A HOUSE DIVIDED?

Only you can prevent Socialism!

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“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.” -Albert Einstein

You don’t have to be a genius to realize that the United States Of America is unique among nations. As the oldest constitutional republic and longest lasting capitalist country, it has been attacked from day one by those who would see it destroyed. Unfortunately not all enemies are foreign. Since he US Civil War (Apr 12, 1861 – Apr 9, 1865) it has been evident that various leaders of the Democratic National Committee have been attacking the fundamental principals which made this great nation. None would dare call their actions treason, but they are a cancer which must not spread to the next generation. Patriots aren’t born, but patriots need to educate their children to inculcate them from the disease of Socialism. Freedom is only ONE generation away from extinction.

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It’s a Grand Old Flag!               

One of the most striking changes that I witnessed following the events of September 11th, 2001 was that in the days that followed that despicable  terrorist attack against the USA, suddenly everyone was a patriot  and nearly every house was displaying an American Flag. Unfortunately, instant patriots do not last. While slightly more than half the nation remained vigilant, the new instant patriots slowly went back to their old ways.  Since the TERRORIST ATTACK that destroyed the Twin Towers and damaged the Pentagon, an entire generation has been born and these 18 year olds and younger have been taught such lies as the US deserved the attack, it wasn’t TERRORISM, and most recently to quote the words of DEMOCRAT  Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district since 2019 Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, “Some people did something.”    

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“The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.”– Thomas Sowell

God, guns, and guts made America great!

Changes in public education have slowly removed the teaching of The Bible in schools, trivialized or eliminated entirely the faith of the Founding Fathers, and streamlined American history in favor of teaching world history and world religions. Children are being taught what to think, not how to think. Civil discourse has all but disappeared and topics of religion, politics, and economics have become the big three no-nos of ‘polite’ conversation.   These are the same tactics that Mao Tse Tung and Adolph Hitler utilized when they created The Red Guard and The Hitler Youth. By co-opting and corrupting the minds of impressionable children, they were able to create brainwashed young adults whom they used to change and  destroy any opposition to ‘the party line’.  These useful idiots are exactly whom Saul Alinsky’s  protégés will use to attempt to win the 2020 election.  In the USA, the head of the DNC Nancy Pelosi wants to lower the voting age to 16 because it’s “important to capture kids when they’re in high school”. DNC Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was pushing her ‘Green New Deal’ and attempting to convince the youth of the nation that is something isn’t done,  the world will end in 12 years. Such attempts by the Democrats to sway children to ‘The Dark Side’ should strike terror into the heart of every parent in this country.   We need to ignite the spark of patriotism in our children so they can become a light against the darkness that threatens to destroy our land.

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2020 Vision

In 2016, Donald J. Trump was elected 45th President of the USA to the stunned disbelief of every Democrat. A grassroots campaign lead by conservative Christians and right-wing Republicans helped launch this great patriot into the oval office.  A constant barrage of Fake News  has been slandering this man since day one. Trump has been on record for over thirty years as saying that he would only run for president if he felt this nation was in danger of being destroyed, and that was exactly what the previous administration was in the process of. All of the freedoms that make America great were being slowly attacked, and Trump was the only man who could stand up to the career politicians and ‘Drain the Swamp’.  No American president in our lifetime has loved and defended our nation and our way of life more than Donald. J. Trump. He has been fulfilling his campaign promises since day one, and this terrifies the Liberals.  They know that when he wins re-election in 2020, the DNC will never regain power in their lifetime.  Currently there are 21 contenders from the DNC considering a run for the White House in 2020. This is the largest attempt by any party to seize power, and such attempts usually end in failure with few exceptions. In 2020, just as in 2016, there will be many new first-time voters 18 and up. We need to convince them of the importance of voting for another four years of the Trump presidency because the fate of our nation and its continued prosperity are on the line. Nearly all of the DNC hopefuls including Kamilla Harris and Joe Biden claim the 1st thing they will do is repeal the Trump Tax Cut, and instill higher taxes.  Taxation is theft, and when Walter Mondale tried this tactic with the Reagan Tax  Cuts, he lost 49 states in 1984. Donald J. Trump could become the first US president to win all 50 states in the Electoral College, another creation by the Founding Fathers which the Liberals want to abolish. Liberals want to re-write or re-interpret the Constitution and preferably ban all private gun ownership, meaning only criminals will own guns.   Also, having lost the liberal majority in the Supreme Court, they want to change than as well.   The 2020 President Election may be the most important election since Abraham Lincoln won, and if Donald J. Trump loses, America loses. Were  we go one, we go all. Our entire way of life is under attack.  As always, I wish you success and happiness!

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How DEEP is ‘The Deep State’?

Casting light on the ‘Shadow Government’!

HOW DEEP IS THE SWAMP

(This is the second half of a two part article. For part one, read DATA FACT? )

From the Pony Express to the Super-Information Highway

In the 18th century, newspapers were printed to inform the populace of important events and gossip. Even with the fastest horses, news was weeks, or even months old by the time readers got the story. By the middle of the 19th century the invention of Samuel F.B Morse’s telegraph and Morse code made it possible for news to travel first hundreds, then thousands of miles the very same day it occurred. The first trans-Atlantic cable was laid in 1866 making communication with Europe possible without a ocean voyage. The invention of the telephone in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell next made the transmission of sound possible over the wires. About two decades later in the mid 1890s, Guglielmo Marconi developed the first radio. It wasn’t until Christmas Eve 1906 that the first public radio broadcast was sent by Reginald A. Fessenden. Once again, two decades after that John Logie Baird publicly demonstrated the first working television system on January 26th 1926. These last three inventions became the universal standard for widespread news and information dissemination for the next sixty years, up until the invention of the internet in 1989.

