An Interview With AR15

AR-15 10,5″ (M4A1 CQBR, Mk18 Mod.0) tactical carbine with the micro collimator (red dot) sight.

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Good day everyone, this is Grumpa Joe from Grumpa Joe’s Place who will be interviewing AR15. This is my first podcast interview, and I am excited about it. My guest today is AR15 recently retired from service in Afghanistan. Having served for twenty years in the armed services he can probably tell us many stories.

GJ, “Tell us about how you have been received at home since returning?”

AR15 “To tell you the truth I was disappointed at the reception. I have seen and heard so many stories that want to ban me, and my many brothers from use in the USA. For the life of me I can’t tell why the people would be so upset with me as to ban us from existing? For the past twenty years we have been saving American lives.”

GI, “Tell us a little bit about your life at home, who do you belong to, how often do you go out in public, etc.?”

AR15, “Life is boring for us. We seldom go out, and when we do our owners only take us to where they want to go. Many of our owners are ex-service men, and men who love the sport of shooting and hunting.

GJ, “I am a sport shooter, and have been all my life. I love holding a rifle with my eye to the sight, and my finger on the trigger. When I shoot at the target and see the cluster of holes near the bulls-eye it excites me. One thing about my rifle is that it never fires when I am not holding it, and my finger is not on the trigger. Do you ever shoot like you did in Afghanistan?”

AR15, “Never, I don’t get a say in where I am going, or when my trigger gets squeezed. In fact, I never get to load bullets into my magazine. All of the technical stuff of gun ownership falls strictly into the domain of the owner-operator.

GJ, “You mean you never get to fire a shot?”

AR15, “Never, and I will never in the future. My trigger requires a human finger to actuate.”

GJ, “Don’t you have AI that prompts you into action.”

AR15, “What is AI?”

GJ, “AI is artificial Intelligence.”

AR15, “Oh my Lord no, I don’t even have a brain in which to store information or instructions to direct my actions. We are made from steel, wood, plastic and some other metals. We have no biological parts, nor do we have any electronic parts that require a sim-card, or batteries to give us power. We are 100% mechanical.

GJ, “What do you do in between the times your owner visits the gun range?”

AR15, “I am disassembled and my parts are stored in a case until my owner decides to go shooting.”

GJ, “Does your owner ever take you with him to work, school or a tavern?”

AR15, “My owner does not, but I have heard that some owners will take their AR15 to a school where he pulls the trigger and shoots at students and people. I have no way to enter a school by myself, just as I cannot shoot without someone pulling on my trigger. The shooter can aim, and point the gun for hours but I will not discharge until he squeezes my trigger. What bothers me the most is when I hear the news stories there is always a cry to ban the gun. It is not my fault that the owner lacks mental capacity, discipline and self-control, and pulls the trigger on unsuspecting innocent people. Why aren’t they banned from society, why doesn’t AI take over and alarm to the danger?”

GJ, “All very good questions my inanimate friend, but we are out of time and will have to save them for another interview.”

Sad Stories

It has been too long since I last posted. I am determined to write something interesting today, at least interesting to me. I have so many subjects to write about that now I am confused about which to select. The China balloon, or the last book I read about human trafficking, or about Joe Biden’s lame State of the Union address, the earthquake in Turkey, or my last Lions meeting.

The one excitement within our Lions club is that we are re-starting our vision screening program for kids. We first began in 2016 and were gaining momentum when COVID-19 hit and we had to stop. Up to that fatal time, we had screened 2100 kids ages 2-5 and found 75 that needed a visit to an eye doctor. It is like looking for a needle in a haystack, but the goal is to find the needles. Lions believe that all kids should have the same starting point in school. If one or more kids have vision problems they will be at a disadvantage among their peers. To level the playing field it is our goal to find the disadvantaged and to urge them to get help. Thankfully, most of them do. There are some parents who will rush to the eye doctor after getting our results, and then there are others who are skeptical, and choose to wait for the child to grow out of the problem. We even learned about an Optometrist who sent a child home declaring that he was too young and that his eyes were still changing. We can only do so much.

