Road fees

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Governments and their fees.

I realize that being part of a society requires some assent to a certain level of fees for the common good. That’s part of the social contract we make for living in a society.

I don’t mind paying some taxes and fees because I know that it provides for the common good. It makes life better for more people than just me. I’m someone what reasonable.

However, there comes a time when those fees become unnecessary and overbearing. Sound familiar? You might look back to one such fee that helped lead up the the American Revolution. What really gets me is that fees are being charged and collected and the government is rarely held accountable for the way the money is spent or mismanaged. That part irritates me to no end and isn’t part of the social contract. I don’t like waste. Big government wastes money. Big government isn’t accountable. Big government perpetuates bad government and bad spending.

So, to say I was shocked when I got my vehicle registration renewal yesterday might be an understatement. I have had the car for almost 2 years now and suddenly there was a new fee that wasn’t there before – a “hybrid vehicle transportation fee”. That one fee was $75! That one fee doubled the cost of the vehicle registration all by itself!

Ridiculous.

How about we stop using state funds to pay for heroin injections sites? How about we stop using state funds to pay for an idiot governor? How about we stop using state funds for things that don’t benefit the greater good? How about we stop using state funds to pay for unnecessary art in public spaces? Get the idea? There are lots of places where money is spent that it shouldn’t be.

I pay the gas tax every time I fill up. They already collect the “Vehicle Weight” fee to fund the highway on top of all the other fees.

I’ve had it.

I am going to drive on both sides of the road whenever I feel like it. I paid for it, therefore I am going to use as much of it as possible!

Let it burn

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The West is on fire.

We should let it burn.

The exception to that, of course, would be to protect life and property as much as possible.

The West is on fire not from climate change, but from poor natural resource management.

Fire is natural. Fire is useful. Fire is not always bad.

Why are the fires so bad now? Because people think that fire should always be stopped, all the time. Forests have been left to grow out of control with no management. As such, there is a lot of undergrowth that has gotten out of hand. This provides fuel to a fire that eventually gets so big that it gets into the canopy and then spreads easily, creating it’s own wind (from consuming the air around the fire) and causing it to spread uncontrollably.

Forest management and use of fire isn’t a new concept and it still gets used, but not to the extent that is should be. What is new is that groups of activists who have no desire to manage forest lands so much as to stop all activity in forests. This is an issue of environmentalist being out of control and locking down good, demonstrated practice.

If you wanna stop fires so bad, how about we send them environmentalists out there to fight them? Let’s see if they can stop what they have set in motion with their emotions instead of science and management.

Thee and Thou

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Round and round we go.

What’s good for thee, isn’t good for thou.

There’s an exception to everything.

Blended families are tough, to say the least. I have made this no secret here on the blog. As I have stated previously, lots of material comes from my experiences in this arena.

And here we are again. Thee and thou.

In the past, I have protested how parenting by one parent of their children should be different because they are adults and have their own families. Yet, it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference as it still is done (much to the satisfaction of the child). I am always told that if the situation were reversed and it were my own child that I would think and act differently.

“Just wait till it’s your daughter…”

And she may have been right.

The situations don’t play out exactly the same and a key difference is that my daughter is not yet an adult. She is getting closer with each passing day, but in the eyes of the law I still have some responsibility there. But, the way you parent adult children and minor children should be completely different – as in, minors should receive more assistance than adult children who can make their own decisions, have their own families, and their own jobs/income.

Now, when a situation arises that is similar to a situation of the past with the other children, and I handle it similarly to how the adult children were handled, I am greeted with scorn. The protests about how I didn’t like it when the adult children were parented that way so why am I doing it that way now with my own daughter come raining down. As if the fact that she is a minor and they are adults are completely disregarded for the sake of a disagreement.

Nice.

So, round and round thee and thou go.

Naked

silhouette of a man during sunset

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Got your attention? I thought so.

Anyway, in a little out the ordinary type post, I am going to recommend a book. I don’t often do that. No, I really don’t! I mean, it’s a book, after all.

But, this one is totally worth recommending and I honesty believe it will give you some insight into what is going on in the country at the moment.

The book?

The Naked Communist: Exposing Communism and Restoring Freedom, by W. Cleon Skousen.