Presidential Firsts

  • Rutherford B. Hayes the 19th president was the first president to use a telephone in 1877, He had the first phone installed in the oval office, it’s number was 1.
  • President Calvin Coolidge delivered what is now known as the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Dec. 6, 1923, the first presidential address to be broadcast on the radio.  A later president, Franklin D, Roosevelt addressed Americans thirty times regarding the economy and the war abroad in a series of ‘fireside chats’ from 1933 until his death in 1944.
  • Franklin D, Roosevelt was the first president to appear on television at the opening ceremonies for the World’s Fair on April 30, 1939 in Queens NY.   
  • George H.W. Bush was the first president to use e-mail in 1992, three years after the invention of the internet.
  • On May 18, 2015 Barack Hussein Obama II sent his first tweet from the first Twitter account dedicated exclusively to the U.S. President (@POTUS); his first reply to a tweet directed at him was a tongue-in-cheek exchange with former President Bill Clinton (@billclinton).

Yeah, you read that right, Barack Hussein Obama II was sending tweets on Twitter for over a year and a half while he was still president, yet constantly the media talks about the reckless tweeting done by current US president Donald J. Trump. Double standard anyone?

The importance of draining the swamp

“I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service and of retiring with hands as clean as they are empty.” – Thomas Jefferson to Diodati, 1807.

When the Founding Fathers first started our great nation, they originally viewed the task of leading our country and representing our citizens as a short term obligation. Once their civic duty was completed, they would return to their farms, farming being the chief occupation of most people during our nation’s infancy. Government leadership was never meant to be a long-term, or life-long career. America was crafted by very wise men to be a nation of freedom and liberty, with a government of the people, by the people for the people. It was the opposite of a monarchy, and devoid of tyranny. Since its founding, America has been constantly attacked by various foreign powers intent on extinguishing that light of freedom.

“What if elections were actually useful tools of social control? What if they just provided the populace with meaningless participation in a process that validates an establishment that never meaningfully changes? What if that establishment doesn’t want and doesn’t have the consent of the governed? What if the two-party system were actually a mechanism used to limit so-called public opinion? What if there were more than two sides to every issue, but the two parties wanted to box you in to one of their corners?” – Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey

 We as a nation have solidly locked our political system into a two-party system, split into two factions. The Republicans, AKA the Grand Old Party (GOP), and the Democrats or (DNC) which stands for Democratic National Committee. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President and was also (unfortunately) the first president to be assassinated in an attempt to alter the balance of power. The 1864 election occurred during the Civil War. In the interest of attempting to unify the nation, Lincoln chose Andrew Johnson, a DEMOCRAT as his vice-presidential running mate. The war ended on April 9th 1865. Five days later, while President Lincoln was attending a play, he was shot in the head by John Wilkes Booth. Booth then shouted, “Sic semper tyrannis! (Ever thus to tyrants!) The South is avenged,” and fled on horseback. Lincoln died the next day, and Booth was hunted down and killed days later. Ever since, both president and vice-president have been from the same political party. There have been 30 assassination attempts on US presidents. Only 4 have succeeded, but that number is still way too high.          

“The fact is that the ghost of John McCain and all of the other big business, Chamber of Commerce-type of Republicans that have been selling out the American people, that’s where the Republican Party needs to reconnect, and they can’t simply rely on the Democrat Party falling apart.”– Michelle Malkin

Who watches the watchmen?

Regardless of whoever has been the legitimately elected president, less prominent officials have been undermining political agendas they disagreed with, and hanging on to power and wealth at the expense of the American people.   Tax-and-spend has been the strategy of the DNC as they punish the  rich, and erode our freedoms one bad  law at a time. For most of the 20th century democrats have been promising to end poverty by enacting more and more government mandated social welfare programs and higher taxes on the ‘greedy rich’ so that they pay their  ‘fair share’ despite the fact that 86% of all the taxes collected are PAID BY THE RICH. Across the aisle, the Republicans have been promising to reduce the size of the government, cutting wasteful spending and ineffective programs. As some members of BOTH parties have their coffers being filled by lobbyists, they have resisted any real change in the current status. There are many elected officials who are nothing but the puppets of powerful private citizens who have billions of dollars at their disposal, like George Soros for one.  The first Washington outsider dedicated to ending the status-quo and Making America Great Again is current President Donald J. Trump.  He was been  slandered by the media and referred to as a lying, mentally ill racist who needs to be imprisoned or impeached. Constant headlines of Russian collusion have been plastered on newspapers and magazines, or discussed on radio, television, or internet news show. Media outlets owned by powerful billionaires who hate Trump.       

The politically-motivated witch hunt against President Trump  has failed to produce any evidence of Russian collusion after two years. Special counsel Robert Mueller has finished his investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 election, and the will be no further indictments. The report proved nothing.  Now Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi  is attempting to cover-up this by saying that she and her fellow Democrats feel that impeaching  Trump would be bad for the country and  ‘He’s just not worth it.’ This is the equivalent of a five-year-old watching someone do something they could never do, and then saying they could do it too, but they just don’t want to.  The DNC couldn’t prove collusion, because the was NO collusion. They can’t impeach President Trump even if they were to successfully frame  him because they don’t have enough votes to do it even if they wanted to.  This entire dog-and-pony show was meant as an attempt to brainwash Americans through the fake news media so that they could regain control of the country.

