I Can’t Help But Wonder…

There are so many things seemingly going wrong at this point in history, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with it all.  We are bombarded daily with the latest scandal, the latest crime, the latest business failure, the latest forecast of bleakness in any number of areas…and yet NOTHING ever seems to change for the better.  

So that got me to thinking, maybe that is WHY we’re being bombarded.  To keep us distracted like a shifty 3-card Monty scammer working a rube.

For example, when was the last time you heard anything about Sam Bankman-Fried?  Major, massive scandal.  Lost (stole) BILLIONS of dollars – much of which went to political donations.  Corruption and deceit the likes of which we might see once in a generation.   Wall to Wall news and punditry coverage at first, until the political and academic connections came to light and then…crickets.

How about the Twitter Files?  Even if all the information that was released WAS “cherry picked”, it still exposed our government as highly unethical and deceiving, if not outright criminal and operating clearly outside their bounds.  At taxpayer expense, no less.  A couple congressional hearings later and again, crickets.

Just off the top of my head in the last year we’ve got the border situation, the whole (extremely gross and pathetic) Biden family saga (son’s laptop, daughter’s diary, brother’s shady “business”, and ol’ puddin’ head Joe ON CAMERA AND BRAGGING about using his influence as VP to call off the dogs that were investigating his son’s “employer” amongst other things). We’ve got citizens still locked up TWO YEARS LATER without trial over a protest of the the shadiest election ever held in our country, and the ONE GUY seen repeatedly and often encouraging and enticing other protesters to break laws is walking around free and they are trying really hard to make him out to be a victim. 

We’ve seen the beginning dominoes fall in what is sure to be another banking meltdown.  All followed by calls of “All is Well!”, while our  “leaders” are caught red-handed selling off stocks – just in time, I might add – to avoid personal losses.  Then to add insult to injury,  the mega banks buy up the good stuff for pennies on the dollar and leave the toxic stuff for the taxpayers to swallow.  And then the Fed bumps up interest rates again.

We’ve got near daily reports of racially motivated violence, enough homeless people to fill a mid-sized city, massive amounts of drugged out zombies wandering the cities causing filth and danger to skyrocket.  Store after store after store are closing up shop due to unfettered theft and violence toward their staff.

Then of course there is history’s biggest money laundering scheme happening over in Ukraine, where US taxpayers watch their money evaporate into the ether while the Ukrainian elite run around in Bentleys and live an insanely lavish life, while everything around them goes to hell. Not to mention pulling us ever closer to World War III.

Then we have the ever increasing culture wars brewing here at home.  Americans by and large (obviously not all, duh) are respectful and tolerant of others, UNTIL you start making demands of them.  That’s where we are now,  the fringe elements are demanding EVERYBODY bend to their will and support their ways, while simultaneously espousing hate and intolerance for anyone that doesn’t. Quite ironic in my humble opinion.

All this yammering about the “climate crisis” (I’m not sure if that is the correct term this week, it’s changed so many times since the 1980s I’ve lost count) and yet we’re allowing MILLIONS of people to come here with no way to house, feed or employ them all as they help further deplete what natural resources we have.  Pushing all electric EVERYTHING when we don’t have nearly the electric grid capacity for anywhere near the growth of use they are demanding.

I could go on and on and on, I’m afraid.  All these have just been stream-of-consciousness, off the top of my head.  My point being,  OF COURSE we can’t solve all this right now.  It’s simply too much and too divergent.  

To solve problems, you have to have FOCUS.  You need time to think.  Even when you have a “solution”, those take time, energy,  resources to implement.   And you have to have the WILL to stick to the program and see things through.  You have to be willing to change things up when a plan isn’t working the way you thought it would.  You have to work around unseen obstacles and deal with unintended consequences. You must commit to solving the problem.

Even IF we had honest, commited local, state and federal governments (which we absolutely do NOT!), even IF they got together and prioritized all this mess, and decided “OK. We’re going to start with this ONE thing, and everything else can wait” there are so many interwoven issues, it would take a lifetime to unravel it all.

And so NOTHING happens, except more and more crap heaped upon We the People.

The Progressives hate the Moderates, the MAGAs hate the neocons, the liberals hate the conservatives… And vice-versa. But overall the battle between the extremes on BOTH sides are driving lots of people into “Independent” because they don’t want anything to do with either side of these whackadoos.  But when most of the government’s “work” is directed towards the two extreme ends of the divide, the important stuff that MOST of us actually care about gets put on the back burner, tossed aside for later or just completely ignored.  Which in turn makes people angrier, more distressed, LESS compassionate, and more unwilling to compromise.   Wash, rinse and repeat.

The way I see it, either our “leaders” are so inept and worthless, that they are simply incapable of fixing things OR they are so corrupt and self centered, that they are driving the populace to madness in order to tear up the rule book and turn us into something other than what our country was founded to be.  Either way, we peons lose.

