Porous Northern Border?

An article by J. J. McCullough in the current edition of  The National Review discusses how refugees are anxious to cross into Canada given their knowledge that Canada does not enforce its own immigration laws.  Reuters has produced a feature story on the flow of refugees from the U. S. into Canada and reported that “more than 20,000 Haitians and Nigerians and hundreds of Turks” had crossed over in the past year apparently seeking asylum.  The allusion is that this outflow is due to their fear that President Trump would deport them to their home countries.

I have written before about the porous Northern border and my concern that we stood to have illegals entering at will from Canada.  I might’ve been too hasty.  If they are, instead outbound, maybe the “easy-to-cross” border will inure to our benefit in the final analysis.

Now, if we could somehow find the rationale to help illegals in our Southern states want to again get back to points South, we might have just seen our border issues solved by the purported dufus, President Trump.  Maybe the fence is still a good idea so long as it has convenient doors which only open to the South with some device such as barrier wire with points aimed South to aid in their escape.

Unfortunately, the porous Northern border also permits that flow in the opposite direction and it does work in that way with people from here going there, and people from there coming here.  Minneapolis is a prime example in its current demographic make-up.

This article looks at Canadian law as written and compares it to Canadian law as enforced and finds that enforcement, or lesser levels of enforcement, in Canada does affect the influx of illegals from the U.S. entering into Canada.  The fact is that Canada has difficulty in dealing with these immigrants on a timely basis and many find themselves there legally receiving welfare benefits and health care while they await deportation.  The length of time required to move an illegal out of Canada is approaching 11 years.

There is a simple fact here:  If there are porous borders, they will be used by illegals to come into the country that provides them with more than they currently have.  If Mexicans believe they can benefit from crossing into the U.S., they will cross into the U.S.  If the U.S. has tougher laws than does Canada, people who are not U.S. citizens will flow Northward.

Both our Southern and our Northern borders are porous.  At the moment it seems we have illegal eastern Europeans as a threat to our North and illegal Mexicans and others from South America a threat to our South.  Border enforcement is critical no matter how that enforcement is accomplished.

We have one political party that seems to desire more immigrants and one political party that seems to believe in the sanctity of our borders.  We have a mishmash in Congress that ebbs and flows with the breeze of the daily press stories.  We had a President before Trump that had no sense of concern over this issue.  We now have Trump who has talked the “Wall” since before he took office.  But we still have that mishmash called Congress that pays more attention to the politics of the matter than to the safety and integrity of our country.

I will not be surprised if there is no firm resolution especially to the Southern border issue until we have such a huge problem that it can no longer be pushed down the road while it is used politically.

If only we could force a simple up or down vote on these issues, and then hold the appropriate feet to the fire, we might see some progress.  But, for so long as this issue is the football du jour, we will have little if any resolution.  Imagine what our country will be like if it becomes a Europe look-alike.  Imagine how we will look back and long for what might’ve been as we arm ourselves and bar our doors and fear going outside except at High Noon and maybe even then.

How far down the road is that scenario?

How Would You Use A “Re-Boot” Button?

This might be an imponderable question for many of us but it seems this might be a good question for each of us to noodle for a while.  If you possessed a reboot button, how and when would you think of using it?  If you could push that reboot button and open your eyes to having a clean slate, would you be tempted?  If you had that button available would you become addicted to using it rather than changing things you could change so as to be able to avoid using it?

In essence, we get something of a ‘reboot’ every morning when we awaken.  We are facing a new day that we have yet to foul with our selfishness or our greed or our baser instincts.  And then, we take that first step and too often begin the familiar slide back to where we were yesterday and hoped we’d be able to avoid tomorrow.  Too often, when that realization hits, we give up just knowing that we are doomed to live this life the same way day-in and day-out.

