2012 BLOGS

(Blogs from 2007 - 2011 can be accessed under Stuff 2 Read)
Click here for the most recent blog entry!

Jan 9,   Expert diagnosis & dumb prescription
Jan 13, Peer & Fear Pressure
Jan 20, Captain leaves sinking ship
Jan 20, From wolves to guide dogs
Jan 24, State of the Union speech
Jan 30, Our economic mess
Feb 9, "Highest Priority" - gay marriage
Feb 17, Gay Marriage bill passed in NJ
Feb 23, Governor Christie, the gambler
Feb 27, Atlantic City Car Show & Auction
Feb 29, All-way Stops
Apr 4, What to do about drug offenders
Apr 6, Voter ID
Apr 17, Reading between the lines
May 7, A book review "Rin Tin Tin"
May 17, Ralph's Modest Proposal, Part I
May 21, Ralph's Modest Proposal, Part II
May 27, Ralph's Modest Proposal, Part III
June 9, Ralph's Modest Proposal, Part IV
June 15, Tea Party Protest on Global Wind Day
July 13, Friday, the Thirteenth for Penn State
July 18, Environmentalist Nonsense
Aug 2, Chick-Fil-A
Aug 17, Voter ID -- Ulterior Motives?
Sep 3, Campaign Slogans
Nov 7, Republic of Texas
Nov 9, Interesting Election Maps
Nov 14, Collector Car Prices
Nov 22, American Thanksgiving
Dec 6, Puppy Raising at 2:30 AM
Dec 8, Puppy Raising Sequal

January 9, 2012

A stranger who recently bought a car from me said something unflattering about "greedy politicians." I responded by asking, "What's wrong with that?" He gave me a shocked look that spoke volumes. After a few seconds of silence, I said, "Greed is not illegal. Greed is the American way of life."

The stranger was obviously not happy with that assessment but didn't know what to say. I continued, "Our problem in America is not political; it is spiritual. Fifty years ago, our Supreme Court ruled God out of public life. That was a political matter. But most Americans accepted the decision and espouse that philosophy. That is a spiritual problem.

I have been blogging about this situation now since 2007, but I don't have much of a voice. Yesterday, someone sent me a link to a secular website that makes a similar assessment of the condition of America. It is the Stansberry Investment Report from December.
This article by investment broker Porter Stansberry is titled, "The Corruption of America." I agree with most of what Stansberry says about this nation, but disagree vehemently with his personal statement of faith. He writes, "The truth is, I am optimistic. I believe our country is heading into a crisis. But I also believe that... sooner or later... Americans will make the right choices and put our country back on sound footing."

Stansberry writes pages about the "corruption of America" in every sector without naming a possible cure. He just believes that "... sooner or later... Americans will make the right choices and put our country back on sound footing." He bases his assessment of America's corrupt condition on cold hard facts, but places blind faith in the American people who brought about this situation to "...sooner or later..." somehow fix the problem.

He has to have faith in the American people. His livelihood depends on it!

January 13, 2012

Until the latter part of the twentieth century, Europeans had no peer-pressure. Youth didn't make decisions about what clothes they wore or choose their own careers. In many instances, they even married the person their parents selected for them. Almost overnight, this changed, but rather than create a new German word, the English term "peer pressure" was adopted.

The German word, menschenfurcht, has basically the same meaning as peer-pressure, but it is used in relation to adults. Menschenfurcht demands that one be out of bed by 6:00 A.M., keep windows and yards spotlessly clean and have colorful flowers in the window boxes. That is great for tourism, but it can be a merciless dictator with demanding expectations. The loss of a drivers license or a financial setback in business is more than some people can bear and they commit suicide.

Oddly enough, just as there is no German word for peer-pressure, neither is there an English equivalent for menschenfurcht. Composed of two very common words meaning "people" and "fear," menschenfurcht means fear of what other people think or expect of us. In English, we use an entire phrase like, "the felt need to keep up with the Joneses" to describe this. I have no authority to create a new English word, so I will just call it "fear-pressure."

In America, fear-pressure is often called "political correctness." Someone who works for the government was once reprimanded for saying something that was not politically correct. His response was even less politically correct. He said, "If it's politically correct, it's probably a lie."

All of us are to some degree affected by what others think or expect of us, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. If we are motivated by an attitude of servitude, love, compassion and consideration of others, this is commendable. Adults are concerned about their personal appearance, business success and social recognition. I wear a suit and tie to church, not because it feels good or because it's one of the ten commandments, but because this is what many consider to be proper attire. I worked a lot with youth in Austria and usually wore jeans, which are much more comfortable and practical. I doubt if I offend anyone by wearing a suit and I don't criticize those who prefer to wear more comfortable attire to church. A friend once told me that he sees no reason to wear a noose around his neck just because others do it!

Fear-pressure and peer-pressure are basically the same driving force in human behavior, and extreme forms generally show a lack of maturity. People don't wear rings in their noses, cheeks, eyebrows, belly buttons or tongues because it feels good. Piercing and tattooing are presently "in," so people willingly go through this ordeal in order to be accepted. It used to be just the kids (peer-pressure), but today you see 40 and 50-year-olds trying to look cool. It's sort of like the baby boomers who grow beards and pigtails, wear studded leather jackets and ride Harley Davidson motorcycles.

The extent of discomfort some people endure and the risks they take in order to achieve approval or avoid the reproach of their peers is simply amazing. Fear-pressure is the biggest single cause of heart attacks, ulcers, silicon breast implants and maxed-out credit cards. Manufacturers and sellers of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and luxury items earn billions from fear-pressure.

Endangered Species
Of all adults, I think politicians are most vulnerable to extreme fear pressure. They are very careful about their image and reputation. When a politician campaigns for public office, the opposition tries to destroy his reputation. If there is any dirt in his past or present, it will be made public. That is why some running for high offices spend millions to keep their past a secret.

Success leads to increased exposure and higher expectations, which brings even more stress. I can imagine that the super-human demands made of politicians can be both exhausting and frustrating. They must constantly fear the consequences of making a wrong decision or comment that could prove disastrous for their career.

Christian Politicians
Politicians who have little time for religion have it easier than those who do. Candidates who claim to be Christians face the biggest challenge. A Roman Catholic candidate can expect to get most of the Catholic votes and a Muslim or Mormon will get virtually all votes from adherents of these religions, but there are many hundreds of protestant denominations and countless independent churches with varying theological positions. Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain might have had a chance if they had not professed to be Christians.

When the apostles were arrested for preaching the gospel of a resurrected Christ, they responded by saying, "we must obey God more than men." That position cost them imprisonment, beatings and in most cases, their very lives; but it was the right thing to do, so they did it.

Being a consequent Christian has never been popular, so most politicians succumb to fear pressure. Declaring to fear God more than man places a politician "in harm's way" as the saying goes. The devil hates it, those under his influence don't like it and even fellow Christians hesitate to align themselves with that kind of politician.

Christians will always be unjustly criticized and smeared, but what is even more difficult to bear is justified criticism. In attempting to serve and obey God, there is a good likelihood that a person "gets dirty." Proverbs 14:4 says, Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. A child often stumbles when learning to walk and politicians also make mistakes.

What makes Christianity unique among religions is that it is based on confession, repentance, forgiveness and grace. Christian politicians must be humble enough to repent and seek forgiveness. God is quick to forgive, but unfortunately, even those who have been forgiven don't always forgive. That can cost a Christian politician the election.

January 20, 2012

A lot of people are angry and disgusted with Captain Francesco Schettino for leaving his sinking cruise ship and letting thousands of passengers fend for themselves.

What makes his action worse is the fact that it was his reckless irresponsibility that sunk the Concordia.

Schettino is in jail.

Politicians have it better.

January 20, 2012

We are often asked about raising dogs for The Seeing Eye. We are now raising our third, but some people have raised over fifty! I have done a lot of thinking and studying in the process, but don't contend to be an expert. Still, I wrote an article and posted it for anyone interested. Click on this link: From Wolves to Guide Dogs

January 24, 2012

President Obama finished his State of the Union Speech a few minutes ago and my wife is listening to the Republican response. After that, Herman Cain will give an internet response from the Tea Party movement. I decided to write my own response.

I listened carefully to the speech, taking two pages of notes, but I had difficulty recognizing my country as the President painted it.

I worked in an art gallery for several years, making brand-new, hand-carved, gold-leafed picture frames for centuries-old masterpieces. I prided myself in making those new frames look just as old as the paintings themselves. I battered the frames with chains, created what appeared to be worm holes and smeared dirt into cracks and crevices. Even art experts had difficulty distinguishing my frames from old originals.

Making an old worm-eaten and beat-up frame look like new would present a greater challenge. Not many Americans were fooled by the picture that President Obama painted of America. He used too much rose-colored paint.

Perhaps I am not seeing the "real" picture, but America didn't seem to have gotten that much better since Obama became President. In fact, the nation's condition has worsened considerably! The picture Obama painted did not depict the State of the Union I live in!

I was reminded of an acquaintance who had more than enough body mass stored up for seven lean years and recognized the need to lose weight. About once a week she boasted to friends of all the weight she was losing, yet by all appearances, she was still gaining. This went on for about a year until I finally figured out what her secret was. She weighed herself twice a day, once right after supper, and again before breakfast. By subtracting the difference each day and adding the daily sums together, she was able to document her weekly success.

Since the bailouts of the American auto industry and the Cash for Clunkers program, Detroit is selling more cars. The big government push for electric cars has also helped. A lot of government organizations are being required to purchase them, which makes sense. The government owns 26.5% of GM stock. The Toyota recall problems, Japanese earthquake and tsunami knocked Toyota out of first place, allowing General Motors to move up.

