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

 

Trump Takes A Punch at Vote Fraud

election-fraud-commission-692x360

photo by KConline.com

This week President Trump’s voter fraud commission, headed by Kansas’ secretary of state Kris Kobach, sent a letter to all 50 secretaries of state, asking that they provide voter registration information.

Hallelujah!

Democrats have always denied the existence of vote fraud, even in the face of damning evidence year after year.   They continue to make the ugly, racist claim that minority voters are not capable of obtaining identification, and will not be able to vote if ID is required, avoiding the fact that life in the United States is virtually impossible without some kind of identification.

There is only one reason to oppose voter ID:  it enables vote fraud.  This is an undeniable fact, and repeating the infantile lie about “disenfranchised voters” does not remove the stench.

Now we have a president with the gumption to call out the cheaters.  His commission’s plan is a big step in the right direction – it is simple and quickly executable.  With the names, birthdates, and partial social security numbers of voters from every state, files can be easily cross-checked to find out who has voted more than once, perhaps in multiple states, or even from the grave.  Non-citizens and other ineligible voters will be filtered out.

Democrats are shaken, and immediately a number of their secretaries of state are refusing to comply.  California’s SOS, Robert Padilla, made the following statement:

“As secretary of state, it is my duty to ensure the integrity of our elections and to protect the voting rights and privacy of our state’s voters.  I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgement that millions of Californians voted illegally. California’s participation would only legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the president, the vice president, and Mr. Kobach.”

Of course what he really fears is that a review of California’s voter data would COMPLETELY legitimize the claims of massive voter fraud!  Plus if the millions of illegals were removed from the California voting rolls, they would lose several representatives in Congress.

Let’s not forget that the Democrat’s main piggy bank, George Soros, has pumped millions of dollars into SOS races in every state for decades, in an attempt to load the state offices with Dems.  And the Democrat media continues to divert attention from the real vote fraud problem by incessantly harping about Russian meddling in the last election, even while admitting that not one vote was affected.

The voting data project is a start, and a great one.  Next the commission must look at the practice of early and absentee voting, which has in recent years been a favorite tool of Democrat vote-fraud brigades.  Kudos to Kobach and Trump.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

Rockin' On the Right SideTough luck for the cheater!
Too bad for the fool-hearted clown!
Tough break for the cheater!
Who used to build you up
Just to let you down.

the Cheater – Bob Kuban Band

Remember this great song from 1966?  It was recorded by Bob Kuban out of St. Louis, and he is still going strong with a great band behind him.  The Cheater was a great piece of songwriting and performance, and it holds up beautifully today.  Enjoy!

We Heard An Inspiring “Make America Great” Speech – by JFK

photo JFK library

Over dinner, my wife and I watched the news about President Trump’s latest “Make America Great Again” rally, delivered to a stadium full of supportive Americans.  It was filled with populist promises and ideas  and peppered with a healthy dose of partisan vitriol.

We wondered who was the last president to barnstorm the country talking directly to the folks.  Simultaneously we both remembered attending John F. Kennedy’s historic speech in Great Falls, Montana in 1963, only two months before he was assassinated.

We were both in fifth grade, living in different towns, and wouldn’t meet until several years later.  But like everyone else in the area we both found our way to the high school football stadium to hear our president talk.  It’s not every day that you get a chance to see a president when you live in Montana.  Our teachers had prepared us for the moment, and we were old enough to understand every word of JFK’s speech.  We both remember being impressed not only by the celebrity of it all, but also the uplifting message.

Over the years we had forgotten exactly what Kennedy talked about, so I looked for his speech on the web, finding it at the American Presidency Project website.

Reading the speech aloud, we felt again some of the same inspiration at Kennedy’s words that we did 53  years ago.  In some ways we were even more inspired, knowing the depths of political depravity to which our nation has sunk in recent years.  Kennedy’s cold war rhetoric now seems naive and archaic, but national security was as vexing to Americans then as the spread of radical Islamic terrorism is today.

Back then the throngs of Montanans who clamored to hear Kennedy didn’t care about his party affiliation.  He was our president.  He belonged to all of us, and spoke to all of us – directly and respectfully.  Rather than dividing us into groups pitted against each other, JFK encouraged Americans to recognize and enjoy the benefits of living in the greatest nation in the world.