Identity politics are for a people that have nothing else to worry about.  That ain’t us.  There are mounting problems – major, life changing problems – that will effect ALL OF US.  Whether you are a gung-ho warhawk that thinks the USA should be overthrowing regimes, a bearded lady, a kale-munching, whale hugging neo-hippie, a staunch constitutional adherent, an An-Cap, a trad wife or a professional leftist agitator… we ALL gotta eat.  We’d all like to have a roof over our heads.  We don’t want to feel like our lives are in danger when we step foot into a city, or a church or a movie theater.  We’d like to feel like our representatives actually represent US rather than corporations and special interests…  But instead of focusing on the basics, we’re fighting over pronouns and “hate” speech and a bunch of other crap that means nothing in the big scheme of things. 

Our country, and many others honestly,  are in for a world of hurt.  It’s beyond past time to out aside these idiotic, petty differences and focus on the basics.  Real, honest food.  Clean, potable water.  A robust infrastructure,  free from crumbling bridges and pothole ridden streets.  Reasonable, basic education- reading, writing, arithmetic  AND civics.  Public safety.  A medical system that cares for patients more than pharmaceutical companies. Everything else is gravy.  And it can wait.

We have people making laws and passing regulations on things that they have NO working knowledge of.  And a complicit media machine cheering them on.

For instance, my idiotic state passed regulations on fluorescent bulbs, essentially outlawing them as of next year.  Did the jackasses making this regulation take into account just how many fluorescent light fixtures there are in California?  They couldn’t possibly know.  In my facility, which is only about a millions square feet, we have over 4,000 fluorescent fixtures still, after doing multiple LED conversion projects over the last 5 years.  That is ONE facility, in one city.  Basically, they set up a regulation that CANNOT be met in their time-line.  Even if it could be done logistically, think of the MILLIONS of dollars required to implement it – many small businesses and smaller landlords simply can’t afford it – imagine the sheer amount of waste product generated by doing this, some of it toxic.  So we’ll have tens of millions of new light fixtures required, the vast majority of which will come from China AND thousands of tons of waste going into the landfill sites, all on the name of being “sustainable”.  Will all those fluorescent replacements then allow the capacity for charging tens of thousands of new electric cars, now that gasoline powered vehicles will also be banned from sale in a couple short years?  Not bloody likely,  especially considering how much high density housing the state is forcing every municipality to shove into every nook and cranny.  The whole thing is a slow motion disaster unfolding before our very eyes, and there doesn’t seem to be a damn thing we can do about it.  The blind leading the stupid in the race to the bottom.

I may be old fashioned, in that I still believe in American ideals.  I’m not naive enough to believe that America hasn’t done some bad, really bad things in the past, but I don’t believe that defines us as a nation either. A nation is defined by it’s people,  not it’s government.  We are far from perfect, no question, but our FOUNDATION allows us to be the greatest,  most freedom oriented nation the world has ever seen.  We’ve sadly lost sight of that.  Our “leaders” sold all that promise out from under us and we let it happen.

As I’ve mentioned before, at my core I’m an optimist. I don’t believe we’ve come to the end of the American experiment. But I DO believe we are fast approaching sink or swim time. Do we want our grandchildren to inherit a bastion of freedom and opportunity or another failed state like South Africa or Venezuela?

We need to come together as countrymen, put aside the petty squabbles and hold the feet of our “leaders” to the fire. We the People are THEIR employers, and it’s high time we start reminding them of this fact.

The time for going along to get along has passed. That’s how we got into this mess in the first place. Right is right and wrong is wrong and we need to stop pretending otherwise. Likewise, your bad decisions are not everyone’s problem. If you screw up, own it, change it and move on with your life in a more positive way. We MUST stop relying on the government goons to take care of us. They clearly are not up to the task anyhow.

We’re Americans, we have a proud and fierce History. Our ancestors changed the world against all odds. It is time to remember their faces and pick up where they left off.

My apologies for the rant. This wasn’t what I had in mind when I started writing, it just kinda took on a life of its own. I’ve been in a horrible funk for the last couple months and I guess it just came to a head. Nonetheless, I stand by it. Nobody is “coming to save us”, and it could be argued that they are actively trying to take us down. It is up to us – you, me, everyone that considers themselves an American, to turn the tide and return to civility, order and common sense.

Thanks for stopping by!

My state of mind, summed up with memes…

I’m still struggling to stop the carousel of disbelief in my head, trying to make sense of where “civilization” is headed. At my core I’m an optimist, but WOW! It’s like the world has collectively lost it’s mind…

I wish my father had this talk with me…
Without OUR consent, the gov’t ONLY has force as an option.
I do not consent. These jackals do not represent me or anyone I know.
And slandered, ruined, cancelled…
Something they will NEVER teach you in government schools.
Why isn’t this common knowledge? Clearly our “leaders” didn’t get the memo.
Don’t believe it? Compare the US covid lockdowns to the lockdowns in Australia.
Maybe violence isn’t the answer. Until all other options have been exhausted that is. Evil doesn’t simply go away.
I’m not a twit, so I don’t really know if Twitter is still working fine, but I know without doubt that the government ISN’T. I say that gov’t employee reduction is a good place to start.
Yes, I’m angry. But if I were a vet, I’d be seething about now.
It’s always darkest before the dawn, they say…

As the mad-dash escalates this week…

Keep this in mind when you’re facing lunatic drivers, overly congested parking lots and long lines that move at a snail’s pace…

The last few years have been so weird that it seems like people are going out of their way to make up for lost time the Christmas, which I can understand. But becoming a stressed out mess in an effort to “get back to normal” is defeating the true purpose and meaning of Christmas.