The President also painted a couple of bright spots on the economic landscape. The Master Lock Company of Milwaukee has brought back approximately 100 union jobs (emphasis on "union") to its Milwaukee factory and is running at full capacity. In this economy, people are trying to protect what they have left.

Mr. Obama also told of a former yacht manufacturer who switched to building wind turbines and was able to hire a jobless man.

One part of the State of the Union picture was painted in rather drab, dark colors. True to form, Obama mentioned the previous administration and his predecessor several times. He said that millions of jobs were lost in the six months before he took office, but he didn't say how many were lost since he took office. The President complained that, like billionaire Warren Buffet, neither he nor the Representatives seated before him were paying enough taxes. I would approve of giving the Obamas 100% tax freedom in return for cutting out half their vacations and White House staff, now paid for by taxpayers.

In the education corner of his painting, Mr. Obama said that he wants all States to pass legislation requiring every young person to get a High School diploma. Students should not be permitted to drop out before age 18. I am assuming that teachers would not be permitted to flunk them either. Perhaps unmotivated students could major in art and learn to paint their own futures like Obama paints the present. Or they could design their own diplomas.

Obama got carried away painting the sky, using mostly pastel colors to depict various forms of clean energy. Those who read my blog know that I am a big proponent of renewable energy. I like to sail and work on small sailboats, which are the cleanest modes of transportation, using only water, wind and solar energy. He said that some clean energy firms may fail (like Solyndra, which received half a billion from the government), but he "will not walk away from" supporting clean energy firms.

The President repeated the demand he made last year, that millions of union jobs be created to build or rebuild roads and bridges. He promised to sign bills which would allow homeowners to get new mortgages at reduced rates. He said he has directed his administration to eliminate unnecessary red tape. The law requiring farmers to prevent contamination from spilled milk has already been dumped, but he pledged to increase government intervention in oil spills.

Instead of olive green camouflage colors, the President painted the military in bright red, white and blue. Pointing to the American flag, he said that there are 50 stars and 13 stripes all stitched together to make one flag. He got the numbers right this time. He wished he could paint members of Congress and the Senate in the same colors, but said they need to stop being consumed by personal ambitions and, like the military, learn to play by the same rules. I am not sure what rules he was referring to, but it could not have been the "Don't ask, don't tell" rule which was overturned last year. There are different rules for Privates, Lieutenants, Majors, Generals and the Commander in Chief, so he couldn't have meant these. Perhaps he will explain what he meant in next year's State of the Union presentation.

OUR ECONOMIC MESS (print as PDF document-3 pages)
January 30, 2012

Warren Buffet says he thinks rich folk like himself should pay more taxes -- and President Obama would be glad to oblige with a millionaire surtax.

Before I continue, I need to correct what the President said in his State of the Union message. He said, "It isn't right for Warren Buffet's secretary to pay more in taxes than he does!" That would certainly be a crime! What Buffet said was, "It is just plain wrong for my secretary to pay taxes at twice the rate I pay." There is a world of difference between these two statements.

Obama and his friends are purposely throwing statistics around that are simply wrong. To claim that normal American taxpayers pay 35% while billionaires pay only 15% is designed to get people agitated and has no relationship to truth. Warren Buffet may possibly be able to get by paying only 15% because of all the tax loopholes for hedge fund operators, CEOs and other billionaires, but not many manage that. Buffet doesn't need to fear that his taxes will go up anytime soon. He is what they call an "insider" and a friend of Obama.

The President is just throwing up a smoke screen to cover his gigantic Ponzi scheme to bankrupt America. A few of the wealthy are profiting by it and everyone else is getting ripped off. If you don't believe me, keep reading and then do your own homework. The information is out there!

Here is the truth based on facts. The maximum tax deduction is 35% and nobody pays that amount. That is before deductions and everyone has deductions. The average tax paid by those in the top 1% that Wall Street protesters keep talking about is 29% and the average rate of those in the 99% is 8%. In fact, the top 1% pays 37% of all taxes received while the 99% pays the other 63%.

Of course President Obama wouldn't be content with a surtax on those earning over a million because few earn that much. In 2009, 1,470 of those who earned over a million paid no taxes whatsoever! This is of course unfair, but it is absolutely legal. Unpaid taxes are not legal, but it is another hard fact and there is little the IRS can or will do about it. Benjamin Harris, a research economist at the Brookings Institution estimates a gross tax gap of $410 - $500 billion in 2010.

Applying the surtax to the upper 1% would include anyone earning more than $343,927. As already stated, this group already pays 29% or 37% of all taxes collected. If the government took 60% of what these people earn, it wouldn't balance the budget!

But Obama talks about increasing taxes on millionaires, not just those earning a million or even those in the upper 1%. Who is a millionaire? Millions of Americans are worth more than a million dollars. A business owner can easily have that much tied up in real estate or equipment and a shop owner may have stuff on his shelves worth a million. Many Americans have a million in their retirement funds and if they own an average home, it is worth a quarter to half a million dollars. When the government is tossing trillions around like paper airplanes, a million doesn't go far. It won't even cover many lawsuits these days.

The problem in Washington is not too little money, but too many expenditures. If government spending is not decreased drastically, there is no way we can ever recover. I attest that it can be done and no essentials would suffer. Just cutting senseless spending and waste would go a long way.

Most Americans think that income taxes collected are used to run the government but this is not true. The IRS collected 2.345 trillion in taxes in the 2010 fiscal year and paid out 467 billion in rebates, leaving 1.878 trillion. The IRS, like our federal government, is largely incompetent. It costs 53 cents to collect $100 in taxes.

So what happened to that $1.878 trillion the IRS collected? All of that money went to Private Banks who loan the government money for its operations. The President's budget request for 2010 totaled $3.55 trillion, making a budget deficit of $1.67 trillion. The total debt is now over $15 trillion and interest on that debt takes a sizable chunk of collected taxes! 1% of $15 trillion dollars is $150 billion and not $15 billion. The IRS Data Book for 2010 gives $165 billion in interest payments, over twice what the Department of Transportation received ($72.5 billion). But I am pretty certain that nobody loans the US money at such low interest rates. There have to be special conditions or benefits that make the loan interesting.

Nearly half of all households pay no federal income tax or they receive more from the IRS than they pay. Most of these are households that have low incomes and senior citizens on Social Security. Social Security is non-taxable income. Most who earn under $35,000 can find enough deductions to get out of paying taxes. These make up at least three fourths of those not paying into the system. Unemployed and incarcerated persons make up two more segments of non-payers (children and students are included in households). Undocumented persons and underworld operators are other large groups.

The above only pertains to federal income tax. There are also payroll taxes, State taxes, sales taxes and many other taxes which most of us pay.

If all taxes were incorporated in sales taxes with no possibility of dodging them, this would seem like fair taxation. If a person spends money, he gets taxed and if he invests or saves it, he is only taxed for interest earned. That sounds great, but what can keep that person from spending or investing his money overseas?

Another problem, and most likely the real problem here, are loopholes in the tax laws that only benefit the rich. What good does it do to raise taxes if they are not going to be paid? Our tax system is so complicated (corrupt), that only the best lawyers understand it. But the wealthy can afford the best, and their lawyers know all the loopholes.

A factor that plays a big role in our economic mess is the matter of government hand-outs. Some are called entitlements and others are called subsidies. Super entitlements are called stimulus and super subsidies are called bail-outs. Basically, the poor get entitlements and the rich get subsidies, but the result is the same. It spreads the wealth of hard-working taxpayers -- either downward or upward.

Those who have money can figure ways to obtain subsidies which help counter taxation. Not a few buy farms for raising race horses. Unless or until a horse wins races, it is a losing proposition, so the "farmer" gets farm subsidies. If a horse wins, the owner doesn't need to pay those subsidies back. Some of these "farmers" also get paid to not plant certain crops or to plant trees on their property! There are few loopholes for most taxpayers, but many are available to the wealthy and non-payers.

The only real solution to our economic woes would be to get back to where we started as a nation. Not politically or economically, but spiritually. If a majority of the people live by biblical principles, they elect the same kind of people. They seek the good of all and work collectively to combat unethical practices. They care for the poor and make life difficult for those who try to get rich at the cost of others.

Martin Luther King had a dream. I have a vision. If I was as well-known as King, I would likely be assassinated.

"Highest Priority" - Gay Marriage
February 9, 2012

New Jersey Senate President, Democrat Steve Sweeney, has repeatedly stated that his highest priority is getting gay marriage legalized in the State.

Republican Governor Chris Christie first said that he would veto such a bill.
Then he said he would stay out of the debate.
A poll found that a majority of New Jersey voters favor gay marriage.
Governor Christie suggested putting gay marriage to a referendum.
Christie nominated Bruce Harris for the NJ Supreme Court.
New Jersey will soon have its first openly gay Justice.

The photo is of today's newspaper and shows two happy politicians.

Gay Marriage Bill Passed in NJ
February 17, 2012

The New Jersey legislature passed the Gay Marriage bill yesterday and I am disgusted.

I am disgusted that elected officials condescended to the demands of a vocal minority in total disregard for the opinions of a majority of the citizens they supposedly represent. And I am disgusted because these politicians made a highly controversial issue their highest priority. No State in the Union has more problems and urgent needs than New Jersey. I am disgusted that these self-serving politicians have downgraded my marriage certificate to nothing more than a partnership contract.

We shall see if Governor Christie keeps his word and vetoes the bill. Even if he does, the measure will likely get enough votes to override his veto.

