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?


This ‘Sticks in my craw’…#1

Have you ever heard the old idiom “that sticks in my craw”?  We are launching an irregular series of blog topics that I’ll refer to as things that stick in my craw.


Stick in one’s craw: to cause considerable or abiding resentment; to rankle. 
From the Center for Immigration Studies comes an article by David North titled:
Feds Provide Almost $2 Billion in Subsidies to Hire Alien Grads Rather than U.S. Grads
David North wrote this article on February 27, 2018, about a program called The Optional Practical Training (OPT) program which has the Federal government “paying American employers to discriminate against American workers” to the tune of nearly $2 Billion annually that comes from trust funds for the elderly.  The employers get an 8.25% tax break for hiring an alien rather than a U.S. college grad with the same skills and paid at the same salary.
The subsidies for this program come from “the Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment Insurance Program trust funds” and were estimated at some $1.98 Billion in the Fiscal Year 2017.
This sticks in my craw.  It just does not seem right even if this program is providing people for the STEM jobs, those being performed by graduates with science, technology, engineering, or math majors/experience.
Do we need people to fill that demand?  Absolutely, but does the funding for this program have to be carefully disguised and then taken from programs that are in no shape to fund such hires when our own people are being penalized through the loss of portions of these funds?
Both Republican and Democrat Presidents have held office since this began so there seems more than enough bipartisanship involved to permit us to place blame at the feet of all in Congress who had to authorize this spending through the budgets approved.  And on the Presidents who allowed this abuse whether knowingly or unknowingly.
If this was included in bills but not made known to those voting on the bills, shame on us and shame on them.  We need to fix that hole in the system.
If this is a justifiable use of these funds that do not appear to have been appropriated for this use, then why is it necessary for this to essentially be done behind the curtain indicating that those in charge knew this was an inappropriate use of the trust funds already dedicated to  Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment programs.
These funds were appropriated for U.S. citizens and are paid for by U.S. citizens but are being used to pay foreign graduates who happen to have skill sets we need.
If this is so important, and it may well be given the shortage of qualified people in the STEM world, why does it have to be done like the Dems brought about ObamaCare…behind the curtains so you and I are “spared” having to be made aware of the action.  This is truly bipartisan, not just something to be laid at the feet of the Dems.
This is an “Equal Opportunity” abuse of power to find funds for something most of us would’ve applauded if done in the full light of day.  I imagine that there was some loose tie-in given that these funds were intended to aid in ‘unemployment’ and that is part of why the funds were appropriated, so…what the heck, let’s use that money.  Noone will ever know, and even if they find out, we have that unemployment word to hide behind.
This erodes our faith in our government.  Over time, these are the kinds of abuse of power that arouse the people.  These are the things that ‘stick in our collective craws’ and which come back to haunt those we’ve sent to the Swamp when we finally become aware of the abuse, as I’ll label it, that occurred in the figurative “dark of night”.

Townhall’s Ben Shapiro is Dead-On!

Today’s Townhall column by Ben Shapiro follows in its entirety (you can find that group at Townhall.com):

Until Democrats Come to Grips With Why Hillary Lost, Trump Will Keep Winning

Last weekend, Hillary Clinton spoke in India.  There, she continued to struggle publicly with the most humiliating experience of her life, not her husband’s continual sexual misconduct or her State Department’s mishandling of Benghazi but her loss of the presidency to a reality television show host.  And she never will be.

That much was obvious from her incredible, palpable anger at the American public.  She first explained that Trump voters are stupid poor people: “what the map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product.  So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward.”

But Clinton wasn’t done.  She then stated that Trump voters are ignoramuses who still stumble out to their outhouses in the middle of the night and stoop over a hole in the ground while reading old copies of Ku Klux Klan newsletters.  Those people, she said, fell prey to Trump’s racist “Elmer Gantry” pitch: “you didn’t like black people getting rights.  You don’t like women…getting jobs.  You don’t want to…see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are.  Whatever your problem is, I’m going to solve it.”

For good measure, Clinton tore into women who voted for Trump as well — and suggested that they are all little Tammy Wynettes standing by their men.  “(W)e don’t do well with married white women,” Clinton explained.  “And part of that is an identification with the Republican Party, and a sort of ongoing pressure to vote the way your husband, your boss, your son, whoever believes you should.”  Yes, women who voted republican only did so because they were afraid that ol’Bob is going to come home, get the beatin’ stick out of the closet and start a-whoopin’ and a-whalin’ on the little woman.

And then, Democrats wonder why they had trouble winning Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Here’s the reality:  None of this is true.  The average Trump voter outearned the average Clinton voter, and 86 percent of Trump voters were employed, about the same percentage as Clinton voters.  Tribalism in voting exists on both sides: The intersectional politics of the Democratic Party is inherently race-based, and Trump successfully responded to that sort of politics in reactionary fashion.  As to the notion that married women didn’t vote for Clinton because of their husbands, 52 percent of married women voted for Trump; 53 percent of married women voted Republican candidate Mitt Romney in 2012, and 51 percent voted for Republican candidate John McCain in 2008.  Married women vote differently than single women not because of pressure from their menfolk but because they often have children, value family over career more than single women and are older than single women on average.

