxes. This is a serious problem and no administration wants to be tainted by admitting the problem and trying to solve it. It keeps getting worse and worse.

Incidentally. Medicare is managed the same way and it presents a similar problem.

My conclusion is, as long as the government is responsible for the Social Security funds deducted from payroll checks, they will spend the money and they will deplete the fund. Government cannot be trusted with our money. The only solution is a “lock box” for every individual that is held in private firm paid by the government on our behalf. The firm should invest the money in such manner that the value increases. Some brave President needs to accept this challenge and meet the problem head-on.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Progressives and Democrats

I read that ABC news has banned American Flag lapel pins for their news staff on air. In Tallahassee, FL the elementary school students are being given notes to take home for parent signatures giving their child an opt-out option for saying the pledge of allegiance. If they opt out the student does not even have to stand while the pledge is being said by others. All over our country governments are banning flying the American flag. The Obama administrations has changed the language in the oath taken by naturalized citizens to have broad latitude for the reasons new citizens can choose not to defend this country.

Why are these thing going on? What is behind it?

There is a worldwide push of a progressive agenda that is almost never disclosed in entirety. The term we are using right now in the United States is “globalist” or “globalism.” Most Democrat leaders are globalist progressives who work very hard to hide their agenda from the Democrat voters in this country.

The biggest progressive players are the United Nations, George Soros and the Bilderberg Group. George Soros is one of the biggest players in a globalist push. He spends hundreds of millions annually to achieve his goals. Most of the Trump protesters are payed for by George Soros.  Are you familiar with the Bilderberg Group? If not, look them up. They are big players in what is going on in our world. They hold annual meetings with secret agendas and agree not to reveal the topics of their discussions. The group consists of most of the ultra-wealthy people and many influential politicians in the western world.

The progressive goals are open borders worldwide, pushing the climate change agenda to redistribute wealth from wealthy countries to poorer countries. They do not recognize hard work or individual desire to create a better life. They want social justice where everyone has the same outcome, regardless of their willingness to contribute.

Most Democrats do not pay enough attention to what is going on to even realize what is happening to their own party. They only know what they are told by newscasts and newspapers working to support the Democrat agenda.

Now back to my first paragraph. Why are these anti-American things happening? The answer is simple. Our Constitution is a hindrance to the progressive agenda. In other words, America as it has existed for 240 years must be destroyed. That is right. The progressives want to dismantle the most successful government in the history of the world and replace it with a socialist government similar to the European countries. In other words, all Americans are expected to be equally poor with only a class of elite leaders with wealth.

I am resisting. They cannot get rid of our Constitution if they do not get rid of the guns. The American people will not stand for it and they will fight back. They cannot get rid of our Constitution as long as the masses of people still have the Judeo-Christian values our country was founded on. Obama goes all over the world telling the lie that the United States was created on Muslim values. They have to diminish and destroy Christianity to get rid of our Constitution. I encourage you to pay attention.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Friendship and Elections

It is unfortunate that friends have disputes, but they always have and always will. That is the way of the world. Electoral office has always been a source of division. This presidential election cycle has been the worst I remember concerning divisive rhetoric. Friends and relatives and husbands and wives are at odds over their preferred candidates. Bad news. Collectively we need to tone down the language.

I do not like it when the Facebook commenters resort to name-calling. I have to admit, I have gotten caught up in the arguments myself and resorted to less than complimentary language. I am sorry I let that happen to myself and sorry that I would do that to a friend. Friends do not have to agree on everything, but it does help if they are tolerant of each other’s opinions. I apologize to anyone I may have offended during this election year.

Arguments often cease to be about who is right and wrong. They become about who is willing to argue the longest and who insists on getting the last word. I remember a time when the way to win an argument was with the facts and the truth. That no longer seems to be the case. Our news media and biased websites clutter the atmosphere with misinformation. In politics facts and the truth do not seem to have any value. I often give people facts and they accuse me of fabrication. I explain the data is from government databases and they do not believe the government either. Well, now.

