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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Has America been Trumped by Trumpery(see Webster)



     Has America been Trumped by Trumpery (see Webster)


     After 70 years of life, having lived thru the Cuban Missile Crisis, thirteen years in the Army and having been on the East German border looking at their guards who were looking back at us. I never worried about building a bomb shelter or the dangers of a nuclear war. However in view of the election I hope I have 70 days to get my bomb shelter built and stocked. Well I guess it is time to get started on it anyhow.

     The system is broken.  Of course it may have always been broken.  It just took us this long to figure it out. We have just elected an apolitical (meaning non-political) person to the Presidency. One thing that has become evident the Electoral College needs to go. There may have been a need for it when it took more than a month to cross the country from coast to coast.  That is not the case in this day and age of instant communication. There is absolutely no use for it other than putting someone in office that the majority did not vote for. Some argue that it keeps the big states from pushing their will down the little states throat, but that is why we have a House of Representatives and a Senate to balance that issue out. Getting rid of the Electoral College will make it feasible for people to start other parties, which will create a more pluralistic government.  It will make the popular vote important and make every vote count.

   I have never seen, or at least don’t remember a President Elect ever stirring up the system the way Trump has.  His call with Taiwan may have put the entire Taiwan population of twenty four million people at risk.  China could make a point, by removing a thorn from their side before Trump ever takes office, by eliminating Taiwan from existence.  China has been pushing its military limits and may see an opportunity to solve one of their problems. Wars are good for the economy and China’s is shaky right now. It has worked for the U.S. since about 1990. People I talk to say that won’t happen. I hopefully agree with them, but World War I was started by one assassin shooting and Archduke and nations taking sides.

    Trump is also at odds with the CIA, which he will need when he takes power.  For being a conspiracy theory buff, he is not thinking this one out very well. At the time of the Kennedy assassination it was argued that Fidel Castro, the Mafia, or the CIA may have been involved. With Fidel gone the blame list will be a little shorter if something happens to him.

     Having still not shown his tax returns, and by his own admission having not paid any taxes in years.  He is making the case for being impeached before he even gets officially into office.  He is alienating the people he will have to depend on to pass any legislation to get the things done that he wants to get done.  Again he has not thought things out very well as the Republicans can make deals with the Democrats, who would be more than willing to see him gone. It could easily become another eight years of nothing getting done and his Presidency looking even worse than Obama’s.

      Trump’s let’s make a deal attitude may work against him in Washington.  It is easy to see his business interests becoming a major liability.  As much as the U.S. owes to China in bonds it could get really shaky if China decided to push back and cut off credit to the United States.  All they would lose is what they already have invested.  They certainly are not making any interest on the money they have invested here.  I have read several articles about China pushing to get other countries to drop the dollar as their reserve currency and let China fill that slot for them.  That could create a big crisis for America in a hurry.

      I kind of understand some of his cabinet choices.  Trump stands up for the underdogs and has empathy with the misfits which he has picked.  The choice of so many losers is one thing that has me puzzled though.  Especially his liking Gingrich, of course the capital gains deal Gingrich cut with Bill Clinton may have made him rich while it has bankrupted America.  Some his choices are definitely stirring things up and continuing his politics as usual by raising controversy anyway he can. He is not picking up new talent as he promised.  It is the same old bunch of faces.

     Ticking off members of the MIC (Military Industrial Complex) like Boeing and Lockheed will do nothing but create problems for Trump.  Most of the Congressmen in Washington have some industry or base in their home district and they are not going to endanger their comfort for the likes of Trump.  Their loyalty is to those who line their pockets and Trump is not on that list.  Our perpetual state of war is not accidental.  It is good for the economy, especially those who are part of the MIC.  Eisenhower warned us that the MIC was a danger to America.  They have made themselves indispensable, if bases start closing and factories quit producing the products the military needs the economy could shut down.  War is good for business.

    Recently I reread the book “1984” which used to be mandatory reading and was more or less dropped after 1984, but in reality it is right on the money for the world we live in today.  Even though it was written in 1949, it almost perfectly describes the digital world and the international politics as it stands today in the world we live in.  Another piece of art that was way ahead of its time and is right on the money for today is the 1975 movie “Rollerball.” It describes a world taken over by corporations and is centered round a futuristic version of roller derby.

     Trying to give Trump the benefit of the doubt based on what I have seen so far of his leadership has not impressed me. If he keeps stirring the pot at the rate he has been since the election, everything should be at a nice boil and ready to explode right after he takes office.  I guess I have rattled on long enough with my views on the matter.  It is time to cut this off and get back to researching the supplies I need for my bunker.  I am already down to 41 days and I have not even made a good start on it, but I do have a plan.

     Almost forgot.  With gas prices as low as they are which means demand worldwide is down and therefore a sign of a slowing economy.  My second sign is becoming kind of significant. Scrap metal prices are down.  Pop cans were over sixty cents a pound before the 08 crash.  They fell to about twenty cents a pound for a few years and slowly crawled back up to about sixty cents again.  However the price is back down to the high twenties and low thirties again.  That means construction is slowing down as the demand falls for the metals.  Living on Social Security and Disability every penny counts and the pennies are getting harder to come by.  I had a good second hand shop after my heart attack in 2004 till the economy crashed in 2008.  When the market crashed, business just dried up from 2008 till about 2014. It looked like it might come back, but early in 2016 it started slowing down again. As they say, The hand writing is on the wall.  From talking too many of my small business friends they agree the economy is starting down another hill.


      Based on Trump’s past business techniques of filing bankruptcy and dumping the load on those who do business with him, America may be in for a rough ride over the next few years.  Time will tell the tale.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Where Trump is Taking America is Un-American


         Where Trump is Taking America is Un-American

     Sometimes writing is like pulling teeth, we know it needs to be done, but we do not have enthusiasm for the pain that comes with it.  Even though it was almost sixty years ago, I can remember my first trip to the dentist like it was yesterday.  My tooth had been hurting constantly for days and finally my Mother and Grand-mother decided they had heard me whine long enough.  Funny thing happened on the way to the dentist office.  As we parked out front of the dentist office the pain miraculously disappeared.

