Thursday, February 22, 2018

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Dogs Are Cool!

But while the dog is relaxing and having some fun, make no mistake...the damn cat is plotting his revenge!


Friday, February 16, 2018

The Shooting

I'm weary.  It happens too much.  I'm not going to write much because so many others have.  So many think there are easy solutions.  When something like this happens the so-called experts come out of the woodwork.  Ban guns!  Fund more mental health care!  Get rid of "assault rifles".  Open more institutions.  The NRA is responsible.  Ban high capacity magazines.  Parents have failed their children and are not fulfilling their parental responsibilities.  Trumps fault.  Obama's fault.  Bush's fault.  Ban bump stops.  Get rid of concealed carry.  That creates a violent society.  Baby boomers have created a lax society so what do you expect? Teachers are given no respect.  Violent TV and movies have created a violent society.  Death means nothing to some of these kids.  Ban violent TV.  Kids are allowed to run free.  Prosecute parents for the sins of the children.  Ban violent video games.  Ban video games.  Social media is at fault.  Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and all the others have fomented the problem.  Ban them all.  Anyone can buy a gun.  Ban gun stores.  Ban gun shows.  Create a gun turn in program.  Ban handguns.  Tobacco is the country's biggest killer.  Ban that.  Mental illness is a national tragedy.  If you see something, say something.  If you don't, it's your fault.  Climate change is going to kill millions so we need to focus more on that.  It's Congress' fault.  Those lowlife's can't do anything.  Vote them all out.  Enact term limits.  It's the FBI's fault.  They know who the nuts are and won't do anything.  Give more power and money to localities to attack the problem.  Toughen the requirements to buy a gun, even though they are already tough.  Create a national gun registry, even though there already is one.  Abortion kills far more people than guns, so don't talk about guns until you talk about abortion.  Same with drunk driving.  Put our energies into stopping people from driving while drunk.  Turn to God for solutions.  Forget appealing to God.  Seek logical solutions.  This doesn't happen in other countries.  Become like Australia, Norway, Singapore, Japan, etc, etc, etc.  Arm teachers.  Put an armed guard in every school.  Lock down every school.  Give teachers concealed carry ability.  Schools need to be free and open.  Put up signs creating a "gun-free zone".  Have a memorial service and send "thoughts and prayers".  Deluge the site with flowers and candles to show we care.  Have politicians offer condolences.  Blah, blah, blah.

Meanwhile, 17 families in Florida will never be the same.  17 young lives snuffed out.  I can't even imagine.  And the kids, teachers, first responders, government representatives, and really everyone in Parkland, FL will never be the same.  And that's true for Columbine, Sandy Hook, Sutherland, and so many others.

It's a difficult subject to even discuss because of two things.  Passion and misinformation.  The statistics are powerful, convincing and mindboggling on both sides.  The memes resonate.  Each side doesn't even want to listen to the other.  After the loss of life, and especially young life, people want to "do something".  But read or listen to people discussing this issue.  There are very few in the middle.  Most 2nd Amendment zealots won't even discuss further controls.  They say we've already gone too far.  And their arguments have some validity.  There are very few gun ban advocates who will even discuss a compromise.  They want them all gone.   But frequently many of those people have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to guns.  There's a pretty good article on this issue here.  And once again, it's from a position of passion, from caring, from pain.  And their arguments have some validity.    

So we seem to remain in a weird sort of purgatory where nothing gets done and we are doomed to suffer these horrible incidents over and over and over...  And not only is it a national tragedy, but it's a national embarrassment.  

So what do we do?  I wish I knew...  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Friday Funnies

No Friday Funnies this week.  Somehow I'm not in the laughing mood.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Let's Have a Parade!

President Trump is just radioactive for some folks.  He cannot say anything without raising the ire of a certain segment of the population.  It's really pretty sad and is getting very tiresome.  It seems that almost every day there is something else that causes a certain segment of the population to go apoplectic.  As I've previously written, He wasn’t my guy but he’s now my President.  I get that some are opposed to him.  And that's as it should be.  But the blind resistance that results in paralysis is  just not good for any of us.   One of the latest things is that in the last week he has made the comment that he'd like to have a military parade.  This idea has met with resistance from many quarters.  The usual suspects are mightily against it, but some who you wouldn't expect to raise objections are doing just that.


Here's the back story (at least how I see it).  Trump went to military school as a young man.  He credits that experience for instilling a lot of traits that he has carried through his life.  Discipline, a certain dedication to a regimen (he doesn't drink or smoke), an appreciation for order, an appreciation for the military, and an admiration for people who step up to the call.  Since becoming President there can be no denying his admiration for the military.  He has been to bases and ships and has had interactions with all kinds of military people.  He has picked for a Secretary of Defense someone who is widely admired in the military.  Last summer he felt honored to be invited to France to witness their Bastille Day parade, which is a glorious site. As the military units march down the Champs D'Elysee to the Arc de Triomphe there is a majesty to it.  The feeling of pride is unmistakable.  There are similar parades in the UK but they are more situational.  The Queen's Jubilee or a Royal Marriage can bring out the best in them.  For my money, the Brits are the best at pomp and ceremony, but the French do it pretty well also.  And there are others.
The point is, military parades are pretty recognized as providing the populations with a chance to admire and thank their military men and women who have stepped up to service, give the military a real sense of pride, show the population what their tax dollars are going toward, and show the world what we can bring to the fight, both from a hardware and personnel perspective.




