I Like Spinach

When I was a child, I did not like spinach, not one bit.  They used to have to force it down me.  As I grew a little older, I tried to dress it up some by adding things to it.  No good.  The stuff just had a horrible taste.  Whenever I tried to force it down, it made me gag, literally.

Then, one day, I was eating a salad.  I had it half eaten when I asked the waitress what the green leaves were.  She said, “It’s Spinach.”

Can you imagine my surprise.  I ate half the spinach in the salad and guess what?  I liked it.  It actually had a nice flavor to it.  It was then that I came to realize that they ruin it when they can it.  I ate the salad, spinach and all, leaving nothing but a little of the dressing.

I should have suspected as much.  I don’t like carrots, cabbage or Brussels sprouts when they are cooked.  On the other hand, I really like raw carrots and raw cabbage a lot.  I don’t now about raw Brussels sprouts.  Haven’t tried them yet.  However, I also prefer my celery raw too, though I can also eat it cooked as well.

There is one odd thing about cabbage.  I really like egg-rolls.  I can easily eat four or five of them at once.  Guess what, their major ingredient is cabbage.  Go figure.

At any rate, this might be a good clue to parents who can’t get their kids to eat their veggies cooked.  Try feeding them to your kids raw.  Who knows it might work.  …and by the way, they are more healthy that way.  …and by the way, it takes less time and effort to prepare them.  …and by the way, they make good in between snacks.

There is one more side benefit.  Your kids will like you more.

Unfortunately, now that I like spinach, I can’t eat it.  The doctor told me to avoid it.  Now isn’t that a kicker?

Outside Voter Influence

The Dems are all in an uproar over the Russians trying to influence our election.  First, it’s not new.  It is an effort that started with Stalin.

Second, they  are not the only ones.  The Chinese raised tariffs aimed at farmers that voted for Trump.  They haven’t said as much, but it is sort of obvious.  The Mexicans have been trying to retake the southwest every since the Alamo.  Moreover, it is no secret.  They said it publicly.

Actually, it’s not just the outside influence.  The Dems have been the main cheering section for first the Soviets, and now the Chinese.  They are helping the Mexicans every day and they don’t seem to care who knows it.

Those who call themselves journalists are right in there helping any foreigner they can find who will weaken the Republicans, even if it causes harm to the US.  They don’t much care what country they come from.

Personally, I believe it should be a felony to accept money from outside the United States in any election, I don’t care what country it comes from.  If it is proved beyond a reasonable doubt, those using the funds should be thrown in prison and he should be removed from office.

I only wished it could be so for funds coming from other states as well.  I suspect that if our founding fathers foresaw such a possibility, they would have tried to put something in the constitution to disallow it.  After all, whey should multi-millionaires in New York or California have anything to say about what goes on in Alabama or Arkansas.  People in their own state ought to have their own say  It is sort of the reason they included the Tenth Amendment.

Many years ago, the Mississippi Assembly decided to make it legal to have gambling casinos.  There was one requirement.  They had to get the permission of the county by popular vote.  Twice, Desoto County voted it down.

There was, to say the least, a big battle that ensued prior to each vote.  Millions of dollars came in from out of state, mostly from Memphis.  (Now I ask you, is it right for people who live in Memphis to decide gambling in Desoto County?)  Some came from New York and some from other places.

Memphis, by default had the big guns in advertising.  They had three TV stations and I have no idea how many radio stations that broadcast into Desoto county.  Much of it was straight forward advertising, but much of it was personal opinion passed in something of a casual way by many of the anchors.  Their attitude was, why not vote to allow gambling.  It is the fix-all for everything.

Those that apposed the gambling had very little money.  They certainly couldn’t afford the TV adds and radio was expensive too.  Mostly, it was word of mouth, churches and a few small organizations.  I feared the outcome.  To me, it looked like they were just going steam roll in here and set up shop.

What really angered me was that the mayors and councilmen got in the act.  The school teachers were telling about how wonderful the gambling would be.  These people were supposed to be representing the people, but it was obvious they had no idea what the people wanted…or worse, they were self serving.

Those that were for the gambling outspent those against it by more than ten to one, yet it was defeated by two thirds of the voters.  They told the outsiders, “We don’t want it!  We don’t want any part of it!”

…and so it was that Tunica County got the gambling instead.  From my observance of how things went in Tunica, I am very happy we rejected it.  The gambling brought everything that we thought it would, crime, corruption and, very likely, organized crime.  By the way, it also resulted in the worst schools in the state  It was the exact opposite of the promise made by the casinos.  The state had to take over the schools because they became so bad.

