Kenneth Is A Man’s Name

TV IS No Longer Channels 2, 5, 7, 9, and 11 Anymore.

Finally, I got an answer from COMCAST about why my Amazon Prime Video service is not responding. After umpteen phone calls and chats with service advisors I was transferred to the Advanced Troubleshooting group. Within 48 hours they had an answer, a lame one, but at least it was an answer. It seems that Comcast has the same problem that I am experiencing across the country. Why in the hell didn’t they just alert their customers to the fact? Instead I have spent hundreds of hours over the past several months trying to get the stupid service to work. Of course COMCAST apologized and agreed to discount the months I had crappy service.

I asked them when they will have this nationwide outage fixed, their best guess is September 23 at 2:47 pm. They haven’t been able to fix the damn problem for months but they can tell me to the minute when it will be corrected, B.S. I felt sorry for the lady who was speaking to me for having to bear the message. Her name is Kenneth and I appreciate her ability to speak flawless English with great diction. Kenneth spoke to me from an island in the South Pacific near Singapore. Hiring her is one good thing COMCAST was able to do.

In the meantime, what I have discovered on my own is that the problem is weird. I have three TV’s spread around my house. I watch two of them and the third sits in the guest room waiting the arrival of a guest. Of course the TV in the guest room works flawlessly and the one I watch (50 inch screen with LCD display and high definition) is the most troublesome. Last night I took to watching TV in the guest room. I signed the guest register and the land lord allowed me to do that. What I have been doing is sitting in the living room with a laptop computer balanced on my knees to watch my Prime Video program over the internet. The pc has a high def screen but the sound is crappy.

My latest find is a program called Tin Star. Filmed in Canada near the Rockies in a town called Little Big Bear. The premise of the story is that an English policeman and his family(wife, teen daughter and six year old son) emigrate to Canada to escape all the violence they have in their homeland. In the very first episode a strange man dressed in black and wearing a face mask stops them in the road as they are driving to their new home, he raises a gun and shoots at the policeman, he misses the cop but kills the cop’s son, and injures his wife. Welcome to North America. The rest of the story revolves around how the cop goes about seeking revenge for his son’s murder. To make the story more interesting the writers make the cop an alcoholic, and make the demon in town a huge oil company that is extracting oil from Canada’s oil-sand reserves. In subsequent episodes the cop’s alcoholism takes over, and he does stranger things than the villains who tried to kill him.

I like the program because it is loaded with beautiful scenes of Canada, lots of mystery, sex, crime, murder, and intrigue. I hate the program because glamorizes sex, crime, and murder.

And that is all I want to say about that.

Feel Good Story

My last post for August 2020 is about a remarkable story documented on film. The last time I had this much excitement about a film was when Kevin Costner starred in McFarland. The new film is titled Spare Parts and stars George Lopez a standup comedian who shows us a new face in his role as an unemployed engineer who takes a job as substitute Science teacher in a Phoenix high school.

Both stories take place in poor communities heavily populated with illegal immigrants, all working in a cash society without any documentation. They send their kids to school because it is the law and they don’t want break any laws and bring attention to themselves. The teachers involved take the job seriously and learn to coach their students effectively. In Spare Parts, Lopez is corralled by a really smart kid to mentor a team four who want to enter an underwater robot contest.

The kids gel into a team and brainstorm through the problems associated with a robotic device that must function under water. They finish in time to drive to Santa Barbara for the competition. They enter into the college division because they rationalize that if they lose against a bunch of high schoolers no one will know the difference, but if they lose against MIT they will at least get some mention.

The story of how the team constructs “Stinky,” as they have named their creation, creates enough interest, but the story is deeper than just the kids building a robot from junk. There is a love interest between Lopez and another teacher played by Marisa Tomei, and conflict between one of the key members of the team and his father. The lad who initiated the whole project is running from I.C.E. who is hot on his trail to deport him.

Although the film does not get political, it does make the viewer aware of the problems involved with undocumented workers and their kids. They live in fear, they work for menial wages, they stay clear of the law, anything to stay here in America. The team member who has conflict with his father is under pressure to guard his brother who was born in the USA, while their mother was found and deported to Mexico.

Both McFarland and Spare Parts are films based on true stories. In both cases some of the plots are so unbelievable they have to be true because one couldn’t imagine the situations these characters go through. I give Spare Parts five stars. It has all the components of a great film, but most of all it is a tear jerking funny, and romantic story that keeps the viewers interest throughout. I will watch it again and again just as I have watched McFarland five times.

