Tag Archives: Ethics

Constitutional Freedoms

I spent some time today watching several YouTube videos relating to the “constitutional education” of law enforcement, particularly federal law enforcement.

When it comes to these kinds of exercises, I find myself at odds internally. On the one hand, nothing educates better than experience and dealing with someone very educated on what their rights are, and how they may exercise them can be very educational for an ill-informed law enforcement officer. The flip side, there is a potential for a rapidly escalating situation that may become very dangerous, even life-threatening.

The benefit of these actions is that the word is spreading socially among the populous and among law enforcement agencies. It is paramountly important for the people to understand their rights, and to safeguard them to the fullest extent possible. To do this, the population needs to educate themselves. Law enforcement likewise, needs to step up their game in understanding their responsibilities in their role to “protect and serve.”

Now for the “on the other hand” part. Testing, “auditing,” probing, or whatever you choose to call it, while necessary, needs to be done respectfully, and without goading law enforcement, baiting them for an aggressive response. If we are respectful and allow the LEOs to de-escalate the situation we have accomplished the goal. Picking a fight for a clickbait video is no better than the mainstream media sensationalizing non-stories for the ratings.

Any way you slice it, our constitutional protections are constantly under attack. Whether intentionally, by misguided agency administrators, poor interpretation of policy by field supervisors, or just plain old ignorance of the law, on a regular basis our civil rights are infringed, and they will continue to be if we do not hold the infringers heels to the fires of scrutiny and continue to draw attention to their misdeeds.

I support law enforcement, local, state, and federal, but I demand that they respect the constitution they swore to defend and treat the individuals they encounter respectfully. I don’t suggest that they put themselves unduly in harm’s way, I do suggest that they tone down the attitude a bit and approach people less aggressively.

With the apparent prevailing attitude in law enforcement as it is, I must admit I am leaning more to the side of carefully reminding LEOs what the boundaries are.

Until next time,

Résumé Updating

TakingNoteIt’s been a while since I took any time to update the old résumé, though I must admit not a lot has changed, it’s just time to polish things up a bit. I have a LinkedIn account and I do make minor changes there every so often, but I haven’t done much with the hardcopy. *shudder… hardcopy*

While going through my LI profile something in the “Interests” caught my eye…

“movies, music, writing, flying, aircraft (design/construction/restoration), amateur radio, history, anthropology, archaeology, genealogy, archive, preservation (document/book/photograph), blacksmithing, silversmithing, metal fabrication, woodworking, sustainable living (building, power, farming, food), alternative building technologies, primitive technology, self reliance, resiliency (personal, local, community, regional, national)”

I’m pretty sure I have gone down this road before at some point, but it bares repeating. It’s the resiliency line personal, community, local, regional, national, (and by extension international). With all of the hullabaloo about Brexit people are thinking about how it will affect them. Really, it shouldn’t.

Before anyone starts screaming “Exclusionist!” or “Nationalist!” like somehow nationalism is automatically a bad thing like the bought-and-paid-for media would have you think, participating in worldwide commerce is not bad, far from it. Depending on a centralized global economy is bad, very bad. Even centralized national economies are bad. We keep having example after example of what happens when centralized economies have sector hiccoughs. The whole thing is affected.

When the US economy crashed in 2008, due to our own internal centralized economy and the managers of that system doing bad things, it was felt around the world. When the Greek economy tanked it was directly due to the EU centralized economy, and it affected all of the EU and beyond. The Brexit issue has been felt all over the globe as well. These effects are all because of the idea that the world is somehow better off when we all have our eggs in the same basket. It is absurd.

Why Jon, when you say it that way it sounds so obviously bad, but surly global economics aren’t that simplistic. Actually, yes. Yes they are. At least from the notion that centralization is a good thing. So in this case it really is that simple.

Centralization, in any system, creates more sub-systems and moving parts that are all interdependent. The level of complexity is exponentially increased, and much of the energy that goes into the system goes towards minimizing losses and damage the system itself creates, and of course the administration of the system. Not to mention that the resulting product is generally of lower quality by the time it gets to the consumer/user. Worst of all, with all of the interdependence even a small hiccough produces problematic ripples throughout the system and may even halt it all together.

