Friday, August 11, 2017

Aesops Fables: Finding Russkies

There once was a woman who coveted power and wealth. She would do anything if it meant enriching herself or elevating her status so that she could control the outcome of things.

She was childlike in that when she did not get her way, she would throw tantrums. But mostly, like her secrets and dirty deals, that was kept hidden for one does not gain power and wealth by acting like a baby in front of others.

One day, there was a great election. The woman was sure she would win. She had snookered the people into thinking that she was a decent human being and the prize, tremendous power and wealth, were there for the taking.

But not all of the people were snookered. She lost the election. Disbelief and anger followed. She threw such a giant tantrum that she could not even appear in public to congratulate her opponent. When asked why she lost, the woman blamed everyone she could think of but herself. It must have been the russkies she lamented. The same people who she had snookered then began a grand search for the russkies who had stolen the election from her.

Of course there were no russkies. But that did not stop the snookered people from looking very hard and wasting hours, days, weeks, and months looking for those allegedly clever russkies. The subject of our fable can find Russkies easily, Russkies with money.

Moral of the story. Don't be a conniving, pig headed bitch. Take responsibility for your failures for they are many. Don't blame others. Grow up. Many of us learn this as children.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

All You Can Eat Meat, The Diet That Works

Today I'd like to talk a little bit about my favorite subject, me.

About two weeks ago, while on the Beartooth Rally in Red Lodge, Montana....friends of mine shot photos of me. I guess I must have been in denial over my weight gain. I had ballooned up to 285 pounds and although I am 6'4"- I still looked like a sausage on a stick.

It is so easy to eat this shit they sell us. The weight gain is always subtle. Just a pound or two here and there and voila! Before you know it- you look normal in a buffet line or at Walmart.

I can't give up that easy.

I have been fighting a war with my body for ten years now. My fattest was in 2007- I tipped the scales at 300. My slimmest was also that year, 218 pounds. From a 40" waist to a 34" and I could have fit into a 32".

Each time I gain weight which tends to be every two years, I get fed up and employ the masochistic Atkins diet. It works. But I have made improvements on it. That's what I want to talk about today.

As you know, Atkins is basically all you can eat protein. Meat, cheese, eggs, and a few vegetables. At first you don't mind it- but after about 100 eggs, 50 steaks, and 10 pounds of bacon it gets old. I used to supplement the diet with V-8 juice every morning, a few dietary supplements.

The other problem with Atkins is that as you are starving your body and giving it no carbs- it in turn is shutting you down. I tend to feel sleepy and lethargic on this diet.

This time around I adjusted for all of that. It has been working well.

I went to Costco and bought two cases of those 11 oz protein drinks, one case of V-8. Some diet green tea, water, and coffee. About 100 bucks. I use Splenda or sugar free creamer.

Every morning, I drink 3 cups of coffee. I grab one of the protein drinks and swill that along with a handful of supplements, royal jelly, turmeric, multi vitamins. Once in awhile I throw in a boner pill. (Ha, just making sure you are still with me)

Lunch is always the hardest for me. I found something that works. Pizza Pie Cafe has a salad to go for 4 bucks or you can sit down for 6 bucks and and run through the salad bar twice. The advantages to this are enormous.

If you don't have a PPC near you- I'll bet you can find a decent salad bar and cut a deal with them.

PPC's salad bar is great. Everything you can eat on Atkins is in this salad bar. They have spinach or romaine- instead of that worthless iceberg lettuce. Toppings are black olives, mushrooms, sliced eggs, cubed ham and turkey, pepperoni, cubed red beets, shredded cheese, bacon bits and sunflower seeds. Cauliflower and broccoli. I shy away from the sunflower seeds in the first two week induction phase of Atkins.

The salad bar means that I don't have to go to the store, buy all those ingredients, boil eggs, cube meats, and then watch it all spoil sitting in my fridge. At six bucks a day, every day for 40 days, lunch is going to cost me 240 dollars. It would cost me more than that in time, gas, and the checkout line.

For dinner I always eat some meat, usually steak, hamburger, or chicken and cook some vegetables. You cannot use anything that is not green like carrots or corn. There is a lot of carbohydrates in those and not much vitamin value. I pretty much limit myself to 5 vegetables. Spinach, cauliflower with shredded cheese, green beans, brussel sprouts, and my favorite- asparagus.