I know this is preachy and I apologize, but there comes a time for each of us when we are called to make a life-changing decision.  These decisions need not be big decisions if we are willing to make small changes daily or weekly or monthly or even annually, and keep those new better habits in our repertoire.  That may be the way you make these changes stick.  It isn’t easy to break old habits.  I know how long and how many times it took for me to quit my two or more pack a day cigarette habit.  But persistence finally made me a non-cigarette smoker.  True, I still enjoy a daily cigar in the warm weather but I do not inhale…as I tell my loved ones almost daily :-).

In many cases, we are called to make decisions that we see as being changes for someone else.  Maybe the smoking habit has been more a problem for our spouse than for self on a day-to-day basis.  My smoking habit fouled the air in our home and it took a long time for that residual odor to dissipate to the point of being unnoticeable.  I never really gave much thought to it that way until I had finally kicked the habit and was able to look back rationally…and smell what a non-smoker’s home actually smelled like.

Each of these kinds of life-changing decisions has to begin with that first step, and then the second step, and so on.  Each time we make the commitment, we believe we have really made the commitment.  And we continue to believe that we’ve made the commitment until that day when we renege on our commitment to self.  Then we are demoralized and wonder if we could ever make that decision and make it stick.

It is easy to feel sorry for self no matter that we have nothing to pity ourselves about.  If we are able to look around us, we see a lot of people who have a lot more issues than each of us have…and we’re also able to wonder why they haven’t taken care of the bad habits already.  We can easily become hypocritical to the Nth degree.

I am not some ‘goody-two-shoes’.  I am far from perfect; always have been and always will be.  The old “take that first step” argument is really old after you’ve taken that “first step” time and again.  We each need to get to the place where the quest is for us as well as for those who love us.  That is easier for some than for others.  We need to get to a place where we are bluntly honest with self.

How would you use your “re-boot” button today if you were able and decided to do so?

Don’t worry, this isn’t a blogging trend.  I don’t know what tomorrow brings but there’ll certainly be another shiny object about which to opine that won’t be aimed quite so directly at self and readers.

What Should We Believe?

If you are similar to me, you view a lot of different sources to gather information quite probably not found in any of the mainstream media; or if found there, information that may’ve been revised so as to soften the impact toward any of the medias’ favorites.  Many of those favorites are decided left-wingers and embedded bureaucrats (neither left or right) who have their own interests at heart.  Some (not as many I maintain) are decided conservatives who also have their own interests at heart.

That fact makes the things they believe important to be a bit suspect to those of us who are conservative.  The national media, I believe, is typically slanted to the left.  Even some media members that we might take as being almost conservative, waiver and wobble from time-to-time.  They likely do so in the name of ‘fairness’, but they do wobble.

If something simply does not ring true to those of us who are conservative or liberal in our political views, it bears further investigation by seeing different sources and comparing the takes on all those sources before forming our own opinion based upon the actual facts, as best we can determine, that exist.

There are groups in our nation’s capitol that pose as something they aren’t.  There are a lot of those groups.  Some groups actually maneuver as if they are one thing while they are wolves in sheep’s clothing, so to speak.  The old saying about all being fair in love, war and politics is, unfortunately, more truth than fiction.  There are days when politics gives both love and war bad names.

No matter our personal political persuasion, it is imperative to fact check as best we are able.  We can avoid personal embarrassment by fact-checking.  We can be more informative in conversations with others not necessarily of the same persuasion as we are.  We can, at least, discuss things if we understand the facts involved even though we may draw differing conclusions.

I believe that we owe it to ourselves to be informed on both major sides of each situation.  It is not accepted fact that one side is always right and the other wrong or vice versa.  If we are not adequately prepared and sufficiently knowledgeable in the depth of our beliefs, we will only argue and probably upset or even anger the other person.  Even if we end up disagreeing, we can do so pleasantly, and should since there are always at least two sides to every issue.

Friends of differing beliefs are valuable in that they serve to help us understand the other side of issues about which we’d otherwise be ignorant, or at least not as well informed.  If we love to “debate”, we need to know as much as possible about the oppositions’ thinking whether or not we accept those ‘facts’ as gospel.

We will never always agree with everyone with whom we might interact.  That would be a boring use of our time and theirs.  We would reach a level of knowledge beyond which we would not advance.  That could prove to be a very embarrassing place to be on occasion.

