Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The end is near

What we are seeing here is an attempted coup of the legitimately elected president. Whether you like it or not, Trump was legitimately elected to the Presidency, in accordance with the US Constitution. Overthrowing the President for anything less than "high crimes and misdemeanors," for political reasons, or because you do not like the results of the election, means that you don't care about this nation, that you and your opinion are more important than the legitimate process that was put in place by the founders.
I fear that should this coup be successful, we are looking at the end of the Republican form of government that was put in place when this nation was founded. What follows will more than likely be some sort of dictatorship, but there will be bloodshed in the interim. The future is not bright.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Use of force

Last year, I was attacked in my classroom by a student. The student is a star athlete with a record of violence against staff. He will soon be signing with a division 1 college, and going on to a free college education, and perhaps even earning millions as a professional athlete.

I just received a letter from the state, saying that the investigation is complete, and that I committed no wrongdoing. Three lawyers, thousands of dollars, and a year later, I have been cleared. The student admitted that he attacked me first, and I had documentation showing that the reason he attacked me was because I was enforcing a policy of no cell phones in class, just as I had been instructed to do. The same supervisor that instructed me to do so was the one who pushed for my prosecution. She was angry that I "lawyered up" when the student attacked me.

The state immediately began an investigation into the incident, to see if I should be prosecuted for holding the student down to stop the attack. At any rate, the entire episode is over.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Leg Six: California and Oregon

We left Vegas and headed for San Francisco. We spent the first night of this leg about an hour from San Francisco in Lathrop, California. The next morning, we drove to San Francisco, and spent a few hours at Fisherman's Warf. We toured the maritime museum, and while there, we saw a dog and a large sea lion get into a bit of a territorial dispute. The dog was definitely on the losing side of that disagreement.



We then drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, and in the process got a few pictures:



We then headed up the coast, and arrived at Eugene, Oregon- where leg Six came to an end. The stop in Eugene also marked the end of our sixteenth day on the road. Sixteen days from Central Florida to Oregon, with a few interesting stops along the way.










Friday, August 4, 2017

Trannies?

It was only a matter of time. Here come the trans-species people. A person who is trans-species has just as legitimate claim at being a cat or a dog trapped in a human's body as does a man claiming to be a woman. That is, they both have the same mental issue.

The funny part is that South Park did an episode on this exact situation. EDIT: Actually, two.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Combat pay

Taking a break from my trip report to talk about a news story that appeared in the Orlando Sentinel back in May:

Carver Middle School is an F rated school in the middle of the Pine Hills neighborhood, located west of Orlando, in Orange County. This school's students tested in the lowest 3 percent of all students nationwide. In order to correct this, Orange county is attempting to lure the best teachers in the state to the school by offering an extra $20,000 a year to teachers willing to work there.

The problem is that the school is in a crime ridden, poverty stricken neighborhood. I have blogged about Pine Hills and its surrounding neighborhoods before. More than once. The school is 91% black, 6% Hispanic of any race, and less than 1% white. Seventy percent of the students receive free or reduced lunch.

Both the violent and non-violent crime rates in Pine Hills are double the national average. Police officers are shot and killed in the area of this school often enough that several streets in the area are named for fallen officers, and shootings happen there nearly every night. The local government repeatedly dumps millions of dollars into this blighted area in an attempt to "clean up" the crime problem, to no avail.

Currently, the teachers there are inexperienced first or second year teachers who transfer away at first opportunity. Teacher pay is tied to student performance, and combined with the crime in the neighborhood, teachers avoid the area like the plague.

Any teacher who accepts a job at this school is placing his or her life in jeopardy. A $20,000 bonus is not worth it, in my opinion. The plan likely will not work and be a waste of money, anyway. You cannot, no matter how good of a teacher you are, teach a student who does not want to learn. The crime problems need to be addressed, the gangs eliminated, the drugs under control, before you can convince the students to give up the thug lifestyle and learn.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Leg 5: Viva, Las Vegas

We left Zion and headed for Las Vegas. We stopped at an In 'n Out Burger for lunch. Too bad those places are only out west, because they were pretty good, especially for the price.

When we got into Las Vegas, we spent the first night just off the old strip.




The street performers provided us with LOADS of entertainment. 




For the next five nights, we stayed on the strip at the New York, New York hotel and casino. We walked the strip, caught a showing of a Cirque du Soleil show, and spent some time in the casino. It was pretty warm while we were there- temperatures were around 102 degrees F during the day, but the humidity was low, and there was a pretty strong breeze blowing, meaning that it was pretty nice as long as you stayed out of the sun.
The casino was pleasant, there was good entertainment, and plenty of restaurants to choose from. We enjoyed the buffets of both Caesar's Palace, and the Bellagio. I love playing craps, and this stay was good for us. We won a fair bit of money in the casino.






In all, our week in Las Vegas was fun, but we had to move on. As we left, I had to find a secure place to put my handgun, because the west coast is fairly anti-gun. I lowered my spare tire, put my J frame in a pelican case, put the case on top of the spare, and then raised the spare. Off to California!





Saturday, July 29, 2017

Leg Four: Four Corners and Zion

After a couple of days exploring the Grand Canyon, we headed north east to where four states (Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico) come together in one spot.






After a short time looking around, we headed west. We ended the day in Page, Arizona, where we spent the night.





After a good night's sleep, we continued westward and found ourselves at Zion National Park. It was our original intention to spend a day or two in the park, but it was incredibly crowded. We spent over an hour stuck in stop and go traffic, just trying to move a couple of miles. There was no parking to be had. We finally moved on, and headed for Las Vegas.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Leg three- Texas to the Grand Canyon

We left San Antonio and spent the next 3 days travelling. We stopped in El Paso for the night, and were up early on our way to Las Cruces, NM to have a bit of fun at the White Sands missile range. We went sand sledding. It was a blast, but I did bruise my tailbone racing some kids to the bottom of a dune. That sand is harder than it looks.