But here’s the point:  Clinton represents a nasty, vengeful take on populations she has trouble winning over.  That nastiness has filtered through the Democratic Party, which is firmly convinced that it’d be better off drilling down into population groups it thinks are interested in tearing down the system along with them than reaching out to populations it has lost.  If democrats continue with that quest, they’ll alienate the very voters who gave Trump victory in 2016.

Shapiro hits this nail squarely on its head, and unless or until the Dems become honest with themselves and quit making excuses for why Hil can’t win, Republicans in any guise will continue to beat them unless those Republicans are simply too faulty to get the votes.

This is such an accurate portrayal of the Clintons and their inability to be honest with themselves about themselves.  We just don’t like the Clinton family.  We are sick and tired of seeing them thinking they’re still the Kings of the Hill when, in fact, they are washed up, and likely will stay washed up.

I hope they continue sniffing around for the Democratic nomination when this first four years of Trump is over; that ought to assure that President Trump has eight full years in which to remake this country as we want it remade.

If you are a political animal and do not yet subscribe to Townhall materials, I urge you to go to http://www.townhall.com right now.


As I struggled to find the right theme for this morning’s blog, we received news of medical issues affecting several of our dear friends.  That call brings one back to the issues which are truly important quite rapidly, even though they may not directly affect us as individuals.  These issues affect those we love as dear friends, as members of our church community, and as among those who teach us the important lessons of this life.

There is the nagging question for me in such situations that comes back to this basic theme:  How would I handle that news were it to be coming to me from my physician?  How strong would the faith I believe I have be in the face of those kinds of pronouncements?  Would I carry myself with the grace with which these friends carry themselves?  Would I be concerned for them even as I have issues to be concerned about?

The old saw about us walking a mile in the others’ shoes came back this morning, and whatever angst I might’ve been feeling over my tiny concerns were quickly relegated to their true stature: they are tiny inconsequential concerns by comparison to the concerns of others.

We have human examples that show us the way and yet we don’t recognize those for what they bring to us often enough.  They are outwardly strong no matter what they may be feeling on the inside.  They are truly concerned for others even as they have personal issues that might overwhelm if permitted to do so.

One of the great gifts in this life is that we are served by examples all along this road we’re traveling.  We have examples of what we should avoid just as we have examples of what we should strive to become especially when things are not necessarily going as we’d prefer.

We have examples available to us almost every waking moment of every day.  We don’t need to know these people’s names.  We can see their situation and we can see how they deal with those situations.  When they are dear to us already, their examples mean so much more to us for we know them and we feel for them and we pray for them and their loved ones.

So often we say “we’ll pray for you”.  We do so with a faith that tells us no matter the earthly outcome, there is a much more important and lasting outcome for us all.  That knowledge is key from my perspective to be able to reflect that which it is important to reflect to others who observe us as we walk through that valley.

We are examples in our regular everyday lives.  I can name them easily and I look forward to interacting with them because I always walk away the better for that interaction.  Those examples are especially significant when they continue to minister to our individual needs when our needs dwindle to nothing in comparison to their needs.

There is a special grace about them in the way they deal with their personal situations, and in the way they work diligently to help others in their situations.  Their personal situations seem to always take a back seat to the situations of others no matter that there might seemingly be degrees of magnitude separating them as we see those issues.

I am blessed in that I walk with a lot of those people who show me how I ought to walk, how I ought to be more concerned for others than to sink into despair over my small issues or problems.  Just being exposed to them, even second or third-hand works wonders for us because that is who they are and that is what they do.  They help us by their examples.

Takeaways?  Simple, really.  Get over angst and despair for self and help others who need your help far more than you need their help at that moment.  As usual, that really is more a help to us who need it than to those who we might minister to at the time.

Ministering to others is great, but we also need be cognizant always that by that ministering to others, we are helping ourselves more than we could with ten times the worry for self.  That is the way God made us, and that is all we have to do to move beyond our personal concerns.

So, we square our shoulders, hold our heads high and wear a smile for others whether or not we know them.  By giving that smile away, we help ourselves even more than we help others.

Enough Dirt to Go Around…

We like to expose the faults of others as if we were faultless.  Stormy Daniels and her trysts with our now President are the flavor of the day and the national press can’t leave it to die in some roadside ditch.  I doubt that Stormy is anxious for it to die out too soon, either.  The Democrats could not help themselves when this opportunity was offered up.  Obviously, the left-leaning press was only too happy to pounce like a cat playing with a ball of yarn.  Truth be known, I’d not be too surprised to learn that the press has had this ‘disclosure’ planned since the swearing-in ceremony.