A simple example is the spinach crisis a few years ago in the US. Much of spinach supplied to restaurants and some grocery stores was recalled because a pig got loose on one farm. There was an outbreak of e.coli, not an epidemic, but large enough and wide enough spread to panic a lot of people, cost farmers millions, destroy a large portion of the nations spinach crop, and waste millions in resources throughout the centralized food system. Absolutely none of it was necessary. To top it all off, it further set in motion more restrictive regulations shutting out some small farms due to the onerous regulations and cost.

So what does all of this have to do with resiliency? Any engineer will tell you eliminate single-point-failures, and provide redundancy if you want a resilient system. You cannot design a resilient system from the top down, it just wont work it, more to the point it can’t work. It must be designed and built from the bottom up. That’s why the order I use is so important personal, community, local, regional, national, (and by extension international).

To avoid collapse of any of the centralized systems we currently have, start with yourself and your family. Have plans and preparations in place so you are more resilient. Help family and neighbors to be more resilient. All of you can start working on getting your community more resilient.

Slowly but surely people are waking up to the simple facts. As the understanding of how theses system interrelate and how wasteful they are, how the systems only care about the system and not the end user, how the user is cheated out of high quality goods and is forced pay a premium for the privilege, people are beginning to put all of the pieces together.

No amount of railing on and on about how simple this all is will convince those who choose to stay the course. They must see the light in their own time. This is something that I am coming to terms with myself. It seems so clear, and I want the people I care about to be resilient and not suffer when those hiccoughs occur. All I can do is walk the walk and demonstrate by example.

All of the Brexit panic, anger, frustration, division, and the eventual blow back all come from not understanding what great-granny always said “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Smart old broad that.


Something weird happened today

My unread magazine pile was building up so I figured it was time to get caught up on several areas of interest. I was getting to some recent additions to my reading list 1st Freedom, American Rifleman, and Guns & Ammo when I was smacked in the face with an unwelcome personal reality… I was overtly conscious of whether or not someone might see what I was reading and how they might react. WHOA!

I never had a second thought about having on the table an issue of Sport Aviation, Vintage, Warbirds, Home Machinist, Mother Earth News, QST, or anything else for that matter. Why did my interest in firearms somehow make me overly concerned about other peoples opinions? What the hell was that all about?

In part, I think it has to do with living in a state that abhors guns. Its okay if I like, and own swords, bows, staves, or a wide range of other weapons, but if it even looks like a gun the P.C. wing-nuts are gonna’ rip you a new one for being some kind of anti-social, homicidal, gun-toatn’ maniac.

Sadly it’s not just the California P.C. wing-nuts that seem to have this attitude. A growing voice across the country is hell bent on taking away your and my second amendment rights. Keep in mind that this group is growing in volume, not numbers. A few people with lots of money, a platform, and personal interest (Obama & Bloomberg) are trying to rewrite the Constitution to suit their own agendas.

New rules, policies, and laws keep rolling out all over California and elsewhere, sponsored and funded by these wing-nuts, to restrict access and ownership of firearms. None of them do anything to advance safety, or protect people from stupidity, ignorance, or criminals mind you. What they do have going for them is lots of spin that make complete B.S. sound like it will save us from all the evil in the world. Many of these new rules and laws are being overturned in court because they are in fact unconstitutional.

It’s not just the unconstitutional nature of these rules and laws that frustrate me so much. It’s fact that they accomplish absolutely nothing their proponents are saying they want to accomplish. It’s all and agendized scam that has nothing to do with safety or security. They do however produce copious amounts of fear mongering and misinformation. Two examples are what has been happening with “High Capacity” magazines for handguns, and Concealed Carry permits.