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Protecting the nation!

“As president the protection of the nation is my highest duty. Yesterday, Congress passed a dangerous resolution that if signed into law would put countless Americans in danger, very grave danger. Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution, and I have the duty to veto it.”

The main reason the DNC is so opposed to the border wall with Mexico is because Trump wants it. In 2006 top democrats voted for a wall. Protecting the people of the USA from all enemies foreign and domestic is the most important task of the government, and anyone attempting to undermine that goal needs to be removed from office. Term limits would be an excellent way to keep alleged members of the secret ‘Shadow Government’ from remaining in power to gain wealth. A dozen republican senators voted against Trump’s wall largely because they hail from states with term limits, because they were RINO republicans. (Republican In Name Only). Trump issued the first veto of his presidency on March 15th 2019 to override the block, ensuring that the wall will be built.

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Remember the USA really is only a two party system.  So pick a party that you can win with was been the mantra of some career politicians. We have a two term limit for the president, we need it for every elected official to prevent the abuse of power. We also need to eliminate their full pension for life compensation, and replace it with  a more reasonable pension plan. The government was never meant to be a retirement home for millionaires.    

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REPUBLICAN SENATORS VOTING AGAINST TRUMP: 
Mitt Romney of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rob Portman of Ohio, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Marco Rubio of Florida and Roy Blunt of Missouri.

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For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.– Ephesians 6:12

The Strong Survive

All of the over 2500 billionaires worldwide reached their financial peaks because they fought their way to the top every inch of the way. They are the modern kings of this world. World domination and it’s affects on the geopolitical-socioeconomic fabric of our planet has become a game of kings . Money is power, and when you have more money the some nations, the next goal becomes about bragging rights and ego. Whenever you concentrate that many type-A personalities in a group, the fighting for dominance and leadership will get ugly fast. No bones about it, most of them want to be number one at all costs, and are willing to do anything to achieve that title. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Approximately 10% of all billionaires are deci-billionaires,  having tens of billions, but ONLY TWO are centi-billionaires, having amassed over $100 billion each. Jeff Bezos of Amazon is at the top, having taken the reins of commerce, and Bill Gates of Microsoft has conquered the field of computer software and technology. Both are Americans, both are democrats, and both hate Donald Trump.

The information we see now is all but instant. As billionaires own media outlets, they can influence the information we see, either through editorial guidelines or with computer algorithms which track and limit what we see on news-feeds. They can employ their minions in the government or  the entertainment industry to trash or endorse whatever, or whoever they wish. Discernment and the ability to read ‘between the lines’ is necessary to avoid becoming road kill  on the super information highway during the age of information. Learning to think for yourselves as opposed to  adopting the opinions of the masses are key to becoming successful. Always remember, you are being lied to daily. Someone, somewhere wants to convince you that right is wrong, war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. Research what is being told to you, and always consider the source. 

Just like Franklin D, Roosevelt commandeered the radio for his ‘fireside chats’, Donald J. Trump has taken to Twitter to directly address the nation, cutting out the middleman who wants to silence the truth. 

President Donald J Trump is not a perfect man. The only perfect man born in the history of the world was Jesus Christ. God is known for using imperfect men to fulfill his perfect plan for the world. Trump is president because Jesus wants him there. He may not be perfect, but he’s the president our nation needs right now. He is a patriot, and he loves America. As always, I wish you success and happiness.  

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DATA FACT?

What a tangled web we have weaved!

(part one of a two part series)

DATA FACT

Conservative Republican Ronald W. Reagan was the 40th president of the United States. Shortly after taking office on January 20th, 1981, he began his goal of making America great again by implementing sweeping new political and economic initiatives. Dubbed “Reaganomics”, his supply-side economic policies advocated reducing government spending, economic deregulation, and most importantly tax rate reduction. These measures to spur economic growth were directly responsible for the prosperity seen in the 1980’s.    

One of the most radical changes to society which sprang from ‘the decade of wealth’ was the sudden birth of the home computer. Once a staple of science fiction, the idea of actually owning your own computer became a reality. The earliest practical uses were business applications and word processing, as well as early text based games. Computer technology advanced rapidly. An observation by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years, while production costs halved, became known as Moore’s Law.

Many tech savvy individuals experimented with software development to justify the cost of purchasing these very expensive machines. There was no easy way of transferring data although there were some primitive networks for those who knew how to contact and connect to them with a modem. This changed on March 12th 1989 when Tim Berners-Lee dreamed up a system of Information management allowing data to be exchanged by multiple computers over a vast network, which we now refer to as the Internet and the World Wide Web. In 1992, IBM developed the first ‘smartphone’ called the Simon Personal Communicator. Today, thirty years after the birth of the internet, people have the sum total of human knowledge at their fingertips and the world has never been more connected.

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A fist full of dollars

The are many ways to make money or save money using the internet and the world wide web, whole books have been written on it, thousands of them.

There are crowd-fund platforms to help you market your invention, e-banks which promise better interest rates and less fees, sites with personal finance tips and tricks, streaming media to watch or download, market places to buy and sell new or used items, the list goes on. The net is big business!