While we were driving through White Sands, I was amazed at seeing signs like "Secret US Government Laser Test Facility," thinking how un-secret it was to have a sign out front. The government works in strange ways.

After a morning of playing around, we moved on. We drove to Tucson, where it was 108 degrees Fahrenheit, and spent the night. The next day, we headed north to see Sedona, and ended this leg, to spend the next two nights in Flagstaff, which we used as a base to check out the Grand Canyon. Thus ended the first week of the trip...

Sedona:






The Grand Canyon:





Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A decade

I missed it while I was travelling, but as of July 11th, this Blog is ten years old. Here is a link to my first post.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Leg 2, San Antonio

From New Orleans, we headed west. A day's drive took us to Gonzalez, Texas. We spent the night there before moving on to San Antonio and staying there for a night. We rode a boat around the Riverwalk and went to see the Alamo. After the Alamo, we went to dinner and had Mexican food chased by some pretty good Tequila.

One thing that was a bit of a problem was that the hotel we stayed at (the Hilton) was posted with signs prohibiting both concealed and open carry. We were not aware of this when we booked. Since we had already paid (nonrefundable) for the room, I adopted a "don't ask/don't tell" policy, and brought my firearm in anyway. We also decided to not stay in a Hilton hotel again. My money will go elsewhere, and I am sure Hilton won't miss the business, but we DO stay in hotels for about 45 days a year, on average.

Please enjoy some pictures of San Antonio:







Friday, July 21, 2017

Home again, home again jiggity jig

My vacation is complete. We were gone for 50 days, travelling over 13,000 miles through 27 states. This was the longest vacation that I have ever done, and we saw quite a bit.

We began our trip at 5 in the morning, leaving for New Orleans. Travelling down Interstate 10, we arrived in Mandeville, Louisiana at lunchtime. We stopped by my father's grave, and then had some really good Roast Beef Po' Boys. Roast beef Po' Boys are easily my favorite sandwich. It is roast beef cooked in gravy, and served on French bread. I always get them "dressed," which is with mayo, lettuce, tomato, and pickles.


They are messy, bad for you, and totally delicious. Seriously, try one.

After we ate, we drove across the Ponchartrain bridge and into New Orleans. We stayed in a hotel in the French Quarter, and spent two days enjoying Cajun food, Beignets, and jazz music. One of our visits was Preservation Hall. This Hall is working to preserve traditional New Orleans jazz. The musicians who play here have been playing for 30 years or more. Incredible talent. The only bad part was that it began raining the first night, and rain continued until we headed west.


 





Thursday, July 13, 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

Pepper spray fail

The next time someone tells me that I don't need to carry a firearm because I can simply use pepper spray, I am going to show this article to them...


When Reyes still wouldn't leave, Mosley sprayed him with pepper spray that he had attached on his keychain... at which point Reyes grabbed a machete and repeatedly struck Mosley... Police said Mosley was semi-conscious when they arrived, suffering from severe injuries to head, torso and arm, and his hand was nearly severed. The 63-year-old man was airlifted to a local trauma center, where he was in "extremely critical condition" before he died Saturday

Pepper spray failed, because the assailant was high on narcotics. A firearm would have worked much better.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Walkabout, continued

The travels continue. We parked the car in Seattle and took a bus to Vancouver. Once there, we caught a cruise ship through the inside passage into Alaska. We stopped in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and Hoonah, Alaska. The cruise ended in Seward, and then we took the train up through the state, with stops in Anchorage, Talkeetna, the Denali National Park, and Fairbanks. In all, we spent two weeks in Alaska.

We then flew back to Seattle and retrieved the car. We drove through Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

I bet you are wondering how we stored my handgun. Before we entered California, I placed it in a Pelican case with desiccants and oxygen absorbers, lowered the spare tire from under the car, and placed the case on top, and raised the tire back up. Once we left Washington, I lowered the tire and retrieved it, none the worse for wear.

We continue on our journey...

Thursday, June 15, 2017

On walkabout

I have been on the road for the past few weeks. During that time, the wife and I drove from Florida to Seattle, on our way to Alaska. We stopped for a day or more in each of the following cities:

1- New Orleans, LA
2- Gonzalez, TX
3- San Antonio, TX
4- Tucson, AZ
5- Sedona, AZ
6- Flagstaff, AZ
7- Las Vegas, NV
8- San Francisco, CA
9- Eugene, OR
10- Seattle, WA

It has been a great trip so far. We have had beignets and went to a jazz concert in the French Quarter, saw the Alamo, the Grand Canyon, and more.

I did discover that the Hilton in San Antonio is posted against both concealed and open carry, but the Marriott was not. Since signs have the force of law in Texas, I was faced with the choice of breaking the law and hoping not to get caught, or leaving my handgun in the car and hoping not to get burglarized. Once this trip has concluded (we have already paid deposits on all of the hotels for this trip) I will no longer use Hilton. I will be switching to the Marriott brand for my future travels.

Phoenix was hot at 108 degrees. The Grand Canyon was amazing.

One of my hobbies is that I am a bit of a gambler. The only game that I really enjoy is Craps. During our 4 day stay in Vegas, I won about $1200 at the tables. I will admit that I generally do not play as well when the wife is next to me watching. I think it is because she looks at me oddly when I make $100 bets. For this reason, I do not think that I can concentrate as well, and I tend to do less well. Once we were in a casino with her parents, and I was slightly at a loss ($100 or so). She left and went to the bar with her father, and 2 hours later I rejoined them, having won $3200.

