First Reactions

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Early in the evening, shortly after Kentucky closed, I saw a report that Rand Paul won his re-election.  He was the guy I wanted on the GOP ticket.  At that time, I really felt that was going to be the only good news I would see all night.
Not that Trump as President is good news.
An “R” in the White House is good news.
But holy cow…….I never thought the White House, the House, the Senate and 30 Governors?  Talk about a complete and total rejection of the current DNC policies.  It’s like 2008 but with a Republican version.  And that’s exactly what it was…..a rejection of those policies.  Just think how bad it would have been for the Democrats if women, blacks, asians and Latinos had voted for Trump and the Republicans.  Thank God for the uneducated white man!
I’m not happy with the GOP.  I haven’t been for some time.  In fact, I’m down right cynical and jaded.  I admit it.  I’m not happy with Paul Ryan (there was a time when I really thought he might be the one to make a difference) as I don’t think he’s the same Ryan that was the VP candidate in 2012 or the fiscally conservative Representative from 2009.  Our fiscal house, for me, is the 2nd biggest issue our country faces and nothing in this election result changes this course.  I don’t think a Trump Presidency will stop the bleeding of our national debt.  Hillary wasn’t going to change it either.  No one has a guts to change it.  Not Trump, not Hillary and not Bernie.
But I am happy the 2nd Amendment is safe.  Specifically, I’m happy that an individual right to carry a gun, possess a gun and use a gun for one’s personal, self defense is safe and free from future “reasonable” Federal Government over-regulation.  Dammit, and I bought all those guns, spare parts, tanks, drones and booby traps too.  Should have used that money to buy TSLA!
I’m glad that Heller, Graham and Garner are all safe.
I doubt the Federal Government will change its policy towards the 4th Amendment, however.  That does makes me sad.
I could say that I’m happy that the rule of law is better protected, but I’m not sure that will be the case.  Not because Trump is some sort of corrupted law breaker.  I think he’ll just be a pawn in the GOP Legislative sprocket.  That is till he gets pissed off at that sprocket and switches parties mid-term.  I just don’t think, in the upper tiers of our current party system, the rule of law really has that much meaning any more.  Hell, the DNC screwed over their own constituents to get a corrupted, unindicted felon on the Presidential ballot for God’s sake.  Say what you want about Bernie, but I’d rather be an admitted socialist then be a unindicted felon.  Give the man some credit.  There are DNC activists on video talking about how to rig elections through voter fraud and plant moles in campaign stops.  When will you Democrats learn that the DNC doesn’t care about you any more than the GOP cares about me?  Even this uneducated white man figured that out 10 years ago.
I liked what a commenter said last night…..The people voted for the repugnant outsider instead of the repugnant insider.  That he’s an outsider……I hope beyond hope…….that it makes some type of difference.  But because of the way these two parties are structured, I doubt it will have much “change” at all.  See what I did there!
So, my guy lost last night.  He never had a chance, I knew that when I filled in that bubble.  Did I waste my vote?  No, I don’t think so.  My vote had a purpose and a “hope” behind it.  Ha!  Did it again!
I haven’t seen the national numbers yet but I can always hope that one day another option between two terrible options is given to all 50 states with the same gusto as these two screwed up parties.  But alas, I’m sad because I doubt that will be the case.  The media doesn’t want that, the GOP doesn’t want that, the DNC doesn’t want that and 118,723,655 (and counting) people don’t want that.  So, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing and we’ll keep getting what we’re getting.
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Today’s Thought on Capitalism and Freedom

This quote has been making the rounds lately and I wanted to take some time to post it and spread it around a bit myself.

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“No citizen can be secure while our peace forces are subject to murderous attacks in the street.  No officer can be expected to perform his duty at a high level which the public properly expects of him if he must be continually apprehensive that even his most routine activities will bring him face-to-face with senseless and unprovoked gunfire.  This deadly violence is wholly indiscriminate.  Any policeman, at any time, has become a target for a killer, and this is plainly intolerable.  Any person who commits an armed assault on a police officer will be hunted with every resource available to this Department.  We will not conduct business as usual while a would-be cop killer is loose.  I call upon all citizens to consider clearly what effect impassioned rhetoric condemning all policemen may have on the desperate or deranged.  A climate of hostility that equates policemen with animals is unquestionably in my view encourages the possibility of lethal violence against the men who are sworn to provide safety and justice for all our citizens and who, with very few exceptions, live up to this duty.”

