The Gross National Debt

Monday, June 18, 2018

Nothing more than human trash

You probably got the wrong idea when you read the headline above.

I do not mean that some people are trash (well, I don't mean that in this column ... yet). What I mean is some people are simply treated like they are nothing more than a bag of garbage.

This happens all over the place.

Back when Hurricane Katrina whomped the Southeast, Florida evacuees came north. Many stopped over the Turner County.

One family (OK, now is when I refer to people as trash) dropped an elderly lady at the nursing home in town and left. Just drove away.

When she died, all the contact information the "family" left was no good. This woman was treated like a sack of garbage (what I originally meant in the headline). Set it beside the road, it gets picked up and vanishes.

I just can't imagine that.

I should not be surprised. We live in a world where people are disposable commodities. This is nothing new. It is as old as humanity.

I am disappointed.

In this week's newspaper, you can read the story of a Hispanic man who drowned in a pond here. Who was he? No one here is entirely sure. Two names were found, each with a different date of birth.

Family? May have a father still alive. May have a sister alive in Florida.

Whoever this man was, he died with no identification in his pockets or in the vehicle he used to drive here.

If no one claims the body in a few days, he'll be buried in one of our cemeteries.

So sad.

Friday, June 15, 2018

About Jeff Sessions comment on Romans 13

Blog sort of by request. 

I was asked to offer the facts around a recent comment by US AG Jeff Sessions.

"I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.

He is right. To a point. He does not complete the thought.

"Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." Romans 13:10

Likewise, when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a far country for your name's sake (for they shall hear of your great name and your mighty hand, and of your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, hear in heaven your dwelling place and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to you, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and that they may know that this house that I have built is called by your name. 1 Kings


Christians are to obey the government unless there is a direct contradiction between God's Word and man's law. If there is a contradiction, Christians must refuse to obey, even if it means their death. Christians may not fight against government punishment unless specifically ordered by God. Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego. Despite being innocent, Jesus gave himself over the government authorities, as have so many martyrs, because:

• The government ordered it.

• They refused to break God's law and thus were subject to man's law for that refusal.

Sessions is correct in what he says. According to the Bible, all government is ordained by God. Some people argue against this. Witness the ancient Jewish people subjugated by the Egyptians and made slaves with no rights, not even a right to life. Later in the Old Testament, the Jewish people were conquered by other peoples because they turned away from God. Witness in the New Testament, the conquering of the Holy Land by Roman invaders.

So. When Sessions says the above, he is correct. God gave government the power to do this. We are to obey.

Is this right? I say no. Is it fair? Again, I say no. Under the Bible is he correct? Yes. Does anyone have to like this? No. Does government have to be fair or right by my definition under the Bible? No.


The passages people quote against Sessions - saying the Bible tells us we should care for the widows, the orphans and the poor is also correct. However, this is instructions for people, NOT the government. Nowhere in the New Testament is the government ordered to do anything. The OT does sometimes. Exodus 12:49 There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you. This is also qualified in other places in the Bible, see below.

The passages about accepting the foreigners into your midst, which the objectors also quote is also accurate, but not complete. 

These sections of the Bible also say the foreigner who comes to you must be accepted AND must assimilate into your culture. Also, this is a directive to people, not to government in the New Testament. In the OT it can be either or both.

Ezekiel 44:7: In addition to all your other detestable practices, you brought foreigners uncircumcised in heart and flesh into my sanctuary, desecrating my temple while you offered me food, fat and blood, and you broke my covenant.

Deuteronomy 18:9-14: 9 “When you enter the land that the Lord your God is about to give you, don’t learn the detestable practices of those nations there.10 There must never be found among you anyone who sacrifices[a] his son or daughter in fire, practices divination, interprets omens, practices sorcery, 11 casts spells, or who is a medium, an occultist, or a necromancer. 12 Whoever practices these things is detestable to the Lord, and the Lord your God will expel them before you because of these things. 13 You must be completely faithful to the Lord your God, 14 because those nations that you are about to dispossess listen to those who practice witchcraft and divination. But the Lord does not allow you to act this way.”

If the foreigner does not assimilate, he must still be treated fairly, but that is all.

“A foreigner residing among you who wants to celebrate the Lord’s Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat it. The same law applies both to the native-born and to the foreigner residing among you.” Exodus 12.


In the Old Testament, God warned the Israelites what would happen if they got a man-directed government. God said if the people truly wanted a man-made government, then He would ONLY step in to take action against the government in very exceptional circumstances. He said it would not be pleasant. See the books of Judges and Chronicles for examples.

1 Samuel 8: He (Samuel) said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” (empahsis mine)

Above, I tell you "Christians may not fight against government punishment unless specifically ordered by God." However, our form of government allows and encourages protests against government. There is no contradiction with God's word here.

We may protest. We may argue. This is legal under our secular laws. However, we must always respect that same government, including the current president, says God.


Legislative bodies may be opened with prayer.

Nothing in the Constitution specifically calls for a separation of church and state. People misunderstand 1A. It only says Congress cannot establish a state religion. This is not separation. Religion, per Supreme Court decisions, may be a part of government. See decisions regarding prayer in schools, teaching the Bible as a religious matter in public schools 

And actually, a sizeable part of the law in the United States is based on Biblical principles, which are based on the Code of Hammurabi. Hammurabi is an excellent read.

As for Sessions quoting the Bible, anyone can quote the Bible. Doesn't make 'em right, wrong, informed or ignorant. Albeit any time a politician quotes the Bible I see that person as both ignorant and stupid.

1 John 3:17 ESV: "But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?"

In short, Sessions is correctly quoting the direct word of the Bible as a member of the government. As an individual, he is contravening the spirit of the Word of God. In this case, he is anot NOT acting as a Christian either personally or as a government official.