All through this film I kept thinking about the two families Iknow personally who are undocumented, and are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to staying in America. In my two cases the families have been here for over twenty-five years. Neither has been able to apply for Social Security nor any of the social programs we have here. Because of new Homeland Security rules they cannot fly on any domestic flights. They can leave the country to visit relatives, but reentry may take as long as ten years before they are granted new visas and green cards. In one family they traveled here with a young daughter who was a toddler. She is as American as any other kid in the country, but she is undocumented, her brothers who were born here are US citizens. In my mind this opposes a real moral dilemma. The toddlers who were dragged here should be granted automatic citizenship. The parents should be given some grace for each year they have lived here without any trouble.

Of course all people in this situation know where all the loop holes exist in the immigration system. We who have no interest in knowing the details of immigration have no clue about how illegal immigrants survive under our laws. Why should we? That is why we elect our representatives. It is their job to write the laws that govern these situations. Over the past twenty plus years under our bureaucracies, and our law makers we have allowed the problem of allowing undocumented people into the country and now we are faced with a real dilemma about how to resolve the issue. First, we have to stop the flow into the country. We need the wall, we need more and better border control, but most of all we need the resolve to enforce the laws. Then we must work on taking care of all the kids who were dragged here by their parents, lastly we must enable the undocumented people who have been here for so many years to stay here legally, and to give them a path to permanent residency, and a path to citizenship. Of course the easiest thing to do is to grant them all amnesty, but that didn’t work the first time we tried it, and we mustn’t allow it to happen again.

She Hit It Outta’ the Park

A truly great essay and a genius level analysis of our millennial generation. How can our youngsters truly know what living poor is all about? They can’t know and never will know until they get into the world and have to fend for themselves. Prosperity is their norm. Please read the attached essay by Alyssa Ahlgren

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To Whom It All Concerns….
My Generation Is Blind to the Prosperity Around Us
I’m sitting in a small coffee shop near Nokomis trying to think of what to write about.
I scroll through my newsfeed on my phone looking at the latest headlines of Democratic candidates calling for policies to fix the so-called injustices of capitalism.
I put my phone down and continue to look around. I see people talking freely, working on their MacBooks, ordering food they get in an instant, seeing cars go by outside, and it dawned on me.
We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we’ve become completely blind to it Vehicles, food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose.
These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we don’t give them a second thought.
We are so well off here in the United States that our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average. Thirty. One. Times. Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards.
Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon with one click and have it at our doorstep the next day, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful.
Our unappreciation is evident as the popularity of socialist policies among my generation continues to grow.
Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said to Newsweek talking about the millennial generation, “An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, came of age and never saw American prosperity.”
Never saw American prosperity!  Let that sink in.
When I first read that statement, I thought to myself, that was quite literally the most entitled and factually illiterate thing I’ve ever heard in my 26 years on this earth.
Many young people agree with her, which is entirely misguided.
My generation is being indoctrinated by a mainstream narrative to actually believe we have never seen prosperity.
I know this first hand, I went to college, let’s just say I didn’t have the popular opinion, but I digress.
Why then, with all of the overwhelming evidence around us, evidence that I can even see sitting at a coffee shop, do we not view this as prosperity?
We have people who are dying to get into our country. People around the world destitute and truly impoverished.
Yet, we have a young generation convinced they’ve never seen prosperity, and as a result, elect politicians dead set on taking steps towards abolishing capitalism. Why?
The answer is this, my generation has only seen prosperity. We have no contrast. We didn’t live in the great depression, or live through two world wars, the Korean War, The Vietnam War or see the rise and fall of socialism and communism.
We don’t know what it’s like to live without the internet, without cars, without smartphones.
We don’t have a lack of prosperity problem. We have an entitlement problem, an ungratefulness problem, and it’s spreading like a plague.”

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When one lives in prosperity from the minute they are born, how can they understand poverty? People of my generation witnessed the struggle of our parents working to give us what they never had. My grandfather John sent my Dad to America because he “could not feed him”. My Dad left, and never looked back. He knew what poverty was.

My dad had an aversion to potatoes, and when I challenged him once on why he didn’t take any potatoes at the Sunday dinner table he told me “I ate enough potatoes in my home country.” He left when he was seventeen. In my mind that is a whole lot of potatoes to eat in seventeen short years.

As an adult, I traveled to the far east on my job. I visited some pretty poor places in Malaysia and Indonesia. I came home with one major impression. These people work for pennies per hour because they are hungry and those pennies represent more money than they have ever seen before.  In the USA we have people who protest the poor wages in these far away countries yet our poverty level salary would make the people in those countries very rich. As my mother reminded me often “we have a loaf of bread under each arm and we complain that we don’t have anything to eat.”