NYPD Commissioner Patrick Murphy, 1970-1973

It’s Not About What’s Wrong With You

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”

– Jose Narosky

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As our combat veterans have returned from overseas, more awareness is being placed on their medical treatment or some would say, “lack thereof.”  These medical issues have led to headline stories concerning Post Traumatic Stress.  Some like to call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  But I don’t subscribe to the notion of it being a disorder.  It’s not about what’s wrong with you.  It’s about what happened to you.

On this Veterans Day I wanted to pay remembrance to all our veterans by re-posting a quote from Lt Col Dave Grossman’s concerning the psychological impact of combat.

“Swank and Marchand’s World War II study noted the existence of 2 percent of combat soldiers who are predisposed to be “aggressive psychopaths” and apparently do not experience the normal resistance to killing and the resultant psychiatric casualties associated with extended periods of combat.  But the negative connotations associated with the term “psychopath,” or its modern equivalent “sociopath,” are inappropriate here, since this behavior is a generally desirable one for soldiers in combat.  It would be absolutely incorrect to conclude that 2 percent of all veterans are psychopathic killers.  Numerous studies indicate that combat veterans are no more inclined to violence than nonvets.  A more accurate conclusion would be that there is 2 percent of the male population that, if pushed or if given a legitimate reason, will kill without regret or remorse.  What these individuals represent – and this is terribly important point that I must emphasize – is the capacity for the levelheaded participation in combat that we as a society glorify and that Hollywood would have us believe that all soldiers possess.  In the course of interviewing veterans as part of this study I have met several individuals who may fit within this 2 percent, and since returning from combat they have, without fail, proven themselves to be above average contributors to the prosperity and welfare of our society.”

I’m not a psychiatrist and I’m not writing this post to come to any concrete conclusions about the “why’s” and “how’s.”  I’m using this Veterans Day more to make you think about what exactly the combat veteran has gone through, what they have seen, what they have done and what they are bring back home with them.

Happy Veterans Day.  Thank you.

The Warrior

Happy Veteran’s Day to all the veterans out there.  I heard the poem below narrated in a video and transcribed it here.  I don’t know who wrote it, but I found it fitting for today.

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It is the Warrior, not the poet who has given us Freedom of Speech.

It is the Warrior who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag.

It is the Warrior who is the POW who went away one person and came back another or hasn’t come back at all.

It is the Warrior who are the drill instructors who have saved countless lives by turning average individuals into Warriors and teaching them to watch each other’s back.

The Warrior is the parading Legionnaire who pins on medals with a prosthetic hand.

The Warrior is an ordinary and extraordinary human being who offered some of life’s most vital years in the service to their country and who sacrificed life’s ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice their own.

It is the Warrior, a savior, a sword against the darkness who has nothing more then the finest, greatest testimony to and behalf of the finest and greatest nation ever known.

–    Unknown

Today’s Thought on Capitalism and Freedom

The truth is starting to come out.

The below is a quote from this Wall Street Journal article (linked above) on the US Government’s calendar for payments due.  Go read the whole thing as it’s quite interesting how there is no default coming on Oct 17.  In fact, we don’t have a payment due till Oct 23 and it’s just $12B.  The President know this, the members of Congress who shout about a default know this and many in the media know this.  They have been lying for weeks about it.

“Oct. 31 is also the last date of CBO’s range for when the government would still have cash available to keep paying bills.”  Per Wikipedia:  “A default is the failure to pay back a loan.”

I guess it depends on whether you view Social Security payments as paying back a loan or not.  Even if you do, there is money to cover these “loan repayments.”  Either way, the $30B President Obama and Treasury say we have will last us till Oct 31 without missing any payments.  In other words…….No default.