One more thing -

Individuals are to take in the foreigners IF they assimilate. If government says this is wrong, individuals must continue to do this, under God's word. If we are caught, then we are subject to punishment under Man's law.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

A refusal to understand

Understand this, no Christian walking this earth today is perfect. We want to be better than we are. We are trying to do better. We are going to fail. However, God will not hold our failures against us. What man may hold against us is another matter.

I am not an expert on religion. What follows is what I believe as well as some empirical facts. YMMV.

In the wake of the Masterpiece Cake decision, experts on "Christianity" are coming out of the ether telling the rest of the world that the Bible says "We should stone divorced people, we shouldn't get tattoos, don't eat owls, don't kill a burglar during the day, if your brother dies, marry his wife. But we don't do these things anymore. For. A. Reason!"

Yes, Christians have a reason too, one which statements like the above choose to ignore. Such statements as above are made through ignorance (curable) or a refusal to understand (incurable).

Our reason is:


Yeah. Christians don't should not do that stuff anymore for a reason. S'called Grace.

Grace is God's unmerited favor upon His children. You did not do anything to earn it. You cannot pay it back. You cannot do anything to earn it. It's free. It is life changing.


The proof of the life-changing effect of a religious faith is all around.


Before I tell you what happened, I can tell you one reason why. I cannot tell you the whole reasoning behind it. No human can. We're dealing with an entity whose ability to reason is above ours. As soon as someone explains calculus to a dog so that the dog understands and can do the equations, someone will be able to explain God to a human.

So what happened? Love. Grace. Grace in the form of a bi-natured human who died and rose again, delivering the world from the consequences of sin. That is the ultimate expression of love - that one man should be willing to die for another.

Why did it happen? That's easy. Love.

What did it do? Again, easy. Love.


Christians are not bound to the Laws of the Old Testament. Under the New Testament, which is ignored by people who refuse to try to understand when criticizing Christians, we can eat an owl. In case you wonder, yeah, I'd try it.

We can do anything. CAN - this is the ability to do so. It does not mean we SHOULD do it.

In this respect, the Law of the Old Testament is almost identical to the law of man.

You can murder someone under the law of man. Yes, you can. People do it every day. If the law was an effective block against murder, it would not happen. Yet, murder happens. You should not murder anyone. If you do and get caught, you are subject to man's penalties. The Bible, in the red letters if you have that version, even says man may be prosecuted and punished under man's law. Yes. It. Does.

Under the Law of the Old Testament, a punishment was prescribed. Under Grace, the Law of the Old Testament still exists. It was never set aside. Rather, the Law of the Old Testament was fulfilled by giving mankind the last sacrifice ever needed for the expiation of sin.

In other words, the prison sentence under God's Law was already served. The prison sentence under man's law is a different matter. Man's law says criminals have a debt to society - that is prison time, fine, community service, etc. God's law says sin has a debt to a fellow human and God - that debt was also spelled out in the Old Testament. Again, that debt is now paid in full, forever.

This is not a license to go out and commit murder any more than serving time for a murder and being released is a license to out and commit another murder.


Yeah. This is confusing. I don't understand it completely. I believe no one walking around today does.

Yassee, I don't have to understand. You don't have to understand. Just accept.

Someone is going to call this stupid and ridiculous. Most of these people, not all, also support a bigger government. Yet, they do not understand everything government does, how or why. No one person can possibly understand all of it. Yet, they accept it while demanding more. I certainly do not understand that.

No difference.

A few people who call for no government at all also don't understand and more importantly won't understand.

Not much difference.

A few people call for much less government, a government that can be understood.

A somewhat bigger difference.


This "what Christians can't do" all comes down to one thing - love.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A deeper look at the SCOTUS cake decision

In typical SCOTUS fashion, the justices waffled. The majority decision by Justice Kennedy states in part: "One of the difficulties in this case is that the parties disagree as to the extent of the baker’s refusal to provide service. If a baker refused to design a special cake with words or images celebrating the marriage—for instance, a cake showing words with religious meaning—that might be different from a refusal to sell any cake at all. In defining whether a baker’s creation can be protected, these details might make a difference."

The word "might" appears twice. As SCOTUS decisions are parsed down to the kerning, focusing on the word "might" as mentioned twice in the same paragraph is significant.

The next 'graph adds to the consternating confusion. 

In short, SCOTUS did not rule on the First Amendment Freedom of Speech issues in this case. All it did was say the Colorado Commission was hostile toward religion and so the decision was invalidated. Other Commission cases presented as evidence and actual commissioners' testimony during their hearing clearly back this up.


Justice Kennedy says the right to religion is not absolute. Duh. Human sacrifice is not allowed. More pertinently, "The Court’s precedents make clear that the baker, in his capacity as the owner of a business serving the public, might have his right to the free exercise of religion limited by generally applicable laws."

In other words, your freedom of and from religion can be stopped by government, according to the court. Some past examples:

A church rents out its social hall to the public. By setting precedent, the church has to rent it to anyone who meets the rental agreement. Renting property is subject to anti-discrimination laws.


The majority decision is packed with references and past SCOTUS cases that say a business must serve the public. "Nevertheless, while those religious and philosophical objections are protected, it is a general rule that such objections do not allow business owners and other actors in the economy and in society to deny protected persons equal access to goods and services under a neutral and generally applicable public accommodations law."

I have a fundamental objection here. Government should not have the ability to force a business to serve anyone. If a business refuses to serve any customer for whatever reason, that is the business owner's right. If people do not like it, they should take their money elsewhere. If the denial of service is egregious enough, then society forces should force a change, not government. In other words, boycott the business and encourage others to do so. Put enough economic and social pressure on the business to either force a change or drive it out of business.