At any rate, it's been a good trip so far. We leave in the morning for our next destination. We have already driven 5,000 miles in the past three weeks. The journey continues.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I feel dirty

I just saw the end of my first grading period at my new school. As I was preparing to finalize my students' grades, I was pulled aside by my department head and informed that there were a couple of things that I needed to be made aware of, if I wanted to avoid having "that conversation" with my administrators. 

The rules for student grades are:
1 No student who is an ESOL student (meaning that they do not speak English as their primary language) can receive less than a C in any class they are taking.

2 No more than 15% of your students can receive less than a C.

Doing so means that you will be called into the principal's office, and will be told that you need to do more to improve your student's performance. Even if your students don't turn in any work, even if they are absent the entire grading period, if more than 15% of them have less than a C, it is YOUR fault as the teacher, and if it continues, you will lose your job.

The teacher across the hall from me refused to adjust the grades that her students earned. She was just told that her contract is not being renewed next year.

Me? Of my 132 students, 30 of them have been absent for at least 22 of the 45 days of the grading period. One student was absent for 29 of them, and at least 15 minutes tardy on 9 other days. Still, if I refuse, I will be fired and replaced with someone who will comply.

I adjusted, folded, spindled, and added points. 88% of my students got a C or higher. I'm hanging in there, but I feel like I have sold out. 

The education system is irretrievably broken. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Immigration discussion

I got in a social media discussion with someone who said that anyone who advocates breaking up families by deporting people is a monster. I pointed out that this was no more monstrous than breaking up a family for any other reason, such as jailing people for owning assault weapons or for DUI.

He tried claiming that illegal immigration is a victimless act, and therefore not a crime, and so all righteous people are charged with resisting any law which criminalizes free immigration. I pointed out that so was DUI and owning an unregistered machine gun.

He then tried claiming that all laws which have no specific, individual victim that you can point to are null and void. I told him to try not paying his taxes, and then see if the judge agreed.

He then moved on to saying that if he wanted to invite his friends from Mexico City to stay in his home, I was interfering with his property rights by denying that right, and therefore I did not respect property. That was when I asked him what the difference was between an individual's property rights and a nation's property rights. He then accused me of changing the subject, and began calling me a racist xenophobe because I hate Mexicans and Latinos.

I replied by saying that I did not mention race, and that HE was the racist for assuming that all illegal immigrants were Mexican or Latino.

That was when I got banned.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Frat Party

In January of this year, we decided that we needed a getaway. we found an inexpensive cruise on Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas. Being Diamond level members in their customer loyalty, program , we booked and paid for a suite on the March 10th sailing. We got a great deal, because all cabins have to be paid for 90 days prior to sailing, and the ship wasn't even half booked by that point.

Unknown to us, a Florida travel agency bought all of the remaining cabins, bundled them with unlimited alcohol packages, and then sold them to college kids as a spring break getaway. We were surrounded by booze guzzling, clothing optional Frat boys and their female counterparts. Vomit was everywhere: in the pools, the passageways, and the casino. Drunken passengers running up and down the hallways at 3 am, screaming at the top of their lungs.

Being a bit of a gambler, I was in the casino playing craps, and had to contend with college kids waving their hands in front of the game, and causing problems while I had several hundred dollars of bets on the table. When I asked them to stop waving their hands and their drinks over my chips, all I got were smart assed answers.

I saw a college girl with a VERY short dress and no visible underwear sitting on the lap of a piano playing crewmember, and right next to them was a crew member with his hand inside of the dress of another young woman.

In short, the trip was a booze fueled college party. I am too old for that crap, and it was NOT the relaxing vacation that I was looking for. Now, I will say that this was not our usual cruise with this cruise line, and we have never had issues like this before. A complaint to the cruise line customer relations onboard got us some sympathy and a 30% refund, but the manager told us to contact the cruise line's main offices when we got home.

When we did that, the customer service people were very rude, and said some outrageous things:

- What do you expect when you travel during spring break?

- We can't control what other passengers do 

- They paid for the cruise, just as you did 

- This is March, and you have to expect this sort of thing 

- Yes, we have a guest code of conduct, but there is little we can do to enforce it 

- We are sorry this upset you, but this is to be expected when college students are aboard. Maybe you should book cruises during other times of the year 

Maybe I should think about another cruise line.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

On the brink

A man armed with an AR 15 threatens to kill a man for having a Trump campaign sticker on his truck. the left would have you believe that the thug was simply expressing his right to protest. There is a lot of foul language and NSFW.





It seems like we are on the brink of a civil war that will cost lives. The last one cost over 600,000 lives out of a nation that contained only about 31 million. A similar casualty rate today would mean over 6 million dead. That number horrifies me.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Negligence in the name of thrift

Last summer, police were engaged in a training scenario with a citizen volunteer, a shoot/no shoot scenario designed to teach the citizen, who was a librarian, what it is like to be a cop. A cop, who was playing the part of a bad guy, shot at her with his service weapon, which was supposed to be loaded only with blanks. It wasn't. He shot her multiple times with a real bullet, and she was killed.

The police officer involved was arrested for manslaughter on Wednesday, six months after the shooting. There are those who claim that the shooting was an accident and nothing more. I disagree. It is unlikely that a magazine full of "blanks" contained a single live round. More than likely, the officer pulled a magazine of carry rounds from his weapon, and inserted a magazine of training rounds, leaving a live round in the chamber. This lack of basic weapon handling skill cost a woman her life. This was not an unavoidable accident, but a lack of regard for at least three of the four rules of firearm safety. It cost a woman her life, and a person is not exempt from that because they have a badge.