    Several alternatives had been offered by my Grandfather, pliers were one. Tying a string around the tooth and then tying it to the doorknob was actually discussed.  His ultimate recommendation was drink some whiskey, which he said was what he used to get up his courage to go to the dentist. Fortunately for me, Mom and Grandma over ruled his solutions.  That is how I found myself at the dentist office with no tooth ache and feeling of doom in my mind.

    Funny part looking back on it, I don’t remember the actual tooth pulling. Just the crunching sound as the needle pushed its way through my gums to deliver the pain killing solution.  The actual pulling has vanished over the years.  As have all my other teeth to be replaced by dentures. Probably the worst two were ones that got broke off in a fight in Vietnam. The roots had to be pried out by the dentist. It was done without shots, but I was already far enough gone to find out that my Grandfather was a wise man. Looking back over the years I have to wonder if he acquired his knowledge the same way I did.  A few days later my jaw became infected.  It was far worse than any of the extractions I endured over the years.   

   Having just finished a rather long and drawn out election process.  I have to wonder if the outcome might become much more painful than the process of selecting a winner. Especially with all the riots and protests that are breaking out daily.  Only time will tell what the real outcome is.  Many people feel robbed as the winner of the popular vote did not win the election. Hopefully one good will come out of the matter.  Hopefully the Electoral College will either be done away with or modified to reflect the popular vote.  Of course since Trump won via the Electoral College it is no longer so evil.

    Many people express their view that Hillary deserved to lose based on her position on abortion more than anything.  Many are happy the Clinton dynasty is over as well as the Bush’s.  However dynasties are nothing new to American politics.  The Adam’s family, the Harrison’s, the Roosevelt’s and the Bush’s all carried a family torch from one administration to another.  Several other dynasties were attempted and failed.  The Kennedy’s being one example. One could easily wonder if the Trump’s might be the next dynasty.

      While Trump certainly did not win by humbling himself to gain party support and definitely is not anything like the standard politician, he is definitely learning fast. Asked about his intentions with the Clinton’s he put off his interviewer’s question and promised to answer it at some future point.  That was definitely a political way of dealing with the issue.  He is already back peddling on several of the issues he promised to fix. His wall may be turning into a fence in places and Obamacare may not be all that bad after all. Some parts may be kept.

    Biblically James makes clear that a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.  That is one characteristic that definitely has come to stand out about Trump. He will do or say whatever he feels fits his purposes.  Either he did grope the women he said he did, or he didn’t.  The only question that remains on that situation is which is the truth?  He is either a sex offender or a liar. Neither of which are qualities one wants to find in a president.

    Jeremiah 17:5 says anyone who puts his trust in a man is cursed. So based on Trump’s performance and own words it is hard for me to put any trust in him or his leadership.  The Bible goes even further with the description of what God has no use for and what he does not like in Proverbs 6. It gives seven things that God hates.  I can cast no stone as several of them hit home pretty hard, but I see Trump as being seven for seven.  While I am definitely not any better than him I have no intention of supporting him in any way. I personally wouldn’t follow him to a dog fight, even if he had a chance of winning.

    Jesus said we are to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and pay our taxes as we are ordered to.  Yet by his own words, Trump admits he has paid no taxes and considers himself a smart man for having figured ways to avoid paying them. Yet we are supposed to believe he is suddenly going to change his ways and fix America. Excuse me, but I don’t think so, which is one of his favorite sayings. His business dealings and personal values are totally the opposite of what I personally feel America’s values are.

   With all the protests I only hope his words and hatred don’t come back to bite him.  With his worldwide presence which is linked directly to his name makes him a prime candidate for an ISIS attack.  If he follows through on his anti-Islamic platform he is a prime target.  The image of the Oklahoma City bombing keeps coming to mind for some reason. He may discover the meaning of you reap what you sow. Hate definitely feeds on hate.

    As the formation of his cabinet moves along it is easy to see that he is going to use the same people to fill his slots that he railed against during his election battle. The ex-New York Mayor, Gov. Christy and Speaker Gingrich definitely fit the roll professional politicians.  Something he said he would get rid of when he became President, but it is not looking like it.  Gingrich is especially troubling as his deal with ex-President Clinton on housing and capital gains taxes set the stage for the massive debt load that America is under today.

    Trumps promises to cut taxes will only make things worse than they are. Especially if there is no corresponding cut in Federal spending. Based on Trump’s past business performance however, bankruptcy is totally acceptable as a way of doing business and he does not care who gets hurt by it.



     At this point all we can do is sit back and wait and see what happens. From my perspective I guess it is time to get started. After 70 years of life, having lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis, thirteen years in the Army and having been on the East German border looking at their guards who were looking back at me, I never worried about building a bomb shelter or the dangers of nuclear war. However in view of the election I hope I have 70 days to get my bomb shelter built and stocked.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Vote Your Conscience, If You Have One.

                         Vote Your Conscience


    Finding hope in the middle of the present election process can tend to be a challenge.  Who do you believe, the candidates or the media? Both tend to be biased by their own point of view.  The media would have you believe Hillary is ahead, but that is not what the signs say.  Everywhere I have traveled lately all the signs in the yards are for Trump.  I live in a Republican state, and have not seen a handful of Hilary signs,

    In the 2008 election I discovered signs and what they say do not really matter a whole lot.  The election center where I vote had plenty of signs out front for both parties.  However there was one sign missing.  Obama/Biden did not have a sign up. Oversight, racism, ignorance I have not a clue, but it did not change the outcome of the election. Trump’s followers are definitely a very verbal group and express their opinion or lack of one very loudly.

   Hillary is definitely not like Barack Obama. It is hard to see any big movement in support of her. She definitely has the qualifications and the track record to be the winner, but will she.  Only time will tell on that matter, but if she does not win, I do not think I will ever see a woman President in my life time.  Of course I never thought I would see a black one either.  At almost 70 and having been dead twice already I don’t figure I will see many more elections in my lifetime.

