Friday, January 13, 2017

VA Hospitals...and What to do About Them...

You've no doubt noticed that the Number One Topic of discussion in Foggy Bottom these days, besides the illegitimate election of one Donald Trump, ahem, is Obamacare.

Or rather, repealing and replacing the "Patient Protection and Affordable (cough, cough) Care Act," which has derisively come to be known as "Obamacare."

Of course, the Lefties among us are doing their level best to defend it, however indefensible it was, is and forever shall be.  Even its namesake, one Almost-Ex-President and Semi-Retired Golfer-in-Chief B. Hussein Obama is begging, pleading, threatening, cajoling and whimpering to any and all who will listen to help him keep it exactly as is; overpriced, underloved, seldom-accepted, frequently lied-about, monumentally-oversold, universally despised and totally unworkable.

We'll all learn what happens with the newly-energized Republican majority in Congress as they proceed to unwind this disastrous, gargantuan mess.  But in the meantime...

Less commonly discussed, but still high on Congress' List of Things to Do, is reforming the Veterans Administration and taking better care of those who have served our Great Nation.

That would, by the way, include me, The Chuckmeister.  I have served this nation in uniform, am almost personally responsible for saving the U. S. from the perils of communism (sort of), and am currently a participant, a "customer," so to speak, in the V.A. Healthcare System. That, and the fact that I'm a graduate economist and seasoned entrepreneur, Eagle Scout, father, patriot and certifiable National Treasure, qualifies me uniquely to opine on this subject, and even offer up a couple of suggestions as to how it could be improved.  Suggestions I trust you'll find evocative, interesting, workable and reasonable.  And so, here goes...

There are 153 free-standing, fully-capable, dedicated, full-blown Veterans Administration Hospitals in America. There are also 1,221 V.A. Outpatient Treatment Sites, most often located in an office building adjacent to a community-level hospital somewhere-or-other. Each with doctors and nurses and technicians to see you and fix you up, as needed.  Or, rather they're supposed to.  

And there are 300 Veterans Service Centers, located in major cities across the Fruited Plain, which serve to provide information and assistance to returning vets and their families as regards where to gain constitutionally-proscribed services. Since its creation back in 1930 under then-Prez Herbert Hoover, and later consolidated by Prez Ron Reagan in 1988 into the Cabinet-level Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) is our Country's single most expensive budgetary item, costing $182.3 Billion Dollars per year!

And yet, it is a monumental failure!  It serves a population that deserves the very best treatment we know how to provide, yet receives some of the spottiest, shoddiest, least-timely care imaginable.  Put simply, many of those vets who didn't die on the battlefield, are dying in waiting rooms of V.A. hospitals all across the Country while awaiting medical care.

It's important to note that the VHA was/is necessary because it specializes in providing care for five areas of treatment returning vets need most of all.  They are:

     -  Burn care and treatment.
     -  Lost limb treatment and replacement.
     -  Traumatic brain injury and wounds from bullets or other projectiles.
     -  Bomb physical damage and treatment.
     -  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Yet, unlike earlier in our nation's history, when the capacity to provide treatment for these traumatic injuries did not exist in the private sector, the capability to provide top-notch care for the above listed ailments is now widely available within our private healthcare community.  So, has the VHA's time come and gone?  And what should we do about it?  

This is what, I, The Chuckmeister, say we do.

1.  My suggestion is that we sell off all the VHA hospitals and healthcare facilities. Since the hospitals and the real estate upon which they sit is owned outright by the Federal Government, the income from the sale of these properties would make a major dent in our Federal Debt. Let's look at the Wadsworth V.A. Hospital in Westwood, a tony neighborhood in the west Los Angeles area, as an example. 

This one-square mile chunk of real estate is some of the most valuable land in all of America.  It features rolling hills and meadows right across the I-5 from Westwood and is covered with modern buildings.  It is worth several billion dollars.  Multiply that rarefied figure times the total of the hospitals and you get an idea what such a sale could mean.

2.  Inventory the human resources currently ensconced within the VHA.  Those who possess the training and expertise to provide the specialized care for any of the above listed ailments and injuries should be offered assistance in gaining private-sector employment within the 6,000-plus hospitals in America.  Thus, unique treatment capabilities for burns, wounds, limb replacements and mental health restoration would not be lost.  Rather, it would be repositioned within our current health system.

3.  Then offer vets the opportunity to either, a.), join the Medicare program just like our seniors, or b.), accept vouchers enabling them to seek Government-paid healthcare from private hospitals and physicians near where they live. Although perhaps more expensive initially than continuing to be treated by the VHA System, imagine the savings if we no longer had to employ the hundreds of thousands of doctors, nurses, physcians' assistants, pharmacists, technicians and administrative and financial support personnel necessary to operate these far-flung facilities!

Computing the savings from such a two-part plan is impossible without further data. My expectation is that it would, at the very worst, be revenue-neutral.  Meaning, it should cost no more than continuing the current system. However, what is calculable is the fact that pulling the trigger on this plan (pun intended) would virtually end the shameful and unnecessary loss of life we're witnessing when vets die while awaiting VHA care. That cannot be permitted to continue.  My plan would end it immediately.

If you like my plan, write your Congressweenie and let him/her/it know.  If not, simply continue on with your cushy, privileged life and give not one more thought to your obligation to those who have written a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their lives...

Monday, January 9, 2017

An Essay on The Five Stages of Grief.

As I, The Chuckmeister, your loyal scribe, write this, it's a few days past the Holidays. And in the spirit of the Season, it's usually preferable at this time to be happy, and gleeful, and full of joy for life and your fellow carbon-based life forms.

But for some these days, like the 49.2% of the population who voted for the loser in the interminable, and thankfully just-concluded General Election, it seems this season has been a complete disaster. And that's because their favored candidate for POTUS has crashed and burned.  And they're in a deep, deep funk as a result.  This little essay on this unassuming little blog will focus on helping them to regain their Ferragamo- and Jimmie Choo-clad footing. Here goes... 

I spent nearly 40 years in the medical field.  And because I chose an area of medicine in which to specialize that dealt with an illness from which very few survived, that meant the prospects of an untimely death for many, if not most of its sufferers, and the grief for those left behind, was very real.

