Friday, April 10, 2015

Injury In the Line of Duty…or not?



When an individual puts on a uniform in the service of his community or country, either as a fireman, police officer or military serviceman we recognize the uniform perhaps more than the individual.  If they get injured while in our service it’s our moral duty to take care of them.

An article at the Fox News website by Catherine Herridge, Fort Hood shooting victim denied benefits, despite Purple Heart decision pointed out that a military board has denied benefits to a soldier who was shot during the Ft. Hood terrorist attack.

You may recall the Obama administration pressured the military into calling the shooting “work place violence” rather than classifying the shooting as a terrorist event “even though the evidence showed Hasan was emailing the Al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack”.

But that’s not all…the administrators of our military, those charged with looking after our servicemen who put the uniform on each day in defense of our nation took it a step further.

“MAJ Hasan has been charged with criminal activity, but has not been adjudicated a terrorist. Therefore, the clear preponderance of evidence does not support that the injuries sustained were the direct result of armed conflict,” the letter said.

I wonder what planet these administrators are from; really!  Getting shot six times isn’t the result of armed conflict?  Must have been one heck of a game of Tidily Winks those soldiers at Fort Hood were playing.

Putting aside whether or not the injuries were the result of an attack carried out during war time, on foreign soil or our own should not matter…  shouldn’t a member of our military be taken care of if he/she fell off a loading dock while pealing potatoes assigned KP duty?   (I know, soldiers no longer are required to perform KP; pick some similar mundane chore like slipping down on a wet floor while cleaning the head)

There you go, soldier; we don’t have to pay for your injuries because you can’t prove they happened as an act of war.  Chew on that for a while …

Of course there are two sides to every coin; taking into account the numerous attempts to feign injury in order to collect a fat Workman’s Compensation package.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. 

A friend of mine worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a criminal inspector.  One of his jobs was investigating individuals who were collecting disability from the government, folks suspected of being less than honest about their injuries.  He told me about folks who claimed they were too injured to work collecting full benefits that showed up each month in their mail box.   The only problem was these folks were fit as a fiddle and off working ‘cash jobs’ that went as unreported income when they were supposed to be at home in their sick bed.  

I wish there were more inspectors catching free loaders; but that goes against current policy under the Obama administration.  Truth be known, I think there are bonuses set aside for the more creative free loaders. 

Talk about free loaders and spending taxpayer money, what about this?   

“The director of the Philadelphia VA regional benefits office was paid $288,000 in “relocation payments” to move the 140 miles from Washington, D.C. to her new home last year”.

{…}

“Federal regulations allow for the reimbursement of relocation expenses including the “costs of house-hunting, moving, terminating leases, and a per-diem rate for meals and temporary housing for an employee and his or her family,” the spokesman said.”

I’m so happy to know the VA administrators are able to take care of themselves; but isn’t their job to take care of military personnel who need medical treatment? (Sounds like they have their priorities messed up)

Moving right along…

I remember one police officer who fell out of his chair at the station and collected full disability benefits for about a year; that’s full pay with benefits, tax free because it was carried as Injury on Duty.  (not making this up folks; this actually happened)

Back in the 70s an off duty uniformed Houston Police Officer was injured while working traffic at the Astrodome, an extra-job where his salary was furnished by the Astrodome.  Long story short; he was seriously injured by a vehicle while working traffic; but the City denied his request for Injury on Duty status.

The City of Houston claimed that at the time of his injuries his actual employer was the Astrodome and refused to pay while he was out of work.  Eventually the courts convinced the City of their responsibility because the officer was directing traffic and wearing a uniform which represented his authority, authority which could only be given by the City of Houston. 

More recently another Houston Police Officer, Jason Roy, survived a roll over accident during a chase.  His promised benefits have been denied after being disabled with a broken neck, making him unable to perform as a police officer.

‘“The City of Houston is cooperating fully and is not contesting Officer Roy’s medical condition.  The case is moving through the process dictated by the state. The next scheduled hearing will occur in mid-November. The decision as to whether benefits are granted is made by the Worker’s Compensation Division of the Texas Department of Insurance, not the city,” city of Houston Director of Human Resources Omar Reid.”

