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I Used To Blog About Non-political Stuff Too

I have memory of it. Enough memory to point out when I got a dog. (Which is a big deal when you are a cat person who is allergic to cats.)

Also I have enough memory to recall when our poor rescue dog had to endure her first move. God bless a beast who has no idea what’s going on, except knowing that it’s new.

When you have been previously abandoned, new is bad.  Very bad.

Since then, our dear Sussie has recovered from moving, then recovered from losing an eye, then recovered from moving again, and again, and then . . . bless her heart, seriously.  Last year, we rescued a lab puppy through this website.

What a challenge, for both dogs and humans. We were not fully prepared for an energetic (yet still worm-riddled and sickly) hard-headed boy with an insatiable need to chew and an unfortunate habit of toileting indoors.

We were also not prepared for the full bore resistance Sussie would wage against a new dog that dared invade her personal territory.  Her first day was spent underneath the pillows on our bed.  For the next month she wouldn’t share the same room with this interloper. Ever.

Frankly, I wanted to hide with Sussie.  This new dog was a gigantic pain in the ass.  Yet, also cute.  So cute.  IMG_7614

This photo of Sailor was taken last fall.  Since then he’s been house trained, leash trained, and trained for basic commands. Also, he has learned that excessive begging just gets you crated.

Today he is bigger, but just as happy:

IMG_8259.JPGHappy dog owning!  From the happiest dog-owning cat-lover to have ever typed words.

Notes From Off The Plantation

Somebody on Facebook recently asked: “Are we electing the best candidate or simply the lesser of two evils?”

At first, my response was simple snark: is this a rhetorical question?  Then, I got my soap box on, and ended up writing something good enough to post.

Here it is.

I will never vote for Hillary, so only one side of the equation is pertinent for me: is Trump a lesser evil than Hillary? And every time– Every. Time.– think I might be able to answer, ‘yes,’ Trump says something else horrible.

And the pressure I’ve gotten to vote for Trump! No matter how ignorant he shows himself to be, no matter how un-conservative he sounds, or how many times he insults the military, or flip flops on issues, or otherwise generally makes a total ass of himself.

Trump flaunts the fact that folks who “don’t like him” “have no choice” but to vote for him, because SCOTUS! Except, have you noticed that even when GOP gets their justices appointed, it still doesn’t change federal precedence? If you want to understand why, start here.

At this point, the Trump-driven GOP is trying to exercise the same manipulative “the other party will destroy you!” control that Democrats hold over many African-Americans with the threat “the other party is racist and will enslave you!”

In reality, those who would keep you voting their party for no other reason than fear of the “other party” are the ones trying to enslave you. I just bought a T-shirt w/a James Madison quote: “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.”

Don’t let anyone bind your conscience. That goes against your very Christian freedom. You know God’s in control. So let Him be. Vote whoever your conscience tells you: Trump, 3rd Party, write-in, whatever. Pray for all of them. And give Jesus that wheel.

*Footnote. To those of my conservative brethren who are not interested in giving Jesus their wheel: we are on the same page. We ascribe our natural rights to different sources, but we adhere to the same natural rights. A truly conservative atheist is more my ally than a Christian who wishes to bind my conscience and guilt-trip me into voting Trump.


Trump-Induced Whiplash

Time for a dose of Trump-induced whiplash:

Trump Supporter Kayleigh McEnany on CNN:  “You are not a conservative if you do not support Donald Trump.

Trump, In His Own Words:  “It’s called the Republican Party, not the Conservative Party.”

I love in particular Kayleigh McEnany, starting about 20 seconds in:

“They are now all of the sudden concerned with conservative values?  Well where were they with John McCain?  Where was the ‘Never McCain’ Movement?  Where were they with Mitt Romney?  Where were they, leading the ‘Never Romney’ Movement?  The facts are, those movements didn’t exist.  What you have here is an establishment that is rejecting its voters . . . .”

Ha ha ha ha.  Ha ha,  hgah hahhahahahhahhhhhahaaaahahgaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!

Where were we, she asks?  Holding our noses and voting party loyalty.  That’s where we were.  The exact same place you argue we should be now, with your backhanded insult: You aren’t conservative if you don’t vote Trump!  So get in line and vote party loyalty!

Notice the last few seconds of Bruce Campbell’s laugh at the end of the “ha ha” video clip.  It’s more of a scream than a laugh.

I’m not laughing either.  I’m screaming.  Want to know why?  Because I’ve gotten the “where were you?” argument, a hundred times.  Only, back in the good old days, I got that argument from liberals:  “You want liberty?!?  Where were you when George Bush was eroding our liberty with the Payyytriot Act?!?” they would demand with froth upon their lips.