Our President brings much of this out into the open given the way he has been received or dismissed by all.  We will have a lot of practice on this subject in the balance of his first term, and, I would venture, during the second term, too.  He is a lightning rod personality.  He can be crude on occasion.  But, he is getting the job done as I had hoped would be the case so I can accomodate his idiosyncracies probably better than someone who voted against him.

Time will tell if there will be a second term.


Lest We Forget…

We conservatives have periods on occasion where we seem to forget that we have an ever-irrational liberal machine plotting and scheming even as we enjoy a relatively conservative presidency after eight years of Obama.  If you doubt this, I invite you to click on this link:  http://theweek.com/articles/760739/how-democrats-wipe-gop-fix-america

If your reactions in the process of reading the information found at the link above were anything like mine, we both ought to be wide awake knowing this is no time for laying back and enjoying the place we’ve finally come to as conservatives.  This writing actually makes Hillary Clinton look like something less than the liberal she is unless, of course, she believes the same mantra is in order and just isn’t being honest with us voters.

We know that our former president Barack Obama isn’t wasting time basking in his glory.  He is organizing; after all, that is what he did and what he still does.  We know the liberal press isn’t wasting time and that is proved each and every day.  We know the Democrat minority in Congress isn’t wasting time even as they continue to prop up the same old tired cliche-riddled people who have yet to show they can win the big ones.

The citizenry, unfortunately, is being lined up to become the roadkill of the next decade or two.  That includes both the liberal element as well as us conservatives.  The elite Democrats do not have their dedicated voters in mind nearly so much as they have themselves and ultimate power in mind.

Us conservatives were we able to ignore this liberal wave-in-the-making could become like the fat hogs at the trough.  We have a bit of a problem keeping the edge of our political knives as sharp as they ought to be kept.  It is nice to be in the seat we occupy at the moment, and it is easy to begin to think the age-old battle might finally have been won.  That is a dangerous place for conservatives; we have been successful, but that doesn’t mean we’re at the pinnacle.  One slip, one moment when we take our collective eye off the ball, is all the liberals will need.

Conservatives are able to mobilize for the battle, but we tend to put our battle gear away after we’re in the winners’ circle.  We get complacent.  We get lazy.  We lose sight of the ball and play the games the liberal press lays out for us, which is precisely what they want us to do.  Holding the majority today is not the end of the game.  Holding the majority for decades is the name of this game.

It can get ugly in the mosh pit of politics, and we tend to want to avoid this part of politics.  We want to rise above this very base side of politics, and yet that is the very motive that proves to be our Achilles’ heal.  It is at points such as this that the tried and true old Dems reach into their always present ‘bag of dirty tricks’ and get on with getting on.  The spittle flies, the lies are spread, the temper tantrums are deployed…and we wonder what happened to us as they gain seats in the next election.

Lest we forget and become the fodder for the Dems once again.


Florida School Shooting: Preventable

The shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida could have been prevented if…

If the recommendation of the School Resource Officer (SRO) (a deputized officer), since pilloried for failing to plunge immediately into the active shooting situation, plus the recommendations of two separate school counselors had been taken seriously back in September 2016, the terrible scene with that same student in the role of the “active shooter” might well have been made impossible.  The SRO resigned from the Sheriff’s department following this tragedy amid accusations that he didn’t do his sworn duty at the time.

The SRO and the two counselors recommended, in September 2016 that Nikolas Cruz, the now accused shooter in the deaths of 14 students, be involuntarily committed for a mental evaluation.  “He had written the word “kill” in his notebook, had told a classmate that he wanted to buy a gun and use it, and he had cut his arm in anger after his girlfriend broke up with him” according to a Sun Central report.  This information came from a psychological assessment service, Henderson Behavioral Health, which was initiated by Cruz’ mother who obviously had seen and/or experienced his mental state and was very concerned about it.

