Red Light Rummies, Center Lane Simpletons, Nascar Ass Cars, and the Scooter Jerk

Is it just me or is bad driving an out-of-control epidemic?

I know people have complained about bad drivers since cars ran on kerosene.  But I swear, in the last year or so, I am seeing auto insanity at a level I never thought possible.

A couple of days ago I drove over the bridge to Charlotte and back.  20 miles each way, through suburban and city traffic.  The stuff I saw on just that one trip would have set my hair on fire, if I had any.

First there was the Scooter Jerk.  The heavy traffic on our four-lane expressway had slowed in one spot to maybe 15 mph, but the Jerk figured he shouldn’t have to wait in line like everybody else.  So he gunned his little machine to its pathetic full speed, squeezing his little scooter butt between the two lanes of commuters and truck drivers, down the dotted line to his important destination.  Drivers honked and beeped their displeasure to no avail.  But then the congestion cleared and the traffic resumed its normal 55 mph pace.  Except for everybody in the right lane.  We were all stacked up and cussing behind the Scooter Jerk, who was maxed out in the middle of our lane at 30 mph.

I finally got past the little Jerk and was cruising at posted speed, singing third harmony with Tom Petty.  Until I had to jam on the brakes to avoid hitting a Nascar Ass Car.  These guys are all over the place.  They can’t tolerate being behind anyone, so as soon as a car-length opening appears in the adjacent lane, they dive into it to gain a couple of feet advantage.  No turn signal, of course.  Hell, Kevin Harvick don’t need no stinkin’ turn signals!  The Ass Cars slalom down every road, weaving back and forth through the lanes, squeaking by bumpers and fenders.  After all the Nascar maneuvering, they might get to work 50 seconds earlier.

The light just ahead of me turned yellow, so I pulled my big red Ram to a stop.  But the Redlight Rummy behind me had other plans.  He ripped his steering wheel to the right, lurched around my truck and half off the street, and zoomed through the red light in front of me just in time to avoid getting clipped by the crossing traffic.  I really thought it was gonna be a T-Bone, and I don’t mean steak.

Running red lights is an art form around here.  Nearly every time I stop at a red light two or three brainiacs continue through the intersection in the other lanes.  The drivers behind me are ticked off at me.  “Doesn’t that bozo in the red truck know there’s a three-second safety buffer between the red light and the green going the other way?”  And remember the “right on red” rule?  Did you think you were supposed to stop first before you turn right?  Me, too.  Boy are we suckers.

Many of our streets have two lanes in each direction, and a center lane that can be used to turn either left or right in the middle of the block.  At least that’s the plan for most of us.  The privileged Center Lane Simpletons think it is their own private express lane, driving down the middle for blocks or even miles at high speed and giggling at how stupid the rest of us are for staying in our lanes and waiting our turn.

It’s anybody’s guess why bad driving has become so commonplace, so suddenly.  Maybe it is rebellion against Trump and any other authority.  It could be we have a new generation of drivers who grew up on participation awards and continuous self-esteem building who can’t be bothered with traffic laws that might interrupt their social media participation.  Our silly rules just don’t apply to them.

Maybe cops overlook traffic infractions because 1) they don’t want to risk offending anybody, 2) they don’t get paid enough to put up with crap from self-centered narcissists, 3) they don’t want to get shot, or 4) the last traffic citation issued in the U.S. was in 1986 and they have forgotten how to write a ticket.

My advice for a long and happy life:  when the light turns green, count to five, and then look both ways before you start.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red light
Those days are over . . .
You don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right

Roxanne – the Police

 

 

Tax Reform – Time to Get Down On It

Only one group of people likes our tax laws just the way they are:  the accountants.

Our tax code is so complex that nobody understands it.  If you call the IRS ten times to get a question answered, you are likely to get ten different answers – that is, if your call even gets through!  30 million calls went unanswered at last count in 2015.

No two CPAs will ever come up with the same tax liability given the same set of books.  It’s not their fault – the tax code was 75,000 pages a year ago (probably more by now).  And that’s a good thing, if you make your living doing tax returns.  For the rest of us, not so much.