Governor Christie, the Gambler
February 23, 2012

I've mentioned this twice already, so you know it's one of my hobby horses. It's about the new Revel Casino in Atlantic City which is to open in April.

Governor Chris Christie outlined his budget proposal for 2013 this week. $32.1 Billion Dollars worth of OPM! That is 8% over last year and 15% more than Governor Corzine's 2010 budget. Christie has only increased the size of government thus far and if he gets his way, that trend will continue. But, like President Obama, he is good at juggling numbers and talking tough. That impresses voters.

On December 18, 2008 I wrote two blogs about the Atlantic City casinos. Right after the Primaries on June 3, 2009, I predicted the kind of Governor we would get. February 24, 2010, I wrote about the NJ Legislature voting to loan $350 Million to Morgan Stanley to finish the troubled Revel Casino project in AC. Morgan Stanley later turned the offer down because the it felt Revel was a losing proposition. On February 2, 2011, yours truly reported that Governor Christie had doled out $260 Million in OPM (other people's money) to complete Revel Casino.

Now, I read in today's paper that Christie's budget proposal includes the expectation that the Casinos will bring in $38 Million additional tax Dollars next year. This prognosis follows 40 consecutive months of casino revenue declines!

A couple of days ago, our paper gave a clue as to why Revel is supposed to break the losing streak. Revel is offering a "Royal Jelly" burlesque show with live bands and dancers who mix with the audience as they strip down to bare facts with only strings attached.

Oh yes, I should add another reason for Christie's rosy prognosis. The New Jersey Legislature introduced a bill on December 1, 2011 which would strike down the present waiting period required before performing marriages and civil unions. The law also allows for either party to have the union annulled within 30 days. The Legislature calls the bill R.S.37, but I call it legalized prostitution.

Christie is following in his predecessor Corzine's footsteps. Corzine lost Billions of OPM in risky MF-Global gambling. Like Corzine, Christie will claim that he doesn't know where that money went.

If you are from some other state, you may think that this doesn't pertain to you, but let me warn you! Christie is campaigning ambitiously for the #2 spot on the Republican ticket. Columnist Paul Mulshine wrote today that the GOP might even give Christie the number one spot if Romney doesn't do well in his home state. He is an addicted gambler and OPM addict. With OPM he has nothing to lose and the Presidency to gain.

So far, my predictions have been right on.

Atlantic City Car Show and Auction (pictures)
February 27, 2012

A friend and I drove to Atlantic City on Saturday to see the classic car show and auction. One can get pretty nostalgic looking at cars that were manufactured many years ago. Some were restorations and a few were what they call "survivors," which means they have not been restored, but are worth as much or more.

There were people lined up for a mile to get tickets even though the cashiers didn't need to give change. Tickets cost $20. Probably more people came to see these oldies than attended the Philadelphia Auto Show. It's no wonder either, because they don't build cars like they used to.

Back in the '50s when my drivers license still had wet ink, I recall classified ads advertising such options as, "R&H" (radio and heater) or "WW" (white-wall tires). You seldom see white sidewall tires on new cars today.

Cars from the '30s and '40s didn't come with heaters, but you could order one as an extra. I almost had an accident yesterday trying to figure out the settings for my car heater. The old heaters were safer. You just turned a knob. We teenagers didn't need heaters. I used to drive my "ragtop" with the top down even in winter. A radio was great to have for dates, but the heater wasn't necessary for the same reason. Our cars had bench seats so you could cuddle up. Now couples sit in buckets separated by an armrest and cup-holders.

New cars only sell if loaded with extras. Air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, GPS navigation and a hundred other gadgets are now standard equipment. As if that is not enough distraction, people also take their cell phones along for texting. The new cars are supposed to be safer with half a dozen airbags, safety belts and bells that warn if it's not fastened or a door is open. In the good old days, one airbag in the passenger seat was sufficient to tell you all that. I think more people get killed or injured from all these gadgets and features than used to get hurt drag racing on back roads after midnight.

Until the late '40s no cars had automatic transmissions and only older people wanted them in the fifties. A V8-stick was the only car for teenagers. To be really cool, we even stripped a lot of standard features off our cars. I took the fenders off my Ford coupe, chopped the top,"Z'd" the frame by cutting wedges out and welding it back together. The body normally was bolted to the top of the frame, but I "channeled" it to fit around the frame. I stripped my cars of a lot of chrome trim, filled the holes and repainted them. A neighbor once said that I probably painted my cars more often than most people polished theirs. The end result was a sleek-looking hotrod that adults laughed at and teens drooled over.

My first car was a 1926 Model T Ford that got about 25 mpg. It could go just as fast in reverse as forward. Those cars were built to last and there are still a million of them in running condition. I have owned 91 cars to date, but if I had only kept the first 30, I would be very wealthy and the envy of everyone on the highway.

All-Way Stops
February 29, 2012 (Leap Year Day)

The invention of the four-way or all-way stop is one of my pet peeves and I just realized that I have not yet written a blog about it. I did mention the 4-way stop in a 2008 blog titled "A Graphics Lesson," but I really need to cover this subject better.

When you see an 8-sided sign with bold white letters on a red background at an intersection of two or more roads, it is what they call a "Stop Sign."

The stop sign is octagon-shaped so you can recognize it from both sides. When you approach an intersection and there is no stop sign facing you, you have what is called "right-of-way" unless a drunk driver has knocked down the stop sign that should be facing you. If this is the case, the back side of a stop sign on the opposite side of the intersection may give a clue.

If you come upon an intersection that has no stop sign facing you and you don't see the back side of a stop sign for opposing traffic, you may proceed cautiously on the assumption that you have the right-of-way. It is of course possible that both signs were knocked down by drunk drivers. For this reason it is a good idea to look for stop signs on the side roads. Unfortunately, stop signs are very thin and difficult to see from the side view.

A stop sign means "stop," but it can also mean STOP!" If you don't see, understand or obey the stop sign, always look up. If another car is coming, it is too late to do anything about it and the airbag won't hit you in the face. If nothing happens, you will feel better knowing that you didn't see any cameras mounted on poles.

Because of the above mentioned problems and because stop signs are in English and half the drivers are not fluent in English, someone invented the 4-way stop. The theory is that someone will probably stop.

My wife was born and raised in Pennsylvania where an intersection is a place where two roads converge. Soon after we married, she observed that New Jersey has many 5-way intersections. Having grown up with them, I never thought that they were that special. This is probably why NJ built so many traffic circles back in the '40s and '50s.

In recent years, the shortage of tax dollars, due to citizens fleeing the state, has caused officials in Trenton to do some serious thinking about roads and traffic. The state has had many famous inventors and one of them invented the "Jersey Barrier." I don't know who invented the 4-way stop, but New Jersey obviously invented the all-way stop. Even with additional stop signs, these are much cheaper than traffic circles.

A small sign that says "4-way" or "all-way" is attached to the post just beneath the stop sign at this type of intersection. I have observed that many of these tend to disappear, but why would anyone steal small pieces of aluminum? Is it the stainless steel screws they are after?

Because there were no all-way or 4-way stops when I got my drivers license, I had to learn the rules for these crossings from close observation. If there is only one vehicle at the crossing, it must stop and wait until another car arrives and comes to a complete stop. If the driver of the second car motions with the hand to go on, the first car continues. If the driver of the second car points his forefinger at his forehead, the first car must wait until the other driver steps on the gas and spins his tires.

Often two cars arrive simultaneously or within a seconds of each other, and although both believe they should be first, they both motion to the other to go first. This starts a dance consisting of both drivers alternately stepping on the gas and brake pedal until both vehicles bounce into the center of the intersection. That is when a third car drives through first and the others only need to determine who goes second.

Occasionally, four (or five) cars arrive at the intersection at once. That creates a free-for-all with no holds barred. All-way and 4-way intersections are really easy to master with a little practice, unless pedestrians or wild turkeys come into play.

In case you are preparing to write me an email, explaining that the four and all-way stops have saved many lives, I want to assure readers of my blog that I am well aware of this fact. Traffic jams save even more lives and a complete ban of cars would save the most lives. A better defense is that the all-ways keep body shops in business.

I have run into people (figuratively speaking) who actually swear by all-way stops instead of at them. Really!

Some states now have all-way yield intersections. They are like traffic circles without the circle. New York State has adopted a preventive law which states, "Yield signs shall not be used on all approaches to an intersection." I have a better idea. Why not eliminate intersections? All roads should just lead from where we are to where we want to go. Nobody likes intersections!  All roads should also go downhill. Think of the fuel we could save!

Happy Leap Year Day!

What to Do About Drug Offenders
April 4, 2012

Governor Chris Christie recommends that all 21 counties in the state mandate drug offender participation in the drug court program. Today's paper says, "Drug courts divert low-level drug offenders from prison into treatment through intensive supervision." The article goes on to say that it currently costs New Jersey taxpayers $42,000 per year for every prison inmate, but only $11,300 per annum for drug court inmates.

Christie proposed making $2.5 million available to pay for the mandate, but the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee voted unanimously, that it's not enough money. Alone in Camden and Essex Counties, the estimated cost of the mandate would come to $1.6 million.

At $11,300 per inmate, that would be 141 participants.

The $1.6 million figure is only for treatment, room and board. State Senator Raymond Lesniak (D), one of the bill's sponsors, stated that treatment facilities are already at near capacity, so more would have to be built. A 140-bed facility or several smaller ones would cost millions more. Remember, we are just talking about two counties right now.