Take a breath. Relax. Love your loved ones. Enjoy your time together if you’re lucky enough to have someone to spend the holiday with.

And most importantly, be nice to your fellow humans. Everyone I know could use a dose or two of kindness bestowed upon them, it’s been a rough year.

Just my 2 cents…

Thanks for stopping by!

This says it all…

Just posting this for anybody out there that still thinks we have actual journalists and journalism on “mainstream” networks. We do not. We have highly paid parrots with ZERO credibility. We are being force-fed a “narrative” that has no basis in reality.

I think the best solution is to simply turn them off. Forever. Once the ratings drop, the financial faucet gets shut off, and maybe, just maybe we’ll witness the return of actual news. Someday.

A guy can dream, can’t he?

Thanks for stopping by.

On Voting.

I don’t make a habit of discussing politics, and I don’t plan to spew a bunch of nonsense here about any particular party or agenda. This is just my two cents on the subject overall, and how I came to my individual stance on things.

Growing up, political discussion was not something that happened in my house. I knew my father was a Republican and that my mother was registered as such as well. Later I came to know that Mom sometimes “voted differently” than Pops. But that was pretty much it. My father and I had exactly ONE conversation about party affiliation, after I’d come home at 18 and told him I’d just registered to vote. “Who’d you register with?”, he asked. “The Democrats”, I replied. “Oh. Your Grandfather would be proud of you.” he said in return and walked away. Thus ended our only political discussion.

Considering there was virtually no political discussion in the home when I was growing up, and that I grew up in the SF Bay Area, it’s not surprising that I’d be drawn towards the Democrat party. Keep in mind that my first real exposure to national politics was with Ronnie Reagan, which I thought was a joke…until he won. Then I started to see him as dangerous and a phony. Everyone talked about how wonderful he was, calling him “the Great Communicator”, but to me – just entering my teens – I got the same feeling watching him as I did watching the TV Evangelists that were so prevalent at the time. It all seemed like an act. His folksy, down-home demeanor was a schtick. The “just say no” campaign his crypt-keeper of a wife kept cramming down everyone’s throats was absurd. His coziness with “the Moral Majority” was concerning to say the least, but his “I don’t remember” line of gratuitous lies during the Iran-Contra hearings cemented him in my list of charlatans.

It was mid- way through his second term when I was of legal age to vote, and my first presidential vote was against Reagan’s VP, George H.W. Bush who sadly won. I loathed that president, to the point of considering leaving the US when he started his money laundering scheme in Iraq. I was not about to die for oil.

Bill Clinton was the first presidential candidate that I actually got excited about, so much so that I took time off from work to go see a campaign stop. (I never did see him BTW, waited for 2 hrs AFTER the scheduled start time of his appearance, and he still hadn’t shown up, so I left feeling let down, but I still voted for the guy.)

I was elated at first with Clinton. Energy and enthusiasm were high. The nation seemed to be changing, moving in the “right direction” and for the first time in my life I had some financial stability. Things were looking up. Then the bottom fell out. Scandals, impeachment, “it depends on what your definition of the word is, is”… life as I knew it was over. Another charlatan.

It was during the Al Gore campaign that my world view was shattered. A good friend of mine at the time, a fellow Democrat – and one the smartest people I’ve ever known, to this day – opened my eyes to the corruption of “our side” and I was never able to be a “party line” voter after that, even though I still considered myself a Democrat.

When George “Dubya” Bush was elected I first became suspicious of the whole elections thing. Remember the ‘hanging chads’ in Florida? It was inconceivable to me that the nation would choose Dubya over VP Gore, even in spite of his own flaws. Nevertheless, I was still firmly on the Dems side. My view of the Republicans was that they were liars and warmongers (Dick Cheney, anyone?) and cared only about power and money.

Thus far in my life , I’d felt firmly on the “losing” side politically, and honestly it was disheartening. The *other side seemed so corrupt and out-of-touch, I didn’t think it was possible that the elections were honest and true. I felt there HAD to be corruption, that somebody behind the curtain was making selections and just letting us poor saps think we had a voice.

Just as things were becoming so bleak, we suddenly had the bright light of “Hope and Change”! I was suspicious as could be about Barack, he seemingly appeared out of nowhere, and had virtually no experience. But I freely admit, I was won over by his rhetoric. I truly BELIEVED in what he was saying. I believed in America. When he won the election, I actually believed it was going to usher in a new ” enlightenment” period in our history and we would finally see a return to reason and national pride.

Yeah, that didn’t exactly work out as I thought and I couldn’t bring myself to vote for him a second time. Where I had felt letdown by Clinton, I felt absolutely betrayed by Obama.