SCOTUS admits that preachers cannot be forced to perform religious ceremonies that go against their beliefs. However, the religious belief exemption should have limits, the High Court said, "Yet if that exception were not confined, then a long list of persons who provide goods and services for marriages and weddings might refuse to do so for gay persons, thus resulting in a community-wide stigma inconsistent with the history and dynamics of civil rights laws that ensure equal access to goods, services, and public accommodations."


Too many people believe 1A only covers what someone says. I have seen people who believe the written word is not subject to free speech nor copyright. In fact, freedom of and from speech applies to the written word, spoken word, sign language, images, dance, architectural renderings and so on. A good way to know if it is free speech is to look at copyright. Can you copyright it? If so, it is almost guaranteed to be free speech. May be an exception to this rule; I cannot find one. 


"I join the Court’s opinion in full because I believe the Colorado Civil Rights Commission did not satisfy that obligation. I write separately to elaborate on one of the bases for the Court’s holding." "I accordingly concur."

Kagan's opinion, joined by Breyer, runs back to three other cake cases brought to the Colorado Commission. Bakers refused to make cakes demeaning of same gender marriage. She says that was appropriate because the bakeries would refuse to bake a cake demeaning anyone. She does not supply proof that the other bakeries would deny demeaning cakes. The dissent does provide that proof.

Suppose she is right. If so, that is equal treatment under the law. It is also discrimination, which is illegal under Colorado law. Or is it? An opinion may be changed. Colorado law and federal says everyone must be treated equally under the law irrespective of things they cannot change like sexual orientation, race, handicap and gender. Discrimination based on a customer's opinion or other matters which can be changed (pull your damn pants up) is allowed.

Some people believe a gender can be changed. Some see race as equally malleable. If so, discrimination based on gender and race must also be allowed.

Let's make this more clear. This is a legal matter. The High Court specifically did NOT use the word gender. It used the word sex. As this is a legal matter, we MUST stand on the words used. 

In the opinion, Kagan wrote: "As this Court has long held, and reaffirms today, a vendor cannot escape a public accommodations law because his religion disapproves selling a product to a group of customers, whether defined by sexual orientation, race, sex, or other protected trait."

That being said, and leaning on other court decisions, sex can be changed. If it can be changed, it may be discriminated against, or we have a contradiction in the law.


Kagan also sees this as not a 1A speech issue. "It was simply a wedding cake—one that (like other standard wedding cakes) is suitable for use at same-sex and opposite-sex weddings alike." The cake baker said he was being called on to create a special, unique cake for the event that required him to use his developed decorating skills.

I wonder if the couple would have accepted a plain sheet cake with plain icing and no decoration.

Other judges also wrote separate opinions splitting legal hares and hairs. Not going into them.

Much was made of the 7-2 decision with some calling it narrow. The decision was narrow in scope, but not in the justice's view of what happened.


Ginsberg and Sotomayor were the standouts. Ginsberg's opinion leans heavily on the refusal to sell the cake. She pretty much dismisses the overt hostility as displayed by the Colorado Commissioners as irrelevant, even though one compared the baker's religious views to views on slavery and the Holocaust. She says "nor do the comments by one or two members of one of the four decision making entities considering this case justify reversing the judgment below."

The Colorado Commission is an appointed body of 7 people. It does not have the power to fine anyone it finds guilty of a violation.

Ginsberg: "Whatever one may think of the statements in historical context, I see no reason why the comments of one or two Commissioners should be taken to overcome Phillips’ refusal to sell a wedding cake to Craig and Mullins. The proceedings involved several layers of independent decisionmaking, of which the Commission was but one."

Except the binding decision was made by the Commission. Courts were later asked to rule if the decision was legal or not.

Judge not lest ye be corrected

The Supreme Court decision on baking a cake is not the victory so many on the right thought at first glance.

Nor was it a "narrow" victory as so many on the left were screaming.

The 7-2 SCOTUS decision said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was overtly "hostile" to religion in making its decision. Left unresolved are the issues of free speech, how far a government may go in ordering an individual to do something and, yet, how far freedom of and from religion must be considered.


This is all too typical of SCOTUS decisions - sowing confusion by handing down a ruling that does not fully address the issue. At the same time, SCOTUS is vilified by the right AND the left for handing down these decisions. What direction the hate goes depends on the ruling. Both sides complain judges legislate from the bench and both sides complain judges do not go far enough in their rulings. But that's a rant for another day and one I've covered in the past.


Anyway, the FB discussion took a religious bent as it is wont to do under the circumstances. Those with a religious faith and those with no religious faith weighed in. In other words, WWJD. I posted WWKD (What Would Kali Do) because I think it's funny and I hope Shanny will stumble across this and reconnect with me).

In this particular thread, the atheist side wins.

Me bud Phil — I (sarcastically) said Jesus would be proud, meaning of his followers, not of himself. Jesus seems a decent fellow with lots of love in his heart. It's his followers who clearly hate "sinners". Jesus said to love thy neighbor, and his followers gave him the finger. His dad said judge not, and those same followers flipped him off, too.

Please understand that I use quotation marks because I think it is preposterous that anyone is a sinner or an abomination because of the way the good Lord made them. —


A lot of the "christians" out there say God does not make mistakes. These same people of faith are quick to attack that which the Lord hath made for being different. Why? In case you don't wonder, the same First Amendment SCOTUS references also gives you the right to shut up. All of us need to apply this part of 1A more frequently.


