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As long as you aren't a spammer, your respectful comments will be posted. Fair warning, you want to go Godwin's Law on me, the Ban Hammer comes down.

This is what I get...

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Over the years of this blog I have a self-imposed policy of not commenting too quickly on events such as the Orlando Pulse shooting. I like facts to come out so I do not go off in the wrong direction. I did not follow my own advice this time, so I will keep going and correcting my course until I arrive where I should have if I had waited.

I want to start this by saying I commend CNN. A friend watched their special on the attack Sunday and told me they never showed a picture of the shooter nor ever mentioned his name. This "denying of the legacy" should be the standard to which all news agencies should follow. Let this piece of trash disappear into anonymity forever. I have "X'ed" out his name in my original post on this tragedy.

In the three days since the shooting, facts have come out that indicate this was probably a crime of hate, rather than terrorism. It turns out the shooter was a regular at that nightclub. Many of the survivors recognized him right off. It also seems that he had a profile on a Gay dating site. No one will ever know for sure, my best guess is the shooter either could not reconcile his homosexual feelings with what his father was saying ("all gays should be killed") or some kind of jilted/denied relationship. Only time will tell.

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One thing == everything, right?

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I saw this on FB, and it took a while to get to the original article.

Remember when the CEO of Chik-fil-A publicly proclaimed that he was not in support of same-sex marriage? Do you remember all of the backlash, protests and boycotts of his company by all of the militant pro-LGBT organizations? Do you remember the "Chik-fil-hAte" campaign on social media? I do.

Well, it seems that Chik-fil-A is trying to be consistent with the CEO's Christian ideals, which includes compassion for all people. Chick Fil A Did WHAT After Gay Club Shooting? Why Isn’t This Viral?

It turns out that the Chik-fil-A store located at 11350 University Blvd, Orlando, FL 32817 opened up Sunday the 12th of June to cook hundreds of sandwiches and brew gallons of sweet tea, then gave them to the people who were donating blood to help those wounded in the Orlando shooting. Without fanfare or publicity, they demonstrated compassion and support of all people, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. Wouldn't it be great if more people lived up to this ideal?

This is a fine example of "hate the sin, not the sinner." If someone does not approve of one passion of your life, that does not mean they hate you as a person. I highly disapprove of many Liberal policies and stances. That does not mean I hate the person espousing the ideal. I have multiple friends with Liberal viewpoints. I respect them for being passionate for what they believe in, no matter how much I believe they *might* be wrong (I'll admit, I am not infallible, *I* might be the one in error). And just because that other person and I disagree on that one point, we find that we agree on other subjects, as well as share hobbies and other passions where that point of disagreement would never come up.

When we hate others because of one point of disagreement, we limit ourselves to our own detriment.

If you want to call and support this store, the phone number is (407) 737-0002. If you are viewing this on your phone, you can click on the number and it will call for you.

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And the vultures arrive on Cue

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I am really, really getting sick of this shit.

Not even all of the victims are identified and already the line for more gun-control is out the door, down the street and around the corner.

This article by The Telegraph, Orlando gunman used AR-15 assault rifle to kill his victims - the weapon of choice for mass shooters is a bad mix of sensationalism and incomplete knowledge. And frankly, to have another country to lecture us about gun-control who requires by law a "proportional defense" and a "retreat if able" tone to their laws, plus now that there is almost total gun control there, now because of the 130,000+ annual knife attacks, they are going for knife control there, all I can say is, "Kettle, meet pot."

In England, the law requires you to retreat from the confrontation if you are able. You must retreat out of your own home if bad guys are beating on your door, as there is no "castle law" over there. For the "proportional defense," if you are accosted by a criminal with a knife, you can defend yourself with no more than a knife. The English laws stipulate the blade length may be no more than 3" in length, unless it is required for your work. If the assailant is unarmed, all you can have are your fists. If the assailant is a 25 year-old MMA fighter going after a 50 year-old regular bloke, that won't end well for the target. If you bring a gun to a knife fight, or a knife to a fist fight to defend and protect yourself, the target of the criminal will also be accosted by the police.

Now that you have an understanding of how they view self-defense, the article in question lists the AR-15 as an "Assault Weapon," which to anyone knowledgeable knows that's false on its face. "Assault weapon" means the weapon is capable of semi-automatic (one trigger pull = one bullet) AND fully automatic fire (one trigger pull = empty magazine).

The article talks about how there are 3,700,000 households with an AR-15. May such owners I know have more than one of them, but for the sake of argument we'll stick with 3,700,000 weapons. They then list FOUR mass shootings and a total of 61 people were killed where AR-15's were used. With Saturday's tragedy, that's five events and 91 casualties. I'm a generous guy and I don't want to devalue their numbers in any way, shape or form. Let's slip the decimal point two positions to the right and make that 500 mass shootings and 9,100 dead.