Where do you suppose people get their information? How do they know it is true? It appears to me people are only willing to accept information that matches what they already believe. I think we have a myriad of ignorant people making decisions on candidates based on misinformation from their own support groups. The truth no longer matters and facts no longer matter.

People seem willing to ignore faults of their chosen candidates. Some people even deny the truth about their candidate even when it is presented to them without equivocation. Interesting. Everyone has flaws. Every candidate has flaws. Denying them does not make them go away. We all make choices and what we base our choices on is as varied as the people making them.

We only have one earth and most of us want what is best for everyone. A few things I think are best for everyone. Show respect for each other. Give other people a chance to state their opinion without ridicule. Obey the law. Do not make a bad situation worse. We are all in this together.

Probably more than half the people will be unhappy no matter who our next President is. New officeholders still deserve an opportunity to use their best judgement to make things better. Many people feel that good intentions are enough. I think that is foolish. Good intentions seldom help anyone. Good actions do. I prefer someone that makes good decisions. I like leaders that surround themselves with good people and listens to their advice. A leader listens to the options and makes decisions.

Friends are good to have. Do not sacrifice any of them for differences of opinion, especially about electoral candidates. Michael Phelps was captain of the swimming team at the Olympics in Rio. He told his teammates that if they had anything negative to say, keep it to themselves. Good advice. Concentrate on positive thoughts. Let us see the good in each other and search for some good in the opposing candidates. That was even hard for me to say, but at least I am thinking about it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Beltway

We hear a lot of news stories that talk about “inside the beltway.” I think most of us know that this refers to the Washington, DC area. The beltway is I-495. The Potomac River flows through Washington and is the state line between Maryland and Virginia. In addition to DC, the beltway includes part of the Maryland cities of Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park and Hyattsville. Some of the Virginia cities partially inside the beltway are Alexandra, Annandale and Arlington. The nearest big city outside the beltway is Baltimore, MD to the north east of DC.

There are a lot of people moving in and out of the beltway on a daily basis. Major highways leaving the beltway are I-395 going south to Springfield, VA, US 50 going east to Annapolis, US 29 going north, US 1 running northeast to Baltimore and I-66 going west. I-95 runs though the beltway from the south and into Baltimore, I-270 goes northwest and MD 295 is a local road inside Maryland.

The inside the beltway area is about 260 square mile and Washington, DC itself is about 68 square miles. There are about 1.75 million people living inside the beltway. People living inside the beltway are primarily government employees, contractors, lobbyists and corporate media. Things that are scarce inside the beltway are illegal aliens, refugee relocation centers and Trump supporters.

Trump has the inside the beltway crowd scared for the first time in a long time – they fear the gravy train might de-rail.  Where has he been? We have been asking for a reformer and here he comes. Republican and Democrat insiders and the national media are quaking. Some of us appreciate the irony. A non-political businessman despised by “the haves” and the takers has arrived to repair or blow up our broken political system. This may be the most fun political year in our history.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

What is American?

Please do not dismiss this question out of hand. Think about it a moment. When you say, “I am an American.” what are you saying? We have North America, Central America and South America. When you say you are an American are you thinking about being a citizen of one of the two continents or somewhere in between? Are you thinking about being a citizen of just North America? Generally, when I hear someone say they are American, my assumption is they mean the United States. That is my arrogance.

For several hundred thousand years, beings on the earth thought their clan was the universe. Then they started thinking the flat earth was the universe. Then someone realized the sun, moon and stars were not of the earth and the universe got larger and the earth was the center of it. Then some mathematicians and astronomers began paying closer attention and realized their thinking may need to be adjusted to address the empirical data they were observing. In the 15th century, Nicolaus Copernicus came along and suggested the sun was the center of our solar system in a much larger universe. He was laughed at. Think about what we know now about the universe. The point of this is that in our minds we often see ourselves as the center of the universe.