This was so true that a Swiss psychologist named Elisabeth Kubler-Ross published a book in 1969 called "On Death and Dying."  In this book she posited that there were five distinct stages of grief.  They are:  "Anger, Denial, Bargaining, Depression and then finally, Acceptance."  And we've all had a front-row seat to observe this scenario play out in real-time over the past two months.  

Trump wins the General Election, an election that he had no chance to win.  We were told this by the so-called Mainstream Media, over and over, thousands of times, for months and months.  His opponent spent more than $1.2 Billion trying to become America's 45th President, while he spent a paltry $66 Million.  Of his own money.

The talking heads on the Alphabet Networks posited that Hillary Clinton had a better than 90% chance of winning. Even Nate Silver, the (in)famous prognosticator from the "538 Blog," gave her a 70% chance, and he was widely excoriated by his fellow Liberals for being so pessimistic toward Clinton and her chances. 

Why? Lots of reasons.  Because it was her turn. She is a woman.  She had the right number of chromosomes. Her husband used to be President, and times were good, they said, when he was running things. She wears (ill-fitting) pantsuits.  She had loads of experience flying around all over the world and accomplishing little or nothing.  She is a Liberal and a Democrat.  Perhaps the very most Progressive Liberal in all Progressive- Democrat-ville. She promised to eliminate guns and pick the pockets of the rich and redistribute their wealth and increase taxes on those evil job-creators profit-seekers and further decimate our already-sequestered military and welcome illegal immigrants with open arms. Lefties and the Lap Dog Media wanted another four years of Democrat leadership. Or, what they laughingly call leadership.  She couldn't have been more perfectly positioned to break through that "glass ceiling."  Unless she'd have been Black, of course.  

And her opponent was a wild-eyed, boorish, unqualified, dangerous, loudmouth orange billionaire buffoon.  

Or so they thought...

In short, they cruised toward election day, so sure of their victory that they didn't even bother to campaign in three of the battleground states they needed to win: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.  And those were the states that put Trump over the top.

And now those who were so absolutely convinced that Clinton would win, resoundingly, they thought, are deeply mired in one of those five stages of grief.  And I think it's hilarious!

First came anger.  They were major-league pissed!  They just couldn't come to terms with Trump's victory.  They fumed. They fussed.  Their mouths were agape.  They threw things. It was even reported that Clinton destroyed a custom-made ultra-Hi-Def 150" 3-D $500,000 TV, a present from the government of Saudi Arabia.  Hmmm. Why would Saudi Arabia be giving her such an expensive present unless they expected to get something in return?

Why, indeed?  Since it's been reported that Saudi Arabia and other Middle East kingdoms funded as much as 20% of Clinton's campaign, perhaps one of our ought-to-be journalists ought to look in to that.  

She is reported to have thrown a $950,000 bottle of champagne through the that TV's screen, which was to be used to toast her victory.  That's some expensivvvve bottle of booze, my friends!  She pushed over tables of high-end food and drink and threw the White House-themed cake emblazoned with the Presidential Seal against the wall. She had to be restrained, it was reported, after getting stool-grabbing, crawling-in-the-gutter drunk.  She fired several of her staffers. She physically pummeled some of them.  She was dragged off and made to go to bed. Not a good night for the Hildebeest.

News anchors wept openly.  Some were aghast, digging down deep for words as the reality of the situation crept over them.  Martha Raddach, ABC's lead reporter, famous for having fed questions to Clinton ahead of a debate she moderated, cried her little eyes out on live TV.  Rachel Maddow, famous gender-questionable anchor from MSNBC started screaming at the monitor. When the race was finally called in the early morning hours, Maddow said about Trump's victory: "Terrible, terrible dream."  And followed with, "You have not died and gone to Hell, people!"  Nice.

There were many other examples, but let's not get mired in the obvious.  If anyone, anywhere had doubted whether or not the Lap Dog Media was anything other than the Communications Department for the Democrat National Committee, this unfolding drama should have removed all doubt.   

In a day or two the initial anger turned into denial. They refused to believe the facts. They blamed James Comey, FBI Director for his "meddling."  They blamed the Russians for hacking the election, even though the voting machines were not connected to the Internet, and many of them were owned by George Soros, infamous socialist billionaire, convicted felon and Democrat-backer.  They blamed "fake news," whatever the hell that is.  They blamed racism, which they said was rampant among the "alt-right," whatever the hell that is. They blamed everybody and everything except the person to whom blame should have been fixed: Hillary Clinton.  

But after a few days their anger and denial turned into a bargaining session.  How, they wondered, could this whole fiasco be reversed?  How could they manage to overturn this nightmare?  What prayer could they utter to just make this whole nightmare go away?  Assuming they pray, that is. Finally, a plan emerged; since the Electoral College put Trump over the top, they would go straight to the Electoral College in an effort to overturn the election.  Yeah, that's the ticket!

The Lefties who were so confident of Clinton's victory put a plan into place.  They published the names, addresses and phone numbers of the nation's chosen Electors. They were the folks who had been selected by the various states to vote for the POTUS according to the popular votes cast within their borders. They whipped their followers into harassing the Electors in every way possible in and effort to get them to become "faithless." Or, better put, to change their vote to anyone but Trump, even though they are most generally required to vote the same way their state voted. 

Now, it's important to note that they did so knowing that, should 37 of the Electors become "faithless" and vote for other than Trump, the election would then be thrown to the House of Reps, which is controlled by the Republicans, which would then vote to make Trump Prez.  Kind of an empty effort, don't you think?

They then tried to bribe the Electors, even though doing so is a Federal crime.  Of course, Obama's Justice Department was eerily silent in its response to this outrage. Imagine if the situation was reversed and Clinton Electors were being harassed, or even bribed?  Do you think Attorney General Loretta Lynch would be so silent? Me thinks not.

It was reported that the average Elector received more than 100,000 letters, emails and phone calls.  Many Electors were scared for their lives.  Several sought and gained Federal protection.  Just imagine:  the Witness Protection Program for Electors!  It was a very bad scene, and one that cast a terrible light on Democrats and their adherents. But they seemed not to care one whit; they were in grief.  They were lashing out.  And "bargaining" was a way to fix that grief.