500 mass shootings divided by 3,700,000 weapons equals 0.0001351% of all AR-15's in civilian hands, or 99.99987% of AR-15's weren't used by crazy people in mass shootings.

As far as the 6,100 people killed in our horribly inflated numbers, which is still less than 1/3rd the number of people killed every year by falls. Of course, those mass shootings took place over the past 3 1/2 years, so you're comparing 6,100 against 105,728.

This phrase shows the author has zero idea how things work in the US:

In the state of Florida, anyone over the age of 18 can buy an AR-15 as no state permit is required. The same goes for pistols and shotguns.

I cannot say that statement is wholly factually correct. Anyone over 18 can legally buy a rifle or shotgun. You have to be 21 or older to legally purchase a handgun. And while there is no "state permit," all of us who have purchased a firearm knows that the Federal laws apply, meaning the dreaded BATFE Form 4473 must be used in all purchases of firearms from a licensed firearms dealer.

The real reason why there are mass shootings anywhere is not the weapon. It's the heart of the user. Getting rid of weapons won't stop killings and mass events. The bad guys will adapt.

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Another tragedy

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So Xxxx Xxx Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxx, who is a US-born citizen of Afghanistan immigrants, opened fire in an LGBT club Saturday, killing 50 and wounding dozens more. He "became upset" when he saw two men kissing months ago.

While facts are still coming out, this much is known:

  • He worked for G4S Secure Solutions USA Inc., a major DHS security contractor since 2007.
  • He was investigated by the FBI in 2013 and 2014 without definitive findings.
  • He was on the FBI's watch list, so he was a "known wolf."
  • He openly praised ISIS to co-workers.
  • He openly voiced homophobic and racial comments to a police officer, who did report it to Xxxxxx's employer which did nothing.

Why this guy was not fired after the first investigation I don't know. Why he wasn't fired after he opened his pie hole and said "I support ISIS" to a co-worker is nothing short of malfeasance on the part of the co-workers (if they didn't report him) or management (if the co-workers did report him).

Of course, our Illustrious Leader made comments on this horrific tragedy. I'm surprised he waited until 3:45 of the statement to start the "how easy it is to get guns" shtick. Again.

Then we have this article, FAIL: Bill Rejected By The GOP 6 Months Ago Would Have Stopped Florida Shooter From Gun Purchase by the ever-so-biased bipartisanreport.com.

This article purports that a Senate bill (not mentioned in the article, or any source linked to by the article) stated that “Senate Republicans rejected a bill that aims to stop suspected terrorists from legally buying guns." Obviously research on things like facts have no bearing on advancing the agenda. I discovered all of the following facts with an "exhaustive 10 minute search" in various search engines.

It turns out that Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) offered Senate Amendment 2910 to H.R. 3762, [T]he concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2016. There were 25 co-sponsors of this amendment, 23 Democrats and 2 Independents.

This amendment died within minutes, as there was an objection to the amendment due to section 313(b)(1)(c) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, ironically known as "Byrd's Rule." The amendment was ruled out of order after an attempt to waive Byrd's Rule. This was named after KKK Exalted Cyclops Robert Byrd (D-WV). Byrd's rule allows for blockage of legislation "if it purports significantly to increase the federal deficit beyond a ten-year term or is otherwise an 'extraneous matter' as set forth in the Budget Act." Gun-control legislation slipped into a budget bill the day after a mass shooting I think can be classified as "an extraneous matter."

I bring this up because the concept of the entire article is a bald faced lie. Suppose for a moment that it did get into the final version of the bill and the bill passed into law (it didn't, President Obama vetoed this bill and Congress couldn't override the veto), it would take at least 6 months for the agencies charged with enforcement of this part of the law to finalize how they would handle all of the administrative tasks involved with enforcement. Xxxxxx had his weapons probably well before the San Bernardino Shooting (Feinstein's inspiration for the amendment), so this "legislation" would not have prevented Saturday's catastrophe anyway.

The part you have to be scared about is the legal concepts and entanglements associated with such a "law." Because it means a person merely "suspected" of being a terrorist would be denied their Second Amendment rights. There is no legal process involving any proof to get someones name on such a list, all it takes is "suspicion." Currently there is no legal recourse for you to get your name off the list. If there was, you would have to prove you're not a "terrorist." I need someone to tell me how can you legally prove something that you haven't done? This concept violates every legal concept associated with the concept of "presumed innocent until proved guilty" enshrined in the Constitution.

I have come to the conclusion that our politicians scare me more than the terrorists do. The terrorists can only kill me once, the politicians can strip away everything I have with the stroke of a pen until I am left with only the thoughts in my head.