When I think about where I am and when I say I am an American, I always think the United States of America. Canadians are Americans. Mexicans are Americans. If you are from Nicaragua, you are an American. If you were born in of Rio de Janeiro, you are an American.

If you were born in Mexico and become a citizen of the United States, the terminology we use is Mexican-American. Since Mexico is part of American, the term should be American-American, but that does not make sense. For a while black people were often called African-Americans. Some black people that were born in the United States objected to that terminology, as well they should. Most black people in this country have never been to Africa. If a black person emigrates from Nigeria and comes to the United States and becomes a citizen, do they want to be known as an African-American? Do people that come from England and become United States citizens become English-American or British-Americans. I do not think so.

People used to immigrate to the United States for a better life, because the wanted to be Americans in the United States of America. Today we have many immigrants and refugees in this country that are not American citizens and many are American citizens, but not United States citizens. Some have made it clear they want to be Mexicans in the United States.

What do you think about when you hear the term American Dream? I think it means being prosperous in the United States. Do Canadians have an American Dream? Is it a Canadian Dream? The Canadians seem to be happy where they are. Do Africans or Europeans go to Canada to find the American Dream? I do not know, but it is possible. I think people from foreign countries looking for the American Dream come to the United States to find it. The United States – the land of opportunity. We all have a responsibility to keep the dream alive.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Teachers and Education

Mostly when I think about school, I remember being in the student lounge at Galena Park High School at lunch time. I almost never ate in the cafeteria and usually bought a hamburger for lunch and stood around in a group of my friends talking. It was a fun social time, breaking up the day between classes.

I got almost all of my formal education in Texas, although I did takes some advanced college placement courses while I was in the army. I had about 10 credits for advanced placement that I never actually used for my college degree.

I remember some of my teachers that had an influence on me. At Jackson Jr. High in Pasadena I remember two English teachers: One was Dr. Bottrell and the other was Mrs. Morton. There was also a math teacher at Jackson, but I cannot remember her name – too bad – she inspired me. In high school, Mr. Osborne taught biology. Mr. Beiberstein taught algebra, Mrs. Perry taught me English. I remember Mr. Pemberton for art class. I do not remember all my teachers, but I do remember some who were important to me at an impressionable time. I would not consider myself a good student and I should have been. My fault and my loss, because I did not apply myself more.

When I think about education I think about teachers that inspire students. The time I spent in grades 1-12, all my teachers were focused on the students. It was rare for a teacher to take a day off – they were with us every school day. I think I was lucky to be educated in Texas in the 50’s and 60’s.

Now when I hear about education it’s about a teacher’s strike, teachers skipping school to protest elected officials or unruly students abusing teachers and their classmates. There are a few stories about private schools with excellent curricula and effective teaching techniques, but not nearly enough of these stories.

I read about State Boards of Education arguing about the content of text books. History books are always good for an argument. Some want a religious slant, some want more minority stories, some want to alter history to change a political narrative, some want to teach social justice. Adults trying to indoctrinate children to change our culture is dangerous.

Our education system is failing the children of our country. The more involved the federal government gets in education, the more it costs and the less effective it becomes. Our students rank about 30th in quality of education and we spend more per student than any other country.

Our presidential candidates are fighting over who pays for college when someone needs to focus on getting students prepared to go to college. For social reasons we have young people graduating from college who read on a third grade level. This is asinine.

Children need to be taught the truth about the history of our country, without a political slant. Parents should be more involved and have an opportunity to choose a school that best meets the needs of their child. Teachers need to be inspiring. Teachers should be memorable to the students. Ineffective teachers need to be weeded out and excellent teachers should be rewarded.

The future of this country depends on what elementary school children hear at school.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Why Have a Military?

Why do we have a military in the United States? Why does any country need a military? What is the purpose of the military? Why do people fight? What is on a soldier’s mind when they are in a fire fight?

These seem like strange questions to me. I think the answers are obvious. I thought the sole purpose of the military was to fight and win. Obviously, I am wrong about that.

