Monday, February 24, 2014

What’s that smell?

One of our Hobo Kitties, White Sox, was looking more than a little puny so each morning when it came time to feed the other Hobo Kitties, Thunder and Puddin’ Head, we made it a point to keep a lookout for him.  He was missing for a couple of days and we were relieved to see him last week, even in his emaciated condition.

He didn’t show up for breakfast last Tuesday and sometime in the middle of the week we noticed an unpleasant odor in the kitchen nook area near one of the air vents.  We all had the same thought, guessing White Sox had died and his body was somewhere between the first floor ceiling and the second floor.

I went through the kitchen and the odor got stronger near the refrigerator and the idea came to me that perhaps it was an onion or bad potato up in the bowl that was causing the smell.  Sure enough, Lucy pitched out a rotten onion that had begun to liquefy in the bowl; yuk! 

The air began to clear immediately; that is except for the area in the kitchen nook.

This morning my son, William, got up on the step ladder and cut away a hole big enough to poke his head in.  Prior to doing that, and this is my purpose for writing today, he said a little prayer.

“Please, Lord, don’t let anything dangerous get me when I poke my head up there.”

Fortunately the only thing William found was the body of White Sox there next to the warm air vent; no opossums or angry raccoons that might take exception to him poking around in that crawl space. 

Tomorrow morning, after the Hobo Kitties have been fed and we’re relatively certain that no other vermin might be hiding in the crawl space William is going to seal off the conduit space that attaches the garage with its electrical wires from the main part of the house, something we should have done long ago.

When I was a young police officer I didn’t have enough money to purchase a back up shot gun for while I was on patrol.  I did, however, own a nice lever action 30-30 and figured it would have to do.  Some of my fellow officers joked about it; but you do what you have to do when you don’t have money.

One evening several units, to include my partner and me, were dispatched to a school burglary.  We found entry and heard movement in the crawl space over us.  It was one of those commercial drop in ceiling board systems and nobody wanted to poke their head up inside.

I had my 30-30 lever action rifle with me and I knew how to flush the burglary suspect out without having to poke my head up in there.  I’m sure the burglar wasn’t thrilled knowing he was up in a crawl space with several police officers just below him.  He was even lest thrilled when he heard the sound of a cartridge being jacked into place.  That lever action rifle must have sounded like the end of the world to our burglar.

From up inside the crawl space we heard, “Don’t shoot, I’m coming out, don’t shoot”.

I’m pretty sure most police officers say a silent prayer as they go about poking their heads up into dark shadowy places looking for bad guys.  It probably goes much like William’s short prayer, “Please, Lord, don’t let anything dangerous get me when I poke my head up there.”

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”.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nero’s fiddle plays on

Imagine a time when young people were taught to respect their elders; but not only taught, they were expected to show that respect.  There’s a sign post ahead, your next stop… the Twilight Zone. 

It wasn’t long ago children were taught to say, “Thank You, Sir”, “Please”, “May I”, “Excuse me” or a host of other standard pleasantries in order to express a mutual regard for each other. 

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a fellow in Jacksonville, Florida is in big trouble after a serious confrontation with a bunch of young thugs who refused to turn down their music.  You can read some of the details as reported in an A/P article, ‘Loud music’ shooter called himself ‘victim’ in jail calls.

“The Florida software designer accused of killing a black teenager during an argument over loud music compared himself to a rape victim, telling his fiancee in a recorded jailhouse phone call that the police were trying to blame him for the shooting when he was only defending himself.”


“Dunn, 47, was convicted Saturday of three counts of attempted second-degree murder for shooting at three of Davis’ friends who were all inside an SUV, but the jury hung on a first-degree murder charge for Davis’ death. Dunn, who is white, has argued that he fired at Davis after the teen threatened him and raised a shotgun or something that looked like one after he asked the teens to turn down their rap music. No shotgun was found in the SUV.”

Details were a bit sketchy as to how the incident escalated; but having a minor confrontation turn into a full blown war only takes a moment, sometimes half a moment. I’m not here to expound on the virtues of any presumed Stand Your Ground law, something which has surfaced among the politically correct media or whether or not the charges fit the crime; and surely a crime was committed; no, that’s not my purpose in writing.

The problem for Michael Dunn started long before being faced with a car full of disrespectful ‘turds’ (a police slang often used when not in front of the news media) with their music cranked up…, the problem started long before…

In the movie, Secondhand Lions, there’s a scene inside a general store with the McCann brothers sitting down at the counter to have lunch, their young protégé along side observing life.  (This is just after Hub checked himself out of the hospital, having suffered a heart attack at the feed store while loading fifty pound sacks of lion meal into his truck.)

Several young men waltzed in and one of them was so bold as reach over and grab at the meal being enjoyed; but Hub McCann batted his hand in such a way as to challenge any further action. 