The magnificent seven

  1. Staying in touch – E-mail and text messages now exceed personal  letters and phone calls.
  2. Making friends – Social media allows us to connect with people we would never have met. InstantCoffeeWisdom has over a hundred followers from sixty countries around the world. My twitter account has over seven hundred followers, dozens of whom I’ve met and interact with. I’m grateful for all my friends and supporters.  
  3. Being creative – There are endless DIY tutorials online to demonstrate and inspire.
  4. Finding help – Got a problem? There’s a website that has an answer or solution.
  5. Learning – Online courses teach you anything if you study and apply yourself.
  6. Media – Nearly everything that’s ever been written, recorded, or filmed, exists somewhere online, usually available for free if you take the time to search for it.
  7. Shopping – E-commerce has changed the way we shop, and in many cases has brought about the death of some prominent chains. Radio Shack, Toys R Us, and Borders Books are all long gone, casualties of online shopping. Someone, somewhere in the world has the exact same, or very similar item for much less, and in some cases with free shipping.  You just need to search for it.

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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Everything I’ve listed so far has been good. The bad part is that with so much information and equal mis-information it’s easy to get the wrong source and end up believing in lies. Not everything online is beneficial, and sometimes digging through the ‘fake news’ to unearth the facts isn’t like finding a needle in a haystack, it’s like trying to find a needle in Kansas! The signal to noise ratio is just that great. Worse yet, certain social media platforms use algorithms to selectively edit what you see. Cookies stored in your computer’s memory record and track your browsing history, and bots customize what you see.

The ugly part of the web can range from annoying to horrific. There are some things online that you do NOT want to see, the stuff of nightmares placed online either as a warning, or because some sick individual wanted to share it because they liked it. What has been seen cannot be unseen, beware! There is an entire ‘dark web’ that’s lying under the surface and is just one misplaced or misguided keystroke away. There are internet ‘trolls’ who live to post hateful and hurtful comments in any post that has a reply field. Whole web pages have been created by cyber-bullies to intimidate and humiliate their victims. People have committed suicide over such personal attacks.There are more scams to trick you into handing over personal info than you can shake a stick at. Black-hat hackers have created so many forms of malware that anti-virus protection is a must on any computer. And then there’s the 800 lb gorilla in the room, PORN. When I was a young boy, porn was sold wrapped in plastic, and not kept on display. XXX theaters were in the seedy part of the city where you were afraid to walk in broad daylight. You had to go way out of your way to obtain smut, and now it’s in nearly every home in America, just a click away.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” – Jeremiah 17:9-10 ESV

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. – Luke 6:45 ESV

The internet is a tool, and like any tool it can be used for good or evil.  Whoever controls the flow of information can control you. Are you being lied to? Do you even realize it? Who is Q? Ponder these questions until next week, and check back for part two, HOW DEEP IS THE DEEP STATE? As always, I wish you success and happiness!

THE BIG PICTURE!

Do you have ALL of the pieces?

(Part one of a two-part series)

The Big Picture

“No one lives long enough to learn everything they need to learn starting from scratch. To be successful, we absolutely, positively have to find people who have already paid the price to learn the things that we need to learn to achieve our goals.”– Brian Tracy

As we progress in life, we grow in knowledge and experience and as a result come to understand that things aren’t always as they seem, or aren’t really they way we believe them to be. Adults understand more than children. Teachers understand more than their students, up until the student totally masters the subject and moves on. As long as we have air in our lungs, we still have opportunities to educate ourselves and improve our lives. Knowledge, like money, is power. Just as the rich ‘rule over’ the poor, the smart ‘rule over’ the stupid. The problem is there are more uneducated people in the world than there are educated ones. There are more lazy people then there are industrious. There are more unsuccessful people than successful.

One piece of the puzzle.

Big Picture 1

What if I told you that the photo above was a picture of a priceless work of art, valued at almost a billion dollars.  You’d look at that picture, scratch your head in wonder and confusion, and probably say that only an idiot would pay that, or that you could paint a better picture and deserve the money more.   

America has a free market, capitalist economy. As a result, we have created more wealthy, successful people than any other country in the world.

The American oil magnate John D. Rockefeller became the world’s first confirmed U.S. dollar billionaire in 1916, and still holds the title of history’s wealthiest individual. The majority of billionaires and millionaires in the world are Americans.  

Last month, Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY said a society that allows billionaires to exist while some Americans live in abject poverty is “immoral.”

Becoming rich, educated, and successful doesn’t happen by accident, or overnight. It takes years and hard work.  Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest man on Earth. He started Amazon.com twenty years ago, selling books on the internet, from  his home. He took advantage of the law of supply and demand, and overtime built the powerhouse that his company has become. Simply put, he gave people what they wanted, at a price they were willing to pay, and made a profit doing it.

The second piece of the puzzle.

Big Picture 2

What if I told you that the picture above was the exact same piece of art. Again, you’d probably compare the two, say they were different, that the second was better than the first, and that both were worthless, and that you could do better.

As I stated previously,  There are more uneducated, lazy, unsuccessful people in the world than those who have decided to improve their lives. In some countries, it is impossible to rise above one’s lot in life, and that is why so many foreigners desire to immigrate to America. In the USA, you have opportunities to succeed beyond your wildest dreams, IF you’re willing to work long and hard to achieve those goals.  Unfortunately,  Saul Alinsky’s protégés  have used his playbook to stir up class envy among the poor and uneducated masses, those he refers to as ‘useful idiots’.  The same  Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY also stated just hours after getting elected as the youngest  state representative EVER that she was NOT ABLE to afford to pay her rent for a new apartment. According to cheatsheet.com , at 29 years old, the young congress woman’s net worth is under $7,000. She was only making $26,600 annually before being elected and has been paying down college debts. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez now receives an annual congressional salary of $174,000.  She was able to bamboozle her constituents to electing her by essentially offering them free lunch.  If she has no understanding of  microeconomics, is it any wonder she is mystified by macroeconomics?