If the remaining 19 counties have only half as many potential inmates, that would make about 800 state-wide. Multiply that number by $42,000 (prison cost) and it comes to $33,600,000. Multiplied by $11,300, it would cost taxpayers only $9,040,000. Quite a bargain, don't you think?

Of course those 800 persons are still out there buying and likely selling drugs. Who knows how much that costs taxpayers!

I am not very excited about the proposed political solution. When I was a missionary in Europe, I operated a youth center and drug rehabilitation program. Churches carried the expenses and our success rate was much higher than government-run facilities.

Of course that wouldn't be appropriate in New Jersey. Think of how many people would lose their jobs!

Voter ID
April 6, 2012

The Identification Document (ID)
Every American citizen and nearly everyone in the world has some sort of valid identity document that is accepted by his or her own government.

The most important form of identification is the birth certificate. One must show a valid birth certificate in order to obtain almost all other forms of identity. In order to get a visa, passport, credit card or driver's license, you have to show a valid birth certificate.

Barack Obama has been elected to the Presidency of the United States without showing a valid birth certificate. The one posted on his website has been declared a fabrication by leading US forensic experts.

The second most important and common form of identification is the Social Security card. Every citizen is issued a card and it is often needed for various transactions, employment and other situations. When a person turns 65, a Medicare card is issued with the same number. Although we are warned to keep the number secret, it is required by nearly every authority and non-authority as identification.

Barack Obama has used at least 16 different Social Security numbers at 49 addresses. The number he most frequently used, was issued in Connecticut in 1976-1977, yet there is no record of Obama ever living or working in Connecticut. Obama would have been 15-16 years old and living in Hawaii at the time.

Passports are another essential identity document when traveling abroad. A passport also works in lieu of a birth certificate in most situations, and is one of the most secure and widely accepted forms of identification.

Barack Obama has reportedly traveled internationally with several different passports giving different names and nationalities. All of Obama's personal information including school records, passport and travel records are under lock and key. Incidentally, Obama's Selective Service Card has also been exposed as phony by military experts.

Driver's licenses are necessary not only for driving, but for many other purposes as well. Applying for a job or a credit card, and retrieving money from your bank account often requires showing of a driver's license. It is the most commonly used form of ID in the US.

In order to do business with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Department, I must show at least four forms of identification: 1) One primary document, 2) One secondary document, 3) A verifiable Social Security number, and 4) proof of residence. Primary documents are worth 4 points, secondary documents are worth 3 points and others are worth 1 or 2 points. These must add up to at least 6-points.

At the MV office, I normally stand in line with a dozen or more individuals who are obviously foreigners, likely "undocumented."

I lived 38 years in Europe and have traveled widely in North America, Europe and Asia. I had to have a valid passport to enter every nation I have visited. In European nations, one needs a visa and residence permit in order to open a bank account, register a car or rent an apartment. My US drivers license was accepted only if I had obtained an international driving permit, and that was only good for three months. If I stayed in the country longer, I needed to obtain a national drivers license. Even then, owners are often issued special tags that identify the driver as a foreigner.

Schools and universities provide ID cards to students for on-campus purposes and activities. Employers and industries issue identity cards to their employees for security.

While no mandatory system of identification showing citizenship has been introduced in the United States, national ID cards are available to any citizen upon request.

Biometrics, holographic images, fingerprinting and lamination processes make IDs more difficult to falsify, but there is probably no foolproof method of identification. In order to vote for the most powerful person in the world, I would think that some sort of reliable identification should be required, but the ACLU and leading Democrats disagree. They claim that demanding an ID is restrictive, demeaning and regressive. "It represents a step backwards in a decades-long struggle to end discrimination."

Tea Party Suggestion
I attended the April 3, 2012 meeting of the Greenwich Tea Party Patriots where it was suggested that whenever we are asked for an ID, we should respond like the liberals do when we demand requiring voter IDs.

I plan to say the following:
"When cashing a check, boarding a plane, visiting a doctor, or for thousands of other reasons, I must prove my identity. Why do I need an ID for that when nobody needs an ID to vote for the most powerful position in the world? Demanding an ID is restrictive, demeaning and regressive. It represents a step backwards in a decades-long struggle to end discrimination."

Reading Between the LINES
April 17, 2012

Yesterday we got our electric bill from Atlantic City Electric. Each month they insert a little paper called LINES that includes items of interest. We especially liked the community events calendar, "Things to Do." It was nice to know what was going on in our area that we could see and do.

Now we can read between the LINES. This month's edition of LINES had a note to readers (customers) that I would like to share with those who aren't. It starts out as follows:

"Dear LINES Reader:
We're making some changes to LINES based on your feedback.

In a recent survey, you told us that you want more information about our efforts to improve reliability and restore services faster following storms. You also want to learn how to save money on your bill and how system improvements relate to the rates you pay for electricity."

Neither of us recalls doing a survey, but it was likely just a sampling of customers who were called by someone in India. I think I understand the above paragraph. Customers probably complained about outages due to squirrels and storms and how long it takes to restore services. And they probably complained about high electric bills. Under "system improvements" they are probably referring to the Agenda 21 required meter boxes that give the government remote control over our power usage.

The note continues:

"In response to your comments, future editions will devote more space to these specific topics of customer interest. In order to focus on what's important to you, LINES no longer will carry the community events column, Things to Do."

The best part of LINES has been discontinued and it's all our fault!

There is more.

"LINES also will be published quarterly instead of monthly to call more attention to the information presented. Frequently covered topics, such as electricity safety, how to prepare for outages and information on customer service programs, will be treated on separate bill inserts."

Less information is better because electric customers can't handle information overload. LINES will therefore come less often, but in it's place, more advertisements will accompany our electric bill.

The note concludes:

"Finally, LINES will sport a new look. The redesign will use photos more effectively and present information in an easier-to-read format.

We hope you find future editions of LINES a great improvement. Look for the new LINES with your July bill."

Got it! Many customers are illegal aliens and the rest of us are uneducated or lazy. We only read photos and text messages.

At the bottom, there is another note:

"Follow us on Twitter at"

Book Review of Susan Orlean's recent book about Rin Tin Tin
May 7, 2012

"RIN TIN TIN, The Life and the Legend"
by Susan Orlean, 2011

My wife and I have been raising puppies for The Seeing Eye. Our third dog was a German Shepherd and people kept saying he looked like Rin Tin Tin. The silent films starring this notable dog were before our time, and we both grew up in families without television, so we also missed the TV series. Assuming that the Rin Tin Tin films were based on a popular novel, I decided to "buy the book."

I went to eBay and typed "Rin Tin Tin" into the search line. Immediately 870 items popped up that included everything from toys and memorabilia to books and DVDs. You could buy a 7-inch long replica of the dog for $2.999.99, a 1931 "Lone Defender" movie poster for $1.110, Rin Tin Tin comics for $70 and Rin Tin Tin DVDs for as little as $2.50 including postage and handling! There were a couple of ads for a new book about Rin Tin Tin but the sellers were asking $30 - $40 for a copy. I switched to and found the same book - brand new - for only $10.98, and used, for as low as $5.90. I ordered a used copy that was offered by a Salvation Army "Goodwill" store. When the book arrived, I discovered that it was in perfect condition and had even been autographed by the author!

Now to the book.

I am a speed reader when searching for basic information, but I soon discovered that this book was a well-written and fascinating read, so I decided to take my time to digest it properly. I read in small segments, taking notes along the way.

I gained a wealth of information about Rin Tin Tin, but was pleasantly surprised to learn much that I never knew about dogs in general. Orleans writes about the domestication of dogs from wolves to working dogs, war dogs, outdoor pets, indoor pets, show dogs and finally, as Hollywood stars. The author delves into the development of the German Shepherd and other dog breeds. As if that were not enough, Orleans presents a vividly painted picture of the birth and development of the film industry and television. It is not difficult to believe that Orleans spent ten years traveling around America and Europe, researching her subject.

I encourage every dog owner or animal lover to read this book. For this reason, I won't reveal many details of its contents, but here are just two interesting facts that I learned.

During the silent film era, 115 million Americans bought 100 million movie tickets a week! Many watched the same film several times.

In 1884, Germany had 30,000 trained war dogs, and during WW II, the number climbed to over 200,000. Hitler was infatuated with German Shepherds and considered them to be the super race of the dog world. Hitler's mistress, Eva Braun, was not permitted to sleep in the same room, but his German Shepherd shared his bed -- perhaps he felt safer?

This is an unpaid endorsement. (Also see page about raising Seeing Eye Dogs)

Review by Ralph V Harvey

Ralph's Modest Proposal - Introductory words
May 17, 2012

I have done some serious thinking about matters that divide our nation, consuming time and energy that should be devoted to more urgent issues. The most popular word in political circles is "bipartisan" and it has never been so partisan as it is today. The general discontent among the American people and the great divide between liberals and conservatives is viewed by the Department of Homeland Security as a greater threat than terrorism. There are reports that the DHS is creating stockpiles of ammunition and training its agents how to respond in event of a civil war. Millions of Americans are armed!

I don't have the ghost of a chance to get elected to Congress or the Senate, where I might have some small measure of influence, nor do I own a gun. I asked myself how I might be instrumental in offering a solution to this divisiveness or at least provide hope of improvement. I am known for coming up with unique ideas, so I decided that I should attempt to find a few workable solutions. Because I happen to write a lesser known blog, I thought that this would be the obvious place to post my conclusions.

People sometimes accuse me of being biased toward conservative viewpoints, but I actually subscribe to a daily newspaper, which is decidedly liberal. I even read what liberal columnists have to say. I want to be well-informed on both sides of any issue before making up my mind, and even then, I hope to be corrected if wrong. The ideas that I share here are partly inspired by what I have read in our liberal newspaper and seen on an equally liberal TV station (ABC, not that it makes a difference). We only have basic cable and few choices.

