Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
We know (and if you didn't, you do now) that if you attack a police officer in any way, you incite a reaction. This is by necessity, as the police officer is doing a job just like the rest of us but has to develop instinctive physical reactions to certain stimuli in order to survive. There is a saying that whatever happens, at the end of the day an officer needs to live to be able to go home to see their family.
I do not want to infer or opine in any way that there is not a problem in our society with police brutality, police protecting their own who may be guilty of crime, or the over militarization of our police forces. Those are each separate topics that require separate discussions. In many cases our society has carved out a different standard of laws and consequences for officers – this is not right nor should it be accepted.
That said, in these recent, specific cases there was a decision made by the non-law enforcement participant that changed futures and ended lives. Standard police regulations for use of force is the same as it is for regular people like you and I but significantly more detailed. We are entitled to use deadly force to protect ourselves and our loved ones from life threatening danger with the caveat that said danger be reasonably perceived, imminent, and that there is an element of innocence on our side. Police are held to that standard as well.
It then goes without saying that a 300 lb man attacking a police officer, or a child with a toy gun that has the orange tip removed who makes a threatening move to pull the "weapon", will both be perceived in the heat of the moment as having the power to inflict imminent bodily damage or even death on a responding officer. In today's society the capacity to kill is not limited to any specific age, race, sex or religion. These events must be evaluated on a case by case basis to examine if they qualify for deadly force.
You and I may not be able to teach our children common sense, but we can teach them the rules of engagement and the right that we have to defend ourselves. By extension, these lessons also teach the right that others have to defend themselves against us should we choose to violate them in any way.
We can try to spin these events to satisfy our own personal agenda. The news does it all the time, all in the name of selling papers. The truth is that we have a responsibility to inform ourselves and the next generation what it means to be accountable for our actions and the resulting consequences.
Monday, March 7, 2011
A note about our Debt - To Congress, the Senate, the President, and all the other liars in government.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
My kids love building forts in the family room. Who doesn't? We pull the ottoman close the the couch, stack the couch pillows up, and throw a blanket over the whole mess. At their current sizes, all three kids can fit inside our makeshift "fort".... more like a micro fort... but there isn't room to spare, and they are right on top of each other, so the whining commences almost immediately.
So my brainstorm was a Mansion sized (compared to our standby) modular fort thingy, made out of wood cubes and dowels. Unfortunately, procrastination was my crime, and it definitely led to my sorrow on this one. I let the idea grow and mature for FAR too long :)
So, the Saturday before Greyson's 5th Birthday party, which was also to be Lincoln's 3rd Birthday party, I pulled out the man tools and got to work. Fortunately for me, I had already ordered the 1/2" oak dowels and picked up some 4" x 4" x 4' Fir Posts for the project.
I was so excited to set up my new planer. We bought it a while ago, but I hadn't needed it yet. I was apparently too excited to take any pictures, so I shot one of the planer once I was finished with it. (seriously recommend this Mikita Planer by the way!)
I don't have a jointer, and this was planned to be a project that didn't need to be anywhere close to perfection, so I planned to wing it - the fact that the posts weren't really that square wasn't a problem.
Once I planed the posts down to a mostly smooth finish (minor tear-out, not a big deal), I was on to the chop saw to cut the posts down into cubes. I set a stop so I could make repeatable cuts, and was soon happily on my way, chopping cubes like a pro. That was of course, until I noticed that the weight of the posts was knocking the stop back a tad every time it bumped it.
I reaffirmed my thoughts that we didn't need perfection here, because the way these blocks were fitting together wouldn't make a difference in the scheme of things. As much as I like my
woodworking to be perfect, I swallowed my pride and kept going.
My next project was to drill a 1/2" hole near the center of each side of the cubes. As I had 35 cubes, and each cube has 6 sides... 210 forstner bit drilled holes later I was pretty tired.
I called it a day. I think if I knew how much work it was going to take to get things ready for the kids I might have kept working. At least I had Greyson who loved helping me clean up. Of course, the big shop vacuum is a kid magnet!
The following Monday, I forced myself into the garage after a long day at work to make some progress. The Saturday party was looming closer, and I didn't want to be caught presentless.
Natalie requested that I round the edges on the cubes, as Greyson and Lincoln look at all things as weapons. I guess it is a boy thing. After several nights of sanding the edges of the cubes down, (and my hands incidentally...) I finished 31 of the 35 blocks. Since the first "build" was only going to use 16 I had mercy on myself and left the last 4 until some time in the future.
Next I set up the Lathe function of my ShopSmith, but I don't have any of the right chucks nor do I know how to use a lathe. I just used the lathe to spin the dowels while I sanded the ends to a basic level of fit. Once I had enough to build the first fort thingy, I left the rest of the dowels for later as well.
We did a dry run and everything went together fabulously.
We were all ready for the kids.
In the course of that one day, the fort was used as a hospital, a pirate ship, a repository of buried treasure, a tower for a princess that needed saving, a perfect place to unwrap presents, and last but not least, we read the boys their bedtime stories with all 5 of us inside.
The crazy part is that I have enough dowels and cubes to expand our mansion sized modular fort thingy to more than twice its size. Regardless - mission accomplished. Now it only remains to be seen whether this toy has the wow factor to stay at the top of the favored toys list for more than 5 minutes... :)
We can only hope!
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Thursday, June 17, 2010
By Charlie Reese
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them...Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits? Have you ever wondered if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes? You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million who are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress.
In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.
I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason... They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits...The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker Of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party... She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red...
If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it's because they want them in IRAQ .
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way...
There are no insoluble government problems.
Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or" politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
Those 545 people and they alone, are responsible.
They and they alone, have the power.
They and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.
Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees... We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Not a single tax existed 100 years ago(not true, see my comments above), and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
What in the hell happened? Can you spell 'politicians?'