Hood 1: Hey, who do you think you are, huh? 

Garth: Just a dumb kid, Hub. Don't kill him. 

Hub: [to Garth] Right. 

[Grabs Hood 1 by the throat

Hub: I’m Hub McCann. I’ve fought in two World Wars and countless smaller ones on three continents. I led thousands of men into battle with everything from horses and swords to artillery and tanks. I’ve seen the headwaters of the Nile, and tribes of natives no white man had ever seen before. I’ve won and lost a dozen fortunes, KILLED MANY MEN and loved only one woman with a passion a FLEA like you could never begin to understand. That’s who I am. NOW, GO HOME, BOY!”

Maybe Michael Dunn is guilty of being an anachronism and nothing more.  He’s found out our society no longer teaches or expects a modicum of respect for anyone much less for those who have earned it.

Several years ago while putting gas in my truck a young man in a fancy convertible pulled up on the far side of the lot with his music so loud as to be annoying even from a distance.  A police unit at the pump next to me was also filling his gas tank, oblivious to the loud music.

My warped sense of humor kicked in as I challenged the officer, “Five bucks says you can’t shoot a hole in that radio on the first shot.”, as I aimed my hand, as if it were a pistol and clicking off a shot complete with imagined recoil in the general direction of the offending vehicle.

Some officers have no sense of humor.  He quickly explained that shooting out the radio was against the law.  In the back of my mind a less than wholesome thought came to mind, something like “No shirt Sherlock” except the second word only sounds like shirt.

In the end we all lose; an otherwise law abiding citizen’s life has been turned upside down and he’ll probably spend several years in prison.  The three surviving ‘model citizens’ will continue to play their music as loud as they want without regard for anyone because they have no respect for anyone, to include themselves.

This could have been avoided with a little civility, something we’re sorely lacking.  When family values, morality and the bible are removed from the public square and schools the fabric which holds everything together falls apart. 

Nero’s fiddle plays on.

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”.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Keep Good Notes

One of my all time favorite motivational speakers was Zig Ziglar.  I still have his Biscuits, Fleas and Pump Handles talk on cassette tape; but no longer have a cassette tape player to enjoy it on; but it’s available via other means thanks to the internet. 

He mentioned his brother who said he was going to have his 'best year ever'.  Zig asked a simple question, “So, how much did you do last year?”, a natural response.  If you’re going to do more than you did last year you have to know where to set the bar.

Clearly his brother had no idea how much he’d done gauging from the rest of the story. 

Zig then instructed his brother to take good notes; how many people he talked to, how many items were sold and so on.  He was to write this information down daily so he’d know exactly how much effort was required to obtain those results. 

If memory serves, since I haven’t listened to that presentation in well over 20 or so years, his brother had a phenomenal year.  He did that in spite of several set backs to include a death in the family. 

Keeping good notes is part of being successful in any endeavor.

In the locksmith business I’ve put this to use in a couple of areas.  I keep a daily record of phone calls that come in requesting service along with the dollar amount that will be added to the monthly figures.  In this way I know how much money is available to pay re-occurring bills.

But that’s not why I’m writing today…

This past week one of my regular car dealerships called to restore keys for an older Ford pickup truck; the service manager had lost the keys.  As I’ve mentioned in a previous article Ford only has access to key codes for the last 10 years of their own vehicles because they throw away anything older so obtaining a code was not an option…or was it?

Upon fitting the door key and entering the vehicle one of my habits kicked in; I looked in the glove box to see if my ‘mark’ was there.  I’ve been recording my efforts for quite some time and put my mark where it’s not too bold and yet easy for me to find.  If you’re working on cars and trucks, what’s already been supplied?  The Vehicle Identification Number or VIN is an excellent constant reference point.

In fact I’ve recorded so many vehicles in my personal data base that it reached its capacity and I had to start a second file.  I call them Allcodes (VIN) and Allcodes One (VINI) and they can be summoned easily upon demand from my laptop.
One of the locksmiths I trained used to laugh upon opening a glove box on a vehicle I’d worked on previously,  “Hey look, it’s Vinney”, a broad smile finding its way across his face, “We’re done!”

On this particular Ford truck my mark was clearly visible so I looked for it in the most recent data base and was surprised that it wasn’t to be found there.  Upon looking at the mark I realized that this vehicle had been recorded in the first Allcode data base.  Sure enough, there it was.

Most of today’s vehicles have only one external lock to work from (or NO external locks) so it makes good sense to record the information gained from your efforts.  Crooks like to attack door locks with a variety of tools; their favorite seems to be a large flat blade screw driver slammed into the lock by a fairly large hammer. 

If you produce keys for smaller car dealers or ‘note lots’ that cater to folks who have a higher probability of repossessions then keeping good notes becomes a cash cow in time savings alone.  I’ve replaced keys several times for the same vehicles placing them into a special category, “career vehicle”. 