The proponents of the various bans on “High Capacity” magazines for handguns want you to believe that by limiting the number of rounds in a handgun magazine to ten, rather than the eleven or thirteen, or some other arbitrary number, which are standard from the manufacturer, will some how miraculously prevent gun violence. Like the thought will cross a bad guy’s mind “I only have 10 rounds in this magazine, that’s not enough to rob that liquor store. If only I had a 13 round magazine. Oh well, I guess I’ll go play chess instead.”

One of the effects of these bans are having is that they make criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens by not providing enough time to surrender the now illegal magazines that came with the gun, or if they forgot about a spare magazine in a box in the attic. It then adds further insult by making them go out and buy a compliant magazine, which the gun was not originally designed to hold. By the way, do you think the criminals will be surrendering their eleven or thirteen round magazines? How about postponing criminal activities while they wait for a compliant replacement magazine? Ya, didn’t think so.

Result: Criminals keep their magazines. Honest law abiding citizens surrender their magazines and wait for a back ordered replacement effectively rendering the gun useless. How does this reduce gun violence? How does this do anything beyond wasting tax dollars in surrender operations and enforcement of a ridiculous law that does nothing to improve public safety? It doesn’t.

As for Carry permits… The demands of some municipalities that a law abiding citizen provide extreme reasons why they should be allowed to apply for a Carry permit is not only unconstitutional, it is just plane dumb.

Anyone who applies for a carry permit is outright telling local law enforcement who they are, where they live, that they own weapons, they have been trained to safely carry and use them, and they wish to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms in a responsible manner. They are registering themselves with the local authorities voluntarily.

How many scoff-laws do you think apply for a Carry permit? There are always exceptions, but I have difficulty imagining a gang-banger or career criminal walking into a sheriffs office expecting to get a carry permit.

Result: Criminals do what they were going to do anyway. They illegally carry a concealed gun and local law enforcement is none the wiser. Qualified law abiding citizens are run through the ringer and denied their constitutional right to bear arms because they don’t have an extreme need to protect themselves or their families. Does this make anyone safer? Does this reduce gun violence? Absolutely not.

Right to keep and bear arms - Franklin2I am not a gun-toatn’ homicidal maniac or a paranoid zealot. I am someone who is fascinated with the mechanics of firearms. I enjoy target shooting. I enjoy hunting for sustenance. I enjoy having the right to defend myself and my family if the need arises. These are all part of the pursuit of Life, Liberty, and Happiness. These are also part of a desire to protect and defend the Constitution from enemies, both foreign and domestic. If I choose to own or carry a gun, I am choosing to be a responsible and safe gun owner, and I am choosing to exercise my second amendment rights.

Not everyone chooses to own firearms. Not everyone chooses to vote. These are personal decisions. These decisions should not be dictated by anyone other than the individual unless these right have been suspended by due process for criminal acts of violence.

And yes, I do hold the right to vote and the right to keep and bear arms on the same level of importance. The founding fathers did too, they are a complementary set along with the freedom of speech, each protects the other. Any agenda or policy that seeks to suspend one, should be held suspect of trying to suspend the others and cast out. 

The first two rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights are the right to speak out against usurpations and the right to defend ourselves from those usurpations if the need arises. These two rights alone provide the means of ensuring that none of our rights are diminished or taken away.

This is not paranoia, it has been born out repeatedly throughout history on every continent. When people lose their right to speak out or to defend themselves effectively they are soon terrorized and subjugated.

I have always been honest about who I am, and what my position is on most subjects. Now I have expressed myself on the matter of firearms. I am passionate about this issue but I am also willing to listen to other opinions. I continue to respect others opinions even though I may fervently disagree with their position. I ask only that they respect mine in kind.

If you see an issue of Guns & Ammo on the coffee table and want to make a comment, you know where I’m coming from.

Credit Card Conundrum

Among my families decisions to green up our lives and become more self sufficient we started making other changes, an ethical stand if you will. In another post I wrote a bit about making the ethical decision to support local business as much as possible and stop supporting the mega corps. In one sense we had already started to take a stand on the mega corps over a year ago. We made the decision to close all of our credit accounts as soon as we could, and that’s what we have been doing ever since. This week I close out, interestingly enough, our Wal-Mart card which will leave us with only one credit account and that one will be closed soon too.