    As much as I would like to see a woman President in America, Hillary is not the one I would choose for that role.  I can’t vote for her and be honest to my faith in God. I am not trying to preach here, but either you believe the Bible or you don’t. In Leviticus it has several things to say about what God approves and doesn’t.  Reading the verses I am listing might open your eyes to where America is headed. Leviticus 19:26-30, 20:1-5, and 21:5 are very common things in this day and age.  So based on her views on abortion there is no way I can support her. Yes that is all Old Testament law, but so is the act of Creation. You do not pick and choose with God, it is all or nothing.

   America professes to be a Christian nation, but when you really look at the actions of our nation and the things it tolerates or allows,  America is far from what it claims to be.

 So what about Donald? Well Donald has his own set of values and views and unfortunately he has a lot going against him, probably more so than Hillary. Having been self-employed most of my life he appeals to me.  However his lack of conscience or values troubles me.  Either he did what he says he did, or he lied about the matter and both make me unwilling to put his finger on the button which could cause worldwide destruction.  The book of Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven things that God can’t stand and Donald is seven for seven, which is not good. They are highlighted for emphasis.
             These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,  A heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren.

     Based on the above verses which sound like the playbook for Trumps campaign, he comes up short also.  The Bible also makes clear, “He that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  So if I want to vote I need to come up with a different choice and for me it is the Libertarian Party and yes they have several things I do not like in their platform.  I have what I call my own party which is the Constitutional Antifederalist Reform Party.  Its platform totally agrees with me, but it is not a registered party. It is simply a summary of my own views of what I expect of a party.

     Looking back through history the only third party candidate I can find that actually won an election was Lincoln’s Republican Party which was a party that people voted for based on their conscience and their views on slavery which were not the same as the two majority parties of the time, which were the Whigs and the Democrats.

    America’s only hope for real change is for people to vote their conscience, even if it means not voting which means you are  condoning the evil we are being presented as choices. Voting a third party may give us time to seek change.  We are either part of the solution, or part of the problem. My goal is to vote out every incumbent in office. I am sure there are a few that might be worth keeping, but they are the exception not the norm.

    Electing a third party candidate should not really be that hard. Supposedly twenty percent of voters are independent voters, and five to ten percent already vote Libertarian. That means twenty-five to thirty are already looking for change.  So if we can simply get the word out in the next ten days and bring another fifteen percent to vote independent a third party candidate should win.  Supposedly half the voters in both parties are not voting “for” their candidate, but “against” the opposing candidate.  If those people can be reached to make a difference, there is hope in this election for starting a real change in America. 

    A third party candidate who wins has a large mountain to climb, but one thing he is not obligated to do is go along with the status quo.  He can vote his conscience and make decisions based on what is good for our country.  Not on what his personal agenda is, unlike the present two candidates.  I am not na├»ve enough to believe that a third party candidate will not have an agenda, but hopefully it will be one that is good for our country. The Libertarians are for getting out of the wars we are in, they are for balancing the budget, they are for cutting the size of government, and yes they are for decriminalizing drug possession and treating addicts and not incarcerating them. I disagree with their view on abortion.  However I can become active to make it a decision between a woman and her doctor, which is what it should be in my opinion. Moral issues should not be legislated.


    All I can do is pray that this changes enough minds to make a difference. If it does not we will live with the consequences, which at present are not very good,

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

End the Political Insanity


                     End the Political Insanity

     Most Americans are totally tired of the present political circus.  While most people want a real change in government they are not willing to cross the sanity line to do it. A very large majority admit that neither candidate in the mainstream parties is going to fix anything.  Unfortunately they are right because both candidates can’t do what they are promising without Congressional support. 


     Most people admit it will take a new party and a new direction to change anything.   Yet they continue to vote for the same party over and over even though they know the definition of insanity.  For those who don’t, Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, the same way, and expecting to get a different result.  Unfortunately it ain’t gonna happen. That is one of the cold hard facts of life.

    Maybe the reluctance to do so is understandable as the last time a third party candidate who was voted into office literally caused the nation to be torn in half. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican running against a Whigs and Democrats. He won because people stood up and voted based on their convictions and not on popular opinion.

    Libertarians are noted for their stance on legalizing drug use. However it is the decriminalization of drugs, not the legalization that they espouse.  There is a big difference in the two views.  Decriminalization will stop the incarceration of people who have an addiction problem, and those who believe using God given plants is a right. Check Genesis 1:29 to see where that idea comes from.  It is time to tax the people who use and abuse drugs.  Stop putting the burden on society.  If we are going to incarcerate people lets incarcerate people who use guns to threaten their fellow citizens.  They are people who have no respect for life or the rights of others. They need to be removed from society permanently.

    Libertarians are against useless and needless wars. President Eisenhower warned us of the need to watch out for and to restrain the Military Industrial Complex or MIC.  The MIC has virtually taken over our government.  Shutting it down would virtually throw America into economic chaos. Right now we are involved in the perfect war from the MIC point of view.  Selling guns, weapons and ammunition with virtually no cost of life to America is the perfect form of war. Foreign lives do not matter to the MIC, nor do American ones, as long as the cash keeps flowing into their companies.

    Where are the hippies and the protestors when we need them? How did the draft end in the middle of the Vietnam War?  It ended because the peaceniks were making it costly for the MIC to conduct war the way they wanted to.  Weapons like napalm and Agent Orange were being banned.  They realized by ending the draft they would end the protests. Then they could get on with war and go back to doing business as usual.  Monsanto was making big money from the war. Yes the same company that is suspected of killing off the bees all over the world, and if it keeps up, the killing off of us.  Those same MIC companies are major contributors to the political process and ensuring they have access to the flow of government dollars.

     If you think that is a wild accusation. Look at the obesity problem in America.  They feed hormones and chemicals to cattle and poultry to make them grow to super sizes in shorter periods of time. Unfortunately those same hormones do the very same things to humans that consume the products.  If you think not, do some studying on DDT and its effects on life, especially the Bald Eagle.