What socialist leaning millennials do not understand is that to bring the level of poverty up in the world will also mean reducing the wealth of our nation. So the complaint of never having seen prosperity will reverse to seeing poverty in a grossly mis-calculated backfire.

Tap Dancing Debbie

I can’t take it anymore!

I just shut off a news program after the host asked Congresswoman Debbie Dingle from Michigan if the Democrats were going to start focusing on getting things done instead of trying to bring down the president. Ms DIngle was remarkably flexible in her change to a new subject. Instead of answering the question she shifted to why she won’t vote to support Trump’s deal with the Mexicans. She insists that there must be some form of verification by the Mexicans that they are doing as promised. Probably not a bad idea, but not enough to warrant keeping the deal from going through.

The president’s new tactic to circumvent our badly written immigration laws shows his diligence in trying to solve a problem created by our legislators. A bigger problem is that our legislators will not act to revise the laws. They merely sit on their hands and tell us how overworked they are and how they need a raise. They did have time to propose a bill to raise their salaries. I guess facing TV cameras and answering questions by cable news companies is straining them. Oh how I feel for these poor politicians. I’d say that ninety percent of Americans would be very happy making $178,000 per year. I am a college educated engineer who spent forty years managing as many as a hundred professionals in a stressful manufacturing operation and I never came anywhere close to making that much. I got fifteen work days off to spend with  my family. These congressional creatures work 145 days out of 261 (116 days off). My eyes are dripping alligator tears for these poor, poor overworked minions.

Sadly, we can’t fire them. Our laws protect them from being fired. We the people can recall a political figure, but the effort to do so is monumental. We could impeach them, but this process is also monumental. There is a desperation move referred to as the tax payer relief shot, but that is counter productive to the solitary implementer. So we are stuck with our single vote every two years for congressmen and six years for senators. The trouble with the vote is that these good soldiers are so attached and faithful to their parties that voting them out becomes a mortal sin for the voter. Political parties are known for spending millions to keep their faithful in office.

My options are limited to complaining on this blog with the hopes that some reader willl be converted to my point of view and vote with me.

If you are too young to know what a tap dancer is watch this video it will brighten your day.

Dear Senator Durbin

At the end of March, 2019 I sent an E-mail to my Senators Dick Durbin, and Tammy Duckworth asking that they fund President Trump’s request to build a wall at our southern border. I knew I’d get an answer from Durbin because his term expires in 2020, and he needs votes. He didn’t disappoint me he wrote the following:

Dear Grumpa Joe:

          Thank you for contacting me regarding funding for a new border wall.  I appreciate hearing from you.

          At midnight, on December 22, 2018, President Trump shut down the government because funding for a new border wall was not included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 appropriation bills.  On January 25, 2019, President Trump signed a temporary spending bill passed by Congress, which funded government agencies through February 15, and brought the longest government shutdown in history, and the third government shutdown of President Trump’s term, to an end.

          On January 30, 2019, the first public meeting of the FY 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Conference Committee, of which I was a part, took place.  I called on Democratic and Republican conferees to focus on smart and effective border security measures instead of the President’s threats to shut down the government again without border wall funding.

          On February 16, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 116-6), which provides funding for the Department of Homeland Security for the remainder of FY 2019.  This bipartisan package rejected President Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall and makes responsible investments in border security.

          I support strong and effective border security.  The type of border security that Democrats have long-supported, including increased funding for technology, is what experts have said is needed and actually works.  What doesn’t work is an ineffective, expensive medieval wall.  While the President claims he wants to build this wall to stop the flow of drugs, his own Administration has stated that the vast majority of lethal narcotics that cross our southern border come through legal ports of entry.  That is why our bipartisan agreement to fund the government provides additional funding for technology and Customs personnel—real solutions that will help stop the narcotics that are killing our children. This is real border security to address a real threat to America—the opioid epidemic.

          Second, we insisted on humanitarian assistance such as medical care to ensure those who come to our border are treated in a humane way.  Sadly, two small children came to our border and died before they could receive the medical assistance they needed. I do not ever want to see that happen again.

          Finally, we rejected the Administration’s demand for changes in our asylum laws that would undermine our legal and moral obligations to provide safe haven to families and children fleeing persecution.

          We must turn away from President Trump’s fear-mongering approach to those who come to our border, many of whom are just seeking a better life as many of our ancestors did.  The President’s approach is not representative of the best of America.  It represents the kind of division that does not recognize the heritage, that makes us who we are as a nation.

