You see the word dictatorship and immediately think of those other 24 countries in the world under a dictator! Well I am here to tell you that somebody in the White House thinks we should be one too! I say someone because I am not absolutely certain who it is that’s in charge! So let me remind you of how certain things have gone in the first few days of Trumps Presidency that make me think this might have weight!

Do not fool yourselves into thinking that this is not a serious discussion because it is way beyond serious! This is a disaster of epic proportions. Most recently our President was telling the military that the media is covering up terror attacks to make him look foolish! As if they could stay away from the type of news that increases viewership and rakes in the dough! You know where our esteemed leader got that information? He got it from avidly watching Alex Jones, you know that guy from Infowars! Yep the guy who says Sandy Hook never happened, that every law enforcement entity in the country and President Obama faked the whole thing! He also thinks that the Super Bowl halftime show by Lady Gaga was a message straight from the Goddess of Satan! Trump is, as I said an avid watcher and where he got the idea about media covering up terrorist attacks. It is a shame that we are now setting policy for the United States of American from information we got from a guy with a microphone, the internet, a few flat screens for a backdrop, and a garage to put them in! As a result Trump has been attacking the media as dishonest anytime they disagree with his alternate facts! He claims the polls were fixed; voting totals have been skewed in Hillary’s favor, I mean he thinks he actually won the popular vote! Now he is calling out the judiciary. Not for the first time, but it is getting worse. He is now labeling a federal judge a “so called” judge! He also put the blame for any attack on the U.S. directly on this man’s shoulders, giving him someone to blame when all this hate he spews backfires in his face! He might get this judge killed with his recklessness. At the very least it will garner him some threats! Trump, as any citizen, has the right to disagree, but he is calling out this man’s right to be a judge as President of the United States! Checks and balances of the office of the Presidency and political parties are a separate judiciary and an honest and engaged media! So if you want to be a dictator the first thing you do is surround yourself with a small cabal of cronies, you demote the people who are actually qualified to be making policy and could point out your flaws, then you attack the media and the judiciary! Look up any strongman regime past or present and that is how it has always been done! So now, for my part, I am trying to decide if Trump is trying to set himself up as a strongman dictator, or is his mental instability the problem? He definitely does not know what a democracy is! He does not know how to use the tools at his disposal because he cannot give up the absolute control he craves and use the CIA, the Pentagon, FBI, or Homeland! He wants to tell them what to do, and what conclusions to draw, basically castrating them! It will all end badly if we get lazy and quit. Those people that say he is our President now so let it alone and quit crying are dead wrong. It is our duty to hold an immoral mentally unstable man to the fires of truth, moral fiber, and national stability! All this constant spewing of hatred will sour our national resolve, change who we are at our core! Instead of the land of the free, we will be known as the land of the vindictive, the do as we say or suffer the big stick we swagger about with! Let’s not forget stay the hell out if you are not white and Christian!

The latest executive order signed by Trump orders the labor dept. to explore ways to either get rid of the Feduciary rule or reduce its effectiveness. It also orders the date it was supposed to go into effect to be put off.

The fiduciary rule simply requires the retirement fund managers overseeing your 401(k) or IRA to actually act in your best interest—rather than sacrificing your interests for their own personal gain. It is estimated that retirement accounts across the country lost a total of $17 billion per year due to investment advice that clearly isn’t in the consumer’s interest. The reason is rampant kickbacks that financial advisers receive when they recommend certain financial products to their clients. It’s far too easy for an adviser to sell just one annuity, regardless of whether it is a prudent choice for the investor, when a free vacation or an international cruise is waiting for him on the other side of the sale! So why would anyone in their right mind want to get rid of such a common sense ruling to protect our hard earned investments in our future! See next paragraph and I will tell you!

Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs president who now heads Trump’s National Economic Council rolled this out Thursday night. You got that right, a former president of an entity this rule was supposed to protect our retirement and IRA funds from! Trump is already working on getting rid of Dodd-Frank, which prohibited banks from gambling with our money, and having to be bailed out when the gamble failed causing the whole depression in the first place, I am sure under advisement from the other Wall Street people in his administration! How bad do they think our memory is! Even worse, how stupid do they think we are?

