Independence Day

My Flag Flies Every Day

On this prestigious day please play safe, and remember what the day commemorates, Independence for all. The men who signed the Declaration of Independence put themselves on the line for the new country. Had they failed to defeat Britain all of them would have been executed. Instead we have the strongest country in the world. Because of our strength, all other countries who wish to knock us off the pedestal are friendly enemies (is there such thing)? China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, are just a few of them with goals to defeat America and Capitalism.

Independence Day also celebrates the birthday of our country. We are now two hundred and forty-four years old as a nation.

Happy Birthday America

Who Is Next?

While watching the riots around the country last week I wondered how long it would be before the creeps began to pick on George Washington. Well, yesterday I saw an article that showed poor bronze George laying laying face down wondering what the hell happened. I am wondering the same thing. There is nothing that divides a country more then civil strife. I often declare myself a bigot, and a racist, but I live with black neighbors as well as brown and yellow. These people are fine people. All they want is to live in peace, raise their families and to have a good life, they are okay, or at least they appear to be. Frankfort is a magnet for minority families because of the fine reputation of our schools. They come here to give their kids the same chance as I gave mine. They don’t want their kids hooked on drugs, nor recruited into gangs. Yet, Frankfort has both of these problems within the boundaries. My own grand daughters told me exactly where they could go within the school to get drugs. It was a different place for different desires. I read the police blotter in the locals and the number one reason for being pulled over is to examine for drugs. Lately there has been an explosion of burgled cars and homes. I can only reason that these thieves are feeding habits. The number one house that gets robbed is one with doors unlocked, the same for cars. Stolen cars are easy pickings when the owners leave them unlocked with the keys in the console.

What we haven’t seen yet in our town is unpeaceful protesting, rioting, and looting. These activities seem to be organized by political groups mostly leftist or communist for the purpose of creating division between peoples. These are ruthless criminal types that will betray their country for money. Many are highly educated and brainwashed into leftist thinking that they have it bad. Never do these people listen to logic nor understand statistics about how more black lives are lost within their own community perpetrated by blacks. Black lives don’t really matter if it is a black killing a black.

Blacks are progressing in this country. Although because I, a white man has said it they will disagree. There have been myriads of laws passed dictating that blacks are equal to whites, trillions of dollars have been spent to make their lives better, and it has done so, but they don’t think it is enough, they want reparation too. This rioting and protesting will only end when the entire country is communist, poor, and starving. In other words, never. We will never succumb to communism peacefully.

This week I heard the term “Juneteenth” for the first time. The word is completely strange to me, but since that first time it is a ll I’ve heard. Evidently, it is a term used to commemorate freedom from slavery. Southern states have been celebrating this day, but not in my half of the country. There is now a movement to make Juneteenth a National Holiday. I suppose the day will rival the National Holiday of July fourth with picnics and concerts on the National Mall, fireworks, parades, and time off from work.  Hell, if we celebrate more and more none of us will have any time to work for a living. Life will be more acceptable if we didn’t have to work. What an awful four letter word work is.

Ugh

It must be the barometric pressure that is affecting me again today. My sorry butt has been dragging behind me since getting out of bed this morning. The sky is grey, it is threatening to rain, but it isn’t raining, but it did drizzle a bit. Whatever it is, by noon I was asleep on the couch pretending to read. One would think I got out of bed by six in the morning, but it wasn’t until 8:30 that it finally happened. Three and a half hours later I’m sleeping like I had shoveled a truck load of coal yesterday.

Funk Depression

Actually, last evening I spent a lovely hour on the phone with a young lady from our Lions club. She had just given notice that she and her son were leaving the club, and I had to know why. I found out more than I needed to know to answer my question. It wasn’t because of our failing as a club. Her son just turned twenty-four, and is having acute medical problems which was caused by his birth. He was born three months early and had a very rough time making it into this life. The medical effect was to put him on a drug that would take its toll on his kidneys at a later time in life. It is now that time. That puts him at great risk with the virus too. His choice was to accept life over a service club that puts him at risk of death with every activity he helps. We need direct contact with people in order to serve them. In fact, as Past President of the club I am going wild trying to find a way that we can serve without direct contact.

Because this is a pandemic, every Lions club in the world is affected the same way. What do we do? How do we do it? Those are the questions we wrestle with. Do we wait until the world is rock solid secure that COVID-19 will not affect us anymore? That might be twenty years from now.

Many clubs are having virtual fund raising activities. One in particular struck me as being novel, i.e. a virtual Five K run. No, you don’t imagine running five kilometers, you actually run the distance and report your time to the race officials online. They match your time against all the participants and award the prize to the fastest runner. It isn’t just the same as having a hundred runners show up at one place, register, and who then take off with the gun and fifteen minutes later show up again sweaty and pooped. It just isn’t the same, but people might just take the bait because it is different. The trick is to have a worthy cause to be raising money for.

