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The Presidential debate… Epilogue

September 27, 2016

Expecting the phrase ‘The horror’, (from the movie Apocalypse now), to exemplify the debate last night I for one img_0702was left with the more apt phrase ‘Much ado about nothing’, (from the Broadway play), to describe what transpired during those ninety minutes. If one could isolate the Clinton remarks from Trumps and play them separately it would have ended up looking like a 45 minute infomercial for each candidate.

Waiting for the presumable foot in the mouth remark or angry tirade by Trump proved futile, because Trump maintained a lackluster performance throughout. Though there were very few surprises coming from Trump one did get the overall impression that he was more equipped to sit in the presidents chair then one believed before the debate. Even though quite a bit of his time was spent countering questions on remarks he made throughout his campaign he did manage to show more depth of knowledge on non-business topics than we expected.

I observed that Hillary managed to ‘restrain’ her personal attacks on Trump, at the same time revealing no new information on any of her missteps made during her time as Secretary of State. She did reinforce to us that indeed she had more experience with interactions between the United States and foreign powers, but other than that she presented nothing new

Maybe I am just an old curmudgeon who wants to witness a battle to the death over who gets to be President, but is that truly wrong? I am sure both candidates were coached to not let go and no matter what the other candidate said to remain calm and ‘look presidential’….  well they did and it is our loss. Where is that spark of emotion that makes one want to jump up and say yes that’s who I want for President. This job they are applying for is so important because it effects the very lives of ‘we the people’, shouldn’t those wanting it inspire us to vote for them.

The speeches
“ask not what your country can do for you” by Kennedy
or
“I have a dream” by Dr Martian Luther King

Inspired us to look to the future
and have hope.

What we witnessed last night
inspired us
only
to change the station.

The Presidential debate… Part 1

September 26, 2016

prt33

I am starting this posting hours before the debate to collect my thoughts on what I expect to witness later tonight. I may not want my thoughts to come to fruition but if some of them do materialize then the campaign will indeed take on a different look starting tomorrow.

For Donald Trump I envision that he will not be able to hold it together for the full ninety minutes of the debate. I am sure he has been coached that he must look more Presidential and calm even when he is under fire, but at some point I believe he will indeed resort to the Trump of old and start shooting from the hip and when that happens Hillary will no doubt capitalize on his actions.

Hillary Clinton has the weight of years in the White House and the inside knowledge she accumulated there, plus when you add the years as Sectary of State and Senator her foundation of knowledge will work in her favor. However even with this foundation I am sure she will not directly answer any questions with regard to the many miss-steps and criminal actions she has been a part of from Benghazi, Iran and Syria to her handling of classified material.

So I will sit by like millions of others and watch and listen
to the two worst Presidential candidates in America’s history
show us why one of them should be
the next leader of our nation.

A personal lament… my encounter with climate change

September 24, 2016

It could be that the hot humid weather of the Texas summer has marinated my brain or this old curmudgeon is just frustrated with not being able to go outside during the daytime hours, whatever the reason I once again ask that you bear with me as I vent about the weather. Way back in another time in my life a psychologist told me it was better to just let it all out than keep things building up inside you, so lets take a short walk through my melted minefield that was once a sharp intelligent brain.

 

As the tour bus driver commented on the ‘trading post’ in the middle of nowhere, he slowed and then stopped the img_0706bus. The doors opened and tourists heading to the Arctic circle emerged for a mid-ride hiatus. I stood on the porch of the store sipping my morning coffee and enjoyed watching the reaction of the tourists to our remote lifestyle. From May till mid September I reveled in this ritual of coffee and tourists in the cool fresh Alaska air.

Those days are gone now that I have moved to Texas. When I first arrived in May I was able to for a few weeks sit outside, even though the view was nothing more than a brick wall and microwave tower instead of mountains and valleys, but I haven’t been outside for months because of the heat and humidity. This morning ritual looses it flavor when after that first sip of hot coffee you begin to sweat from the humidity, and the air you breath is warmer than what one encounters when you open an oven door.