I know you guys, by you guys I mean Trumpers, because all conservatives are not Trumpers, think the ban on refugees was the thing to do. We will not get into the religious test, you know, priority to Christians on immigration status, which is expressly forbidden in plain language in the constitution, we will save that for another time. Besides Christians are not innocent when it comes to terrorism! Now Buddhists should be a better pick! They have engaged in wars, but not terrorism in the modern sense, although they have been known to set themselves on fire in protest! But instead lets focus on just who got banned! Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Two things immediately standout with this list of countries! The most glaring is that not one terrorist who has been tracked or caught attacking the U.S. has come from any of these countries! The next little fact is that Trump does not have any major business interests with these countries! The 19 terrorists in the Sept. 11 attacks however, were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates and these countries were not included, why? Well the fact is that Trump has business dealings with these countries that have actually spawned terrorists, but somehow got left off the list of banned countries. He is also actively looking at future opportunities in those countries. So if you hold that a ban was necessary, then you have to concede that this executive order was ill conceived and worthless in its power to protect us as written!

So I ask you, is this good business for you and me! Think about it, hasn’t Trump already done in two weeks pretty much everything he was accusing Hillary of doing? Private phone, private email, filling his cabinet full of wall street millionaires and billionaires, targeting the pre-existing medical restrictions he swore he would not remove. He is also working on reinstalling limits on how much paid healthcare you can get before being cut off and left to die, and deciding after meeting with big pharm lobbyists, to go back on his word about getting drug prices competitive, the list is endless!

So all I am asking you to do is quit listening to it’s the biggest, best, most fabulous, outstanding, fantastic, believe me, I am the greatest bullshit, and actually look at whether this stuff hurts or helps you! I mean he tried to blame Obama for the disastrous raid he commanded. Sure it was a plan made under Obama, but Obama shut it down because they did not have enough feedback on the ground, and it also was a full moon at the time. But that is what the daily security meetings are for, you know, the ones Trump is too smart to have to go to! Plus he demoted the people who should be advising him on the security council and promoted a white supremacist over them. Trump would not even go to the situation room while the action was taking place. Hey when you’re the President, you’re the President. Sure he put on a good show by going to meet the remains of the Seal being returned and meeting his family because that is something he is good at, putting on a show! But he made that raid when he did because he could not wait to use the big stick, and you all know it!

I am talking to you about a President who is referencing 3 to 5 million illegal votes he claims were cast for Hillary (but none for him) because he has to be number one in everything all the time and so he just pulled those numbers out of his ass. There is no evidence of such a thing. I can tell you I have looked! Plus voting is run state by state, independently, sometimes district by district, all with different methods of checks and balances and voting machines, or manual apparatus. So they will all have different software running them and different providers for example! So even with a super computer Trump has no way of knowing any such thing! So there is no real way to have those numbers, and he can investigate all he wants, it will just be expensive and nothing else.

Speaking of expensive, the wall is going to cost billions and will serve no purpose. His claim that illegals are streaming across at increasing numbers are absolutely false! Those numbers are dropping and have been for years. It is just his insane ego at work and a scare tactic he used to get elected. The fact that he lies and people do not check for the truth of what he is saying is our number one problem! Even if you were saying it was to keep terrorists out, you would have to build another wall on the Canadian border, and lock up every port and airport until they could not function properly, if at all!

He has twitter wars over every little thing! As a private person, fine, kind of weird for a mogul such as himself to be doing, but fine. But as a President when Wall Street and the whole world hangs on every word, dangerous is not a strong enough word! Everything is the greatest, the best, the smartest, and the only way is his way. There is a condition for this type of attitude, and it is a mental one. A top psychotherapist who teaches at Johns Hopkins University says that our President has malignant narcissism. John Gartner went on to say, and I quote, “Donald Trump is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president,” citing his movements and behavior, pointing out the president’s tendency for grandiosity, sadism, aggressiveness, paranoia, and anti-social behavioral patterns. We’ve seen enough public behavior by Donald Trump now that we can make this diagnosis indisputably”.