    Both of the present political candidates will continue to do business as usual with the MIC companies and keep the economy flowing, no matter how many foreign lives it costs.  All those refugees we see in the news are refugees because of the choices our government has made.  America needs to wake up and realize that the Christian values this nation claims to believe in are not values our government is upholding.  The only way to return to caring about the image of our nation is to change the way it is led and does business, which neither of the present parties have any intention of changing.


    So if you care and you want to see change, be bold and vote for a third party candidate. Vote Libertarian, not necessarily the best way to go, but definitely a different way to go.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

World Championships and World Champions Part 1


      Recently I went to the World Parachuting Championships in Ottawa, IL forty-eight countries were represented.  The last one I went to was in August 1972 in Tallequah, OK.  It doubled as a honeymoon having just got married. A lot has happened in the forty-four years since then.  There were sixty-eight countries at that event.  While I did not meet anybody that I could remember knowing back then, I did meet several people who were jumping at that time and we had many mutual friends.

    What I found interesting at the recent one was that almost the first people I ran into were parachute riggers.  That was my job when I was in the Army.  The sport has changed a lot since those days, but riggers are still a necessity to the sport.  Parachutes went from round to square for one thing.  The squares were just becoming popular when I quit jumping in 79 due to a back injury.  The views and attitudes however were pretty much the same as the last time I had an opportunity to have a multi-national conversation in France in 1974

                                                                                                                                                                  There was one major difference for me.  The last time I had such a conversation it evolved over a twenty hour period with about seven languages and fourteen nationalities involved in the conversation.  To carry on a conversation I would speak to the person from Spain who would speak to the Russian, who would speak to the Norwegian.  Then the answer would come back the same route.  Of course people hearing the conversation in their language would want to put in their two-bits, which is part of why the conversation took over twenty hours    

      At the end of the conversation we came to the conclusion that “we the people” of the world could get along.  We all wanted the same things, security for our families, a job, a home, an education, and being able to meet the needs of our families and loved ones.  We also came to the agreement that the problems of the world were created by the governments, not the people.  

     That conversation was over forty –two years ago.  My conversations this time were biased as I already knew what I wanted to ask and came away with one insight.  People from all over the world watch our elections and are just as upset with this election cycle as the Americans are and they, like many Americans, are not happy with either option we have for president. Also one thing that has not changed is that the governments are still the problem.

    Another insight I had is that it is a sport for skinny people.  There were very few people that looked over-weight.  When I left the sport I weighed in at 180 pounds.  After almost twenty years of trucking and eating where they had three all you can eat buffets a day I peaked out at just over 350 pounds.  I had lost 90 pounds by January 2004 when I had the big one.  It caused me to quit trucking and go on disability.  

      The reason I was losing the weight was  I wanted to start jumping again and the maximum weight for the equipment was 220 pounds.  After the heart attack and getting my defibrillator I gave up on the idea of jumping.  My logic was if I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t jump.  Then in November 2013 I got my Agent Orange compensation from the Army and went to Florida for a few weeks in January and February of 2014.                


                                                         


                          The Canadaians



      That was when I met some really neat Canadians from the Ontario area.  In the course of our conversations my problem came up and they said they did not see it as a problem and knew people in Canada who jumped with defibs.  Over the next few weeks I discovered people in the USA did also.  When I got home I asked my doctor and he said he had no problem with it.  So now I am trying to lose weight again.  I found 40 of the pounds I originally lost over the eight years between the two events. The good news for me was they raised the weight limit for the equipment to 250 pounds.  So now all I have to do is lose 60 pounds.  It should be a piece of cake as I lost 90 the last time.   

     



The World Champion Golden Knights Four                      Way Women's Team 

   Almost half of the jumpers at the World Championships were females.  In the day, meaning back when I was jumping, there were hardly any female jumpers. I certainly don't remember any female "teams" Of course that might have been influenced by the fact that most of my experience was in the military. 


      One of the good things that happened to me was meeting John King.  Or as he calls himself “The King of Riggers” I originally met him at the U.S. Nationals in 2014 along with quite a few other riggers, of which almost half were females.




      John is a pretty awesome experience to meet and he has a very outgoing and happy personality. John has been in the sport a day or two and is originally from England. He started jumping in 1966 and has managed to accumulate over 5000 jumps.  He has jumped in 35 countries and about as many states.  He has visited or been in over 66 countries.  He is the self proclaimed head of the Black Death Packing Company and has packed over 50,000 parachute according to him, and has never lost a customer.  As he claims, "they have always found the bodies."  If you ask him he claims be a Nylon Compression Engineer.

     He encouraged me in my attempt to lose weight. I had the opportunity to introduce him to my great nephew who was with me.  He asked where we were parked and I said near the restroom.  My grandson said near the gym and John said, “That is a waste of time, because you ain’t gonna use it.”  I said, “That wasn’t nice” and he said. “Sometimes the truth hurts.” And as I had only lost ten pounds in the two years since I had seen him he was right.  That evening at supper I was convicted that he was right and when I got home I ate the only peanut butter and Jelly sandwich I have ever ate in my life, at least willingly.  At 70 I may have eaten some when I was younger, but not because I chose to.  I never liked peanut butter or baseball, which almost makes me un-American.  Thanks to John I am back on my diet and hopefully the next time I see him he will be able to “see” that I have lost some weight.

Every time I think of him I am reminded of the verse from John 3:8, he is definitely a free spirit who moves where his spirit guides him, and says what needs to be said.                                                     










 

If he is not a legend yet, he should be.


Father and daughter rigging team from Brazil


Two young ladies from Poland who we met at our motel the first morning.