If you’re unfamiliar with those two terms, very simply put:

  • Microeconomics are personal financial issues such as planning your vacation, budgeting your money , paying your rent, etc.        
  • Macroeconomics are large scale financial issues like how business and even entire countries handle their economies.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio both lobbied long and hard to bring AMAZON to NY. Massive tax-break incentives were offered and as a result, a deal was struck for a proposed location in Long Island City.

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Days ago,  Jeff Bezos abandoned this proposed plan to build a new AMAZON distribution hub and second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens NY because of opposition created by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  She was enraged that the richest man on the planet was going to receive a $3,000,000,000 tax BREAK to open this new location. A TAX BREAK. He was not getting three billion dollars from the city, he was getting a discount on future tax liabilities!  Yet this buffoon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez killed the deal by insulting Mr. Bezos, his company, and his employees, and inciting protests.  The new location would have created 26,000 new jobs, with benefits , starting at $15 per hour, and paying up to six-figure salaries.  There is  no estimate on the incalculable  collateral damage to the city’s economy.

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The BIG Picture!

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If you step back far enough  to see THE ENTIRE PICTURE, everything makes sense.  The Mona Lisa is a half-length portrait painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci painted in 1503. It’s located in France in the Louvre Museum (since 1797). It’s one of a kind, like the USA.  There are millions of artists in the world, and many of them can work in oil paint, and even reproduce a decent facsimile of the Mona Lisa if they really wanted to.   There are also ‘artists’ that use animal dung, or urine as a medium. And there are dummies who would also pay for such works of ‘art’ produced by so-called ‘artists’.  There is ONLY ONE Mona Lisa, and ONLY ONE America. There are many idiots in the world that hate both, and believe they could produce something ‘better’. President Trump sees the BIG PICTURE and is doing everything that needs to be done to repair the damages done by prior administrations and by career politicians intent on seizing as much power as they can. 

There are also some people who claim to see an ‘even bigger picture’.  There are many conspiracy theories out there that claim unknown, unseen forces are conspiring to destroy the USA, and that these same forces are behind creating THE FED, the massive government debt, and the political smear campaign that is being waged against President Donald J. Trump by various media outlets. I don’t really buy into conspiracy theories, but as comedian George Carlin once said, “you should never underestimate the power  of stupid people   in large groups.”   For those who choose to believe in a ‘BIGGER PICTURE’ I’ll discuss Q Anon, the Illuminati, and other popular conspiracy theories next week in the second half of this article, A GAME OF KINGS. Until then, keep watching the skies! As always, I wish you success and happiness!  

YES YOU CAN!

Home canning isn’t that difficult!

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Back during WWII, the government encouraged average citizens to grow ‘Victory Gardens’ providing their own fruits and vegetables. Home canning was also encouraged as a way of preserving produce, and ensuring that the populace would not go hungry should supply shortages occur.  

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In our fast paced, modern society we no longer grow or can our groceries, opting just to grab our food in the local supermarket.  Home canning is a wonderful life skill to learn and is an economical to stretch your grocery budget, saving you up to half the cost of buying commercially canned food.

There are a few important things to consider first.

Canning is a process, it takes both labor and time.

Last week, I picked nearly 10lbs of peppers in a field near a local pepper festival I attended with friends. I figure I was in that field for about an hour harvesting the perfect peppers I needed. Once I got home, it took me two and a half hours to slice all those peppers, and another half hour to can them using an easy fridge pickling method that only requires salt, vinegar, and spring water. I yielded nine quarts of the hottest pickled peppers known to man.  If you discount my labor, and the canning jars I paid for, these awesome pickled peppers cost about $1.50 a jar, and will last me about a year. If you factor in all my hours of labor, and the cost of the jars, add about $10 a jar and that’d be a more accurate assessment.

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If you are an extremely busy person with a tight schedule, canning will not be a good fit for you. I usually can my vegetables two to three times a year now, the annual September Bowers Chili Pepper Festival and one or two other occasions when I try a new recipe. When I can, I can en mass. I devote the entire day to can as much as I can.  I don’t get paid on my days off, (unless I’m using PTO days from my job) so using my time productively and being economical are important to me.

Canning requires certain equipment and supplies.

There will be an initial upfront expense you will have to invest to obtain the necessary supplies essential for  canning. The good news is, one you’ve purchased them, you’ll have them for a very long time. The only items you’ll need to replace are the jars and lids. The glass jars and the bands are reusable, the flat lids are not. And if you give away jars as gifts to family and friends, you’ll need to buy more periodically.  The lid and jars are not that expensive, and come in various sizes and shapes. Wide mouth and regular mouth jars each require their appropriate size lid and band. You cannot fit a wide mouth lid on a standard size jar, and vice versa.  All standard canning jars sold in the U.S. are made by a company called Jarden Home Brands. They own Ball, Kerr, and Bernardin.

You will need the following:

  • A good home canning book
  • Canning jars and lids
  • A cooker or canner
  • A plastic or stainless steel canning funnel
  • A stainless steel ladle
  • A canning jar lifter with rubber grips
  • A good pair of kitchen tongs
  • Magnetic lid lifter and bubble remover
  • A food processor, or hand blender
  • A food strainer
  •  A good set of cutting knives and a cutting board
  • A vegetable peeler

 There are two ways to can

There are 2 ways to can- boiled water bath and pressure canning. Fruits and vegetables that are of low acidic content and are not being pickled, MUST be pressure canned to prevent the risk of botulism. Canned items are best to be used within 8-12 months. The USDA only recommends pressure canning. A ‘third’ way to can is fridge pickling, which really isn’t exactly canning, but will preserve your food for up to a month assuming you keep it refrigerated.