Tax compliance costs almost a half-trillion dollars a year, and that doesn’t include the routine accounting that businesses do every day to determine their profitability. 90% of Americans think the tax code is too complex.

Finally there is an opportunity to do something about it.  GOP members of congress have come up with a tax reform plan that would reduce most individual tax returns to one simple page, eliminate most loopholes and targeted deductions, repeal the complex alternative minimum tax, and do away with business depreciation.

Oh, the humanity!  Tax accountants will be leaping from their first-story windows.  H&R Block will no longer have an office on every block.  Packages of TurboTax software will be relegated to the bargain bin at Ollie’s.  Corrupt and inefficient IRS employees will have to get real jobs that actually produce something of value.

More importantly, GDP growth will suddenly jump from 2.5% to 3%.  Then 4%, and upward. Eliminating the productivity drag of all that accounting, reducing tax payments, and deducting the cost of capital purchases from taxable income will give businesses and individuals a huge shot of economic momentum.

Of course this can only happen if Congress is convinced that voters give a damn.  Most of them would just as soon spend your money for you rather than let you do it yourself, and they enjoy controlling your behavior by controlling your wallet.

It’s way past time for tax reform.  Today might be a good day to pick up the phone and call your member of Congress and tell him or her to get down on it.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Get down on it, come on and
Get down on it, if you really want it.
Get down on it, you gotta feel it
Get down on it, get down on it

Get Down On It – Kool and the Gang

 

They’re getting a little gray, but they still got it going on!  It’s Kool and the Gang.

 

 

 

What’s Wrong With You? Don’t You Care?

I’m glad that many people are generous and caring.  I know that there are some among us who have problems and need help.  I’m happy to help someone in need, like most Americans are.

In fact, statistics show that Americans are more kind and caring to strangers than pretty much any group of people in the world.  When a disaster occurs in any corner of the globe, it is expected that the USA will be there to help pick up the pieces with military, financial, and humanitarian assistance.  And at home we not only support charities, we also provide a safety net of food, housing, medical care and other benefits through our tax dollars.

Generosity was expected of the mostly Christian men and women who founded and developed our nation.  Our pioneers valued hard work and honesty too.  Anyone who took unfair advantage of this generosity was shunned by society.  But as our government and our daily lives became more secular over the years, generosity has come to be viewed as a weakness by the unscrupulous, and the number of reprobates and schemes exploded as government officials learned they can build lucrative careers by giving away other peoples’ money.

We moan about our crushing national debt while politicians claim they can’t cut spending because it is mostly untouchable mandatory “entitlements”.  How naïve or apathetic does one have to be to not see the enormous waste, fraud and abuse in these entitlement programs?

I remember my shock the first time a drug addict offered to sell me food stamps on the street at 50 cents on the dollar.  It had never occurred to me that food stamps could be sold.  Yesterday I was in line at the grocery store behind a veiled Muslim woman and her husband, both dressed to the nines, and venting their displeasure to each other (in Arabic) about the cashier who struggled to separate valid food stamp items from the others.  The wife used her EBT card for the legitimate groceries, and the husband paid for the non-qualifying products with his American Express card.  I didn’t follow them to the parking lot, but I would bet they loaded their groceries into a new luxury car.

One of many problems with ObamaCare is the costly expansion of the Medicaid program to include middle income Americans who can no longer buy health insurance through normal channels.  Concurrent with the failure of ObamaCare is an epidemic of opioid addiction, overdoses, deaths, and the related social costs including unemployment and destroyed families.  Some politicians claim that even more Medicaid spending is required to address the burgeoning opioid problem.  In reality, expanded Medicaid has largely caused the opioid epidemic as millions of people now walk around with unlimited health care credit cards in their pockets and it is only too easy to report aches and pains and ask for opiates which can be easily sold for cash.