Dish the Dirt seems to be the flavor of the month and maybe even of the year depending upon what else might lurk in the Dem’s armory of weapons to ‘dump Trump’.  All that needs be done is to remind those in that party of the family named Clinton, except the Dems are apparently impervious to recognizing their own weaknesses of which there are more than a few that readily spring to mind.  And, of course, the very reliable mostly-liberal press is fully supportive.

These kinds of actions usually signal that everything else that could possibly be weaponized has already been weaponized to no avail.  We know that those in high public office, especially if they are like Donald Trump, are open to brutal treatment, especially when they are conservative in their actions as this President has largely been to the pleasant surprise of many.

There has been but one perfect human and He died on a cross for each of us whether or not we’re willing to accept that.  Each of us has been forgiven time and again for our shortcomings and yet the Dems are somehow seen as above this human frailty, and thus are fully supported by the press when it comes to pillorying President Trump for his frailties…of which we were all aware or pretty much aware when we voted for the guy.

Same old, same old.  John 8:7 has the message:  Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.  True then and true today.

History has shown over and over the frailties of us humans, and that will continue to be shown for so long as we continue to populate this planet.  Frailty is not confined to just men or just women, it is not confined to just Republicans or just Democrats, it is not confined to just certain religious belief systems.

Each of us is frail; we are each susceptible to doing the wrong thing even when we know better.  We forgive and we are forgiven for we are simply humans and imperfect humans at that.  We are so bad at this life that we coin phrases such as “All is fair in love and war” to cover our respective fannies.  If you have not yet learned this lesson, today would be a good time for such introspection.

When the person is attacked rather than the person’s beliefs being attacked, the attacker(s) is/are apparently bereft of facts to bring to the party.  The Dems appear to have gotten to the point of being out of effective political ammunition quite early in his first term, and thus the personal attacks continue unabated and likely will for the foreseeable future.

In the meantime, our President seems up to the job to the surprise of many…including some Republicans.


Wisconsin: Normal or NORML?

Dan Bice in his No Quarter column in the morning Journal Sentinel here in Milwaukee discussed the February 20th meeting conducted by the SE Wisconsin NORML and the stand taken by two Democrat candidates trying to unseat our Gov. Scott Walker (R).

NORML stands for National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.  One Democrat, Matt Flynn, said if he were elected Governor he’d “pardon everybody in the jails and the prisons of Wisconsin who are there for nonviolent possession offenses”.  That tends to admit that there can be and is violence attached to its use.  But he’d be willing to overlook that to gain the coveted seat as Governor.

The other candidate, Mike McCabe, said, apparently to gain even greater support from his selected constituency, that he favored “full legalization of marijuana in our time”.

Two other Dem Governor wannabees said they’d back measures to overturn the state law that now bars people from selling or smoking “weed” and Milwaukee firefighter union chief Mahlon Mitchell and the current state Superintendent of Schools for Wisconsin, Tony Evers, said they’d sign legislation permitting recreational use of marijuana BUT only if voters favored that on a referendum.

Marquette University’s Law School poll in 2016 showed that 59% of registered voters in Wisconsin favored marijuana being fully legalized and regulated like alcohol.  We’re two years further down this road.  So Evers and Mitchell are, in reality, in favor of the full legalization even though they attempted to hedge their bets.

That legalization of marijuana for recreational use is the uniform mantra for Democrat candidates for governor in Wisconsin ought to be sufficient to disqualify them from that race.  Look at Colorado where at least the facade of “medical use” was used to get their law passed.  The downhill slope has steepened significantly with marijuana in use for all purposes even though only medical use is legal.  Virtually everyone there knew this would occur, just as virtually everyone in Wisconsin ought to know that this is what would occur here if these people had their way.

We read almost every day about the abuse of alcohol and the latest crimes that have been committed by those abusing alcohol.  We would apparently approve the use of marijuana the same as alcohol if given the opportunity to see that question on a statewide ballot.

I fear that we appear to have virtually become incapable of governing ourselves.  At the very least, it appears that enough of us have gone over the edge on this marijuana issue to appear to have lost our senses.  That we could even get close to approaching this kind of question so cavalierly is amazing to me.  I am not a “teetotaler”.  I was addicted to tobacco.  I know in that sense what it took to break that smoking habit.  Why I would think of subjecting myself to a worse and far more addictive substance is beyond me.  That others would so casually declare they were in favor of this simply defies common sense (which again is demonstrated to be anything but ‘common’ today).

To see the potential candidates for statewide office in the Democratic Party lining up like trained seals to tell us they’d make marijuana available for fun simply to cadge more votes for themselves is simply disgusting and should disqualify them on the spot.  Is this what we have become?  Is this how democracy finally devolves to enslavement to a substance?  Would Democrats actually cast a vote knowing that is where that vote would ultimately lead us?

It appears they would.  Let us all hope and pray they’re simply blowing smoke…and that it isn’t cannabis-related.  But that seems not to be something upon which we can rely for much longer…except by hanging on to our Republican Governor for another term.