This year, I will serve as our Club Service Chair which means I will have to stimulate people to find projects to work on. Most times we wait for the projects to come to us, but that leaves huge gaps between service. With lots of members who join to “give back” we need to offer them many opportunities to fulfill their needs. It will be my game to root out the opportunities. COVID has ruined several of our popular events in the Village. To date the Blue Grass Festival is cancelled, the Art on the Green is cancelled, Thursday night car shows are cancelled, and on and on. All of these events have deferred til next year. But, what if next year COVID-19 is still here in force? Do we go back into hiding, or do we begin taking chances with catching the damn bug and fighting back? My guess is that we will not hunker down again, but will fight it off.

Watching the country burn during this rash of riots caused by one man’s brutality against another’s will no doubt cause a spike in COVID. None of the rioters have paid much attention to social distancing, and wearing masks. At this moment I would not want to be in President Trump’s position. He upset the country by closing down and making us all hurt, and now he has to wave a big stick at us to end rioting.

To me the biggest joke is the organizers who really thought they could get away with storming the White House, and are now shouting that Trump is violating their civil rights. If I were president I would have had the entire riot force shot, and their bodies piled on the lawn in front of the White House while I would have stood on the pile brandishing my AK 47 in one hand and the American Flag in the other. That is only one of the many reasons I am not a politician.

Day 53-SIP-Economic Diversity

One thing I have learned over the past thirty years is the importance of balancing my financial portfolio. Asset allocation balancing was sold to me by a young Certified Financial Planner (CFP) while I was still working. He was new to the working world just recently graduated from the University of Illinois, my alma mater. His first job was with American Express Financial Services. I met him through a program we had at work called “Five O’clock Scholar” which brought in people from various disciplines to help us with life. The one I attended was on planning for retirement.

The idea behind asset allocation is diversity. The theory is that a diversified portfolio will earn more money than one that is non-diversified. When investing over a long term a few percent advantage adds up.

Back in the nineteen eighties I wrestled with the concept of world competition. I saw jobs going to foreign countries because their labor rates were lower than ours in the USA. I argued with blue collar workers who saw this as a loss of their jobs. My arguments were about the need to move to cheaper labor because it was necessary for the overall health (profit) of the company relied on it, and I truly beloved it to be true. The blue collars saw it as a means to kill jobs and it was a major threat to their security. No argument could or would change their minds.

The question of how would we be able to balance the differences between pay in different countries bothered me. One obvious way would be for our workers to take less money per hour for the work they do. Fat chance of that happening, I thought. Another way is to increase wages in foreign countries. That has happened, but only after decades of effort by these countries to better themselves. In the meantime, the USA loses more jobs. Our answer was that workers would have to adapt to the information age. Our workers need to get educated in order to fill the new jobs that would be created by the info-age.

Our school systems immediately adapted and weeded out vocational jobs education. Everyone wanted their kids to go to college so they could get jobs in the info-age. Last year I had the pleasure of presenting our Lions Club scholarships to the seniors at Lincoln Way East Community High School. There were over 170 students receiving scholarships.. Of the entire group only one student accepted a scholarship for a trade. He was off to welding school. The remaining 169 were off to colleges all across the country to become doctors, oceanologists, astronauts, economists, chemists, dancers, and you name it they were going to become it. Only one was headed toward a job that requires education and manual labor. The real question is where will the remainder (2200) of the class get jobs?

What are the jobs that are available to the low paid workers? Namely they cut grass, wash dishes, make beds, clean rooms That are deemed service sector jobs. Many of them filled by people entering the country from paces where making $300 dollars a year is a fortune. They will take the menial jobs that a high school grad won’t touch. Instead our grads rely of hitting it big on YouTube as performers. Some will invent something for a market I will never understand because it involves gaming or some internet based need. The names of the companies are so different it is impossible to decipher what it is they sell or do. Yesterday, I watched a segment of a TV program called Shark Tank. One of the Sharks (investor) told the story of a chance he took with a young chef who had an idea to sell ready made meals via internet. Within two years the business grew to three hundred million dollars a year in sales. I never learned what kind of background the chef had. That is the kind of story the CFP continues to sell me as necessary to save our country, innovation, risk, and drive toward creating wealth.

We’ve adapted the educational system so well that we now suffer from a lack of competent tradesman who can deal with fixing normal household issues. The problem as I saw it, is there are not enough info-age jobs to employ all the college degrees that are generated. The result is that a lot of degreed people work as burger-flippers, and bar-men in order to survive, and as these jobs lobby for more dollars per hour we replace them with automated order takers. We still lack enough credible jobs to handle the need. In the meantime, our jobs base has shrunk to the point of endangering the country.