Signs appear on the street offering to buy diabetes supplies for cash, next to signs in Spanish advertising tax filing help and promising large refund checks for merely listing dependents.  Education grant checks go to people who never appear on campus.  Couples live together and raise families but never marry because they would risk losing earned income credit and other entitlements.  I could list schemes and scams for the rest of the day and not even scratch the surface.

The Tin Man wanted a heart. The scarecrow wanted a brain.  The cowardly lion wanted some courage.  There’s no reason why we can’t have all three.  We should all care about others, but we have to be smart enough to avoid abuse, and strong enough to say no once in a while.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ on the Right Side

Don’t you see
You’re hurtin’ me
Don’t you care?
Don’t you care?

The Buckinghams – Don’t You Care

 

Another Fake Racial Crisis Created by the “Jefferson – Jackson” Democrats

The stock market and corporate profits are up.  Unemployment and food stamp dependence is down.  Wages are increasing.  Illegal immigration is decreasing.  Consumer confidence continues to outstrip expectations.

The quality of life for Americans of all sizes, shapes, sexes, colors, and beliefs is on the upswing, there’s no denying it.  If you ask your neighbors and friends how things are going, you will almost certainly hear that life is good here in America, and getting better.

But according to the liberal news media and all Democrats, America is in desperate crisis.

There is indeed a desperate crisis, but it’s not America that is in peril.  It’s the Democrat party.  Having lost the House, the Senate, and now the White House, plus a vast majority of state and local offices, Democrats face extinction if they can’t stop their slide to the ash heaps of political history.

At the close of the Clinton/Obama era Democrats find themselves without any credible leaders.  Decades of hard-left indoctrination in the nation’s schools has squeezed senior socialists Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to the front of the ‘Crat Pack, but their tired Marxist economic policies have already failed all over the world, and are very visibly imploding in Venezuela even today.

So what is the Democrats’ only hope for holding on to a shred of relevancy in today’s political landscape?  Crisis.  They must have a crisis to implant fear in the public-school-softened minds of Americans and immigrants.  The only way they can mobilize support is to create fear and then promise to protect the afraid.

The Charlottesville “protest” is the latest crisis crafted by Democrats via their captive news media machine.  The mayor of Charlottesville, Michael Signer, and his vice-mayor, Wes Bellamy, have been working on this for years.  With direction and resources from Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe and the DNC, plus the George Soros-funded Democrat “resistance” organizations, Signer and Bellamy set up a staged confrontation; the “perfect storm” for media manipulation.  In one corner, a few overzealous right-wing activists (photographs show about three dozen “Unite the Right” activists with eight or ten confederate flags) who would be portrayed as a huge mob of blood-thirsty, inhuman racists.  In the other a group of hired, masked Antifa thugs who would play the role of virtuous defenders of the abused, helpless victims of racism.  Behind them, a mass of innocent “peace marchers.”  Then they would blame President Trump and everyone who voted for him for causing the whole mess.

Mayor Signer was well-prepared and motivated for the battle he created.  He worked as a senior policy advisor for the Center of American Progress, a radical left-wing George-Soros funded organization, and has made a career of promoting racial discord.  Under John Podesta, Signer served the Hillary Clinton campaign, developing strategies to foment racial discord as a means to win minority votes.

And vice-mayor Bellamy is a real piece of work.  He has made no secret of his hatred for whites or women, having tweeted such gems as: “I don’t like white people, so I hate white snow,” and “White women smell like future assault charges n deli meat.” I won’t repeat the really vulgar ones in this post.  Bellamy was forced to resign his teaching position at a local high school but still draws his paycheck from the taxpayers while spending virtually all of his time promoting racial animus.  His friend and enabler Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed him to the state school board.

Democrats have long favored the Marxist “crisis theory” as a means to disrupt the comfort level of citizens and distract them from their party’s failures and/or the success of their political opponents.  Obama acolyte Rahm Emanuel famously quipped, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”   Democrats have learned that they don’t have to wait for a “good crisis” when they can just create one.  Don’t think for a moment that events like this “just happen.”  #FakeEvents is a major component of #FakeNews.