Yes I know for millennia the earth has gone through cycles of cold and hot but my timing for this move could not have been worse…. except for the one summer here in Texas when it was 100 or over for an entire three months. Yes I should consider myself lucky that so far this summer we have had less than 20 days at the 100 degree mark but I don’t…. considering back home I melted when it hit 70.

When I was deciding to move here I remembered my days in Texas back in 1967 when I was stationed at Ft Hood. I had arrived in June of that year and even though we trained for months in the summer heat it never bothered me. Now this could be because I just arrived here from a tour in the hot and humid far East or maybe because I was just nineteen, either way it gave me a false basis for making the decision to move. So here I sit in air conditioned comfort only venturing out for needed supplies and the adventure of having a massive fish filled lake virtually outside my door goes unexplored.

Self pity
or
just another mistake made by an old man.
Climate change is here to stay
will I?

Anarchy in America… again!

September 21, 2016
cs3d06evyaahurn

Where does the rule of law say it is OK for civilians to shut down a road?

Sixteen police officers were injured during another fine example of respect for the rule of law in Charlotte, North Carolina after a police involved shooting. The victim Keith Scott was killed by a black police officer while the police were attempting to serve a warrant on another suspect. The incident sparked an immediate protest of what was perceived as the wrongful shooting by the police of an innocent man.

One demonstrator remarked on a Facebook broadcast, “We ain’t playin’ no motherfuckin’ games, nigga!”, trying to incite other protesters even though the the officer responsible for the shooting was also a black man. Some of the protestors filmed themselves throwing rocks off an I-85 overpass striking motorists below, and later protesters closed down I-85 and looted and burned tractor trailers and their loads. The protestors then went on to loot a nearby Walmart breaking the windows and running off with TV’s and computer gear.

Ironically right after the Charlotte mayors press conference asking for calm and to wait for the facts to be released an activist group held its own news conference, urging the black community to start an economic boycott of white-owned businesses even though the policeman who shot Scott was black.

Yes I can see the frustration of the black community over the death of another black man by law enforcement but why show this frustration through violence to other innocent people and why destroy the town you live in? Do these communities have no common sense or respect for rule of law or are they incited by a few criminals to do this violence?

We have seen this violence from Ferguson, Mo., to Baltimore to Chicago and elsewhere over police involved shootings but I have to ask why no mass demonstrations in Chicago over the hundreds of murders of black men by other black men. Or maybe it is just that when a police officer is involved you have a right to act like an asshole and destroy other peoples property.

If people only riot after a police involved shooting

does this mean that it is ok for black men to shoot other black men?

I am sorry I do not see the difference.

 

The lessor of two evils… Clinton or Trump?

September 19, 2016

When you are eighteen, broke and homeless New York city in 1964 was not a place you wanted to be but there I was. I had run away from home a month earlier and was now running out of money and facing life on the streets of matrix-red-blue-pillan uncaring city. I was standing at its very heart, times square, feeling sorry for myself because I didn’t know what to do when I noticed a building at the very center of the square… an armed forces recruiting station. I stood there for what seemed like hours trying to decide whether I should return home or go over and open the door of a new life, but nether choice looked good.

Shortly the people of this nation will face the decision on who will be our next President, and once again just like when I was in New York you too will be faced with two, for the most part, unsatisfying choices. Yes I know there are also two other people running for the position but in this election they have no chance of being elected and a vote for either of them would be throwing your vote away.

In that choice I was looking at back in ’64’ I chose a total unknown, the military, over returning home to what I thought at the time was just more of what prompted me to leave in the first place. The decision to join the Army indeed changed my life, but to this day I still wonder what my life would have become if I had chosen to return home. Our life is full of decisions on a daily basis and for the most part we never give these choices a second thought because they do not have a major impact on our future, but we and I are now faced with a decision that will without a doubt not only effect our lives but the lives of future generations.