Last night we watched the documentary “Maxed Out.” This one is about the credit crisis taking place in the United States, not that this is a new thing mind you, we have been lead down this road by the financial industry for quite some time. My best guess is that the credit industry turned to the dark-side some time in the early 1980s. A time when excessive spending was some how going to make things better for all of us. Unfortunately for us the opportunistic financial industry swooped in like a hawk on a field mouse sunning itself on a lazy summer day, scooping us up with talons of mock generosity making credit cards available to people who in previous decades would have been laughed at just for applying. With the encouragement of the financial industry, spending beyond our means has become an American pastime.

Jump forward two decades. The mock generosity of the past has now turned into the predatory lending practices of the 21st century. “Maxed Out” takes a good look at the credit card industry and the financial industry as a whole. In my case it has been fairly easy to say “piss off” to a majority of the financial industry, unfortunately it is virtually impossible to get away entirely, the banks have seen to that. Just try and cash a check without paying an unreasonable fee, especially if you don’t have a bank account. Most likely you would have to turn to one of those check cashing places, but look out, most of the check cashing businesses are owned by big banks, even the ones that look like local mom-and-pops stores. Don’t be fooled by that hometown storefront, there is a good chance it’s owned by Wells Fargo, the largest player in the check cashing industry, coincidently the fourth largest bank in the U.S., oh and they are in the money order business too.

For many Americans, getting free from debt is one of our biggest goals, but getting there can be a really tough task. Most of us under 50 folks were not raised thinking about money the way our previous generation was. A penny saved is a penny earned, and other phrases may have been heard around the house, but they didn’t affect us the the same as they affected our grandparents. To the generation that was there in the 1930s, it was an important part of life. And here we are, learning those lessons all over again.

For me, getting rid of credit cards and “financial products” is a matter of self sufficiency and keeping my money tied to the local economy. If I don’t have the money for something, I save for it, or make due without it. Keep in mind that the financial industry is selling you services, just like any other mega corp sells you a product. When you use there services, they take money from you, and move it some where else, far away from your community.

One of the reasons we get into debt is trying to make things “better” for our kids. The best investment we can make for our children’s future is not passing along our debt. Something they really could use is a solid understanding about how the money we spend is circulated through the economy. In short, when be buy from the mega corps, and borrow (using credit) to make those purchases, out of every dollar we spend locally, around 5% stays in the local communities economy, if we are lucky. When we spend at locally owned businesses, with money we have, in our pocket, we can keep 80% or better in our own community, and ultimately pay around the same or even less by not including fees and interest.

Basic economics says that a consumer economy will inevitably fail. For the U.S. as a whole we can see it in our trade deficit and the inexplicably high national debt, for individuals it’s there in our mounting credit deficit, our credit cards, charge cards, car loans, and mortgages. There are a bunch of economists that believe our current recession is the continuation of what is already a second depression. A depression that will have to run it’s course deeper down the economic well before anything will truly stabilize it.

As a problem solver, my experience tells me, that when a problem is complex the best solution is to reduce everything down to the minimum necessities. When things are stable at that basic level then, and only then, a slow and steady growth can occur; in this case, for me and my family at least, it means going back to subsistence, back to a simpler, less complex lifestyle, well within our means. Decision making is a lot easier when you know exactly how much you have to spend, now shifting or wiggling or anticipating options, its ether yes we can or no we can’t. Not always fun, but liberating in many ways.

So where does all of this lead us? For me and mine it is comes down to; keep money as local as possible, while it is yours and when you spend it, don’t use credit, and as always support locally produced goods, services, and merchants. It is the American Middle Class that will save our economy, not the government or big business.

Where is he going with this?

Taking NoteA fair question, indeed.