For snacks I use pork rinds, pepperoni sticks, beef jerky. I drink lots of water. My entire fridge is filled with ten different kinds of drinks incl. sparking water, a case of Powerade Zero, Diet Splash, and almond milk is the only milk I like. Not only is it acceptable on the diet but a friend of mine (this is dairy central here) owns a giant milk operation. After hearing what he injects his cows with- I changed my mind about milk permanently. Not to mention- it has an animal smell to it that kind of makes me nauseous anymore. Almond milk is twice as expensive but it is healthier and Atkins acceptable. Get the original, sugar free kind.

I try to exercise just as often as my body will tolerate it. This is a must if you want to take weight off fast. I run/walk 5k every day, right after consuming coffee and my protein drink. This is probably at my peak energy level of the day. Exercise forces my body to burn fat because it has no carbohydrates to use.

I will only weigh myself three times. Once at the beginning of the diet, at day 20, and day 40. I am not interested in weighing myself every day because sometimes you lose nothing day to day and that tends to discourage me.

My best friend Doug lives in Hawaii. At age 55, he has a ripped, six pack ab package. Doug eats properly. Rice, tuna, black beans. He eats for fuel, not for taste. No cheap carbs, salt, or sugar. I was talking to him the other day and he said something that I will pass along here.

Doug said if people would simply wake up everyday and ask themselves, "What can I do that will be good for my body today" and then do it, our society wouldn't be the fattest in the world. A healthy lifestyle tends to be free of pain in later years. I get it. I have to get to the gym. I shall leave you with this.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Citizens' Arrest of Hillary Clinton- The Sunday Collage

One of the most profoundly puzzling pieces of American history came about in early 1942. It was the FDR executive order which allowed 140,000 Japanese Americans to be rounded up, arrested, and imprisoned for no other reason than our unfounded "fear" that maybe they might be sympathetic to the Japanese war effort rather than the US war effort.

To my way of thinking, FDR single handedly destroyed every Constitutional guarantee afforded to any citizen of this country. The Japanese were illegally seized, denied due process or a speedy trial, their homes and businesses were lost, and they were falsely imprisoned.

All of that would be bad enough but something even worse happened.

I can find no historical record anywhere, that any individual here in America, ever filed a lawsuit on behalf of those Japanese Americans who had been stripped of their rights. You'd think somebody, somewhere, might have offered an opinion that perhaps, not only were we doing the wrong thing at that time, but that it was all quite illegal.

This fact speaks loudly about the lack of courage of people in groups, the herd think.

Cooler heads did not prevail. Oh sure, I get the whole emotionally charged rationale for our illegal conduct. I have argued it with the great generation and I will tell you- I give them no quarter. It was an act of unbelievable cowardice that many still justify. It is one of those regrettable acts that others would like to forget.

And the reason I mention all of this is because of something Ron taught me. Ron taught me that when I see an obvious wrong or an act of indecency that I should have the courage to stand up and be counted even when vastly out numbered by a sea of cowards. Which brings me to another profoundly puzzling piece of current American history. How does Hillary Clinton escape the rule of law? 

In order to keep this simple, I am going to forget about the 17 scandals including Whitewater and my personal favorite- the cattle futures bribe. Let's forget about the Vince Foster suicide and subsequent theft of evidence, let's forget about all of the millions in bribes she has taken and funneled back to herself through her make believe charity- and let's even forget about Benghazi. Let's focus on one thing only. The destruction of 33,000 emails and tampering with evidence.

Now I'm no lawyer thank gawd, but I was once charged with enforcing the law. To be sure, I never engaged in many cases involving the destruction of publicly owned records, or emails for that matter but I have done a few cases which involve the destruction of evidence and the intimidation of potential witnesses. 

Here is an interesting piece where Senator Chuck Grassley states the obvious- that Hillary Clinton very likely broke the law. The piece documents the areas of law which apply to Hillary Clinton.

You'll find as you read this article- that it really fails to address the issue of destruction of evidence. It simply talks about personal email as opposed to public email. The focus of the piece is so ridiculously narrow that virtually all of the larger issues go unmentioned.

I want to remind you here that Hillary Clinton is a lawyer. She knows the law. When she breaks the law she does so knowingly and with intent. When she deletes public records, she knows this is illegal. This is not a 19 year old girl that has been told by her boss to shred a few pieces of paper. 