Lions KidSight Vision Screening

The latest book I read is “The Great Escape, A True Story of Forced Labor and Immigrant Dreams in America,” by Saket Soni. All I will say is that this story made me ashamed that I am an American. The treatment that was extended to these men from India was unbelievably atrocious. All they wanted was to use their skills as welders. The agents who recruited them used the lure of getting a Green Card. The Green Card is the ticket to migrate into the country. I know it doesn’t come easy nor quickly, nor cheaply. I have been working with US Immigration to get a green card for Lovely. To date it has been two years, a bushel basket full of money, and too many forms all of which end with one’s signature and fine print that says lying on these forms is a federal offense punishable with jail. Yet these recruiters dangled the carrot of the Green Card in front of hundreds of welders to get them to come to the USA. The charge for this service was twenty thousand US dollars. The author tells of the personal hardships they went through to get that much money together. Most times the family sold their home to sponsor a son. Other families put the condition of marriage on the son before they would allow him to go.

Human Trafficking

The saddest thing about this scam was that the perpetrators didn’t give a damn about the workers. They lived in primitive cramped barracks, fed rotten food, worked long hours without breaks and were not allowed to leave the guarded compound in which they were trapped. An even sadder story began when the men, led by a Community Organizer, escaped the compound as a group to protest their enslavement, and the US Government treated them just as badly. Once I began reading this story, I could not put the book down. I had to know the final outcome.

I rushed home from the Lions Board meeting just so I could hear President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. He didn’t disappoint me he merely blamed all problems of the Republicans and promised to spend trillions of dollars more on nothing projects. I have listened to politicians proclaim that money is needed for rebuilding our infrastructure, and then the money is spent but not a single road or bridge is rebuilt. Same-old, same-old bullshit is fed to the masses who eat the lines with relish.

I thought for sure President Joe would take a shot at the balloon to make some points with the voters, but he procrastinated long enough to let the spyloon pass over the entire country before he shot it down. The reason he gave for not doing it while it passed over Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas was that the debris would be harmful to us on the ground. Evidently none of our military advisors or the president have ever been to that part of the country before or they would know that it is the safest place for debris to fall because the populations of those states is near zero. Instead he waited until the balloon got pictures of every military base in states all across the continent. I guess these same people who never saw these states don’t believe that the pictures could be downloaded to China before he finally wasted a missile on it.

The Real Reason Joe Shot Down the Chi-balloon

Finally, the Lions Clubs International Foundation is asking the one hundred and fifty million Lions from all over the world to send money to their disaster relief fund to help the people of Turkey and Syria who have been killed in and displaced by the massive earthquake that collapsed their cities. That is even sadder than the story about the hundreds of welders from India who were enslaved within the one country in the world that believes in freedom and liberty.

Turkey, a Five Story Pile of Rubble

Bureaucracy 101

      In my last post I made some comments about the Federal Bureaucracy. Afterwards I decided to educate myself on what I meant. A search was in order to learn just how many bureaucracies we have. We all know about a few that I list here:

Plus a few more like:

  • The internal Revenue Service
  • Justice Department
  • Supreme Court
  • Social Security Administration
  • Bureau of Veteran Affairs
  • Treasury Department.

       All of the above agencies are mentioned frequently in the news, and I thought they were the only ones. Then, I made the mistake of searching the government websites for information on how many there are. I was amazed. The first page of the website

https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/

was a table by alphabet. Clicking on a letter yields a list of agencies with names beginning with the letter selected. I can create a table showing you just how many agencies there are listed under each letter of twenty-two alphabet, but it will be easier to click on the link and go there yourself. The letters Q, X, Y, & Z were not on the list. I counted the agencies and got a sum of 629. No wonder no one wants to tackle the problem of reducing government spending. At first glance the problem seems to be insurmountable.

      How do bureaucracies begin? It is simple. When Congress passes a law to spend money on something like Civil Rights they need a way to implement the law. They hire people to put the law in place and to enforce it. That act becomes a new bureaucracy. I have never seen a Bureaucracy disbanded or a law repealed in my lifetime. The only law I know that was repealed was Prohibition.