The officer isn't the only one to blame. The department could be using training systems where real weapons are converted to fire non lethal marking rounds for training purposes. While modified, the weapons cannot fire live bullets. They could be using airsoft. Cap guns. Paintball. Anything but real weapons. These systems cost money though, and many departments don't want to pay. Even though this one incident is costing the department millions in legal settlements and two officers, many departments continue to roll the dice in the name of thrift.

I used to work with SWAT, and did more than a couple of scenario based training sessions. During these sessions, we used real firearms that were inspected by instructors prior to the training to ensure they were unloaded. I was opposed to this, and for the exact reason above.

If you want to play cowboys and Indians (tactical version) then you have got to spend the money to do it safely. Even one training death is too many. There is nothing that we do in training that is worth killing anyone.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

First Amendment

A teacher in Collier county is reassigned pending investigation into comments that she made about her support for Trump deporting illegals and her opposition to the "day without immigrants" protest. There is a petition to get her fired.

That isn't going to happen, and I think that the teacher has a pretty good shot at a lawsuit for violation of her First Amendment rights. A similar thing happened a couple of years ago when a Lake County teacher spoke out on Facebook about his opposition to gay marriage. The teacher hired an attorney, and they settled the matter. The teacher is still at the school, still working, and the school is terrified of him. It made him a bit of a hero to the kids of the school, and he gave last year's commencement address at the request of the senior class. He had to point out at the beginning of the address that his speech had been preapproved by his and the school's attorneys.

Comments made while you are off work and expressing your own opinion are exactly what the First Amendment is designed to protect. Her employer is a government agency, and therefore cannot violate her right to speak. If she gets an attorney, she will win.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cops gone wild

An Orlando police officer taunts and threatens a citizen. The cop curses out and taunts the man who was apparently filming the encounter without the cop's knowledge. At one point, he pulls out pepper spray, even though there appears to be no reason for its use. Watch the video and tell me what you think:



Note that there is another cop present who does exactly nothing to rein in this out of control cop. If the police do nothing to stop this sort of behavior, they will continue to see groups like BLM grow in power and popularity.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The banks in general

I am still answering the poster on my previous post about my mortgage mess. You may or may not be interested, but I am locking replies to that post.

The banks were not required to loan to the poor. That is a talking point that was written to make the banks look like the victims and not the architects of the mortgage loan bubble. If there is no dispute, can you point to any evidence that this ever happened? Or is it pure conjecture?

The fact is that Phil Gram was key in passing the Commodity Futures modernization Act of 2000, which PROHIBITED the government from interfering in those transactions.

The root of the banking bubble was the Gram Leach Bliley act of 1999. It was sponsored by three Republican Congressmen, and enabled banks to invest in real estate, something that had been illegal since the great depression, when banks losing gobs of cash in the real estate market triggered the depression. The architect of the Gram Leech Bliley act was Clinton's Treasury Secretary, who left the administration after the act passed, and became an executive at Citigroup, being paid over $17 million. Gram left Congress and wound up as an executive at UBS.

 Before these two laws were passed, all of these loans were regulated and the trading of mortgages was public record, as they were required to be recorded at the county courthouse. The banks had a plan for that, too. They created a private records database called MERS that was out of the view of the public and government regulators. This allowed the banks to trade in mortgages without those pesky laws covering public records allowing the citizens to see what was really going on.

Once the safeguards were eliminated, this allowed the main part of the plan to come together: Banks were able to make high risk loans to people who could not afford to repay them, and securing those with mortgages on property that was worth far less than what the loans were worth, in effect making them unsecured. They did this by using appraisers who would say the homes were worth whatever they needed to be for the loan to look legitimate.

Then the banks bundled those loans into mortgage backed securities that were rated as AAA investments, and sold off to institutional investors- the retirement and pension funds of the American workers. When those loans began to fail, the funds crashed and the banks, through their Republican and TEA party friends, blamed the pensions of the workers, and screamed that they (the banks) were about to fail, and collected nearly $2 trillion in taxpayer funded bailout cash. Over $1.6 billion of that bailout cash was used to paid bonuses to bank executives for pulling off the largest transfer of wealth in human history.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

California Budget

California's secession movement likes to point out that California is the sixth largest economy in the US, and that they are a net producer of funds. Let's take a look at that, shall we? This post will include a lot of numbers.

According to Ballotpedia, California collects a total of $138 billion in state and local taxes, while receiving about $55 billion in direct compensation from the Federal government. That is a total of $193 billion in government revenue. In FY 2015, it spent a total of $252.5 billion, leaving a deficit of about $60 billion. When Federal grants are considered together with ALL Federal spending, California receives more Federal money than any other state: a total of $343 billion in FY 2012.

Pew divides this spending into five categories:
Retirement Benefits. Just under one third, or $102 billion, was devoted to retirement benefits, including Social Security payments and veterans benefits.
Nonretirement Benefits. Less than one third, or $99 billion, was spent on nonretirement benefits, like Medicare, food assistance, and unemployment insurance.
Grants. About one fifth, or $67 billion, was devoted to grants, which includes those for Medicaid and other health care programs, transportation, education, and housing. (To capture federal funding for grants to states, Pew used USAspending.gov—a site devoted to federal spending transparency. The site has well-known problems with data quality, and some of these issues may have affected Pew’s results.)
Contracts. About one seventh, or $48 billion, included money for contracts for the purchases of goods and services, like military and medical equipment.
Salaries and Wages. Finally, less than one tenth, or $29 billion, was spent on salaries and wages for federal employees, including military personnel. (Pew measured salaries and wages using sources that report salaries and wages by place of employment, rather than residency, which could distort this measure.)
 