This means there’s a bureaucrat stationed somewhere along the chain of command to deny benefits; either at the City, State or Federal level of government.  Somebody is employed in a position of authority to ignore benefits promised, ignore right from wrong and to limit final responsibility in favor of saving the taxpayers money. 

I would hope our military service men and women would be treated better; but our government is run by folks who have lost their compass as to what’s right and wrong.  Injury on Duty means nothing to administrators and bureaucrats whose sole purpose in life is to screw over those who’ve earned these benefits.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Obama’s “Potemkin Village”



Historians would recognize the term “Potemkin village” as it’s used to describe “any attempt to make others believe we are better than we really are”.   I first heard the unusual sounding combination of words this past Saturday evening as used by Dieter F. Uchtdorf in his General Conference talk, On Being Genuine, when he addressed the Priesthood Session.

He intended to emphasize the importance of actually being who you claim to be publicly as he explained the origins of this interesting terminology. 

“In the late 18th century, Catherine the Great of Russia announced she would tour the southern part of her empire, accompanied by several foreign ambassadors. The governor of the area, Grigory Potemkin, desperately wanted to impress these visitors. And so he went to remarkable lengths to showcase the country’s accomplishments.

For part of the journey, Catherine floated down the Dnieper River, proudly pointing out to the ambassadors the thriving hamlets along the shore, filled with industrious and happy townspeople. There was only one problem: it was all for show. It is said that Potemkin had assembled pasteboard facades of shops and homes. He had even positioned busy-looking peasants to create the impression of a prosperous economy.”

As I listened my first thoughts turned immediately to Barrack Obama and his administration; lie after lie covered by smoke and mirrors, deception and stone walling to keep the public in the dark until such time as the truth didn’t matter anymore. 

The health and safety of our nation has taken a back seat to how Obama and his administration appear in public; but I fear it is much worse than Grigory Potemkin’s slight of hand trick to make himself look good, Obama’s implementation of Marxist communism seems to be the driving force behind all this fakery.

An example of Obama’s questionable use of the presidency, and I’m being far too kind in calling it questionable; some might prefer treasonous…would be his entering into nuclear treaty talks with Iran.

Thomas Sowell wrote an article for the National Review,  Obama’s Iran ‘Agreement’ Is a Charade, in which he outlines the incredulity of forming any alliance with Iran and believing this band of terrorists might keep their word.  (I suppose the folks in Iran are saying the same thing about Obama and his administration; none are men of integrity.)

“By abandoning virtually all its demands for serious restrictions on Iran’s nuclear-bomb program, the Obama administration has apparently achieved the semblance of a preliminary introduction to the beginning of a tentative framework for a possible hope of an eventual agreement with Iran.

{…}

Why then all these negotiations? Because these charades protect Barack Obama politically, no matter how much danger they create for America and the world. The latest public-opinion polls show Obama’s approval rating rising. In political terms — the only terms that matter to him — his foreign policy has been a success.”

Sowell goes on to give a history lesson on Neville Chamberlain’s handling of a treaty made with NAZI Germany in an attempt to stave off war.  At no time did it appear that Chamberlain intended to set Great Britain up for the nasty ramifications of such poor judgment; but at the same time his actions did “throw a small country to the Nazi wolves in order to get a worthless agreement with Hitler”.

On the other hand, as Sowell points out, Obama’s worthless treaty giving Iran the ability to expand its nuclear program may well be throwing Israel to the wolves “for the sake of another worthless agreement”.

“If anyone examines the hard, cold facts about the Obama administration’s actions and inactions in the Middle East from the beginning, it is far more difficult to reconcile those actions and inactions with a belief that Obama was trying to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons than it is to reconcile those facts with his trying to stop Israel from stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons.” 

If you consider the folks Obama has for his inner circle then his intentions become more troubling.  

His senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and openly stated she looks forward to using America’s ignorance and tolerance of all religions via the First Amendment to further advance Islam into our society in order to bring about an eventual Transformation to Islam here.

Obama has been steadily weakening our military while at the same time placing ‘questionable’ individuals who happen to be Muslim, not only Muslim... but individuals who have ties to radical jihadist groups in key positions of government. 