Public records include emails generated at work. They are owned by the government and by virtue of that, become public records. You don't get to break one law (use your own server) and then imply that because you broke the first law- that this gives you the right to delete and destroy public records and evidence by stating that they were on your private server.

So let me summarize up to here. Public records are supposed to be kept and accessible. They are not personal property. They are supposed to be done on government hardware. Moving a public record from government hardware to personal hardware does not change the status of a public record. You are not entitled to destroy evidence of a crime pending an investigation. Your intent was made clear when you did so- coupled with the fact that you as a lawyer and servant of the court- thus you have no excuse in that you were unaware of the law.

That is 33,000 potential counts or violations. Here then is the federal statute governing such willful conduct. 

In fact although those emails may be lost forever- Hillary forwarded gawd knows how many to Huma Abedin which subsequently landed in the hands of Anthony Weiner wherein the FBI executed a search warrant and knows the precise content of those emails. These may have been emails which Hillary originally deleted from her private server which could be corroborated and proven through an actual investigation by an an actual police department not headed by a co-conspirator (Comey) to hide or aid in the destruction of evidence. I am no fan of politically minded law enforcing.

The extent of this bullshit is mind boggling.

So what happens when the rule of law is somehow replaced by the rule of man? What happens when a Presidential candidate promises to "prosecute crooked Hillary" and then fails to do so? What happens when the entire system fails for the myriad of reasons that it obviously has?

The law has a remedy. It is called a citizen's arrest. It normally occurs when a citizen observes a criminal act and arrests the suspected guilty party and turns them over to a competent authority or jail. This can be accomplished by physical arrest, arrest warrant or summons- I prefer the former. Of course one would risk a lawsuit from the Clintons' therefore we would have to find one courageous and judgement proof citizen who would ask among the plea bargaining arrangements that Ms. Clinton as part of her sentencing- would release any damage claims and thus end this 20 year criminal charade wherein every compromised lawyer up and down the beltway pretends to be Sergeant Schultz despite their expensive Ivy League educations.

If only we had a few good people left. I wonder if anyone felt the same way in 1942. Please view this clip and think of all the prosecutors, or cops for that matter, that think and act like Sgt Schultz...

P.S. I stole this from Trump. Like who am I?? Only the head of the executive branch- ya know the one that prosecutes criminals. Geezus. You can't make this shit up.

A.G. Lynch made law enforcement decisions for political purposes...gave Hillary Clinton a free pass and protection. Totally illegal!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

An Old Demon Comes Calling- The Sunday Collage

Last week I did something that many people would never do. I looked up a fellow cop that we very nearly fired, some 20 years ago. The reason I did this is because I always liked him and maybe deep down, I needed to get ok with what happened.

Sometimes in life you do something for one reason expecting one outcome- and an entirely different result happens. So as we sat down last week, I never saw the slow moving emotional train wreck that was headed my way. 

Mostly I think, that was a result of my bad memory and poor judgment. But then again, I have always been that way.

So we sat down and talked and eventually the conversation turned to that three month time frame some twenty years earlier- a time when he was very nearly fired and ultimately resigned. Back then I had chalked the whole episode up to his immaturity and nothing else. 

What I failed to do, quite honestly, was examine my own behavior and how I handled things.

And as I sat there talking and listening, I heard an angry 20 something recount what happened blow by blow. I couldn't stop thinking about how poorly we handled that situation. I also noticed a failure on his part to take any responsibility for what happened. Twenty years of anger was on full boil.

And for everything you know in life- there was a time when you didn't know it. You get schooled and taught. That's how life works. Nobody is born a great manager but many of us think that somehow we have some intelligent skill set that sets us apart. That of course is unconscious ego and pure bullshit. The reality in my life is that most people suck as managers. Like most, I had no reference point. No way to measure where I stacked up in the world of people managing until just a few years before I retired. I met a truly great manager and human being with an outstanding sense of right and wrong. He was committed to helping people when they were down. He didn't throw good people away. He was fair. He was absolutely dedicated to being a decent human being, he was selfless, and he always used impeccable speech. So through him, I began to realize how inadequate I had been as a manager myself. Not because he was trying to prove some point to me but because he was simply a great manager. That's how he worked. He became my mirror- just a little too late I'm afraid.