I was during Obama’s presidency that I was frequently on a few different forums online that leaned to the right. My thought being “know thy enemy” kinda thing. I wanted to see behind the scenes, I wanted to know what the right leaning people were saying, not the so-called leaders. And it was a huge eye opener. I soon realized that I had a lot more in common with the right side than I ever could have imagined. And it gave me a completely different view of what was going on with the left side as well. I was starting to wake up to the fact that I’d been bamboozled my entire life. I was opening my mind to different points of view once I got off the steady diet of MSM “news”.

When the Clinton vs. Trump election was held, I “held my nose” and choked down the bile and voted D once again. I could not vote for yet another phony, whom I viewed as a Grade A Bullshit artist and a vulgar egomaniac. To be honest, when Trump won, I thought well, “its nice poke in the eye to the establishment, and how bad could it be? That’s what happens when you try to ‘anoint’ a president that isn’t wanted.”

All in all, I don’t think Trump was nearly as bad as he was made out to be. Yes, he’s crass, he’s a bit of a bully, and I do believe he was out of his depth in a lot of ways, but as far as the Country performed, it wasn’t all that bad. And if the obstructionists hadn’t been on his heels and in his grill 24/7 since before he was even inaugurated, he might have actually been OK.

When he ran again, I didn’t vote for him once again, but I would not, could not vote for Biden. I did a write-in vote for the first time in my life, for Tulsi Gabbard. My own personal poke in the eye to the establishment. What the DNC did to her during her primary run was unconscionable and vile. While I don’t think she’s the be-all, end-all candidate I did believe she was the best chance our country had to get past the Trump era.

A combination of things happened along the way that finally convinced me to abandon the Democratic Party, and I did so prior to the last Presidential election. I registered as an Independent in 2018, and I am glad I did.

Been there…

What I thought was their ideals – looking out for the ‘little guy’, fairness, live and let live policies, funding social needs over military industrial complex priorities… it all turned out to be a bunch of lies.

I don’t know if the “left” has just drastically, dramatically changed course over the last 35 years, or if they were always like this and I just didn’t see it, but I cannot stand with pretty much anything the Democrats stand for these days.

I’ve been on the losing side most of my voting life, and that never really bothered me. I figured small victories here and there would push us eventually to a “better place”.

I don’t know about you, but what I see in the news, what I see with my own two eyes every single time I go to San Jose or to San Francisco…it’s pretty much all bad news.

The powers that be always say if they just had some more money, then they could finally fix things…but they’ve been taking more and more, year after year, and the problems compound year after year. What they are doing clearly isn’t working. On any level.

I recognize that this post has focused only on the Presidential races, and tomorrow has nothing to do with that. Nonetheless, the point remains. The people that are currently “running the show” are doing a terrible job. Tomorrow is their performance evaluation, and YOU are their boss. Don’t forget that.

They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but for the last 6 years or so, the only squeaky wheels have come from the extreme fringes of our country. It’s time us “normal”, everyday folks that work for a living start squeaking. And loudly. The first step is to ignore your “party”, and LOOK at the evidence of the job your incumbents have done. If they bear any responsibility for the current state of affairs we’re in, it’s time to terminate their employment. They can always learn to code, right?

For me personally, I’ll be voting against any and all propositions that require so much as .001% of a penny in tax increases. I don’t care what the “cause”, our government have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are incapable of both managing a budget AND getting positive returns on OUR investments. Likewise, I will be voting against any and all candidates and propositions that are endorsed by any, and I do mean any, trade union.

That’s just me. Vote your own conscience, based on your own conclusions. Just please, for the love of all that is Holy, abandon “party line” voting. It’s leading us to ruin.

Thanks for stopping by. Now go vote.

Got I.D.?

As we head into this July 4th weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of our country, and the state of our populace. These last couple weeks (and let’s face it, years!) we have seen and heard much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and some spectacular twisting of logic by both our so-called representatives and media pundits. America these days is in a sad state of affairs.

The America I was born into was still widely considered to be a “melting pot”, which to my adolescent mind meant just that – the people of the world were all mixed together-melted into a big pot of America, to become American. 

To me, American people didn’t have a color or a religion.   They had ALL the colors and religions, and that was all good.  One nation under God, INDIVISIBLE.

I can vividly remember the Bicentennial celebrations of 1976, yes there were certainly problems in our country (the Nixon/Ford years) but as Americans, we all came together to celebrate the duration – against all odds, I might add – of our country for 200 years!  It is hard to describe the general feeling of the time; it is so completely foreign to how people operate in America now, it would come off almost as a fairy tale.  But yes, there was UNITY.   We were celebrating America and proud to be American. I’ve haven’t seen or felt any such unity as Americans since then.

Growing up there were of course cases of ethnic pride.  You’d see bumper stickers, t-shirts and ball caps with things like “Proud to be Italian” or “Kiss me, I’m Irish”…  little things that pointed to something that made the wearer of said things stand out, or to just show pride for their ancestors and in their ancestry.   But above all, we were all AMERICANS.   If you asked Eddy Spaghetti (a made up, fictional name to make a point) “what are you?”, you would get something along the lines of, “American, but my family came over from Genoa 3 generations back”, or some variation of that theme.  Most people seemed proud of their roots, but they identified as Americans of “x” ancestry.  