Ralph's Modest Proposal should not be confused with Jonathan Swift's literary work, "A Modest Proposal" from 1729. If you haven't read that, you can download it here in Word format. Other parts of Ralph's Modest Proposal will hopefully appear shortly.

Ralph's Modest Proposal, Part I
May 17, 2012

"Remove Legal Status of Marriage"

Vice President Biden and President Obama (in that order) gave me the inspiration for this measure on May 9, 2012 when they announced that they have decided to promote the legalization of gay marriage.

I suggest that we remove the legal status of marriage altogether, and the sooner the better, so our elected leaders can finally start working on solutions to the big problems facing our nation.

I am happily married according to a millenniums-old definition of the word, but I hope they hurry up and remove the legal status of marriage. It wouldn't change anything for me, but our government could finally stop bashing Christians and do something productive.

Marriage used to unite people, but now it divides them. Obama and his LGBT crowd are wasting a lot of precious time trying to re-define marriage. Forget it! Mr. Obama admitted in his public statement on Wednesday that he had difficulty coming to his "evolved" position on marriage because it has "traditional and religious values" for many. We don't need laws to govern tradition and religion.

If marriage is no longer a legal contract, anyone who chooses to marry, can still choose to do so. There could be cheap "do-it-yourself" marriage packages or, if preferred, partners can throw a bash that makes newspaper headlines.

Since marriage would not be legally binding, there would be no need to define it. People could marry anyone they choose, for any length of time without having to go through divorce proceedings. And the marriage could be with any person, group, animals, plants or even inorganic objects. Pet lovers and tree huggers should be thrilled with such a prospect. Sex and age wouldn't matter either.

If Obama, Biden and their friends want to evolve without legal restrictions, my suggestion would be the logical way to go. Marriage should not be legally binding. If evolution has brought us this far without divine or human intervention, why meddle now? Get out of evolution's way!

A personal note to readers:
May 21, 2012

If you are not familiar with the literary technique called "satire," please check the dictionary definition before reading further. I don't want to lose my friends!

Read the introduction to "Ralph's Modest Proposal" and "Part I" before reading "Part II" below.

Ralph's Modest Proposal Part II

"Raise Age of Personhood"

Our government has determined that fetuses are not human beings for the first nine months of their existence. "Pro Choice" means the mother may decide if that living fetus in her womb will be permitted to become a human being or if it is undesirable and thus to be terminated.

The March 2, 2012 British Medical Journal published an article titled, "After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?" The authors, Oxford University ethicist Dr. Francesca Minerva and Dr. Alberto Giubilini, a bioethicist from the University of Milan, suggest that, when the same conditions that would have justified abortion become known after birth, we need to assess facts in order to decide whether the same arguments that apply to a human fetus can be applied to a newborn baby. In the above article, newborn and pre-born human life is referred to as a "potential person." The authors argue that "the moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus, that is, neither can be considered a person in a morally relevant sense."

This gives rise to the question of when a "potential person" becomes a "person." The logical answer is that personhood begins when the child is no longer dependent. Some might learn to fend for themselves at an early age while others, due to mental or physical handicaps, would be dependent much longer. Pro-Choice would allow a parent, guardian or legal custodian to determine if the potential person should be exterminated or permitted to achieve full personhood.

Certain controls might be necessary to prevent a parent or legal guardian from administering illegal corporal punishment under the guise of attempting a legal abortion.

Extending non-personhood to the entire period of dependency, would provide greater freedoms for legal providers and encourage young adults to get a job and move out rather than continue to mooch off their parents.

Social and economic conditions may change unexpectedly making it necessary to re-evaluate the situation. Partners separate, people become unemployed, or alcoholics, or drug addicts. One never knows how these things can affect a person's ability to support a non-person.

Gays and lesbians now have their rights, and people can change their sex as often as they want. Wife swapping or "swinging" is now in vogue. The President of Penn State, Graham Spanier, even wrote his doctoral thesis on the subject. Unfortunately much of the public has yet to accept pedophilia, but raising the age of personhood would likely simplify the process considerably.

The matter of whose dependents these non-persons are may require establishment of certain guidelines, in order to assure that custodial rights and privileges are not encroached upon.

Obamacare has already taken into consideration those who once reached legal personhood, but later in life, return to dependency due to age and health conditions. In past centuries, children, family and religious institutions assumed responsibility for such individuals, but today most become dependents of the State. By applying pre-personhood rules to post-personhood, health-care and end-of-life decisions would be greatly simplified.

I understand that the White House is seriously seeking to make both persons and potential-persons dependents of the State, giving the government the right to decide all these issues.

Ralph's Modest Proposal Part III
Legalize Drugs and Open Borders

Neither concept is new, but both should be considered together. Certainly, we should not rush into this, but after November it may be our best option.

Legalize Drugs
Drug trafficking is a multi-billion dollar business and no taxes are paid, not even sales tax. Instead of collecting taxes, the government spends billions for largely ineffective policing and incarceration of smugglers and dealers. Only the small fish get caught, many of whom earn less than minimum wages. They can't even pay their fines, yet taxpayers must pay for their room and board in our jails.

Legalizing drug production and sales would lead to lower prices, eliminate smuggling and even provide new agricultural income. Our government would likely give farmers subsidies to help them get started in this new venture. Instead of importing drugs, we could be exporting them, thus closing the gap in our balance of trade. In fact, we could win the war in Afghanistan right here at home. Some 90% of opiates now come from that country. If we flood the national and international markets with our own production, the Afghan economy would collapse and the Taliban would leave for greener pastures.

If drugs are legal and cheap, young people wouldn't be attracted to them. Convince kids that drugs are vegetables and they won't touch them.

Open Borders
Trying to patrol borders is a costly and futile undertaking. Almost everyone who wants to come in illegally is successful, and those who get caught are jailed at taxpayer expense. The ones who are not caught don't pay taxes yet get free healthcare and other social services. They even get government handouts for relatives they left behind. Because businesses risk penalties for hiring them, these people generally do illegal stuff like peddling drugs.

Opening the borders and legalizing drugs would solve all these problems.

I can perceive of some fellow citizens voicing objections to such a plan. They are perhaps rightly fearful that the United States would soon be overrun by foreigners and we would all have to learn Spanish. But consider the alternative. Europe is being overrun by Muslims and Europeans may soon have to learn Arabic. There are so many Muslims living in France, that they were able to claim victory in the recent presidential election.

Most foreigners who enter our nation illegally are South Americans, and the biggest difference between North and South Americans is the language. Learning Spanish is much easier than learning Arabic. Dress, customs and holidays are pretty much the same throughout the Americas. Even the religion is similar. The majority on both sides of the border claim to be Christian, but few take their religion seriously and they don't adhere to Sharia law. If Muslims should gain a strong foothold in America, we would need the South Americans as allies in defending ourselves from the Brotherhood.

Tea partiers are understandably pessimistic about opening our borders because illegal aliens usually vote for liberal Democrats (no voter ID required in many states), but that is only because Obama and the liberals offer them amnesty. If Tea Partiers pushed for open borders, the new immigrants would vote for candidates which the Tea Party endorses.

My proposal may sound crazy to a few members of the older generation. There are still some Americans who believe this to be a great nation which can overcome any obstacle and defeat any enemy. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans doesn't believe that overcoming and defeating is politically correct or even necessary. President Obama has probably assessed the situation in America correctly and will accordingly be re-elected for another term. The younger generation believes in tolerating declared enemies and getting entitlements. The middle aged are too busy trying to earn enough money to pay their taxes and bills to worry about the future of America.

A few states, like Arizona are doing an impressive job of controlling the borders and drug traffic, but Washington is not happy about them meddling in their business and has even declared war on states that try to enforce laws and stop illegal trafficking.

A simultaneous opening of our borders and legalizing of drug traffic would decrease unemployment, increase taxable income, reduce the trade deficit and win wars without military expenditures and deaths. That seems like a win-win situation to me. Of course this would only bring short term solutions and I haven't had time to analyze the long-term affect of these measures on our nation.

If my suggestion should fail to bring about the desired results, "Plan B" would kick in. After a few years, no one would want to enter our country because conditions would be no different and perhaps worse than in their homeland. The immigration problem would solve itself and the population would be so drugged up that they won't care.

I'm sure that I have overlooked a few aspects, but hope to stimulate thinking about the big problems facing our nation. We really must do something by November!

Ralph's Modest Proposal, Part IV
June 9, 2012

If there is one thing that every American wants, it is the "inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Note that happiness is not a right, but Americans do have the right to pursue it.

Everyone wants freedom and happiness. No one likes to be constrained, restricted or confined. How can anyone enjoy being unhappy?

Although many liberal politicians trample on some parts of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, they all seek "liberty and the pursuit of happiness." It is the slogan of the gay rights movement and abortionists (they use the term "Pro Choice" because Christians argue that "inalienable right to life" applies to the unborn). "Liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is the driving force behind the ACLU, and even Muslim radicals who blow themselves and others up. They do it to gain eternal life in a paradise where they have liberty to pursue happiness with a harem of virgins.

Ironically, the greatest hindrances to achieving personal freedom and happiness are government and religion. Both religion and government tell people what they can and cannot do, but they are seldom in agreement. This situation adds stress to lives that might otherwise be unencumbered in their pursuit of liberty and happiness. We should be able to abolish at least one of these hindrances.