      In my job as an engineer, I was introduced to the Pareto-Principle by one Joe Duran a American Quality Control guru who converted the Japanese car industry to the QC system that would reverse their shitty cars into the most sought-after vehicles in the world. The Pareto Principle was invented by an Italian engineer in the 1800’s. Basically it states that 80% of the benefit comes from 20% of the effort. My first step in analyzing this problem of bureaucracy is to use the 80/20 rule on the whole problem.

      The total budget for the federal government is $4.829 trillion. Applying the Pareto Principle to the budget means that we spend .9658 trillion to get 80 percent of the services, and flush 3.8632 trillion dollars down the drain for twenty percent of service. How smart is that? Why our simple-minded politicians can’t wrap their brains around that is astounding. All I can figure with my feeble old brain is that it is too hard for Congress to undo what they have already approved.  

      After a few seconds of research on the web I found some suggestions for how Congress can restrain executive agencies.

 By:

  • revising statutes that established the agency’s mission.
  • exercising control over an agency’s budget.
  • conducting audits or holding hearings.
  • influencing the selection of agency directors (Senate)

      Would it be a wet dream to believe that 469 Congressmen and 100 Senators could take on 503 Government agencies to reduce spending? In my book that is 503/569 = 0.884 agencies per Congressional seat. If a single Congressman can’t reduce costs of an assigned agency by eighty percent by the end of his first term he should pack up his bags and let someone in who knows how to do the job. That objective should be written in the job description.

      I know, I know, a single Congressman cannot cut costs by himself. We are a country of laws and a Congressman’s responsibility is to draft laws to get things done. Well, with that in mind, a Congress-person can write a law to cut the costs and present it to the legislature for approval. Of course, if the law does not pass those that voted against the law will have to come up against you to pass theirs. Since your jobs depend on cutting costs. It won’t take long for Congress to get the idea, and begin to cooperate with each other.

      My whole plan depends on people who run for office wanting to save the country, and stop inflation by reducing government spending. It also depends on us (We, the People) to pick the right individuals at election time. If we don’t like who is running, maybe we should throw our own hat into the ring.

Here are a few more goals to think about using the 80/20 rule:

  • Eighty percent of the benefit comes from 126 Agencies. Eliminate the remaining 503. Which ones would you save?
  • Cut the Federal Budget by twenty-five percent to save 1.2 trillion dollars.
  • Use the savings to pay off the National Debt over thirty years.
  • Cut the federal budget another 25% to save 905 billion dollars, and return it to the tax payers.

Think of all the money that would put in your pocket. A total of $905,000,000,000/350,000,000 = $2585.71 would go to each member of the population.

Instead of setting goals such as I have listed we will get nonsense like printing more dollars to pay bills. Since President Nixon finally ended the Gold standard in 1971 the US dollar has lost 70% of its value meaning one dollar can only buy thirty cents worth of goods today as it could in 1971.

      Our current inflation rate exceeds 11% and is climbing. If it rises higher the USA will go bankrupt, and I don’t want to live to see that happen.

A Little Bitty Bird Made Me Lie

A few days ago I posted a bit about the coming of spring. In it, I mentioned that the Junco, a bird from up north, left to go home. This morning as I looked out on the yard I spotted a Junco hopping around under the feeder picking up sunflower seeds. Damn, I exclaimed to myself. He made me a liar.

What I suspect is that the Juncos are migrating south to north, and this guy is late. Probably because he winters further south. It doesn’t matter except I wrote a bald faced lie in my last post. I don’t like to lie, telling lies is reserved for politicians on the stump, or defending their shoddy records. Politi-speak has evolved into something that is widely accepted even though we all know it is wrong. So then, why do we continue to vote for the people that live to tell untruths? A great example of this type of talk was displayed during the last election cycle when then candidate Biden stood before the country and said he would eliminate COVID. We all knew that was BS, but the Trump haters were so anxious to get rid of someone who knew how to run the country that they accepted that lie and many more.

Just as we all know that state run elections are running over with fraud, but the chiefs in charge continue to accept the lies told by state attorney generals who certify results. As long as those who oversee the election run by the laws in their state they cannot see the real fraud going on because they followed the law to the letter.