All of that spending would need to be replaced. Some of it because it is needed, some because the voters of the state would demand it. California would have to pay for things that the Federal government currently pays for, but isn't included in the above numbers: National Defense, which according to this article, the supporters of CalExit think that they won't need, because they are going to be neutral, like Switzerland. If this were the case, I would imagine that the new nation of California would become either part of Mexico or part of China within a decade.

Replacing all Federal spending would mean that the proposed nation of California would not only need to build some sort of military, but would need to replace the roughly $8900 a year per capita that the Federal government currently spends there. Annually, California currently collects $138 billion in taxes, while the Federal government collects $405.8 billion from the state. This means that there would be a deficit of about $53 billion, which would require a tax increase of about $1,400 per capita, or about  $5600 on average for a family of four. This number represents about 10% of California's mean family wage.

Additionally, California will have to work deals to replace goods and services that they do not currently produce themselves. For example, it may be true that the northern part of the state provides much of the water that the state needs, the southern half of the state gets a large portion of its water from outside of the state, and that would need to be replaced, probably with a new pipeline that would need to be built and paid for.

All of this ignores the political aspect. The northern part of the state largely detests the liberal elites who live in the coastal and southern regions. How will they keep those parts of the state from breaking off and remaining in the US?

None of this concerns the Calexit folks, who say:

Yes California doesn’t have any policy positions. Its members don’t know how the new nation’s government would be set up. The group’s goal is to first have the state secede and then figure out how it should run.
“People are asking about the new nation’s vaccine policy, and I’m asking, ‘Are you high?’  ” said Karen Sherman, who holds group meetings at the gay dive bar she owns in San Diego. “We want to explore independence, not create a new country around vaccines.”
Secede first, and then decide how to run the country? Is that anything like passing a law to see what's in it? Like petulant children, they are angry that the election didn't go their way and want out, but they have no idea how to run things, no plan, and are doomed to fail. Like the Confederacy, they are incapable of making this work because of economic problems and an inability to actually BE a nation, but are doomed because they have  no idea what they are doing.









Saturday, February 18, 2017

Day without immigrants, life without a job

A group of immigrants decided to participate in a nationwide protest where immigrants refused to come to work. The boss told them to come to work, or they would be fired. They missed work, and were subsequently fired. Now they are complaining about it.

You don't get to decide when you want to work. If you don't like it, start your own business and see if your customers expect work to be done on time. You wanted to protest by showing your employer what a day without immigrants looks like. He responded by showing you what life without a job looks like.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

OPD loses gun

An Orlando police officer's patrol car is broken into while it is parked in front of his apartment and what is described as an "AR 15" is stolen. The cops claim the rifle was locked in a security device and the car had an alarm system. I seriously doubt this. I wonder if the AR in question had a happy switch or not.

This isn't the first time this year that OPD has lost weapons. An H&K UMP 45 was stolen from another patrol car just two weeks ago. This one DOES have the happy switch.

OPD makes a habit of this. Former OPD police chief (now turned democratic congresswoman) Val Demings had her service handgun stolen from her police vehicle back in 2009. She disciplined herself by sending herself a strongly worded letter.

The other curious thing is that it turns out that the press IS capable of typing "AR 15" and not immediately following that up with "assault rifle".

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Is Universal Studios a school?

Universal Studios Orlando last year fired a concealed weapons permit holder for having a firearm legally stored in his vehicle. Even though there is a law in Florida which states that an employer cannot discipline an employee who has a concealed weapons permit in their vehicle, Universal claims that they are exempt because there is a school on the property.

They are correct in that the law states:

(7) EXCEPTIONS.—The prohibitions in subsection (4) do not apply to:
(a) Any school property as defined and regulated under s. 790.115.
But is Universal Studios considered school property simply because a small portion of the total property has a school on it? Let's see what 790.115 has to say:

For the purposes of this section, “school” means any preschool, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, secondary school, career center, or postsecondary school, whether public or nonpublic.
Perhaps, but that does open a can of worms for Universal. You see, that means that each and every employee, contractor, and vendor must undergo a background check per Chapter 1012 of Florida statutes:

Except as provided in s. 1012.467 or s. 1012.468, noninstructional school district employees or contractual personnel who are permitted access on school grounds when students are present, who have direct contact with students or who have access to or control of school funds must meet level 2 screening requirements as described in s. 1012.32. Contractual personnel shall include any vendor, individual, or entity under contract with a school or the school board.
They all must be rescreened every 5 years.

Then there is THIS law:

386.212 Smoking prohibited near school property; penalty.—
(1) It is unlawful for any person under 18 years of age to smoke tobacco in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight. This section does not apply to any person occupying a moving vehicle or within a private residence.

 Does Universal REALLY want to go down that road?



Protecting the rights of child molesters

If you work at Disney and are arrested for more than 400 counts of producing child pornography and molesting children, you will be suspended because Disney cares about your rights, and doesn't want to fire you unless you are convicted of a crime.

Unless you are a gun owner and aren't accused of a crime, because guns.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

TSA smuggling

TSA workers spent 20 years smuggling tons of cocaine into the US.

How did establishing the TSA improve security again? Are the competing with the BATFE for most useless and corrupt alphabet agency?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mortgage scam

There are a few misconceptions in the comments to my last post, so I thought I would clear them up. See, I used to believe that the homeowners were just as much at fault as the banks. Maybe some of them are, but I have come to believe that the majority of them were defrauded by the banks. Let me explain:

I bought a house in the early part of 2007, right at the center of the housing bubble, although I didn't at the time know it was a bubble. I paid about $250,00 for a house. This was not outrageous, as I was making $85,000 a year at the time. I could easily afford the payments, so I was not being greedy, nor did I have any intent to defraud anyone. Later that year, the bubble burst. Within 2 years, my house was worth less than half of that amount.