If God made it, then surely that is the way God wanted it. If God made it, is it perfect in His eyes? Christians will say so. If that is the case, who are you as a follower of the man we call the Christ to criticize the work of the Almighty?

The Jesus of the Bible criticized the religious leaders of the day for their choices. He told the people of a better way. He showed them a better way. He did not attack non-leaders. He never attacked anyone for the way God made them. What gives you, as a Christian, the right to do that? Show me where you have that right. Jump in any time with proof. Meantime, chew on this.

"Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things -– he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies."

Someone will say the Old Testament condemns homosexuality. Sure does. The New Testament also placed the laws of the Old Testament to the side, sometimes eliminating old laws completely.

Regardless, me bud Phil continues to be correct. Jesus never condemned anyone for the way God made 'em. Nor should Christians. 

If you are a Christian and you feel you have the right to condemn someone for the way God made 'em, please permanently excuse yourself from my life. I have no interest in ever having anything to do with you because of the choices you made. God made you. What you do with that is a decision you make and a decision that may, under the tenets of the Bible, be judged.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Hire me or else!

Color me amused.

First, a story about a young'un I do not know. Shag knows. Shag taught him. Said young'un was in high school with PCV couplings in his earlobes.

Shag asked this person what he intended to do about getting a job with holes in his ears big enough to hold military recoilless rounds.

"They will just have to hire me," the about to be new grad stated in the cocksure confidence of people his age.

They didn't.

Some time later, this unemployed and apt to stay that way unless he changed intrepid defier of convention (insert hyphens as you see fit, I ran out last week) tried to join the military. He had to have surgery to close the holes in his ears. He changed. The business community and the military did not.

Nonetheless, I salute his rebellious attitude. I might have done the same were I in high school today. As to what I did in high school, never you mind until my book comes out and even then I ain't telling everything.


Jump f'ard to Thursday this week and the job fair coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce. More'n 200 people showed up.

By my count, which may be low, two people showed up with resumes. One person stole my pen, just the same as you and I have stolen pens without thinking about it. Some showed up in work clothes, which is not a problem.

I did not bother to count the number of people who showed up to have a job interview with:

• Children in tow. I understand finding someone to ride herd on young'uns can be hard. But if you show up to the interview, then employers are gonna wonder if you can find someone to tend said child while you are supposed to be on the job. Still, this one is more understandable than what follows.

• Wearing house slippers. Eh, what? I'da took pictures, but I also knew I was going to write this blog and access to those pictures could get me in more trouble than I presently want to deal with.

• Wearing shorts and too-short shirts. Hah? I do not believe anyone in the interview room was looking to hire strippers of either gender. I could be wrong.

• A cell phone in hand, using said phone while other people tried to tell the person what forms to fill out and where to step next for more information. Yup.

• Wearing clothes that shouted "I do not want to be here, but this is a good place to have my 'looking for employment' box ticked on my unemployment form and my government aid forms." Not everyone has a suit, but you can have a tucked-in shirt and pull your pants up properly.

• Showing without a bra, a barely long enough shirt and sizeable mammary glands. One of the three can't be helped. You pick.

Me bud Greg regularly chastizes me for what he says is a cruel attitude toward people. Greg works in the nonprofit arena, helping people by giving them a hand up. I support that. What I do not support is a hand out just because the person feels entitled. I find it very hard to take people seriously when they refuse to take themselves seriously.

I'd say a good 30-40 percent of the people who turned up for the job fair fit into the above bullet point descriptions in some manner. I'd offer more exposition, but without video or plenty of still pictures to back it up, I'm gonna pass. Just not interested in the side fight which would erupt.

As always, yer mileage may vary.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Living the write life

Typos are the bane of my existence.  Even worse, getting the wrong ID under pictures. As happened in the grad magazine this week. (sigh).

Legendary outdoor writer Charlie Elliott said his last act on this world would be to crawl over to a typewriter to write something and hit the wrong key.

Seems like no matter how much, how hard and how often I edit something, STILL GONNA BE AN ERROR IN IT.

My latest book
Available May 25, 2018

has gone through multiple edits, multiple spelling and grammar checks and STILL I find typos.

Not that I am unique. Far from it. One of the most famous errors ever -

Of the 12 or so books I have fully authored ... yeah, typos. Of the... probably more than 100 at this point... I have contributed to, OH YEAH typos galore.

Of the books I have produced for other people, one or two typos here & there. I suspect those books were edited even more than mine. Have to be, in fact. A book I'm currently assembling for another author has gone through multiple edits on the galleys (a galley is a pre-press copy). I still have to run a spell check on it.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Bullet RPMs and barrel life

Stealeded this from a discussion on FB. Fascinated for those of us who shoot. If you do not shoot, this is incredibly boring.

The final statement by John is a mind-blower.

Expected barrel life, 3 shots.

BILL: Worthless Info # 3,225! 

Has anyone ever wondered what the RPM of your bullets are coming out of you 45/70’s for example???

405 gr slug for example:

Well, let’s figure a 1 in 20 twist rate. 

That means for every 12” of barrel your Bullet twists .6 revolutions. 

. 6 x 1,600 feet per second = 960revolutions per SECOND. 

960 x 60 seconds = 55,296 RPM!!!!

That, my friends, is SMOKIN for that size slug. 

Now imagine a 3k FPS round with a 1/10 twist rate????!! Wow

GARY: Of course the bullet is only in the bbl a very short time, not minutes and as soon as it leaves the bbl it slows down, all are aware of that.

SAM: The spinning won’t slow down as fast as the forward speed. When Hatcher did his experiments of shooting bullets straight up in the air they returned base first.