ABOLITION: the act of abolishing or making illegal; annulment; prohibition (war, alcohol, slavery etc.)

Abolishment of Religion
Although still a minority, American atheists are campaigning energetically to get religion outlawed. It started back in 1962-63 when atheists, under the leadership of Madeline O'Hare Murray, successfully convinced the government to make prayer and Bible reading in schools illegal.

Atheists have made many other advances in the past 50 years. All those obnoxious and disturbing Christmas carols, manger scenes and religious symbols that torment atheists are now forbidden in or on public property. Atheists are now campaigning to have the words "In God we Trust" removed from US currency and "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. Recently enacted "hate crime" and "bullying" laws now make it a crime to even express or display one's religious convictions publicly if it causes offence to another person. The ACLU has assumed the important role of "neighborhood watch," policing and bringing offenders to prosecution. Educators and military chaplains are restricted in the use of words referring to divinity, but the words, "Christ," "God" and "Jesus" may still be used freely in public places, provided it is profanity. Last but not least, President Obama has declared war on churches by requiring them to knowingly and willingly sin. Related to this is his redefining of marriage as a legal civic and sexual union between consenting parties of any gender (not to be confused with bipartisanship).

To my knowledge, only one nation has ever abolished religion. In 1967, Communist dictator Enver Hoxha declared Albania to be an officially atheist state and banned all religious practices. Even the most famous Albanian, Mother Theresa, was banned to India. The Communists had instituted the perfect government in which all citizens were equal, so religion became obsolete, unnecessary and, most importantly, a threat to the success of socialism.

It didn't work well for Albania, which soon became the poorhouse of Europe. I spent two weeks in Albania shortly after Communism was overthrown. More than 70% of the people were unemployed and the once flourishing industries lay in ruins. Living conditions were catastrophic with infrastructure and health care institutions a shambles.

By 2000, Christian missionaries (like myself) had begun to assist in rebuilding. The young church we helped in Kukes was plowing snow, cleaning streets and carting trash to a city dump that they had built with assistance from a British relief agency. The same church, whose members averaged 25 years of age, was operating a small wood-working factory and an optical shop. The young opticians received free training and testing equipment from Swiss experts, and we helped collect used eyeglasses in Western Europe for the project.

Religion is too powerful a force to ignore. Nearly all educational institutions, hospitals and charitable organizations have religious roots. As a retired missionary, I am perhaps prejudiced, but a large percentage of them were founded by Christians.

CONSOLIDATION: unification; combining or joining (companies, principles, beliefs, ideas etc.).

Consolidating Government and Religion
The concept of unifying nations under a one-world government is certainly not new, but few have come close to attaining that goal. The Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans conquered massive territories for a time, but they were far from world dominion.

With the exception of Communism, most attempts to gain world power included a religious aspect. Normally, the head of state, king or emperor was worshipped as a god and subjects were bound to honor the official religion. Atheistic Communism failed to achieve its goals, but it's sister, socialism, has had better success. Socialism doesn't present itself as an enemy of religion, but rather as a partner. It learned from the successes and failures of various state-church constellations.

For centuries, Europeans were ruled by coalitions of a secular government and a "state church" (official state religion). The "Holy Roman Empire" was most successful, but there were others such as the British Monarchy. Prior to the rise of socialism, these coalitions simply cooperated to keep the people enslaved and poor. Common people owned little or nothing and enjoyed few freedoms. Education and wealth were reserved for church and government officials.

The primary motivation of pilgrims and peasants who left Europe to settle America, was to escape governmental and religious oppression. They wanted to own property, educate their children and most importantly, to worship God as they chose rather than as they were told to do. This is the reason for the First Amendment, falsely referred to as "separation of church and state." The First Amendment has two parts. It forbids government/church coalitions, and it guarantees freedom to worship according to one's beliefs.

Mohammed was a good observer of Christianity and a student of history. Because religions and governments have seldom been on the same page and were usually in competition for power and wealth, such coalitions were usually unstable and often explosive. Mohammed decided that a "church state" was superior to a "state church." Instead of the government forming a coalition with one religion, the religion and state were one and the same. Islam is both a political and a religious concept, and these two aspects are inseparable. Certain elements of Christianity and even Judaism were incorporated into Islam in order to make it more palatable to these groups, but Islam is absolutely intolerant of other religious and political systems. Most if not all Arab nations are officially Muslim and the clear objective of Islam is world domination.

Socialism is a combination of the church-state idea and communism. The current one-world movement seeks to unite all nations and all religions under a socialistic style government.

Rule by an atheistic government such as Communism, and under a religious government, like Islam, is devastating for the common people. The moment religion and government are united in a dictatorship, the masses become slaves of the elite few. This has always been the case and there is no reason to believe that a one-world government and religion would be any different.

Abolishing Government
A careful comparison of government and religion shows a number of distinct differences, which make this option viable and perhaps even preferable.

For the most part, participation in religion is voluntary. Unlike many nations, America offers many choices of religions and no one is forced to belong to any of them. Contributions are welcome, encouraged and sometimes coerced, but not forced upon members.

Government, on the other hand, enslaves everyone. Government is anything but holy, yet charges for its services. It can levy taxes and fees at will, make and enforce laws with little or no input from the citizens and punish those who refuse to acquiesce to its mandates. We must even pay for services that we never receive and pay taxes on taxes.

Even if you obey every law that government imposes, you get no reward. Yet break just one law, and you are fined or thrown into jail!

In contrast, most religions promise rewards for good behavior and punishment for disobedience. Christianity even promises heaven for the bad guys - if they repent before they die.

Our financial woes would dissipate and the economy would spring back overnight if we got rid of government. Instead of paying greedy politicians to rob us and tell us what we can't do, we could invest in productive businesses and start hiring and exporting again. We would once again enjoy high productivity and prosperity.

Criminal activity would also cease. Burglars would be unwilling to ply their trade, knowing that citizens are armed and capable of defending their property. And without judges and courts, there would be no lawyers to defend them.

Having considered these options, I favor abolishing government. You can restore an old car to like-new condition, and you can exchange a few body parts in old people to keep them going. But our government has ceased to function properly and it apparently can't be fixed. Most politicians agree that there is no possibility of cutting expenses and improving efficiency. They all claim to be doing the best they can with what they have. Their suggested solution is more money, but taxes can hardly get any higher and few citizens are working.

It is time to discard the government. If we could abolish government before the national conventions, the savings in campaign expenses alone would go a long way in fixing our economy!

Global Wind Day Demonstration in Ocean City, NJ
June 9, 2012

Many people never heard of Global Wind Day, but public school kids know about it. “Global Wind Day” is part of a larger agenda of the United Nations. It coincides with the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which opened today in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Global Wind Day was organized by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Proponents of off-shore windmills have jumped on Global Wind Day to solicit kids to push their agenda. The big corporations that stand to profit from the windmill project, GE, Siemens, and others provided free kites for kids in Ocean City and Asbury Park, NJ.

My wife and I took part in a Tea Party demonstration today in Ocean City, New Jersey to protest the construction of these wasteful monstrosities along the Jersey Shore. About thirty members of our local Tea Party group and members of several other South Jersey groups gathered on the Boardwalk, holding flags and home-made posters. We gave handouts to strollers and had constructive conversations with a number of individuals who wanted to know more.

Four or five men stood opposite us, also holding posters. There was no indication of who or what they represented, but they were obviously opposed to Tea Party Patriots. One opponent claimed that we teapartiers were being paid to protest! I could imagine those who profit from the construction of windmills paying protestors, but who profits if they are NOT built? Taxpayers? Birds that might otherwise have been killed?

For those who don't know, the New Jersey legislature has passed the "Offshore Wind Economic Development Act," which authorizes a $100 million taxpayer subsidy to build a wind farm off the coast of New Jersey. This, in spite of the fact that offshore windmills are the most inefficient source of energy. New Jersey energy experts predict that our electric bills will increase by over 200%.

Let me be clear: NO teapartier I know is opposed to renewable energy! In fact, I am perhaps the most energetic proponent of "green energy" in South Jersey! I have owned more than thirty sailboats since retiring! I still have six sailboats in our yard in case anyone is interested in buying a "renewable energy vehicle."

Here is the problem in a nutshell:
Government and environmentalists claim that fossil fuel is limited and we need to investigate alternate energy forms.
We agree wholeheartedly!

Government and the environmentalists think that money is unlimited and just needs to be sequestered or printed (same result either way).
We disagree vehemently! Government needs to cut spending and everyone needs to use energy and money as efficiently as possible. Click here for pictures!

July 13, 2012 - Friday the Thirteenth

The number thirteen is my lucky number. In supermarkets, I always look for cash register #13. People tend to avoid that line. I sold a boat and had money to deposit today, on Friday the thirteenth. The total came to $1300.

Friday the thirteenth was an unlucky day for Penn State. National television and front page news carried extensive accounts of the latest developments in the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal. In a 267-page report, FBI Director Freeh showed that University President, Graham Spanier and other key leaders at Penn State allegedly suppressed incriminating information for 14 years while children continued to be abused. Even the venerable football coach, Joe Paterno, was faulted for not doing more to protect children from a dangerous predator.

University trustees claim to have known nothing, but anyone close to Penn State leadership could have easily smelled something rotten. But skunks among skunks don't stink. The trustees knew about Spanier's background espousing deviant sexual activities. I am convinced that this was one of the factors in their decision to call him. He was their man.