He spoke of growing our economy through use and development of our vast natural resources.  Back then Montana was an economic powerhouse with mining, forestry, agriculture and hydroelectric power promising a bright future for generations to come.  And Kennedy advocated for better education and technology.

Kennedy was firm in his resolve to maintain America’s status as the active leader of the free world; a beacon for democracy, peace and economic progress.  He asked for our understanding, our effort, and our trust.  He expected us, as a nation and as individuals, to be responsible.  JFK made mistakes, and had character flaws, but his concern for all of his countrymen, and his understanding of our shared values were never questioned.

Kennedy’s assassination was shocking to a nation of people who had coalesced in support of his agenda.  While the true motivation behind his murder may never be revealed to the public, it is accepted that it was a political act.

In today’s political reality, nearly half of our citizens subscribe to a regimen of hostility, obstruction and resistance to President Trump’s every thought and word.  His personal threat level is off the charts compared to Kennedy’s.

Please read the text (below) of President John Kennedy’s speech and see why it was easy for Americans to be united and be proud of our country in 1963.


 

Remarks at Great Falls High School Memorial Stadium – September 23, 1963

Senator Mansfield, Governor, Secretary Udall, Senator Metcalf, Madam Mayor, Congressman Olsen, ladies and gentlemen:

This journey, which started almost by accident, has been one of the most impressive experiences of my life. We live in the city of Washington, in a rather artificial atmosphere. Washington was deliberately developed as a Government city in order to remove those who were making the laws from all the pressures of everyday life, and so we live far away.

We talk about the United States, about its problems, its powers, its people, its opportunity, its dangers, its hazards, but we are still talking about life in a somewhat removed way. But to fly, as we have flown, in the short space of 48 hours, from Milford, Pennsylvania, to Ashland, Wisconsin, to Duluth, Minnesota, to North Dakota, to Wyoming, to Montana, back to Wyoming, back to Montana, and then to go to the State of Washington and the State of Utah this evening, shows anyone who makes that journey even in a short period of time what a strong, powerful, and resourceful country this is.

Montana is a long way from Washington, and it is a long way from the Soviet Union, and it is 10,000 miles from Laos. But this particular State, because it has, among other reasons, concentrated within its borders some of the most powerful nuclear missile systems in the world, must be conscious of every danger and must be conscious of how close Montana lives to the firing line which divides the Communist world. We are many thousands of miles from the Soviet Union, but this State, in a very real sense, is only 30 minutes away.

The object of our policy, therefore, must be to protect the United States, to make sure that those over 100 Minuteman missiles which ring this city and this State remain where they are, and that is the object of the foreign policy of the United States under this administration, under the previous administration, and under that of President Truman. One central theme has run through the foreign policy of the United States, and that is, in a dangerous and changing world it is essential that the 180 million people of the United States throw their weight into the balance in every struggle, in every country on the side of freedom. And so in the last years we have been intimately involved with affairs of countries of which we never heard 20 years ago, but which now affect the balance of power in the world and, therefore, the security of the United States and, therefore, the chances of war and peace.

I know that there are many of you who sit here and wonder what it is that causes the United States to go so far away, that causes you to wonder why so many of your sons should be stationed so far away from our own territory, who wonder why it is since 1945 that the United States has assisted so many countries. You must wonder when it is all going to end and when we can come back home. Well, it isn’t going to end, and this generation of Americans has to make up its mind for our security and for our peace, because what happens in Europe or Latin America or Africa or Asia directly affects the security of the people who live in this city, and particularly those who are coming after.

I make no apologies for the effort that we make to assist these other countries to maintain their freedom, because I know full well that every time a country, regardless of how far away it may be from our own borders-every time that country passes behind the Iron Curtain the security of the United States is thereby endangered. So all those who suggest we withdraw, all those who suggest we should no longer ship our surplus food abroad or assist other countries, I could not disagree with them more. This country is stronger now than it has ever been. Our chances for peace are stronger than they have been in years. The nuclear test ban which was strongly led in the Senate of the United States by Mike Mansfield and Lee Metcalf is, I believe, a step toward peace and a step toward security, and gives us an additional chance that all of the weapons of Montana will never be fired. That is the object of our policy.