At the same time, many other homes in the area saw declining value, meaning that the taxes paid on those homes decreased to the point where the Fire Department began closing stations for the day, rather than pay firefighters to staff them. This caused me to take a 25% cut in pay. I tried to work a deal with the bank, they refused.

Stuck with a depreciating asset and declining wages, I took the only viable option available: I filed bankruptcy. For those who are not familiar with it, Chapter 7 is not some painless process where you get to walk away from debts, no questions asked. There is a means test, where the court investigates your income. Then there are hearings where your creditors, the Trustee, and the Bankruptcy Judge try to liquidate your assets to pay your creditors. The Federally appointed Trustee gets a commission for any assets that he finds, so he is motivated. After all of this, you lose pretty much everything you own. Certainly nor painless.

It was during these hearings that my Original Mortgage holder lied and claimed that they still owned the mortgage and the note. THEY committed fraud, in that they lied IN COURT in order to make money. When I discovered that, I began doing research. I sued them, and they paid me nearly ten grand to drop the case.

Then they tried to foreclose. It turns out that they were not the owners of the note and mortgage. They tried to falsify the papers, and their lawyer was disbarred. He wound up fleeing the country with gobs of stolen cash. The foreclosure was dismissed.

This was all a scheme by the banks to get money using the government and a major fraud scheme. They lied and overvalued houses in order to make loans for FAR more than the homes were worth, to people who couldn't afford, nor qualify for them. The sold those soon to fail loans to investors, most of whom were pension plans and 401k retirement funds. hundreds of billions of dollars in the form of retirement nest eggs disappeared overnight.

The conservative talking point is that all of this was caused by a requirement for banks to lend to low income recipients. That is false. It was a bipartisan payoff where key members of both parties were paid off to change key laws and help the banks rake in profits.

With all of that, don't lecture me about moral obligations.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The end of my mortgage story

For those of you who are not familiar with the story of my mortgage, here is the tl;dr version:

I had a house that lost two thirds of its value in the real estate crash. With no other way to stop the bleeding, I declared bankruptcy and was going to turn the house over to the bank. The bank testified to the bankruptcy court that they were the owner of the note and the mortgage, but were lying. They had sold the note and mortgage to Fannie Mae two years earlier.

I sued them for fraud and we settled out of court for almost $10,000. The mortgage holder that wasn't then sold the note and mortgage again, this time to Nationstar mortgage. They recorded the sale in the county clerk's office. At this point, there were at least four different entities that had claims to this mortgage: MERS, Nationstar, Fannie Mae, and the originating bank.

Then the originating bank tried to foreclose. The foreclosure was dismissed, and Nationstar claimed to not have any record of owning the mortgage.

The feds stepped in and sued the banks. I got another $4,000 in THAT lawsuit.

The originating bank continued to send me demands for payment, even though prohibited from doing so by the bankruptcy court, and the fact that they no longer own the note and mortgage. So after a few years of this, I got tired of it and sued several more times over the next few years. I wound up getting another $25,000 in damages from those suits.

Then, with only a month left until the statute of limitations was to kick in, the original bank filed papers transferring the mortgage from NationStar and Fannie Mae back to themselves. The only problem was that I had letters from both of them saying that they had no knowledge of these transfers.

The original bank then filed for foreclosure, claiming that they had lost the original note and mortgage, but (trust us, they said) we are entitled to foreclose.

I was all set to fight them in court. I had proof that they were lying, and I was going to keep the house. If I won, the statute of limitations would have passed, and the house would have been mine to keep.

They got a federal judge to rule that the bank's lying was immaterial, because I had declared bankruptcy. A person who has declared bankruptcy, he wrote, cannot fight lawsuits from creditors, even ones who were only creditors because of their own fraudulent activity and statements, without undoing the bankruptcy. I was told by the judge's staff that he wasn't about to give away free houses. This would have exposed me to my old debts, along with 5 years of interest and penalties. I had to give in, and they got the house.

At least they have finally left me alone, paid me a total of about $50,0000, and I got to live in that house for five years, rent free. Still, they committed fraud and got away with it.

Don't feel sorry for the banks. They made hundreds of billions of dollars.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cut off the cash flow, they'll deport themselves

So word is out that illegal immigrants are going to fight deportation and attempt to clog the court system. I have an idea that I think will get rid of the problem by using existing law, and will force illegals to deport themselves.

Currently, the law is than an employer can be fined $2,000 for the first offense, and up to $10,000 for subsequent offenses, of hiring of each illegal immigrant. That includes companies who hire contractors with illegals in their employ. Fines can be even larger if RICO statutes are used for bigger  companies. So here it is: go after the source. Give an award of 50% of the fine collected for any person who provides information that an employer is hiring illegal immigrants.

If a business has hired 4 illegals, and the person who turns them in will get between $4,000 and $20,000 in reward money, legally hired employees will be lining up to turn in their bosses for a shot at the cash. Employers will know this and will stop hiring illegals. With jobs much harder to come by, many illegals will self deport.

I have seen first hand how Disney is saving millions by hiring contractors to perform services at their hotels and movie theaters. The contractors hire illegals, and are thus able to make money by paying them low (in many cases less than minimum) wages.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Orlando to become a sanctuary city?