I don’t know about others, but when outside money comes to my state, I will be very Leary.  I don’t like outside wealth telling me how to vote or what to vote for.  I would suggest that others do the same.  Educate yourself well and guard your vote carefully.  It is very important.

Computers, Good and Bad

Ever since computers have become somewhat common, I have had an interest in them. It helped that my brother designed them. He had a master’s in math and an Electronics Engineer degree. When I went into the Marines, I went into Aviation electronics. Admittedly, I didn’t have my brother’s abilities. If I had, I likely would have never gone in the Marines. Even as it was, I almost went to work for Autonetics, the electronic division of the no longer existing North American Aviation.
After the Marines, I went into the repair of computers and then into operations. There is no way I ever thought I would start writing books. Most of my English teachers concurred. By the time I reached the 7th grade, I was starting to have problems. At the time I had heard of Dyslexia, but I had no idea what it is. Though I have never been diagnosed as dyslexic, I now realize I have many of the symptoms. Anyone who knows the symptoms and has read my books will realize what I mean, although it is more of a reading problem.
So during my youth, I spent a great deal of my time trying to hide my problems. Because reading is difficult for me and I read slowly, I generally shy away from reading. I am good at listening, which allows me to somewhat make up for it. I can attend a lecture and I remember it far better than if I read the same material. In spite of my efforts to hide my problems, teachers should have recognized it and taken proper actions. Instead they just punished me for not keeping up.
I am very bad at spelling. It’s not specifically part of dyslexia, but the two sort of go together. When I write, I leave words and even phrases out. I frequently use words like also at the front of a sentence and then too at the end. Homonyms drive me crazy. I really do know the difference between there, their and they’re. That does not keep me from using the wrong one in the wrong place. I haven’t the foggiest reason for it. I don’t know if that has is something common among dyslexics or not, but it does drive me nuts. In my more recent books, I do searches on many homonyms to make sure I use them correctly.
Actually, as I started this my purpose was to write about computers. I guess I got off on a rabbit path. Nonetheless, it isn’t too far off of the beaten path. The fact is, without computers, I’d never be able to write. It would be hopeless. I have heard of other authors who were highly successful. You can do a Google on dyslexic authors and there will be a big list of them. (Including Earnest Hemingway and Jules Verne.) The word processors, as great as they are, simply cannot find all my errors. I have no idea how the old authors managed it, but many did. Maybe they just had good editors.
Here lately, computers have really made a mark on recent history. The text-to-speech has really made things nice. First time I heard one, a man had a small box connected to a desktop computer. He had it set up so that anything he typed, it said, though it sounded a little like Robbie the Robot. Also, it did mispronounce things. In baseball, it pronounced the e. It sort of made it sound Italian. The problem was easily solved by separating the words… base ball.
Nowadays, the text-to-speech programs are very good, though some provisions have to be made for some words. The one I purchased always read the word read the same way, present or past tense. Nonetheless, I do use my program a lot. I use it to help me with my editing. Others might find the program far more useful. Even at seventy, I have full use of my eyes, for which I am thankful. Some are not so fortunate. People who are blind can listen to books. Before computers, the blind couldn’t read anything that is not in Braille.
On the other hand, computers help those who have a difficulty hearing. The old hearing aids, as great as they were had one problem; they amplified all frequencies about the same. That was fine for most, but sometimes people hear almost all frequencies but a small band, especially high frequencies. Current hearing aids are smaller, but they can also be programmed for a specific person. They are expensive, but for those who have problems hearing, they are well worth it.
Then there is the cochlea implant. What an invention that is. And it is only possible because of computers. Indeed, it is a type of computer. As far as I am concerned it is one of the greatest inventions of modern man. You might argue with me about it, but not with someone whose life it has changed.
I sat and watched TV one day and saw a cripple man walk. I was absolutely amazed. He didn’t walk well nor did he walk very far. He carried a computer on his back that had probes connected to his legs. …and when he wanted his leg to move, it moved, using his own muscle. I was floored. I worked around computers almost all my life and I was stunned to see what they did.
From that day, I understand that they have made large advances to help people walk with the help of computers. It is a wonderful thing, if for no other reason than to keep the muscles from atrophying.
What wonderful things these computers are. To be sure, they are a tool. They can be used for good and they can be used for things not so good. They can be used to spy on people. They can be used to track all that an employee does all day. For a while, I was even one of those employees.
I can’t help but think, why do people use computers for bad when they can be used for such good? Who knows? Maybe, one of these days they will make a word processor that can correct all my mistakes. I don’t think that will happen really soon though.