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Hacked vs. Cloned

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I have had a rash of friends on Facebook get their profile cloned in an attempt to get their friends to friend the cloned page and thus gain access to private information.

And my non-techie friends say they have had their profiles "hacked." I want to clarify the difference and let you know why this distinction is important.

If I were to "hack" your profile, account, whatever piece of your on-line presence, this would mean that I have by some means acquired your username and password information and have been able to directly obtain your information and for all intents and purposes "be you." My nefarious actions in your name would be almost undetectable, except for maybe IP address information.

If I were to "clone" some part of your on-line presence (such as Facebook) I would use pictures and text copied from your profile (You can capture almost any image on-line, just right-click on it and "Save Image As...") and create a new similar looking account that will catch the unwary. A classic example is in 1997 when the White House created the web page, www.whitehouse.gov, they neglected to obtain all of the suffixes (.org, .net, .com, etc.) that would also point to that page. So, someone registered www.whitehouse.com (It's not a link on purpose. You'll understand why in a moment), many people, not realizing that the two websites were different, instinctively went to the latter rather than the former because the vast majority of websites are ".com." Once they got there, they found a site that looked remarkably like the .gov site, with the exception that instead of learning about the events of the President, the content of that website was pornography.

Back to the task at hand. This is my suggestion, backed by 40+ years of IT experience and almost 20 of that studying and working on IT security. Yes, everything I am suggesting is a pain in the posterior. However the pain I am suggesting is nothing compared to the pain you will experience if your on-line life gets compromised.

1) Use separate passwords for everything. Because if you use the same password for Facebook and your PayPal account, don't be surprised if your FB account gets hacked (not cloned) your bank account is empty in the next couple of days.

2) Make your passwords complex. It will be a lot harder to hack a password like "Ljy72-$hEH&7" than the three most common passwords, "password," "qwerty," and "12345678."

3) Keep personal information private. If the site requires your birthdate or whatever, make sure the setting is "private" and no one sees it. If it's set to "Friends Only" and you friend a bogus profile, you just gave them that information.

4) In any social media, if a person known to you sends you a friend request, don't just hit "confirm." Go and check out the page. If the person you have been friends with on FB for a long time, yet this friend request if from a profile less than a month old that has no updates, it's bogus. Not "probably bogus," not even "99 44/100% bogus," unless you have been in contact with that friend outside of that social media and they tell you that this is happening, then it's bogus, period.

5) If it's bogus, contact the friend who has been cloned and let them know they've been cloned and tell all of their friends who have fallen for the clone to report THEN unfriend and block the bogus profile. Then you report and block the bogus profile. Below is where you do it:

cloned reporting

6) At least once a month, put your own name in the FB (or social media) search box to "find yourself."

Just to show you how innocuous information can seriously compromise you, pay attention:

Many people have their birthdate, the city of their birth and their high school (and/or college) on their profile. If I know where you were born, that gives me the first 5 numbers of your Social Security number ("123-45-6789"). If I know when you were born, that can give me a good idea to start guessing the last four of your Social. I can also get your birth certificate and thus discover your mother's maiden name. I now have access to your financial life.

How many use the security question of "What was your high school mascot?" in verifying your identity if you log into a web page from a different computer? If I know your high school, it will take me about 30 seconds to get that answer.

Be careful out there.


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This is wrong and here's why

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My Masonic fate is rapidly barreling toward me. Before my anticipated departure from the Fraternity, I wanted to share something to show just where I think the "less than" Most Worshipful Grand Master of Tennessee Billy Ray Cutlip is heading.

First of all, to commemorate a Grand Master's year, he gives out a commemorative lapel pin and sells pocket knives. Here is a picture of the current pin:


This pin is unremarkable from previous Grand Masters pins, except for the symbol on the right side, the Christian Cross. Unless you are a Mason, the significance of this will escape you. I will clearly explain why this terrifies me and should likewise terrify all good Masons.

For some context, here are five of the 6 last Grand Master's pins. I do not have one of PGM Hastings' pins:

fivegmpinsEach pin reflects something personal about that Grand Master. Going from Left to right, Past Grand Master Boduch's pin is shaped like a Doctor's black bag and has a caduceus because he is a Physician. #2 is for PGM Mack Johnson and it has a star reflecting where his Lodge is within the state (just off the left tip of the square) and has his initials under the star. The middle one for PGM Laddie Wilson has the symbol for the Marine Corps, since he is a former Marine and a trowel, one of Masonry's symbolic tools. PGM Etherton's says "200 years of brotherhood," since his year was 2013 and the Grand Lodge of Tennessee was formed in 1813. PGM Musick's pin is University of Tennessee orange and a star over Memphis, where his home lodge is located.