MICHAEL: Also, watch this video on shooting at ice to stop the forward movement of the bullet, but it does very little to slow the rotational velocity. It sits and spins like a top for over a minute. If it takes this long with direct contact with a solid to lose its rotational velocity, the short flight time of a bullet only contacting a gas has essentially no effect.

JOHN: Interesting, Next time someone asks you "What's the life of this barrel?" Instead of telling them something like 10,000 rounds tell them the life of the barrel is "about 7.5 seconds." After all, a round going 2,000 ft/sec only spends .00075 seconds traveling through the barrel so 10,000 rounds would only add up to 7.5 secs. Puts things into perspective doesn't it?

Monday, May 7, 2018

Purple fingers

For the past 2-3 years around this time of year, I've enjoyed a special treat every time I pull into the driveway.

A volunteer mulberry tree sprouted years ago just at the corner of the gate. It took a few years, but now it is full of fruit. Depending on the weather the fruit ranges from dry and tasteless to almost bursting with juice and tasteless.

Mulberry trees need just the right amount of water and some heat to produce sweet fruit.

This year is a good one after a watery start.

Each time I come into the drive, I stop under the tree and pluck fruit with my left hand. My thumb and first two fingers are well-stained purple. Mulberry juice doesn't wash off easily It's with me all day long. When I get home, pick more fruit and renew the stains.

The berries have a short stem, which I either bite off and spit out or happily chew with the rest of the fruit.

Every day I pull in and ripe berries wait. I pull and eat all I can reach from the seat of my truck. Next day, more berries!

This year Kittie comes out to where I stop and sits waiting for me to pull around and park so we can have a short conversation and she can have her head rubbed.

The irony is the yard also has an apple tree, a fig tree and a peach tree. Intentionally planted, all three.

We've got a few apples, small but good and a few small and fair peaches. No figs. These three trees are several years older than the mulberry, but the mulberry has eclipsed them all in growth and fruit production. It's also growing up through asphalt instead of the soil in the yard.

I'm reminded of several things as I munch mulberries.

An election in a Middle Eastern country some years ago saw people all around the world vote. After voting, the voters dipped a finger in a purple dye that lasted several days. I'm voting every day for my mulberry tree!

Jesus cursed the tree that would not produce fruit. I soon plan to have a couple of goats run in the yard to trim the various grasses, weeds and vines since I cannot find anyone to mow my yard. I expect the goats to do a number on the apple, fig and peach tree.

This in turn reminds me of a big pear tree where I grew up. It never did anything much except produce leaves. One day, Dad tore half of it down with a bulldozer. The next season, the tree limbs broke under the weight of fruit.

Yeah. I never know where my mind is headed next either.

Anyway, maybe these three trees need some encouragement. Maybe they need some strife. Maybe they need a little hardship so their true natures will really come out. The goats should accomplish that.

Meantime, the mulberry tree is too tall to be really harmed by the goats. They may snag a few low lying limbs and leaves with the berries, but most of the tree is now out of reach for anyone without a ladder.

And I will continue to enjoy my mulberries and purple fingers for a bit longer.

Unlike the grapes that used to be at the front of the house, no one wants the mulberries. Well, no one but me and a pair of doves.

No deeper meaning in this one, folks. Just a man enjoying the fruits of a tree he never planted and never expected.

Which may be a deeper meaning after all.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Coming soon

The sound of splodey heads.

All your favorites and ALL NEW material too.

Will be available in print format and e-Book.

Pre-order print edition now for $4. Message me.

E-version will be less expensive, but you don't get an autograph.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Slip sliding away

Some people just don't get it. They refuse to see what is happening.

Rose-colored glasses must be marvelous things. Of course, they can't hold a candle to the Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses.

Anyway, take off your reality-perception-altering shades and get a dose of realism right here. 

Gun control is already on a slippery slope with an increasing pitch and someone squirting grease on the track ahead. Don't believe me? Let's take a walk through time and see how far this slippery slope has carried us.

Here's ya proof.

In the 1700s, if you wanted to make a gun, you did it. It did involve a lot of work under a gunsmith to learn the trade. Government regulation was scant. Government orders for guns were common.

Government still stepped in with confiscation efforts. 

"As British troops sailed to Boston in 1768, the Boston Gazette reported that the ministry commanded things 'more grievous to the people, than any thing hitherto made known'" the first of which was 'that the inhabitants of this Province are to be disarmed.' By 1774, the British were routinely conducting warrantless searches and seizures of firearms in the Boston area, leading the Gazette to exclaim that 'what most irritated the people next to seizing their arms and ammunition' was the arrest of patriot political leaders. King George III ordered the seizure of any firearms imported into the colonies.

"This Article reviews the British gun control program that precipitated the American Revolution: the 1774 import ban on firearms and gunpowder; the 1774-75 confiscations of firearms and gunpowder; and the use of violence to effectuate the confiscations. It was these events that changed a situation of political tension into a shooting war. Each of these British abuses provides insights into the scope of the modern Second Amendment."

So der yaggo. This nation created a revolution in part because the government was taking away the guns.


The first draft of the Constitution did not refer to guns. It was added, in the Bill of Rights, because some forward-thinking Founding Fathers said "Hey. We better codify this, even though it should go without saying."

"The Bill of Rights is a list of limits on government power. For example, what the Founders saw as the natural right of individuals to speak and worship freely was protected by the First Amendment’s prohibitions on Congress from making laws establishing a religion or abridging freedom of speech. For another example, the natural right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion in one’s home was safeguarded by the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirements."


Guns were sold and manufactured back then without any permitting or processing requirements for the most part. Some gun makers did have permission from the governments at the time; more of a blessing than permission kind of thing. If you can find evidence to the contrary, please let me know and I will update this.