A few years ago as I drove toward our local shopping mall in Orland Park, the town close by I passed six medical clinics that sprung nearly over-night clinics in the eight mile stretch between Frankfort and Orland Park. That trend continues to grow. The idea bulb lit up over my shrunken brain and I thought to myself, this is the new industry in America. Medicine is replacing manufacturing., and yes the training for medicine is quite different than it is for carpentry or plumbing. It has been fifty years since the migration of industry began from the USA to foreign countries. Over those fifty years countries like Japan, South Korea, and China have prospered and their economies are growing. The US economy has grown also, but mostly in financial and medical markets, but so have China, Japan, and South Korea.

Fast forward to 2020 and look at the state of affairs in America relative to jobs. COVID-19 enters the picture and we find a need to shut down our economy to fight the virus. Instantaneously we are in a situation that makes the great depression pale in comparison. We find ourselves lacking in critical manufacturing industries to supply the needs for medical equipment, personal protective equipment, and drugs. Why? We don’t make that stuff anymore we rely on the global economy for supply.

Suddenly we begin to look at the labels on the products we buy, and learn that most (probably 90%) are made in China. Suddenly, we realize that China, once destitute and starving is catching us in the world market. Suddenly, we see China as a threat to our security in politics, military, medicines, banking, manufacturing, and food processing. Try to buy something, anything that is labeled made in the USA, it is a challenge.

So what is the answer? Since the eighties I have maintained that our country needs a segment of jobs that feeds the poor. Those who are uneducated, who don’t want to be educated, those who can’t be educated. My CFP has always argued with me that this is not the way economics handles the problem. I have maintained that we need to have an economy that is modeled after an asset allocated portfolio. We need jobs for everyone across the entire spectrum of classes and abilities.

If there is anything that is coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic it is a need to keep strategic industries at home in order to protect our security. How can we be a world leader if we have to rely on our enemy to supply war goods? Of course there is a segment of society that argues that a lack of ability to produce war goods is a detriment to war. Except, the argument fails when realizing all the countries that don’t have the resources to make war equipment but still maintain state of the art armies with the latest armaments. All it takes is money and good relations with the supplier countries.

My final recommendation is you talk or write to your representative in Washington, and demand legislation that requires that critical materials needed to protect the country be manufactured here on home soil, and not by the enemy.

Day 51-SIP-Potpourri

My plan for today was to spend an hour in the garden, wear myself out and then migrate to the desk to write. Nature changed my plan. The temperature this morning is in the low forties, and it is way too cold for me to suffer in the dirt. So, I moved on to writing. As usual I don’t have a theme to talk about so I watched some videos on how to make household disinfectant. It seems to be a popular product these days as all the stores are sold out.

The formula for making it is simple. There are three ingredients isopropyl alcohol, (99%), water, and essential oil. The end result is a solution of 70% alcohol that smells nice.

I watched another video sent by a friend which is an interview with a 30 year veteran emergency room doctor who explains the mechanism of the COVID-19 disease process. Its too complicated to write about so I’ve linked it for you to watch. His bottom line is that he believes we are doing the wrong thing by telling people to wait until they have shortness of breath or trouble breathing to go to the hospital. Evidently, by that time the pneumonia is advanced and harder to treat.

While I read my emails I opened a few interesting tid-bits of fun which I will also share with you.

How to Get To Heaven
A true Story from an Irish Sunday School Teacher. 

I was testing children in my Dublin Sunday school class to see if they understood the concept of getting to heaven. I asked them, ‘ If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into heaven?’ NO!’ the children answered. If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the garden, and kept everything tidy, would that get me into heaven?’ Again, the answer was ‘NO!’ If I gave sweets to all the children, and loved my husband, would that get me into heaven?’ Again, they all answered ‘NO!’ I was just bursting with pride for them. I continued, ‘Then how can I get into heaven?’ A little boy shouted out: ‘YUV GOTTA BE FOOKN’ DEAD.’ It’s a curious race, the Irish.   Brings a tear to the eye, doesn’t it?

Old Guys Rule!

My last item is a story of something that happened to me this week. I read a daily email from a friend Tim Fox. He spends considerable time doing what I do that is waste time in front of the computer reading things about government fails. He sent me his usual package which is a string of videos from five different sites, a commentary, followed by a set of memes which are usually hilarious. He calls this newsletter Conservative News.

Two days ago, I opened one of the videos about a scientist who deals with viruses. I had a few minutes to watch it and then had to leave it for later. Yesterday, I opened it again to watch the remainder, and it was gone, You Tube removed this video from its website a number of times, citing its Community Guidelines. The video featured an interview with a lady PhD scientist who worked on viruses at the NIAID. Her boss was Dr. Tony Fauci. Does that name ring a bell? To make this story shorter, the woman landed in jail, and was gagged from telling her story for five years. I want to learn more. It smacks of a great conspiracy within the bureaucratic bowels of our government.

I wrote to Tim Fox and asked for her name so I could follow up. He sent me her name and a link to Amazon which is selling her book. She is Dr. Judy Mikrovits PhD and her book is Plague of Corruption.

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