Before I can go into why GM Cutlip's pin is terrifying, I must dispel the myth that the Masons are a religion. While it is a requirement that a petitioner believe in a Supreme Being and publicly express that belief, beyond that the Masons do not inquire as to the exact religion or Supreme Being. I do not care the manner in which my brothers worship their Supreme Being and they likewise do not intrude on my communion with my Supreme Being.

The Masons accept men of all religions without preference or prejudice. That's the standard to which we hold ourselves and our brethren accountable to. No one religion, even the primary religion of the land, is to be elevated above the others in Masonry.

The symbolism of this pin is terrifying to me as a Mason, even though I am a Christian. I do not begrudge a brother from wearing any religious regalia, in fact I support it because it shows he is not afraid to show his love for his Creator and will freely share his beliefs to all who ask about it. That being said, when the "less than" Grand Master Cutlip decides to promote his religion at the exclusion of all others as part of the symbol of his office, he might as well be saying, "NO KIKES, RAGHEADS OR OTHER NON-CHRISTIANS ALLOWED."

Do you think I am engaging in hyperbole? Could it be possible I am exaggerating? It has been tradition for over 100 years throughout Masonry that you don't discuss politics and religion in a Lodge. Because of the passions many people feel on those subjects, discussion of these subjects lead to disharmony among the brethren. We as Masons try to work in harmony for the betterment of ourselves, each other and the world in general. Preferring Christianity over all other religions sticks a big knife in the back of every non-Christian Mason that lives in or travels through Tennessee. I don't care if 999 out of 1,000 Masons in this state are Christian, why does the "less than" Grand Master Cutlip want to make that one brother feel unwelcome here? I don't care if that lone brother is Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Shinto, Pastafarian or any religion, it is not GM Cutlips' (or any other brother) place to exclude another brother because of their religion.

Just to make it clear, I understand Christianity is important to GM Cutlip, however I would be just as concerned if instead of the Cross it was the Star of David, the Islamic Crescent or any other specific religious symbol. I am not concerned about the phrase "Put God back in America" because I see it to be non-sectarian. The word "God" is actually a generic term, "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" (more precise Names for the Christian God) would be unacceptable for the non-sectarian Masonic fraternity.

This is what happens when you let extremists drive the bus. It doesn't matter if they are political or religious extremists, anyone who does not submit to the drivers' brand of extremism tends to end up under the bus rather than in the bus.

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My shortest career

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As they say, "That didn't last long."

I've tried for the past month to work a job in sales, specifically car sales. The one thing I discovered was that it isn't for me. What attracted me was that I had recently become a "free agent" and a training class for this field dropped into my lap as I received news of my impending "free agency."

The potential for a high level of income is there in sales, if you can withstand the demands. Make no mistake, the people I worked with over the past month were great, supportive and sharing in encouragement and knowledge.

The downfall is it's a "feast or famine" kind of job. When you arrive in the morning, you get on the phones to make calls to people in your tickler file, review any appointments for the day. Then you do sales training, motivation exercises and product training. This usually takes 1-2 hours. Then you wait until a customer comes. Until that customer walks onto the lot, you're stuck in a high alert mode. Once you make contact with a customer, you have to be high energy until the customer leaves, which can be anywhere from 30 minutes if they are "just looking" to 5-6 hours after which they leave in a new vehicle.

That hypervigilance combined with 50+ hour work weeks became a detriment to my health. I was also unable to help my family because they are night owls due to my bride's sun sensitivity, while I naturally wake up at 5:30am most days. So, I wake up and do my morning routine and other minor stuff until I left for work at 8:30am or so, work 9 to 11 hours then come home. Once home I only had 2-3 hours to do everything before heading to bed.

I am not afraid of hard work. I will do whatever I can by legal and moral means to secure the emotional, physical and economic health of my family.

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Shading Nuances

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With Liberals, the agenda always comes first. Everything and anything must be done to advance the agenda, no matter the cost. In this case, gun control.

Katie Couric and Director Stephanie Soechtig (figuratively) shoots themselves in the foot with this "documentary," Under the Gun. They are so intent on advancing the agenda they massively compromise their integrity by doing this:

That nine-second "pause" after her "question" was derived from what is called "B-roll footage" shot before the interview began. If you notice between the video above and audio below that the question Katie asks is slightly different, which certainly implies that the video question was dubbed in during post-production (when they were adding in the B-roll).

Kudos to Katie's pro-Second Amendment "targets," the Virginia Citizens Defense League, because they did not trust her and thus covertly recorded audio of the interview. Here is the salient part:

So, the film implies that the people interviewed by Katie were left speechless and without an answer, while in reality the answers were prompt, concise, rational, thoughtful, realistic and totally against the documentary's agenda.