When canning, be sure to follow all of the USDA food safety instructions for home canning. You can download a PDF of it from this link:

https://www.healthycanning.com/wp-content/uploads/USDA-Complete-Guide-to-Home-Canning-2015-revision.pdf

Your canned foods should have a good overall appearance. Free of imperfections, good proportion of solid to liquid with proper headspace and free of air bubbles and sediment. You do not want any foreign contaminants that could lead to botulism or food poisoning of any kind. ALWAYS check the seals on the jars to make sure that they are intact and do not leak.

The advantages of canning extend beyond the savings you will reap after your initial investment in the canning equipment.  

No added chemicals or preservatives.

When you can foods at home, you eliminate the need for many of the artificial colors, fillers, chemical additives, and preservatives found in store brought food. Home canning is a healthier alternative  For me, the very best part of home canning is I determine the  ingredients, and I make it MY way. As I’ve mentioned previously, I like very hot and spicy food. If I wanted to buy Texas Pete, Tabasco, or Cholula, I could walk into any supermarket in the USA. But if I wanted a super-hot XXXX+ hot sauce made from Carolina Reapers, Trinidad Scorpions and Ghost Peppers, I’m out of luck unless I make it myself.  Right now, I’ve been playing with a homemade sugar-free ketchup recipe. The new batch I concocted tastes great! I hope you have as much luck with home canning as I have. As always, I wish you success and happiness!

At Face Value!

Even a penny is a treasure!

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One of my earliest memories of my father involved him giving me a small metal treasure chest filled with old coins. In actuality, this was a just a metal coin bank, but unlike the usually piggy bank shape, this one was shaped like a stereotypical pirate chest one might see in an old movie, or in an illustration from a book on pirates. Although I was quite young at the time, I do remember three things about the incident.

The first thing was that my father originally told me a tall tale about finding the treasure chest buried in the yard by pirates. Not quite the right thing to say to a young impressionable boy with a vivid imagination. My first impulse was to grab a shovel and start trying to dig up the yard in search of more buried pirate booty. Upon realizing his mistake, retrieving the shovel and re-filling the holes in the back yard, my father confessed to making up the whimsical pirate story in jest to have a bit of fun at my expense. A kid will believe anything, they’re too young to know any better.

After a long explanation that pirates like Long John Silver and Blackbeard were not part of the modern world,  the second thing I remember was being delighted that the coins all looked different from contemporary money. I was old enough to know the difference between pennies, nickels, dimes, dimes, quarters, half-dollar, and dollar coins. A lot of the coins were from the 1800’s. This was my father’s coin collection, and he wanted me to have it to encourage an interest in both saving and collecting money. This is something which has stuck with me my whole life. A year or so later, my father died suddenly as a result of kidney failure.

The third thing I remember about the treasure chest of coins was that sometime after the death of first my father, and then my step father, my mother sold the coins to a dealer without my knowledge. It’s not like I looked at them every day, and we had to move quite a bit after she sold the house. Things ‘out of sight’ were always said to be ‘packed away in storage’ until I forgot about them. My mother only understood two things about money, she could spend it, and she never had as much as she’d like.

Bringing home the bacon.   

The origin of the piggy bank is disputed by different sources. Some say  that early coin jars in the middle ages were made of a type of clay called pygg. This word sounded like pig, and an English potter mistakenly created a pig-shaped bank when someone asked for a pygg money jar. There is little evidence to support this widely believed myth.  What is known is that sometime about 1900, the first modern Piggy Banks were sold in the USA, and they cost 25¢. Billed as a new novelty, these early clay banks didn’t have the removable stopper on the bottom of the bank. If you wanted to remove the coins, you had to smash the bank, or kill the pig, so to speak. Even to this day, whenever I empty my coin jar and take a bunch of wrapped coins to the bank, I say to the back teller that I killed the piggy bank.

I never quite understood the charm of a piggy bank, or of giving them to children to teach about saving. A coin jar works much better. It’s my humble opinion that parents who encouraged children to save money in piggy banks did so because young children have a nasty habit of putting everything they can grab into their mouth.  By making a game of putting the penny in the piggy bank, it helped keep the coins out of the mouths of babes. Of course, I may be mistaken, but that’s the nature of opinions.

The next time I became excited about coins and money was 1976, the USA bicentennial.  There was a lot of hoopla concerning our great nation reaching its second century. Tall ships sailed into NYC, there were extra fireworks around the 4th of July, a lot of patriotic symbols on all kinds of novelties could be had. And the money changed.  The  quarters, half-dollars, and dollar coins all had a special bicentennial obverse and a double date. Likewise, after a ten year absence, $2 bills were reintroduced with a bicentennial themed back depicting the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I had never seen a $2 bill. My mother was very excited. That was when I suddenly remembered about the long-unseen treasure chest of coins, which I then asked for, only to be told that that was ‘lost in the move’. As a consolation, I was given several specimens of all the new bicentennial money, including several $2 bills. I’ve had a love of $2 bills ever since.  I even have some Canadian $2 bills, both the obsolete paper money and the two loonie or toonie coin. Canada stopped printing $1 and $2 paper money back in 1986. Canadian dollar coins have a loon (a common Canadian waterfowl) on the obverse. They were nicknamed loonies. Some Canadians even started referring to piggy banks as loonie bins. In the late 1980’s Playtoy Industries of Toronto Canada manufactured a Giant Loonie Bank. Sadly, according to a recent news article, Canada says that currency which is no longer being printed will cease to be legal tender in the near future, and will become worthless paper.