A Word or Two About Some Obscure History

I guess it was a few decades ago that I recall watching an old black & white Sherlock Holmes movie.  In it, Holmes notices a man with military shoes and deduced that he had been a soldier.  Not was a soldier, but he had been in the Crimean War.

Immediately, I was launched into thought.  I knew I heard about the Crimean War, but I hadn’t an inkling of anything about it.  My wife gets angry with me for doing such things, but I immediately went into research mode.  I decided I’d not sleep until I found out about it.

I won’t bore you with all the info about the war, but there are some things I gleaned that most everyone should know.  It is a small peninsula jutting south from The Ukraine into The Black Sea.  It started at or about 1862, slightly before our Civil War.  The most famous battle was The Charge of the Light Brigade.  It was such a disaster that Tennyson wrote a poem about it.  Afterward, the method of selecting and training the British officer corps was drastically changed.

It is in during this war that Florence Nightingale became famous for her help of the wounded.  Yalta, a city on the south coast, was the place that the leaders of the US, Brittan and the Soviet Union met near the end of WWII.

For quite a while, I liked to test who really knows their history/geography.  I simply asked where Crimea was.  Of course the peninsula has become better known recently, since Russia took over the Peninsula.  This is a something of a paradox, being as that was the reason for the Crimean war.  Hence the war only delayed the takeover by Russia.

By the way, even with Crimea being in the news so much here lately, I would suspect there aren’t many that know where it is.  I am sure there are far fewer who know the history.

While the Crimean was very important, I won’t bother with all the details.  You can look it up yourself and I would suggest you do.  In spite of the fact that the little plot of land is so small, the land and the war were and are a very important part of history.  Besides, you will be able to impress your friends with how knowledgeable you are.

Voting Irregularities

Winston Churchill, a wise man, said “A lie gets half way around the world before the truth gets its pants on.”  The dems and the media take advantage of that.  They say something, knowing it is a lie.  Then, if they are caught, they issue a correction.  Not only does the correction not go anywhere, the media continues to quote the lie even after the correction is issued.  So the truth dies while the lie lives on, a fact the liberal media is well aware of.  The liberals prefer to believe the lie, regardless of how unbelievable it is.

The democrats are surprised that someone wants to influence elections.  Actually, it is over a hundred years old.  During Reconstruction (what they called the time rebuilding the South after the Civil War) it was rampant.  It was the primary reason for the formation of the pole taxes, literacy tests and the KKK.  People from the North went into the South and paid Black people to vote… 8 or 9 times.  (I will give you 2 guesses as to whom they wanted them to vote for, and the first one doesn’t count.)

Almost immediately after the advent of the Soviet Union, the communists tried to affect far more than our elections as well as hundreds of others…including Germany.  One of Hitler’s main adversaries was the Bolsheviks, Soviets.  By the late sixties they virtually took control of our colleges.  They were the primary source of the anti-Vietnam war movement and I have not heard one complaint from the democrats about that.

To a lesser degree, they affected our politics during WWII.  After the war, they came within an inch of taking control of this country.  They have had their nose in our politics ever since.  To be sure, Khrushchev made it clear that he would take over our government without firing a shot.  I can’t remember who it was, but there was one commie that said that he who counts the ballots wins the election.  Even a moderately intelligent sixth grader likely knows the meaning of those statements.

When Kennedy was elected, it was clear that someone in Chicago decided to count the ballots.  Possibly, if there was a recount, the results of the election might have come out differently.  For the sake of national unity, Nixon told them not to do the recount.

To this day, precincts are reporting irregularities.  Oddly results are always overwhelmingly democrat.  Though it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out, proving anything can be difficult or impossible.

Several times, Obama said that there was no need to look into voter fraud.  There’s no cheating.  Then, immediately after the vote…guess what…evidence of cheating…by the dems.  Then, of course, the first thing they did was yell fraud at the republicans.  (The best way to cover your tail feathers is to accuse someone else.)

The fact is, we need to change our voting and registration or we will be as the third world countries.  I suggest that registration should be in person and separate from any auto license bureau.  Upon registration, a message should be sent to all other states to ensure that the voter is dropped from their registers.