The best part about having good notes on vehicles is being able to recognize the 'moment'.

For example, walking up to the door and observing that the lock has been destroyed usually means a lot more work to figure out how to generate a key.  Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you already knew what the key was supposed to look like? 

I’m getting to be an old crank, a level of locksmith which is achieved through age and the school of hard knocks.  I don’t like pulling door panels or getting up under dash boards near as much as I did when my knees worked and my arthritis didn’t hurt so much.

I’ll explain to the manager of a small car lot that I can restore the key; but let his mechanic or general purpose body ‘fixer upper’ pull the damaged lock.  I’ll gladly match up a new ‘in the package’ replacement lock to the original key and hand it over to them to install.  Like I mentioned, I’m getting to be an old crank.

So today’s lesson; take good notes.  There’s easy money obtained for just a little extra effort.

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”.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

News or Propaganda

There’s a disturbing piece on the Fox News website written by George Russell regarding the efforts of former Clinton Administration chief of staff, John Podesta.  According to the information supplied, Podesta has been “spearheading President Barack Obama’s aggressive strategy of government-by-regulation”, advising the United Nations by, “setting the stage to radically transform the world’s economic, environmental and social agenda.”

Some folks might call this news; but the manner in which it’s presented makes it a propaganda piece. 

Had we been told John Podesta is actively attempting to undermine our constitutional republic in favor of a worldwide totalitarian state wherein the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness would no longer hold sway…, then it might have been considered an accurate accounting of what is going on at the United Nations. 

Thomas Jefferson once asked:

“What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body.”  (Works 6:543; P.P.N.S., p. 125)


“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?” (Works 8:404; P.P.N.S., p.141)

Think about that for a moment; our nation was founded to create an environment where individuals had the final decision on how to go through life, not the collective.  And yet the great ‘transformation’ which Obama is imposing on these United States of America through executive orders which negate representative government of and by the people, this transformation is nothing short of pure communism.

The Fox News article then continues to outline Podesta’s (Obama’s) intentions:

“Its supporters hope that effort will end next year in a new international treaty that will bind all 193 U.N. members-- including the U.S-- to a still formless “universal sustainable development agenda” for the planet that will take effect in 2020.”  

Well isn’t that special…these folks want to shackle America to the United Nation’s form of communism better known as Agenda 21.  If you’re not aware of Agenda 21 then maybe you need to wake up and smell the male bovine excrement which it represents.

In short Agenda 21 removes property rights from everyone and turns such minor issues over to the collective, in this case, the United Nations. 

You see, the collective knows better what to do with ‘your property’ in terms of global environmental harm.  They know where you should live, how you should live, your transportation needs, what kind of light bulb to use, how much water is needed to flush the toilet…the collective knows better than you how to make it through life without further destroying the planet.

Everything is tied in with the UN’s IPCC reports even though these reports have been exposed as fraudulent.  That’s right, the IPCC reports are based on fabricated data intended to prove the man made global warming hoax in order to use governments around the globe to exact huge sums of money to fund their planned Utopia, a Utopia that insures that not one soul will ever go hungry and always have a roof over their head. 

Of course the governing body will decide how much food you get, where you live and how big a living space you’re entitled to have; but let’s not get too hung up on the details, leave that to the collective.

“The new agenda is also intended to  bring  “a new sense of global partnership into national and international politics”; must  cause the world to “act now to halt the alarming pace of climate change and environmental degradation;” and bring about a “rapid shift to sustainable patterns of consumption and production,” to name just a few things itemized in the document.”

I read a scientific study which after exhaustive review of all pertinent data concluded that the overall CO2 adjustments to our planet caused by man are nearly insignificant.  

“And since humans only contribute 3% of all CO2 emitted into the atmosphere each year (97% is from nature), the human contribution is 3%...”

If we implemented every single environmental control proposed by the UN’s Agenda 21 initiative it would accomplish…wait for it…total and complete subjugation of every individual living in the 193 UN member nations – to include the United States-- while reducing the planet’s overall temperature by perhaps 1 degree over a hundred year span…or as Chicken Little would say, “The sky is falling!”. 

We’re being sold a pig and a poke! 

We’re being told we can’t own the kind of cars we want, the size or location of the houses we’d prefer to live in, the kind of light bulbs we prefer to read by…and all because of the UN’s agenda driven junk science IPCC report.

“We have to do this to save the children”, that will ensure a stamp of approval on destroying our founder’s dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

If the news media did their job of pointing out communists for what and who they were, folks like Obama, Podesta and the United Nations would be exposed as the traitors to humanity they really are.  Thanks Fox News for jumping off the cliff along with the rest of the Lemmings.