Penn State's former president Graham Spanier was openly obsessed with sexual deviation of almost every sort. In 1975, he wrote a dissertation on "swinging" - wife swapping for those not familiar with terminology of sexual diversification. Spanier was a promoter of the university's annual "Sex Faire," with partly un-dressed lesbian performance artists, a transgender "boy-lovers" advocate, Patrick Califia-Rice and other dubious characters. In the FBI report, Spanier is seen to show sympathy for the alleged pedophile, Sandusky, but not for the child victims.

The introduction to Spanier's essay on swinging, reads, "This article attempts to illuminate the understanding of swinging, or mate swapping, an increasingly common form of extramarital sexual activity. A theoretical formulation argues that swinging is a form of extramarital sexual activity which serves to define as good and acceptable a behavior that in other forms and in the past has been considered deviant and immoral."

There have always been homosexual and lesbian relationships, but they were never considered normal until recently. Now elementary school teachers promote this as normal and acceptable sexual activity. Marriage is nothing more than a mutual contract between two or more persons. Swinging was once considered deviant and immoral (called "adultery"), but it is now fashionable among educators with six figure incomes, who are endowed with the job of educating our youth.

Friday the Thirteenth, 2012 was an unlucky day for Penn State. On Friday the Thirteenth, 2052 or perhaps much sooner, pedophilia will be considered good and acceptable behavior. That will be a lucky day for educators and future Sanduskys.

The next step in educating the masses, will be having sex with animals. Sears already sells "how to" manuals such as "Dearest Pet," "On Bestiality" and "Bestiality and Zoophilia: Sexual Relations with Animals" on its website that extol variations of this future "good and acceptable behavior."

July 18, 2012 - Environmentalist Nonsense

The Colorado fires were fueled by dead trees. About 70% of the trees were killed by the pine beetle. Loggers wanted to log out the dead wood, but needed to make service roads through the wilderness. Tree huggers stopped them because they claimed it would have a negative impact on the environment. Now, there is no environment, and the pine beetle has probably been placed on the "endangered species" list.

The High Park fire was caused by lightning and burned 90,000 acres. The Waldo Canyon fire was much worse because the area was more populated. And that fire was deliberately set!

In Colorado Springs, 346 homes were destroyed. A headline in the Gloucester County Times read, "Tons of homes destroyed in Colorado fires." My guess is that the writer figured ashes don't weigh much.

The scenario in Colorado reminds me of the situation with Route 55 in New Jersey. Residents, tourists, visitors and delivery trucks traveling to and from Cape May must sit in traffic jams for hours every summer, running their air conditioners and polluting the air. The environmentalists believe that this is better for the birds than allowing the highway department to build an extra lane so vehicles can get through the area faster.

Like people who build on the delicate barrier island beaches, people who build in the mountains run certain risks. But if they evacuate in time, the storms or fires only destroy property. Many of the homes are owned by wealthy lawyers, politicians and other tree huggers, who don't bother with insurance. The President will declare it a disaster area and taxpayers pay for rebuilding.

Unfortunately, dictators are not elected officials and elected officials often become dictators.

August 2, 2012 - Chick-Fil-A

We ate lunch at the Vineland Chick-Fil-A yesterday. The parking lot and parking lots of adjoining stores were filled. The drive-in lane seemed endless. Normally, customers want a table for themselves, but yesterday it was like one big family. We ate outside in the rain under an umbrella with another couple. There were long lines, but service was fast and efficient. Workers were busy but one worker came to ask if there was anything he could do for us - outside in the rain!

There was no police presence, but the media was forced to take notice. Our paper said that thousands across the nation turned out for Customer Appreciation Day in spite of statements by the owner which angered the LGBT community.

There are 1600 franchised restaurants, so if each served only 1000 customers, that would make 1.6 million. Someone who works at a CFA wrote last night that they served over 12,000 meals on just one shift! A McDonald's across the street put up a sign that read, "We support Chick-Fil-A. Boycott us!" Wendy's and Taco Bell in that town also added their support.

In stark contrast, a dozen kids between 13 and 18 stood out front of the Vineland store, holding posters for gay pride. They looked creepy, with painted hair (like James Holmes), lots of exposed flesh and tattoos. It reminded me of the packs of stray dogs that roam third world cities. They have been abandoned by their parents and society and are trying to find some identity.

The LGBT crowd is planning a "kiss in" on Friday, August 3. The plan is to occupy CFAs in 39 states, kissing and hugging inside the restaurants. It will be interesting to see how the media reports on that!

Ulterior Motives? (Voter ID law) -- August 17,2012

I have been told that it is not proper to question a person's motives, but we had better question their words and actions. And what people say and do often reveals their ulterior motives. This is especially true of politicians.

The ongoing arguments about red light cameras is a good example of this. I have never been ticketed for running a red light, or for not coming to an absolute stop before turning right on red. But I constantly fear becoming involved in an accident because of these electronic devices. They are installed at many intersections, but one never knows which ones are hooked to computers that generate income for the community. Even if I am doing the speed limit, when a light turns yellow, I have learned to brake fast, sometimes causing a chain reaction of braking behind me. It is neither smart nor safe to do so, but it is prudent for someone trying to live on what is left of Social Security after politicians stole most of it. When making a right turn on red, I always come to a complete stop before proceeding even if I can see that there is no traffic in any direction for a mile. Has anyone else noticed that the "Yield" traffic signs have all but vanished from intersections?

Politicians claim that this is all for our safety. That is why they have special measuring devices to calculate the minimum length of time required for the yellow phase. Is there any politician out there who proposes extending the yellow phase one second?

Another example is the great political debate about voter ID. Republicans are for the measure and the Democrats are against it. Does anyone know of an exception?

I recently tried to register a small boat trailer that I purchased used for $150. I was prepared to pay the $28 registration fee and $10.50 sales tax, but the Motor Vehicle agency refused my application. My drivers license with photo, issued at that very agency a few months earlier, was insufficient identification. I had to drive 20 miles to my home to get more identification. Is there any politician out there going to bat for me, claiming that the system is unfair and penalizes those 21,000,000 Americans who have no photo ID?

Where do politicians come up with this figure? Are there really 21 million Americans who never cashed a check, flew on a plane, owned a vehicle, served in the military, registered a child for school, visited a medical doctor or hospital, or bought tobacco and alcoholic beverages? And if these people exist, do they actually vote? The Amish come to mind, but I understand they don't vote.

I am very sympathetic and ask some politician to step forward and propose helping these citizens get a photo ID. It would be much easier and cheaper than fighting a political battle. And these underprivileged Americans would appreciate a personal ID more than some politician's sympathy.

A front page article in today's Gloucester County Times says that New Jersey Democrats oppose a voter ID requirement claiming that "voter ID laws are aimed at disenfranchising urban voters, the poor, students and the elderly & and are meant to hurt Democrats." The Democratic law makers claim that "there are few documented cases of in-person voter fraud, and called the laws 'a solution in search of an answer'."

I think that last quote was intended to be, "solution in search of a problem" but who am I to judge a person's intents or motives? I do have a question for the Democrats though. How can voter fraud be detected if voters are not required to identify themselves?

My "solution is in search of an answer" (readers are permitted to judge my intent).

September 3, 2012; Campaign Slogans

In 2008, the Democrats were asking, "Do you want more of the same, or hope and change?"

Because their 2008 campaign slogan worked so well for them, the DNC has decided to recycle it (in a different form). At this week's Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, you will be hearing it over and over: "We hope you don't change; vote for more of the same!"

For the past four years, we have been hearing, "It's all Bush's fault." If Romney gets elected, we will hear four years of, "It's all Obama's fault."

Either way, it's more of the same. Only the names have been changed to identify the guilty.

In November, we can choose which slogan we like better.

In 2016 it will be more of the same, but without hope!

Don't expect any more blogs until after the election in November. You are undoubtedly getting bombarded with political ads by phone, mail, email and the media. I believe in following the "Golden Rule" which says to do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.

Unfortunately, the Ten Commandments are no longer permitted in politics, so lying is not considered a sin. Nobody wants to hear the truth because it hurts. Whoever lies most, loudest and best wins -- and we all lose!

November 7, 2012 - "Republic of Texas?"

On February 1, 2009, I wrote a blog urging Texas and Alaska to secede from the Union and merge to form the "Republic of Alastex." I still think it would be a great idea, but better informed persons have informed me that only Texas has the legal right to secede. Furthermore, Alaskans and Texans are separated by more than a couple of thousand miles.

These two states seldom agree on anything. I argued in 2009 that the flag of the new "Republic of Alastex" could have two large stars, the Lone Star from the Texas flag and the North Star from Alaska's flag. The United States flag would once again have only 48 stars. Unfortunately, neither State could agree on the placement of their star because both had to be first.

A union of Alaska and Texas would be a very unequal yoke. Alaska is more than twice the size of Texas! You could put the State of New Jersey 75 times into Alaska, yet Hoboken, NJ has more inhabitants than all of Alaska! On the other hand, 23 of America's 100 largest cities are located in Texas!

Another problem with this union would be the fierce spirit of independence and pride displayed by both states. Both Texas and Alaska are self-sufficient in most areas, and each State takes pride in the fact that their citizens can handle nearly every extreme circumstance. Alaskans love the extreme cold while Texans thrive in the heat. Alaska, for instance, accounts for 25% of the oil produced in the United States while Texas produces 20%. Texas has the nation's largest herd of whitetail deer and Alaska has moose and grizzly bear. The fishing is great in the Gulf of Mexico and along Alaska's 47,300 miles of shoreline. These States simply don't need each other.

Unless these obstacles can be overcome, we will have to be content with the formation of a Republic of Texas.