So we need your support. These are complicated problems which face a citizenry. Most of us grew up in a relative period of isolation, and neutrality, and unalignment which was our policy from the time of George Washington to the Second World War, and suddenly, in an act almost unknown in the history of the world, we were shoved onto the center of the stage. We are the keystone in the arch of freedom. If the United States were to falter, the whole world, in my opinion, would inevitably begin to move toward the Communist bloc.

It is the United States, this country, your country, which in 15 to 18 years has almost singlehandedly protected the freedom of dozens of countries who, in turn, by being free, protect our freedom. So when you ask why are we in Laos, or Viet-Nam, or the Congo, or why do we support the Alliance for Progress in Latin America, we do so because we believe that our freedom is tied up with theirs, and if we can develop a world in which all the countries are free, then the threat to the security of the United States is lessened. So we have to stay at it. We must not be fatigued.

I do not believe that the test ban treaty means that the competition between the Communist system and ourselves will end. What we hope is that it will not be carried into the sphere of nuclear war. But the competition will go on. Which society is the most productive? Which society educates its children better? Which society maintains a higher rate of economic growth? Which society produces more cultural and intellectual stimulus? Which society, in other words, is the happier?

We believe that ours is, but we should not fool ourselves if the chance of war disappears to some degree.

Other struggles come to the center of the stage. The solution of every problem brings with it other problems. And, therefore, this society of ours is, in a very real sense, in a race, and, therefore, I want to see all of our children as well educated as possible. I want to see us protect our natural resources. I want to see us make our cities better places in which to live. I want this country, as I know you do, to be an ornament to the cause of freedom all around the globe, because as we go, so goes the cause of freedom. This is the obligation, therefore, of this generation of Americans. And I think that in the last 18 years, reviewing what we have done, we have every reason to feel a sense of satisfaction, and I look forward to the next decade when the struggle may be in all these other areas. I look forward to that struggle with confidence and hope. But we must recognize the national obligation upon us all. There are 8 to 9 million children in the United States of America in high school or in elementary school who live in families which have $3,000 a year or less. What chance do they have to finish high school? How many of them will go to college? What kind of an income will they have when they go to work? Will their children then grow up in a family which is, itself, deprived and so pass on from generation to generation a lag, a fifth of the country which lives near the bottom while the rest of the country booms and prospers?

It is the obligation of government, speaking on the will of the people, that we concern ourselves with this phase of our resource development, our children, 9 million children who are growing up without the opportunity available to yours. And then they drop out of school, and then they lose their chance. So we have a lot to do in this country. We have a lot to do. And I am out here to try to get your support in doing it.

One of the things that I think we have to do is worry about this country of ours. I flew over some of the most beautiful parts of the United States this morning from Jackson Hole. I am sure that half of our country, particularly those who live east of the Mississippi River, have no idea what we have in this part of the United States. They are beginning to realize it, and more and more. But all in the east of the Mississippi live too much in crowded areas. They live along the seashore, which is open to only a few. They live in cities which are becoming more sprawling and more concentrated. And we have here in the Western United States a section of the world richer by far almost than any other. I want them to come out here. And I want the United States to take those measures in this decade which will make the Northwest United States a garden to attract people from all over this country and all over the world.

We go to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone and we are impressed, as all of us are. But what we should remember is that that was due to the work of others, not to us, but to those who made the great fight in the last 50 years. Now in the 1960’s we have to decide what we are going to do, and I believe that there is a good deal that we can do. We have started on a project, a concentrated project of resource development. More watershed projects have been completed in recent years than ever before in our history. Negotiations are underway which should lead, and must lead, to the final ratification of the Columbia River treaty with Canada. It has moved into its last stages, and it is my hope that work will soon be commenced on the Libby Dam project in northwest Montana, which will make this a richer State in which to live. And what you have done here in this section of the United States, I want us to do along our coastline. Only 2 percent of our extraordinary coastline, the Atlantic, the Gulfstream, and the Pacific, only 2 percent is devoted to public use. We have the same fight along our coastlines that we had here in this section of the Northwest 30 and 40 years ago for forests and parks and all the rest–2 percent.

