Quote of the Week

"One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty councils."
- Woodrow Wilson

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Our Problem is Not the President, It's Us.

I saw this Facebook meme a few days ago and had to share it. I also felt compelled to make a post about it here.

For my lifetime anyway, it seems all blame for the problems of our country fall squarely on the President. While I have not been a fan or really impressed by any President since I've been of voting age, I can blame everything on them. Lots of things yes, but not everything.

I'm also very sure things for this country won't improve in two years regardless of who we elect as our next President.

For starters, the type of people who could fix things are rarely the type of person who will or feasible can run for elected office.

The type of people who run for office are typically, but not always; politically well connected, well off financially, are pros at saying what people want to hear, and are completely narcissistic and run for office primary for the power of the office. I say typically, I'm sure the people in office you like and continually vote for are completely different.

While the President is the lightning rod for our political angst, not much that he does can be done without Congress. You know, that branch of our Federal government that maintains about a 20% approval rating. The stat that 80% of the people don't approve of Congress amazes me for several reasons.

First off, this very low rating isn't a recent spike. Congress has pretty much maintains a below 50% approval rating. People who we picked to go to Washington, DC as a whole do not meet our approval.

Not only do we send duds to DC, we keep sending the same ones back!
Per Congressional Research Service Report RL32648:
"The average years of service for Members of the 110th Congress, as of January
3, 2007, when the Congress convened was 10.0 years for the House and 12.82 years
for the Senate. This is a record for the Senate. House Members who took their seats
at the beginning of the 102nd Congress (1991-1993) represent the high point of
Representatives’ average tenure (10.4 years)."
We are sending the same people back to DC for an average period of time that is longer than the average person holds a job. The same people that only 20% of us think is doing a good job.

Why do we do this? Simple, we refuse to accept the fact that we vote for career politicians who only say what we want to hear so they can hold on to their seats of power. Like I said above, I'm sure the people in office you like and continually vote for are completely different. And that's the problem. We refuse to admit we vote for people who should not voted for.

We, the American People fit the often said definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We complain about career politicians like Boehner, Feinsten, Hatch, McCain, Pelosi, and Reid yet we are the same fools who keep sending them back.

Why do we do this? Two reason I can think of. We vote along party lines regardless of the person representing the party, and the "I hate Congress but love my Congressman" syndrome we all seem to have. "He's been serving my District for 15 terms, he know Washington" is a common excuse to keep sending some one back. Yep, he know Washington, mainly how to keep himself there while having a 20% approval rating.

Let's think about that. Would you go to a Doctor that had a 20% approval rating? Would you buy a house from a Relator that had a 20% approval rating? Would you eat at a restaurant that had a 20% approval rating? Would you send your kids to a daycare that had a 20% approval rating?

But you're okay sending your Senators and Representative back to a Congress that has a 20% approval rating. A Congress that is pivotal in running our Country.

We could easily fix this in two election cycles. But of course it would involve some work and changes on our end. We would actually have to research the candidates and not vote based on name recognition, celebrity endorsement or party line. Yes, we will actually have to put some thought into it. We will actually have to vote at primary elections too.

Most importantly, we need to pick the candidate we feel is the best. Not who the union endorses, or paper endorses, or who has the most yard signs in your neighborhood, or the political party Grandpa was active in.

Sadly this is something that vast majority of us can not and will not do; and our  20% Congressional approval rating proves it.

Is Islam really a violent religion, or is it simply the dominant religion of a violent part of the world?

With the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks fast approaching, there is the annual talk about possible upcoming attacks on that date. Which I always think is a bunch of hype over nothing. I think terror attacks would work best when the victims are not expecting it, so attacking on an anniversary date doesn't seem like the best time. But since I'm not a terrorist planner, what do I know.

Anyway, right now there is a bunch of talk about ISIS launching an attack on US soil. And with it, comes the what's become to be expected comments about how Islam is a violent religion.

I woke up this morning with a thought. Well, more of a rhetorical question. Is Islam really a violent religion, or is it simply the dominant religion of a violent part of the world?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bed Making

I've never been much of a bed maker. I get up and kind of throw the sheets back somewhat in place. Just never seen a need for a nice looking bed. Like the comedian Jim Gaffigan said "it's like towing your Hoes after you took them off."

