A Little Privacy

When I was selected for grand jury duty decades ago, I learned a great deal.  I would suggest that one and all, if you are given the chance, take it.  It is a very enlightening experience.

First, it will open your eyes to the sort of people that are in this world.  Believe me, they are not all good.  Second, it will help you to realize that what you read in the paper is not always as it appears.

Indeed, there are many things it will teach you.  However, the one thing I learned on the first day is something they should teach in school, but don’t.  To the best of my knowledge, no one ever taught me one thing about grand juries or their purpose in all my twelve years of going to school.

Fortunately, the district attorney told us about them.  They actually serve three purposes.  They can perform investigations.  Indeed the grand jury I was on did perform a small investigation.  Primarily, the district attorney presents evidence and on the basis of that evidence, they vote, true bill or no true bill.

The interesting part about this is that if a true bill is returned, no one knows but the district attorney (and his team) and those on the grand jury.  The one being charged does not get a chance to pack his bags and head for Mexico, which he could do if he was forewarned.

Also, if a no true bill is returned, nothing happens.  Not only does the suspect not find out about it, but none of his friends, neighbors or family find out about it either.  It is one of the great parts about our justice system.  If the DA can’t get a true bill, he can’t ruin your reputation.  This is especially good, because if the DA can’t get a true bill against you, your boss will never know you were under investigation.  Neither will your girlfriend or boyfriend.

Moreover, it has been commonly held that any investigating body should keep things private for that reason.  In general, police do not go around telling the world that they are investigating John Doe until they have sufficient evidence to charge him with something.  I think everyone can see that this is a good practice and should be carefully followed.

Knowing this, I was surprised that when the southern US district court judge gave out the name of person “number three” when the demand was made by the an attorney representing The New York Times and some news channel.  She should have refused.  The man was not being charged and wasn’t even being investigated.  He wasn’t even a suspect.  Apparently, what he was guilty of was holding a few conversations with a friend, an attorney who also represents President Trump.

So, the Judge ordered the name be made public and we all now know he is Sean Hannity.  In this case, it did no harm.  However, it could have.  As it was, Mr. Hannity had to defend himself before Fox News, though he did nothing wrong.  Had it been something that he wanted kept quiet, too late now.

One of the things our justice system is supposed to do is protect the innocent people from being railroaded by over zealous investigators.  The judge, at the least, should be censured.  Yet, we have not heard one peep from the Bar association.  We have not heard a complaint from any official.

This of course means, if you are conservative, the justice system will not protect you.  Indeed, you need to be careful who you talk to.  You will need to be wary of what you say.  You will need to take care at hiring a lawyer.  Else, if you don’t, your name might appear on the front page of one of the best known newspapers in the world.

On the other hand, if you are a liberal, don’t worry about it.  It will never happen to you, that is, unless all the newspapers and media suddenly become conservative.  Then where will you be?  No need to worry.  That will not happen in our lifetime.

It Would Appear the Democrats Are Stuck on Stupid

Even before President Trump became President Trump, the Dems have been working overtime trying to get him out of office.  They act as if, by destroying the man, they can reclaim the office of presidency.

News item… it doesn’t work that way.  First, I don’t think they will drive him from office.  Even if they impeach him, it takes 2/3 of the senate to convict him.  That is just not going to happen.  Moreover, if they took a few minutes to think about it, they would know it.  When a crook frames someone and gets caught at it, it’s the one doing the framing that suffers.

However, assuming they did drive President Trump from office, it would just make matters worse for them.  That would mean Vice President Pence would become President Pence and, from what I can tell, his ideas are far more conservative than President Trump’s.  Moreover, VP Pence has legislative experience.  He knows how the system works and likely will be able to make it work better.

I don’t know everything about such things, but if I were one of the Dems and I wanted to raise taxes and bring a bunch of illegals across the border to vote for me, I don’t think it would be such a good idea to let VP Pence ascend to the presidency.  Not only is he more conservative, but he has strong Christian values.  It would be much more difficult to find skeletons in his closet.

If he became president, all you would be able to do would be to wait and hope to beat him in the next election.  Given his record and the will and desires of the people of the flyover country, I don’t think that will happen.  Moreover, VP Pence is younger and would be able to spend ten years in The White House, not just eight.