It was nice to get almost adopted by the Russian Team and their families





Gamal from Qatar

                                                     


Friday, September 9, 2016

Blessed to Death II


                                  Blessed To Death II
 



       Sometimes life can get really strange and at times it can even be a good kind of scary.  At almost seventy it has become my observation that when everything is going your way, things are about to change.  The thing that is hard to tell is how.  Last weekend part of my family came and spent the Labor Day weekend with us. It allowed me to spend time putting together a cabinet in my shop with my grandson Isaiah and my Great-Nephew Gabe. It was an enjoyable day for me as we had talked about doing it for some time and it had just never happened.  The blessings seemed to keep happening all week. Right after our youngest daughter passed away my wife and I were sitting on the front porch and butterflies started landing on us. At the time we did not have any butterfly bushes like we do now.  It gave us a lot of peace and still does when I think about it.

    Today I found out my twin Great-Grand-Daughters get to start the Headstart program next week.  My daughters went to it and I think it is an awesome program that gives kids boost when they start school.  Also their Mom got a promotion at work. Which means a pay raise.  I like the hours better.  It is getting old getting up at 4 AM to go take care of them.  Now I won't have to get up till 6 AM.

    Another neat thing is that for the first time in months I not only get three days off in a row.  My great-nephew and I get to go to Ottawa, Illinois to the World SkyDiving Championships.  Which is totally cool for me as I spent many years of my life involved in skydiving. The last time I went to one was in August of 1972 in Tahlaquah, OK and it sort of doubled as our honeymoon which was okay back then as we met because of my skydiving.

    Sunday will be the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Since then I have been technically dead and retired. I remember being in Bayonne, NJ that day and looking across the water and watching the smoke pouring from that building into the clear blue sky.  Wondering what kind of idiot runs into a building under those circumstances. In less than twenty minutes all of America found out what kind of an idiot would do that.

   Just this week I stumbled on something that made me wonder.  Anybody who has read my blog knows I am always looking at numbers and seeing how the Bible uses them. Sometimes they are used over and over. Fifteen years jumped out at me this week as I was reading and came across the story of Hezekiah.  He became king after his father Ahaz who worshipped pagan gods and idols. When Hezekiah became king he turned Israel's heart back to God.  God worked mightily on his behalf and he became sick and the Prophet Isaiah told him he was going to die,  The story has it he turned to the wall and prayed and God told Isaiah to go back and tell him he would get another fifteen years.  In the end he watched his sons go into the Babylonian captivity.  That was a great fall from where he was.

   It really moved me as I believe I was far more ready to die when I had my heart attack than I am now. I mean I don't mind the idea of dying, it just seems my heart was closer to God then than I am now.  Even though I still see him working on my behalf in ways that would take a book to explain. When I had my heart attack I wasn't ready for it, At least not financially, but the Lord sustained us through it all. I had to sell my truck and my equipment, but during the whole sixth months with no income till my disability started he sustained my family. That period lasted almost eight years, but it allowed me to be with my daughter during her seven year battle with her brain tumor.  Then a couple years later after she passed the Lord Blessed me. My income multiplied several times and made a major adjustment that I could see his hand in all of it.

    It is not my goal to scare anyone, but it would not hurt you to get a concordance and read the verses dealing with Hezekiah. Isaiah 36:1 to 39:8 and Jeremiah 15: 4 to 19 will give most of the story.  There is a little in IIChronicles 28:27 to 33:3 also.  You might read it though and come to your own conclusions on the matter.

    With the chaos in the present election cycle one has to wonder if God is getting ready to deal with America. Micah is another book that deals with things that were or are supposed to happen in the end time and much of it already has  Isaiah talks about the towers falling 30:25, but if you read from 23-26 you might get that it is in this day and age that cattle eat cleaned feed, that it is to come to pass. Isaiah has many verses that foretell of the coming of Christ.

  It is my prayer we all have a peaceful 15th anniversary and many more in the future,

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How Dancing Lessons Could Fix America



                                            How Dancing Lessons Could Fix America


   Four or five days a week I take care of my twin four year old grand-daughters from 4 AM till 3 PM while their Mom is at work.  It gives me a chance to bond with them and saves her the babysitting money. Their Mom had to drag them out in the cold to a babysitter in the middle of winter. It really bothered me until I read the verse in First Timothy 5:3 that says, “he that does not take care of his own is worse than an infidel.”  It was when I read the definition of infidel that I realized I needed to do something. I spent thirteen years in the Army and have always believed the saying, “ Your either part of the solution or part of the problem, so either lead, follow or get out of the way.” Understanding what the Word said, where I stood and what I chose to do were on me.

     After pondering the matter for a bit I realized I needed to do something. Being seventy years old and retired was not an excuse to do nothing. Age does not change the rule. When I told my wife what I intended to do she said I was nuts. She helps me when she is here, but she is gone several months out of the year and has lots of activities that take up her time. I don’t, so it fell on me. Having spent thirteen years in the Army and twenty years driving a truck, I was not around much when our kids were growing up.  My wife pretty much carried that load till they were grown.  I always felt a little guilty about not being home, but I was making a living. Now I am not and really have no excuse not to step up to the plate.

    It was a challenge at first with both of them in pampers.  I adapted to it and now that they are out of diapers it is a lot easier. My outlook is that if I carry the ball till they start school next year I will have fulfilled my duty in life. It may go on beyond that, but having already been dead twice, I will be happy to make it that far down the road. I learned in January of 2004 at the age of 57 not to take anything for granted. I had gone from 350 pounds down to 260 pounds and was exercising regularly when I had the big one. It forced me to retire and sell my truck and equipment. Also to make a lot of changes in life I had not planned for.

     At the time it happened my youngest daughter was fighting a battle with a brain tumor.  The hidden blessing in the heart attack was that I was available to take her to radiation and chemo during the seven year battle with her tumor.  She would have been thirty-nine last Saturday. She went home to be with Lord a couple weeks before her thirty-third birthday.

        As I look at all the things going on in the world around me, especially all the shootings here in America. I have to wonder what the cause is and is there a solution?  I have come to the realization there are two reasons why. One is a lack of responsibility and the other is a lack of discipline. Both come from being raised in a Godless and non God fearing society and world.  Especially when the vast majority of the world believes in a faith that offers no salvation or respect for God created life. So in essence we need to return America to its God fearing roots.