The police followed an apparent “stand-down order” when, as witnesses reported, the paid leftist Antifa thugs launched their physical attack.  Some say the groups were intentionally funneled toward each other to light the fuse.

But the Democrats haven’t perfected the fake crisis play.  The utter hypocrisy may be their undoing.  Mike Huckabee told Maria Bartiromo on today’s Sunday Futures, “Maybe Trump should agree to take down all the confederate statues in the country.  And then tell the Democrats that they had better never hold another “Jefferson – Jackson Fundraising Day” celebrating the founders of their party –  who just happened to be slave owners.”

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself
Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself
Well now you say I’ve been buyin’ other women clothes
You’ve been taking money from somebody else

Before You Accuse Me – Eric Clapton

 

Comey’s FBI Murders Rancher. Sessions’ DOJ Leaves Innocent Ranchers in Jail. Nobody Cares.

August 9, 2014.  Michael Brown, a 300-pound black man who was stopped by a police officer after robbing a convenience store, attacked the cop and attempted to take his gun. He started to run away, but then turned and charged the officer and was fatally shot.  Liberal news media and government officials incited race riots and violence, and the man’s family was rewarded with a $1.5 million settlement despite investigators and a jury finding the officer faultless.  This was one of many recent incidents where the shooting of a black suspect by law enforcement was widely criticized.

January 26, 2016.  Lavoy Finicum, a soft-spoken white rancher who had joined some fellow land-owners in a peaceful protest over the unlawful imprisonment of two other ranchers, was driving to a meeting with the sheriff when he ran into a military-style FBI roadblock.  As agents pumped bullets into his car with three innocent passengers inside, the unarmed Finicum got out with his hands up and walked away to divert the gunfire away from the car.  The FBI agents murdered Finicum in cold blood and it’s a miracle the shots they fired into the car missed the other three victims.   No press coverage.  No riots.  No apologies or settlements offered by the feds.

Here is a dramatic explanation of the events surrounding Finicum’s murder and the subsequent coverup and collusion by the FBI and the Department of Justice, including video of the shooting of Finicum and the attempted murder of the occupants of his car:

 

Nine months later most of America has still never heard the name Lavoy Finicum.  Dwight and Steven Hammond, the two men whose shameful imprisonment sparked the ranchers’ protest, remain incarcerated.  Dwight Hammond is 74 years old.  Their only “crime” is they had set a backfire on their land to protect it from an out-of-control fire set by the BLM on adjacent property.  For this they were convicted of “terrorism.”  They served a year in prison, but after they were released a judge decided they had not done enough hard time and jacked their sentence up another five years.  The elder Hammond may not survive his sentence.

18 protesters and one journalist remain in jail, many without bond, for their alleged acts of “terrorism” by a vindictive Department of Justice.  Not one of the murderers has been punished, although there was talk of a “reprimand” for on agent who lied about having fired shots.

AT&T Originals has released a documentary about Finicum’s murder.  “American Standoff” is currently only available on Direct TV and AT&T’s U-Verse cable channel.  Customers of these outlets can stream the show online.  Unfortunately, the documentary will not reach a wide audience.

It is horrifying to think that the United States government can murder and imprison innocent Americans with impunity, but our Department of Justice and federal law enforcement agencies seem to be above the law these days.  Meanwhile real criminals are granted hero status and financial awards.

While former FBI director James Comey boasts about the wonderful job he did during his tenure (while evading all responsibility for his department’s dismal failure to investigate serious illegal activities) maybe somebody will ask him about the level of his involvement in the murder of Lavoy Finicum by his agents.

And since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from doing any work on the all-consuming Russian Collusion hoax, he has plenty of time to find out why 19 ordinary, law-abiding American citizens languish in jails on trumped-up charges of domestic “terrorism”.

For that matter, maybe President Trump could set his smart phone down for a few minutes and grant a pardon to these people who surely would have voted for him if they weren’t in jail.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

 

see my earlier article about the Lavoy Finicum murder

 

A Change Would Do Us Good

 

America’s two-party political system worked remarkably well until recently.  Unlike most nations who have gone through all manner of revolutions, rule by despots, booms and busts, the USA has been (save for the Civil War) stable and improving since it was founded.

