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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Shovel Ready

Remember when POTUS so proudly exclaimed that the trillion-dollar stimulus will be spent on shovel ready jobs? He learned the hard way that shovel ready projects are a myth.

Recently, I had some inspiration about how to spend the same trillion and solve some really huge problems.  If you would be so kind as to indulge me with some Monday morning quarter backing I want to make a proposal.

The stimulus was supposed to create jobs, keep unemployment under eight percent, and get the economy rolling again, but it did nothing but waste the money. Here is what should have been done.

  1. A large percentage of workers who are out of work are in the construction industry. With the collapse of the housing market, who needs construction workers?  Today, I spoke to a roofing contractor. He told me that normally, he puts on four roofs a week in Frankfort. Assuming a twenty-six week construction period that totals 104 roofs. This year only 13 permits were issued for new housing in Frankfort. He did twelve of them. It is pretty grueling to take a ninety-two-roof drop in business. My proposal is to build the GREAT WALL OF AMERICA along the US-MEXICO border from Arizona to The Gulf of Mexico at Brownsville, Texas. Now that would put a lot of unemployed people to work. I’m talking about a wall modeled after the GREAT WALL OF CHINA, not some pithy chain link fence that doesn’t even touch the ground and gives the border jumper hand holds to get over. Think of all the Americans and Mexicans that would be employed laying all that stone.  The Chinese wall has worked for five thousand years; I think a similar wall along our border would accomplish the same.
  2. While thousands of people are happily employed building the GREAT WALL OF AMERICA, I propose that a second project be initiated at the California-Arizona Junction on the Mexican border. This shovel ready project uses real shovels to begin digging a trench to separate California from Arizona.  The dirt excavated from the border trench is trucked to the Gulf of California to fill it in and to join the Baja peninsula to the mainland.  This is necessary to complete because after the GREAT WALL OF AMERICA is finished, the border between Mexico and California will be opened and Mexicans will have free rein to come and go into the USA as they please. Of course they are limited to getting into California.

The trench is widened as digging proceeds northward to the Oregon line. At Oregon, the digging moves westward to the Pacific Ocean. Once the trench meets the ocean the Corps of Engineers sets off a series of explosions in the trench to move California outward into the Pacific.

Are you still with me? Think of how all this construction and geological remodeling will improve the state of the world.

  1. Millions of construction jobs are created for the long term
  2. Caterpillar increases production of earthmovers by the tens of thousands creating even more jobs.
  3. The shovel factory expands production to three shifts; more jobs.
  4. Stonemasons and quarry workers work eighty hours a week.
  5. UAW guys push wheelbarrows of dirt to fill in the Gulf of California; others keep the stone moving to the stonemasons.
  6. Mexicans are ecstatic about the open border and the expanded market for drugs in the USA. Of course the Market is limited to California, where there is no end to the amount of shit they need.
  7. Both Arizona and Nevada benefit from the newly created ocean front property. Nevadans suddenly see a need for an ocean going cruise harbor and gambling casino on the New Sea of Obama. Nevada real estate agents become millionaires by selling the ocean front lots. Harry Reid moves to The Sea from his shantytown of Searchlight, and spends his remaining campaign funds gambling at the casino.
  8. The winds coming down the New Sea of Obama from the Pacific creates a new weather pattern bringing rain into the deserts of Nevada and Arizona providing cooling and fabulous farming opportunities.
  9. Oregon, and California also benefit from the expansion of waterfront property.  Movie stars create a new community on the Sea of Obama that out does Malibu, Carmel, and Santa Barbara in opulence.
  10. The digging and explosions uncover the world’s largest reserve of oil, which eliminates our dependence on foreign oil.
  11. Death Valley becomes the Garden of Eden. With a new water supply feeding the aquifers below the desert, the Park Service renames it Living Valley. There is a free flow of cheap labor coming from Mexico to harvest the abundant crops growing there.  A segment of the valley turns it into a wine growing terroir that out does all the wine regions of the world including Napa Valley.
  12. A huge benefit can come from a geological disaster. I have assumed that California will hang onto the mainland of Mexico. After the trench is completed, and the Pacific rolls in to form the New Sea of Obama. There is such a small connection to Mexico that it might just break off thus allowing California to float into the Pacific as a new island state rivaling Hawaii. The downside of this is that the open border is closed with a sea of water and the free flow of labor and marijuana ends.
  13. California already has a large Hispanic population and speaking Spanish is not a problem for them. The new immigrants will assimilate into California society seamlessly. They can have all the freebies that California can provide.
  14. Californians are forced to take care of themselves, and to figure out how to deal with the rest of the world.

Now, that is what I call shovel ready! This proposal creates jobs, fixes the illegal immigration problem, finds new oil, opens arid desert land and makes it prime property. Creates a new weather pattern for the desert states.

Since California usually does what it wants to do regardless of what the rest of the country does, they can handle the new situation anyway it sees fit to do.

Great STRIDES

Blogging on Grumpa Joe’s Place  became second to my other activities this month.  It has been a busy LIONS activity month. A parade, Candy Day, a walkathon, board meeting, regular meeting etc. the list goes on. After the Lions activity, my garden needed to be put to bed for the winter. Fall always makes the garden look tired and ragged. Leaves get into everything. Dry flower stems abound, and the pond fills with debris. Lots of work, in other words.