      The Bible says, ‘I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” This verse has opened my eyes several times in the course of my life.  Recently I had a real big dose of it when I least expected it.

     My wife was gone to Texas for three weeks and I had the girls all by myself.  One day we were eating lunch and Nicole said to me, “Papaw, Emma stuck her tongue out at me.” I laughed and said we couldn’t be doing that and that we would have to cut her tongue off. Thinking that was the end of it I walked to other end of the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, I opened the drawer to get a spoon and suddenly Nicole came running up to me and grasped me around the legs and said, “It is okay. Papaw, you don’t have to cut her tongue off.” I have always tried to teach my kids that if I say I am going to do something, I am going to do it. This experience reminded me that sometimes we need to be careful what we say.

      Another time, my oldest grandson and his Mom who lived  with us were sitting in the kitchen talking about the good old days. As it was snowing and my wife was in Texas for a couple of months the conversation  got into the, “Uphill both ways in a blizzard type of stories.” Which turned into stories of things we didn’t have when we were kids. I told how I didn’t have a bathtub in the house I grew up in. We took bathes in an old metal tub in front of the coal burning stove in the kitchen and how I had to haul all the coal in everyday as one of my chores.

      Then my daughter Christina said that when she was growing up they did not have microwave ovens.  My nine year old grandson in total disbelief and totally serious said, “No way. How did you cook?” My daughter and I about lost it.

     My grandson Daniel and his Mom went on my truck with me out west. We went to Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, San Francisco, Crater Lake and after driving down the coastal highway to L.A delivering kitchen cabinets to distributors. We got a load going home via Las Vegas and stopped by the Grand Canyon on the way.  Just before entering the Park area we stopped to get ice. I got two bags and Daniel, who was eight at the time wanted to carry one of the bags. Outside the store they had a metal hitching post and I used it to break up my bag of ice before putting it in the cooler.  As I did I looked over and saw my grandson breaking up his bag of ice. It made me realize that everything we say and do is subject to being absorbed by those we come in contact with. Our walk with the Lord is not just a Sunday thing. Everything we do, all the time, is subject to interpretation by others.  Hopefully it is done in a manner that brings praise to the Lord and a good example to those watching us.

     Discipline was something I was taught early in life. Sometimes the lessons were more than I needed. I didn’t forget them and made my mind up early in life that my children would not receive the type of discipline I did. I can remember going to school one day when I was in the second grade and I was standing by my desk and did not sit down when the teacher said we could. She told me to sit down and I told her I would rather stand. When she asked why I told her my Dad had given me a whipping with a belt and that my legs were oozing and if I sat down my pants would stick to my legs and it would hurt too pull the pants loose. Something I had learned from previous whippings. She looked at me a couple minutes then said, “That is okay Richard. You can stand.”  She did not send me to the principals office or do anything else. That is just the way it was back then.

     Life has a way of going in circles. Later in life as the father of four wonderful girls the need to discipline became my responsibility.  I became very creative at it thanks to having to deal with and train soldiers in the Army who sometimes got out of line. I was taught from my time in the learning phase of military life that there are things that are worse than whippings.  My wife used lecturing the girls.  She would sit them down and start talking and sometimes it would go on for a couple of hours. It used to crack me up when I would see the girls roll their eyes and basically tune her out.  They were there physically, but mentally they left less than five minutes into the lecture.  The meanest thing I could do or say to them was, “I am going to let your Mom deal with you on this.”

     Eventually I did have to give in an use corporal punishment.  It came from an episode at the store. They were screaming and misbehaving and out of control. I was really frustrated and told them. “ When we get home you are going to get a dancing lesson.” They settled down and thought they were going to have fun when we got home.  When we did get home I took off my belt and asked them why they behaved the way they did. There were no answers.  They were focused on my belt. I don’t think I had ever hit them at that time, but I had a habit of snapping it together and threatening them when I was at wits end. I grabbed the oldest and gave her a whack with the belt and she howled. I told them their behavior at the store was unacceptable and if they ever did it again they would get another “Dancing Lesson” and that it was not a threat, it was a promise. They all four got their whack with the belt and it became the threat that would not be dismissed. If you were threatened with a Dancing Lesson, you would get one.  Even if it was hours later or even the next day. They knew if I said they were going to get one, they were in fact going to get one.  When they got older and I told them to go to their Mom, a couple times they asked me if I would just go ahead and give them their whack. My answer depended on the offense.

     They all grew up to be good people and Dancing Lessons have been passed on down through the generations. It is kind of a family thing. It still has the same effect and has made me realize that the lack of Dancing Lessons in America is probably half the problem we have today.

      I am into gourds and decided to take my great-grand daughters and their Mom with me to the state gourd show.  They have craft programs for the kids and it was my first time out in public with them. They were wild and unruly.  I told them when we got home that we were going to have a talk. It went much like the lecture my children received almost forty years ago.  I will say that I can talk to them now and they will settle down.  They listen to me and that is all I ask of them.

       The Bible says “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” I prefer to say, “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” Do not make idle threats and use the rod to emphasize what you say. It works and it is something this generation needs to learn along with learning the book the saying comes from and getting to know its author in a personal way. It is a book that says what it means and means what it says. You can take that to the bank.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Comprehensive Two Part Gun Solution



                                 Comprehensive Two Part Gun Solution


       Controlling the size or type of weapons will not reduce the crime level in America.  Several serial killers and mass murderers in American history never used a gun.  Jeffrey Dahmer, Timothy McVeigh and the 9/11 terrorist never used guns to inflict injury.  They fell through the cracks in the system back then and still would.  As far as I am concerned they can have an Abrams Tank as long as they are willing to cough up the fees for the permits and have a legal right to own a gun.

      The weirdos and wackos who are intent on committing a crime will do so regardless of the laws.  Just like Americans who use drugs.  If they want them they will get them.  A large portion of the killings in America are crimes of passion and they could be reduced considerably if the party involved knew they were going to pay steeply for their actions.  England and Japan are a perfect example of that fact.