The fact of the matter is, we passed in one year in 1961 three parks along our seashores which is more than had been done in 1 year in any Congress in history. We have let our seashores go to waste.

So I urge this generation of Americans, who are the fathers and mothers of 350 million Americans who will live in this country in the year 2000, and I want those Americans who live here in 2000 to feel that those of us who had positions of responsibility in the sixties did our part, and those of us who inherited it from Franklin Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt will have something to pass on to those who come, and our children, many years from now.

So I hope that we will harness our rivers. I hope we will reclaim our land. I hope we will irrigate it. I hope we can provide, through cooperative effort of the farmers and the Government, the kind of program which will give them a hope for security. I hope, in other words, that we will take this rich country of ours, given to us by God and by nature, and improve it through science and find new uses for our natural resources, to make it possible for us to sustain in this country a steadily increasing standard of living, the highest in the world, and, based on that powerful fortress, to move out around the world in the defense of freedom, as we have done for 18 years and as we must do in the years to come.

This is the responsibility which this generation of Americans has been given. I do not share with those who feel that this responsibility should be passed on to others. The fact of the matter is that there are no others who can combine our geographic position, our natural wealth, and the determination of our people. And, therefore, until such a people someday arrives, I think the United States should stand guard at the gate. The fact is, we have done it for 18 years. The fact is, the chances for peace may be better now than before. The fact is that our wealth has increased. The fact is, there are over 100 countries which are now independent, many of them who owe their independence to the United States.

This is the record which this country has written since 1945, and it is upon this great record that I believe we now must build. This sun and this sky which shines over Montana can be, I believe, the kind of inspiration to us all to recognize what a great single country we have, 50 separate States, but one people, living here in the United States, building this country and maintaining the watch around the globe.

This is the opportunity before us as well as the responsibility.
Thank you.


Tom Balek – Rockin’ on the Right Side

Why the @*#!! Is Everybody Swearing All the Time?

 

Profanity.  It’s What’s for Supper.

Have you noticed that our nation has developed a serious case of potty-mouth?   Many Americans think they make a big impression on others by punctuating their speech with F-bombs, dirty put-downs, scatological pronouns and just mindless ugliness.

I began to notice the change about a decade ago.  As a musician I spend a fair amount of time in bars (the only time you will see me in one is when I am paid to be there.)  These joints are places where people are hard at work trying to impress each other, and inhibition is nonexistent.  It seems to have started with the young women.  I was startled to hear how so many of the twenty-something aged girls talked to each other – even those who came to the bar straight from their high-class professional jobs.  I recall one group who, I swear, had an ongoing contest to see who could drop the most F-bombs in one sentence.  It reminded me of the hot-selling New Jersey T-shirts that boldly read, “F you, you F-ing F!”

I had seen enough East Coast mafia movies, and heard enough gangsta rap that the language wasn’t completely foreign to me.  But these were girls – otherwise attractive, presumably intelligent young ladies.  And they had no clue that their choice of adjectives made them repulsive to any civilized human being.

Of course they weren’t trying to impress me – I long ago became invisible to young ladies, unless they need help changing a tire.  But I can’t understand how filthy language makes them appealing to each other.

The next group to jump on the “Trash Talk Express” was the political left.  After a long string of electoral defeats they decided an image change was in order.  Ordinary victimhood just wasn’t working consistently – they had to take the offensive and BE offensive.  Talking like sailors makes them sound tough and edgy, right?  Why stop at calling everybody racist when F-ING RACIST is just so much more descriptive?

Lately the left-wing politicians are proudly pronouncing profanity at the podium, and it’s no accident – they believe it helps their audience relate to them as “real people”.

This tactical change by the left has had a profound effect on American youth, who matriculate from our public Democrat schools as leftist automatons.  Potty-mouth syndrome has spread virally to the millennials-and-younger.  Ask your junior-high kid what it means when he texts that it was hot AF.

And unfortunately many of my right-wing friends have begun to fight fire with fire.  Or fecal matter with fecal matter.  The quality of articulation on my Facebook timeline is in a toilet-swirl of decline.

Now, I’m no prude.  I don’t need a safe zone to protect me from offense, and I certainly can’t claim that there are no expletives in my lexicon.  Some of the songs my band performs are, well, not squeaky-clean.  But I, for one, would appreciate a move back toward more civil discourse.