“In 2002 Mohamed Elibiary founded the Freedom and Justice Foundation in Plano, Texas. Freedom and Justice is the political party of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. He was appointed a member of the Homeland Security advisory council which meant Elibiary had access to security documents. In October of 2011, it was reported he took sensitive reports from the Texas Department of Public Safety.”


I almost wish I wasn’t aware of the loose ends, the shady deals, the outright lies and deception Obama and his administration have foisted off on the public, all the while claiming to be working for a better America.  It would seem the America Obama wants our constitutional republic Transformed into is under the flag of Islam.

America's economic recovery... It’s all for show and major media outlets refuse to report the truth, instead they prefer building up Obama’s image as America’s first and greatest Black president. 

I haven’t brought up job reports, unemployment or the disturbing fact that 63 million potential members of the workforce don’t have a job, some of them having quit looking long ago so they aren’t considered unemployed.  How’s that for another of Obama’s Potemkin Villages?

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Science of Extortion





There are several articles on the Internet which put forth the idea that FEMA intends to withhold money from states which don’t sign on to the premise of man made global warming.   They use the updated term, Climate Change; but their religion of man made harm to Mother Earth continues as the foundation of their faith.

Frank Minero’s piece, Sorry Rick Scott, Admit Climate Change Is Real Or Florida Loses $100 + In FEMA Funding, caught my attention as it contained some rather inflammatory language.

They’ll need to think long and hard on this one. The stakes are high. If they stick with their ignorant, anti-science rhetoric, they stand to lose millions in federal aid.” (emphasis added)

Would someone define ‘anti-science rhetoric’?  Doesn’t Minero mean folks who won’t fall for junk science substituted for real science and the political agenda associated with the Church of Man Made Global Warming?

 At one time science was the search for truth regardless of where that path led; but we live in a time when political agendas foretell results and computer generated models validate theories without the need for actual or authentic data, how convenient!

Minero does a touchdown dance at the end zone of his article proving that Climate Change ‘science’ is nothing more than a political hoax.

Here’s a list of the eighteen offending states: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Dakota and Wyoming. Not surprisingly, most of the anti-science policy comes from red states.
This is great news for the people living in red states. Now petty politics and greed won’t doom them to the absolute worst consequences of climate change.”  (again, emphasis added)
If you voted for the Democrat/Socialist/Communist (interchangeable) agenda of man made global warming then we will reward you with taxpayer (a politically incorrect term to be replaced with ‘people’) funding of FEMA programs. 
If, on the other hand, you require proof of this unsettled science, which is nothing more than a shake down scheme to redistribute wealth, then we will use the power of media to ridicule your pathetic attempts to stave off being robbed in order to advance the liberal agenda.
Never mind that actual scientific findings prove the IPCC report as having been considerably flawed, to the extent that it might have been a total fabrication.  Never mind that the World’s top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just Quarter what we thought –and computers got the effects of greenhouse gases wrong

Imagine that, the global warming ‘estimates’ were off by around 75%!  The data fed into computer models used to twist the arms of law makers in order to bring about a United Nations one world government isn’t accurate.  Flipping a coin would give better results; at least that way you’d be right half the time.
If that isn’t enough, Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace recently shot down the Climate Change hoax when he addressed the Senate committee charged with coming up with legislation to combat global warming.
“There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years,” he said as he explained, “he left the group when it became more interested in politics than the environment.”
It would appear the anti-science rhetoric being spread around has been by the environmental alarmists.  
This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The 2nd Amendment Assault Continues



After reading the title of a recent news article entitled, Government backs off from banning assault rifle bullet, quite a bit of information is offered; some of which is intentionally misleading.  The article, which I’m sure has multiple variations scattered throughout the nation on virtually every media outlet,…where was I… the article claims that a public uprising has stemmed the government from stripping away yet another portion of our 2nd Amendment protection from government; that’s right, the 2nd Amendment was written to protect citizens from their government.

“Amid a massive outcry from gun enthusiasts, the government has backed away from a proposed ban on a specific bullet used in assault rifles that can pierce vests and body armor worn by police officers.”