Once the Electors voted, and voted exactly as they were supposed to vote, Trump was duly elected.  And that put the grief-stricken into a fit of depression from which not all have emerged.  They are not-so-quietly licking their wounds.  Most are just stumbling through life, head down, miserable, still gobsmacked by the defeat they've suffered. One they felt they didn't deserve and to which they shouldn't be subjected. 

Think of it this way:  If you're a Millennial, you may well have never known political defeat.  You've been treated to liberal policies and practices for the past eight years. You've been brainwashed for 12 or 16 years or even longer in schools owned and operated by deciples of liberal orthodoxy.  You may be one of those who actually received a trophy for participation in any sport you played, whether you won or not. You now need a quiet space in which to whimper and suck your thumb and hug your little blankie in order to get over this existential event in your wimpy little snowflake life.  You really, really wanted Hil(liar)y to win, and you've never known failure in terms of those wishes. 

Until now, that is.

Or you are a union member, or a Hollywierd celebritard, or a journalist, or a Left- or Right-Coast Liberal, and you just can't abide what's happened to your tony little existence.  Trump won and you just can't handle it.  Sweeeet!

But soon you'll gravitate to the last of those five stages: Acceptance.  Most of you will come to accept the reality of the situation.  Trump is Prez and your favored candidate is back in Chappaqua, lying through her false teeth, forced into retirement by her own inadequacies.  Oh, you'll bitch and moan and blog and email and Instagram and Tweet to each other about how poorly Trump is governing, regardless of how well he is governing.  Because that's just what you'll do...if you're a Liberal.    

But I don't expect you to simply give up.  Liberals never, ever give up!  That's one thing upon which we can all count.  And it appears that they also will fail to inculcate the lessons this election delivered; socialism doesn't work, and the American people don't want it. 

But Liberals are poor learners. Fortunately.  If they weren't, they wouldn't have permitted B. Hussein Obama to oversee the destruction of the Democrat Party.  And, it seems, the United Nations.  Think of it in these terms:  Dems during Barry's reign have lost 10 Senate seats, 63 House seats, 14 governorships and almost 1,000 state legislature seats. Wouldn't you think somebody of the Liberal persuasion would have noticed that the sky was falling?  

And considering that 10 Senate seats held by Democrats in states that Trump won will come up for an election vote in 2018, the result of which could give the Republicans a stranglehold on both houses of Congress for a generation, at least, one would think that the Lefties would be trying to figure out what happened and try to keep it from happening again.  

But they appear to be incapable of modifying their "Progressive" agenda, even if doing so would mean stemming the flow of life-blood their Party needs to continue to exist. And that's the one thing that will make the next four years extremely entertaining for professional observers like me.  

Bring it on!


This essay is longer than my normal posting.  That's why it's called an essay instead of a posting.  And essays are always longer than postings, but shorter than short stories. I haven't written a short story yet.  But I just might.  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Gun Control, Chicago Style...

The statistics are in.  4,331 people were shot in Chicago during the past year, and 762 of them died.

That's a 52% increase over 2015, and double the total number of gunshot deaths in New York City and Los Angeles, combined.  Consider that statistic!

Yet, Chicago has the absolutely toughest, most stringent, absolutely insanely difficult gun control laws of any city in America.  

So tough are they that it's nearly impossible to purchase a gun in the City of Chicago, or any of the 39 cities surrounding it.  

In fact, the only gun shop in the entire town is located in the downtown Police Station, and then is only open between the hours of 10:00 and 2:00 on alternate Thursdays. Could they make it any more difficult to buy a gun?  Yes, they could. Read on...

No other gun store can open there as new City codes prohibit the operation of a firearms sales facility within 500 feet of a park, a church, a playground, or a public building, or liquor store, or day care center, and 1,000 feet of a school. That means that 99.87% of the entire City is off-limits to the operation of a gun store.  Pretty sneaky, these Chicago politicians.

And to receive permission to actually take advantage of your 2nd Amendment Rights, permission you must have to buy a gun there, you must first submit a lengthy and costly application to the City via the Police Department.  Their approval process can take 8 or 9 months, or even longer, and approval is not guaranteed.

Then, you need to complete an 8-hour classroom safety course taught by a licensed firearms instructor.  That class, by the way, is not taught in the City.

Then, you need to complete 8 hours of training at a licensed firearms shooting range, which cannot be conducted all at one time.  Oh, by the way, there is no range in Chicago, and recent changes in codes, as referenced above, prevent the building of one in the future.  The nearest one is located more than 40 miles away.  

What, I ask rhetorically, if you don't have a car?  Or, money to travel there?  Ummm. Too bad, I guess.  No 2nd Amendment for you, Grasshopper!

Then, once you've finally, finally bought your gun, and then waited ten days to pick it up (like in California, they want to force you into a cooling-off period in case you're mad at somebody and want to buy a gun to separate them from their miserable life), you must immediately take it home.  It must then remain in your home, unloaded and locked away in a safe so that no one may accidentally shoot it. Including you, it seems, should a bad guy choose to make you a crime statistic.

And lastly, you may not take your shiny new gun into your garage.  Your garage, it seems, is not a part of your home, according to the City Fathers, and Mothers, and Others, in the Windy City.  Boy, these bozos really don't like guns, do they?

Now, if some bad guy actually breaks in, and you ask him to wait while you open your safe and take out your shiny new gun and then load it, and he/she/it acquiesces to your request, you may then use it to defend yourself, so long as you are within the confines of your own home.  Anywhere else, or under any other scenario then that exactly proscribed above, you will be charged with mayhem, brandishing a firearm, intentional discharge of a firearm within City limits, attempted murder, or murder if your aim is true, and probably double parking if they feel like piling on.   

And if the Bad Guy chooses not to wait, he/she/it/they will just go ahead and kill you, thus ending this little exercise in gun control overreach.  And what are the odds that the Blue Lives Matter folks will find the Bad Guy who did you in?  Less than 15%.