Director Stephanie Soechtig indicated that she, not Couric, had editorial control. She tried to justify the deception by releasing this statement:

"My intention was to provide a pause for the viewer to have a moment to consider this important question before presenting the facts on Americans' opinions on background checks."

To tell you the truth, I could have accepted Soechtig's statement, if the responses from the VCDL had been included after the "pause." But since they weren't, I have to conclude that the intent for the exclusion was deception because the responses didn't advance the agenda.

I especially like that phrase, "...the facts on Americans' opinions..." because opinions do not change facts. People's opinions can agree or disagree with the facts, depending on how knowledgeable they are on the subject. If opinions are derived from biased commentary by the media on the subject of background checks, it is the fault of the media providing biased (instead of balanced) commentary and the people listening for not performing their own due diligence on the subject before parroting the biased information.

I also do not accept Soechtig falling on her sword (figuratively) and accepting all of the blame. If Couric (who was the interviewer for the film and also the Executive Producer, who is the bankroller of the documentary) had any integrity towards the truth rather than advancing the agenda, she could have been critical of the documentary. Instead, Couric released this statement after Soechtig released the one above:

"I support Stephanie's statement and am very proud of the film."

I have also discovered that the makers of this "documentary" scheduled an hour to interview John Lott, author of More Guns, Less Crime. Mr. Lott was an anti-gunner who in the 90's performed a study to prove his side of the argument. What he discovered conducting that study caused him to switch sides in the debate. Again, they scheduled an hour to interview him and the interview ended up with four hours of tape. How much of that four hours made it into Under the Gun? Zip, zero, zilch, nada. Because nothing he said advanced the agenda.

Just in case you think that there might be a slight possibility that this could be a balanced documentary, please check out the partners of the film, I have the links below. Eleven pro gun-control groups, zero pro-Second Amendment groups. Kind of telling, eh?

I ask that you click on each link, so this blog shows up in their refer lists. I want them to follow the links back here and know I am against their agenda. They will open in individual windows so you don't have to keep clicking "back":


Americans for Responsible Solutions   Everytown for Gun Safety   Sandy Hook Promise
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America   Violence Policy Center   Purpose Over Pain
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence   Jessi's Message   Alliance for Gun Responsibility
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence   States United to Prevent Gun Violence    
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Follow up on Nevada

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This is a quick post, expounding on what I have learned since I made the post on Those in power... a few days ago.

First of all, I have learned that delegates for Sanders were intentionally given the wrong information on the time and place of the meeting. I am unaware of any Clinton delegates receiving erroneous information, and all of the Sanders delegates did not receive that bad information. This can only mean that the Party wanted to make sure to "shave" any votes in Clinton's favor.

Second, the initial votes on rules changes were held while many Sanders delegates were still outside the hall, in line trying to register. I have heard it both ways that the vote was held earlier than scheduled, or not delayed because there were delegates were still filing in.

To show the other side of things, I have heard that many Sanders delegates were not properly registered in time. Remember, Sanders was an Independent who only "caucuses with Democrats." He had to join the Democrat party to run against Clinton. I guess not all of his followers did the same thing. As far as the "rapping the gavel and walking off," I have also learned that that meeting had run a couple of hours over the scheduled time and the hall had to be cleared, plus the cost of security was about to go way up because the security personnel were going to start getting overtime.

As it has been said before, "The truth is a three-edged sword; your side, my side and the truth." No side is totally right, no side is totally wrong. I always look at the facts of the matter and what the truth actually is.

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Memorial Day

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This weekend is not meant for you to have a day off, an excuse to grill out, or to participate in various sales to buy things.

It is to honor the men and women who have given their lives for this country and the concept of freedom. From the Concord Green to the Middle East, the citizen soldiers who have answered the call of duty and fallen in battle in foreign lands.

Please choose a day this weekend to visit your local veterans cemetery. Tread lightly, for heroes sleep there. Never forget those who died at sea, for the ocean is their grave.

If you have attended a veterans function, you may have seen a display like the one below. This table honors our POW/MIA's. For those of you who do not know the symbolism of each item, let me tell you:

pow mia table

This symbolizes that our Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action are with us, here in spirit.  

The Table is round, to show our everlasting concern for our missing men.  
This small table is set for One, to symbolize the frailty of one prisoner against his oppressors. 
The Tablecloth is white, symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty.  
The single Red Rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing, and their loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting answers.  
The Red Ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn on the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting for our missing.  
A slice of Lemon, on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land.  
A pinch of Salt, symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who need answers.  
The Bible, represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God. 
The Glass is inverted, to symbolize their inability to share this day's toast. 
The Chair is empty, they are missing.

Freedom is not free. It must be paid for by the blood of Patriots and Tyrants who seek to oppress us.