For some reason a rifle which looks very similar to a military weapon in many ways has been allowed to be called an ‘assault rifle’ as if the AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle is the same as a fully automatic version the military uses.  The AR-15 is not an assault rifle; there isn’t such a thing, it’s a made up term. 

Rifles are supposed to shoot ammunition; that’s about the extent of their purpose.  What the rifle is aimed at; now that becomes a decision of whoever is pointing the weapon.  Why a weapon is used is also up to that individual; it’s not up to anyone to presuppose a weapon’s purpose based on what it may or may not look like.

As for the kind of ammunition used in any given rifle, again, that is up to the individual based on purpose and how much the ammunition costs.   

Unlike government agencies which have unlimited resources (taxpayers), individuals can’t buy up massive amounts of ammunition without considering the cost.  Then there’s the type of ammunition to consider; target practice ammo is considerably less expensive than ‘field ammo’ used to ‘inflict death and destruction’ on what ever target is picked.

That brings up a secondary topic; why did the Department of Homeland Security order over a billion and a half rounds of ammunition, to include several thousand rounds of hollow point ammo?  Hollow point ammo isn’t made for target practice and is intended to be used to ‘inflict death and destruction’.  The Department of Homeland Security has been telling the American public that the purchase was for training government employees?

“… at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month.  Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years.  In America.”

I don’t recall ever getting a straight answer from the Department of Homeland Security. 

The only logical explanation would be that the Department of Homeland Security was planning to go to war; and since they are tasked with policing Americans the logical answer would be that our government is planning to go to war against…you got it…its own citizens.  (look up the definition of tyranny).

Getting back to the original article on why the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) planned to ban a particular type of ammunition, their explanation was to “protect police officers”.   That’s interesting since, presumably, most of police officers targeted by ‘cop killer ammo’ were play actors in a movie, Lethal Weapon. 

There really is no factual basis for calling them ‘cop killer ammo’, it’s a myth; but for the same reason folks call the AR an ‘assault weapon’ these same folks think ‘cop killer ammo’ sounds more sinister.

“So what are the “cop killer” bullets now? According to the Brady Campaign, it is any hollowpoint bullet on the market. For those of you that don’t know what a hollowpoint bullet really does, it is designed so that it does not over penetrate instead relying on it doing more tissue damage and expending all of its kinetic energy inside the target. This means that is less likely to penetrate a vest than other solid bullets. Wait, I thought “cop killers” were designed to penetrate polices vests?  Well, it would seem once a bullet gets painted with the capricious “cop killer” brush, you don’t have to let a little things like “precedence” and “reality” get in your way.”

Even if there were ‘cop killer bullets’; and any bullet that strikes in the ‘right place’ is a killer, criminals who are intent on killing police officers would figure out how to obtain them.  Criminals haven’t been kept from obtaining heroin, cocaine or guns even though there are laws prohibiting these items.  Criminals don’t give a crap about the law, that’s why we call them criminals.  (news flash - neither do our elected representatives or those appointed to serve in government agencies)

I guess the ATF really wants to stop average law abiding citizens from purchasing lethal bullets, armor piercing bullets; oh why stop there; the ATF wants to eventually ban ALL bullets.  You can keep your guns; but they don’t operate without bullets.  There, now it’s ‘out there’ as Billy Crystal would say.  Once it’s out there, it’s out there.

The message sent to Washington wasn’t from ‘gun enthusiasts’ as the article said; no, the message was sent from citizens who recognized that our government was attempting to whittle away an important part of the 2nd Amendment.  Our right to own and bear arms was specifically addressed because the Founding Fathers understood the biggest threat to liberty would come from an all powerful centralized government; something like we are quickly approaching. 

If and when this monster sized central government turns on the citizenry, may it never happen in my lifetime; but if and when that happens citizens will be forced to use what ever weapons and ammunition they can lay their hands on.  It won’t matter if it’s a militarized police unit coming to remove undesirables from society’ as was done in Pre-WWII NAZI Germany,  or if it’s your local Army Reserve Detail coming to haul right wing conservative nut jobs off to a FEMA camp.  The purpose of having a weapon and ammunition is to kill; there’s no nice way of saying it. 