So, has all this "gun control" worked?  I refer you to my opening paragraph.  No, it hasn't.  And doesn't.  That's because disarming the law-abiding public only energizes the law breakers.  They view "Gun Free Zones" as "Target Rich Environments."  Think about it:  If you were bent on causing some illegality or mayhem, would you choose a location where members of the populace made it a point to carry concealed weapons, like Texas, say, or where members of the populace had been disarmed by their elected politicians, like Chicago?  Exactly.

And increasing the size of the fonts on the "Gun Free Zone" signs, or even using All Capital Letters, or even adding an "!" after it, makes no difference at all to those determined to break the law.

So where, you might ask, do all the guns that all the Bad Guys use to shoot and kill all those innocent people come from if obtaining a gun legally in Chicago isn't possible? They steal them.  Or they import them from out of the area or out of state.  And no law, no law will prevent them from engaging in their nefarious activities.  Nothing except turning this entire dumbass situation upside down and finally, finally permitting the law-abiding public to keep and bear arms (thank you, 2nd Amendment).   

In closing, you'll notice that this out-of-control statistic did not reference the State of Texas, where open carry of firearms has been in effect since January 1, 2016.  No, not a single incidence of an accident, or an unintended shooting, or death, has occurred over the period of an entire year as a consequence of this law.  Yes, lefty gun-grabbers frothed at the mouth when it passed, but they need not have worried. Like Kansas, and Oklahoma, and Tennessee, and Florida, and Utah, and Nevada, and so many other states, more guns in the hands of trained, qualified citizens equals less crime.

But hey, the otherwise-unemployables up there in that backwater town known as Sacramento haven't gotten the word.  They just passed another round of gun control legislation to further infringe upon the individual, inalienable, fundamental rights of American citizens to acquire and use firearms (that language is excerpted directly from the Supreme Court decision in "Heller v. Washington, D.C."  by the way.

And in the run-up to the 12/31/2016 effective date of those laws, Californians showed how they felt by purchasing more than twice as many so-called "assault rifles" here as in 2015 (364,643 versus 153,931).  And considering that nearly 1,000,000 firearms of all type were purchased in California in 2016, compared with about 700,000 in the prior year, a number more than double that of only five years ago, and considering that the number of guns in America has more than doubled since B. Hussein Obama was immaculated (a record 27 million were purchased nationwide!), I'm guessing these onerous new laws won't have too much effect. 

That's because I'm guessing we've already bought all the guns we think we need.  Your move, gun-grabbers...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Modern Day Morality Play...

This is a little bit different kind of posting for your friend and mine, The Chuckmeister.  Ummm, that would be me.  

It is different only because it deals in what they call a "morality play."  You know, what your English teacher used to call "a lesson in good and evil." This is not about politics or wine or cars or the other effluvia I concern myself with. No, my friends, it's even more esoteric.  So, gird your loins, my friends, and read on...

We all hate "users."  You know, the kind of folks who make it their stock-in-trade to use other people to gain an advantage over others so they can get their way in life.  There have been major-league users down through the years.  And I'm sure the two users I'm going to feature today aren't very high on the list of the biggest, or the baddest, or even the most famous.  But they do offer up something for you and me to contemplate as regards how we treat each other in this bumpy trip down the Highway of Life. Ready? Here goes...

We've all heard of Sean Penn.  He's the gifted, nasty, mean-spirited, hot-headed, communist-loving method actor who's so revered in Hollyweird.  And, I would add, so disliked almost everywhere else.

Since he roared onto the Silver Screen with "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" several decades ago, he's been held in high regard for his moody dark talent by his left-wing brethern and sisteren inside the "bubble."  And he's the guy who makes it his business to sidle up next to and become fast friends with commie dictators like Venezuela's just deceased boss man, Hugo Chavez.

Oh, and he's the guy who likes to pretend he's also a qualified reporter by interviewing "El Chapo," one Senor Guzman, the most infamous drug cartel leader in the world. And the report of that meeting he filed with the New York Times was so rambling and poorly written it was universally panned by nearly everyone.  

One would think that a guy who's made $Millions pretending to be someone else would revere the capitalistic system that's given him such magnificent opportunities.  But no. He hates capitalism!  He loves socialism, even communism, perhaps even Marxism! Why?  Let's explore the possible reasons, my friends.

Sean's daddy was a guy named Leo Penn.  Penn the Senior was a WW2 veteran who settled in Hollyweird after the war. He became a B-list actor. But his politics got in the way when it was discovered that he leaned a bit more than an acceptable level to the Left.  And in that tony neighborhood, more than an acceptable level of Leftitude is pretty damn far left!  He was accused of being a full-blown communist and blacklisted. He thus couldn't work as an actor, and he was pissed! So he began directing.  Then he was shunned from doing even that due to infamous Senator Joe McCarthy's witch hunting policies, his young son Sean was forever affected by this realization and the trauma it visited upon him and his family.  

No doubt his father's political leanings influenced young Sean, even as the younger Penn began to gain fame in his own right.  He began to rack up awards for his acting, and amass the trappings of immense wealth thereby.  Even though most of his fellow actors decided to live in Hollyweird, Sean remained in Berkeley, the epicenter of left-wing political leanings here in America.  It is said that if you wanted to give the Earth a liberal enema you would stick the little rubber thingy into downtown Berkeley.  I know it has been said, because I've said it.  

Anyway, Penn built a mansion there, and stocked it with fast, expensive cars and rare artwork and an impressive gun collection.  Yes, my friends, he wrapped himself in the trappings of excess while eschewing the system that permitted that sort of lifestyle. Strange.

Enter Charlize Theron.  South African actress and beauty Charlize blazed on to the scene a couple of decades ago with "The Italian Job," Theron proved to be an immense talent.  She won an Academy Award a bit later for her performance in "Monster," in which she portrayed a lesbian mass murderer. Talk about playing against type!  She has enjoyed the opportunity to star in pretty much any movie she chooses, and has enjoyed huge success thereby.

Theron has jumped in and out of various relationships over the years.  But a couple of years back she became entangled with the newly-separated Sean Penn.  And even though Theron had made a lot of money - and fame - with a gun in her hand in the movies, in real life she was a vocal critic of guns in the hands of ordinary people.  Like you and me, for instance.  

