Thursday, July 12, 2018

Telling NATO The Truth - What A Concept

Yesterday, President Trump made history once again. He went to the NATO summit and actually told them the truth.

Trump told the other NATO countries he was tired of the majority of them refusing to pay their fair share, as they promised last year they would to. He very correctly told them that the United States was tired of bearing the financial burden for NATO, with 23 out of 28 nations still not giving 2% of their gross domestic product to the organization, as promised. He singled out Germany, which has the largest economy in Europe and had a large trade surplus last year and doesn't give 2%.

He also very correctly stated that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, while expecting the United States to protect them from Russian aggression, just made a deal with Vladimir Putin to purchase natural gas from Russia via a new pipeline. It is rumored that Merkel somehow makes money personally from the deal but I can't prove that.

Liberals, and even some Republicans, are going crazy because Trump is telling the truth. He's not making things up. But he's not being politically correct, either. He's telling the other NATO countries what they're doing wrong and that the United States doesn't want to carry them anymore. He expects them to live up to their promises. Why anyone in the United States would be upset over that is beyond me.

I heard one guy on TV last night say that what Trump is saying is necessary and should be said but the way he's saying it is wrong. And he basically said Trump should be saying these things behind closed doors and not on international television. 

Sorry. As the old saying goes... truth hurts. In my humble opinion, shaming the other nations on international television is exactly the way to go. Make them feel the heat for their lack of cooperation. He tried it their way last year and they failed to come through. 

Donald Trump was elected in part because of his bluntness. He calls them as he sees them. Sometimes that's uncomfortable for people but his fans appreciate his honestly and candor. And his actions so far as President are the reasons he will be re-elected in 2020.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Auto Repair... Replacing Light Bulbs. Simple Job, Right?

Yesterday I needed to replace a reverse light on my wife's 2005 Chrysler Town and Country and a brake light on my 2000 GMC Savana 1500 conversion van. Simple enough, right?

I determined that I didn't have either bulb I needed so I went to Auto Zone and purchased both. Went home and started on mine first. I discovered as I went (I hadn't done it before) that in order to remove the socket that holds the brake light in place you first must remove a part of the body (plastic trim above the light assembly) and then remove the light assembly completely because there is not enough room between the socket and the door frame to get the bulb out. Removing the body part involves removing two nuts and two Phillips screws. I didn't have the right size Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws. I used to have it – but it has disappeared.

As I was determining which way to proceed we suddenly got some much needed rain. But since I was working in the driveway the rain wasn't really welcome at that time. I put the moisture cover back on and closed up the van until the rain stopped.

Since I couldn't finish mine I decided to go into the garage and take care of the reverse light in my wife's van. The taillight assembly on that particular model is a one piece plastic unit that pops out with the removal of two rubber pins. The socket pulls out easily, as does the old bulb, and the new one goes in. Entire job finished in less than two minutes.

I drove her van back to Auto Zone to get the screwdriver and long nosed pliers that I needed. Couldn't find those either. While I was trying to get the socket out I discovered that the bulb had actually broken away from the base so I had to get the base out of the socket. I know I'm supposed to use a potato but the size of the socket and the plastic around it made that impossible.

I went back home (the rain had stopped) and pulled everything apart. I managed to get the socket out of the light assembly and get the base of the bulb out of the socket. The new bulb went in easily and I put everything back together. It wasn't a piece of cake. Things that haven't been taken apart for a long time tend to be difficult. But after an hour and a half, and two trips to Auto Zone, all of the lights on both of our vehicles are functional. Well, except for a reverse light on mine that corroded because of a bad seal on the taillight cover. Problem is, I can't find a new or used taillight cover to replace it. And until I can do that there is no use replacing the wiring harness.

Some people say we should buy new vehicles. But the ones we have are paid for, run and drive well, and we both like our vehicles. Sure, older vehicles can be a problem. But if you are pleased with it that's all that matters. And in seven more years mine will be an antique.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sometimes I Wonder... Who You'd Be Today

Happy birthday Christopher William Dunham Clark.

You would be 34 today. I wish I could know who you would be today. With the heart you had I know you'd be someone special. A husband, a father, and a pilot, most likely. It's what you wanted to do. I'd be so proud of you. I'm proud of you anyway. But I didn't get the chance to watch you become a man.

I miss you every day. Even after 16 years there is still not a day that goes by that I don't think of you. You have two nieces now. Knowing the way you were with kids I know you'd love them as they would love you.

I think about the kids you might have had and I can't help but be saddened that it never happened.

For those who may not know, my son was killed in a car accident when he was 17. Please don't feel sorry for me – I've moved on, as difficult as it was. The reason I mention it every year is to draw attention to the importance of seat belts. Christopher died because he was not wearing one and he was ejected from the vehicle. The other two kids in the car walked away with minor injuries.

Kids think they're invincible. They're not. Those of us who have lost children understand that better than most.

Talk to your kids. Make sure they drive safely, wear their seatbelts and don't text and drive. Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 15 and 20. At least 12% of those accidents are caused by distracted driving. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, as many as 39% of teenagers admit to texting and driving. They are accidents waiting to happen.

