This "soapbox" is NOT a blog, so I feel no pressure to write daily, weekly or even monthly. I write when the muse strikes me or as a result of significant, dramatic or even sometimes sudden events. Freedom from deadlines is a delicious thing!
On the other hand, it's been more than 2 years since I wrote a piece, much too long perhaps, but in the words of the immortal Mark Twain, "It's better to be thought a fool and keep your mouth shut than to open it and remove all doubt."
So, the "silly season" of the quadrennial spectacle of National Elections has begun. The GOP field is, as I write and to say the least, diverse and large. In time, the herd will thin. Interestingly, 3 front runners are not members of the permanent political class and widely criticized by the MSM pundits. But the poll numbers remain strong.
The Dem field is not nearly so numerous, but their front runner continues to be stricken by unpleasant revelations, some of which retain serious legal consequences. The other front-runner is more attractive to the far left in the party, but having forwarded an economic plan that would require a doubling of the already unsustainable 18 TRILLON dollar national debt it is doubtful that in a general election such radical ideas would be gain him enough votes to be elected. But hey, what do I know?
Time will tell, and the play unfolding will be entertaining.
It has been a disappointing second term for Obama on so many levels. As my previous piece warned, it certainly appears that his second term hardly united us as a nation; indeed, it seems to have done more to divide us than any other President in my adult memory. Such is the history and nature of Chicago politics and his personal inclinations. He should have governed the nation, but instead pandered to his "constituents" and dictated to and punished those who did not vote for him. We have become a lesser nation because of it.
Despite rosy reports from the MSM I have not seen or experienced any significant economic recovery. Worse, policy decisions on the federal level seem to stifle any incipient recovery. There is little hope of out of control deficit spending being curtailed. Job losses are appalling. Jobs created only equal those lost and significantly, equal every best estimate on the number of illegal immigrants in the USA. The net effect is a record number of Americans "out of the labor force"
94 million is not a number that can be sugar-coated; neither can the "hockey stick" shape of the graph.
Where there are no jobs there is no economic security or freedom.
God Bless the USA
Our great nation is at past the tipping point I am afraid, politically and economically. Our founders knew that in order to be successful there had to be a separation of state and religion, but at the same time preserved religious liberty and freedom as an essential part of our society. Today, freedom to worship is seemingly under assault everywhere you turn. Great Catholic institutions like hospitals, schools and social service organizations are being forced to provide healthcare benefits that are contrary to their religious doctrines. Public prayer is all but banned as it is an affront to atheists. A move is afoot to remove "one nation under God" from the pledge of allegiance. Merry Christmas has been replaced by Happy Holidays. The taking of human life has become a legal "medical procedure".
It is difficult to imagine God's continued blessings on a Nation that practices such insults to the creator. We are on a pathway to become a very secularized nation, without a moral compass, guided only by the disordered concept of moral relativism, without any absolute or intrinsic rights and wrongs. "But hey, that's OK for you, if that's what YOU believe".
Pray for our country. Pray for its political leadership. Pray that our nation's citizens awake from their slumber and apathy and stand again as a beacon to the world.
We have enemies and the "Global War on Terror" continues to be a long slog, probably as long as the cold war, maybe longer if we don't act wisely and with some sense of urgency. ISIS has taken over as the leadership of Jihad worldwide. Muslim Hijra is taking place and Europe is being overwhelmed by the influx of refugees. It is likely a number of the refugees are actually "Trojan Horse" fighters from ISIS. ISIS themselves stated earlier in 2015 that they would be doing this to infiltrate Europe.
Our own administration has stated a public goal of taking in 10,000 refugees into the USA. Even a wildly conservative estimate of 0.2% of them being ISIS trained leads to 20 terrorists on the loose in the US. Keep in mind it only took 19 men to perpetrate the awful events of 9-11-2001.
Why are we giving billions of dollars to those who hate us? You cannot buy friendship, even more so from those who hate the west. I'm convinced they think it is amusing that we give them money that they use to fund the killing of us. It is senseless.
The Dragon freighter and Cygnus freighter both reached commercialization over the past 3 years and both suffered from launch failures this year. Rocketry and space access remain a dangerous and risky business as empirically demonstrated twice. Nonetheless, steady progress towards multiple vehicle and supplier access to space at a lower cost continues steadily. Soon, man-rated vehicles will return to the US launch capability, restoring redundant human access to the ISS.
The latest planetary probe has reached the far regions of the solar system and is returning scientific data on the Pluto and its moons. Already, the long-lived probe is being targeted towards other distant objects in the Kuiper belt. Sadly, funding for future missions to mars or the other planets is succumbing to budgetary pressures and will likely be curtailed. Yet we are giving BILLIONS to our enemies (see GWOT above). This is very short-sighted and detracts from our leadership position in the sciences and engineering. Sadly, it seems our national policy is to dumb-down everything and create dependency on entitlements rather than celebrate and nurture real achievement.
The ISS continues to operate, passing the 10 year anniversary recently. A long-term one year mission to study the effects of weightlessness is underway. The boundries of human endurance in and exploration of space continue. It is my hope that ISS continues to operate, continues to be funded and continues to be an essential laboratory for research in near-earth orbit.
Nowthat you have finished my rant and rave check out the rest of the site and find something you can use. Remember, the quickest way to improve profit is saving money on raw materials.
In a Laundromat:
AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT
In a London department store:
BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS
In an office:
WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN
In an office:
AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD
Outside a secondhand shop:
WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING - BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN?
Notice in health food shop window:
CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS
Spotted in a safari park: (I sure hope so)
ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR
Seen during a conference:
FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN'T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE 1ST FLOOR
Notice in a farmer's field:
THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES.
Message on a leaflet:
IF YOU CANNOT READ, THIS LEAFLET WILL TELL YOU HOW TO GET LESSONS
On a repair shop door:
WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR - THE BELL DOESN'T WORK)
* Proofreading is a dying art, wouldn't you say? Headline bloopers
Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter
Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
Miners Refuse to Work after Death
Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
War Dims Hope for Peace
If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain;Police Suspect Homicide
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
Man Struck By Lightning:Faces Battery Charge
New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
And the winner is....
Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
* QUOTES FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
"The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?"
"Your silence gives consent."
"The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."
Friedrich August von Hayek
(1899-1992), Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences 1974
Source: The Fatal Conceit
"In all men is evil sleeping; the good man is he who will not awaken it, in himself or in other men."
[Eileen Mary Challans] (1905-1983) English novelist
"A good government implies two things; first, fidelity to the objects of the government; secondly, a knowledge of the means, by which those objects can be best attained."
(1779-1845) US Supreme Court Justice
Source: Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833
"I do not like the pretensions of Government -- the grounds on which it demands my obedience -- to be pitched too high. I don't like the medicine-man's magical pretensions nor the Bourbon's Divine Right. This is not solely because I disbelieve in magic and in Bossuet's Politique. I believe in God, but I detest theocracy. For every Government consists of mere men and is, strictly viewed, a makeshift; if it adds to its commands 'Thus saith the Lord', it lies, and lies dangerously
On just the same ground I dread government in the name of science. That is how tyrannies come in. In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They 'cash in'. It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. Perhaps the real scientists may not think much of the tyrants' 'science'-- they didn't think much of Hitler's racial theories or Stalin's biology. But they can be muzzled."
C. S. Lewis
(1898-1963), British novelist
Source: Willing Slaves of the Welfare State, first published in The Observer on July 20, 1958
"Love your country, but never trust its government."
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