Now, if I can just get my seven-year old grandson to stop calling everybody “poopy-head”.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

The cow’s giving kerosene,
Kid can’t read at seventeen,
The words he knows are all obscene,
But – it’s all right.  I will get by!

Touch of Grey – Grateful Dead

 

The USA Produces Less Enriched Uranium Than Iran and North Korea

While developing nations strive to build nuclear power plants (and weapons), the USA seems to have lost interest.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s nuclear plants were popping up all over our nation, and conventional wisdom was that nuclear power would soon meet all of our energy needs at a bargain-basement price.  It sure hasn’t worked out that way.

It’s not that nuclear power was a bad idea.  In the USA nuclear power has proven to be clean, safe, and reliable.  But generating nuclear power is also fraught with challenges.  The cost to build nuclear power plants is daunting.  Nobody wants nuclear waste dumped in their back yards.  And disasters at Chernobyl and Fukishima, while preventable, have tarnished the promise of nuclear power as a primary energy source.

New technology in fossil fuels has reduced carbon emissions and production costs, making nuclear power just too expensive an alternative.  Technology in the nuclear industry has come a long way too, but you would never know it by looking at our domestic nuclear power plants.  The average age of our nuke plants is 36 years.  The last two reactors built were the Watts Bar units – one was completed in 1996, and the other struggled for completion in 2016.  Hundreds of approved plant projects never got started.  Only four plants are currently under construction, and they are behind schedule and over budget.  If they are completed, they will produce electricity that costs more than even solar and wind power.  A growing number of plants are scheduled to shut down.  Westinghouse went bankrupt trying to get its new lower-cost, faster-construction model up and running.

Our biggest gaseous diffusion uranium enrichment plant was closed two years ago, so we currently buy almost all of the enriched uranium used in our nuclear power reactors from Russia.  But Russia, in a snit over Obama’s Ukraine-related sanctions, suspended the trade agreement by which highly enriched uranium from weapons was being downblended for use in nuclear plants in the USA and around the world.

Germany intends to shut down all of its nuke plants by 2022.  China, on the other hand, is planning a number of plants as part of their effort to reduce carbon emissions.

Industry experts say that the world is already using more uranium than is being mined.  After the re-purposed uranium from nuclear weapons is used up, they expect hot competition and shortages as China, India, Russia and other nations ramp up their nuclear power programs at a rate greater than Europe and the USA wind theirs down.  No wonder there was a commotion when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agreed to grant a Russian company the rights to mine one-fifth of our domestic uranium in exchange for a $2.35 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation and a $500,000 speaking fee for her husband.

We won’t need a great deal of expensive nuclear power to meet our nation’s future electrical needs.  But we will still need enriched uranium.  Our existing nuke plants will require uranium for some time yet, and the Trump administration wants to expand our fleet of nuclear powered ships and submarines.  Plus there is no avoiding our strategic need to maintain an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

At this time there are no US companies producing enriched uranium – a few foreign companies make a small amount in America, but our total domestic production lags far behind other nations.  Granted, enriched uranium is available in the world market, but it seems that domestic production of at least enough uranium to power our Navy is a matter of national security.

“While the U.S. once led the world in this technology that contributed to our national security, we currently have zero domestic capacity for enrichment, yet Western Europe, Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan, and even Iran maintain this capability. During the past decade, the DOE shut down the last domestic enrichment facility that was in position to ramp up deployment of an American technology. Now Mr. Perry has the thankless task of modernizing the weapons complex, upgrading aging infrastructure, and in some cases rebuilding entirely lost capabilities, such as enrichment.”   — Aaron Weston, director at the American Council for Capital Formation Center, and Norman Augustine, co-chair of the Nuclear Security Enterprise, quoted by Forbes

Dept. of Energy secretary Rick Perry and the Trump administration should give priority to addressing our abandonment of nuclear power and the resources required to produce it.

Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side

I’m so happy!
Doin’ the neutron dance.
I’m just burning!
Doin’ the neutron dance.

the Pointer Sisters – Neutron Dance

 

Here’s something fun – the girls are still burnin’, doin’ the Neutron Dance!  Check it out!