You can not sit this one out dear reader because it is a matter of life and death for a once proud nation. To not vote would allow those with the loudest voices to control your life because you can be assured they will be voting! If you are not firmly supporting one candidate or the other the choice between them I know looks bleak, but to allow someone to become President simply because they arouse a larger number of fanatics than the other is just throwing you vote away.

One candidate espouses a continuation and even an intensity of the same policies we have now, while the other wants to change those policies and tighten laws already on the books. One is a politician with years of experience learning how to make backdoor deals with other politicians to get things done while the other has no political experience and owes no allegiance to anyone but ‘we the people’.

Two choices
two different people
a long time ago I chose the unknown
is it time to do so again?

I am a “deplorable” person… and proud of it!

September 15, 2016

A number of years ago a candidate for President referred to me and millions of others like me as a person who ‘clings to my gun and my religion’, and even though when he first uttered those words it was meant as a derogatory peteart33remark, I took it as praise for the way I live my life. Since I first started writing for this blog the ‘by-line’ at the top reads “Pete’s Alaska – God, family, country my view out the cabin window”, meaning my priority is first with my Lord then my family and then my country all of which I will defend until my death.

So now when another Presidential candidate says, ‘you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables….. the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it’ I once again have to stand up and say yes I am proud to be an Islamaphobe. No I do not hate people who are Muslims but once again common sense dictates that we do not allow a flood of migrants into this country from countries who see America as the ‘great Satin’ and want to destroy us without a lengthy (in depth) background check.

Our founding fathers knew full well that to create a great nation its people should be steadfast in their religious beliefs, with strong family values and a love for their country and freedom, protected by their right to bear arms. Yet one of the current candidates for President espouses unfettered immigration by people who have voiced no intention of assimilating into the American way of life, and in fact want to destroy it. Whoever wins the upcoming election could indeed change the very nature of our way of life.

So once again
I say I am proud to be
a deplorable person
who clings to my bible and my gun
because for 240 years
our nation has been a shinning light of freedom in the world
and I want it to stay that way
for future generations.

Another billion dollar boondoggle… that you are paying for!

September 13, 2016

Back in a different age when fixing your car did not require an engineering degree I remember replacing the head gasket on my parents 59 Ford. It was a dirty but fairly simple job and should have only taken a couple hours, greely1instead it took two days, this was due to repeated visits to the local ‘Pep-Boys’ automotive supply store. The three visits were caused by the incompetence of the company that made the gasket. The clerks continued to give me the wrong part because the manufacturer was labeling their gaskets incorrectly. Now your probably thinking it is to be expected that we at times get the wrong part every now and then and besides it was not a mater of life and death… well sometimes it is!

.
Alaska is home to a number of military bases with one instillation named Ft Greely which is now home to 26 missile interceptors our nations last line of defense against a nuclear attack from China, Russia or North Korea. Since 2002 these interceptors, manufactured by the Boeing Company, failed to destroy 6 of 11 incoming warheads in tests conducted by our government. A less than 50% kill rate for which Boeing was paid more than $21 billion dollars, and also over the same time frame received an additional nearly $2 billion in performance bonuses.

The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, said the system’s performance in tests has been “insufficient to demonstrate that an operationally useful defense capability exists.” What bothers me even more is that those participating in the ‘attack simulation’ know ahead of time approximately when the targets will be launched, where they are coming from and their speed and trajectory.

.
Now having to go back to a parts store because someone mislabeled or made the wrong part to work on my parents car doesn’t compare to a $21 billion dollar money pit where what is needed to save lives works less than 50% of the time. Yet those in power continue to reward this incompetence with ‘performance’ bonuses, something is definitely wrong with this picture.

For something that our lives depend on
and doesn’t work half the time
why does congress continue to reward
failure
with billion dollar bonuses?