We are never more than one generation away from losing all we hold dear.

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My take on Presidential politics

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Here you go. This is my take on what I see in the current Presidential candidates. To try and remain neutral, I am listing them in alphabetical order by their last name.

Hillary Rodham-Clinton

I perceive this woman to be so fascist that she would give Hitler a hard-on. I see her as the controlling partner of Team Clinton. She is angry, elitist and driven to run things. Hillary was the driving force behind the Clinton Universal Healthcare, she destroyed the names and reputations of the women Bill had sex with who had the unmitigated gall to actually speak out against Bill. She loves the "little people" so much that when an Arkansas State Trooper who protected her said, "Good morning" to Hillary, she went off on the trooper like she was a drill sergeant. She was the head instigator in Travelgate and probably many other "-gates." I have little doubt she managed the assets that probably had something to do with the 20+ people who were close to the Clintons and came to untimely and questionable ends, Vince Foster and Ron Brown among them.

Most of the MSM is firmly in her pocket, ideologically and probably financially. While there are occasional news articles on things like Benghazi or her email scandal, they are downplayed by the reporters. I showed here where her contributions to state Democrat organizations has induced over 500 superdelegates to openly support her, months before the election.

She has made it clear that she is anti-business, as in among other things, openly stating she will destroy the coal industry. She is decidedly pro-gun, as long as the government is the only one with firearms that is. Hillary "misspeaks" (lies) more often than she says something resembling the truth.

Bottom line: Hillary has limited "real world" experience. It looks like every job and position she has held are nothing more than check marks on her resume to get her to the Oval Office. Hillary is after power and she is not afraid to use force of any kind to reach the ends she sees that she deserves.

Bernard Sanders

"Bernie" openly admits he is a Socialist. And we all know how wonderful Socialism is, that is until you run out of other peoples' money. Many of us older folk saw how wonderful Socialism worked in the old Soviet Union and its puppet states, the Cultural Revolution in China and how it is playing out right now in Venezuela. He joined the Young People's Socialist League (the youth affiliate of the Socialist Party) while in College at the University of Chicago (1960-64) where he received a PolySci degree.

He landed his first steady job at 49 years old when he lucked into being elected as the Mayor of Burlington, VT in 1981, serving a total of four two-year terms. Bernie had been running for various political offices since 1971. After a short attempt at teaching at a pair of colleges, he was elected to the House in 1991, then Senator in 2007. In his Congressional career, he has sponsored 362 bills, of which three became law. One was a COLA adjustment for veterans, the other two were the same bill, one in the House and one in the Senate to rename a Post Office in Fair Haven, VT. This can actually be considered average, as I checked several other Senators, Boxer (sponsored 827, 18 signed into law), Hillary (417/3), and one of my own Senators, Lamar Alexander (167/8).

Bernie's economic plans of "free" almost everything would bankrupt this country even faster than Obama is already trying to. Just because college students would get their degrees for "free" doesn't mean that someone doesn't have to pay those bills. The various levels of government already take 40%+ of our income, to try and pay for the Trillions of dollars of programs he wants to enact would boost our taxes to the 60% (or higher) level.

The MSM has basically ignored Bernie. If he gets coverage at all, it's in the "someone named Bernie Sanders is trying to ruin the coronation of Queen Hillary."

Bottom Line: Bernie has been a leech his entire life. He never held a job of any importance before his political career. He sponged off friends until he got into political life, and has continued to sponge off the People of the United States at various levels for the vast majority of the thirty-five years since then. He is a pacifist who will ruin the country economically and militarily before we are reduced to banana republic status and probably attacked by another country.

Donald Trump

As far as "The Donald" goes, I am not fully in his camp. He sounds like a Republican however I am not fully convinced. I like what he says despite the MSM distortions and half-truths. Example: the MSM says he wants to throw all of the illegal immigrants out of the country. That statement is factually correct. What they don't say is how he would let the immigrants back in under the current immigration laws.

I have a meme that states that had Trump taken his inheritance and safely invested it, he would have several $Billion more in assets than his current net worth. That again, is factually correct. The truth is he risked his fortune and did go broke several times, however he has managed to come back each time. Had he come out on top in all of his deals, he probably would have surpassed Bill Gates in net worth.

While I don't have all of the facts for a lot of his stories, they do have a theme of doing the right thing for the right reasons. From offering free use of his airliners to get troops home after the first Gulf War, to helping veterans get what they need from the VA, he appears to be genuine in his concern for others. I hear little stories about how he has helped others anonymously and refuses any fanfare.

When you truly look at it, The Donald has had Hillary, Bernie, the MSM, all of the other Republicans running for the president and the Republican power structure attacking him from every angle simultaneously. Yet he made it to the top of the heap and unless there is a major sea change in the few remaining primaries, he will be the Republican nominee for president.