That is the irony of my resume'. 

So about the time my friend had summarized his feelings from way back when- he volleyed the subject back to me.

I told him the truth. I probably sucked as a manager. I could have handled that situation far better with the emotional equipment I have now. Back then, in some unconscious way, I probably thought I was a good manager. I simply didn't know the difference between good or bad. None of us are born with some operating guide- we are simply the sum total of all of the crappy and average managers we have ever had. We act like them mostly, thinking we've made some vast improvement, because we manage to cut a bad habit here and there.

I did the best I could at that time. It probably wasn't that good. I know that now because I found good once. I know how that guy would have handled it. 

The other odd thing I've learned is that I am no longer invested in being right. You don't "win" conversations by arguing about who was right or wrong. You take responsibility for your shortcomings without pointing out theirs. With luck, they will discover that all on their own. 

Just like I did.

My friend gave me a B- as a manager. I'll take that. I hope the two of us can be friends again. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

What Ron Taught Me- The Sunday Collage

Today's piece is a little long but it is a truthful account in as much as all of the information I pass along here has either been corroborated or proven out thus far. I hope you find it insightful.

I think it was 1978 or pretty close to that. I was an impressionable teenager in the Order of DeMolay, a masonic organization that transforms young DeMolay disciples into adult Freemasons. The organization endorses ethical and moralistic conduct within it's membership which is a main ingredient in this story. I would have been 16 or 17 during that particular year which is entirely dependent on my rapidly deteriorating memory.

The DeMolays employ a type of hierarchical structure wherein members in good standing, those with experience obtain leadership positions within the organization. I forget the names of all of those positions now except the top rung. The top position within the Order of DeMolay is called "Master Councilor."

Ron was our Master Councilor. Ron's induction a year prior had been pretty seamless and everyone seemed to like Ron back then. I did too. I considered Ron among my best friends. He had worked his way through the ranks of DeMolay to secure that position.

To this day, I'm not sure what happened. All I can tell you is that Ron started using and selling drugs during the year that he served as Master Councilor. He went from a happy, good grades with good attendance sort of kid- to a sullen, lying, skipping school sort of kid. Ron worked nights watering the public golf course and we talked a lot back then but our friendship was waning. I could tell things were changing. I was not part of the drug culture and Ron had less time for his old friends as he acquired new ones. He angered a lot of people including his DeMolay brothers- people who he simply abandoned for new friends, the friends he was smoking dope with.

So as Ron's year as Master Councilor was coming to a close it was time for the annual changing of the guard. The pinnacle of that ceremony occurs when a new Master Councilor is elected and the past Master Councilor is thanked for his service and steps down. There had always been a huge round of applause when that event took place but this time around nobody uttered a peep. In a room of 30 or so people- not one person clapped or applauded for Ron. It was as though he had been shunned and excommunicated. It was one of the most awkward moments of my life. I didn't have the guts to clap for my friend either. When Ron needed a friend the most- not one person in that room stepped up. Crickets.

I have regretted that moment for 40 years. But I have not forgotten it.

So it was that I spent 25 years in small town America working my way through the ranks of our police department.

Throughout most of those years, every other day, the same UPS employee would show up. I would bullshit with him, exchange information, and he would tell me about his family. That's how it is in small town America. I have no idea how many years we knew each other, somewhere around 10 or 15. Bob was a genuinely nice guy and I actually looked forward to visiting with him.

Then one July day in 2009, I got a call from an old friend asking me if I knew a guy named Bowe Bergdahl. My friend who has C.I.A. and United Nations/Afgani experience told me that Bergdahl had walked away from his post and base in Afghanistan and had been captured by the Taliban. Most importantly my friend said, Bergdahl had left a note behind essentially renouncing his citizenship. He had become friends with the exterior perimeter (and unscreened) Afghani guards- a force that had been infiltrated by the Taliban. My friend assured me that the military was well aware of this and so were the soldiers on that base. I was, as usual, sworn to secrecy before the phone call ended.

My heart sank. That was Bob's son.

I had been retired about 18 months when this ordeal began. I have not seen Bowe's father Bob since then- except on television or while reading articles about Bowe. Bob retired at some point after I did.