Remember her most recent role in "Mad Max: Fury Road?" She spent much of the role with a pistol in her hand and used it to blow away a whole raft of Bad Guys throughout the movie.

But it turns out she hates guns.  It seems Ms. Theron's father shot her mother to death 23 years ago back in Benoni, South Africa, when young Charlize was only 15, so she's had a real hatred for guns ever since.  So she let Mr. Penn know that if he wanted her to continue to swing a leg over him, he would just have to have his entire collection of 65 guns melted down and turned into a sculpture!

Penn reluctantly chose to do exactly that (that Charlize thing between the bed sheets must be prettttttttty special!). Theron contacted artist Jeff Koons and made arrangements for him to turn Penn's guns into a work of art and sell it to raise money for Haitian relief.  Koons did so and his handy work was sold at auction to - guess who? - CNN's Anderson Cooper for $1.4 Million! These talking-head, left-wing, limp-wristed, limo-riding, pansy network-types make some pretty sweet money, right?

Now, I'm guessing that the $1.4 Million that went to "Haitian relief" was pretty quickly turned into private jet rental and dinner tabs for the Clintons, since they were pretty much in charge of fixing up that broken country.  And from what we've learned much of that money wound up in their pockets and the pockets of their friends.  But that's just me...  

Anyway, back to my little morality play...

So Sean's guns go away, the Haitians are supposed to get some relief, but no doubt don't, and Theron is happy as the proverbial clam over 65 guns being turned into molten goo, right?  But, was she happy enough to stay with Penn? Noooooooooooo! She dumped Penn like a bad case of chlamydia. So now we have Penn, with a forced smile on his face through clenched teeth, attempting to convince us all that, even though his guns are gone and so is is erstwhile girlfriend, he still believes, he says, that guns are bad and you and me shouldn't have them.  

I believe him.  Don't you?  

The moral of the story?  So if "getting your gun" is your major consideration, make sure the focus of your amorous attention doesn't get yours first...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Paper Bag, Some Vowels and a Few Consonants...

Okay, enough politics for the time being.  Time to consider something else that caught my attention for a little in-depth review:

I don't know about you, but I have long wondered exactly where those football players we watch each weekend get their names.

I mean, people, hello!, some of their names are flat-out weird! Anthony and Michael and Thomas and Jeffrey seem just not good enough for some of today's mommies-to-be. They are just not satisfied with the conventional, reasonable, usual, ordinary and eminently respectable names that others consider quite alright.  They want something different!  So what dot they do?  Here's my thoughts on the matter...

I think they might just take a brown paper bag filled with vowels and consonants and some apostrophes and some hyphens with them to the maternity ward, shake it up at the appropriate moment, and then take those little pieces of paper out, one-at-a-time, until they are satisfied with the resultant name.

You doubt me?  Then where, exactly, could some of the following names have possibly come from?  Let's explore them together and just try and imagine...

     -  A'Shaun Robinson, Alabama
     -  DeForest Bunker, Oregon
     -  Beniquez Brown, Mississippi State
     -  Cre'von LeBlanc, Florida
     -  Lamarcus Brutus, Florida State (Etu, Lamarcus...)
     -  Jaquiski Tartt, 49ers
     -  De'Cody Fagg, Florida (No comment)
     -  Captain Mummerlyn, Vikings (his momma just couldn't wait for him to be promoted, I guess, so she just made him a "captain" right out of the box.  Ummm, so to speak)
     -  D'Quell Jackson, Colts (what's with all these hyphens?)
     -  LeCharles Bentley, Broncos (and what's with all these "Le's" and "De's" before the rest of the first name?)
     -  Anquon Bolden, Jacksonville
     -  Laquivonte Gonzolez, TX A and M
     -  Mister Alexander, Texas ("Just call me Mister")
     -  Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis, Bengals
     -  Ras-I Dowling, Patriots (more hyphens!)
     -  Barkevious Mingo, Browns (sounds like the Bad Guy in a James Bond movie, doesn't he?)
     -  Yourhighness Morgan, Florida Atlantic (Yourhighness? Really?  An overactive sense of humor, I'm guessing.  Either that, or an over-inflated sense of self-worth)
     -  Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay Packers (Ha Ha? That's funny!)
     -  Queryvon Hicks, Georgia
     -  Geronimo Allison, Illinois  (Count ten, then yell "Geronimo!" as you pull the ripcord)
     -  De'Primya Wilson, Mississippi State (more apostrophies!)
     -  Le'Raven Clark, Texas Tech (and still more.  And another "Le.")
     -  Halapouluvaati Vaitai, TCU (say that five times quickly)
     -  Jihad Ward, Oakland (Jihad?  Why not just name your kid "Terrorist Killer?")
     -  Owanmagbe Odighiziwa, UCLA ( Owan...what?)
     -  Hroniss Graser, U. of Oregon
     -  Christina Michael, Seahawks (Christina?  Really?  I'll bet this guy had to fight his way home from school every day!)
     -  Kponumwosa Igbinosun, Conn. State  (Real tongue-twister, that one)
     -  Knowshon Moreno, Broncos ("Knowshon, you get yo' butt in here ratt now!")
     -  SenDerrick Marks, Titans
     -  Ramses Barden (Ramses?  Did his mom work at a drug store?)
     -  Arreluous Benn, Broncos
     -  Chrondi Chekwa, Oakland
     -  Ndammukong Suh, Miami
     -  Latavious Murray, Oakland
     -  Kalechi Osemde, Oakland
     -  Craphonso Thorpe, Colts (Craphonso?  "Hey "Crap," cut the crap!")
     -  Lucious Pusey, E. Illinois U. (Lucious?  Pusey?  really? Couldn't someone have whispered to his mom that she might ought to rethink this name a bit before actually burdening her brand-new baby boy with it?  Or at least made sure she spelled it correctly?  
     -  Dabrickashaw Ferguson, Jets (Dabrickashaw?  That's not even close to any other name!)

And, my personal favorite:

     -  John Christian Ka'iminoeanloameka'ikeokekumupa'a Fairbairn, UCLA (Something tells me this guy goes by a nickname...)    