Our Declaration of Independence was issued as an open letter to a tyrannical King; but it applies equally to any tyrant with the intent and ability to enslave American citizens.  The time draws ever closer when citizens will be forced to defend against such tyranny.



This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.



Saturday, March 07, 2015

Texas Locksmith’s Eyes Beginning to Open





Years ago I did my best to convince my fellow locksmiths that jumping on the licensing bandwagon was a mistake.  During a heated discussion while attending a meeting organized by the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) one fellow wanted me to step out back and settle our differences the old fashioned way; maybe that would have been fun in my younger days. 

We were told the state had already decided the locksmith industry was going to be licensed and so we had better come up with a plan to submit to the legislature, one that would be favorable toward our needs.  That plan was approved by members of the Texas Locksmith Association (TLA) board and passed around so everyone in attendance could get a look at it.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the bill which the legislators were handed.

I couldn’t say for sure what happened in the back rooms of Austin; but you can bet the farm that the ALOA and Alarm Service Industry folks had their hand in the deal since these were the same folks who’d insisted the locksmith industry get licensed to begin with.  We were placed under the Department of Public Safety held in check by a bureaucracy which is now called the Private Security Bureau (DPS/PSB), a board of appointees which supposedly represents the interests of the entire Security Industry, more particularly, the Alarm Services Industry; well shucky-dern, isn’t that a coincidence.

 A lot of water has gone under the bridge since that time; but there has yet to be one locksmith sitting on the DPS/PSB, something which should tell you locksmiths are not being given any representation when it comes to laying down the rules.

I expect one day a locksmith will eventually sit on the DPS/PSB as promised so many years ago; but then again, consider who that individual might be…  You can count on it being a sycophant willing to go along with whatever the powers that be direct, just like the TLA and GHLA board members of the past.  No thank you, let’s just step outside and settle this like we should have done so many years ago.

Licensing serves a couple of purposes, neither of which protects the public from unscrupulous vendors.  First, licensing limits competition for those who are already covered and secondly it acts as a revenue generator for the State which is more than happy to destroy the free market system (socialism/communism) by enslaving those required to obtain and then maintain a license.  All cost increases to a business are then passed along to the consumer who must also pay for a protection racket run by the State which doesn’t provide protection; not much different than protection rackets run by the Mafia.

Fast forward to the present, specifically a message from the president of the Greater Houston Locksmith Association (GHLA) found in the monthly newsletter. 

“At the TLA Convention, the legislative update from DPS/PSB was simply about the locksmith laws that those in the industry are already aware of them. As an organization, we need to be prepared to take a different approach when it comes to the lobbyist in Austin, Texas. It takes money to see changes and not be ignored by the P.S.B. A different approach is much needed.” (emphasis added)

After all these years GHLA board members have finally figured out that the DPS/PSB folks have been ignoring them.  The DPS/PSB is good at ignoring locksmiths and imposing mandates arbitrarily, mandates which are costly in both time and effort and do absolutely nothing to improve the industry or provide any measure of ‘promised security’ for the public. 


Just a couple of weeks ago while attending the TLA convention in Plano, Texas, the one mentioned in the president’s message, I met with a couple of new GHLA board members.  My purpose for attending was to represent the Society Of Professional Locksmiths (SOPL) and to encourage those in the TLA and GHLA to become members and support this national locksmith association; one which wasn’t under the thumb of the Alarm Services Industry or the ALOA. 

SOPL has on-line training courses which cover a wide variety of locksmith related items and are cost efficient.  If these classes were to be approved and shared at meetings held by either the TLA or GHLA for the purpose of obtaining Mandated Credit Hours to maintain an individual’s locksmith license, members would be that much better off.

I introduced myself to one of the new board members who didn’t know me; no surprise since I prefer tending to my business rather than attending local meetings, and explained that he needed to properly represent locksmiths along with some history (some of this was a real eye opener to him), history which can be reviewed by reading articles I’ve written on the subject.  

I drove home the point that it was important to stop dancing with the enemy, the enemy being the DPS/PSB, that our going along quietly had done nothing to improve the individual locksmith’s position and that we were in fact 2nd Class citizens that had no voice.