I personally had hoped he would change after the inauguration but he is getting worse. Now he is issuing gag orders to scientists from organizations like the EPA because he knows they will say something eventually he does not like! NASA scientists are being told what they can study! Talk about chewing on the corners of the very paper the constitution is written on! His girl Conway said that any reporter disrespecting the President by disagreeing should be fired! You would have thought she would learn to muzzle herself after the alternative facts fiasco, but apparently crazy is catching! He also penned a religion test to get into the United States! Now Article 6, and I quote”, No Religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” So that is specifically prohibited by the constitution. He is trying to get around that by putting time limits on it. But he has even targeted green card holders, given priority to Christians in regard to immigration; all considered a test by legal definition! So I do not know what to say? All I can hope for is the chasing of actual facts. You cannot depend on the news anymore, or those opinion shows! You have to dig into the congressional record, the voting record, watch C-span until your eyes start bleeding, and actually read the laws enacted or going to the Presidents desk. Daunting to say the least and most people plainly do not have the time. So you just have to slog along as best you can. I am retired so I do attempt to stay informed. I still cannot read everything or listen to every argument being made. So have picked seven news outlets that I try to sample on any major news story, these six from opposing sides of any argument. Example; Fox versus MSNBC! Then I try to go to the source material if I can find it so that I can decide what it says instead of, lets say, Hannity!

The latest is Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, is now invited to sit in on all meetings of the National Security Council, while officials like the director of national intelligence and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will participate only when summoned. Now how is that a good idea! The former head of Breitbart instead of the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, now that is just what makes me feel secure, let me tell you!

I should tell you that I am not an academic, so there are lots of writers well informed who will argue both sides of any argument. I welcome any and all comments. Having an open mind is how I got it filled in the first place!

 

 

 

Studies done to try and understand why school shootings are on the rise, why certain states have a higher ratio, and why a group of states have none at all! Research highlights the need for a national registry to monitor school shootings in order to better inform the debate over its causes and how to prevent these tragic events.

However independent studies do show some interesting leads into why they are more prevalent in some states than others. The states with no school shootings at all have something in common. I list them below.

Mandatory background checks for gun and ammunition purchases.
Higher spending on mental health.
Higher spending on K-12 education.

Now please do not jump on the band wagon that equates mandatory background checks for gun and ammunition purchases to mean someone is taking your guns away from you. No! It only means these states are looking at your background for criminal or psychotic histories and not selling guns to these individuals. These states are also spending more money on mental health and public K-12 education than other states that do have shootings.

So the states with the highest percentage of shootings, and the highest increase in the rate these shootings take place, all have one thing in common. Poor background checks for gun and ammunition purchases, low expenditures for mental health in the state, and lower spending on K-12 education. Georgia had the greatest number, with 15 school shootings. Florida and Texas each had 14. There were 12 school shootings in North Carolina and 10 in Tennessee.

Here comes my point. Your new cabinet possibilities that President elect Trump is appointing are against just this sort of spending, all of it! Trump actually does not think a department of education is even necessary, and said so. Betsy DeVos, his pick for Secretary of Education has a long and public distain for public education, and works to syphon money out of public K-12 schools to private schools! She also supports an organization  that thinks child labor laws should be abolished, and instead of wasting money educating them they should work along side adults in mines and other other like jobs because that teaches them things too, lets them earn money, and youth like danger anyway! So basically if your not wealthy enough to afford private school, you should join a child labor force. The other appointees for the other departments all have disdain for the federal organizations they will run. Rick Perry comes to mind. He is slated to become the new Secretary  of  Energy. A department he has said he does not think should even exist!. He has no background in Energy except for maybe how to pull it out of the ground. I did enjoy him on Dancing With The Stars, seemed like a nice guy! I am not sure that qualified him to replace an actual atomic scientist currently in the position!  This is similar to almost every appointee Trump is nominating, as far as their disdain for the departments they will be running goes!

School shootings on the rise is just the tip of a very big iceberg. You can cry big government all you want, and sure, it has some serious faults, but wait until the checks and balances on the 1% are removed, you will not like it, not even a little. I predict you will hate it, but by then our education of our children will have declined to even lower levels, and their safety be even more threatened! 

 

 

 

Christmas Letter 2016

Posted: December 14, 2016 in Christmas, Life

 

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I am sitting at my desk, it is a little after 2am, thinking about a myriad of stray ideas and thoughts. Probably why I am still up. I did go to bed around nine last night, woke up around midnight unable to fall back asleep. I am thinking about going back for my third cup of Joe, so this might be a long night. It is one advantage of retirement. I can make use of the time as I see fit, however my wife does not like it when I nap during the day, which is her time to hang with me!