My other point for posting this is a reminder to all of you to tell your kids you love them as often as you can. Let them know how you feel – even if it embarrasses them. You just never know when you may not get another opportunity.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

My Take On The Roseanne Situation

Comedian Roseann Barr recently had her extremely successful show canceled and was fired by ABC for publishing a racist tweet. Frankly, I'm OK with that. What she said was stupid and pretty sad given her celebrity status. She said it was a joke but if it was it was an extremely poor one. No matter how one feels about Valerie Jarrrett (a woman I personally don't care for), what Roseanne said was bad.

That said, why is it that the left in general, and the left-wing media, don't fire people who are not Trump supporters for disgusting comments? With the exception of Kathy Griffin (who wasn't fired by anyone – she just lost all popularity following her little photoshoot holding a severed head that looked like President Trump), no other liberal celebrity has lost a job because of disgusting things they have said about President Trump, his family, his administration, or anyone else.

Several celebrities compared President Trump to an orangutan and there was no backlash. Was that because it's only insulting if one is black?

Jimmy Kimmel once donned black face for a TV skit. Stephen Colbert says disgusting things about the President all the time.

Keith Olberman calls the President vile, vulgar names all the time. He has been fired several times for his disgusting comments. Yet he keeps getting hired by the left-wing media.

Joy Behar made comments that indicated she believes Barron Trump is autistic, even after insisting that President Obama's girls were off limits when it came to criticism. MSNBC pundit Joy Reid made bigoted remarks about gays. Fellow MSNBC star, Don Lemon, who is openly gay, didn't ask for her resignation. Apparently he's OK with Reid's public gay bashing.

Why are these celebrities still employed? Simply because the people they bashed aren't black or liberal?

There are other examples but you get the point.

The fact is if you are a conservative, a Republican, or simply a Trump supporter (like Roseanne) you must be dealt with in a harsh manner. If you're a liberal, a Democrat, or just hate Trump you get a pass. That's just a fact of society in 2018 America.

As I said above – I'm not upset about Roseanne being fired. The network has the right to do that if one of their stars says something publicly that is embarrassing to the network or makes the network look bad. And honestly, I commend ABC for hurting themselves by cancelling the show. If it wasn't number one yet it was on its way. And the network will lose money because of their decision. So good for them.

But the hypocrisy that is being shown on a regular basis is pathetic. If you're going to hold one side to a certain standard the other side should be held to the same standard. But we all know that's not going to happen – because that's not how the left works.

I watched Roseanne's show one time and it portrayed very well the political division that is reality in this country today. We were recording it so we could watch it at our leisure. It's sad that the show has been canceled because it also showed that even with huge political differences, family members can still love each other and stay close.

I feel badly for the rest of the cast, crew, writers, etc., how are now unemployed and missing out on the benefits of being connected to a hit show. Roseanne has apologized for her Twitter post and has even told her fans not to defend her remarks because, in her own words, “what I said was egregious.” So I'm not going to defend Roseanne. She is correct. Her words were egregious. But it's truly sad that she is held to a higher standard than left-wing celebrities, who can pretty much say whatever they wish and then, if they apologize, they're forgiven.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Memorial Day 2018

Monday, May 28th, is Memorial Day. It's a day set aside in 1967 to honor military veterans who died in service to their country.

Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day was a yearly event in which people decorated the graves of fallen military members. It began in 1861 but really took shape during and following the Civil War, when the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers were decorated each year by local citizens. (Over 620,000 men died in the Civil War. Those citizens were busy.)

The tradition continued without being a holiday until 1967, when Lyndon Johnson declared it the Memorial Day Holiday. It was originally observed on May 30th, until the government created Monday holidays for most American days of observation.

Many people confuse Memorial Day with Veterans' Day, or believe they are similar. They're not. Veterans' Day is a day set aside to honor all military veterans, living and dead, to thank them for their service. Memorial Day is set aside specifically to honor those who made that ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

It is said that a veteran is a person who “at some point, wrote a blank check to 'the people of the United States of America' in the sum of 'up to and including my life.'” And in many ways that's true. Not all military members end up in harm's way. I served eight years during what was mostly peacetime (Grenada happened while I was in) and never had to deploy to a combat zone. But I would have had it been necessary.

My point is when you join the U.S. armed services you basically volunteer your life in service to your country. And many end up making that ultimate sacrifice. And that's why we have Memorial Day – to honor those who selflessly served the people of this nation.

Many Americans will spend Monday barbecuing and spending time celebrating with family. And I'm OK with that. The men and women who sacrificed their lives would be OK with that too, I'm sure, because freedom to enjoy life is what they sacrificed their lives for. All I would ask is that at some point in the day they contemplate the true purpose of the day and honor those who made it possible for them to celebrate.

In 1991, I was living in Leavenworth, Kansas, just outside the front gate of Fort Leavenworth. The Saturday before Memorial Day I took my six year old son to Fort Leavenworth and we helped soldiers and other volunteers place American flags in front of every grave stone in the national cemetery on the grounds of the fort. It was truly a humbling experience and such an honor. It was my way of not only honoring my fallen military comrades but also of teaching my son the importance of doing just that. And while it didn't have quite the same significance for him that it did for me, I know he never forgot the experience.