Maybe, just maybe some locksmith’s eyes are starting to open.  They are beginning to understand that the State is not our friend and that somebody needs to stand up to them instead of paying a lobbyist to plead mercy at the feet of our Puppet Masters (DPS/PSB). 

A complimentary copy of this article will be sent to the Texas Locksmith Association (TLA), the Greater Houston Locksmith Association (GHLA) as well as the Society Of Professional Locksmiths (SOPL). 

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”. 

Monday, March 02, 2015

Which Court Papers are Worse?

There’s a news story out of Bryan,Texas which attempts to explain why the Federal government raided a political meeting put on by a group of folks contemplating Texas Secession from the United States on Valentine’s Day.  Police officers representing local, state and Federal agencies rounded up everyone in attendance, confiscated their cell phones, laptops or other recording devices and then fingerprinted each person.  All this was done with a search warrant signed by a judge for an alleged misdemeanor committed by two of the attendees who were present at the meeting. 

Tell me it isn’t just me…  that this entire event come across as bizarre… to the point of making your blood pressure elevate? 

After reading the article you find there was an ‘inside man’ working on behalf of law enforcement.   I guess those listed as right wing terrorists, anyone who doesn’t like the way our government has been shredding the constitution; and particularly how quickly the Obama administration is destroying what’s left of America’s foundations…, those kind of right wing terrorists require an undercover cop attending political meetings to make sure…to make sure of what exactly?

The misdemeanor crime requiring 20 armed peace officers you ask? …A ‘Fake’ court summons issued by two individuals who have no authority issued to have folks to appear before a judge who isn’t recognized as a judge in Texas or any other state.

‘“You can’t just let people go around filing false documents to judges trying to make them appear in front of courts that aren’t even real courts,” Hierholzer, who led the operation, told the Houston Chronicle.”

For some reason I found myself checking a map of Texas.   Bryan is not too far from Waco…remembering a different show of force wherein the Federal government decided to overplay their hand.

   Vivid memories; images of buildings being burned to the ground, women and children in that compound being consumed by flames and all because the government wanted to serve a warrant that could easily have been carried out some other way.    The Federal government wanted a show of force; well, they got one.

I guess when you have the power of the Federal government to intimidate and run rough shod over small groups of people then it doesn’t matter if they have constitutional protection or not. 

“The pretext of the raid was that two individuals from the group had reportedly sent out ‘simulated court documents’ — summonses for a judge and a banker to appear before the Republic of Texas to discuss the matter of a foreclosure. These ‘simulated documents’ were rejected and the authorities decided to react with a ‘show of force’ – 20 officers and an extremely broad search warrant.”

So twenty law enforcement officers were needed to…were needed to what?  I’m still trying to figure out why twenty law enforcement officers were needed.   I’m a retired police officer and this stinks to high heaven.  There’s the right to peacefully assemble which apparently didn’t apply to these citizens. 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Then there was the matter of searching everyone, not just the two specifically named, and confiscating cell phones, laptops and other recording devices to be searched for content.  Exactly who raised their arm to the square and swore out the warrant and what kind of judge would sign a ‘shot gun’ warrant, one that lacked specifics and clearly violated the Forth Amendment of everyone who had their electronic device ‘temporarily detained and searched’ for the purpose of obtaining information?

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.  (emphasis added)  

Which is worse, a fake summons issued by someone who lacks authority to demand anyone appear before a court that doesn’t exist or a real warrant signed by a Federal judge giving law enforcement officers permission to violate the law of the land and intimidate citizens into submission?  (hint: you shouldn’t need to flip a coin on this)

I should know better but keep forgetting; constitutional protections as listed in the Bill of Rights are only found in history books, inalienable rights were done away with and the rule of law means absolutely nothing; forgive my inability to keep up with modern America.  Live long and prosper.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Spinning the Circles




Many years ago a friend of mine invited me to become a part of a multilevel marketing business, a chance to start something on the side and provide extra income.  This wasn’t some get rich quick scheme and would require effort and acquiring new skills to become moderately successful. 

One of the first skills was learning to ‘spin the circles’, my friends way of saying that you had to stand in front of an audience with a chalkboard and invite them to share their dreams, dreams which were in fact goals worthy of extra effort needed to start their own business and join your group.