Orange county, Florida is coming under pressure from illegal immigrants to declare themselves to be a so-called sanctuary city. If cities and localities are free to defy any Federal laws and rules that they don't agree with, and it is unconstitutional for the Feds to with hold funds from those local governments, then I think it is time that more localities ignore gun laws, gay marriage laws, tax laws, and many other laws. If it works for immigration, it should work for other laws...

Saturday, February 4, 2017

I don't even know how to respond

An acquaintance posted this on Facebook:



One snowflake comes on and says:

complaining that you can't say anything you want to anyone anywhere because others also have freedom of expression is whining. Awww, was there a fire? Goodness me! I hope everyone's feelings are ok! 

I responded:
Cool. Since rioting and violence are just different forms of expression, I can't wait until I can go out and express myself by hitting someone in the face, too. Who should I express myself to? Minorities? Homosexuals? Women seeking abortions?
Or is it only expression when the left does it?
Then the guy says something that just didn't make any sense to me, and I didn't know how to respond:

All of those things are illegal, but no one can stop you from doing it ahead of time. So you can already express yourself that way, but there will be consequences. The same is true for rioters, they can be caught and charged. Perhaps someone may even shoot a rioter - not entirely impossible considering how people feel about property, etc. The shooter also has a perspective and is expressing themselves, but they will likely be arrested, etc.

I don't get what he is trying to say. Is he saying that it isn't an infringement, as long as it isn't punished until after the fact?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Excessive force

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I defend cops who are doing the right thing, and I call cops who are not doing the right thing out for what they have done. In this post, I want to take a look at body cam footage from Fort Worth. The relevant action begins at about 1:45.




The woman speaks to the cop in a "disrespectful" tone, and cop attempts to arrest her, deploys his Taser, and then does the same to the woman's daughter. The charges against the two were dropped, and the cop suspended for ten days AFTER someone leaked the body cam footage. The police chief claims that the timing of the footage being leaked, the dropping of charges, and the suspension are all coincidental.

Officer Martin, a 10-year veteran of the force, received a 10-day suspension because of the arrest. Chief Joel Fitzgerald said his violations included neglect of duty, discourtesy and inappropriate contact with two females. The officer has a record of doing this before, where there was a previous complaint against him for excessive force back in 2013.

How does the police chief respond? Not with criminal charges against the officer, which is what SHOULD have happened, but with an investigation into who leaked the video and the officer's record.

Watching this video made me angry, and made me want to approve of a law allowing people to resist illegal arrests with force.  This man is a criminal, a bully, and I would have applauded a citizen who used force to stop him. A criminal is a criminal, even if they are wearing a badge.

This is why there is such a big movement from groups like BLM. Police need to clean up their own ranks, or they will continue to be painted with a broad brush.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women's march

How can Madonna go to the Womens' march and complain about how Trump talks about women, when she was offering oral sex in exchange for HRC votes? How can you demand that others respect you, when you don't even respect yourself?

‘If You Vote for Hillary Clinton, I Will Give You a Blowjob’

I don't have a problem with the US denying entry to foreign nationals who state that they are only coming here to protest our elections. If you don't like who we elect, too bad. Stay in your own country, mind your own business, and stop trying to get into ours in order to protest what we do.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Going to jail for paper airplane

There is a story out of South Carolina of a teen who threw a paper airplane at a teacher, and was subsequently arrested for assault.

The facts are not in dispute. The teen admits to throwing the airplane and admits that he meant to hit the teacher in the head. The student has been involved in other (unspecified) altercations with the same teacher.

The fact that the student faces up to 30 days in jail has parents in an uproar. They claim that jail is too harsh.

My take:

1 The 17 year old teen is old enough to know better.

2 Touching someone, or throwing something at someone without their consent is battery.

3 The fact that it is only a paper airplane is why he was charged with the lowest class of crime, a third degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for this is 30 days in jail, but absent other factors, he is unlikely to get more than probation, especially if this is a first offense.

Teachers are attacked in school at an alarming rate. I myself have been attacked in the classroom. Maybe this will prevent the child from moving on to more serious crimes. No one should have to put up with being physically attacked at work, no matter how minor. I applaud the school and the police for taking action.

Trump derangement

The news and social media is all abuzz with proclamations on how tacky and unrefined President Trump is, all because he chose to replace the red curtains in the Oval Office with gold curtains.




From New York Daily News:
 Trump White House could mean gaudy gold decor and tacky touches

Occupy Democrats:
Trump is known for being so insecure that he MUST bathe his home in gold accents and interior decorating. Now, he’s brought the same tacky insecurity to the Oval Office.
Hollywood Life:
We’re not 100% sure about this, but Donald might be the only president in America’s history to renovate the Oval Office so dramatically.

Overseas, as well. The UK Mirror:

Really? No other President has so dramatically renovated the Oval Office?

Every President has redecorated. Some made big changes, others did not. Take a look:

2015 (Obama):



2010 (Obama):

1990 (GHW Bush)



1998 (Clinton):

1963 (JFK)


1936 (FDR)

 1945 (Truman)



1956 (Eisenhower)




1933 (Coolidge):

1909 (Taft):



Don't we have more important things to talk about than how the man chooses to decorate his office?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Were you wrong, or just lying?

So it appears as though Liberals are all of a sudden becoming pro gun. Let me enjoy a bit of sweet, sweet schadenfreude as I rehash a few liberal arguments:

1 You claimed for years that no militia can defeat the US military, making the right to keep and bear arms useless. Remember? Were you wrong? Or lying?

2 You claimed that you wanted to change the law, and give gun owners a choice: "You can have all your guns and no changes to law, or your narrative about how you’re The Good Guys. You may not, under any circumstances, have both. "  Have you changed your mind? Or were you lying?