Thank you again for contacting me.  I will keep your concerns in mind as the Senate continues to discuss effective border security.  Please feel free to keep in touch.<span “=””>

 

Sincerely,
 
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator
RJD/mt

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Here is my response to his response.

Dear Senator Durbin:

Thank you for answering my e-mail in which I directed you to vote in favor of funding the wall along the southern border with Mexico.

I understand the trauma you suffered at the hands of President Trump as he took the desperate move to spur Congress into action by shutting down the government. By the way, I totally agree with President Trump’s actions and policies. I totally disagree with the ineffective moves you have made.

President Trump has done more in the past two years to secure the border by action than 100 senators and some four hundred plus congressmen have in the last thirty years. Trump is a true patriot, and you my dear Senator are merely a minion in the world of Progressive Socialism.

Your attitude toward directing billions of dollars into Star Wars like technology to secure the border over simple solid common sense solutions like a “medieval” border wall only proves to me that you are incapable of successfully accomplishing the job the people of Illinois sent you to Washington to do.

As Medieval and unprogressive as walls may seem to you they do work. The Great Wall of China separating Mongolia from China, Hadrian’s wall separating England from Scotland, or more recently the Iron Curtain Separating East from West Germany, or the Berlin Wall splitting a  great city in half are all examples of walls that work. More recently look at the wall Hungary erected in the last two years to keep illegal Mid-Easterners from invading. Walls work! and they are more durable than any modern technology system you will spend billions on, and which will be obsolete by the time of implementation like all things electronic.

You claim experts say technology is a more effective means to secure the border, just who are these experts? Our own department of Homeland Security experts working on the border claim the opposite. I challenge you to set up a debate between your experts and the lowly people from HS. This would make great entertainment and would be educational for you and me both.

You proudly write that you insist on humanitarian assistance to care for sick children coming across. Then you blame Trump for the death of two kids who were moments from death when they arrived. I don’t blame Trump for not performing a miracle nor do I believe any democrat can perform miracles. I do believe the parents of these children should take full responsibility for dragging a deathly sick child hundreds of miles across dangerous territory.

Another point is your statement that you “. . .rejected the Administration’s demand for changes in our asylum laws that would undermine our legal and moral obligations to provide safe haven to families and children fleeing persecution.” First I want you to tell me what persecution these people endured? Second, I want you to tell me how changing our asylum law would do so poorly?

Two weeks ago I watched a video interview with reporters in Honduras who flat-out claimed that the people were not leaving because of persecution, but to find work. The same interviewer uncovered facts that the caravans are highly organized by Left wing Progressive groups tied to the United States. In my view this makes the caravans armies recruited by treasonous enemies from within the US.

If we keep on doing the same thing over and over hoping to change the outcome, but we keep on getting the same outcome we are not being rational; Insanity is defined that way.  It is better to change laws that are not working than it is to leave them be. In other words do something. In my professional life I always mentored my engineers that “I would rather be criticized for doing something than for doing nothing.”

On the subject of controlling drugs coming into the country I recall an effort by the United States referred to as the War on Drugs which has spent well over a trillion dollars since inception. What have we gotten out of that? I think that war is old enough that you are probably one of those who voted for it.

Your attitude about President Trump’s fear mongering approach to those who come to our border is hilarious. Trump is merely trying to follow the rule of law and the system is clearly unable to handle the load. He is not trying to be inhumane, nor is he trying to exclude immigrants. He is trying to include them within the frame-work of the laws you have written to allow them in. Your belligerence toward changing the laws shows me that you don’t give a rat’s ass about these people. The best of America took place in the early twentieth century when the people of the United States welcomed millions of immigrants, but even then there was a limit and the government had to stop immigration to give them time to ASSIMILATE. Then there was a matter of welcoming millions of soldiers back from WWII to give them opportunity to work after fighting for five years for world freedom.

Understand that we the people of America are not as stupid as you believe we are. We understand situations and truly want to do the right thing, but sadly we have chosen the wrong people to carry out actions needed. You and all of your democrat senators as well as too many republicans should be ashamed of your performance about making America the greatest country in the Universe.

Senator Durbin you have served for over thirty years, you should know by now that a divided government does not stand. We have the most divided government we have had since the civil war. We are currently experiencing a second civil war. One half of the country refuses to recognize the President as our leader, and take only action to block his every move. The actions taken by the two political parties are in opposition to each other, and not united for the good of the country.

Listen to me SHOUT at you once again! FUND THE BORDER WALL, and SUPPORT  PRESIDENT TRUMP 100 PERCENT, it is the right thing to do.

As respectfully as an angry man can be.

Grumpa Joe

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