I started a new website this summer for the Frankfort Lions Club, and posted to it frequently to promote club events and to inform members about our activities and needs. It has become a very useful tool for the club. I posted more on the WE SERVE blog than I did on GJP. One reason was my involvement with the STRIDES: Lions Walk for Diabetes Awareness. This was the third time I ran this walk, and I set a goal to make it a success. The past two walks were mediocre at best. We learned from each, and this time we made it better.

Last winter, while surfing the net in Arizona, I learned that walkathons are popular with schools. Late this summer, our Lions District Governor came back from a convention and related the Lions Clubs International Foundation goal to involve the youth of community in local Lion activities. That convinced me that I was on the right path.

I scheduled the event for next spring to  give the club plenty of time to plan. The first step was to get on the high school calendar. In the process, the Student Activities Coordinator recommended that we partner and hold the walk on Make a Difference Day on October 23, 2010. So much for long term planning. We were seven weeks away at this point, but excited at the prospect of partnering with a prestigious school like Lincoln-Way East. The rest is history. This walk became the most successful of all three.

Part of my effort went into creating online registration, and the website produced 20% of the total income. It also gave us a feel for what the participation might be.

Why was this walk so important to me? Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in the world. Lions are committed to eliminating blindness and to serving sight impaired people. I also have a personal reason for the interest. One of my family members is a type one diabetic, and  I am committed to finding a cure for the disease.

Diabetes is not new, it is well over five thousand years old.  There are ancient Egyptian petroglyphs depicting flies swarming around the sweet urine of a man taking a whiz. One would think that by now we would have a cured it. A cure is getting closer, but still light years away for the people affected by the disease. Progress is happening. Until the discovery of insulin in the early nineteen hundreds, people with diabetes died from starvation, and many organ failures.

Diabetes is still a scourge and the reason for so many health problems that they are too numerous to mention. As progress is made to cure the disease, the world is becoming more diabetic. What’s with that?

If you want to help my cause go to the WE SERVE blog and donate online to the STRIDES walk.

Autumn Stroll

This past week, I couldn’t take it anymore. My PC crashed again for the sixth time in as many weeks. I had to get away from the machinery and the search for a fix. My new computer was still en route and I continued to nurse the old guy along hoping it would find new life. Microsoft was working against me. Every time the machine allowed an upload of new security software, it affected the functionality of the keyboard.

The afternoon was warm, and sunny, so I left the house with my camera and took a stroll around my town.

I love Frankfort. It is growing up but still has a small town feel to it. We are close enough to Chicago to make a trip downtown relatively easy. In fact, on Wednesday afternoon, Peggy and I drove to Steppenwolf and made it in fifty minutes. The ride home was faster. There are times, however when that same trip takes a full ninety minutes each way.

The air was still this afternoon, and eerily quiet. Normally, I can hear the traffic on route thirty or forty-five. Today, all I heard was silence.

The sun was still high, but because of its position the shadows were long. This made for some great photos. There is color all around. All one has to do is to look and be aware. The trees that are still leaved are brilliant green, yellow, gold, red, and orange. Those trees that are bare have a blanket of crinkly dry leaves scattered about lush green lawns.

All about town, people decorated for Halloween. Front lawns and porches sport bright orange pumpkins with scary ghosts and skeletal witches. A few have graveyards on the lawn with silly grave stones.

Downtown Frankfort was empty. it was a ghost town. There were very few cars and even fewer people in town.

Along the trail in Prairie Park a great bloom of wild asters is showing off its lavender color. The pond is void of ducks and geese. Where the heck is everybody? I didn’t really care, I just enjoyed it all.

The best and most colorful part of the stroll was my back yard. The fall flowers are in full bloom and their colors are brilliant. How lucky I am to see this everyday. The tomatoes and cucumbers are still putting out, and giving me some fresh salad makings.

Yes God, you have blessed me. Maybe the crash was Your way of telling me to take a walk and suck in the sights, sounds, and scents of your wonderous natural world.

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Hand to Hand Combat

Actually, this cartoon does not fairly represent the Elitist Left. They don’t fight fair. They smear, they distort, they take things out of context and rewrite in their favor. Is that good politics? If it is, I don’t want any part of it. Where are the issues? Why aren’t they bragging about the infamous Obama Care, and the big spending, or the number of jobs created? They don’t dare. All I hear is that we will go back to the failed policies of the previous administration that got us into this mess.

I will take four percent unemployment, a surplus in the Treasury, and an economy that was booming during the previous administration. It all changed when the Democrats got control of the House. When Barney and Chris began pushing Fannie and Freddie to give away money to people they knew couldn’t pay back.

Yes, Change is coming but it won’t be the Obama Change. It will be real change for the better. Yes, Hope is coming, but it won’t be the Socialist dream from Obama’s father. It will be a country that works for a decent living.

