Sunday, February 19, 2017

This Old Bastard is Absolutly Right

No, not me, but I read his comments and he hit the nail on the head.

I have been trying not to blog as much as in the past. The way things are I could be blogging 5-6 times a day and to be honest, I can't handle watching much of the news as it stands.

I normally do not blog on Sundays. But I strongly believe in a free press. So strong, I publish this.

Senator John McCain ( R) -Arizona made this quote yesterday on Meet the Press. ( It will air this morning on NBC)

 “We need a free press,” said the 2008 Republican presidential candidate. “We must have it. It’s vital.”
“If you want to preserve ― I’m very serious now ― if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press,” he added.
McCain said that without a free press, “we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time.”
“That’s how dictators get started,” he added, noting that attacks on journalists questioning those in power are a tactic used by autocratic governments.
“When you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press,” he said. “I’m not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I’m just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.”

G*ddamn right.

Then Carl Bernstein tweeted the following. ( Bernstein along with Bob Woodward with  broke Nixon and Watergate)

Carl Bernstein @carlbernstein
The most dangerous 'enemy of the people' is presidential lying--always. Attacks on press by @realDonaldTrump more treacherous than Nixon's.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

This Upsets Me so Badly, It Gets a Blog

No, not the Russian ship sailing up the coast of the U.S. Starting off the coast of Delaware going up to Connecticut to spy on the submarine base in that state.

No, not the fact we might possibly send ground troops into Syria.

No, not the fact KBMT had a big part of their 10pm News dedicated to cheating, like this was something new.

No, not the fact it is going to rain 4 out of the next 6 days...

But if you have gotten upset with me over a blog, so upset that you went online with your friends to bad mouth me.

So upset you talked bad about me in town with whoever will listen....

And you years later for some reason decided to send me  friend request on Facebook....

I understand you probably think " Thomas is a Christian and one of the hallmarks of his faith is forgiveness"

Well, in this cases, I'll risk hell-fire and eternal damnation and not friend you on Facebook.

I somehow think Jesus will understand.

CHEATER!!!!

Oh man, I was watching the TV last night, minding my own business and normally, but this time, I was long in the " arms of Morpheus."

But for some reason, our TV was on the 10pm  KBMT 12 News, we normally watch KFDM, and one of the sections was about cheating in high school.

The story was how easy it is to cheat now, that there are math apps to do you calculus homework, there are apps to do your chemistry work, etc.

Cheating is nothing new.

I battled cheating for 30 years and when you caught a cheater, it was like, " it's your fault for catching them." That came from the student, the parents and the administrators.

I REALLY hated to tell coach when a player was caught,  especially when the athlete was close to failing anyway. Folks, you don't know what it is like to have you livelihood depend on a 17 year old's DNA and their effort....( and the 17 year old not being a 17 year old and royally having a " brain fart.") 

It is why I gave essay exams, it is why I supplied the paper. Reading my eyes out the slop many of you put on a piece of paper was not how I had planned to spend 30 years of my life.

And to be honest, I know people still cheated.

I know you did. Hell, many of you have confessed to me later that you did.....some acted like they were proud they cheated.

Hell, there were valedictorians who cheated, salutatorians who cheated...I will never forget the student who told me graduation night they just knew they would not be first in the class because the cheating of others.....but as they said, " I feel good about myself." ( And I know there were people first and second in the class and all through classes I taught who earned their positions/graduation the old fashion way....they studied their butts off.)

But Channel 12 acted like this "cheating" was something new.

Come on man...

Winnie?

So, I lose all credibility this morning I built up over the last week.


But I go there....you never know what really goes on in small towns, you really you really do not.....

They closed a whorehouse in a Winnie yesterday. A whorehouse "pretending" to be a massage parlor....isn't that sometimes the same?

I assume " special endings" were involved?

And naive me....I couldn't figure out for years why UIL Academic Meets were held there...

:)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What Did They Ever Do To You?

I have been pretty status quo since was a very young man.

And I have to reiterate what my topic says..." What did they ever do to you?" 

I have been a registered Republican since 1976 when I voted in my very first election, a Presidential Election  I voted for Gerald R. Ford....and have voted GOP since then.

And while I have kept some fairly standard Republican issues....