Now then, there's plenty of other funny, strange, weird or just uber-unique names out there in NFL-land.  I could only cover a very few here for your reading pleasure. But having explored this subject in a bit of detail now, I have to opine that it's a damn good thing most of these guys are probably at least 6' 2" and weigh in at 225' or more. Otherwise, they probably never would have made it through childhood...

And oh, by the way, perhaps one of those "paper bag" mothers-to-be should consider "Le' Ha Ha Dabrickashaw Lucious" as the go-to given name for 2017...

UPDATE:  Lucious Pusey, having grown weary of the controversy over his name, and no doubt the snickering, had his name changed to "Seymour."  That would be "Lucious Seymour Pusey.  Can't make this stuff up...

Friday, November 18, 2016

I'm Thinking It Just Might Be The Salt Air...

If you live in California, there's no need for you to read this little posting.  Nope, don't read it.  It won't be good for you. Please, go back to your Jerry Springer reruns, or your whining and protesting, or your monster truck races, or something.  Reading this installment of my unassuming little blog will make your miserable little plebeian existences even more unenjoyable, and you will hang your head in disbelief at just how stupid and ignorant your State politicians, and probably more than half of its citizens, and millions of non-citizens, really and truly are.

Or, you will alternatively be amazed at just how far your once-Golden State has fallen into the depth of liberal stupidarianism.  I sure hope not, but it just might.

Of course, if you're from somewhere else, almost...anywhere else...thank your lucky stars.  You've hit the jackpot!  You don't have to be plagued by the incessant rules and regulations and penalties and fines and taxes and fees and continual micro-managing that we who call this place "home" (do the residents of San Quentin call their little slice of the world home?) must suffer through each and every day. 

Loyal readers of my little blog will note that I have often opined about just how screwed up this once piece of paradise has become.  And that's thanks to the greedy, thieving, conniving, lying, manipulating and self-serving politicians that are plaguing us like an STD.  And due to the left-over "Summer of Love" hippies who never grew up, never got a real job, never started a company, never invented anything, can't dance or throw a fastball, and never felt called upon to make a contribution to society. None.  Zero.  Zip. Nada...

From what was a reliable bastion of conservatism sprinkled with pockets of weird-ass liberalism, like San Francisco and Santa Monica, as recently as twenty or thirty years ago, California has now become what they pundits dismissively call "deep blue."  

Points to ponder:

1.   There is not a single state-wide elected Republican office holder in all of California. Not one!  The Lefties in charge up in that quaint little backwater town called Sacramento, our State capitol, for some unexplained reason (ahem!), rammed through a law a few years back permitting only the top-two vote getters during the primaries to run against each other in the General Election! Soooooo, that little voting thing that happened a couple of days ago had us choosing between Kamala Harris, our Bulllllack and female Attorney General, and Loretta Sanchez, our Lateeeeeno and female sitting member of the House of Representatives.  And they are both Democrats! So we of the more conservative persuasion could choose among a candidate we didn't like and don't trust, or one we didn't like and don't trust. Hmmmmm.

Does that make sense to anyone except dufus weenie lefty career liberal politicians?

I've briefed you in the past about our Civil Servant-for-Life and failed Jesuit priest Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown. He's the guy who's never had a private-sector job, but has had nearly every single elected office you can think of, including Governor for two terms on two separate occasions, Secretary of State and Mayor of Oakland for two terms!  He's so in love with the environment that he just hates the idea of cars spewing their noxious fumes into the atmosphere he came up with the idea for a bullet train to take us from Los Angeles to San Francisco.  Being apparently unaware that cars are more than 1,000 times cleaner than just a couple of decades ago, he decided that this train was worth every penny of the $30 Billion of its projected cost.  But not to worry, he told us taxpayers, because the Feds, he said, would happily pay for it.

Now, some 6 years later, our little choo-choo train is slated to cost more than $100 Billion, the Feds say they don't have the spare cash to cover its cost, it will have to run on existing, sometimes more than 70 year-old tracks so it won't be a "bullet" train after all, lazily chugging along as it will, and it won't be taking us from LAX to SFO.  No, folks, it will take us, when finally built, if ever, which I doubt, from Bakersfield, a place where no one wants to be, to Modesto, a place where no one wants to go.  

Sooooo, my friends, and you are my friends, you'll have to take a train more than 100 miles from L.A.'s downtown train station to get to where the train leaves, and then take another one more than 100 miles from where the train winds up, to get to your destination, good ol' SFO.  

So let's review:  What was sold to us as a quick, 4-hour trip for only $200 or so, versus one hour for $100 if you flew (!), will someday - maybe never - take 15 - 18 hours and cost more than $500. Man, that's progress!  Progress, from true "Progressives!"

Do you think anyone will ever ride on this little Liberal wet dream?  Me neither...

3.  Did you know you can't buy a dog or a cat or a fish in San Francisco?  Nope, you most assuredly cannot.  Those lefty weenies think those little beasties shouldn't suffer the indignity of being bought and sold.  Or owned!  Perish the thought!  So those PetCo and PetSmart stores and all the mom-and-pops were all forced out of business and their more than 600 employees with good-paying jobs all lost them.  

Of course, if you want a little doggie or kitty or fishie, you can just drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County and buy all of them you want.  Oh, and they get to keep the sales tax money...

And speaking of San Francisco, did you know you can't buy a gun in San Fran, City or County?  Nope, you can't.  They ran the last gun store out of town last year.  And by the way, it was owned by a minority military veteran!  Seems they believe that if you can't buy a gun there, then there won't be any guns there. That same sort of liberal myopia works pretty well in Chicago, doesn't it? Yep.  In Chi-town they've had more than 3,000 shootings and 600 murders so far this year, and it's by far the toughest town in America for gun control. Think of it this way: there are no guns in Chicago because there are no gun stores in Chicago.  It's that way because they want it to be so. Enough said.  

Of course, there are plenty of mainly Black folks bleeding to death each and every day from bullet wounds in the City of Broad Shoulders. But the Lap Dog Media won't report it, because it's news that doesn't benefit liberal viewpoints.  To them, it's just not news!   