In the propaganda emitting and bullshit filtering world that has become our way of life- it was never disclosed to the American public that Bowe had simply walked away on his own accord. They call that desertion which is a serious offense. Instead, it was delivered to the American public as though Bergdahl had been forcefully taken and captured. I of course knew otherwise and I trusted my source.

Had Bowe been killed as many suspected he would be- the real story of Bowe's desertion might very well have been covered up just like other embarrassing events (Pat Tillman) that the government likes to cover up.

In another heart breaking twist, I began to read accounts of soldiers being shot and killed or wounded- soldiers deployed to search for Bowe. Recent accounts have not proven this out.

So as the years rolled by, I silently prayed that Bowe would not be killed or beheaded in some savage middle eastern way. I prayed that some terrible footage would not find it's way to my friend Bob who is a kind and decent man.

People in our small town rallied for Bowe. The strung up yellow ribbons at a local coffee shop hoping for his safe return.

After nearly 5 years of captivity, President Obama arranged for the exchange of 5 very dangerous Taliban members held at Guantanamo Bay for Bowe Bergdahl. The public was still not aware of the details surrounding Bowe's capture. I suspected, and this is simply an opinion, that President Obama who had campaigned on promises of closing the Guantanamo prison was trying to move some of those prisoners out. In a way I thought, this was a win-win for Obama.

At any rate, Bowe was released in late May of 2014. Around that time, perhaps a little before, the truth about Bowe's desertion started leaking out.

I was in a unique position to watch this ordeal having been apprised of the truth from start to finish. There were plans in my little town for a huge celebration which had city officials preparing for the joyous moment when Bowe would return home a war hero. And then...

The truth that Bowe had actually been a deserter eventually reached the mainstream media. It was everywhere. People began scrambling for cover. City officials, facing a public outcry which included people all over America, cancelled their last minute plans for a public celebration. Most people were shocked and embarrassed. In that prolonged and seemingly eternal moment when you have been convicted by the court of public opinion, where there is always guilt and shaming by association, where friends become scant, we wait for the whole sordid affair of Bowe Bergdahl to reach a conclusion.

Indeed it has been a shit show- complete with angry and upset veterans, lawyers concocting half baked defenses, and a new President who calls Bergdahl a "dirty, rotten traitor." A President who obtained deferments to avoid service himself. If you want to read an interesting account of this mess, wiki seems to be a good place to start with it's long running chronology despite some "facts" which remain up in the air.

So what did Ron teach me and what does that have to do with Bowe Bergdahl?

Ron taught me that we must never let one bad moment define our lives. Sometimes we get lucky and face no consequences for our mistakes. Sometimes, in the case of Bowe Bergdahl, we get to spend years in captivity under severe conditions. Perhaps a few more years in limbo with a healthy dose of public ridicule and scorn, while the best and the brightest try to determine a fitting outcome for you which might involve even more captivity.

Ron taught me that bad people get a few things right and that good people get a few things wrong. People cannot be defined by bad decisions- or we would all find ourselves on the scrap heap of humanity. I learned that if there is one ounce of mercy, compassion, and forgiveness in people- that sometimes people are just too cowardly to bring it when it's needed the most. It is easier to stand silent, refusing to call attention to yourself because you are afraid of the scorn and ridicule it might bring. That happens when a guy you used to call "friend" scans the room for just one friendly face and finds none.

It's got to be lonely being Bowe Bergdahl right now- thinking the world hates you.

I don't. I pray they find a little mercy and a little forgiveness for a young, impressionable kid that made one bad decision which subsequently turned into a national nightmare. I hope they find the courage to go easy on Bowe, who was just a kid for chrissakes, and give him some shot at a normal life. Mostly, I think beyond his decade of captivity and the stigma that will surely follow him the rest of his life, that's punishment enough. We shall soon see what the deciders decide.

Be someone's friend when they desperately need you. Stand up and give the finger to a leering world. It ain't all about you. That's what Ron taught me.

Friday, May 12, 2017

My Love/Hate Relationship With Facebook

For many years, I resisted the temptation to join Facebook. I have always seen it as some sort of superficial, public popularity contest. Some folks use Facebook as a political platform, espousing their political views daily. Some use Facebook to pass along jokes and witty sayings, which I must admit, I like. Others post you tube videos. Sometimes people use Facebook as a means of trying to shame someone, usually a former love interest. I find that conduct, even if it's shadowy and veiled, as reprehensible. Some people are lonely. Others form groups or play games. Some people are going through hard times and need help and support. Others use Facebook to glean information and play detective. Some people pretend to have this giant network of thousands of friends. Like trophies on a wall. Look everyone, I am this wildly popular person and I only do fun, exciting things. Here's a picture of me somewhere eating a giant plate of nachos.