Strong 2nd Amendment...I still have a problem with most abortions, but in the case of rape, incest, health, I am more lenient than many of those in the GOP and in recent years I have been questioning some of my fellow Republicans, we seem to care more about a kid before they are born, than afterwards.

I have changed in the last few years concerning my views on gay-marriage. Sorry folks, life is short, people are just trying to be happy. Let them marry.

I have also had a change in my views on drugs...it might be time to legalize a number of them. The drug war has been going on for 60+ years and it has hasn't worked. 

I know some of your political views are in line with your Biblical views, but you know, many of you " pick and choose" what you want to "go after" God forbid you actually see what Jesus said about money....or loving your neighbor...or what God says about things such gluttony. Or divorce, churches were all up in people's business about divorce until Reagan was elected. Heck Reagan had divorced Jane Wyman and married Nancy Davis, after Nancy was 5 months pregnant...but Ron Reagan was "our boy" and afterward, the view on divorce changed.

But this attack and I can't think of calling it anything else, started about 7-8 years ago, this attack started on teachers. They were saying," teachers only work part-time, we all are union members ( not in Texas, no collective bargaining) we're all Democrats( I know plenty of Texas Republican teachers),  we all suck at our jobs, yadda yadda".and of course this attack was lead by Fox News.

This of course was the reason why we needed all these state tests, we need to let public sector take over and make money off your kids, etc..."because public school teachers suck...."

The 2017 Session the Texas Legislature is pushing vouchers for people to attend private and church schools and in many cases these private/religious schools won't be held to the same standards of the public school. This money will be taken away from public schools.

They( the private/church) can take whatever kid they want. If you child is autistic or has Asperger's or is dyslectic, or is a special needs child, the private school, church school can reject them...they can even establish who they hire as teachers, non-certified, no college degree, shoot, they could even hire a person with a 9th grade education to teach. 

The biggest concern I have is for these religious schools.

There is a step back in our churches. Science is now evil. There are churches now, and I am serious that are pushing the literal Biblical interpretations...including

The earth is only 6,000 years old. Either there were no dinosaurs, that dinosaur fossils, bones were put here by Satan to trick us into believing the earth is older than 6,000 years old, or that in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were riding around on the dinosaurs, sort of like we ride horses today.

Sorry, but  some of these people and you may think this isn't true they take it literally flat. And they use about 50+ verses to back up their beliefhttp://www.testingtheglobe.com/bible.html.

These will be Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Atheists, Satanist ( and trust me, watch, these will be started, my money is on Austin for the last two) 

In the last 6 months, I was asked by a man in the community to stop his "church school" and see " how well they were doing."

So, I did. 20-25 kids in what amounted to a 1 room school. The "teachers" had no college degrees, and used basically home school programs.

There is nothing wrong with home schooling programs. As many of you know we home-schooled our child for a could of years in his 7-8th grade years. Now, we used a pretty serious academic program, based on classical training, had philosophy and Classics as part of the program, but that is just us, it came out of the UK.

The church's program might have worked, but there was so much of the curriculum either skipped over or ignored or just not taught well and I looked at the kids in high school and the level they were at was maybe 4th-6th grade. Maybe. Two were about the graduate.( I just smiled and left)

They would be eligible for the state's vouchers.

Perhaps the thing that disturbs me the most is not the vouchers in major cities, but what would happen to rural public schools. How much money would be lost because  XYZ Church deciding to  set up a school in their back "education" room and the money being taken away from the Buna ISD or Evadale ISD or any or 700+ other rural Texas school districts.

And what about the people who set up private schools trying to "make a dollar" out of education? How many of these schools will set up as LLC's, and once the tuition money is paid, the file bankruptcy?

Folks, public schools are under the gun here,  maybe you say " well, we don't need to have them, or maybe people should be responsible for the own kid's education..." Just think...how well would that work for a percentage of the population? We'd insure  generations of illiterates.

Buna ISD patron, be concerned, very concerned. You had teachers laid off year due to students leaving the district. You have a massive bond you just passed and you just voted on this summer a change in how funding is distributed. Say what you want, you're on the hook for making this all work.

Buna patrons, you need to worry. Teachers you need to worry.

I have been a good Republican my entire life, I spent my career teaching kids in public schools, and this is what the state legislature thinks about us.