       Why a two part solution? One part deals with the death and carnage that guns cause in our country and to save lives. That is a totally seperate issue from gun controls. I deal with both issues seperately, both, however, boil down to respect for human life.

     The real problem is a lack of respect for life and authority in America. All lives matter.  Yes even black lives matter. To fix the gun problem America needs to deal with the real problem.  Today in America there is a lack of willingness to accept blame or to assign blame.  The standard is to give everybody a break, especially criminals.  The gun problem needs to be dealt with by Federal laws.  The right to have a gun is given in the Constitution to all American citizens and should therefore be a Federal offense. Those not born in the USA should not be entitled to that right unless they are naturalized citizens who have sworn and allegiance to the United States. Just because someone is visiting America should not give them the rights of Americans guaranteed under the Constitution. That is not unfair as convicted felons no longer have the right to own a gun. I have been told that in some states they allow felons to only have muzzle loading weapons after a criminal conviction as it is what they had at the time of the Constitution's writing.

     England has a population of about sixty three million people, but they supposedly only had fifty eight shooting deaths last year.  In America almost 400 were killed by cops alone.  While America has five times the population England has.  We have over eight thousand shooting deaths a year. That is over one hundred and thirty times the amount shooting deaths England has.  Police in England do not even carry guns. That may have changed with all the terrorism today. The question is why so big a difference. The police officers in England perceive their duty as maintaining the safety of their fellow citizens, not defending the state.  It boils down to respect for life.

     The punishment system needs to be modified to reflect the seriousness of owning and using guns.  There needs to be a set punishment for certain crimes.  They need to be enforced with no plea bargains being allowed.  You commit the crime, you do the time.  My views may be harsh but they are fair if they are enforced without favor.  These laws all need to be Federal crimes and punishment done in the Federal prison system. Proof that you had a gun is all that is required to be sentences. Period

     So how do we make room for all the new prisoners without building new prisons. America needs to decriminalize marijuana which is not the same as legalizing it. It simply makes it not a crime to have or grow it.  Alcohol is not illegal, but it is still regulated. Marijuana and all drugs grown from seed should be decriminalized. If you want to take the time to grow your own you should be allowed to. Native Americans are not allowed their religious freedom as the government has criminalized the plants they use in their ceremonies.  Prohibition should have taught us something. Decriminalizing alcohol and making it legal ended the mob violence. Legalization took the profit out of it for everyone except the government. Making laws against nature is almost as asinine as the politicians that pass them. You might check Genesis 1:29 and the Declaration of Independence and see that all plants from seed are a God given right.  Removing people from the prison system who have an addiction and treating them for it will make plenty of room in the prison system.  Then you will have room for the criminals who deserve to be there.

    The following laws would go a long ways towards a realistic solution. Ending the Wild West attitude in America would be a step in the right direction. There was a time when guns were needed. That time has passed. We also need to get our government out of the killing business. All lives matter, even foreign ones. The very first rule is that there are no plea bargains. You commit the crime, you do the time, period. 

     Why do I have such an attitude?  I knew a young man who at the age of 14 with two friends shot and killed his grandmother so they could go for a joy ride in her car. He was incarcerated in the state system as a minor and because of Indiana law, when he turned 18 he was released.  Just after he turned twenty he went back to prison for killing his employer.  He was an easy going and soft spoken kid and I did not believe he did the first murder and that his friends had set him up. The second murder proved I was wrong. Another young man I knew beat a man, there was no gun, severely.  He got a sixty year sentence and his victim is out living a normal life. The system definitely needs some reworking and making all gun related crimes Federal Crimes would be a step in that direction.

1.  Commission of a crime with a gun should be a Federal offense and should carry a minimum of a life sentence. Regardless if anyone is injured.  Just the presence of the gun at the time of the crime would require enforcement.  The word will get out quick and attitudes will change. (Japan has such a law and has virtually no gun murders)

2.  Shooting someone in the commission of a crime would carry a life sentence with no chance of parole.   

3.  If anyone is killed in the commission of a crime the minimum sentence is life in prison without the chance of parole. Number three may sound harsh but the victim who is shot does not get a second chance at life.  Knowing there is a set penalty for a crime might stop some from committing a crime, but not all. I worked my way through college tending bar in a private club and knew many customers who had DWI's and no license and continued to drive. Which proves to me that the only real solution is to remove the problem from society, or it will happen again and again. Till someone is dead. My preference would be capital punishment for crimes which take a life, with execution within twelve months of sentencing so we do not put the burden on society for the criminal’s action.  Would you want the person who kills you to go on enjoying his life at the expense to your family in the form of higher taxes?

4.  Anyone who possesses, uses, or transfers a licensed weapon without a proper permit and title transfer will receive a minimum five year sentence.

Number four means if a person with no background check, no permit to own a licensed weapon or with a criminal record is in possession of a gun they can be charged.

5.  Threatening a person with bodily harm while using a weapon of any kind is grounds for a ten year prison sentence.

The only exemption from these punishments is an act of self-defense to preserve a life.

                                           Part II

This second part deals with gun ownership.


Guns should be broken into two categories or classes of guns.                      1. Constitutionally allowed guns or type 1 and  Licensed guns or type 2

Constitutional or type one guns should have no conditions to owning them or how many you can own.  This class includes muzzle loaders, bolt action, lever action, shotguns and revolvers.  All weapons that must be loaded or cocked between shots would be in this category.

 This nation was liberated from England with single shot weapons and it was preserved as a nation with single shot weapons.  Single shot weapons properly handled can save a life or shoot game to provide for the needs of the hunters family.  Generally these are not the weapons chosen for mass murders.  They are often used in crimes of passion however.  These guns should not require a permit or a license of any kind.  This would preserve the rights granted under the Constitution.  These would be called Constitutional or Type One Weapons.

     The second class would be licensed weapons.