3 You claim that owning a gun has been linked to higher risks of homicide, suicide, and accidental death by gun. We have all heard you claim that a person who owns a gun is 7 times more likely to die by being shot than a person who doesn't. Were you wrong, or lying?

4 For years, you have claimed that gun ownership is a sign of a man with small genitalia. Did your dick fall off? Did you finally see a naked man and realize that you don't measure up? Or were you lying?

Were you wrong, or just lying? Were you lying in an attempt to disarm us because we couldn't then resist your policies? Now that your candidate has failed, you have either decided that you were wrong, or finally admitted that you were lying. Which is it?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Lochloosa, Florida

This is a GREAT song.


Two sides

When engaging in the debate over gun and self defense rights, we have Supreme Court decisions, facts, figures, and evidence to support our arguments.

They have dick jokes.

Cue a website called the National Small Penis Association, which is apparently there to make fun of gin owners. I won't provide a direct link, because I don't want to give them the traffic.

This is not a political debate. It is a school yard set of childish insults. Any childish insults that the followers of this put up will be memorialized.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Not free speech

The First Amendment enshrines the right to freely assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances by prohibiting the Congress from establishing a law that would abridge those rights. That is, the Amendment recognizes that the People have those rights.

But what if a group of citizens uses force to prevent other citizens from exercising those same rights? That is exactly what Democrats who are upset over the loss of their candidate in a free election are attempting. In thier own words:

 "We're exercising our freedom of speech and really want to set a tone for the next few years that there's a massive body of people ... who are very concerned about the dangerous direction Donald Trump is taking our country in. [We hope to] turn the inauguration into as big of a clusterf--- as possible.”
Note that the stated goal is NOT to speak their own minds, but to disrupt and prevent other citizens from exercising their own rights to assemble and be heard. They are using force to deny people their rights.

Others have advocated using the Military to delay the inauguration. While this will not happen, it shows that Democrats are not the anti-war pacifists that they profess to be: they have no problem with using violence to achieve their own ends.

The days of civil discourse are over. We are one the verge of another civil war.




Friday, January 13, 2017

Tell me again how the Republicans are different...

Paul Ryan stands up and supports people who flout the law at the expense of law abiding citizens. Tell me again how the Rs and the Ds are different...

Impossible

Guns are all but illegal in New York City. That is why crimes like this don't happen: 12 year old boys don't attempt to rob little girls on the New York Subway. This MUST be fake news.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

More DIY gunsmithing

I always thought that rifling the barrel was the hardest part. Here is a video that shows how to get it done. and also illustrates why gun control will never be able to eliminate all firearms.


Basketball

In the 2016 NBA finals, the Championship was wrongly awarded to Cleveland because they won 4 games of the 7 game series. If you look at the scores for those seven games, the Golden State Warriors scored 699 points, with Cleveland scoring only 629 points. Since the goal of basketball is to score points, the team scoring the most points should win the championship. I demand that the NBA take the Championship title from Cleveland and declare the Golden State Warriors to be the winner!

Ridiculous, right? Both teams knew the rules, and the majority of games won in the series determines the winner. To demand that the rules be changed after the winner is determined is disingenuous. After all, if the rule were such that the winner was determined by points instead of games won, the teams would have pursued different strategies and the outcomes would have been different.

This absurd argument is the exact same one being made by the people who claim that Trump lost the popular vote, and therefore shouldn't be President.


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Violence in school

Several months ago, I was attacked in my classroom by a student. It all began when I was visited in my classroom by the Principal, who was there for an unannounced visit to evaluate the effectiveness of my teaching style as a part of my annual evaluation. During that observation, she noted that there were several students who were engaged with their cellular phones out of my sight. I lost points on my evaluation for not noticing and preventing students who were using their phones.

So, the next day I announced to all of my classes that I would be strictly enforcing the "no cell phones in class" rule that the school had in place. One student in my fourth period class continued to use his phone. I told him that if he continued to use that phone, I would take it to the front office, and he could explain why he was using it to the Principal, who would administer punishment in the process. The student replied: "I would like to see you try to take it."

As per school policy, we cannot write a discipline referral without first contacting the parent, so that afternoon, I sent an email to the student's mother. I never got a reply.

The next day in that class, students again were using their phones. I told them to put them away. It took two announcements, but all finally put them away, except the one student. I saw him there, typing a text message. I took his phone, and he said "Why are you being such a jerk?" I told him that he would have to get it back from the office. I wrote the incident up, and sent it to the Vice Principal.

When class was over, it was time for lunch and the student hung back a bit. He approached me and asked for the phone. I again told him he could get it from the office. At that point, he tackled me. A short struggle ensued, and we wound up in the hallway, with me lying on top of him, holding him down.

While legally a child, this student was large. Larger than I am. A defensive back on the football team, the seventeen year old junior is over six feet tall and weighs more than 170 pounds. He bench presses 205 and can dead lift 375 pounds. This is a child in name only.

There were no witnesses, since the other students had left the class. The evidence seemed to all be on my side: the email to the mother, the referral, the fact that he stayed behind to confront me. The police investigated. I was reassigned to temporary duties that did not involve student contact while the investigation was carried out. I hired a lawyer. She told me that even if the school cleared me, it was likely that I would be fired, because I was now a liability.

His friends on Facebook post pictures and videos of themselves with handguns. I am disarmed while at work, and while driving to and from work, because I cannot have a weapon in my car. They are not similarly encumbered. 

I decided that even if I were to return to the classroom, I would not be safe. I would have to watch my back every day. A month and a half later, I was still not back in the classroom. I no longer felt safe ir supported, so I resigned.

The student? All he got was a week of out of school suspension- for "fighting" - not for attacking a teacher.