In one respect a government order for guns could be considered a license to make guns. But the true business license is a more modern convention. Now, if you want to produce anything commercially you must have a license.

"In the late 1930s, the Court repudiated Lochner, thereby rejecting its prior understanding of liberty and ushering in a more active regulatory state." Lochner is a term for the economic age where business was not subject to the amount of government regulation now in place.


The first federal law, not the Constitution, but legislation of the modern firearm era, was in 1934. The NFA - National Firearms Act - was created by Congress.

Until this point, full auto firearms and many more weapons were legal for purchase if you had the money. With the 1934 NFA, a $200 tax stamp was imposed. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) was in charge of the tax stamp which also amounted to a permit and background check since the BATF could deny the application. This act also put licensing requirements on people who made NFA-eligible firearms and accessories. It also created a national gun registry, something not heard of since Colonial times. 


In 1938, the Federal Firearms Act required licenses for firearm dealers.


Lee Harvey Oswald, famed killer of JFK, bought a gun mail-order in the 1960s. After the assassination, the law was changed. Mail order firearms were not allowed anymore.  With this came background checks, more licenses and regulation. "Under federal law, any interstate firearms sale -- whether the seller is a licensed dealer or private individual -- must be concluded by a licensed dealer with a background check through the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System."


The NFA was amended, changed, modified, added, whatever in 1968. "…1968, the first year the federal government set age limits for gun purchases. Before then, regulation for non-machine guns was mostly left to states. It’s not clear whether states had formal age restrictions for guns, but gun access in some states may have followed the 'age of majority,' i.e. the age at which you were considered a legal adult."

"First, the requirement for possessors of unregistered firearms to register was removed. Indeed, under the amended law, there is no mechanism for a possessor to register an unregistered NFA firearm already possessed by the person."

This was the second time the feds created a background check. "House Resolution 17735, known as the Gun Control Act, was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 22, 1968, banning mail order sales of rifles and shotguns and prohibiting most felons, drug users and people found mentally incompetent from buying guns."

1968 is also the start of universal serial numbers on guns.  Before this, guns could have serial numbers, but it was not required. I have a Trapdoor Springfield made in 1878 that has a serial number. I have a single-shot .22 carbine made in the early 1960s without a serial number. The difference? The Springfield was government order rifle. Gummint needs tracking numbers. The SS .22 was made for the civilian market.

Which one is more lethal? Both will drop any animal native to North America in its tracks with one shot. I killed a 1500 pound animal with a .22 firing .22 shorts. A .22 short is the most anemic powder-fired round available.


The NFA was again amended in 1986, the Firearm Owners Protection Act (the title is proof government lies). "The Act also amended the GCA to prohibit the transfer or possession of machine guns. Exceptions were made for transfers of machine guns to, or possession of machine guns by, government agencies, and those lawfully possessed before the effective date of the prohibition, May 19, 1986." This effectively banned the production of FA firearms except for government use.

Ronald Reagan, the liberal president, lobbied for and signed the 1986 legislation. "The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement."


Bush I approved a law banning the import of certain kinds of guns in 1989. "The Bush Administration declared a permanent ban today on almost all foreign-made semiautomatic assault rifles. Imports of the weapons have been suspended since spring."


What we now know as the "background check," the NICS, was started in 1998.

"The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is a United States system for determining if prospective firearms or explosives buyers' name and birth year match those of a person who is not eligible to buy. It was mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Law) of 1993 and launched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1998."


The 1994 The Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Act banned manufacture and import of some specific firearms and accessories. It did not outlaw ownership. The law did have a sunset provision. Attempts to resurrect this law have so far failed.

The 1994 act also moved someof guns into the Class III category.


It is very questionable if the Tiahrt Amendment is pro or anti-gun. "The Tiahrt Amendment, proposed by Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), prohibited the ATF from publicly releasing data showing where criminals purchased their firearms and stipulated that only law enforcement officers or prosecutors could access such information."

The reason I say questionable is because once this information is requested, it eventually becomes part of the public record of a criminal investigation.


No question the Protection of Lawful Commerce act is pro-gun. Gun manufacturers cannot be sued in federal or state civil court by victims of gun violence. 

Now liberal heads will go all splodey. "Since he launched his campaign, (Bernie) Sanders has taken flak from Clinton and other gun controllers for supporting the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which bans lawsuits based on 'the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products or ammunition products by others when the product functioned as designed and intended.'”

Also, that liberal bastion Obama expanded gun rights. "In fact, Obama signed only two major laws that address how guns are carried in America, and both actually expand the rights of gun owners."


The 2008 Heller decision at the Supreme Court was a smackdown on gun bans. The High Court narrowly ruled a Washington DC handgun ban was unConstitutional. "“The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment.”


In a case of one step forward and a major retreat, in 2014 Obama also blocked importing some guns from other countries. "Executive Order 13661, titled, 'Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine,' was signed March 16th in response to Russian actions in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine."


The current Liar in Chief has also put the STOMP! of approval on bans. "On June 20, 2017, the U.S. Treasury Department added Molot to its list of Ukraine-related sanctions 'for operating in the arms or related material sector of the Russian Federation and for acting or purporting to act for on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Kalashnikov Concern,' the Treasury Department said in a statement."


States and some cities have enacted their own bans.

"With minor exceptions, state law prohibits giving an assault weapon to anyone; distributing, transporting, or importing an assault weapon; or keeping, offering, or exposing any such weapon for sale. It also, with minor exceptions, prohibits possession of an assault weapon unless the owner lawfully possessed the weapon before the ban took effect and obtained a certificate of possession from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) for it (in effect, registered the weapon)."