It wasn’t long after that “political correctness” and the dreaded hyphen began to rend the fabric of America. We’re now 3, maybe 3 1/2 decades into what I’d consider the American Identity Crisis.(c)

I’ll be honest and say I don’t understand the ubiquitous “Hyphen-American”.  In the mid to late 1980’s,  when we as a nation were first admonished to refer to all black folks as “African-American”, I thought,  “well, that’s dumb…”  What about black folks from the U.K.?  What about black folks from the Caribbean?  From Brazil?  But what really started rubbing me the wrong way, was when everyone under the sun jumped on the bandwagon. Before you know it, we were cajoled into using only Mexican-American, and then Asian-American to add to the mix. But that wasn’t “good enough”, they cried, it isn’t DEVISIVE ENOUGH!! Evidently referring to someone as Asian-American is offensive, so they need to be sub-divided into Chinese/Japanese/Korean/Filipino/Indonesian-American categories… And then there are all the rivalries amongst the Central and South American folks, that don’t want to be lumped in with the “Mexican-American” moniker, and whatever you do, don’t refer to them as Latinx! Or maybe ONLY refer to them with that term? It changes so often, it’s hard to keep track of all the infighting. And to what end?

I’ve been watching all this for decades now, and I swear it gets stupider every time you turn around. The exact same thing that happened with “African-American” happened with LGB, which morphed into LBGTQ and now I believe contains nearly the entire alphabet, and some punctuation marks added for good measure. Every little obscure niche demands to be included in every stupid club. Again I ask, to what end?

I don’t mean to be offensive, I really don’t. I’m sure if anyone is reading this, then someone is offended. It seems virtually impossible to utter more than a single syllable these days without offending somebody, somewhere. But I’m not sorry for saying it. The media and government have been pushing division for a long time now, and rather than reject it, most people not only embraced it, they started throwing fuel on the fire, until we find ourselves in the place we are now as a nation. And what have ANY of these “marginalized” groups gained from this, aside from the animosity of every other group? Zilch. Zero. Nothing.

Honestly the entire thing just seems silly to me. If you are American, why do you need to use the little extra descriptive words? Especially if you were BORN here. If you consider yourself whatever it is they call folks from where your ancestors came from, then own it and just drop the American part. “American” isn’t a race, a color, a religion. America is a belief in personal freedom. America is a place to shape your own future. America is the place where you can speak your mind without fear of punishment. At least, it USED to be before basement dwelling SJWs, their Karen parents and social media came along… But I digress.

America only provides an OPPORTUNITY to WORK for whatever in the world makes you happy. America doesn’t owe you, me or anybody ANYTHING.

Our government, for the last few decades, has been decidedly un-American in its pursuit to divide the populace and we’ve been falling for it, hook, line and sinker. We can be better as the HUMAN RACE, without being crammed into a bunch of little separate boxes. The thing is, while each and every one of us is unique as an individual, you aren’t “special”, because of what you “identify” as. Likewise, if you ACCOMPLISH something that does indeed make you a standout, someone actually “special”, your race/ethnicity is completely, utterly irrelevant. Should someone discover say, a cure for cancer, does that discovery become more important because the scientist was blue, green, or purple? Of course not, the discovery is the important thing, the person that discovered it IS special to all of mankind, but the race/gender/orientation is irrelevant TO the discovery.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure everyone has their “something” that sets them apart, that makes them feel special…but in the big scheme of things? Not so much. We all have more in common than not. We all need air to breathe. We all need food and water. We all feel discomfort when too hot or too cold, we all get sick from time to time. We all are looking for security in our person and home. We all laugh, we all get angry… We all want our kids to succeed and have a strong future. We all want a better, cleaner world. I could keep going but I think I’ve made my point. There isn’t one single thing listed above that has anything to do with ethnicity, religion, orientation or any other “marker” you want to try on.

Maybe it’s because I’ve always considered myself a mutt, with a varied assortment of ancestry, that I don’t ascribe to identity politics. But the bottom line is, I was born in this country, my folks and their folks were born in this country, and I am an American, full stop. Not a Dutch-American, not a French-American, not a German-American, nor any of the other crumbs I’ve got swimming around in the ol’ DNA. And really, what difference does it make anyway? Other than (maybe) to persons in your same “group”, I’m pretty confident that NOBODY cares what you “identify” as. Unless they are USING YOU as a tool for their own purposes, that is. Don’t be a sucker. Be American, think for yourself, forge your own path, and make your own decisions. If you’re feeling so insecure in yourself that you feel compelled to align yourself with one of these identity politics groups, STOP. Take a breath. Then focus on things you can do to build YOUR self-esteem. That’s what you’re looking for after all, a way to feel better about yourself and your place in this crazy world, right?!?

Take a minute over the holiday weekend to reflect on what WE are celebrating. We are celebrating INDEPENDENCE DAY. The 4th of July is but a date, the reason for the celebration is INDEPENDENCE. We’ve forgotten that thanks to the “marketing” over the last few decades. Independence Day isn’t ABOUT BBQ, beer and fireworks. It’s about standing up against tyranny, it’s about bravery, it’s about self determination.