     All semi-automatic pistols and rifles, and all automatic weapons should require a permit/license for ownership.  These would all be considered class two guns.
(We require a license to drive a car, and proof of age to acquire alcohol.  Both of which often take lives, just like a gun.) The permit should require both a background check and mental evaluation.  It should be kept on permanent record.  All of these weapons should be licensed just like a car with a minimal annual fee.  They should have a certificate of title and the title should be changed anytime ownership of the said weapon takes place.

    Anyone having three or more weapons should be classed as a collector. Collectors should be required to keep all their weapons under lock and key.  The weapons and the ammunition including magazines should be required to be in separate storage units each having its own key.

    Some of the funds raised by this program could be used to teach gun awareness and handling in the schools.  This would reinforce the understanding of why we have a second amendment.  It could be combined with an understanding of the


American Constitution and history. The classes should also teach ethics and values and the sanctity of human life when using guns.

   Finally and mainly the funds could be used to put bullet proof doors on American Schools and classrooms.  A card lock system that restricts the entrance to any school except by a designated door should be put in place.  The system should be able to lock all classrooms from the main offices.  A system similar to those used in most motels and hotels in America should be installed.  This could be used to restrict intruders from entering a classroom without the proper card.

     This system does not take away any rights.  It does provide for a system of control and accountability as to who has weapons.  Penalties could be put in place for having a weapon without the proper paperwork also.  The system of permits and licenses could be put in place retroactively without violating the Constitution or the ex post facto laws.  Slaves were long term held property and their status was changed by use of the Constitution and all were freed.  Regardless of their standing before the war, all blacks received freedom.  This would be similar in nature. The ex post facto laws should not apply

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

JESUS SAID IT, NOT ME


                       JESUS SAID IT, NOT ME



  .  With all the evil, death and destruction we see daily in the news, it has to make us wonder why it is happening.  To make it simple, it is happening because Jesus said it would happen.  Jesus quoted a lot of the prophets and events from the Old Testament.  In fact he quoted two of the most controversial characters of the Old Testament validating the references to them that many today say are not real.  He said only one sign would be given, “The sign of Jonah.”  He also said what it would be like in that time. He said it would be as it was in the days of Noah. He mentions marriages and feasts, but if we go to Genesis it is plain and clear that this day and age is very much like Noah’s days.  Genesis 6:5, and 6:11-13 tell what it was like.  Mankind was evil and the earth was filled with violence.  That does sound a little like this day and age.

     A lot of the focus is on ISIS and rightfully so.  However the evil and terrorist activities in a America are not all focused on or around Islam.  Waco, Oklahoma City, Columbine, and numbers of other events have nothing to do with Islam, but they do have to do with twisted and perverted views of or about religion. America has had as many or more attacks by Americans as it has by Islamic extremists.  As America continues to fall away from its Christian roots the problem will continue to grow.  The moral foundations are eroding.  That is plain to see for anyone that has read the Bible. It states clearly God will give people over to a reprobate way of life.  Reprobate basically means depraved and that is a good description of the world we live in today.

    While those things are bad enough there are other things that will be happening.  There will be two witnesses to the end time and they will not be saying things that make most of the world very happy. It says they will testify or witness for three and a half years and then they will be killed. That is totally believable especially in the present environment in the Middle East.  Surviving that long may be the real challenge. Fortunately it tells us where they will testify, Jerusalem, and that the whole world will hear them.  That part of the prophecy could not have happened till the last twenty years or so. One of the things I find interesting in Jesus prophecies of the end time in Matthew 24 is that he starts by saying people shall hear of wars in verse 6, but when he gets to verse 15 he switches from hearing to seeing. I do not think it is an accident. To me it shows the change from then to now and brings his message into our time.

     There will also be an earthquake at some point that will be like none ever before it. The Bible says that. In fact it was Jesus that said it, so you can pretty much take it to the bank. I have a couple links on that topic.  It is scary as it is suppose too kill a third part of mankind.  That is a pretty serious earthquake, but after the tsunami we saw in 2004 and as many people as live close to the oceans it is a distinct possibility.

    The Bible makes clear that we will see much tribulation before the end comes. The key is holding onto our faith as we see the world falling apart around us. If you believe in a Left Behind series of events, you may be in some serious trouble. The only way to survive is to have a personal relationship with God through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. The only way to really “know” God is to know His Word, because His Word was made flesh and the Bible testifies of him.  We do not get to make our own rules, or pick and choose like it is a smorgasbord. We need to read it all and let him give a discerning spirit to our hearts so that we may know that whatever is coming.  He is with us till the end, if we are with Him.  The Left Behind series is not the Bible and is  only a writer's imaginary view of the end times, while it is good reading, it is weak on facts.

   The only thing I am saying in all this is that I believe the time is short. Does that make me right? Not even on a good day.  It does mean that when Luke 21:31 says you see “all these things” coming to pass it is time to start looking up and make sure our hearts are right with the Lord and if there is anybody we really care about, which should be everybody, then we need to share the love of Christ with them and start fulfilling the Great Commission in Matthew 28: 19-20.

    If you have been putting off getting to know the Lord, or sharing your knowledge with others, it may be time to start acting on what your instincts are telling you to do.  The evil in this world is hard to overcome and it is a challenge to separate ourselves from it. I used to look at terrorism and say well that is just how they live over there.  After the San Fernando attack two things changed for me. One it is not just over there and secondly and more evil to me is the fact the two who killed all those people worked with the people for a period of time.  They killed indiscriminately black, white, Asian, preachers, women and men. It was no longer an accidental random killing.  These people deliberately chose to kill the people they associated with every day at work. It made me realize there are two things Islam does not have that Christianity does. It does not allow for a personal relationship with God, nor does it offer the hope of salvation, and certainly no respect for God’s created beings. Instead its focus is on hate and destroying anything they do not understand. Like Mad Dogs they bite anything and everything. The bombings in the Middle East are both senseless and mindless acts that pervert the teachings of both the Bible and the Koran.  Fortunately we were warned by Jesus that it would be this way in the last days. So the only question is are these the last days?  If not we can be sure of one thing, things are going to get worse if we do not get serious about fulfilling the Great Commission and teaching that there is a better way. Thank God.