This link above is for Amazon, but it is available in other places too. I don’t get any kickbacks for you clicking on that link, so it truly is just something I think is worth the read.

Why?

When you read this book, written first in 1958, in the context of the present (it has been updated for this) you suddenly see what is going on. Actually, it might not be all that sudden since, if you have studied history, you would have recognized the current developments fairly easily.

Social justice movements. Progressivism. Liberalism. Socialism. Democrats (yep, I said it). All of these are a back door to Communism. A Trojan Horse, if you will.

Read this book! Read it with current events in mind. Read it with the past in mind. Read it with the upcoming presidential election in mind.

Seriously.

 

Seattle

aerial view of city buildings

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I don’t recommend you visit.

It’s irritating to watch from a city nearby and see all the garbage that is going on down there.

The City and County Councils have gone off the rails. The mayor is a failure. Chaos in the streets (continues) and chaos in the government.

Homelessness is rampant. Drug use is up, even to the point that the city is providing space to allow and encourage it. Mismanagement of funds. Sheltering illegal immigrants.

“Handcuffing” cops so they can’t deal with unruly “protesters,” but just making them stand there to watch the lawlessness or take the physical and verbal abuse.

CHAZ and then CHOP.

Defund the Seattle PD by 50%, which is causing a mass exodus of officers to other communities.

Close the King County Jail within the next several years and completely stop youth incarceration. They want to take the position of the sheriff from being one voted on and into the position to one of being appointed.

They are trying to tax big businesses in the city and county to ungodly levels, which will eventually drive them out, not only from the city and county but very likely even the state (Bezos is public enemy #1 instead of the rioters destroying the city and holding parts of it hostage).

Make any sense? Any of it?

None. Not one bit of it.

Unless, your playbook was written by Marx. And Lenin. And Stalin. And Mao.

Ah, suddenly a picture comes into focus.

Don’t visit Seattle. Don’t be a tourist. Certainly don’t even think about moving there. Stay away from it. I have decided that I will avoid it as much as possible. No more visiting (it’s not safe). No more sports teams (can’t guarantee getting to the stadium will be safe). No more exploring. No more spending. No more.

Don’t visit Seattle.

Noon

photo of man touching his head

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Noon, and all I wanna do is sit down.

Technically, I have been sitting all morning while I work.

But I mean like actually sit down and relax. Actually, you probably already know what I meant without me having to say it. I think we would all just like to sit down and put our feet up.

It’s July 17, 2020, and we are now officially more than halfway through the year.

That’s not real comforting to know that when it feels like we have been through three years in the last six months. Right?

The next six months is shaking out to be another 4 years worth of issues. How fun will that be?

Anyone else just…tired?

Tired physically, emotionally, and of anything and everything?

 

Once again

uyuni salt flat

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I don’t know why I bother, because I am going to be ignored either way.

Advice.

Why ask for it if you are going to completely ignore it?

Family. I tell ya.

Kids. *shakes head* Damn, kids.

When they ask for advice, they don’t really want advice. They just want validation for their own thoughts and opinions, and if you don’t give them what they want then they discount your advice and do what they wanted to do in the first place.

Gets old, ya know?

 

Perspective

man in brown leather jacket using binoculars

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There is an astounding lack of perspective in the United States these days.

The lack of understanding of history is a perspective that continues to grow.

A former student who posted on Instagram that her celebrating the 4th of July without a care in the world was “privilege” because it doesn’t represent everyone…is missing that perspective and it kind of surprised me.

Well, it does and it doesn’t. She, of course, is a college graduate who has been subjected to liberal brainwashing that demonizes everything American in our higher ed institutions these days. Wanna talk about a pandemic? How about the one in our nation’s colleges and the fact that there is no room for open discussion about different perspectives?

I am seeing this kind of stuff from a lot of my former students. I can safely say they came from a rather liberal, small community, but one that is not unpatriotic. These students weren’t that way when they were in high school.

When these kids were in my class, we did cover Frederick Douglass’s “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”. We read it, analyzed it. Discussed it. Drew some perspective from it and to it.

Douglass’s words rang true in 1852. There were many people still in the bonds of slavery and were not given the opportunities and freedoms that the Declaration of Independence and Constitution guaranteed to Americans. However, that is not the case in 2020. There is not slavery in the US (at least not the kind that Douglass was talking about) and opportunity is open to all. Freedom is given to all. Blessings of those historical documents are available and enjoyed by all.