When I started this iteration of the website as a blog in March of 2008, the idea was to use it as a personal site only. Later it migrated to an idea of a purely commercial/organizational site, and has morphed into several variations since. In the most recent morph, I closed down a couple of other sites, redirected them to this site and cross-posted the entries from those sites here. Sounds like a mess, doesn’t it? I spent a lot of time on this site planing and preparing for this grand Aviation Adventure program (which I have not given up on, by the way) that was to become my primary focus professionally. Due to many circumstances, that plan has not born any fruit.

This post is a “clear the air” article, more for me than anyone else, though it may contain tidbits useful to others. I wanted to put the new plans out there for the universe to see, and to be a personal motivator and reference point.

Shortcomings in personality have much to do with the lack of forward motion on several plans for the site. I am a born puppeteer leader. I lead from the wings, not on stage. Getting things done is much easier for me if there is a “face man” to motivate the masses and sell the product. I am a skilled sales person and I do have the interpersonal skills to get the job done, I just don’t like to be the face man. I can do the jobs of a good sized team in the background; just don’t throw me out on stage and things will work out fine. This is my biggest hurdle in getting projects moving forward. This is also a contributing factor in this most recent change of direction.

The last few posts have been about me, not just in the subject sense but in the personal sense, and this is part of the new direction I am moving to with this site. It is a change of perspective and attitude, to view the adventures more the way I see them. The plan then is to do the adventure stuff but approach it from the back stage perspective. Go through the planing, plotting and set up, then into the training phase, on to the execution, and the grand finale, the post production documentation phase. With this perspective I will be able to do and share all of the things I love, the planing, training, adventure, and production.

As much as I would love to start building that Nieuport right away, that just aint gonna happen. As a kid I was never in shape; I was an active person, I was just an active fat person. Over the years, I have abused my body with long hours, little sleep and lots of burst activities. The kinds of things that put high strain on the body. Now, as I reach for middle age, I realize there are a lot of things I miss doing that are adventures in and of themselves. I want to get myself in better physical condition to do some of the more infrequently done adventures. One thing I have wanted to do most of my life is fly around the world as pilot in command (PIC). To do that I need to be in good physical condition, certainly better condition than I am now.

So, this is where the adventures begin. I am embarking on a physical fitness program, still in development, that is my first adventure. This change in direction began with the 5k my wife and I participated in a week ago, and moved forward in the preparation of yesterdays article on shoes. Last night I plotted out a 5k through my neighborhood and that is my new training ground, until I bump it up to a 10k.

This is the beginning of my basic fitness program. As I put together more of a program I will put up a Basic Fitness page to elaborate on what I am doing in that arena. At present, the first Adventure, with a capital A, will most likely be the Skyline To The Sea trail, from Skyline down into Big Basin State Park. As soon as I get more on the planing of that trip I will start the Adventure page. As I accumulate more Adventures, I will sort them out a bit, but the blog will contain posts about all.

Monetization is where the biggest change in plan for the site takes place. I had always planned for the site to be monetized, it was originally intended to be very early in the game. Now that element is taking a back seat. I plan on acquiring sponsors and selling advertising at some point. For now that is an incidental, not a driving factor. This is a huge shift in the sites initial concept. Where it was originally money driven, it is now a personal thing. Don’t get me wrong, I will be pimping the site in short order, it just wont be the driving force. I think that this change in attitude about the site will help to over come my personal obstacles about being the face man.

Faireness and Entitlement

7/24/2020 While going back through posts to fix link and image issues I came across this post and felt that I need to annotate it. My position on several items has either changed or modified. 12 years can change the way you think and express yourself.

In this time of pandemic, political conflict, racial turmoil, general social upheaval, and potential historical revision I thought it was important to post an update rather than ignore or delete the contents of this post.

2020 Comments will be italicized. Hind sight in 2020 as it were 😉

It has become clearer each day of this election season that America, as a society, is determined to believe that the world is a fair place, or that we can make it one, and that there is an inherent entitlement to this fairness.