Say what you want, but most communities revolve the local public school. It is how people assimilate in many cases.

I know I often blast the mess out of Buna ISD, and to be honest, while Buna actually is a pretty darn good district, there are people within it not doing there best, and to be honest, I wonder if they just can't, or if they want to just do enough to " get by..." And the kids know who these teachers are...and you do too...( Private schools and church schools have the same problem. Part of it is finding people to do the job....Part of it is just like public schools, politics. And many of you in business know there's politics going on where work...)

But, I digress.

This may upset some of you, but I may need to look at how I vote in the future....teachers, you do too...

Times are changing, and teachers, public schools are in the cross-hairs. And to be honest, I do not know what we've done so wrong...









Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Flynn

So, some of you are wondering why we are so upset about this Michael Flynn business.

Lt. General Flynn was the National Security Director. He resigned supposedly because he lied or mis-spoke as they say in DC to the Vice-President.

The event in question occurred in December when General Flynn spoke to Russian Ambassador, when Gen. Flynn was still a private citizen.

Say what you want, even though they were the " President-elect" Mr. Trump, Gen. Flynn were still private citizens ( Gen. Flynn had retired from the US Army)

The Constitution of the U.S. says the treaties are made with the President and confirmed by the Senate......Article II, Section 2, Clause 2....

Out of this came the Logan Act in 1799

 The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799) is a United States federal law that details the fine and/or imprisonment of unauthorized citizens who negotiate with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States. It was intended to prevent the undermining of the government's position.[2] The Act was passed following George Logan's unauthorized negotiations with France in 1798, and was signed into law by President John Adams on January 30, 1799. The Act was last amended in 1994, and violation of the Logan Act is a felony.

The really odd part of this is that Gen. Flynn made his calls on the Russian Ambassador the same day that the Obama Administration kicked out 35 Russian diplomats from the Russian Embassy...many of which the intelligence community believed were spies...( Hell you know many were spies....we do the same thing...)

And then, Vladimir Putin does not for some reason kick out American diplomats( spies).....and then later Mr. Trump tweets " Great move on delay ( by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart."

Sorry, neither were in office. It certainly looks like Flynn conducting foreign policy and was not the US Government.

And I have to ask, what did, Flynn, who has been with Mr. Trump since the start, and was part of his transition team.....was he asked to call the Russian Ambassador?

I am sorry, but to quote the Bard " Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."


Sunday, February 12, 2017

So, This Might Put it Over the Top

So, last blog, I discussed the possibility of down the road....and we're speaking way on down the road of getting perhaps a Volvo as my next car, and yes, of course it will be used, second-hand, whatever you call it.

And I was surprised I didn't get mail on it. 

But, I seriously may do so. 

I have had a fascination with Volvos for years. I think it started in the 1970s when I saw the advertisements for them in " Playboy" magazine. And of course being a young college undergrad, I read the magazine for the articles, not those pesky, bothersome foldouts that would just "fall out" while you were trying to read intellectual written pieces by Norman Mailer, Bill Buckley, Karl Hass...or interviews of political and social leaders of the day...those " waste of ink and paper" photos of young ladies with breasteses the size of Ethiopia, well, were just in the way.....

But, one of the sponsors of the magazine was the Swedish automaker Volvo.

In those days Volvo was a bit more affordable than they are today....and always, they touted how long their vehicles lasted....250,000...300,000...500,000....they even had a man who said his Volvo P121 had lasted 1,000,000 miles. They even had a  photograph of his odometer showing 999,999...

In those days GM, Ford, Chrysler odometers only went to 99,999 before they rolled over to 00,000. that's because,well, cars were not going to last much longer than that....and in those days, there were still other U.S. automakers like American Motors, and you might be lucky if their vehicles made it to 80,000 miles....and where is American Motors today?

But as a kid I was fascinated with that 250,000 car. Never mind that is nothing today.( We expect cars to make it that long) A couple of years ago Volvo was touting a guy with a p1800 with 3 million miles...

Now, Volvos have baggage. Made in Sweden, which has a socialistic type government, and in this nation, it is known as " liberal type vehicle."

And now that some of you see me as one e-mailer put it, I've become " Half a Communist." Maybe it is okay to buy one at some point...

And after the blog I have in a couple of days, some of you might be convinced....