The Donald also has one skill that both Hillary and Bernie lack: the experience of having to make a payroll. The economic experience of having a budget to complete a task and having dire consequences if he blows the budget. Hillary and Bernie merely call to raise taxes or borrow on our children's future if they go over budget.

As far as the MSM goes, if they had vetted Obama half as much as they are "vetting" (attacking) Trump, Obama wouldn't have made it to the Oval Office. A couple of days ago, the MSM was all in a panic because Trump "didn't pay any income taxes." Again, that is the truth. The context is, that was back in the 70's and was like two or three returns. Trump was able to exploit the tax laws to his advantage to avoid paying any income taxes. If you have a problem with that, let's go to a flat tax rate for everybody no matter their income. I always thought it was BS when Bill Clinton was buying votes with "targeted tax cuts," which were specific ways to help out those friendly to him. Most people heard the "tax cuts" part, never realizing that regular people could never qualify for them.

Bottom Line: The Donald is a risk taker. I once heard the saying, "A leader can be right or wrong. He must never be indecisive." If you take risks, you will occasionally fail. How you fail and how you recover are the important points. Donald has demonstrated he can bluster, bluff and make a deal. That being said, business is downright polite next to the bloodsport that is politics. Billions of people could die if one of his deals goes bad the wrong way. A single wrong estimation could cause hundreds of nuclear ballistic missiles to be launched against us.

When faced with a choice between these three, I do not like any of them. Hillary and Bernie in the Oval Office would be totally ruinous, just in different ways. Trump is still an unknown to me. He looks good, he sounds good. I still say there is a difference between good, sound ideas and ideas that sound good. There are subconscious alarm bells going off with him. Nothing I can put my finger on right now though.

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Eating their own

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I asked a rhetorical question about why Hillary had over 500 declared superdelegates in this post.

Then, I come across this article explaining why so many superdelegates are openly declaring their support for Hillary so early. The answer is simple, she bought them. I think Democrats actively and aggressively going after their "presumed" presidential candidate.

Daily Koz, an obviously left-leaning website, has this article, How Hundreds of Superdelegates were "bought" by the Clinton Campaign.

You see, these Superdelegates are members of their State Democratic Parties, upon whom they rely for support and funding for re-election. And the money that will be available for those re-election efforts has, in many cases, been provided by Hillary Clinton.

Clinton has provided funds for these candidates through a sophisticated system of money laundering that has allowed the Clinton campaign to funnel billionaire’s donations to State parties in return for their participation in a massive money-laundering payback system to also funnel money to the Clinton campaign itself.

So, just to spell it out and not leave anything to misinterpretation:

So if a Superdelegate whose State voted overwhelmingly for Bernie switched her support to Sanders under the reasoning that she was representing the will of her State, then Clinton’s Campaign COO would shut off the spigot and all that sweet, sweet billionaire cash would stop flowing into the coffers of her State Democratic Party — and the candidate herself.

The qualities of an effective head of state are an interesting mix. You must be personable, diplomatic and likeable, yet ruthless. An empathy for other people, while relentlessly and assertively pursuing the best interests of those whom you represent. The only thing I see in Hillary are the ruthlessness and aggressively pursuing her own private gains at the expense of the people she "serves."

People are going to vote for her simply because she has a vagina and they believe "it's time." They ignore the influence-peddling, bribery, strong-arm tactics that would make the Mafia blush and the large number of "accidental" deaths of people around both her and Bill.

We will be well and truly screwed if she makes it to the Oval Office.

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Why I do not celebrate today

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I have placed this in the Recovery category rather than the Personal category because this is about my recovery. I have not spoken about my issues that led to the creation of this blog in a long time. I think today is the day to break that streak.

Why do we enthusiastically celebrate a child's birthday? Why the swats, with "one to grow on" and the extra candle? Because as late as the 1950's, a significant number of children died young. They died from diseases we have either eliminated totally (Smallpox) or rendered irrelevant through general medical science and vaccines specifically. Diseases like Whooping Cough, Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Polio ravaged children back then. Today they are almost unheard of because of vaccines. I am one of the last to be vaccinated against Smallpox. They don't vaccinate against that anymore since it has been eliminated.

Because a child's' next birthday was never guaranteed, we held out hope that the child would live to next year by placing next years candle on this years birthday cake. The same basic concept goes for the "birthday spankings."

Once I reached adulthood, my birthdays never really mattered to me. I was amazed that one day I was considered a child and under the law a non-entity and property of my parents, yet the next morning I was magically an adult, able to enter into contracts, serve my country and be ultimately responsible for myself.

I continue that tradition today, and I'll tell you why.