looniebin2

This takes us back to collecting coins and money in general. For the most part, money is the one collectible item that always retains its face value.  The USA considers all US currency to be legal tender. If you take a 1937 ‘Mercury Dime’ to your bank, you can deposit it into your account as 10¢. Once a bank gets a hold of old money, it takes it out of circulation never to be seen again. If you took it to a coin collector instead, you’d get more than face value. The silver content alone is worth more than a dime.  To collectors, the condition of the money and its rarity give added value beyond that of the face value. I save all kinds of old money. Some of it is for sentimental reasons, like my $2 bills. Others like my Indian Head pennies are rare. Some coins I have paid slightly above face value to get an entire set in ‘uncirculated’ condition. To collectors, uncirculated coins and collector proof sets command high value. The US Mint sells these collector proof sets for way above face value. The 2018 proof set has ten coins all bearing the ‘S’ mint mark from San Francisco with a frosted, sculptured foreground set against a mirror-like field. You get the five America the Beautiful Quarters, the Native American $1 coin, Kennedy Half-dollar, Roosevelt dime, Jefferson nickel, and Lincoln penny.  Face value, it adds up to $2.91. The US Mint sells it for $27.95 +S/h.   To me, it’s not worth the extra $25.04 for super-shiny, uncirculated coins. Some people buy these  proof sets every year for their children and grandchildren.  I’m not saying that they won’t increase in value among collectors, just that they only are worth face value if you spend them.  I can’t tell you the exact number of times some teenager came in to the convenience store I worked at back in the day with a horde of old coins. In my mind, I just knew that someone had raided grandpa’s coin collection, but the money was legal tender, and I was simply speculating on how it was obtained.  I would buy out the rare monies once they left, replacing the antiquities with contemporary counterparts from my wallet.   

I’m probably never going to cash in my coin and paper money collection, but it is a comfort to know that if something terrible were to happen, I could at least spend it for face value even if I couldn’t locate another interested collector willing to obtain the collection for a premium.     

“Loose Change” AKA “Penny Song”

Lyrics by Andrew Peterson

I’d give you all of me to know what you were thinking

And if I had one wish I’d wish I wasn’t sinking here

Drowning in this well, oh can’t you tell?

I can’t pick myself up off the ground,

Well I’ve been face down and pushed aside.

Well you know I’d rather just turn tail and run

than lie here in the sun and watch you pass me by

Cause I ain’t worth a dime.

(yeah yeah, oh yeah) Yeah, yeah (yeah yeah)

But If only I could stand up straight, I wouldn’t have to lie and wait,

I could up and roll away, never be ignored

I’ve got a feeling that I’m something more

than just a piece of copper ore, turning green and looking for

The reason I was born.

I’ve been around since 1964, in banks and bottom drawers

And on railroad ties. I’ve been passed around and cast aside

Skipped and flipped and flattened wide, Spun around

And thrown away and left alone to lie

But If only I could stand up straight, I wouldn’t have to lie and wait,

I could up and roll away, never be ignored

I’ve got a feeling that I’m something more

than just a piece of copper ore, turning green and looking for

The reason I was born.

(yeah yeah, oh yeah) Yeah, yeah (yeah yeah) na na na na na

But I heard about a penny found, lying underneath the couch

By a woman who was kneeling down, looking for some change.

Then the woman danced around and called her friends all over town

Told them what was lost is found, it’s another penny saved.

And so I find that all this time beneath the surface I could shine

Like all the gold a king and queen could measure

You see even a penny is a treasure

(yeah yeah, oh yeah) Yeah, yeah (yeah yeah) na na na na na

The 1987 movie Throw Mama From The Train stars Danny DeVito  and Billy Chrystal as Owen and Larry. Middle-aged Owen lives at home with his overbearing mother. He seems like he might be a little slow.  Larry is his writing teacher at the adult continuing education program he attends. There’s a scene that is genuinely emotionally touching  when Owen wants to show Larry his coin collection. Larry doesn’t want to see the coins, but Owen makes him feel bad when he says he’s never shown them to anyone before.  Owen slowly pulls out coins saying “This one is a nickel. And this is one is also a nickel. And here’s a quarter, and another quarter, and a penny.” Larry is annoyed at this, as the coins are all seemingly contemporary currency, and not worth anything more than face value. Owen then proceeds to explain how each coin is special to him because they were the change his Dad gave him during various father-son trips.  It’s a collection of coins from change his dad gave him, and that’s where their value lies.

Although the original coin collection my father gave to me is long gone, the special memory of the gift remains. Like any successful person who faces a setback, I started over, and in time I slowly began to amass a new collection of coins.  As my financial situation improved, I started adding things like old paper money, silver certificates, foreign coins, uncirculated coins, you name it. At face value, my collection is worth thousands. To a collector, it’s worth even more. As far as I’m concerned, it’s priceless, and not for sale. Someday, I too hope to pass my collection to my son, when I finally have a  son. Hopefully he will be able to keep it longer than I did my father’s. In either case, you can’t take it with you when you go, and a good man provides for his children, and his children’s children. Money is nice to have, but the memories we make with our loved ones are worth more than all the gold in Fort Knox. As always, I wish you success and happiness!   

Free to a Good Home!