A random sampling would include new cars, home improvements like remodeling the kitchen, fancy jewelry, travel to exotic vacation spots and so on.  Inevitably there would be one person who was above ‘material things’, a person who dreamed of ‘World Peace’; the perfect beauty pageant answer that said absolutely nothing.  This individual wore a holier than thou smirk as if to say he was satisfied with a twelve year old beater and didn’t appreciate being challenged beyond the 40 hour work week; life was more than filling a toy box with more toys.  Next!

This came to mind as I went over the lessons shared at church yesterday.  During Sunday School we’d talked about  Miracles and how they were presented in the New Testament.  Class members shared some of their experiences which they considered to have been miraculous to some degree.

One brother had been involved in what could easily have been a fatal traffic accident; but for the ‘grace of God’ he some how survived and was able to regain full use of his body.  Another talked about a relative who’d been given six months to live after being diagnosed with cancer; but two years later is cancer free.

An older brother added to the discussion by mentioning that when he purchased tires for his car they came with a sixty thousand mile warranty.  He paused and formed his next thought carefully, “If I’ve calculated correctly…, I only need to purchase one more set of tires based on how many miles I drive a year”.   Now that’s a sobering thought; recognizing the inevitable ‘jumping off place’ as you approach mortality’s finite limits.

But what about those who die unexpectedly; step in front of a fast moving truck or have a sudden heart attack?  How do these individuals plan out their mortality, or does finality enter into the equation as they meander through life much as a leaf blown hither and thither?

I should mention that the last hour of study was tied to a General Conference talk given by Thomas S. Monson,  Guided Safely Home, wherein we were challenged to figure out our ‘purpose’; an extremely broad topic requiring a bit of thought.  

Depending on what level of ‘purpose’ you were thinking about the answers could be as trivial as obtaining a new car, better employment, writing a best selling novel or..., the top prize, exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom sitting in the presence of our Father in Heaven.   What level of ‘purpose’ was/is worth altering your life style choices?  

If you wanted to improve your relationship with your wife or children what would you consider doing?  If you wanted to become successful at work how would you go about improving your chances?  If you wanted to improve your relationship with God what have the prophets told us?

The more I thought about the lessons, putting the two together as I contemplated my own ‘purpose’, it came to me; these lessons had been presented much the same as ‘spinning the circles’, not much different than multilevel marketing. 

I’m no spring chicken and recognize the time limits placed on my mortality.  What do I wish to accomplish with the time given me; assuming I don’t step in front of the proverbial truck or have that unexpected heart attack that takes me before I’ve planned my own funeral?

To ‘spin the circles’ and grow your own business you needed to find out your prospect’s short term, mid range and long term goals.  These goals must be strong enough stimulate a prospect into acting upon them.  If you couldn’t bring out a worthy challenge then the likelihood of bringing the prospect on board were greatly diminished. 

I remember hearing about a fellow who when asked what he might do to improve his lot in life responded, “Hey, I’ve got a television and a six pack of beer; what else do I need?”  Not everyone will respond to an invitation to grow.

I’d love to have a new truck with all the bells and whistles.  My house in Buffalo is coming along; but wouldn’t it be great to have top of the line appliances instead of entry level Sears?  I’ve been slowing down my hours in business intentionally as I get closer to retirement; wouldn’t it be great to have some kind of supplemental income other than my police retirement and social security?


My creative writing has slowed down; isn’t it worth a little extra effort to share some of the thoughts that are lined up in that fog of a brain?  Spending more time at the temple, to be fully immersed in scripture study gaining a better understanding of what the Lord would have me do; that would be the sweetest thing of all…

A tune from Fiddler on the Roof invades my thought process.

…If I were a rich man,
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Idle-diddle-daidle-daidle man.

Lord who made the lion and the lamb,
You decreed I should be what I am.
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan?
If I were a wealthy man.

As I close my thoughts, pausing to breathe out and proclaim quietly, “Oye”..., the question remains, what is my purpose, my goal to accomplish in the time allotted me?   What will I do differently to bring about those changes necessary to accomplish my life’s mission?

More importantly, what will you do?  Will you take a few moments to consider your purpose?

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.