Labels are for products. You are not a product.

Identity politics are for imbeciles.

Do yourself a favor, ditch the hyphen!

Thanks for reading!

More “training”…

So last week (give or take – been so busy it’s all a blur these days) I wrote a blurb about going through CPR/AED training. It was great to get my recertification, and even if the instructor was less than stellar, the material was VALUABLE and I felt it was a really good use of my time.

Today, I had to go through – and I swear I’m not making this up – “Unconscious Bias” training.

Suffice it to say, 2.5 hours of my life I will never get back and not only did I not learn anything of value, I’m actually irritated that I was forced to go through this excersize for no other reason than to check yet another box on the Home Office’s “woke corporations” checklist.

Hmm, I’m both male and Caucasian…I wonder what I will be taught in this class?

They gave us this disclaimer:

So I gave them these responses:

“Allyship”? Really? We’re co-workers, not family, not friends. Certainly not allies.


And since they asked:

Long story short, “everybody has unconscious biases”… these things happen “automatically” when your brain is essentially on auto-pilot. BUT, even though it is automatic and “unconscious”, you need to think about your unconscious biases all the time, so you can keep them in check. Oh, and if you are a woman or non-BIPOC person that hires or promotes a woman or BIPOC person, don’t think that lets you off the hook, you are still biased. And always will be.

Isn’t Science awesome?!?! Now that they can graph our biases, all our problems are solved!

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up!

The department I run has 12 employees, aside from myself. In addition to me, there are exactly TWO other Caucasians in my department. (and one of them is literally in his 2nd week on the job-the ONLY applicant in the last 4 months that both showed up for his interview AND passed the background check) The entire facility has a tad over 300 employees and I would be hard pressed to locate 20 Caucasians. Yeah, we’ve got 99 problems, but diversity ain’t one.

As a nation, I’m afraid we’ve reached peak stupidity. At least I HOPE this is the peak.

But hey, kudos to the two ladies that put this grift together, packaged it up all nice and pretty and sold it to Corporate America. I’m sure it beats working for a living!

I need a drink…or three.

Thanks for stopping by!

A Bird in the Hand…

It has been said by many who know me, and I will admit it’s true, that I am predisposed toward paranoia.   Well, that makes me sound like a whackadoo, so let’s just say I’m drawn to pessimism.

I’ve never had a day so bad that it couldn’t get worse.

I guess it all started as a young Boy Scout and my introduction to their motto “Be Prepared”. I took that to heart at a very young age (12, I think??) and it has stayed with me these last 4 decades or so.

After the panic of Y2K (what a nothingburger that turned out to be!) I was seriously lulled into believing that we were beyond catastrophe. Sure, we’d have earthquakes and hurricanes from time to time, but “end of the world” stuff? Pfft… That was crazy-talk.

Part of it, for me personally, was the final nail in the coffin of my religious upbringing and beliefs. I had been so indoctrinated with Penecostal “End Times” rhetoric growing up, that part of me still believed the the Millineum was going to be Game Over for humanity. When NOTHING happened, the weight of the duplicity I’d carried my whole life finally fell away and I felt like life was good and I had nothing to worry about.

Then we had the events of 9/11. Then we invaded Iraq for no good reason. Then al Quaeda. Anthrax scares. George “Dubya” Bush at the wheel was enough to give you nightmares, throw in Cheney and Rumsfield and Holy moly, the Rapture seemed like a WAY better option, but alas! No Jeebus was coming back to save us from those lunatics.

On top of all the swell news of the day, there was also the fallout of the “dot com bubble” bursting and causing untold havoc in our country. I too was a victim of that bubble bursting…lost my job, lost 70% of the value of my investments and had to cash out what was left to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads because jobs were non-existent. But I digress…

So in my life so far I’d gone from lower middle-class as a kid, to “working poor” as a young adult, to borderline destitute when I hit my early 30’s, with a wife and child I was also responsible for.

At some point, the dust settled and I was able to see clearly for the first time in a long time, and I realized the ONLY person that would look out for me and mine, was myself.

There was no “luck” coming my way. Thinking “everything will work out OK” was nonsense. Believing in the Government was beyond fairy tales. No, it was time to make some serious changes and get my family in a better position.

All of this is taking the long way ’round to explain WHY I firmly believe in personal preparedness and why I came to believe in its importance.

Well my friends, at the risk of sounding like a crazy person, some sort of Chicken Little, screaming the sky is falling, I have a feeling, a deep unshakable feeling, that we’re in for a rough ride over the next two or three years.

I’m not speaking about politics (a pox on ALL their houses!), or even a resurgence of the Plague. My biggest concern (that has been keeping me up at night, literally) is the food supply.

I believe everyone, and I do mean everyone, should have – at MINIMUM – 3 days of food in their home. I don’t care if you need a cookbook to boil water, you NEED to have food in your home.

But all that aside, just consider the following:

1. US farmers were paid to plow crops under last year.

2. A significant portion of the world’s wheat supply comes from Ukraine. I suspect this is going to be an issue come harvest time.