I read something the other day that said “Don't wish people a happy Memorial Day because it's a day of remembrance and solemnity.” I disagree. I wish everyone a happy Memorial Day in celebration of the freedoms we have thanks to our military members, and particularly those who died while fighting to preserve our freedom. As long as you remember the true meaning of the day there is no reason you shouldn't celebrate what it has brought us.

I offer a heartfelt thank you to all military members, but this weekend, particularly to those who made that ultimate sacrifice on my behalf. You may not get the recognition you deserve on a regular basis but Monday is your day.

President Trump Wins Again... Democrats Go Crazy

Kim Jong Un threatened to pull out of the Singapore meeting with President Trump because he doesn't like the fact that the United States held a joint military exercise with South Korea this month. Their Foreign Affairs Minister delivers a hostile public message concerning remarks made by Vice President Pence and National Security Adviser John Bolten. He also says they were going to cancel the meeting and reminds the world that they have nuclear capabilities.

Trump cancels the meeting scheduled for next month.

Democrats go crazy. They say Trump is a fool, that Kim Jong Un is laughing at us and that Trump once again is risking nuclear war with North Korea. Nancy Pelosi goes on national TV defending Kim Jong Un. (So far this month President Trump has caused the Democrats to defend Hamas, MS-13, and now Kim Jong Un. Makes you wonder who's side they're really on....)

Trump goes on international TV, even as the Democrats are ridiculing him, and tells Kim Jong Un that it's OK. He was speaking with our allies, South Korea and Japan, and readying our militaries for anything should Lil Kim decide to do something stupid. He makes it clear that our nuclear capabilities far outweigh that of Lil Kim's. Democrats go crazy again saying that Trump is trying to get us into a nuclear war. But he does say that if Lil Kim is still willing to talk, he's ready. By the end of the day, Lil Kim is saying “Hey, wait... I'm still willing to have the negotiations in Singapore.”

That's what happens when you have a strong leader instead of a spineless, pacifying President, such as the last one. Obama traded five terrorists to get Bow Bergdahl, a deserter who was convicted of that very charge after he returned to the United States, released by the Taliban. He paid $400 million to get some sailors released, who were being held captive by Iran. He was the first President in history to pay ransom for Americans.

President Trump may be crude, and even rude. But he knows how to deal with people. His negotiation techniques are hard line and he doesn't play games. I heard some far-left pundit yesterday say that “There is a difference between the art of the deal and diplomacy.” Actually, there's not. It's the same thing. Diplomacy is making deals with other countries. It's either done well with hard line negotiations, such as the way Trump does it, or it's weak, wishy washy, concessions, as Obama did. Trump is a master at negotiation and is making the Obama administration look even more foolish than they already do. Obama was a pacifier. Trump is a leader. And those who choose to deny that are fooling themselves.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Democrat Congressman Wants To Confiscate Your Guns

Representative Eric Swalwell, (D-CA) was on Tucker Carlson's show last night. He told Tucker several months ago that if he got positive evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians he would return to the show and present the evidence. Well, apparently he called Tucker and said he had the evidence... except he didn't.

Swalwell spent about 10 minutes repeating all of the Democrat talking points about Russian collusion. He had no new evidence nor even any he could use to prove collusion between the campaign and the Russians. He cited Trump's “invitation” to the Russians to hack Hillary's emails as positive proof. (Trump joked about it during a campaign speech in 2015.) And he cited the infamous meeting between Don Junior and the Russian attorney. Proof, Congressman? Really?

Following that segment Tucker asked him about something that has far more serious implications for Americans than the Russian witch hunt.

It seems Congressman Swalwell recently wrote an Op-Ed in which he proposed that the government ban “assault style” rifles, initiate a buy back program to get as many as possible and then prosecute and jail anyone who doesn't comply and take their guns.

Carlson mentioned gun confiscation and the Congressman said that's not what it was. “It would be following the law,” he said. Really, Congressman? So a law that allows the government to take someone's guns away and prosecute them for having them isn't confiscation?

Confiscation: the action of taking or seizing someone's property with authority.

I'm not a college graduate nor a lawyer like Congressman Swalwell but I'm intelligent enough to understand that what he is proposing is exactly that – gun confiscation. Use your doublespeak and spin all you want, Congressman, but even though you suggest a buy back, what you're proposing is gun confiscation, plain and simple.

Tucker asked if the Congressman was worried about starting a civil war by enforcing a gun confiscation law. The Congressman repeated the Democrat mantra over and over... “It's about the children.” So Congressman Swalwell believes that a possible civil war in the United States is less of a concern than another possible school shooting, which is bound to happen anyway given the lack of moral behavior, the decline of Christian values, and the lack of proper upbringing at home in this country.

Tucker disappointed me a little because he didn't point out to the Congressman that the most recent school shooting was not committed with an AR-15 and didn't ask if Swalwell intended to confiscate handguns and shotguns as well. But the fact that Swalwell is willing to risk civil war to accomplish his goal of gun confiscation says a lot.

My question is – how do so many ignorant politicians keep getting elected and re-elected in California?