When Robin Williams died in 2014, a lot of people said, "It is a tragedy he died so young [at age 63]." I regard that he lived until 63 as a miracle. In the 1970's and early 80's (up until his friend John Belushi died), Robin was self-medicating his depression with cocaine and alcohol. If he had completed suicide or overdosed on something like a speedball that took Belushi's life in say, 1981 at the height of Mork & Mindy, that would have been the true tragedy, because we would have lost him 34 years earlier when he was 29. Think of everything he had done after Mork & Mindy, then think those roles would have been performed by other actors or maybe not at all.

During my dark days of 1999-2002, I stood toe-to-toe with Death and got into a staring match with him several times. Each time, I made Death blink first. I could have missed out of all the experiences I have had with my wife and son between then and now or will have with them in the days yet to come. People with a mental illness die on average twenty years sooner than a person who never experiences depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or any of the other mental illnesses.

I don't celebrate the anniversary of my birth anymore, because I celebrate every day that I wake up. I thank my God that I am alive and able to get out of bed and move forward each and every day. At this point of my life, because of what I have been through, every day is my birthday.

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Those in power...

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...will do anything to stay in power.

The leadership of both the Republican and Democrat (not democratic; democratic is a process, not a group of people) parties are screwing over their members so that the power structure can decide who their presidential nominee is, rather than the voters.

Make no mistake, I charge both parties with the crime of Being Assholes. The difference between the parties is at least the Republicans stick to the rules they made, good or bad. Republicans pushed through rules changes last Presidential cycle that have come back to haunt them this time around. Trump has won the Republican nomination because he operated within those rules and exploited them to his advantage.

I remember during the 90's, during either the 1992 or 1996 Democrat Conventions, when the various subcommittees would develop "planks" for their parties platform (the parties official position on various stances like abortion) they would state, "This is the position of the party. All in favor say 'Aye', *raps gavel* motion carried." Notice there was no "All opposed say 'Nay' in that.

The same thing basically happened this past weekend in Nevada. A motion was made by the Chair of the Nevada Democrat party, Roberta Lange to perform a delegate recount, which was seconded by a member of her staff. I had to at least read up on Roberts Rules of Order for last year, and the person running the meeting is supposed to be neutral and cannot make motions. It's also "bad form" to have an underling second a motion. Ms. Lange then called for 'Ayes' but not 'Nays,' before rapping the gavel and walking off, leaving armed security to break up the Bernie supporters.

To get back to how the Democrats "fix" is in, the Democrats "superdelegates" are their way of controlling who gets elected to represent the party. Just like when you vote for President, you're not voting for the actual candidate, you're voting for someone who will vote for that candidate in the Electoral College. The presidential primaries run off the same system, you vote for delegates who will attend the convention and are pledged to vote for that candidate on the first ballot only. If there is no winner on the first ballot, these delegates can then vote for whomever they please. The Democrat superdelegate is never bound to a particular candidate and can vote for whomever they want on all ballots. Just as a rhetorical question, why are any superdelegates already "pledged" to a delegate?

As of today, Hillary has 1,716 pledged delegates, while Bernie has 1,443 pledged delegates, for a lead of 273 for Hillary. There are also 564 superdelegates, of which 524 are "for" Hillary and 40 "for" Bernie. As a "what if," if all of "Hillary's" superdelegates were to suddenly change their minds and switch to Bernie, he would have a lead of 281 rather than Hillary's current lead of 767.

The bottom line, the fix is in our national politics, it has been for a long time and until the current power structure is kicked out and replaced, it's going to keep happening.

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A true definition of leader

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I found this video last night and I was really impressed, because Simon Sinek gets it. He understands and clearly conveys what a leader truly is. From an A-10 over Afghanistan, to the chemicals our body produces and why, Simon talks about why we get addicted, or feel good when he help others, or are helped, or even watches one person helping another.

He talks about endorphins, dopamine, seritonins, oxytocin and cortisols, and why they are produced and what they do for us.

The most important thing he talks about is being a leader. Again, he gets it. Alphas eat first, because they are the biggest and strongest of us. Out of those Alphas, the ones who make sure everybody eats and feels safe in the group are leaders. CEOs who unflinchingly sacrifice hundreds of jobs to preserve quarterly earnings (and his annual performance bonus) are not leaders. A cleaning supervisor (head janitor) at such a company, if he truly looks after safety and well being of the people he is responsible for is more of a leader than the CEO.

Leader is a title that cannot be given you by your job or position. It can only be earned by your actions of selflessness and concern for the entire group you belong to, be it your family, the company you work for, the society where you live, your country.

Take heed about why you should talk with someone face-to-face (or over the phone if you can't see them) after they send you an email asking your opinion about something. If we all did things like this, the world would be a better place.

Watch it, you must. Learn and enjoy.

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