Had he been involuntarily committed, he’d have experienced a barrier to his purchase of the AR-15 type weapon he used.  That would’ve gone a long way toward having prevented this disaster from ever occurring.  Had he been voluntarily committed, he might’ve been treated and might’ve regained sufficient mental stability to have avoided this entire situation.

So, Cruz is now facing a 34 count indictment for killing 17 and wounding another 17.  If he is convicted, the death penalty would be in play.  The public defender assigned to Cruz is recommending that he plead guilty thereby avoiding the death penalty.

This appears to be one of those examples of so many things which could’ve prevented this killing rage from taking those lives and wounding the others and of basically imprinting an image on the rest of those students that’ll never be outlived.

We may have not heard the end of this disaster yet, but it won’t change what could’ve been if this young man had been held to account somewhere along the road he walked to the point that he began pulling that trigger in what had to be a blind rage.  (There was no ‘bump stock’ in place by all reports so that needs not be blamed.)

Frankly, this smacks of a cover-up at one or more levels.  The school officials, in addition to the counselors, had to have been aware of the SRO’s report.  The Sheriff had to be aware.  The mother had to be aware that, at the least, her son had issues that required professional assessment and treatment.

So, several people along this path could’ve probably thwarted this tragedy, but through neglect or conscious decisions avoided getting involved for one or more reasons.  The old saying about hindsight being 20/20 is true as it almost always proves to have been.  But, there were a number of facts and actions that should’ve been taken together to indicate this young man had severe issues that needed treatment by professionals.

I feel certain that those who were tangentially involved, directly and indirectly, have torn themselves apart mentally for their roles in this tragedy.  I can not imagine the lives they will lead from this point on.  I suspect one or more might well be reported on in some future occurrence that might tie back to this tragedy whether or not we are aware of that.

In addition to individuals, there was certainly an institutional failure, as well.  Intervention should’ve occurred at one or more levels.  This is, again, not something to be blamed on the AR-15 type weapon.  Safeguards exist but those were not engaged even though they existed.  There were places along this route that should’ve resulted in the person being treated or incarcerated for his and our protection.  Each of those steps failed for human reasons.


The morning comic section in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has the strip titled Zits by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman.  In this comic, the teenage son walks into his house after getting hit by the newspaper that had been tossed to the front step by the carrier.  The son holds the folded paper up to his father and says: “Some guy just threw this at our house and it almost hit me.”  His father says: “It was a newspaper delivery, not a micro-aggression” to which the son replies “Now I feel even less safe!”

This strip is responsive to where we seem headed today with our hurt feelings, our concerns with a President who calls them like he sees them and isn’t afraid to terminate anyone if they aren’t living up to his expectations.  We see the situations with students whose emotions are apparently rubbed raw over this or that being welcomed to center stage again and again.

I do not recall ever seeing anything approaching this level of angst in my lifetime over the perception of some kind of aggression.  We had bullies but I didn’t run home claiming some aggression had been foisted upon me.  I delivered newspapers and don’t recall ever having been accused of committing a micro-aggression during the delivery of my daily route.

Add to this “toxic” mix the essence of concern now labeled “Trump Derangement Syndrome” which we hear about when he fires a cabinet member which he seems prone to do if they do not perform up to his expectations.  Maybe this is simply a look at the differences between commerce at high levels and governance at high levels.  President Trump has “at will” employees today just as he had “at will” employees prior to sitting in the Oval Office.

He makes decisions far more quickly than his predecessors ever did, even though I suspect many of them wished they’d have acted sooner rather than later in various cases.  Our press has blown this way out of proportion as it is wont to do when it sees an opportunity to skewer a politician it does not, as an institution, like.

Against that backdrop of fairly constant complaining, we have become more or less accustomed to the idea of accusations of ‘over-reaction’ or ‘poor judgment in hiring’ and we have seen riots and nasty demonstration by ‘ultra’ groups; those that sit at either extreme waiting for the chance to get some publicity.  Maybe it is the toppling of old statues or demonstrations of large groups wearing black ‘uniforms’ and hitting people with baseball bats.  We as a society have devolved and this devolution has been going on since way before President Trump was sworn into office.  And, yes, it was going on during the immediately prior eight years; it was being fueled during those years.