Texas has a legal right to secede from the Union according to the terms of the Texas-American Annexation Treaty of 1848. Such dividing and seceding has been going on all over the world for a couple of decades already. Czechoslovakia is now the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Yugoslavia has become Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Croatia. Need I mention all the "Stans" that were once part of Russia?

Texas can easily survive as an independent Republic.

There is lots of room for expansion. Texas has more land than California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island and Vermont combined. And if they run out of space, NASA and the space industry is located near Houston.

Texas has plenty of natural gas, oil enough for at least 300 years, and refineries that provide 85% of the nations fuel.

The Republic of Texas could adequately defend its borders, territory and citizens. About 65% of the US defense industry is located in Texas. Then there is the Texas National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard and several military bases. If it gets bad, the Department of Public Safety can send in a bunch of Texas Rangers. There is no Army, but everybody in Texas has at least six guns and they know how to use them! Since Obama and the Democrats want to dismantle the military and force citizens to hand in their guns, the separation should be peaceful and without much bloodshed.

Texas has excellent medical care facilities, centers for cancer research, the best burn centers and the top trauma units in the world. The Houston Medical Center alone employees 65,000 people.

There are many excellent educational institutions to educate the kids and youth. There are the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Texas Christian, Rice, SMU, University of Dallas, University of Houston, Baylor, University of North Texas, Texas Women's University and more. Ivy thrives in Texas.

Texas is pretty well fixed for hi-tech too. It leads the nation in the production of computer chips and communications equipment. Texas Instruments, Dell Computer, EDS, Raytheon, National Semiconductor, Motorola, Intel, AMD, Atmel, Applied Materials, Ball Microconductor, Dallas Semiconductor, Nortel, Alcatel and other firms are situated here.

Texas workers are intelligent, capable and ambitious, not restricted by a bunch of unions. Texas is a Right to Work State. Texans just go out there and git 'er done.

Texas is totally self-sufficient in beef, poultry, hogs, grain, fruit and vegetables. It gets plenty of seafood from the Gulf. Texans also know how to cook, so they are fixed for food.

If Texas needs to import anything, three of the ten largest seaports in the US are located in the state.

Texas makes cars, but nothing rusts in Texas and when cars get old, Texans sell them as classics.

It's doable!

Now, if I can only find a buyer for our house in New Jersey! With State and Federal laws that have turned selling a home into a nightmare and the highest property taxes in the nation, - plus a high State exit tax, this would take a miracle.

November 9, 2012 - Link to interesting Election Maps posted on U. of Michigan website. The maps don't show Hawaii or Alaska, but give a pretty good idea of how the election went.

Only 12 of 50 States counted in this election. That is why most of the campaigning and advertising was centered on the 12 "battleground states." Some speak of the 9 "swing states," but either way, most Americans don't count. Many Californians had not had a chance to vote yet when the winner was announced.

November 14, 2012 - Classic Car Quiz

Forty-seven years ago, I bought a 1952 Volkswagen Beetle with a cloth folding roof, split back window and flip-out winker directional signals in the doorposts. It cost $120. If I still had that car in the same condition today, I could sell it for $25,000. That is 200 times the purchase price!

Five years ago, I bought a 1994 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon for $3,600. It is already a collector car. I could sell it for twice what I paid for it now.

Here is the quiz question: How long will I have to wait before the Buick is worth $720,000 (200 times what I paid)?

The answer: It could happen in four years with this government!

November 22, 2012 - American Thanksgiving

Most Americans, whether they claim to be Christians, atheists or something else, celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

Those who dislike the spiritual connotation of the word "thanks" call it T-day, but they still celebrate. Like the "X" in Xmas, "T" can stand for "turkey," "thanks," "TV" or whatever else you like. Someone has suggested calling it "F-Day" since it is characterized by words beginning with "F": family, feasting, friends, fun and football.

"T-Day" is probably preferable because most of the action takes place around the table and Television. There are many games and parades, and many channels to choose from. A typical home has several television sets and you can also watch whatever you like on the Internet, on your i-Phone or i-Pad.

I-Day might be a more appropriate name for this holiday.

The main thing is getting what I like. Some like brown meat and others like white. I like both. "Would you like soup or salad?" "Do you want gravy on your potatoes?" "Coffee or tea?" "Sweetened or unsweetened?" And there is usually a wide choice of pies for dessert.

On November, 24, 2010, the MetroWest Daily News of Farmington, MA, published an article titled, "The Fraud of Religion."

A reader responded with the question: " Who do atheists thank?"

An anonymous atheist responded by saying, "Thanks, Mom and Dad! You provided me with 23 chromosomes each, and I strive every day to make the best of them since I realize my limited command of these 46 chromosomes is temporary. I take your gift and live each day to the fullest!"

It's all about me, what I like, enjoy or want. "Thanks, Mom and Dad" means Mom and Dad are only important because of me. Atheists can thank anyone or anything that feeds their ego, tastes and desires. Thanks is sort of like a dog wagging its tail.

To be fair, I need to ask all the non-atheists reading this if you are any different. You believe Thanksgiving Day is a day to reflect on blessings and thank God. Does that only include the good things in life? The abundant harvest, good food, profitable business venture, a comfortable home, good health, children and grandchildren?

May your turkey be roasted to perfection, may you be enjoying good health, and may your team win. If it doesn't, your I-Day, F-Day, T-Day or Thanksgiving Day is ruined. You might as well be an atheist.

December 6, 2012 - Puppy Raising at 2:30 AM

We got the fifth puppy to raise for The Seeing Eye three weeks ago. After Venita, Pumpkin, TR and Betsy, we now have Nina. I don't know of any female piano players named Nina, but at ten weeks, Nina is the pianist puppy we ever saw.

Dogs normally learn ways to signal their masters when they need to pee or poop, but The Seeing Eye pup must learn the "Park Time" command (TSE terminology). We take the puppy out right after it wakes up from a nap and soon after it eats. For the first month or so, we also take the pup out in half-hour intervals for "Park Time." We wait patiently until the puppy "eliminates" (another TSE term), after which the pup is praised and petted. As the puppy learns to restrain itself, the intervals between Park Times can be gradually extended.

I was up four times with Nina the first night we had her. In the second night, it was only twice and the third night, Nina made it through until 5:00 AM. In the first week, Nina had only a few accidents during the day, so we were optimistic. The second week was something else! And last night was hopefully the climax of Nina's incontinence.

Nina did her Park Time at 10:00 PM before going to bed, but woke me up at 2:30 AM this morning, wanting to go out. I should have jumped, but first tried to tell her that she was a Seeing Eye Pup and was supposed to do Park Time on command. "Go back to sleep!" I said.

That was a mistake, and Nina only whined more urgently. I rubbed sleep out of my eyes, turned on the lamp, and pulled on my shoes and pants. Seeing Eye dogs always sleep tied to the bed, so I unhooked her. Before I could fasten the leash to her collar, Nina dashed out of the room with me hot in pursuit. Not wanting to clean up after her, I didn't take time to turn on the hall light. That was my second mistake.

The outside of our home is decorated for Christmas, but I just got boxes of decorations out of the attic yesterday to do the inside. Verna said she wanted to polish the furniture and finish washing windows before we got started on that project. Because our home is small, I stacked the boxes temporarily in our narrow hallway. Another mistake!

You can guess what happened next. After getting out of my tangle of ornaments, I saw the puppy squatting on the carpet in my office! I grabbed her before she was finished eliminating and took off running for the door. Fourth mistake of the morning!

We have a folding gate to keep the puppy out of the living room, but usually keep it open at night. It was pitch dark and I had to rely on memory to find the door. The gate was closed and I became a noisy gate crasher. Nina was so frightened that she eliminated on my arm. My wife finally woke up and yelled, "Are you hurt?" I had fallen onto the grapefruit tree, which has one inch thorns as sharp as puppy teeth. But I lied and said, "No, I am okay."

Nina had run into a corner and was trembling after all that commotion. I comforted her and talked soothingly before picking her up and taking her out for Park Time. Believe it or not, she not only pooped, but also peed some more!

When I got into bed much later, I made my wife promise to get rid of that grapefruit tree before letting her go back to sleep. It took me a while to go back to sleep. I had learned a little of what it must be like to be blind. And I came to realize how important it is, that we teach our puppies when, where and how to eliminate.

December 8, 2012 - A response to the Last Entry

"Your puppy story ended better than my puppy story in 1994. It was a late night in October - close to Halloween - and it was a Saturday night. We were about to go to bed and we let our new puppy on our bed because she messed in her cage. She then began to pee on our bed. I took her in my arms and quickly began to go down our second floor steps to let her out our front door. I did not realize our son had left a plastic whoopie cushion near the top of one of the steps. I slipped on the cushion with the dog in my arms and my left ankle hit every step until I reached the bottom landing. The dog was unhurt and had a great ride down the steps. Both bones in my left ankle were broken and the pain was so intense when I tried to hop on my good leg that I almost passed out. I had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital and had plates and screws put in my ankle. When I woke up from the anesthesia, I felt like I was drowning. When they took the tubes out of my lungs, I had bronchial spasms and they had to bag me to open my airways. Both of the whites of my eyes were totally blood red from the pressure they used on me. I did not want to sleep after I woke up and had my wife talk to me so I would not fall asleep - I thought I would not wake up again. I can remember the Pastor and a Deacon coming to visit me in the hospital.

It is too bad they do not have seeing eye cats, they do not have to be taken outside and are good at using the potty by themselves. We have some smart cats - one of them turned on our oven's self-cleaning cycle this past week. This involves hitting two buttons to make it happen!"

If you can top that story without lying, write me and I will post it (without names).