But for the last week or so, I make my bed right away in the morning. Kind of a motivation thing. Right away I complete a simple task and I see immediate results and I start the day with a small victory.

Weird as it is, it seems to be working for me. One quick small accomplishment gets my day going.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Only Humans Define Flowers From Weeds

Only humans define flowers from weeds; the saying goes. Or at least something like that. I believe the point of it is that we shouldn't judge by outside appearances.

But that's kind of one sided if you ask me. Besides not looking nice or being useful, weeds steal space, food, and water from nice looking or useful plants.

In a flowerbed or garden, where one has limited space to grow plants, they want the plants they planted to thrive. Not the freeloaders who move in due to try better soil and extra water. Gardeners want to get the most out of their efforts, their investments of time, money and resources.

For me the definitions can be both clear cut and confusing. It's clear cut for my garden. I want the peas, beans, corn, potatoes, etc. that I bought, planted and watered to grow, not whatever else shows up.

Far as flower gardens go, I'm at a loss. I don't have a flower garden, but I have stuff growing in front of my house that previous owners planted and it still comes up. Some looks nice to me and some doesn't. So I pull out what I don't like. Am I promoting weeds or flowers? Are they all flowers and I'm being picky, or am I clueless and their all weeds. I have no idea. I also wouldn't be bothered if nothing come up next year to be honest.

I started this post with the intention to say how I go about weeding in a humorous way.But as I typed this post kind of morphed into a metaphor that could be inspiration to improve your surroundings or some type of general social statement. Take it for what you want.

Friday, August 8, 2014

We really are too uptight

A NoDak friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook. She said there are actually people up in arms about the sign, saying it promotes domestic violence. I find this pretty sad.

I find the people who are outraged sad, not the picture. I find the picture funny and it didn't inspire me to harm any ex. This PC world we live in has people so uptight & scared of offending someone that we can laugh at life anymore.

Now I'm sure there is a FaceBook hashtag campaign started by people who've never been to that store and never had a reason to go there in the first place, announcing that they are now going to boycott it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Things a Ineffective Leader Says

A department manager here is a nice guy, but he is in about two position levels above his skill level. He knows it too by the way he operates his department. Many side stepping responsibilities and delegating decision making to his team members or other department leaders.

In any meeting or event of a situation on the production floor that is out of the ordinary, he is bound to say "somebody needs to make a decision." Especially when it's an issue in the department he is responsible for. The closet he ever comes to making a decision is saying "I fine with whatever you guys think."

While a nice guy, this person should not be in a leadership role. Leaders make choices. Leaders find solutions. Leaders are not afraid to take on the responsibility for their choices. Leaders will take calculated risks.

When the person in charge of a department or company does not lead, but avoids risks and responsibilities that department or company at best does not function to it's full potential. At worst it fails completely.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Prepping Tip From a Guy Who's Not a Prepper: Try Your Bulk Food

I've never thought of myself as a "prepper" type of person. But I've always been one to make sure I have enough basic things on hand to ride out a small emergency. It just makes sense to me to be able to live somewhat comfortable for a period of time without being able to get more supplies. For some reason I always feel the need to said that before I post something on the subject.

Of course one of the most important items to make sure you have a good supply of is food. Keeping your pantry will stocked with canned and dry goods is can be beneficial for all types of short term emergencies. Being unable to leave your home due to severe weather for a period of time (snowed in, flooding, etc), power outages, and other natural disasters may keep you from the supermarket. and even if you can get to the store, you may encounter bare shelves or crowds of other unprepared people.

Keeping a few weeks worth of food on hand could help you service a temporary finical squeeze too. If you encounter a temporary layoff, surprise trip, or an unplanned mechanic bill; skipping a week or two's grocery bill may help make ends meet.

But before you start filling you cupboards with Spam, bags of rice, beans & peas, MRE's, and other long term canned and or  bulk items; I highly recommend trying some of the items you purchase before you buy a lot of it. Especially if you don't normally cook or eat it.

In a time of emergency is not the best time to try to figure out how to cook something new. Also your body may need to adjust to it too. So it may be worth it for you to mix some of these foods into your daily routine.