Another common form of lying, that is publicized, is when a politician makes a statement based on his knowledge of the facts at hand, and newly uncovered facts come up. On the basis of the new facts the old statements are now false, therefore the subject is telling a lie.

I wonder if America will ever get any of this stuff straightened out to correct the system. Until then, I have to rely on my own judgement of what is, and what isn’t a lie. Reading opposing viewpoints makes things worse because because often a lie is challenged with another lie. I tend to believe the people I want to believe in, and anyone else is a liar. I don’t think I’m alone on that point. In the meantime, I’ll try to correct my own lies with fresh news based on new facts about the migratory habits of my bird residents. Or, are they residents if they only stay here for the winter? That poses another question, just where does a migratory bird call home? Since he commutes between places one or the other must take precedence. I guess I’ll just go sit on my rock and strike a Rodin pose whilst pondering the issue.

Who’s Lies Do You Believe?

Lie, lie, lie, the word is used daily in accusations by political pundits. It seems that making false statements has become standard in political conversation. Who are we to believe when a candidate makes a statement and his opposition says he is lying? To make things even worse, who are we to believe when the said candidate then responds with a counter statement that his rival is lying?

Then, there are statements made during campaigns that are interpreted as lies even though at the time a candidate made the claim he believed it to be true. For example, when Biden was campaigning to become president he stated that Trump mis-handled the COVID-19 response and because of it people died. He claimed that he would stop the pandemic and life would be good again. The instant those words left his mouth I jumped out of my chair in anger. How can anyone make such a claim when no one has yet demonstrated a single way to stop or control the virus? Biden knew what he was saying and he also knew it was intentionally false, but enough people were so sick of COVID they wanted to believe him and did. Now, of course, we all know that he was blowing smoke out of his ass. These statements fall under the Harry Reid Rule of making statements true or false to win elections. When Romney ran against Obama, Reid publicly stated that Romney did not pay his income-taxes. By the time anyone had proven otherwise the election was over and Obama won. Later when Reid was challenged on his statement his answer was “he won didn’t he?” In his demented mind that justified the lie.

Lying has become a standard way of speaking in order to win elections. Forget that “thou shalt not lie” is one of the ten commandments it only applies to someone else, and only when you are not speaking during and election campaign. I wish we could have an app to detect when someone was telling a lie and to “beep” when the lie is detected. Campaign speeches would sound a lot different with all the beeps coming after statements. For example:

“My fellow Americans (beep) I am running to be your next president because I want to lower your taxes (BEEP), and make America great again (BEEP), and I will make China and Russia behave (BEEP,BEEP,BEEP). . .”

John Q. Candidate

When did it become acceptable to condone lying in political speech? What is more surprising to me is that so many Americans are gullible enough to believe the horse hockey they are being fed. The lying does not stop with the candidates, but has permeated the reporting as well. Everyday we see examples of reporters writing and telling deliberate lies to illicit responses that support their political philosophy. A recent example is the article that cites a Liberal Supreme Court Justice making a claim that A Conservative Judge is jeopardizing her health by not wearing a mask in her presence. Two days later, after this lie has been promulgated around the world, another reporter finally asks the judges if this is correct. Both judges deny any such statement or intention. Who cares? The damage was done, and the man on the street only remembers that the Conservative Judge is a bad guy who intended to harm the Liberal Judge. Lies, lies, lies, but who cares the reporter did his job, and got his viewpoint out.

After reading history, I have learned the problem of lying in newspapers is as old as the First amendment which protects free speech even if it is damaging and incorrect. The only way to correct this is to not read the newspapers, or the websites that publish a lying reporter’s crap. The liars need to be exposed in a way that the public will not listen to their voice. A problem with this method is that there are way too many reporters involved, and new ones are being graduated every six months from a slew of liberal colleges with so called journalism programs. My personal method is to not read political essays on the internet nor listen to liberal voices on the tv or radio. Instead, I scan news sites and read headlines looking for interesting articles that I could believe and learn something from. I have also limited viewing cable news programs because they don’t contain news only opinions, and my opinion is as good as any of theirs. The worst kind of opinion program is when the moderator has a liberal and a conservative side by side. Most times the liberal will only invoke my vomit response. Why should I put up with that? I don’t.