So those things happen. I am not a fan of many of those things but that is all part of the Facebook experience. So in one of those wishy, washy moments I have from time to time...I eventually caved in about 6 years ago. My official excuse follows.

My father had moved to the outskirts of civilization on the North Dakota, Montana border and his cell phone wouldn't work. My only means of communication with him was either by email or through Facebook. I could write him a text message but he would only receive it when his phone traveled through an area with coverage. He still had one of those old cellphones where you had to hit a key three times to get to the next letter you wanted to use. It was easiest to simply leave a message for him on Facebook. That was 6 years ago. Dad has since moved, switched cell phone providers, and never uses Facebook now. However, a strange thing happened. I became re-acquainted with my extended family who are all scattered throughout the west. I also became re-acquainted with a few of my old, childhood friends.

Without Facebook, none of that would have happened. So that's the love part. I can find out family news, leave messages for members of our family, and communicate with old friends such as Bonnie J and Joe H. My best friend, Doug, still refuses to join. He is his own man. That is one of the reasons he is my best friend. Doug has no problem giving anyone or anything the finger. We have been friends since we were 15. The truth is, I envy Doug. Doug stays in great shape, works hard, has 5 acres in Hawaii, and plays in the surf. That's a long way from windy, cold winters in eastern Idaho. I have to actually pick up the phone and call him. He hates Facebook.

I don't really mind the vacation and food photos people post. I don't even mind the political rants of my liberal friends although in all honesty, I had to block or remove a few of them including a couple of groups. We once had a great group where we could buy and sell guns- but Facebook banned us. So much for free speech. Speech is only free when the aristocracy allows it. I don't like the snooping and I don't like being tracked by Google and seeing ads for things I have recently purchased.

So Facebook has no problem tracking and snooping on you because they feel entitled to do so. I also detest falling for some bullshit new story only to find out its untrue especially after you share it. It can be embarrassing and I am now in the habit of checking virtually every pronouncement that I intend to share. I also don't like my identity getting hacked which seems to happen a couple times a year.

Facebook could allow you to opt out of tracking but they won't. They pretend like they aren't doing it. I have always wondered if I file a grievance with the FCC about that- what their response might be. I mean does anyone regulate the conduct of Facebook on behalf of consumers?

A few of my friends have created entirely false profiles under pen names- that way nobody can spy on them unless they have given up their alter identity to those folks. Pretty clever. Keeps the boss from snooping on you.

So I tolerate these things because I have to. But I reserve the right to pull the plug- like so many of my friends already have.

I kind of see Facebook as this giant fad that like bell bottom jeans and platform shoes will one day find itself in the dust bin of history. The problem Facebook has- is that people will innovate and find ways to remove Facebook from their lives. Facebook reminds me of other commercial fads that eventually commit suicide. Uber immediately comes to mind. People will innovate and find networking solutions that are peer to peer- they will eliminate these parasitic hosts who demand too much and return very little. The Uber business model will destroy itself.

I have seen at least 10 to 15 of my friends remove themselves from Facebook. I constantly toy with the idea but I like the idea of keeping up with my extended family and staying in touch with old friends. If it weren't for those reasons, I'd remove myself too.

I think on the final scorecard, Facebook has been more of a positive than a negative. But only by the slimmest of margins. Oh yes, and I reserve the right to change my mind. I can go from love to hate in about 15 seconds.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

"Making the Most Money With the Least Amount of Work"- The Sunday Collage

Are Americans lazy?

CNN thinks so.  So does Tyler Cowen, economist.

The author of this piece and our economist could not be more wrong. I loved reading this piece yesterday because not only are the contributors well off the mark- but in typical CNN fashion they start in on the Trump bashing which I am so sssiiiccckkk of reading. Fuck. I only click on CNN Money to look at commodity prices. I wasn't planning on reading another inaccurate editorial dressed up like cutting edge news.