Now I’m accosted with the same question, but not from my political opponent.  Instead, I am accosted by those who ostensibly would be my political ally.  Except they are not.  Do you hear that, Trump supporters?  You are not my political ally.



Video: President Obama– Insurance Salesman


When President Obama is done in Washington DC, maybe he can come join me in my profession. He seems to like pushing product.

Sales Tip:  President O, you will not make many sales when you encourage people to drop their cell phones or cable TV…people actually like that stuff.


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I should be working on my Tech Guy post right now, but the urge to say something on my own turf is too strong to ignore.

I haven’t been writing much here anymore, and the reasons are so myriad that it’s hard to put into words.  First of all, there’s the apathy that comes from realizing we are doomed unless a major correction of some sort.  This apathy has plagued me since the 2012 election.

Then there’s the fact that I write for someone else once a week.  It turns out, my standards are much higher when someone else’s reputation is at stake.  Which means I spend too much time on too few words.  But I’m happy with the arrangement and will continue it.  Frankly, I may have quit blogging altogether without the impetus of a commitment made.

Next is the school situation.  Now, I pulled the boys out of brick-and-mortar way back in aught-diggety-eleven (2011).  Being a chicken, I signed up for Kansas’ virtual school program.  Which was worth the public school baggage, given the fact that it was run by a man whose wife homeschooled their children.

He knew that the social component was important.  Fun Fridays were not to be missed.  Folks from other districts would sign up to his district and drive the distance, because their district simply didn’t have an equivalent program.

But the point is, I wasn’t in charge of the curriculum.  Someone else was.  All I had to do was sign up and follow the schedule.

Our first year in Tampa I signed up for so many private homeschool opportunities, there wasn’t much time to think.  Math was neglected as a result.  It’s pretty easy to neglect the thing that causes the most pain.

This year is really the first in which I have taken full responsibility for the education of my eight and eleven year old boys.

It has been glorious.  With help from the Khan Academy, math results have been positive.  I could write a whole series of posts on the adventures of teaching math, but maybe another time.

The Sonlight curriculum is great for marrying literary material with the history material.  Mostly, though, I have ignored the rest.

That means that it’s up to me.  STEM and TAG classes for both.  Multiplication drills for Younger Son, math problems daily for Older Son, grammar lessons for both, typing and cursive, impromptu vocabulary lessons, whatever reading material they choose, a random geography project, and whatever else crops up.  It’s amazing how much there is to teach and to learn.

Children have a saturation point, unfortunately, and I run up against that point on a regular basis.  Cross that point, fine.  But don’t expect them to absorb a thing.

There’s another important aspect.  Homeschooling is as much an educational endeavor as it is a mission.  Get active, and before you know it, you are coordinating field trips, offering carpooling, and generally looking after the welfare of your community.

Fills up your time quite nicely.

But I just wanted to say hello anyhow.


Winners: Detroit Unions. Losers: Linda Szugyi and families like hers

My latest post at Da Tech Guy is commented upon very astutely by a blogger Who Gets It. Unions: worth the money. Military Retirees: not so much.

The Fog of Law

Da Tech Guy promoted Linda Szugyi’s blog post about the proposed cuts to military pensions in the Ryan-Murray budget deal.  She does an outstanding job of explaining why early military retirement is a necessity, not a civil-service luxury. (Hey, peeps: let’s not confuse a paper-pushing bureaucrat with a military family, okay?)

In her post, Szugyi opines that there is another place to save $7 billion [over ten years]. Unfortunately, one option for saving money is already gone: taxpayers lost $10.5 billion on the GM bail-out.

The money that taxpayers lost on General Motors could have paid for about fifteen years of military pension benefits.  Just so everyone is clear, Washington finds it more important to bail out union workers at car companies than to uphold its promises to the members of our military who risk their lives for us and their families.

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DoD Fakes Arrival Ceremonies Of Recovered Remains

These staged arrival ceremonies started seven years ago.  Seven.  Years.  Ago.  Who thought this rather sick version of a dog & pony show was a good idea?

Unfortunately, it is a good example of how military commands can become just as bloated and out-of-control as the rest of federal government.

The most disturbing part the original story: “In July, The Associated Press ran a story exposing a 2012 internal JPAC report that found . . . some missions that amounted to little more than paid vacations for staffers.”  Shameful.

Also, “Much of the inefficiency found by the GAO researchers comes down to a turf war between JPAC and the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, which shares some of the same responsibilities, Congressional sources said.” A turf war. 

I’m feeling embarrassed about the state of those military commands.  Way to represent, people.

P.S.  Sorry I haven’t been around much, folks.  Thanks for still coming by.  I’ll get back to a regular routine when hub’s deployment is over.