"New York prohibits the manufacture, transportation, disposal and possession of any large capacity ammunition feeding device, which New York law defines as “a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that: 1) has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than ten rounds of ammunition; 2) contains more than seven rounds of ammunition; or 3) is obtained after January 15, 2013 and has a capacity of, or can be readily restored or converted to accept more than seven rounds of ammunition.”

Others are trying this too.


Moves to repeal the 2nd Amendment are also on the increase.


The truth is, gun rights are on a slippery slope. Anyone who says otherwise is ignoring the facts here.

Some will insist otherwise. "Nope. No slippery slope here. Nothing to see here citizen. Move along. Uncle Sam will tell you what you need to know and what you are allowed to have."

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Dueling experts and horrifying medicine

Will someone please present me with a comprehensive list of why civilians should not own firearms so I can address them at one time?

This is getting annoying.


The current reason that people should not have a firearm is mental instability.

Of all the … excuses given, this is the least rational, least plausible and most indefensible.

Certainly, some metal issues are obvious. For the past 21 years, I have lived with a human being with “limited” mental capacity. Jesse, my son, has Down Syndrome. He can read some words. He cannot drive. He has a hard time answering two-part questions or following a series of commands issued as one instruction.

He is also a hunter, knows more about guns, I bet you, than the average person. He has his own rifle (locked in a gun safe) and he’s made kills with it. We turned it into ground meat because hamburgers are his favorite meat. He also has a bow, thanks to some astonishingly awesome friends in Washington State, and was on the 4-H archery team in high school.



Who gets to decide if a person has mental issues that should prohibit them from owning gun?

Psychiatrists? These are the same people who vote, I do mean VOTE, on what constitutes a mental issue. Vote. 

"It (DSM-5) classifies psychiatric diagnoses and the criteria required to meet them. Gary Greenberg, one of the book's biggest critics, claims these disorders aren't real -- they're invented."

"The paper concludes that while the APA represented DSM-III, and the return to descriptive psychiatry it inaugurated, as a triumph of empirically based decision-making, the evidence presented here fails to support that view."

"Historically, many clinicians have been unaware that the DSM is more political than scientific, that there is little agreement among professionals regarding the meaning of vaguely defined terms, and that it includes only scant empirical data."

Where do these quotes come from? The authorities in the links just above.

S'far as the "empirical data" is concerned, psychologists and psychotherapists are some better than the shrinks. They at least rely on real world results.

As for the ability to prescribe medications, only shrinks get to do that. The record on shrink medications is extremely subject to the Decline Effect. "But the data presented at the Brussels meeting made it clear that something strange was happening: the therapeutic power of the drugs appeared to be steadily waning. A recent study showed an effect that was less than half of that documented in the first trials, in the early nineteen-nineties."

Doctors do not vote on whether or not someone has a broken leg. Doctors do not vote on whether or not the flu virus will make people sick.

You want people who vote on what a mental illness happens to be to decide? This same group once declared homosexuality to be a mental disorder.

A look at the history of shrinkology -

Mental illness? Get you some MORE history.

Some of these “illnesses” now horrify us. We are even more horrified by how these “patients” were treated. Yet, that was is mental health treatment.

I recommend you read The Great Psychiatry Scam. No doubt some of you are gonna “BS!” That and say this guy either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or has a axe to grind.  Dr. Colin A Ross is one of the current psychiatric greats on the planet.

Wherefore dost thou protest now?


Let’s make this more real. Why wasn’t Ted Bundy stopped before he killed more people? I guess enough people didn’t vote to stop him.

The Zodiac Killer. Jack the Ripper. Donald Henry Gaskins. Tsutomu Miyazaki. Luis Garavito.

OK, what about Charles Edmund Cullen? Lots more like him where he came from.


Aight. Forget the voting.

Look at the court cases where people are hauled in front of a judge for competency hearings.

BOTH sides bring expert witnesses, experts in the field of mental health who testify to the exact opposite. Who ya gonna believe?, expert witnesses are the champions of victims and the accused. Legal disputes are increasingly being decided by the battle of the experts who must undergo the ordeal of cross-examination. “

Here, lemme beat you to near death with reality - Expert Opinions Concerning Insanity”

In the case of State v. McGhee, 787 N.W.2d 700 (Neb. 2010), Eric McGhee appealed his convictions for first-degree murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony. He filed a petition for postconviction relief and based his appeal on ineffective assistance of counsel. Mr. McGhee's primary complaint was that his attorney did not acquire a third expert opinion regarding his competency to stand trial and his defense of legal insanity in the face of conflicting expert opinions. He contended that a third expert opinion was necessary to break the “stalemate” between the two opposing experts. The district court denied his appeal without an evidentiary hearing, and he then appealed to the Nebraska Supreme Court.”

Got money? Hire an expert to tell a judge and jury that the individual is/isnot mentally competent and hope the other side cannot match the fiscal resources needed to bring in expert witnesses. Then, let the unquestioned NON EXPERTS decide which expert is telling the truth?

And we come right back to voting again. Except now, you want people with no background in mental health to vote on whether or not someone is mentally competent to have a firearm.

Can I submit you to the same examination process to decide whether or not you are competent to do anything of my choosing?



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

I have tried, and I mean REALLY TRIED, to not write this one. But dammitall, someone must step in with correct information. (sigh)

A few reminders to start this one:

"No one is coming to take your guns."

"This is about protecting our kids."

"This is about stopping the killing."


Having shot down the top three arguments above, some in the gun grab crowd now say they only want to ban civilian ownership of military firearms.

They do not know what they are talking about. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I explain below.

Also, I am using the exact line of reasoning these people use when calling for gun bans. A major difference between me & them is I am using actual facts and reason to back up my points v. empty rhetoric and emotionally laden vitriol. (Well, most of the time anyway.)

