Thursday, May 31, 2012

Edwards Walks

Think he would have ever been prosecuted if the Lightbringer didn’t want it? His warning to anyone in the Democratic Party that might oppose him. Of course, the whole sideshow was done on the taxpayer’s dime. Pure Chicago politics.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

From my pal, Hal Swift

The Patriot
by Hal Swift

At the close of the day, an old cowboy sets
kinda quiet in the old porch swing.
Now and then he'll softly whistle a tune,
or maybe he'll start to sing.

Then he'll change his mind and waggle his head,
and close his eyes in thought.
He thinks of Korea, the war over there,
and some of the lessons it taught.

When his gaze wanders over to the nearby hills,
he recalls how they look when it snows.
He studies the flag that he raised this mornin',
how it moves when the west wind blows.

If you look real close you'll see that a tear
gives a hint of some inner strife.
His mind's eye's seein' the faces of friends,
who long ago left this life.

The flag waves gently in the sunset sky,
and the old man raises his chin.
In his mind he's hearin' the sound of drums,
and he waits for the tune to begin.

When it does, his step is strong and brisk,
as he marches out to the flag.
He stops and stands there, watchin' it wave,
wipes his eyes with a pocket rag.

He continues his march to the old corral,
where his Morgan comes over to talk.
He saddles him up, and climbs on top,
and heads him out for a walk.

On a hill, he wonders if the whole blamed thing
was worth all the friends he lost.
Headin' home, he knows down deep in his heart,
he too, would have paid the cost.

Yeah, he shared the peril, but he returned
to his home in the sand and the sage.
Then, back at his flag, he thanks all his pards
for lettin' him reach old age.

Thank you, Ralph. And let us not forget the Korean Conflict veterans, the most overlooked and under appreciated group today.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Please Be Safe

Some Folks Still Get It

Small town Memorial Day stories if you have the time.

These stories happen all over our country and that gives me hope.

The Tamale Queen, Senora Salmonella

Confession. Have a long term off again, on again,  relationship with a lady who is a flaming, left wing, liberal. What is the attraction? Well, she is female and I am male - enough said.

We recently had a heated conversation about illegal immigrants. She was gushing over how hard they work, how they are striving to better their lot in life, etc. with the implication those qualities are lacking in our countrymen.

So I related the saga of the “Tamale Queen”.

For several years, the Tamale Queen positioned herself near the entrance to our local post office with a cooler of “homemade” tamales soliciting sales from the postal patrons for a couple of hours each morning.  This went on for around four years. Usually, she had one or more children with her. At the start, her clothing was “thrift store/yard sale” quality. Her POS vehicle was parked a block away. As time passed, her attire improved and her vehicle improved. The parking spot improved until she was parking her three year old vehicle in the handicapped space.

My lady friend’s response was, “what a wonderful story”. She was horrified when I  told her the Tamale Queen is, and was, a parasite.

She was taking sales dollars from local businesses who were required to have food handler permits, business licenses, owned or leased a property, collected and paid taxes, were subject to health inspectors, and all the other expenses and regulations for being in business. She may have been a hard working parasite but a parasite none the less. I hold the position she, and her fellow illegal’s, are parasites.

So my lady friend I and will continue to disagree. I will continue to believe the combination of additional burdens on our social systems combined with the remittances sent out of country are major contributors to our economic woes.

My total scorn is reserved for my fellow citizens who exploit immigrants. Your mileage may differ.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

King Coal

The Obama administration makes no secret they are out to eliminate the use of coal in this country, particularly for electrical generation. The production of electricity consumes nearly 40% of all energy use in this country. Useful information and statistics can be found at .

My extended families mainly live in a band from Casper, WY to the Four Corners area. Probably half work in energy, mainly coal, either mining it, finding it, transporting it, or burning it. Many of my female cousins are truly coal miner’s daughters and several are, or retired as, coal miners. Predictably, I’m very interested in the health of the industry. Half of all electricity we use is generated burning coal.