Unfortunately, we have an immediate past President who is enjoying stirring this pot up even though now out of that office.  He has created and staffed an organization to do just that and it is thriving in terms of the attention it gets on its Internet website.  We also have a press corps, that has never been aligned behind the current President, which is all too happy to stir this pot in the name of press freedom.

We have the Democrat Party that is all too happy with this situation and the potential this carries for it to gain seats and maybe to take over the Oval office once again.  We the people, and this nation we love take back seats to the lust for power that fuels this kind of garbage.

The press, which we grew up thinking of as non-discriminating in its holding of politicians up to the light of day, today is all too happy to “go with the flow” and not to find any issues at all with the former President’s activities nor with the Democrat Party’s activities to block and obfuscate since it is getting what it hoped for when Trump took office.  He is, of course, to their way of thinking an embarrassment to us all, and any of us who voted for him ought to be bowing our heads in shame and letting this happen without any comment or fighting back.

Micro-aggressions, if happening at all, are happening because of the Left and not because of the Right.  With a press all too happy to see the Right taking hits, we can expect nothing to alter that perception.  There are subtle things going on that further that goal of the Left and, of course, those things go on and on without any criticism or even questions from the media.  Us conservatives are essentially told, “never mind just move along”.

Even comic strips are pushing the liberal theme of micro-aggression and the devolution of society under President Trump.  Subtle, but real involvement in things beyond the pay grade of the media and of the comic strip creators who cannot seem to help themselves by staying out of the burgeoning movement to dump Trump.  Comic strips appeal to kids.  Think there is some building of future liberals in play here?

If there was ever doubt as to the loyalties of the press in general, we have learned the truth.  When the creators of Zits wade in with subtle but intentional language and pictures, without any effort by the media serving as the conveyance device for same to make sure there is no political theme, we can see quite clearly from whom and from where any “microaggression” might be coming…but there is, unfortunately, nothing “micro” about it.

So subtle that most won’t see it and so subtle that those of us who do see it risk being ridiculed as unnecessarily reactionary.  A potent combination.

Sticks in My Craw #2…

I never dreamed that #2 would arrive so soon on the heels of #1, but it was here this morning in the form of my computer not behaving and then a new download from the Computer gurus above us all that has overlayed the latest and greatest from Microsoft even though I didn’t want the latest and greatest, thank you very much!  I now have the threat of Cortana in my life, whatever that is.

My morning has also been spent on an automobile issue that was easily resolved except that it distracted me from the download that I abhor which has changed the views and complexion of my good old laptop to the point that I feel like a drooling idiot…again…or still.  I’m not sure which.

It seems I have become a more than occasional drooling idiot so far as computer technology is concerned.  I can hardly wait for the next chapter to unfold…and, unfortunately, I feel certain that it will.  I know that it will; who am I trying to kid?

This was followed up by another in a series of telephone sales pitches from what appears to be a local number until you answer and it then becomes apparent that it comes from another telesales “boiler room” operation.  And, it is nigh onto impossible to kill one of those “opportunities” without having to be a bit nasty to make the point.  (I am so thankful I am not one of those folks who is trying to make a living that way, with all they must have to put up with…but they are so pushy it seems you have to get a bit stern to get your message out that you have no interest in the latest this or the you gotta have that).

And the idea they will even think of removing your telephone number from their list is a decided non-starter.  If you know of a magic number that one can use to kill off those calls, I’d be willing to pay good money for it!  This would make a great racket set-up.  I’ll bet a telemarketer selling a ‘block’ to these calls could retire in about four to six weeks.  Of course, he or she would be selling using the phone to get that done.

So long as these days are truly just occasional, I guess we can all make it through, but it does seem that as the Morton’s Salt people taught us, “When it rains, it pours”.

That is what sticks in my craw today…and I hope this is the end of those subjects for a good long time to come, except that is likely too good to be true.  I seem to be becoming more cynical as I age.  Do any of you have that same problem or am I alone in this?