It sounds like a pretty stupid plan to me, but if you Dems insist, go ahead.  You won’t be hurting the Republicans and you just might help us conservatives a little.

(By the way, he just might be able to find Clinton’s E-mails and send her and Obama to prison.  Not likely, but it is a thought.)

One Farmer

While in Vietnam one day, I was in a truck. I wasn’t the only one in the truck. I guess there were about 14 of us. However, I was likely the only one who took note of a farmer in his field up to his knees in water. My guess is that he was harvesting his rice crop, but I don’t know.

Now, why would I take note of this farmer and what makes me write about him? After all, it was decades ago. Most people would have forgotten about the man a long time ago.

The fact is, the farmer was completely oblivious to what all was going on around him. He was too busy just trying to survive. There was one group of people who wanted to take control of his life, his and all those around him. Then there were those of us who were trying to protect him from the communists.

It is conceivable that someone might have told him, but he likely had no interest in it. First, he likely didn’t truly understand. Second, he likely felt he couldn’t do anything one way or the other. Third, he likely didn’t look far beyond the next day. It is hard to think politics when you have a wife and a couple of children who are facing starvation in the next few days.

Besides these two groups, there was another group, very far removed from Vietnam. They had goals too. They wanted an end to the war in Vietnam. They had little interest in the farmer or what might happen to him.  I am sure the protesters are proud of what they did.

So it was, in a short time, the decision was made to withdraw. Decades later, I talked to a pilot who flew for the Vietnamese Air Force. When he left his country, he was flying a C-130 (a large cargo plane) that was overloaded and people were falling off the rear door as he went to the runway. Somehow, I suspect that the war protesters cared little about them either, or those who died at sea trying to escape the communists.

Today, I often think about that farmer I saw. I wonder what happened to him. I suspect he lost his farm, though he was likely required to continue working it. It’s the sort of thing the communists do.

On the other hand, he might have been one of the million or so that were killed by the communists. If he objected about them taking over his farm, it is the sort of thing they might have done.

…and, of course, the war protesters are really happy they prevailed.

I had no desire to go to Vietnam. I even had one year of exemption for college. I must admit, I was afraid. (That’s right, I was a scared marine) Fortunately, I spent my tour mostly at Da Nang air base. There were still some nights we were scared enough to go running for the bunker.

There is, however, but one thing I truly regret, that I was never able to help that farmer. After all, most of us would die without the farmers.

(Please note, this and the next post are loosely related.  If you like this one, you might like the next.)

A Little Irritant

THE AR-15 IS NOT AN AUTOMATIC WEAPON!!  It fires one bullet each time the trigger is pulled.  That means it is semi-automatic.  There are many who seem to have other ideas.  It would be very nice if anyone reading this would tell others.

Some people who consider themselves experts on guns get it wrong continually, some within the government, some who teach in our universities.

As a Marine I qualified with the M-16 two years.  I carried one in Vietnam for almost a year.  I do know the difference between the AR-15 and the M-16.  The M-16 has a three position selector: safe, semi-automatic and automatic.  …and by the way, it and all automatic weapons are already illegal.  The is no need to pass a law to make them illegal.  The AR-15 looks the same as an M-16, but the selector has only safe and semi-automatic.

I know not many will read this.  So please tell your family, friends and neighbors.  You might tell your college professors too.  There is no sense them remaining ignorant of the facts.  Then again, they might already know.  They might prefer the distortion of the facts just to sound more alarming.  I have known them to do such things.

Back to Bible Days

Maybe it is time for us to return to the days we taught the Bible and Biblical principles in schools.  Maybe it is time to put prayer back in school.  It certainly hasn’t helped us much by taking Christianity out of our classrooms.

Some might want to convince the world that the one thing has nothing to do with the other.  Yet, the Bible does teach us not to murder.  It is Christian to love one another.  What wonderful principles does atheism have to offer.

It would appear to me that, as a nation, we have made a big mistake by taking God out of our schools and now we are suffering the unintended consequences: death, pain and suffering.