Coal cost one tenth the cost of petroleum and two thirds the cost of natural gas for electrical generation (See Table 9.10 in the stated source). This will all change as the environment crowd have their way.  Your electric bill, especially if you live on the East Coast, will make you look at the jump in gasoline prices with nostalgia. Think I’m wrong? Query your electrical supplier as to what they are paying on the futures market for power this winter. Or

So where will you cut back when your electric bill jumps $100 to $150 a month? You already have cut back to pay the extra $100 or so at the pump. If, in fact, we have a consumer based economy, what will this do to consumer spending?

At a personal level, I’m preparing for a tough winter. How about you?

Friday, May 18, 2012


Recently I’ve started rendering a hand salute during the National Anthem. Seems to make folks around me uncomfortable. That is exactly my intent.

All veterans are authorized to do so.

Being a veteran isn’t what defines me. Served three years (Army Engineer) from 1963-1966, mainly in Germany. No combat. So, no big deal. Pay American Legion dues but that’s about it. Have the greatest respect for those who made it a career. I wasn’t career material; hot temper, no patience, and little restraint. Still, I got out as an E-5. Lucky I was an Engineer.

Nowdays, less than 1% serve. Percent who have served is about 9%. Per the census bureau, there are around 23.5 million vets out of a population of about 303 million in the USA. That number will be dropping drastically in the years ahead.

Lots of folks have taken a free ride. I feel obliged to remind them when I can.

My youngest son is an Army 68W “Health Care Specialist”. i.e. Medic. I’m in awe of what the Army is today. I used to complain about lugging two duffel bags. He carries that much weight with his combat load.  From what I see and hear, far less “slack’ and much higher standards than anything I experienced.  He is also  in much better physical shape than I ever was. Some things don't change. I drove a truck manufactured in 1944. His ambulance is a M113.

Plan to continue the hand salute business. To me, it is almost a political statement. Or, my sister might say, my usual poking people with a stick.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


                                            Shamelessly stolen from one of my cousins.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Old Cowboys

Something different from the usual political rants. A part of the small Western town way of life that is still present in small pockets.

Old cowboy, living out his years, was a resident of our town. Lived in a room at a railroad hotel, conveniently located above a bar,  and across the street from an inexpensive restaurant. Most bowlegged man I ever saw. Nice man, always friendly, with Old West manners.

Railroad hotels were cheap places to sleep. Small room, single bed, wash basin in the room, and a shared bath down the hall. Nearly every town had one even if they didn’t have a railroad.

Our town had an annual Stockman’s Ball, better known as the Stockman’s Brawl, and the old cowboy was always  present. For all his bowlegs, he could really dance. He was always “scrubbed up” and well dressed by cowboy standards. Very few ladies, of any age or marital status, declined his request to dance.

As usual, towards the end of the evening, a brawl broke out in the middle of the dance floor. Maybe a dozen or so combatants. He was in the middle of it. He was trying to crawl away but every time he got to the edge, someone would grab him and toss him back into the brawl.  My mother, who had a hold of the back of my belt, told me to go pull him out. I succeeded, but then had to defend myself until the deputies broke up the uproar.

Later, the old cowboy thanked me. Of course, my mother raised holy hell with me. Just a routine occurrence at that time and place.

Going out tonight with my sister and her man to watch the professional bull riders. Her S.O. rode bulls well into his fifties and has the beat up body to prove it. Hope there is a fight. Can’t have a good rodeo without a fight. It won’t be me; too damn old and slow healing for that.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Nation of Candy Asses

This is happening in my neck of the Great Plains. Bet you can find examples nationwide.

Developers created Prairie Center, a mega shopping complex totally dependent on wheeled traffic. Two miles away from any houses. Get themselves set up as a private government entity able to levy sales taxes at 2.25% to pay for their improvements. This money goes to the developers, not any government entity. Of course, city, county and state sales taxes are also collected. Comes to just over 10%.

Fast forward a few years. The development is nearing bankruptcy. The combination of economic downturn, location, high prices from high rents, and competition from other overbuilt commercial developments are some of the causes. What else? Their books aren’t open to the public, so we don’t know. Cynical minds suspect corruption, inflated salaries, etc. Usual suspects.