Years ago my friend Billy quoted the title of this blog today. When he said it- I remember thinking how profoundly simple and undeniable that statement was. He said that every one of us is trying to do precisely that. Make the most money with the least amount of work.

What's killing American productivity?

I love the Yellowstone Park "Feeding the Bears" analogy. In Yellowstone Park, the rangers don't want you to feed the bears. Bears quit being bears when they are being fed. They quit hunting and foraging. Instead they become dangerous. they expect free handouts. They clog up roads and act like bums. When the bears don't get a free lunch, they tear up campsites and cars. Once in awhile they tear up a human being.

When your government is handing out billions in food subsidies, billions in rent subsidies, billions in health and utility subsidies- then your people have no need to work. You are meeting their needs for food, shelter, and health. They quit trying to be productive because they are like animals in a zoo or park. Your government has been killing American independence for decades.

I have a friend, perfectly healthy, one of the laziest bastards I have ever known. He has spent a lifetime suing everyone that he can and he even gets disability payments and insurance from medicaid. He told me flat out that he simply de-frauded the government over a make believe back problem from a car wreck which he settled for 100k. More importantly, he has offered help and advice to three other deadbeats who are doing the same types of things he does.

We have over 10 million people receiving disability payments- they skyrocketed under Obama.

Next let's turn our binoculars and focus on the productive class. Those people who would work if the government hadn't allowed the corporate oligarchy to outsource millions upon millions of jobs. Here's a CNN article that claims we have lost 5 million jobs since 2000. That's bullshit. I think we have lost every bit of 15 million jobs. Those were good paying manufacturing jobs with benefits.

So not only are we losing jobs overseas, but government is allowing the corporate oligarchy to remove jobs here with the H1B visa program. They in source foreigners. Corporate America hires foreign workers at a fraction of the cost of American workers using the visa program. Boeing is famous for this. Here is an article, four years old on 800,000 H1B visa holders- undoubtedly we are well over a million by now.

Those are the legal job holders. How many illegal aliens are here working and taking American jobs? And please don't tell me they are the jobs Americans won't take. In our little casino town near here, there are at least 500 workers in both casinos from both legal and illegal parentage. They are primarily Mexican people, hustling drinks, working in the pit, serving and cooking in the restaurants. Here is an article which cites among other things- that the increase in competitive hiring pools has driven wages and benefits down.

This article says there are 11 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. I think the number is far higher, I have seen 20 million quoted several times. We lose jobs and we lose money. I remember years ago, all of these check cashing and wire money shops opening up all over town. Why? The Mexicans were taking every job that they could get, mostly in landscaping and construction, and wiring the money home to their families in Mexico, Peru, or South America.

We have 2.2 million people in prisons and jails. They certainly aren't working.

I cannot begin to tell you how many people have simply quit working because we are taxed to death or there are no benefits to working. Why would I waste my time working in a ten dollar an hour job with no benefits so that I can give a third of that money to some government entity?  I won't. My retirement checks are wholly sufficient and I have paid off all of my debt and I will soon pay off my house. Taxation is theft. It is completely out of control. I believe that I pay a full third to 40% of my income to the feds, the state, property tax, sales tax, gas tax, Hell I pay a grand a year for water,sewer, and trash. So the only way to replace that lost income is by paying off all of your debt. It's like giving yourself a raise without increasing your tax burden.

I have a friend who threw in the towel on his drywall business. He couldn't afford all of the payroll taxes, and most importantly, the workman's comp insurance- made mandatory by the state. What does he do now? He works for cash, reports next to nothing, and gets free Obamacare. Pretty slick huh?

I have another friend who quit his practice in Mississippi because he could not afford the 88,000 a year in malpractice insurance forced on him by the state.

Many people are working for cash and simply not reporting it. Lots of bartering too.

So are Americans lazy?

No. They can do the math. You cannot place a heavy regulatory burden on people and expect them to overcome it. You cannot tax them to death despite the cleverly disguised taxes that government is forever creating. You have to create and support an environment that is conducive to productivity not one that takes that incentive away. There is a nexus, an invisible line, where each and every one of us says "screw it, it just isn't worth it." More and more of us are crossing that line. Thousands are even fleeing our shores. Our government has created an environment where work is simply no longer worth it. I shall leave you with a quote from The God of the Machine. It fits here nicely and I believe- it is always right. It is government in a nutshell. That is the optimist in me.