Why I Write

It just might be a little bit of irony that I don’t enjoy reading that much.  Although I have never been diagnosed as dyslexic, I have many of the symptoms, and then some.  I read slowly and it is mildly difficult for me.  My spelling is horrible.

When I write, I have a tendency to use 10 words where 6 will work better.  Moreover, I frequently repeat phrases.  One mistake I have to watch for is redundancy.  That is to say, I might use “also” at the beginning of a sentence and “too” at the end.

While proof reading, I once found a sentence that was worded so badly that I couldn’t understand it.  It took me an hour to patch around it.  To this day, I can’t remember what I wanted to say, just that it was important.

I have no idea why but I have a tendency to use “there” when I mean “their.”  I really do know the difference.  Homonyms really cause me no end of grief.  I think I am getting worse.  I never used to have problems with gender, but the last few years, would you believe.  I was proof reading “The Coincidence Theory,” again.  I was sure it was perfect.  After all, I had proof read it 7 or 8 times before.

Then, to my embarrassment, there it was.  Just after the second chapter.  I am sure it would cause confusion to the most liberal reader.  Well, that has just been added to my things to do.  I will correct the mistake.  What concerns me, is how many more mistakes elude me.

 

Because I read so slowly, I generally prefer to watch a good movie or TV show.  Nowadays, both have gotten rare.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone to a theater.  I used to go at least once a month.  My TV stays on the news most of the time.  About the only station turning out good movies are the Hallmark channels.

The so-called comedy channels make fun of those things that I hold precious to me, such as family life, parenthood, and Christianity.  You know, it’s all the things that made this nation different and great.

It would seem that they have done wonders in the technical aspects of productions and dove into the gutter in matters of subject and language.  Oddly, most in the industry consider these great advances.  The shock factor is the substitute for quality.  I do have one question.  If it is all so much better, why is everyone staying home and finding other things to do?

 

When I first left the Marines, we didn’t have a TV.  We also had two boys, 6 and 2.  It seemed a small disaster.  We bought second hand books and lay on the floor as we read.  (No furniture)  I generally read about three books every two days.  In my first eight months as a civilian, I read more books than all the years before or since.

As with reading, I have found it difficult to write.  As mentioned, I am prone to errors.  Without a good word processor, it would be unthinkable.  (Some might think it unthinkable anyway.)  At any rate, in spite of the difficulty, I found out I enjoy writing.  In spite of the hours of proof reading required, I still have a feeling of accomplishment.  Though I don’t have any million sellers, I do appreciate every person who has taken the time to read my stories.

I know that there are those who dislike the stories.  However, there are those who enjoy them.  Even a couple of doctors have read and like them.  I guess those with English majors won’t like them.  I don’t know.  So far I don’t know any that have read them.

 

One of my endeavors is to provide a few books for people to read that are not filled with filthy language.  When I bought my Kindle, one thing I noticed is that the vast majority of books available are horrible because of the language.  When I was in the Marines, I had to put up with that stuff.  Not now.  Generally, when I decide to buy a book, I will go through dozens before I find one worth reading.  If you don’t like books without any of that, I can guarantee you won’t like any of mine.

As I said, my books are not million sellers, but you can assume that there is no vulgar or even questionable language in any of my books.  Moreover, what little violence is in my stories is essential to the plot.  Moreover, my books encourage good moral behavior.  Indeed, a few encourage Christian beliefs.

 

…and so I write.  No longer for the masses, but for myself.  If a few join me in my imaginary journeys, all the better.  If I can encourage one or two to make the right decisions, far better yet.

If any find mistakes in my books, feel free to write me at Kaay@att.net.  All I ask is that you remain relatively civil and keep the language clean.  If you don’t remain within these broad requirements, you will waste your time to write.  I will delete your message unread.

Your words of corrections are very valuable to me.  I have found that editing a book can cost over eight-thousand dollars.  I did that once.  I can’t afford to do that with 35 books.  In fact, I can’t afford to do that even one more time.  I am retired and I live on Social Security.  …and thanks to Obama, half of that goes to my wife’s health insurance.

Then and Now

One day, many years ago as I was driving to work, I heard a man on the radio speak of something that caught my attention.  He said that TV’s used to get their signal through antennas and telephones required wires.  Now phones use antennas and TV’s use wires.