But something feels different now, not only culturally, but also politically.  50 years ago the Democrat and Republican parties were both made up of conservatives, moderates and liberals.  Cross-party coalitions were not only possible, they were routine.  Policy moved forward, generally in the best interests of the majority of citizens.

Think back – president John Kennedy was a conservative Democrat who believed in free markets, small government, exploiting natural resources, and peace through a strong military.  Nelson Rockefeller was a liberal Republican who served as Gerald Ford’s vice-president.  When America elected a president, all of our citizens coalesced behind him, regardless of party, presenting a united front to the world and joining forces to advance the well-being of all.

Those days are gone.  Today’s Republican party is still made up of a few liberals, a few conservatives, and the rest moderates.  Because of these ideological differences, and the fact that Republicans are a more independent lot, they will never vote as a bloc.  But the Democrats have adopted a tactic that requires monolithic devotion to their hard-left leadership.  They must bloc vote against anything proposed by Republicans.  Last week’s votes on the future of health care are proof.  Until the Republicans can muster a core group that outnumbers the bloc-voting Democrats, there is no chance of meaningful policy change.  And that won’t happen any time soon.

This state of affairs was inevitable as money became a greater influence over congress than the will of constituents.  As voters became less engaged and knowledgeable about government, party bosses learned that political offices can be bought, through slick and often dishonest campaign advertising, and also through policy that patronizes voters who don’t pay taxes with largess from those who do.

Money now rules politics, and the party bosses control the money.  A house campaign costs a minimum of $1 million these days, and candidates for senate offices will spend $5 million and up.  And these numbers ratchet up exponentially with every election.  Spending more than the competition does not guarantee a win (Hillary Clinton reportedly spent $1.2 billion on her losing campaign), but failure to raise a war chest usually promises defeat.

The few voters who are engaged can’t contribute this kind of money, and the low-cost old-school practice of door-to-door campaigning just doesn’t work like it once did.  The Democrats find themselves having to pay for “protestors” to advance their messaging.

With few exceptions, anyone who wants to become a congressman or senator (and stay there), must have the money that only K Street, deep pocket donors, and the party leaders can provide.  As a result, true representative government is totally dead in the Democrat party, and barely breathing in the GOP, thanks only to the life support system known as the House Freedom Caucus.

The situation has the Capitol, the press, and a good portion of the general public totally disoriented.  On top of that, our executive branch, elected on good intentions, can’t seem to stay on task.  Meanwhile, our treasured public institutions – schools, churches, military, media – flounder around in a fog.

We know from history that when there is disorientation and discomfort with the status quo it can’t and won’t continue.  Change is inevitable.  Something is going to happen, probably something nobody has anticipated.

It might be a direct change forced upon our system of government.  More likely it will be an unanticipated outside event – a war, a new technology, a financial disaster, an epidemic.  Who knows?  Maybe a space ship full of little green men will land in front of the Capitol.

My life experience has shown me that there’s no point getting too upset about the way things are, because things will change.

And right now, a change would do us good.  As long as it’s not the change that happened to Russia, China and all the other socialist failures.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

I’ve been thinking ’bout catching a train,
Leave my phone machine by the radar range,
“Hello it’s me, I’m not at home,
If you’d like to reach me, leave me alone.”
A change (a change) will do you good!

Sheryl Crow – A Change Will Do You Good

Interesting – watch this great amateur video of Sheryl live from the front row.  The instruments and vocals are picked up from amps and stage monitors, not the big main cabinets the rest of the audience hears.  This is what it sounds like to the performers on stage.

 

Who Deserves Support – Sick Vietnam Vets or Sex-Change Seekers?

A bunch of my friends meet once a week at a local fast food for a short men’s bible study.  One of our regulars had missed the last several sessions because he was in a lot of pain and just not able to get around much.  We were glad to see him back last Wednesday, but it was evident that he is in trouble.  Sweat dripped from his forehead as he told us about his many medical problems, mostly caused by his handling of Agent Orange during the Vietnam war.