These are just a few of the absurdities that have been visited upon us poor residents of Taxifornia.  But hey, there was another election just a couple of days ago.  We Californians faced a whole raft of new and odious laws that those who pay no taxes passed so that those of us who actually do pay taxes will have to suffer.    

But to make things even stranger, it that's possible, we can write up our own prospective laws here in Taxifornia and get them put on the ballot.  All we need to do is get thousands of our fellow citizens to sign petitions and the Secretary of State will certify the ballot initiative.  Then, we buy up a whole bunch of TV time so the low-information voter will feel all warm and fuzzy about voting for it and, "poof," the State Constitution is amended and it becomes law!   Of course, this "ordinary citizen" legislation process favors the billionaires and labor unions among us who are the only ones who can afford to pay for it. But you knew that already, right?

So I figured you'd get a kick out of reading about some of the 23 initiatives we were being asked to consider for General Election 2016 and how California's citizens, and very likely non-citizens, and lots of them, voted. Here's a few of them for your reading pleasure...

-  Proposition 55:  Believing that our citizens are undertaxed (we're already the highest taxed State in the nation, with a 13 and 1/2% tax on high-earners!), this Prop would raise taxes on the those earning over $250,000 by another 1%.  Where would the money go?  To aid some obtuse children's charity or other. Or not.  How did it fare?  It passed. What's that sound we hear?  It's the cabin door closing on a private jet just ready to take its owners off to Belize, or Panama, or Costa Rica, or some other no-tax locale, to bring its owners to fiscal safety. But as "Moonbeam" Brown said when he heard that Toyota had bailed and moved from Torrance, California to Plano, Texas, and took with it more than 4,000 high-paying white collar jobs, "Good riddance."  Nice, Jer, nice.

-  Proposition 56:  Always on the lookout for ways to keep the citizenry from smoking, and being always on the lookout for ways to further screw the citizens out of their hard-earned dollars, this little jewel offered to raise taxes on a pack of smokes by $2.00!  Taxes on a pack of cigarettes were $.87 cents.  That's obviously not enough, thought the powers-that-be.  Remember what happened when New York State bumped taxes on cigarettes way up?  Trailer loads of illicit cigarettes began arriving from Virginia for sale on the black market.  N.Y. lost hundreds of millions of much-needed tax revenue. But hey, the one thing we know about politicians is they are incapable of learning. Incapable!  How'd this Proposition fare? It passed... 

-   Proposition 60:  Politicians just luuuuuuv to insert themselves (pun intended) into all sorts of things in which they have no business.  Or, maybe in somebody's business (pun intended). This is one such thing.  Prop 60 would require all male porn stars to wear condoms.  I wondered exactly who would be policing this enterprise to insure compliance? How'd it do at the ballot box?  It went down for the count (pun intended).  

-  Proposition 62:  The very safest place here in Taxifornia is on Death Row.  Nobody who is sentenced to Death Row here actually gets put to death.  They all live out long, comfortable lives with no chance of any sort of intentional or accidental death from any cause.  That's because there's a wealth of anti-death penalty groups who will picket interminably to prevent its use.  Just the smallest whiff of a scheduled execution will cause these screaming bozos to materialize and picket and protest and stamp their little liberal feet!  So we might as well end it, the thinking went, since it's essentially ended anyway.  Didn't pass, however.  So you still won't die if you're on Death Row. 

Maybe those with a terminal illness should consider committing some capital crime.  If they got the death penalty, they'd surely live forever.

-  Proposition 63:  Believing that the best way to end "gun violence" is to end access to guns and ammunition, despite what the 2nd Amendment has to say about that, Gov. Brown was presented 13 new gun control laws for his review and signature this past summer.  He decided to sign 7 of the most ridiculous of them, but legislators still weren't happy. So they put this gem on the ballot for direct citizen "democratic," meaning 50% + one, action. It would outlaw so-called "assault weapons," or Modern Sporting Rifles.  With more than 20 million of them in use, do you think that would do any good?; it would outlaw ammunition magazines which hold more than 10 rounds, whether or not they were originally purchased legally, and require that they be turned in to your local sheriff's office or you'd be guilty of a felony (can't you just see that happening?); it would require one to report the theft of a gun with 48 hours or the owner would be guilty of a felony (what if you didn't know it was stolen?); and finally it would require anyone desirous of purchasing ammunition to undergo the same Federal background check you need to buy a gun. Huh?

This last item would set you back $50.00 for each purchase! So a $7.00 box of .22 bullets would now cost you $57.00! The Liberals have finally figured out that preventing citizens from buying ammunition renders guns nothing more than expensive paperweights.  

How'd it do?  It passed, of course.  So now, if you don't wish to participate in this unconstitutional little restriction, all you'll have to do is hop in your car, drive 275 miles straight East, buy a whole trunk full of ammo, without sales tax, of course, drive back home, and then sell it to all your friends, for a profit. 

Will it stop Bad Guys from buying ammo?  Noooooooo!  Will it stop anyone from buying ammo? Nooooooooooooo!  Will it stomp all over our 2nd Amendment Rights? Yessssssssssss! Will the NRA and the 2nd Amendment Foundation and the California Association for Gun Rights and the United States Concealed Carry Association and the California Sheriff's Association sue to overturn it?  Yesssssssssssssssss!  Will it be overturned in the courts, even the uber-liberal 9th Circuit? Yessssssssssssssssssss!

-  Proposition 64:  This Prop legalizes Mary Jowanna here in Taxifornia.  So we'll all be able to smoke dope all day every day without fear of "The Man."  Oh wait!  It will still be against Federal law to possess or use cannabis.  So how will this contradiction be addressed?  Good question, Grasshopper! Oh yeah, it passed.  Pass the Oreos and the Doritos...

-  Proposition 65:  And finally, this Prop would outlaw single-use plastic bags once and for all!  Yes, my friends, no more plastic bags! They're bad on the environment!  They foul the land fill!  They get caught in the flukes of giant whales!  Or something!  My guess is that they next step will be to outlaw paper bags because they're made out of trees, and trees have feelings! Or something.  It passed.

By the way, you'll now have to buy those previously-free plastic bags.  They'll now cost you at least $0.10 each, and maybe more, depending upon the store, and how hard up for cash it is.  What did all this prove? Ummm, nothing.  Except the commie pinko eco-weenies feel better.  Make something that was free now an extra cost item. Progressive-ism at its very best!