So I think Trump thought, let's have a parade.  After all, we haven't had one since 1991 after Desert Storm.  The country has been at war for 17 years and the military has done a great job in keeping us safe.  Or at least the very small portion of the population that has served has done that.  So let's acknowledge that.

But...as we see with almost everything that Trump tries to do, the first reaction is for the resistance to resist.  They don't want us to look like a Communist country that routinely parades their hardware in military parades while their people starve.  Of course, many of these same people support Bernie Sanders who would take us down the road to Communism.  Or they think it would be too expensive citing all kinds of stats on how much it would cost.  Of course, these stats might as well be pulled out of the air because this kind of thing could be measured in all sorts of ways.  Or they say let's spend the money on our homeless vets citing the need for housing for them.  Of course, in the course of their everyday comings and goings, they don't give a shit about homeless vets.  And never will.  And they don't or won't see that in an economy of trillions of dollars if we wanted to solve the homeless vets problem, we'd do it.  We'd elect people who would fix it.  And they'd never acknowledge that under Trump the VA has improved tremendously.  Or if they do acknowledge it, they'd say that Obama really started it.  So there are a ton of people who oppose it just to oppose it because Trump wants to do it and that's just the way it is.

The surprising thing to me is all the retired and active military folks I see opposing it.  I assume they've been a part of parades in their lives.  Is it a hassle?  Generally.  But it also (at least for me) sparks a real pride.  Pride in country.  Pride in service.  Pride in fellow shipmates.  Etc.  So I don't see the big reason to not do it.  Oh, I understand that we probably shouldn't have a big emphasis on rolling tanks and missiles and other bit hardware down Pennsylvania Avenue.  That's not us.  But a good old fashioned parade of people and bands and some cool equipment accompanied by an impressive flyover would, at least for me, be great.  I think it should be coupled with some significant holiday and the logical ones are July 4, Memorial Day or Veteran's Day.  I think any of those would work.

Secretary Mattis has said that they are sending over some options for the WH to consider.  I trust Mattis to provide options that are reasonable and would be impressive.  I hope my fellow citizens will take a breath, realize a couple things.  Rather than ascribe the worst possible motive to the President's idea to have a military parade, see it for what it is.  An attempt to thank those in uniform, to acknowledge their sacrifice and our indebtedness to them, and a hope that it might bring people together and result in a renewed pride in the country.  Quit counting all the things wrong with it and see the things right with it.  Give up looking for all the little reasons why it's a bad idea when in reality they just don't like Trump and it was his idea.  Stop being a cynic.  The best definition of a cynic I've heard is that it's someone who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.  We have way too many cynics these days throwing up roadblocks and denigrating everything that someone that they don't agree with proposes.  A popular watchword these days is diversity and I'm all for it.  But I'm more for unity.  We can be hugely diverse, but if we're not unified we're doomed.  Because that's what makes us who we are.  

Dueling Memos

Last week I had a post about the memo that the Republican's authored and came out of the House Intelligence Committee.  In a nutshell, it succinctly told the story of the Democrats funding some opposition research from a shady character who made a lot of stuff up, the FBI got ahold of it and then used it as a part of the justification for spying on a member of the Trump campaign.  That member is a U.S. Citizen.  Pretty shoddy.  You can read more as well as the memo here.  

So inevitably the Dems launched their own memo.  When the Republican memo surfaced, every Dem voted against releasing it.  But here every Republican voted to release it.  Of course, that fact got glossed over by our stellar, inquisitive journalist corps.  So they followed procedure and sent it up the White House for release.  And in what is probably the least surprising thing in history, the WH sent it back and said to take out some stuff, and redact some stuff, and change a few things.  In case you have any doubt, this was hugely predictable.  What was also hugely predictable is that the Dems are now crying hypocrisy.  It really is sort of beyond belief that they can be so stupid.  I mean, that was obviously their intention all along.  So their memo hasn't been released.  But you can take this to the bank.  It will not be of substance.  I'm not sure what they'll say but there are two undeniable facts.  The Republican memo uncovers serious wrongdoing by the Dems and Hillary's campaign that can't be explained away.  Secondly, there is no reasonable excuse that will make this outrageous behavior okay.  Simple as that.


Motivation Monday

This is one of the best things I've seen in a long time.  It's all simple, but very powerful.  The last two items say it all...


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Friday Funnies

I think I've seen this weather report more than once this Winter...


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Guys Will Get This...



Dating

It's been quite a while, but from what I remember...yeah.

Cool Pic



Dogs are Cool!

And good buddies!

Cats

If you've been reading, you know I'm a dog person.  A dog might knock a drink on the floor with his tail.  But a cat?  Yeah, this is totally a cat.


Nailed It



Good Advice

Saw this over on FB.  Makes a lot of sense.  Sometimes it would be nice if he'd just ignore the jerks.


Labs

We've had a Lab in the house for decades.  Wonderful dogs.  But they all have some common traits.  They are gluttons for fun.  They will run until they drop.  They are hugely loyal.  And if there is food, any kind of food, anywhere near them...it's gone.