Plus, as I just discovered tonight with some store brand chili, it may taste like crap and not be something you'd want a stockpile of.

Monday, March 24, 2014

One Positive Thing About The Westboro Church

So the guy (I can't and won't call him a pastor) who lead the Westboro Baptist Church died. The only reason we know of him is because his church shows up at funerals for the fallen troops and famous people to protest against gays. They're not having a funeral for him. Weird.......

That to me is pretty sad. No I don't really care if they have a funeral for the guy. It just show (as if we needed more evidence) of how pathetic these people who claim to be a Christian church are.

When I think of a Christian church being active for the greater good in the name of God, I think of things like food shelves, soup kitchens and orphanages. I think of potlucks, bingo, spaghetti suppers to raise money for a local family that lost their home to a fire or for building a hospital on the other side of the word.

But with the Westboro crowd, there thing is protesting funerals with provocative signs showing how much they hate gay people. Doesn't seem to be the best choice of causes for a church, but that's their thing. It's pretty sad that they untied, organized, and put a ton of effort and resources into trying to anger people.

The saddest, most pathetic aspect of them, to me anyway, is that they do it in such of a cowardly way. If they are so outraged about gays, then they should take there protests to the source of their outrage. Instead for protesting funerals of dead soldiers, why don't they line up at every gay pride parade, or at concerts, movie premieres or sporting events of gay artists, performers and athletes?

The answer is obvious and simple. Most people have enough respect for the fallen and the family not to escalate the situation at a funeral, but the Westboro protesters would get the shit kicked out of them if they pick another venue. And in my opinion, rightfully so.

But there is one positive thing about The Westboro Church:
They're a collection of hateful people who are not influencing other churches from the inside. If we are stuck with a bunch of delusional haters, they might as well be kept together.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Giving Heirloom Seeds a Try

With signs of spring starting to poke through the holds of this long winter, I have started to get ready for gardening. Over the last couple of years I have really gotten into gardening. It is really a fun hobby that can be beneficial to me for several reasons.

A big reason is I can grow more healthy organic foods where I have complete control of what fertilizers, pesticides, etc. are used. I will know exactly what and when something is placed on my food while I grow it.

Also, I have been making an effort to become more self-reliant. I like the idea of being able to produce my own food and not be dependent on other sources. For me it is mostly for the novelty of it, but it could be very beneficial to be able to produce garden foods in case of the unlikely long term disaster situation. But most importantly for me, it is a fun relaxing hobby that will produce healthy food in a reality inexpensive manner.

This year I am going to try something different. I ordered some heirloom seeds to plant this year’s garden with. The difference between heirloom seeds and the more common hybrid seeds more commonly found is that the plants will produce seeds that you can harvest and replant next year. By planting seeds from plants grown in your garden, over time you will develop a plant that will be more resistant to your local area.

The fruits & vegetables included in the Safe Harvest Seed Bank I'm planting this year

Today I purchased a Safe Harvest Seed Bank™ seed kit from LPC Survival, an online retailer. Here is the product description from their website:
The Safe Harvest Seed Bank™ contains the highest quality heirloom vegetable seeds available. The seeds are 100% Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), open-pollinated, and placed in specially sealed packets which provide for long-term storage.
The Safe Harvest Seed Bank™ is yours for one LOW price and supplies a LARGE balance of seeds from the most recent harvest.
It is also packaged for long term storage (5+ years) but priced so you can start planting this year! The affordability and great quality of this Seed Vault make it your best choice for both planting and storage!

While LPC Survival sells “prepper” and “off the grid” type products.  A lot of their products are not just for the “Doomsday Prepper” type people. Anyone who is interested in trying to live a more environmentally and fiscally responsible lifestyle can find many useful products from places like this.

Direct link to: Safe Harvest Seed Bank™

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sheila Jackson Lee Thinks the Constitution is 400 Years Old

Sheila Jackson Lee Thinks the Constitution is 400 Years Old

Follow the above link, if you dare. Why do we continue to send MORONS like this to Washington D.C.?!

I'm started to re-think backing the 12 total years in Washington D.C. approach for term limits. I'm beginning to lean towards thinking one term in any office is enough.