I am inclined to point out that fairness and entitlement are illusions. Nether exists in nature. Nature is a system of balance. The strong survive, the weak die. Natural Selection exists in nature as the equalizer and pressure valve for life on this planet, it maintains the balance. The great irony is that some of the most outspoken lobbyists for fairness and entitlement are the “warm and fuzzes”. Nothing really ironic here. I don’t know why I said that.

This false scenes of fairness and entitlement has been boosted into over-drive in the last two generations, it is interesting that the problem has grown proportionally with the proselytizing of Political Correctness doctrine. These practices have also corresponded with another trend, the dramatic decline of nationalism in the United States.

Today, nationalism is equated with white supremacy. This was in no way my intention. While my eyes have only recently been opened to what black American’s have had to endure, my intentions have never been to denigrate or restrict people of color.

My understanding of nationalism at the time was more akin to patriotism, pride and duty to country; importantly, not to any individual in government. I feel pride in the flag, the symbol of what the founding fathers were trying to create, and I support our military who protect our freedom. I support the ideals of freedom and the inalienable rights in the constitution.

The fact that the founding fathers only accomplished codifying these rights and were unable to extend them to all Americans, all those living in the colonies, pains me. The Constitution is both their greatest success and their great shame and failing. I support its idealism and intent.

For the United States to escape the current situation of economic decline and foreign dependence, the country must once again find itself. Nationalism must once again be important to the population, the scene of pride in “American Made”, pride in the flag, and a belief in the principles of government the founding fathers gave birth to is a just form of government for its citizens. It is Nationalism that can save the United States not religion or extremism to the right or the left. Nationalism from the population and practicality from the government.

Again, patriotism is the intent. Pride in Made In USA, the flag, and in what the Constitution intends. I do believe that we have off-shored far too much manufacturing and finance. I also believe our centralization of finance, food production, and manufacturing have made us very vulnerable. The current pandemic has shown this to be true in many areas.

A recent email spam went out enumerating a political platform. Some of the points are interesting and are worth looking at:

(1) Press 1 for English is immediately banned. English is the official language; speak it or wait at the border until you can.

The money saved in printing and postage of oversize documents would be substantial and it would encourage English literacy. Private sector use of multiple languages is entirely up to the company, government use is an unnecessary taxpayer expense.

There are too many issues with my statement here. I do think we should have a national language, but Americans, in general, lag behind the rest of the world in the number of languages spoken by its citizens. I do not believe it is practical to demand English of everyone. This is a complex topic.

(2) We will immediately go into a two year isolationist posture to straighten out the country’s attitude. NO imports, no exports. We will use the ‘Wal-mart’ policy, ‘If we ain’t got it, you don’t need it.’

Though not entirely possible, stopping foreign aid, and calling in old debts is long over due. It’s time to close the checkbook.

This is no longer possible. Too much of what we buy and need is imported. This is part of the problem in my mind. If we produced more than we imported we would be much better off.

(3) When imports are allowed, there will be a 100% import tax on it.

The areas this would effect include returning outsourced jobs, making American manufactured goods competitive in the market place, returning tens of thousands Americans to work. On the down side, there would be a short period of increased costs of goods to consumers. The increase in costs of goods would be shortly off-set by the increase in employed persons and increased salaries.

Yes, this is a painful growth process. This would not have happened in the first place if politicians had not tried to increase foreign imports at a “fair market price”. Again a false scene of fairness. Just look at the ratio of imported goods to manufactured goods. Does that look “fair” to you?

We do need to take our trade imbalance seriously. I don’t think it is as simple as this solution, but we do need to do something.

(4) All retired military personnel will be required to man one of our many observation towers on the southern border. (six month tour) They will be under strict orders not to fire on SOUTHBOUND aliens.

This one just plays on frustration with the immigration system in place. Retired military personnel have served their country, there are other solutions.

I stand by my comments here. This proposition is ridiculous.

(5) Social security will immediately return to its original state. If you didn’t put nuttin in, you ain’t gettin nuttin out. The president nor any other politician will not be able to touch it.