From the early days of my life, I remember almost every house had a TV antenna.  When I was six, I lived in an area that had just one station and it required a high antenna to pick up that station.  Some might not remember the days when almost all houses had the antennas and it almost looked like an artificial forest of metal trees.

Now they are gone, at least most of them.  It is rare to see one of them sticking up.  It makes it easy to see those who don’t have cable.

Normally, phones had a wire on them of about ten or twelve feet.  For those willing to pay for it, longer cables could be installed so that the girls could take the phone in another room for a little privacy.

Now, most use cell phones.  The antennas on them are so small we can’t see them.  However, we no longer have cables attached to them.  Privacy is simple.  The young ladies can go into their rooms or even outside.

The odd thing about it is that lately, people have started watching TV on their phones.  So, in a sense, it has gone full circle.  The TV is using an antenna again.

 

In my book, “Mitch,” I point out another switch up.  In the early nineteen hundreds, people used horses.  Only the rich had cars.  They were, so to speak toys too expensive for most.  Now, most of us have cars.  Most of us can’t afford horses.  Of course, if the tree huggers have their way, we will go back to riding horses and only the elite will ride around in self-powered vehicles.

I don’t think I want to be around in that day.  Cars might spew smog, but horse manure produces disease.  Try looking up the old days in New York before cars.  That stuff did not disappear on its own, you know.

There has been a big shift in commercials too.  In my youth, the media constantly discouraged gambling.  It was seedy and only bad people did it.  Well, I guess some good people gambled too, but not on TV.  Many programs showed the good guys shutting down the gambling outfits and, of course the schools were often leading the way.

Schools, of course, did what they could to discourage gambling.  Governments at every level depicted gambling as wrong.

I blinked my eyes.  Next thing I know, it turned completely around.  Whoa to the politician that suggest shutting down the gambling.  We can’t do that.  We need the money.  By the way, it fixed nothing.  We now have the gambling and we still don’t have enough money to run the governments at every level.  Actually, it is worse than before.

They are still calling for more money for the schools.  The gambling didn’t help one bit.  I have noticed the county south of where I live allowed gambling.  They are far worse off than before.  The state had to come in and take over the school.

On the other hand, the number of people writing hot checks has skyrocketed.  Though I can’t prove it, I am sure the robberies have gone up.

There is a reason that those in the old days drove out gambling.  It would appear we can’t learn from history.  It means we are doomed to repeat it.  The difference is that now, nothing less than a miracle will get rid of it.  Now our society is more dependent on it than a druggy on heroine.  Near as I can tell, we are stuck with it and it hasn’t solved a thing.

 

In the movies, they used to show people smoking.  It was encouraged by tobacco companies to get people to smoke.  It worked.  Then we had a couple of generations of people dying from lung cancer.

Recently, they decided that was a bad idea.  Now, there is a big campaign to stop smoking and it is no longer seen in recent films and TV shows.  To some degree, it has succeeded.  I’ve noticed the number of people smoking, even in the military has decreased.

I think it was a good idea.  My question is, what took so long for them to figure it out.

It does make me wonder what the liquor companies are paying Hollywood to show the drinking.  Actually, drinking causes more problems than smoking.  Basically the smoker is the only one who suffers.  The drunk causes problems with almost anyone he encounters.

I wonder how long it will take society to realize that.  I wonder just how long Hollywood will continue to portray drinking as cool…the thing to do.

One day I was taking a walk.  I saw a pickup with a sticker on the back window, “My granddaughter was killed by a drunk,” or something to that effect.  I talked to the owner of the truck.  The granddaughter was two.  The drunk had been arrested twice before for drunk driving.

Sorry.  I don’t see drinking as cool.  One thing I know that no one can dispute.  No one becomes a drunk without taking the first drink.  As a society, we should discourage that first drink.  Instead, it is encouraged on every side:  TV, parties, military (though it is openly admitted that it is a big problem) and peers.

 

I get it, really I do.  I know you have to have your alcohol.  You say you can give it up if you want to.  You just don’t want to.  I really understand.  You just don’t want to give it up.  Fine.  Just please, don’t encourage others to drink.  You just might save the life of a two year old, maybe yours.

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