Yes, we are an exceptional people. We started with a few brave Pilgrims who were not smarter than any other peoples in the world. All they wanted was to live in place where they were free to practice a belief in God. Why did the Pilgrims become so successful in establishing such a great country when the remainder of the world dreamed up really big socialist ideas? Why did Hitler and Stalin implement these great social ideas at the cost of millions of lives? The answer is simple, the leaders wanted power over the minds of the people.

Why are so many other countries still fighting poverty when the people who migrated to North America created such an exceptional system? Why are we the bad guys? Why do we have to redistribute our wealth for the failures of these many countries with corrupt governments?

Just for fun, I did some math. I asked myself what would happen if the entire GDP of the USA (13 Trillion) is redistributed equally to every man woman and child on the planet(8 billion). Do you know what would happen? Remember, several billion people in the world live on about two dollars a day.

The answer is that everyone including we the people who earn it all would be leveled off at $1850.00 per year. The people who live on $2.00 per day would be increased to $4.55 per day. That would come at the expense of 300 million Americans. Think about what you would do if you had to reduce your standard of living to live on $4.55 per day. Not very pretty is it? Those who live on $2.00 a day would celebrate to have double what they have now, but would they be better off?

We the people of the U.S.A. will be the slaves that feed the entire world. Is that fair for being the exceptional people that we are? Let those who are in love with liberal social policies be the first to give their fortunes to the less fortunate countries who started with the same brains as our forefathers, but who chose to live the way they still do. It is not our fault, nor our responsibility to bring them up to our standard of living. If you feel guilty because we the people of the USA have more than the rest of the world, seek psychiatric help soon. We did not make these people poor. Their governments chose to keep them as slaves, and the bureaucrats took advantage of them. We do not want that in the U.S.A

You will argue with me that we took advantage of these poor countries. If we relied on the natural resources of a foreign country, it was at a negotiated price. What did those governments do with the money we paid for those resources? Yep, they spent it all on schools, hospitals, road, water systems, and infrastructure for their population. Wrong, they spread it among their bureaucrats and had a good time while their people starved.

Thank God President Lincoln freed the slaves in this country, we don’t want to return to that system again. We choose to be free with liberty and justice for all.

I am Grumpa Joe, and I approve this message.

It’s Morning in Frankfort

The opportunity clock rang at 6:15 this morning for the second day in a row. Normally, I just sleep until nature wakes me. Yesterday and today were special. It was Lions Candy Day weekend. We Serve is the motto of the Lions club and I take that seriously. In spite of the fact that I was tired this morning, I dragged my sorry butt out of bed at 6:30 and dressed. I left without breakfast. Peggy thought I was crazy, because I am never awake for more than ten minutes before I’m shoveling food into my mouth.

I met my fellow Lions at Starbucks. We got our candy, collection buckets, and assignments from Lion Sue and took off. I went to Burger King and had breakfast. As I ate, I watched the intersection that I would be manning and realized that Saturday morning is a loser. The morning before, I was a target from three directions. The number of cars, trucks and UFO’s coming at me was voluminous. This morning things were kind of sleepy, like me. I called Lion Sue and asked for a new corner. She assigned me to route 45 at Nebraska. Okay, anything would be better than 45 and Colorado. I stood at the intersection for an hour and collected about ten bucks. As I stood there I had the chance to see things that struck  a chord. It was Frankfort waking up. I saw people jogging and walking dogs along quiet village  streets and trails. The roar of trucks and heavy traffic was not there. In fact, the singing tires of a car speeding along on U.S. 45 was predominant. A garbage truck turned onto Nebraska and pulled into the Creamery parking lot to empty the dumpster. I hummed a tune to keep my mind active, and remembered President Reagan‘s essay It’s Morning In America. Normal people were going about their business oblivious to the effect of big government taking over their lives. They went about the affairs of life that they had control over.

Lion Sue bailed me out and sent me to the Jewel. I couldn’t believe the action there either, Jewel was slow. If Peggy and I were shopping on a Saturday, Jewel would be having grocery basket accidents in the aisles. Even so, collections were a tad better than at the last corner. I collected about twenty bucks  in a half hour.

My next assignment was at White and Nebraska. There was no one at the corner from the Lions. I took up the post and within ten minutes had collected more than I had in the previous two hours. There was a charity run in town, and the traffic it generated was crazy. It was non-stop cars for the next two hours. It was a  Candy Day Salesman’s dream. The money collected is a necessary commodity to keep our Camps open for kids with blindness. Selling candy is secondary to the notion that the end result serves a higher purpose.

People saw me standing there and approached cautiously with the window rolling down. A dollar bill emerged and dropped into my bucket. I handed the driver a roll of candy and got a smile and a thank you in return. I have to admit, people were giving generously and cheerfully.

I returned home at 12:30, ate a sandwich, and collapsed into a deep sleep on the couch. I dreamed about the next challenge coming in two weeks, the Strides Walk.

My Art

Look at these pictures and you see into  my soul. Each one is on display in my house. Now, you don’t have to visit the grumpy old man. There is a piece of history, and a story behind each one of them. If you dare to visit, you will hear about how they were acquired, and where. Sometimes, I will even talk about the artist. The majority are prints, with a few originals sprinkled in.

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