There are many areas in social services that need to be covered. This should be one of the biggies covered in the period of isolationism. There should be an element of deserving involved; “nothin’ in, nothin’ out”.

I no longer support an isolationist posture, it just isn’t possible or practical. I do believe that all social services need overhauls, no blanket statement is functionally practical or possible.

(6) Welfare – Checks will be handed out on Fridays at the end of the 40 hour school week and the successful completion of urinalysis and a passing grade.

Though not literally as stated, this is a big one. Education and job training are elements that should be required for participation in welfare. Clean and Sober initiatives should also be required, treatment if necessary. Citizenship should absolutely be mandatory. I do not have a problem with social services per se’. I do have problems with welfare breeders and people who play the system because they know they can, and it’s easier than working.

My comments here could have been more succinct, if able, recipients should be required to do something to move themselves off the dole and not penalized as they move in that direction. Addiction treatment must be made available to everyone. Citizenship should be mandatory for social services. I understand that this last one is controversial.

(7) Professional Athletes –Steroids – The FIRST time you check positive you’re banned for life.

This is a private sector matter and does not belong in political discussion.

I stand by this statement.

(8) Crime – We will adopt the Turkish method, the first time you steal, you lose your right hand. There is no more life sentences. If convicted, you will be put to death by the same method you chose for your victim; gun, knife, strangulation, etc.

OK, just nonsense. Yes, there are justice system needs. Those should be longer term evaluations and changes. Most of what I am talking about are one or two term initiatives.

The justice system needs a complete overhaul. To begin with, everyone who has been arrested and convicted only for being high on pot needs to be released and their records expunged. If they were high on pot and did something else, the pot charge should be dropped, time served credited, and the charge expunged.

Laws that can be traced to Jim Crow like intentions must be removed, those in jail for them must be released, their records expunged, and restitution paid for time served. And these actions must be retroactive for those who have served time and released.

(9) One export will be allowed; Wheat, The world needs to eat. A bushel of wheat will be the exact price of a barrel of oil.

Hadn’t thought of this one myself. I like it.


(10) All foreign aid using American taxpayer money will immediately cease, and the saved money will pay off the national debt and ultimately lower taxes. When disasters occur around the world, we’ll ask the American people if they want to donate to a disaster fund, and each citizen can make the decision whether it’s a worthy cause.

This goes hand-in-hand with number 2. I do like the added element of options as to what I want my tax dollars to go toward.

This would result in a chain reaction that would financially ruin the country. If China alone did this to us, the country would be bankrupted.

(11) The Pledge of Allegiance will be said every day at school and every day in Congress.

(12) The National Anthem will be played at all appropriate ceremonies, sporting events, outings, etc.

Both 11 and 12 are elements of nationalism. In general practice I agree with. (I will leave out the God issue for now)

I don’t have a problem with the pledge or anthem on any level myself. Forcing or penalizing others to recite them however, only serves to denigrate the spirit of the pledge and anthem. We must be free to participate, or not, for them their intent and spirit to be truly embraced.

This has been an interesting exercise. I recognize that some of my ideas in the past were wrong. My understanding and statements regarding things like Black Lives Matter were borne of ignorance of the reality of being black in America.

I have always believed that we must continue to educate ourselves to grow as people. The events of 2020 have brought the lack of understanding in many areas to the forefront for me and others. I can only hope my comments and there updates are understood in the spirit they were intended.


An email I received

I got this email today. It reiterates many things I have been saying for years. But towards the end really cuts to the heart of one of my writing projects.

The Atlantic - The Overprotected Kid
The Atlantic – The Overprotected Kid


1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon. We drank Kool-aid made with real white sugar. And, we weren’t overweight. WHY?

Because we were always outside, playing…that’s why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times,we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s and X-boxes. There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD’s, no surround-sound or CD’s, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers problem solvers and inventors problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
If YOU are one of them? CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good.

While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it ?

I guess the parts that ring most true to me are taking responsibility, developing a spine, and not suing people when you don’t get your way