July 20, 2017

Back in the olden days


My oldest boy  --  taken 134 years ago (1992 maybe?).  The parenthetical is for me, how would you know?

Yes, that snazzy minivan does Come equipped with a sunroof and car phone.

Maybe the photo is from a year or two later.

July 19, 2017

Let it die

ObamaCare is unsustainable. The Democrats own it. They own it double in that they are not on board with trying to cure its obvious issues. Let it die of its own bureaucracy, untenable cost burdens, and unworkable economics. Trump should help it along to the deathbed by excising the odious forced compliance mandate through executive order. If Obama could change the terms, so can Trump.

The GOP again showed their true colors. They are more than happy to be the minority party. America said "Fix this POS" healthcare law. The Republicans had 7 years to come up with a plan. The GOP said if you give us the House we will fix it. Then they said they needed control of the Senate. Finally the GOP demanded the White House. Again the voters handed them the power. What do we get in return? "Oh crap, now what do we do?".

The politicians of both parties are not listening to the People. There was a reason outsiders were key figures in the last election. Voters flocked to Trump and Sanders. We are tired of the same old politics as usual. Neither party has any interest in shrinking government. Both claim a reduction in the planned increase in spending is a "cut". Both parties abrogate their responsibility by passing "Continuing Resolutions" instead of an actual budget.

The press likes to tell us how unpopular the President is. Congress rates even lower. Our representative earn three times the average worker, exempt themselves from the laws they pass, vote themselves junkets and vacations at the taxpayer expense, get pensions for life and complain they need a housing allowance to make ends meet. Yet somehow every one of these guys and gals leaves office a multimillionaire. I don't care how much you save and invest, $160K a year does not turn into tens of millions in a decade unless you get Hillary to teach you about cattle futures.

I am trying to be a better person, comment less on politics, curse a whole lot less, but to Congress and politicians in general, I say piss on you all. Bring on a Trump, a Kid Rock, Dwayne the Rock Johnson. They can't be worse than the assholes we currently have.

I think it should be mandatory that upon taking office every politician gets a tattoo on his right arm that reads "That is someone else's money you are spending". Fuck them all.

I'm going to register as a Whig.

July 18, 2017

Rehashing stuff you learned in school

It is summer. There is nothing on TV but reruns. Who am I to buck convention?  Since I still have a significant case of writer's block, or more appropriately "I don't care enough to blog", I submit the following rerun from 2007 for your amusement, or not:

On July Fourth,1876 the nation was celebrating its centennial. Celebrating citizens were shocked to learn of the defeat of General George Custer just a few days prior. The event has been immortalized in history, movies and popular culture. Custer, Crazy Horse and the Battle of the Little Big Horn remain mythic icons still. But these events were minor in comparison to a defeat laid on the US Army some 85 years previous.

As settlers spread into the Northwest Territory (now Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan), the native inhabitants of the area resisted mightily. Attacks on settlers prompted action. A punitive expedition led by US Brigadier General Josiah Harmar was sent to deal with the Shawnee, Miami and Delaware in the Ohio country. They were soundly defeated by the Indians in October near modern Fort Wayne, Indiana.

President Washington was furious and charged Major General Arthur St. Clair, who was also Governor of the Northwest Territory, to do the job right. Congress agreed to finance the campaign and provided funds to raise a new regiment in the US Army for the purpose (doubling the standing army). St. Clair also called up the Kentucky Militia. The fall of 1891 saw St. Clair on the move. By the time he reached president day Fort Recovery, Ohio on November third, St. Clair's force numbered 52 officers and 868 enlisted men. He also had about 200 camp followers along.

He was opposed by Indians under the leadership of Blue Jacket of the Shawnee, Little Turtle of the Miami and Buckongahelas of the Delaware. The Indian force numbered around 1,100. The Indians attacked at dawn on November Fourth.

The casualty rate was the highest ever suffered by a United States Army. Of the 52 officers engaged, 39 were killed and 7 wounded (an 88% casualty rate).In less than two hours the battle became a rout. "It was, in fact, a flight," St. Clair described a few days later in a letter to the Secretary of War. The American casualty rate, among the soldiers, was 97.4 percent, including 632 of 920 killed (69%), and 264 wounded. Nearly all of the 200 camp followers were slaughtered, for a total of 832 Americans killed. Approximately one-fourth of the entire standing United States Army had been wiped out. Only 24 of the 920 troops engaged came out of it unscathed. Indian casualties were around 61, of which about 21 were killed.

St. Clair traveled to Philadelphia to report on the battle. He blamed the quartermaster as well as the War Department for not providing adequate supplies or soldiers for the task. St. Clair asked for a Court Martial to exonerate him from the defeat, but Washington instead demanded his immediate resignation.