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

dump2

When my aunt Arleen was still alive, she used to collect salt and pepper shakers. She would often ask friends or relatives going away on trips to bring her back a souvenir salt and pepper shaker from their vacations. Because my aunt was always so nice, and the requested ‘memento’ was rather small and inexpensive, most people would happily oblige. Aunt Arleen would dream of going away on vacations, but traveling to such exotic locales was financially beyond her means. So each piece of kitsch she received was a sad little attempt at living vicariously though the treasured knickknacks. When Aunt Arleen passed away in 1994, she had over two thousand dusty salt and pepper shakers on display in her small dining room. Almost every one of them ended up in the trash, discarded like so many shattered dreams.

It is amazing the things that people collect over the course of their lives. Sometimes, there is a theme, like items that feature cherished Cartoon characters, or a favorite brand like Coca Cola, or sports teams, you name it. Sometimes, it is because the item makes them happy because just it’s cute or silly. In very extreme cases when individuals lose all self control and become hoarders, it can be a sign of deep psychological issues. Hoarders are the exception, not the rule, so just because someone has a huge collection of something doesn’t make them crazy.

The first thing about ‘things’.

Things are just things. No matter how much importance we place upon a thing, that thing is still just a thing, and it is important only to us. People are important, not things.

The second thing about ‘things’.

Unless we find them discarded, or are given them as a gift, things cost money. If you’re wasting your money on things, you’re wasting your money.

The most important thing about ‘things’.

We can’t take them with us when we’re gone. Someday, each and every one of us will die, and someone else will have to have to sort out our estate.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal …” (Matthew 6:19-20)

At one point or another every single one of us will accumulate a collection of something or another. These items may or may not have value. In the vast number of cases, these collections will be meaningless to those we leave behind, and like my late Aunt’s cherished salt and pepper shakers, they will be tossed unceremoniously into the dumpster. The more things we own, the more our things own us.  We have to take care of the items in question. Storage, cleaning, protecting, polishing etc. A place for everything and everything in its place,  until we run out of places to store our stuff, and everything becomes lost in the clutter. At which point, we really should make an effort to ‘de-junk’ our lives. This will probably take as long to eliminate the clutter as it did to accumulate it. The fastest way to get rid of it is to throw it out. Just get rid of it. And many people do just that. I live in a rental community, and it is amazing the things I’ve found discarded in the dumpster. Some of these things still have monetary value or use.  I do not recommend scavenging things from the dumpster. I have friends who have gone ‘dumpster diving’ and even I have removed an item or two (sitting right on top and in reach) that had value. Just last Sunday, I found this brand-new watering can with store label and price intact, right on top in the bin. I kid you not! Someone threw this out. Boggles my mind.

dum6

Because people in a hurry to de-junk their lives are sometimes pressed for time, throwing things away (new or not) is the fastest possible to rid one’s self of unwanted  items, but there are better ways to get rid of the ‘good stuff’.

If the item has monetary value, and you can wait a little while for potential buyers.

  • Have a yard sale. You might be able to turn your trash into cash.
  • List it on Craigslist.org, the Facebook market place, or even eBay.com  . You might be able to get some money for the thing in question, but this is labor intensive, and will probably require you to photograph the item, write an ad, and possibly send e-mails to or meet with potential buyers.

If you just want it gone ASAP.

  • Ask friends if they want it. I once gave away a dorm-sized mini-fridge I no longer needed to a down-on-his-luck friend renting a room at a boarding house.
  • Put it on the lawn with a sign that reads FREE STUFF.  People will haul it away. Just make sure the stuff is far away from anything that is NOT being discarded so that a confused person doesn’t ‘accidentally’ abscond with your lawn furniture or your kid’s bikes.   If it’s not gone in three days or so, you may have to throw it out anyway.
  • Donate it to Goodwill or a similar thrift shop. They have ways of disseminating your discards.

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Re-purpose it

Use the unwanted item as material for an art project. I cut a useless wood frame from a broken mirror and turned it into a box frame for my plastic planter. 

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I also see these plastic flower pots in the trash all the time. If you have small glass jars, use them to grow plants from cuttings, then plant the cuttings into the old discarded plastic flower pots and give them as gifts to friends.

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Recycle it

Almost every major town or city in the USA has a recycling program now-a-days.  Don’t just throw it out if it can be recycled.  

dum1

If the item has some worth, like a nice vacuum or something that can be easily repaired, put it BESIDE the dumpster, not in it. People are more apt to notice and remove a useful lamp or piece of furniture that’s sitting on a clean space beside the dumpster. A word of caution with discarded furniture. NEVER, EVER, EVER take home padded furniture,  discarded cushions, mattresses, or boxes of discarded clothing. Bed bugs are on the rise in the USA, and you don’t want to unknowingly take along nasty hidden pests or bring disease into your home.  

Also, never climb into or actively scavenge through dumpsters looking for ‘treasures’. Dumpsters are for the use of the tenants, and there could be hazardous items that could cause serious injury or infections. There are always reasons why something was thrown away to begin with.

Avoid the mess

The best way to deal with clutter is to prevent it altogether in the first place. Always ask yourself if you really need something before you buy it in the first place. Things are just things and there’s only so much stuff one person can fill their home with before it starts to take over and ruin your life. Instead of wasting your money on stuff, spend time with your family and friends and actually travel to the places that you are dreaming of visiting. The memories you make with the people, and the places you see, will be worth more than the cheap plastic trinkets from the souvenir shop.  Trust me, you’ll be much  happier when you cure your ‘stuff-itis’.   As always I wish you happiness and success.