When the person registers, a photo ID should be issued, which should be required to vote.  To ensure validity, there should have magnetic strip that contains the written info on the card.  When the card is presented to vote, the info on the card should be updated with the current date.  It would prevent the card from being used multiple times.  Finally, when a person dies, a message should be sent to all states to keep anyone from voting or registering by that name.

I know.  It is a lot.  But if we don’t do something, the votes of honest people won’t mean a thing.  It is a sorry state of affairs that we should need to do such things, but, as we just found out, there are people trying to steal our elections.

Certainly, there should be stiff penalties for voter fraud.  The laws should be especially stiff for those that are involved in gross voter fraud.  We should never have 2000 votes in a precinct with 1800 voters.  If there ever is such a thing, it should prompt an immediate federal investigation.

Oh yes.  I have one more suggestion, the most important.  All ballots should be paper.  Electronic voting is too easily altered.  Worse, recounts mean nothing.  Recounts of paper ballots can verify everything, including vote count.

Telling Stories

I’m a storyteller.  Most people can tell my stories are fiction, but just to make sure I precede all my stories with a disclaimer.  You know what I mean.  (The story you are about to read is fiction.  Any resemblance to real events are completely by accident, etc, etc and so forth.)

The primary reason for the disclaimer is legal.  As farfetched as my stories are, someone just might get the idea that I have written about something real.  Oddly, I guess there are a few people who might.

After watching most of Agent Peter Strzok’s stories, I came to the conclusion that he should have issued a disclaimer.  I am sure most of us can figure out that it is fiction, but maybe not everyone.

Unions

My father was a carpenter, a good one.  He could and did build houses from the ground up and by himself.  He did all the plumbing and wiring.  He dug the foundation and he laid the floors.

However, carpenters have unions.  For this reason he spent many hours waiting around the union hall waiting for a job.  He had to wait in line, just like all the rest, regardless of the skill levels and regardless of experience.  If they didn’t have a job for him, he came home.

One day, he was working on a two story apartment building.  One of the new carpenters, a young man, refused to go up on the second floor scaffolding.  My father tried to shame him.  He said, “What’s the matter.  I can walk on my hands completely around the building.”

The young man didn’t believe him.  My father said he would do it if he agreed to work up there.  To make the story short, the young man went up there and worked the rest of the job.  Oh, by the way.  My father was fifty-five at the time.

A short time later, he was taken aside by a union rep and told he needed to slow down.  He was making the rest of the men look bad.  Besides, they needed to make the job last a while.

I am not saying that unions are completely bad.  They fought for safety, especially for minors and steel workers.  They provided many of the things that labor takes for granted today, such as the forty hour work week.  Certainly, they managed to put the kibosh on child labor.

However, the pendulum has swung the other way.  They have become counterproductive.  Those that work harder are punished.  Those who turn in substandard work are protected.  Wages and benefits have become prohibitive, to the point that US industry was unable to compete with foreign industry.  The imported goods were not only less expensive, but better.

In effect, they forced the companies they worked for to go bankrupt.  Then, American taxpayers had to bail them out.

It is no wonder that people have such a negative perception of unions today.  They have had their part in destroying about every part of this country that was good.  The school boards no longer run our schools.  Everything is run by the NEA (National Education Association) even to the point that they determine what is taught and what is not.  About the only way a teacher can be fired is if he or she says something bad about unions.  By the way.  May I point out that the US schools have gone from the best to some of the worst under the management of the NEA?

This would be bad enough, but union management has become self-serving.  In a word, may I say… corrupt?  They no longer represent the rank and file.  They support candidates that support unions.  Needless to say the government officials return the favor.  They know they must or face the consequences.

We call it lobbying, but it is just a fancy word for bribery.  The unions pay some of the biggest bribes, mostly to the Democrats.  Besides their bribes, they outright pay for ads to support Democrat candidates.

In recent years, the unions have started losing their holds on this country.  Businesses are moving to right to work states.  Now, finally, The Supreme Court passed judgment on the government unions, essentially making all states right to work states for government employees.

As the unions disintegrate, as the union bosses are forced to find honest jobs, I can’t help but wonder.  If they had only not gotten so greedy.  They put themselves out of business simply because they wanted too much wealth and power.  In a while, they will have neither.  The government unions were their last stronghold.  Now it is gone.  More than that, the Dems too will suffer.  They will no longer receive the bribes from the union bosses and they will no longer be supported by dishonest men.