Their next move is to get their less than ten year old development declared an “urban blighted area” and apply to the cities for aid. In short, taxpayers, “bail us out.” Damned if they didn’t succeed.

Yes, we are a nation of candy asses. Used to be the last asset a failed business had was a law suit. Now it is seeking a public bailout. Why not? Worked for Chrysler and General Motors.

We need to let these enterprises fail. Overreach, step on your pee pee? Oh well. Short term social turmoil for long term social stability.

But WSF, consider the pain. Well cupcake, been there, done that, picked up the pieces and moved on. I’ve seen the inside of a bankruptcy court. Didn’t kill me.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Flat Tax

"The budget should be balanced not by more taxes, but by reduction of follies."
Herbert Hoover

Ever drive by one of the exurbia McMansions and reflect their property taxes are less than your city home? How, faux farmers.

Same folks hollering about intercity welfare breeders with their LINK cards. Solid, Republican Party stalwarts, one and all.

How about General Electric? No longer a USA corporation, totally offshore, paying zero corporate taxes. First to call on our State Department and armed forces when needed.

Guess welfare is in the eyes of the beholder. My solution, a flat, no deduction tax; individual, corporate, charitable trust, foundation, church, whatever. Ass, gas, or grass; no one rides for free.

Will there be unintended consequences. Always.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Political Rant

"The budget should be balanced not by more taxes, but by reduction of follies."
Herbert Hoover

Good news! Windows word ate my draft blog. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Once Again, Captain Obvious

A personal dislike is complainers without a solution. People who can explain, in great detail, what is wrong but cannot offer a solution. Their job is to bitch, mine is to fix, or so it seems.

Our economy is based on the consumption of energy, mainly petroleum based, and all the “green” programs won’t, in any reasonable time, change that.  We need jobs, now, so the economic multiplier will shift to positive, not the current negative.

We are up to our asses in natural gas. Forget peak oil. There must be a “peak gas” but I can’t find anyone who has a number. We need to convert to gas. Hey, I’m no great original thinker. Other, notably T. Boone Picket, have put forth the idea. Seems we have something like 283.9 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas deposits within the USA.

 Any internal combustion engine will run on natural gas. Natural gas is dry, so valve wear is an issue. Proper valves need to be installed.  Unproven technology? Farmers pumping from the Ogallala Aquifer have been doing it for decades.

Won’t work everywhere, in truck, etc.?  Roush Industries spent a few months running medium duty vehicles in the hottest Arizona summer and coldest Colorado high altitude winter in 2011. Call them. For around $10,000, you can convert your F-550.

Per the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, in 2006 there were 244,165,686 registered vehicles in the USA.  Per the US Department of Energy, in 2007 there were 164,292 retail gasoline outlets. The incomplete figures I’ve found shows a minimum of $9,000,000,000 was given out by the Obama administration, mainly as loan guarantees, for “green energy” schemes.  That money,  spent on retrofitting retail petroleum outlets,  would be about $54,780 per outlet.  Say the average vehicle is driven 15,000 mile per year, gets 30 mpg, and gasoline costs $4.00 per gallon. That comes to $2,000 per year, per vehicle.  I’m not sure what it would cost to convert a vehicle to run on natural gas, or compressed natural gas, but propane conversion can be had for under $1,000 to shade tree mechanics.  There is less energy in natural gas than diesel or gasoline but there are many fleet managers who have done the math.

Imagine the number of jobs created by doing the conversion. The multiplier effect. The new startups; new entrepreneurs. The work for trial lawyers because of inevitable mistakes. The end of foreign oil considerations distorting our national priorities and values.

Give up liquid petroleum? No need, convert natural gas to liquid; convert coal to liquid. The technology has existed since the 1930’s and is proven.

South Africa, facing world wide sanctions and embargoes for decades, has a robust, proven, economical viable infrastructure based on the original Fischer-Tropsch system.  Off the shelf technology, so to speak.

I’ve blogged on this subject before. My one voice, like my one vote, doesn’t mean much, but I’m voting and talking. Try to shut me up!

And finally, the Greenies. After all their rhetoric, they are proponents of genocide, the reduction of the number of humans on the planet.