In the interest of just hitting the major points, I will skip over a lot of things like swords, rapiers, man-catchers, advances in projectile tech and etc.


Mr. Peabody, fire up The Wayback Machine. We are visiting the 1100s and the most feared weapon ever created by that time, the crossbow.

"Not surprisingly, the highest European authority of the day, the Roman Catholic Church, called for an outright ban on the weapon. And the Vatican wasn’t messing around — violating its decree could lead to excommunication, or worse: damnation of the soul. Strong language, to be sure. In fact, for much of the Middle Ages, the crossbow was considered to be one of the most destabilizing weapons in existence, not unlike today’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons."

So, to ban military weapons, we must ban the crossbow.


Mr. Peabody! Take us forward good sir!

Smoothbore rifles, which are on the current banned list anyway in the US, except for muzzleloaders... Well, even the muzzleloaders must be banned.

Loading a muzzleloader - . And that is for 1 shot.

"European military doctrine of the time called for the use of smoothbore muskets as the primary martial firearm.  Although less accurate than rifled arms, the smoothbore allowed for faster reloading, since a lead ball slightly smaller than bore diameter could be rammed down the barrel with wadding quite quickly, even as the barrel became fouled from gunpowder residue from previous shots."

For the sake of space, I shall skip over barrel rifling.

According to the "ban military guns" crowd, we must ban muzzleloading blackpowder rifles. The Brown Bess was issued to the British Army. This is but one example of many.

"It was the standard arm of the British soldier during the American Revolution. Unlike modern weapons, the musket was slow to load, inaccurate and frequently unreliable. The Brown Bess fired round lead balls, some the size of a quarter. With such an inaccurate gun, soldiers were often massed tightly together, firing a shower of lead balls at the enemy. "


Mr. Peabody! We require your services to take us into the time of cartridge rounds. A cartridge round is self-contained. The bullet, powder and primer are all in one unit. The first cartridge rounds were developed for civilian use. So, banning ammo as being for "military purposes" is not permitted under these rules of engagement.

But we can point to cartridges and guns made for those rounds specifically made for military use.

The shoulder-breaker and moose hammer .45-70 Government is once again popular among shooters. As the name implies, this round was developed by and for the government. But we cannot ban ammo.

We can ban the rifle for which this ammo was developed. The Trapdoor Springfield as we call it today was built on government orders for government use. This single-shot rifle is designed to use black powder in the cartridge. Using some modern ammo can cause the rifle to explode. Really.

Single shot is slow to load. The rifle must be opened, the spent brass removed and a new round inserted.

But, this rifle that is more than 100 years old must be banned because it is a military firearm.

I have one. It was probably used to kill Native Americans. Ban it?

Another cartridge we cannot ban is the .30-06. This round was, again, developed by the government for military use. The ammo is on the world's Top 10 list for most popular deer ammo.

The ammo was developed for the Springfield Model 1903 bolt-action rifle. Since this is a military firearm, it can be banned. Never mind the fact that first few years the guns were made in such a way that firing modern ammo in them can cause them to explode. Literally.

It must be banned because it is a military rifle.

Got one of these too, one of the first off the line. I am truly afraid to shoot it because I do not want it exploding in my face.

Lemme point out here legendary Marine Corps sniper Carlos Hathcock used the Winchester Model 70 in .30-06 in Vietnam. This is rifle is also called "a deer rifle" which the military gun ban crowd says they do not want to ban. Functionally, it is no different than the Springfield 1903, except it won't explode with modern ammo.

What is a sniper rifle? Briefly, here. Gonna look at another SERIOUS sniper rifle in a moment.


Someone will point out "Hey Baker, these guns are not used by militaries anymore." You certain?


What is a Mosin-Nagant? A 30-caliber (think .30-06 deer rifle), 5-round fixed box magazine (think .30-06 deer rifle), bolt action (think .30-06 deer rifle) rifle (think .30-06 deer rifle) that started out in Russia made specifically for the military. Other nations started building them too, all for military use.

All. No Mosin Nagant was ever made, except under government contract for government use.

In what will certainly break the extractor (gun humor) of many in the precision shooting crowd who sneer at the Mosin Nagant, it is the most deadly sniper rifle in history based on the number of kills. The world's top sniper is Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a Russian lady, who used the Mosin. At the time, she was what the world called a feminist.

In form, function, fit, performance and even appearance, the difference between the Mosin Nagant and a modern Savage .30-06 deer rifle is strictly cosmetic. If you are one who says military firearms should be banned for civilian use - and I prove above the Mosin is still used by militaries - pick the one to ban.

Yes, I have two Mosins. One made in 1918 and it most certainly was used to shoot Nazis and others. I have one made in China, dropped on the battlefield during the Korean War. It was certainly used to shoot at American and other troops. Did the shooter killl anyone? Dunno.

By the "military gun" reasoning, they must be banned. Pick which one from the above must be banned.


The simple truth is people who call for banning military-style weapons do not know what they are talking about. Most cannot tell a Glock 19 from a silhouette single shot target pistol. They certainly do not know what a military firearm is. When pressed they come up with AR 15, AK 47 and a few other firearms with letters in the name. What about the AR7? Ban it? Why? Ban the M77? Why?

Magazine capacity and the ability to shoot rapidly are also brought up. Mag capacity, as I show above, has little to do with a firearm's lethality.

Firing rapidly?

This was done with a REVOLVER. I've shot full automatic firearms that don't cycle that fast. Full auto means you hold the trigger and it keeps shooting.


"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

"What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms."
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787
"To disarm the people...[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them."
- George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adooption of the Federal Constitution, June 14