3. A significant amount of the world’s fertilizer comes from Russia. Do you think they will want to sell it to the US? Will the .gov even ALLOW farmers to buy it, if they could?

4. Crop yields in the US are expected to be lower this year.

5. Numerous food plants in the US have sustained damage in the last year, closing them down or at the very least diminishing their output. This one is very suspicious. More food plant fires in the last year than in the previous 10 years, combined?

6. Pressure from the .gov to divert grain (corn) to ethanol, to lessen the fuel problems we’re currently experiencing.

7. Millions of livestock fowl have been culled this year, supposedly to deal with yet another “bird flu” epidemic.

8. The clarion calls are already ringing out with news of another Covid surge fast approaching. How many more food plants will we see closed down due to the Plague?

9. The cost of diesel has skyrocketed to unseen levels. “But what does this have to do with food?” you may ask? Well, the tractors that plow, seed and harvest crops all run on diesel. The trucks and trains that get the crops to the processing facilities run on diesel. The same, or similar, trucks and trains burning diesel then deliver the processed goods to distributors who load even more diesel trucks and trains to get those processed goods to your local retailers. Do you really think the farmers, the truckers, the rail lines, the distributors…are all going to simply give away any small chance of a profit by NOT charging more along each and every step of the process to cover THEIR expenses? Not bloody likely. Oh, and just in case that isn’t bad enough, a lot of places use diesel to run generators when the power is out to keep the food from spoiling. Lest anyone tell you otherwise, the cost of diesel fuel is DIRECTLY RELATED to everything you eat that you didn’t grow, hunt or harvest yourself. Period.

10. Weather is wreaking havoc on crops this year. We had flooding that caused problems with planting in the US, then cold snaps/freezes that damaged crops in the ground. I read recently that California strawberry farmers lost 80% of the first crop this year due to a “late freeze”. Eighty percent!?!?! Of course, better we lose strawberries than grains in the big scheme of things, but grains are in serious trouble too, world-wide.

None of these things are fringe ideas or “conspiracy theories”, you can find stories on all this stuff all over mainstream media. And frankly, that what freaks me out. If there were only stories about these things on the crackpot websites, or it was only one “personality” talking about it I might be able to dismiss it, but these things are no secret.

Preparedness has many facets- water, food, medicine, shelter, self-defense… but for right now, it’s all about food people.

If you have nothing in your house, get something.

A lot better than nothing!

If you have a little, get a little more.

If I had the space, I would happily store 2 year’s worth of food, but in our tiny apartment we can only do so much. But seriously, anything you can do to put yourself and your family in a better position with food, do it. Now.

If only I had the space…

Once the harvest season is upon us (just a few short months away!) and the reality of the situation becomes more clear, expect prices to soar and availability to dwindle. Then things will start to get nasty. You do not want to be brawling at your local grocery store over the last bag of noodles!

In all honesty, I hope I’m completely, utterly wrong about all this. I would love nothing more than to have y’all back here in a year, making fun of me over my crappy, outlandish predictions. But look it this way, if nothing happens and all the crops turn out great, Russia, Ukraine and NATO all hold hands and sing Kumbayah, and several million gallons of diesel suddenly appear out of nowhere, you’ve still gotta eat, right? You might as well “buy when the market is low” and try to stay a little ahead of inflation. When people are getting “cart-jacked” in grocery store parking lots or standing in line for hours for a government handout, you’ll be glad you did!

That’s just my 2 cents on the subject. Take it or leave it, we’re all adults here. I’m not trying to tell anyone how to live or what to believe.

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A Penny Saved…

I freely admit that I’m one of those old fashioned folks that much prefers to use cash rather than debit or credit cards.

The positive aspects of this are that I have a better idea of how much I’m spending, when it is literally -not just figuratively – coming out of my pocket AND it leaves less of a “paper trail”. My fellow “tin foil hat” brigade will know what I mean…

The negative side of these transactions is that I always have coins in my pockets.

A few years back I decided to turn lemons into lemonade and started saving the coins in a couple jars at the end of each day. Since we’re apartment dwellers, we always need quarters for laundry, so they have their own separate tin. When the jars were full I’d take them to the coin kiosk at the local grocery store and trade them in. Usually I’d walk out with $40-50, nothing to sneeze at.

Well, yesterday was the first “cash out” since pre-Plague. My jar of nickels and dimes had filled up, so I tossed ’em in a little wood box I had and kept going. Then I had to dump into another tin I had, then the jar was nearly full again! Along the way I started a second jar for pennies too…

I dumped all the “silver” into one plastic bag, then all the “copper” into another bag. I weighed the two before heading out and to my surprise, the silver coins weighed in at 17.2 lbs. and the copper coins added another 2.3 lbs. Nearly 20 pounds of coins! Now you see why I don’t like to carry them around in my pockets!

The kiosk takes a cut off the top for the service, I don’t recall off hand what it is, I think is was 12% or something, whatever. I’d rather pay that than buy coin wraps and spend the time sorting, counting and rolling them up myself, THEN taking said rolls to the bank to deposit, but I digress…

Now, granted this was the longest stretch of collecting – by a long shot – due to the Plague, but I walked out the store with $190 in “folding money”, with a little collection of coins to throw back in the jars for the next run!