But wait, there's more!

Then a real earthquake hit!  Donald John Trump was elected President of the United States!  And how did the citizens of the once-Golden State respond to this news?  Get this.  They protested!  They marched!  They burned down buildings! They broke car windshields!  They shot each other with guns that don't exist!  They let us know how unhappy they are! Their teachers let them out of class to march!  They also got together and decided what they really needed to do was draft an initiative to place secession on the 2017 ballot and start gathering signatures. California finds itself once again on the wrong side of the Sierras and the wrong side of the rest of the Country, as it wants to now secede from the Union!  After all, my friends, Taxifornia is the Largest State in the Union and has the Sixth Largest Economy on Earth!  The dimbulbs here are absolutely certain that it could get along quite nicely without the rest of America. Or, at least they think so...

So, just in case there are any actual Californians reading this, I thought I'd give you the run-down on just how stupid and out of touch your state really is:

     -  34 state governorships are now controlled by Republicans.

     -  24 states have Republican governors and Republican-controlled legislatures.  Only 6 can boast Democrat governors and Dem-controlled legislatures.  Boast?  One of them is California, of course.  

     -  One-third of the entire U.S. House of Representative Democrat caucus comes from only three states:  Taxifornia, New Yawk and Masssachewsettts.  So one-third of the "loyal opposition" to the shiny new Republican-controlled House and Senate will come from only three states, and they will have virtually no power to legislate.  Boo hoo.

     -  3,084 out of 3,141 counties in America voted for Trump. Are we to believe that the other 57 counties should be permitted to dictate to us the fate and future of the U. S. of A.?  Me thinks not...

     -  And lastly, 20 of 25 coal-dependent states voted for Donald J. Trump.  Remember when Barry Obama shut down the coal mines due to his onerous EPA emissions regulations? And remember when Hillary Clinton promised coal miners - to their faces - that her Presidency would mean they would all lose their jobs?  I think the miners just gave them the Big Middle Finger! 

Well, there you have it.  Just another chapter in the unending story of how far Taxifornia has fallen from the once pinnacle of power.  Perhaps that "wall" Donald wants to build should be built between Taxifornia and the rest of the U.S.  Maybe that would help to keep this awful Progressive infection that plagues us poor citizens from migrating eastward.  

And by the way, all, or almost all of those 57 counties that are chock-full of commie pinko liberal weenies are on, or very near to one of the two coasts.  Close enough to smell the salt air.  Go ahead, take a look at the electoral map that last Tuesday produced.  See for yourselves that those who chose to buck the trend that overtook America stretch up and down both the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines.  And so it struck me that perhaps it's the salt air that's the culprit here!  Maybe it's the salt air that's clogging the brains of otherwise reasonable people.  And if so, we have to do something to keep that salt air contained.  Maybe that wall I mentioned above could go a long way toward keeping all that salt air from turning the rest of America into brain-dead slackers...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Some Observations About Last Night's General Election Results...

-  The Republican Party did not win last night.  The American people did.  The guy who won just called himself a Republican, which was convenient, considering he'd been a Democrat for most of his adult life.  It really didn't matter what he called himself; what he promised was to bring back the America of old.  And over half of America has hired him to do so.

-  The Republican Party will now have to rebuild itself.  The elite within the GOP never embraced Trump.  But he won anyway.  No support from the Lap Dog Media, no support from the GOP Old Guard.  So now the Old Guard have frozen themselves out, which is too bad for them.  And the people of America don't really care.  They just want the coal mines reopened, the oil and gas fracking to resume, the military to be rebuilt, the jobs to return, the border to become secure and the taxes to be lowered.  Let's see if that happens.  I sure as Hell hope so...

-  The National Rifle Association's 5,000,000 members won the election for Trump.  Each of them paid their annual dues, and each of them clings to their Right to "keep and bear arms."  They each have wives, or husbands, and sons and daughters, and aunts and uncles, and cousins.  And members of their bowling team.  And they vote! And I believe that the spillover effect of 5 Million avid, dedicated members, plus all their family and friends, could be as many as 10 or 15 million loyal Americans who voted to send the Democrat candidate and her oft-stated intent to gut the 2nd Amendment, packing.  Tsk, tsk...

-  It will be refreshing to see Melania Trump as First Lady. I've grown weary of seeing what's-her-name in that role.  

-  The poll-taking (pole-dancing?) industry in America shot itself in the pedicure.  All but one of them predicted a Clinton blowout.  They were wrong.  Really wrong!  And now they will never, ever be trusted again.  By anyone.  Ever.

-  The media in America has very special rights under the Constitution of our Great Country.  They are called the Fourth Estate for a reason; they are required, REQUIRED to bring us the news, and the facts, unvarnished and unbiased.  They get special dispensation from the law for doing so. They have finally, FINALLY admitted the truth. They are nothing but the Communications Department of the Democrat National Committee.

-  John Fitzgerald Kennedy was known as JFK.  Hillary Rodham Clinton is known as HRC.  I predict that Donald John Trump will hereafter be known as DJT.  Except by the Lap Dog Media, which will call him every name in the book and do everything within their power to destroy him and everything he stands for.  Umm, except for the afternoon he's inaugurated, during which they'll treat him with a modicum of respect. But just for that afternoon...

-  Hil(liar)y called one-fourth of America "deplorables" and "irredeemables."  I hope she lives a long life and gets to reconsider that intemperate comment each and every day for the rest of her life.  It went a long way toward helping her to lose this election.

-  With no more access or favoritism or special treatment to sell, the Clinton Dynasty will melt away into a steaming pile of horsesh*t.  Donations to its so-called "charitable" foundation will dry up and she and Billy Jeff "Blue Dress" will be forced to live their fanciful lives without any further "special" treatment.  Too bad.

Eight years ago this morning I posted perhaps my shortest blog entry yet.  It read:

"Last night I went to bed in Northern Mexico, and got up this morning in France."

Today I issue a rather different entry.  It reads:

"Out long national nightmare is almost over." 

Thank you America, and good night.