Have we formed that “more perfect union” yet? Nope.

Are we striving still, to get there? Of course.

But to say that your “privilege” to celebrate the 4th of July negates what our Founding Fathers and those all along the history of our country have done for us is rather short sighted. Progress, moving forward, celebrating success, and contemplating failure (and learning from it) is the American way.

Historical knowledge is important. There are a lot of people who are getting it wrong these days.

A lesson from Hong Kong

police motorcycle in middle of road

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Wanna know what happens if the progressives and liberals ever win back all the branches of the government in the United States? Too dramatic? Overly cautionary? Hyper-political?

Pay attention to what is happening in Hong Kong.

Am I overreacting? Am I being alarmist? Am I blowing things out of proportion? No, of course it won’t be exactly like that. It will be a slower march towards Communism, but similar nonetheless.

China and their Communist government has designs on domination and they don’t care what freedoms and guarantees they made to the international community over Hong Kong. The freedom that the people who live there is all but about gone, and China is warning the international community to not interfere.

With current trends in progressive and liberal politics, the march towards socialism becomes a greater threat. As the march towards socialism gets stronger, cancel culture, censorship, and the expectation that everyone fall in line with their ideology increases too.

Dissent? Don’t speak out or you will get a mob of unfriendlies descending upon you to ruin your career, life, relationships, and demonize you until you apologize (doesn’t matter if you do, they still blacklist you) or disappear from the public (either from your doing it or from them doing it).

Don’t think it’s possible? When England handed over Hong Kong back to China in 1999, no one really thought it would ever happen there either. “Communist take over of Hong Kong? Nah, it’s enjoyed too much freedom for too long, plus it’s an international hub for the world’s businesses. It’ll never happen!” So much for that thought, right?

The slow march in the US is a lot like a frog in a pot. You don’t know you’re cooked until it is too late. Unfortunately, there are far too many people in the pot who are not paying close enough attention to what is going on.

China is a threat. Russia is a threat. Not from weapons, at least not yet, but from ideology.

There will be a day when we wake up and the state of the States will be piss poor and many were too blinded by the agenda to see it coming.

 

 

 

July 4

blur bokeh bright burnt

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No, today isn’t July 4. Sorry if that threw you off for a moment. Hopefully you don’t tell time by the calendar of my blogging.

It was an interesting holiday, wasn’t it?

People can’t even celebrate with fireworks anymore. Governments are trying to kill that tradition with regulations (though the people in my community have done their best to try and do it anyway).

People locked down. People being mandated to wear masks. People being told they can’t gather. Celebrations cancelled. People not able to do the things they have done in the past because of fear generated by a pandemic.

People aren’t feeling so free these days. Freedom didn’t seem to ring quite as loudly this year. Freedom has had quite the damper on it from the government…kind of like back in the day, when July 4 was the culmination of people having it up their eyeballs with government interference on their daily lives. Weird.

Oh, and then there is the “woke” crowd and their “cancel culture” who need a bit of a history lesson.

Colin Kaepernick apparently needs a history lesson or three. He said he (and apparently other “woke” people) wasn’t going to celebrate the 4th of July holiday because it was a “celebration of white supremacy.” You apparently can catch that twit/tweet/whatever you call it on Twitter.

Hey, Colin, Independence Day isn’t about celebrating a race of any kind. It’s about celebrating the separation of the colonies (eventually the United States) from England. It’s about a national celebration, not a racial celebration. To add to your history lesson, there was a time when an African-American, or Black, did have a gripe about celebrating freedom because not all in the United States were free. Frederick Douglass, when he wrote and delivered “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”, was protesting slavery and the lack of political freedom for Blacks. It seems those two issues have been solved.

Is America perfect? Nope. Have people made mistakes? Yep. But to say that Independence Day is a holiday about white supremacy is just plain stupid. Should celebrating the holiday negate ALL progress made since that day? Nope. Again, plain stupidity.

America is still the best place to live and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, but I am not going to stop you if you would like to go somewhere else. Feel free to explore other places in the world.

That’s the thing about freedom, you can move anywhere you like.

Ain’t no one stopping you…well, except governments (and media) who have everyone locked down in fear.

God Bless America!