Right now the purpose of the military seems to be to do battle in a way that does not hurt the enemy’s feelings. I cannot imagine rules of engagement in a battle where I am told not to shoot back. Currently, the military seems to be a testing ground for social experimentation, where everyone must have an opportunity to participate, whether or not they are capable.

There are some logistical issues and additional expense having males and females serving in the same unit. I think each branch of the service should be able to best determine how to use the personnel available to them. I think there is room for everyone to participate, but I think it is foolish to think every individual is capable of achieving every objective.

I think the only purpose of the military is to fight. I also think the fight should be the last resort. Once the decision to fight is made, the only objective should be to win and to win as quickly as possible. I think you do that with overwhelming force. I think you fight in a manner that preserves your forces while depleting enemy forces. If you are going to be able to defeat any foe, you probably have a better chance to win, if you have more and better weapons, more people and better training than the enemy has.

I think after you win and only after you win you go home and let the enemy rebuild their territory and decide their own future, hopefully in a more cooperative atmosphere.

With those ideas in mind, I think the military should be inclusive. I think everyone that meets minimum standards, determined by military commanders, should be allowed to participate. Under no circumstances should standards be lowered to extend inclusion, unless not enough people are available.  I think you decide the size of force necessary and fill those spaces with the best people available to achieve military objectives.

I think the only thing enlisted personnel care about the other people in their unit is will they be willing and able to accomplish the tasks assigned to them. They fight for each other and not much else matters.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Freddie Fender

Freddie Fender songs still come on the radio occasionally. I do not spend a lot of time listening to music like we did 30 years ago, but I still listen occasionally. I usually put the radio on FM and scan to see what pops up. Sometimes I scan for hours, never finding something I want to hear. Freddie Fender’s voice grabs my attention every time I hear him. I do not care if the recording is in English or Spanish, I enjoy listening to him – just a great sound and a beautiful voice.

Freddie Fender was born Baldemar Garza Huerta in San Benito, TX in 1937. He lived his early life in south Texas. He left high school at 16 and joined the Marine Corps at 17. He was thrown out of the Marines on a less than honorable discharge, which was later changed to honorable after alcoholism was reclassified as an illness. Later, he spent three years on a prison farm in Louisiana for drug charges. After that he returned to south Texas and worked as an auto mechanic.

He began singing to mostly Tejano audiences and recorded some popular songs in Spanish drawing little attention. He called himself El Bebop Kid for a few years. A few of the songs he recorded in Spanish were, Elvis’ “Don’t Be Cruel,” Harry Bellefonte’s “Jamaica Farewell” and Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart.”

Next he tried some rockabilly calling himself Eddie con los Shades, still with limited success.

In 1958 he changed his name to Freddie Fender. He chose Freddie to draw a gringo audience and Fender he got from his guitar. He moved to California looking for a new start and a recording contract.

In 1974 he finally hit it big with his first number 1 song on the Billboard country and pop chart with “Before the Next Teardrop Falls.” That single went on to sell a million copies. His next successful song was a remake of a song he wrote himself and recorded earlier with little attention paid to it. “Wasted Days, Wasted Nights” became his second million selling single.

I owned his “Best of Freddie Fender” Album and it was one of my favorites in the 80’s. Songs included, were his two million sellers plus “Secret Love”, “You’ll Lose a Good Thing,” “Vaya con Dios,” “Sugar Coated Love,” “The Wild Side of Life,” “Since I Met You Baby,” “I Love My Rancho Grande” and a few others. This was one of the prizes of my record collection.

Freddie Fender joined two Tejano bands after his solo success. The Texas Tornados and Los Super Seven got record contracts. They won a few Grammys, but never had the monetary success Freddie Fender had as a solo artist.

Freddie Fender died of cancer in 2006, but the music is still around. For the rest of my life, I will stop and listen when and wherever I hear his voice. Its music to my ears.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Problem with the Truth

I posted a blog with this title earlier in the week and it contained some errors. This update corrects those errors. My apologies.