The aftermath of the battle resonates today. Congress began its own investigation into the defeat (someone must be blamed!). These were the first ever Congressional Hearings on the actions of the Executive Branch. As part of the proceedings, the House committee in charge of the investigation asked for documents from the War Department. Secretary of War Knox sought the advise of the President. Washington summoned a meeting of all of his department heads (Knox, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, and Attorney General Edmund Randolph). This was one of the first meetings of these officials, and some scholars consider this the beginning of the Cabinet. This group decided the documents were protected under Executive Privilege. They claimed the documents in question should be kept secret for the public's good. This doctrine continues to divide us today as practiced by all subsequent Presidents including Reagan, Bush and especially Clinton.

In 1794 another army, this time led by General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, defeated the Indians of the Northwest Territory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The Indians ceded much of their land at the Treaty of Greenville. For the most part the Indian Wars were over in Ohio.

At least one bright war chief of the Shawnee recognized the tenacity and power of the US Army. He had participated in Harmer and St. Clair's defeats as well as the loss at Fallen Timbers. This young Indian knew all the Native Americans would have to band together to drive the white man back across the mountains. He began traveling among all the tribes of the Eastern US to form alliances. His name was Tecumseh and he will be the subject of another post.

July 17, 2017

Our sails hang limp in the doldrums

Here we are, staring at the blinking cursor on a bright and sunny Monday morning.

Perhaps more coffee will help move things along.  Hold on a minute or two.

I'm back. Still boring you though. I had a great weekend. You don't need or desire the details.

Today's blog is a waste of time for both of us. Perhaps inspiration will strike later. I want to do some research on the Mexican War and the battle of Buena Vista. Perhaps I will bore you with those details in a future installment. Perhaps not.  Actual work needs doing first and foremost.

July 15, 2017

Almost like finding Nemo, only different

1,219 years ago I started a new job in  a new town. We had to sell our house, pack our crap and move. The company paid for the move. While the wife managed the logistics, all while wrangling a three-year old and an infant, I lived out of a hotel in the new place. A couple of weeks after I was hired, another new employee joined the company. He too moved into the hotel while his family made the move. We were about the same age, had similar interests, and were stuck in a small town with little to do for a few months waiting on our families to arrive. We ate dinner and lunch together most days. We had an occasional beer or six. He was my work friend for the eight years I worked at that company. As is usually the case, over time we lost touch as our career paths diverged.

Imagine my surprise to discover my old pal during a routine prospecting stop yesterday. I asked the receptionist if I could drop off some literature and the name of the widget buyer so I could make an appointment. When she said the name, I knew it had to be my old colleague: the plant was not far from where he lived and the name not that common. I asked the receptionist to ask if the buyer would have a few minutes for Joe Hoosierboy. He did. It was him. We spent a good half hour reminiscing.

Unfortunately, he is not the buyer for widgets, but he promised to give my propaganda to the right individual. Networking, it is how stuff gets done. It was great to see my old friend again.  I hope I get some business so I can talk with him some more.

July 14, 2017

It wasn't Jimmah, he gave away territory

I have always maintained that education is a lifelong process. I try to learn something new every day.yesterday I was astonished learn American history stuff I did not know.

Here is a little quiz for you. Don't cheat, don't t look up the answer. Just go by your instincts or what you thought you learned in school.  Which President added the most territory to the United States?  I give you a hint: it wasn't the Gasden Purchase.  Put your answer in the comments. You are under an honor system. Do not look up the answer.*

It is Friday at last. I have a few travels this morning, but I will be home by early afternoon.

How about a little class in our Friday music? I have posted this one before. It is my favorite from the Chairman:


Have a good Friday

*yes I know that I have likely given it away that what you thought was the answer is not the correct answer. Play along any way. Humor me if nothing else.

July 12, 2017

Shining City on a Hill, Indeed

Now I fully understand why Trump was elected. The liberal outcry over his Warsaw speech leaves me scratching my head.

I suppose it makes me a xenophobic, nationalist, tribal, ignorant redneck to actually believe that America is the greatest nation on the face of the Earth and the penultimate result of Western Civilization and The Enlightenment.  I, for one, do not think it a coincidence that nearly every major power has adopted the free, capitalist, representative government as framed by our Founders -- or at least a facsimile. There are few successful true kingdoms or dictatorships in the world. Again, which Communist dictatorship has made life better for its citizens? Anarchy works where?

For those of you offended by the President's speech, what is wrong with an America-first speech from the Chief Executive of America? Would you expect he CEO of FedEx to tout UPS or DHL? Do you think the Walton family should praise Amazon? I would be more than a little suspicious of a PepsiCo employee who was pushing the Coke brand. Why should I listen to an American who sees a moral equivalent in Cuba, China, or North Korea? How can I take you seriously when you wear a pussy hat but have no issue with the treatment of women in Iran or Saudi Arabia?

I have dismissed commentators who said that a large segment of the country hated America. I see I was wrong. There are many on the left who despise everything the country stands for. There is no other conclusion when so many are outraged that the President invoked god and country in an international speech.

I am certain the Constitution is closest to the most perfect form of government yet designed by man. I defy you to find one better. I have no issue with a President who believes it too.

Fitting end

I suppose I am not really surprised that the game-winning home run in last night's All Star game was surrendered by the lone Chicago Cub on the roster.
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