Not too shabby!

Of course, in reality I just lost a little money with this exchange. But psychologically it feels like I just got a bunch of money for doing nothing but feeding the coins into a machine. Bottom line, I never would have spent the coins as they were, but by flipping them into cash I got the Mrs. and I a nice pizza for dinner last night and threw the rest of it into the emergency “cash on hand” pile.

You DO have an emergency CASH ON HAND collection, don’t you? If not, why not?

If you don’t (and you really, really should!!!), this is a painless way to do it! And did I mention you REALLY should have emergency CASH on hand?

Just my 2 cents…

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Can anybody make sense of this?

Here in CRAZYfornia new regulations went into effect as of January ’22, requiring that all “compostable” materials be separated into a 3rd “waste stream” for collection to reduce methane gas, a so-called “super pollutant”. According to “Science”, “organic material dumped into traditional land fills decomposes and creates methane”.

Ok, I’m no scientist, but as I understand it organic material decomposes. Period. This decomposition process creates methane gas. Period. So, how does separation of the organics from say, old furniture and building materials make it less toxic?

And if this methane is gas is so toxic, and I’m assuming it is, wouldn’t concentration of all this organic material into one place make for a toxic zone? At best a hazardous workplace, right? If my leftover food scraps are decomposing right next to my neighbors’ discarded blender in a landfill, does that make the food scraps produce MORE methane than it would anyway? Seriously, I don’t know and I’d LOVE to have someone explain it to me.

On top of this quandary, I cannot help but wonder how is it that sending out THREE SEPARATE COLLECTION TRUCKS instead of one is beneficial to the environment? Isn’t burning 3x the amount of diesel fuel just as bad as mixing our organic waste with non-orgznic waste? And on top of all the extra trucks on the road, we have oh, so helpful city employees that come by the facility every six weeks to “audit” our trash and insure we’re following regulations. More fuel burned in the name of environmental safeguarding? And lastly, we had to bring in dozens of additional waste receptacles (at a cost of several thousand dollars!) AND we have to use “color coded” can liners for the different waste streams. So yeah, how much “energy” went into producing all the extra bins and having them shipped out by truck? How does a “translucent green” or “tranlucent blue” trash bag help our ecology? Inquiring minds want to know… How much extra will we have to spend to comply with the color coding nonsense, day in and day out? What do we do about the real work that now doesn’t get done because we have to shift our limited resources to extra waste pickups daily?

I started dealing with this stuff back in November of ’21, so roughly 6 months I’ve spent trying to get our facility “compliant” and dealing with the city. It’s preposterous. If it were for a good cause, I’d have no problem with it, but honestly I cannot see the benefits of all this extra expenditure of time, resources and energy.

Now, before your undergarments get all in a twist, I am not anti-conservation. Don’t go all Greta on me! I was into recycling way, way before it was “a thing”. All the way back in the mid-70’s my Boy Scout troop was doing monthly “paper drives”, going door-to-door throughout the entire neighborhood collecting old newspapers to recycle. Back then I was also always collecting aluminum cans and glass bottles for a little extra walking around money. I had a nice little side hustle in the 80’s recycling giant toner cartridges from commercial grade printers, and later when printers got way smaller and toner cartridges way cheaper, I filled the cash gap recycling old CRT monitors and computers. When we had a house, we always had our own compost pile in the backyard for use in the garden. Nowadays we even use glass straws and waxed cloth wraps instead of plastic ziplock bags for lunches and whatnot. Basically what I’m saying is while not exactly a “tree hugger”, I’m definitely a “friend” of Mother Nature. (Oh, is it still OK to say that? I’d hate to presume Mother Nature’s gender! /sarcasm off)

But this latest “green initiative” doesn’t pass the smell test. All I can figure, and believe me I’ve spent a LOT of time thinking about this, is that it is nothing more than the .gov “creating jobs”. They put the “green” tag on anything these days and if you question it or deny it’s value, suddenly you’re nothing more than a mouth breathing eco-terrorist.

Agree or else!

This is what happens when people with no experience in anything get to make up rules and regulations for the rest of us that they themselves don’t have to follow. Or pay for.

This should go without saying…

Don’t get me wrong, I think as a society we’d be far better off if everyone composted AT HOME and used said compost to bring life back to our horribly damaged soils and grow at least some of their own food. But that isn’t what’s happening. We’re burning precious fuel to collect this stuff, charging the citizens and companies MORE for the privilege of complying with their mandatory services and in the end I don’t believe for a nanosecond that this will accomplish anything of value. Except of course, filling the coffers of politician’s election campaigns and the pockets of the grifting labor unions that salivate over these new regs that promise more revenue to their organizations.

I hope I’m completely and horribly wrong about all this…but I have yet to have it explained to me in a way that leads me to believe it’s anything but feel-good nonsense being shoved down our throats AND (above all else) a considerable cash grab disguised as “doing the right thing for our planet”.

This of course is just my 2 cents on the subject. I welcome any and all discussion on this topic, anyone that can make it – in a language we all understand – make sense.

Thanks for reading!


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