“We always had tall chain link fencing around our fire bases at the front lines,” he said.  “But the vegetation would grow so fast and thick on the fences that we couldn’t see the VC sneaking up to attack.  So we always had a few barrels of Agent Orange on hand to kill the weeds.”

He continued, “We didn’t have any buckets to carry the chemical in, so we used to fill up our helmets and carry the Agent Orange to the fence.  We would throw it on the weeds and then put our helmets back on.  It actually felt good running down your face, it felt cool in the hot jungle.”

I thought back about a drummer friend of mine who, not long before he died of cancer, told me about his exposure to Agent Orange.  He was in the Navy, and most of his hitch in Vietnam was spent offloading barrels of the chemical for delivery to the air bases.  He said the barrels often leaked, or were broken, and the guys who handled them were soaked in Agent Orange almost every day.

The day after our men’s meeting Congress voted on the Hartzler Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.  It was a simple amendment that would have stopped the Pentagon’s Obama-prescribed practice of providing taxpayer-funded sex change operations and treatment for active duty military members.  The bill failed by four votes.

Countless veterans have fought the VA bureaucracy for every ounce of health care they received, and all too often they lose the fight.  My friend was unable to get the medication he needs through the VA.  Faced with a $300 bill for a whole prescription, he was resigned to buying a few pills at a time to get by until a benevolent Walgreen’s pharmacist cut him a deal out of respect for his service.

All 190 Democrats voted against the Hartzler Amendment.  235 Republicans voted for it.  Sadly, 23 Republicans voted with the Democrats to continue funding fake penises and vaginas to the tune of (according to Hartzler) $130,00 per surgery, costly ongoing hormonal treatments, more surgeries for the frequent complications, and at least a year of lost service time during the process .  A total projected cost of $1.3 billion over the next ten years.

Justin Amash (Michigan)
Jack Bergman (Michigan)
Mike Coffman (Colorado)
Barbara Comstock (Virginia)
Paul Cook (California)
Ryan Costello (Pennsylvania)
Carlos Curbelo (Florida)
Jeff Denham (California)
Charlie Dent (Pennsylvania)
John Faso (New York)
Brian Fitzpatrick (Pennsylvania)
Darrell Issa (California)
John Katko (New York)
Steve Knight (California)
Leonard Lance (New Jersey)
Frank LoBiondo (New Jersey)
Tom MacArthur (New Jersey)
Tom Reed (New York)
Dave Reichert (Washington)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida)
Bill Shuster (Pennsylvania)
Elise Stefanik (New York)
Claudia Tenney (New York)

I can understand the liberals’ bloc vote.  They don’t really care about the health of soldiers, straight or gay.  The sexually confused and honestly gay LGBTQ are just one of the many minority groups liberals peeled off from the general population and brainwashed into voting straight Democrat by claiming nobody else loves them.  Democrat party leaders pretend to care about the LGBTQ to continue to get their votes, and the Democrat congressional sheep dare not face the wrath of their leaders, so they vote as they are told.

How can the 23 Republicans justify their vote?

Our Veteran’s Administration is so corrupt, mismanaged and downright pathetic that it can’t provide adequate care for veterans who drop like flies waiting for care.  Meanwhile 190 Democrat Congressmen and 23 Republicans vote to spend precious time, care, and taxpayer dollars on transgender transmissions.

And if that isn’t troubling enough, it gets worse.  I was so angry with the vote that I tweeted my displeasure, naming the 23 Republicans.

*note – Rep. Brian Mast’s vote was miscounted in the original tally, the margin was actually 4 votes

Rep. Justin Amash, the biggest surprise on the list, immediately replied.

Policy?  Secretary of Defense “Bulldog” Mattis needs time to develop a freaking POLICY?

Here’s your “POLICY”, Bulldog.  Cut the politically correct crap and rebuild our military into a fighting force that nobody in the world dares to mess with.  And take care of our veterans.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.

Take A Walk on the Wild Side – Lou Reed