I was going to say tomorrow is haircut day, but actually it is today! I also ordered some new Wranglers, a new Bullhide belt, have a new grocery order in and accepted which will be delivered sometime after 7 am, so it isn’t like I have not accomplished anything. Oh I also have my daughters present purchased and on the way. As I may include this in my blog I cannot divulge what it is, but it is something substantial I know for a fact she wants! The wife, well as usual I do not have a clue, and no purchase as of yet for her, but It will come, it always does! She always says she does not need anything, never gives me a wish list, even when I tell her that giving presents is what it is all about for me! It is where my joy is, watching someone get a present I got them when I managed to get it right and bring them joy! I am pretty sure I am getting at least a shirt or two, as she started in on me when she noticed I was looking at them myself. She never bitches, so it has to be because she has shirts on order already!

I actually have a lot to be thankful for this year. I myself feel fine, even though I do have a few challenges, as I am 68 now. But I still can walk as far as I want, still ride my motorcycle, I just can’t run very far, and I am carrying too much weight, which I am working on. It will not be part of a new years resolution however, just an attitude adjustment.

Vivian had some challenges this year, she got a little brittle, tripped and fell breaking her arm. Then while still rehabbing the arm, she fell coming down the stairs at the movie theater and broke her hip. The arm just required healing and rehab, but the hip had to be pinned, and she had to spend some time in a rehab hospital to get mobile again before she could come home! However she is moving around well, no walker, still a little stiff at times, but she healed up in record time! So now I need to get her out walking with me. She is too skinny, and I am too fat, so we need to find the middle of the road this year!

I was planning one more motorcycle trip up and down the western coast, then wherever the roads of the northwestern states would take me. However my wife will not share the motorcycle experience with me, so next year we should both be able to take a trip in the SUV and do basically the same thing! I have always wanted to show her all the places I lived in the Riggins and Lucille area, maybe some back roads up through Burgdorf and McCall areas. I will find some shorter motorcycle journeys to fill my need for the wind in my face and the roar of horsepower! I tried a club, but their trips are too regimented for me.

So the daughter was promoted to Principal this year. She is a little younger than most principals, but this school had need of her specialized skills!, she was  an English teacher who also was trained in reading and comprehension difficulties. She is also bi-lingual. She taught college for a short time, but when the school year ended she elected to take a job back with her younger students. It turns out college age students who are having comprehension problems and difficulty making it at that level are not so much suffering any malady, they are just plain lazy! She loves her kids, but thinks she needs to get them at least by junior high level to do the most good! She has been a very successful teacher, and now a Principal. She was an assistant last year, and then she also did the summer session this year as temp Principal. The school then requested her where she had been an assistant the year before as their new Principal.

She just sold her condo and moved into a much larger house with a huge yard. It even has covered RV parking. She has two pitbull mixes she dearly loves, one a rescue from the local pound. They are the most loving dogs I have ever seen, not a mean bone in their bodies. They do bark a lot if you come up to the fence or front door, but I have seen them both hide behind my daughter when people they did not know came in. It takes them about thirty seconds to make friends however, then they will not leave you alone, begging for attention and play time!   My daughter basically bought the house for them!

So Christmas will be a good one this year, I hope that it finds all of my friends in good cheer as well! My thoughts are always with you, and look, no politics!

Merry Christmas

John and Vivian Love

 

A Reblog of A note from Abroad, my favorite travelers. I mainly did this reblog on this trip because I know a lot of teachers and thought they would like it.

 

Sunday, October 30th ~ Floreana Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Day 5 ~ This was our last full day on the ship. Although I enjoyed Floreana, it was my least favorite of the islands we visited on our itinerary. Still a few fun memories, but not the WOW factor we experienced earlier.

via Galapagos Islands ~ Post Office Bay, Champion Islet, Cormorant Point (Floreana Island) — A Note From Abroad

A Reblog!

 

Another exciting chapter in the adventures of Tim and Joanne! 

 

Friday, October 28th ~ Tagus Cove, Urbina Bay, Isabela Island Day 3 ~ Before we take off on todays excursions, I wanted to share more information of what day-to-day life is like on board the Santa Cruz II. There are several primary large areas where meetings, or lectures, or meals can be served, the Panorama […]

via Galapagos Islands, Ecuador ~ Tagus Cove, Urbina Bay — A Note From Abroad