The main problem with the truth today is that if the truth does not fit a person’s ideology, they do not believe it. Sad, but true.

Here are a few statements I think are true. 

People in charge make the rules.

If you want the rules to change the rules, you need to get an education and prepare yourself to get a leadership position.

According to our census, ancestry of people who claim to be white traces to Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East. Some Hispanics also claim to be white.

White people were the majority in this country from its inception to the present.

White people still hold the majority of leadership positions in most parts of the country.

Hispanics will become the largest racial demographic in the USA in about 20 years.

The Asians population is growing fast and will become the largest racial demographic in about 40 years.

Blacks will still be a minority in this country for the foreseeable future.

End of facts.

The following are my opinions.

The demographics of the Dallas police department matches the demographics of the community. This is a good thing and the practice needs to spread to other cities.

Police officers should have continuous training and a better understanding of the feelings in their communities. Police officers need community support.

People should avoid police confrontations. Both the police and the person confronted have a responsibility to keep the confrontation non-violent.

To keep the peace and capture perpetrators, the police will respond the same with Asians and Hispanics being the majority as they did when whites were the majority.

The safest way for everyone in a police confrontation is to show respect for each other.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Stop It!

Racial Tensions are high. It is understandable. A Black man is shot by a white police officer and the next word out of many people’s mouths is racism. Well, it is not always racism, but try and tell that to the Black Lives Matter crowd. Their minds were made up before a shot was fired. Unfortunate.

The narrative with all the race baiters in the country is that most police officers are racists and want to shoot Black people. It is stupid, but it is their mantra.

Alton Sterling was shot on the streets of Baton Rouge, LA while two police officers were trying to apprehend him. Police were called because Sterling threatened someone with a gun. Multiple videos were taken by passersby and none of the videos showed everything that happened. What was obvious from the videos is that Sterling was struggling with the police officers and Sterling was shot. Was Sterling scared? I am sure he was. I would have been scared too. Were the police officer scared? How could they not be scared? They were trying to apprehend a man that reportedly had a gun. Of course they were scared. Sterling’s death was unfortunate, but I doubt that he died because two racist cops wanted to kill a Black man. Yet many jumped to that conclusion, knowing no more than I know.

In St. Paul, Minnesota Philandro Castile was shot by a white police officer while Castile was sitting in his car. Castile was pulled over for a broken tail light. Reportedly, Castile told the police officer he had a gun and was reaching for his wallet to produce his concealed carry permit. Was Castile scared? I do not have enough information to conclude that, but just being stopped by a police officer is cause for concern for many people. If Castile was taught that cops want to shoot Black people, then sure he was scared. Was the police officer scared? You better believe it. A man just confessed to having a gun and reached for something in his pockets. I would be scared.

Castile’s girlfriend took a video after the shooting. All the videos seem to get on the internet immediately. Every video and every eye witness have a story, but none of them show the entire story. I want to know the entire story before passing judgement.

Two Black men shot by police in two days put the Black Lives Matter crowd into the streets in many large cities. I do not mind peaceful protests in the streets, even though I think the protesters start before a shot is fired. They are anxious to shout racism. They look for excuses to shout racism.

Two dead Black men in two days killed by police officers should be a concern for everyone. I think it is. Most of us do not go to the streets to show our concern, but as human beings, we care.

Several snipers took advantage of the Black Lives Matter street protest in Dallas and five police officers were killed. At least six more were wounded on Thursday night. There may have been as many as nine snipers, but the exact number is unclear at this time. Three of the shooters are in custody. Police had an opportunity and reason to shoot them, but they did not shoot them. They apprehended them, arrested them and incarcerated them. You think any of these policemen were scared?

Stop It! Escalating the violence of unfortunate shooting is not a solution. Police get continuous training and can always use more training. One thing the police want to know is where your hands are. Very few people get hurt by police officers when they can see your hands. Every news cast in the world will show violent videos in the next few days. We do not have to act violently as a result. Stop It!