I wonder why this article doesn’t show receipts the government is taking in?  It only talks about when payments are due.  If the government brings in receipts to cover that Nov 1 payment, we can be good till Nov 14.  Are the closed non-essential parts of the US government money generating departments?  I have no idea.  If so, I think they should be re-opened so they can start generating some money to pay for Nov 1.

Then, President Obama could finally take credit for having a balanced budget.

Memorial Day

Deming Bronson

In honor of this Memorial Day I have chosen to remember 1st Lieutenant Deming Bronson, United States Army.   On September 26, 1918 he was assigned to H Company, 364th Infantry, 91st Division in France.  1st Lieutenant Bronson was taking part in The Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

He was 24 years old.

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy.  On the morning of 26 September, during the advance of the 364th Infantry, 1st Lt. Bronson was struck by an exploding enemy hand grenade, receiving deep cuts on his face and the back of his head.  He nevertheless participated in the action which resulted in the capture of an enemy dugout from which a great number of prisoners were taken.  This was effected with difficulty and under extremely hazardous conditions because it was necessary to advance without the advantage of cover and, from an exposed position, throw hand grenades and phosphorous bombs to compel the enemy to surrender.  On the afternoon of the same day he was painfully wounded in the left arm by an enemy rifle bullet, and after receiving first aid treatment he was directed to the rear.  Disregarding these instructions, 1st Lt. Bronson remained on duty with his company through the night although suffering from severe pain and shock.  On the morning of 27 September, his regiment resumed its attack, the object being the village of Eclisfontaine.  Company H, to which 1st Lt. Bronson was assigned, was left in support of the attacking line, Company E being in the line.  He gallantly joined that company in spite of his wounds and engaged with it in the capture of the village.  After the capture he remained with Company E and participated with it in the capture of an enemy machine gun, he himself killing the enemy gunner.  Shortly after this encounter the company was compelled to retire due to the heavy enemy artillery barrage.  During this retirement 1st Lt. Bronson, who was the last man to leave the advanced position, was again wounded in both arms by an enemy high-explosive shell.  He was then assisted to cover by another officer who applied first aid.  Although bleeding profusely and faint from the loss of blood, 1st Lt. Bronson remained with the survivors of the company throughout the night of the second day, refusing to go to the rear for treatment.  His conspicuous gallantry and spirit of self-sacrifice were a source of great inspiration to the members of the entire command.”

MOH

Letters

I’ve been waiting a while to post these responses to give all my representatives time to respond.  It appears that I am not going to get any more than what I have so I’m putting up this post now.

As a reminder, I wrote letters to all three members of my Congressional delegation, all three members of my Idaho State Legislature and the Governor of Idaho.  Here is that original post.  I have received responses back from all my Congressional representatives and only one state legislature, Rep Mark Erpleding.  If I get responses back from any others I will update this post.  But since they have had a month now to respond and have not, I don’t expect any.   I’m not sure if that’s normal or not.  But I’m sure they are either busy, don’t agree with me (thus ignore me) or…………whatever reason one can come up with.  Not sure how a local representative can be busier than a Congressional representative, but what do I know?

The letter I was most impressed with was from one of my local representatives, Rep Mark Erpleding.  He sent me a copy of a blog post he wrote on the topic as his response to my letter, but he attached a hand written post it note along with it.  Here is a link to his blog post.  To me, that shows a little more than a passing interest in his response.  And even though he may not completely agree with me, as his letter states, he took to the time to respond and explain his position.  I respect that.  I appreciated that response.

I’m always cautious when I read letters or emails from people and they quote this stat or that stat, or this percentage of people do this or that and the writer doesn’t source those findings.  Rep Mark Erpleding has some stats in his letter without linking the source of those numbers.  The reason I like sources is it gives credibility to the numbers and also allows the reader to proof them to see if they were arrived at in a reasonable manner.  Granted reasonableness is in the eye of the beholder, but at least the reader can research it themselves.

I scanned all the letters into a .pdf for myself, but I don’t see a way to attach .pdf to this post so these are all photos of the letters.

erpleding letter 1

erpelding letter 2

erpelding letter 3

sen crapo letter

rep simpson letter

sen risch letter

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