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, February 11, 2014

There is stormy weather ahead

Watching the news reports out of Washington is disheartening with the lack of leadership on either side of the isle.  If America is to have any chance of pulling out of our downward spiraling economy then you’d think somebody…, anybody, would have figured out by now that adding to our enormous debt is not helping.

Fox News reports Speaker of the House, John Boehner, supposedly a Republican, has decided that attempting to reign in obscene spending practices by our government isn’t worth fighting for. 

Boehner, referring to Obama and Democrats, said. “We’ll let his party give him the debt ceiling increase that he wants.”

I’m left scratching my head…, wondering why we elect folks if not to look out for our nation’s best interests. 

Looking through sites dedicated to the nation’s debt, our economy and how to solve some of the issues facing us did not make me feel any better.  Some of the observations found on Google were less than encouraging.

“By way of example, the total deficit on in 2010 was just over $9,000 billion US Dollars (USD), or $9 trillion USD. When you divide this figure by 309 million, which is approximately the entire population of the United States that year, you are left with over $29,000 USD for every man, woman and child.”

Then jump over to more recent figures and compare:

“The Outstanding Public Debt as of 11 Feb 2014 at 07:32:29 PM GMT is:

The estimated population of the United States is 317,622,120 so each citizen’s share of this debt is $54,367.17.”

I was never that good at math; but going from $29,000 debt per person to $54,000 looks awfully close to twice as much per person in a very short while; not a good thing.

It’s not going to improve with more debt.  In fact about the only thing ahead for Americans is debtor’s prison; except it won’t be called that.  It’s better known as indentured servitude or slavery.  The folks to whom we are in debt will only let this go on for so long before they demand payment which makes me wonder why those in Washington continue to destroy the economy; are they intentionally subjecting each of us to a life of servitude?

A while ago I mentioned that our outstanding public debt was calculated to be around $17,268,215,781,963.36, give or take a few pennies; but having grown used to our government being ‘less than honest’ I looked for a more accurate representation of our debt, one that includes a ‘reality check’.

“As the Obama administration prepares to finance a Fiscal Year 2011 budget deficit expected to top $1.6 trillion, the American public is largely unaware that the true negative net worth of the federal government reached $76.3 trillion last year.”


‘“As government obligations continue to spiral out of control and the U.S. government shows no willingness to make the magnitude of spending cuts required to return to fiscal responsible, the U.S. economy is headed to a great collapse coming in the form of a hyper-inflationary great depression,” says economist John Williams, author of the website Government Shadow Statistics.”

I’m afraid it gets worse because a goodly portion of our citizenry think that conservative methods, fundamental principles which launched and then catapulted our nation into being the most productive and financially sound industrialized nation on earth, conservative methods to restore stability and prosperity are no longer considered valid. 

I found the following statements; but these are only a couple examples of the many which point toward a collectivist approach rather than a free market solution.

“Being an economist I favor more market oriented approaches than liberals, but don’t buy the free-market religion of conservatives.”  (Steven Stoft from his blog page zFacts)

Essentially, the House GOP Leadership just told the Tea Party Caucus to go screw itself…”  (Doug Mataconis’ Facebook page February 11, 2014, linked to Boehner’s spending cap article above)

Boener is determined not to allow any more pointless Capitol Hill crises to interfere with the GOP winning elections this November.”  (John Burke who commented on the same article posted by Mataconis)

Speaking with a certain amount of trepidation as recorded by the New York Times:

“It lets the debt go up cleanly,” said Representative Steve Pearce, Republican of New Mexico, referring to his leadership’s decision. “And I’m not sure that’s in the best interest of the country.”

Throughout the fabric of today’s media there’s a hint; more accurately, a condescending accusation directed toward anyone espousing conservative values and indicating loss of rational thought, especially folks linked either directly or indirectly with the Tea Party.  Why is that?

I don’t expect an answer, it was a rhetorical question; however, I will draw from a talk given several years ago by Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  About half way into his presentation he mentioned a biblical story, the story of when “Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, dreamed dreams which greatly troubled him” as recorded in the 41st chapter of Genesis.

He reminded those listening of the dangers associated with being in debt with no means of survival other than to bow humbly to those who had planned ahead, those who were in actuality your masters.

“Now, brethren, I want to make it very clear that I am not prophesying, that I am not predicting years of famine in the future. But I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order.

So many of our people are living on the very edge of their incomes.  In fact, some are living on borrowings.

We have witnessed in recent weeks wide and fearsome swings in the markets of the world. The economy is a fragile thing. A stumble in the economy in Jakarta or Moscow can immediately affect the entire world. It can eventually reach down to each of us as individuals. There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed.”

As individuals we have the ability to control our debts to some degree; but when our nation’s leaders place the yoke of servitude upon us…what then?   The scriptures are replete with examples of unbridled debt and the consequences which surely must be paid, and paid in full.  My sentiments are similar to those of Elder Hinckley, “There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed.”

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”.