Stop Pulling the Wagon

Are You Tired Of Pulling the Government Wagon?
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SLOW LEARNER

June 16, 2017 By: bob Category: Humor, Something To Think About

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It is very clear to me that I am a slow learner.

What is the old saying?  One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

For 50+ years I have faithfully participated in our system of government.  Working, paying taxes and voting for the person whom I honestly felt best qualified for whatever position needed to be filled.

In the process I have unwittingly contributed to help create a system filled with what I like to call “Clowns, Criminals and Lunatics” in charge of a poorly organized, mostly criminal enterprise that robs its own citizens while rewarding corruption and theft.

Not to say that all members of Congress fit this description but the 2 or 3 percent who do not fit the description are totally outgunned by the 97 or 98 percent who do.

They have littered our history with the rot and debris of failed government “programs” and left us with an ever growing percentage of  our citizenry enslaved and addicted to a government funded by runaway debt.  At this writing some 20 Trillion Dollars worth and growing.

What I observe is self serving politicians working for their own re-election goals and not the needs of their constituents.  Corruption and greed on a massive scale.  Political correctness twisted to serve political agendas.

Once Government declared War on Poverty.  Poverty won.

I no longer expect anything out of government but lies, corruption, failed programs and debt.  After 50 years why should I expect anything else?  Lie to me once – shame on you.  Lie to me a thousand times – shame on me.  To borrow from one of my earlier writings:  “Expecting something good to come out of Washington is like fishing for your dinner in a septic tank”.

Some of these programs were well intentioned but misguided and horribly mismanaged.  Instead of helping the needy  to grow into confident self sufficient individuals, they created addicts to the slavery of dependency on the drug of a cancerous charity that steals their freedom and dignity.

One of life’s great truths: Forced charity breeds resentment. If you take by force the fruits of those who worked for them to enrich those who will not work for themselves, you create enmity and bitterness on both the unwilling giver and the ungrateful receiver.

Recently I heard a commentator say that it is not worthwhile to read or listen to the “Drive By” “Mainstream Media”.  Most of which have become nothing more than a public forum of “Innuendo”, “lies from anonymous sources”, “Talking Points”, “Propaganda” and other agenda driven non-news.  At first I was inclined to reject his advice but on further thought it finally registered with me that he was right. All reading and listening to this “drivel” accomplishes is to make me mad and insult my intelligence.

Soooooo…….

I have determined to accept the fact that our government is, with or without my participation, firmly on the path to economic destruction and cultural ruin and I want to minimize my part in this endeavor to an absolute legal minimum.

I will, to the best of my ability, violate no laws but I sure “ain’t” going to help them either.

I will focus my own efforts to helping those I care about find a way to survive the chaos and destruction that is sure to come.  “A house divided”.

At some point the “Government” is going to find their “wagon” abandoned with no one left to pull it.

Bob Bandy

 

 

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Exiled In The Land Of My Birth

August 11, 2016 By: bob Category: Culture

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Once upon a time there was a war.  

Not the traditional type of war involving uniformed armies using real guns and bullets to shoot at each other.  

This war was about values, family, honor, morality, self discipline and culture.

On one side  were those who believed in tradition and the practice of proven rules, values, principles and self discipline handed down from generation to generation.

On the other side were the “Secular Humanists”.   Those who believed that “anything goes”. No self discipline or personal responsibility was required and consequences were not important as long as they only applied to others who were required to pay the bill.

If you were a member of the first group you were made fun of, mocked and marginalized by members of the second group whose goal was shutting you up and getting you to comply with and accept the agenda of the Secular Humanists.

To a very large extent the Secular Humanists, aka “Progressives” owned the education system, the news media, entertainment industry, courts and justice system.  

“Political Correctness”  was metastasized to the extent that the First Amendment was compromised.  A mob could march down the street shouting “Pigs in a blanket – Fry them like bacon” or “What do we want – dead cops – when do we want it – now” and that was considered protected free speech.   But, if someone questioned  the “official”  position on such things as “Man Made Global Climate Change” and other popular political agenda issues, such as even late term abortion, it was considered “hate” speech.  Such an individual was made the subject of public ridicule and in some venues even subject to legal and civil penalties.

The weapons of the Secular Humanists were varied.  From half truths (lipstick on a lie) to junk science to propaganda and intimidation.  Their desired ends justified their using any means to accomplish their political and social agenda.

I ended up not as a “Stranger In A Strange Land*” but as a “Stranger In My Own Land”. Or, to paraphrase the title of this little essay:  “An Exile In The Land Of My Birth”. 

My only comfort lay in the knowledge that ultimately I would not be a citizen in this fractured land.  

“This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through………” (Albert E. Brumley – copyright 1965)

Bob Bandy

* Stranger In A Strange Land – A Novel by Robert A Heinlein

 

 

 

 

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CLIPBOARD FREEDOM

May 16, 2017 By: bob Category: Humor

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clipboard 1a

True story but I wrote this just for fun.

In the early and mid 1960’s the Army was not politically correct.  The Army used what can best be described as a  “destroy the old you and make you into the new Army you” method in Basic and Advanced Training.  At least that was their plan.

During “Basic Training” I learned to survive the Army’s version, at that time, of Hell.  I am told that in the modern incarnation it has become more genteel.  In those days it meant little sleep, being treated like a convict on Devils Island, long marches, verbal abuse, almost inedible food, etc.

After “Basic Training” you graduated to “Advanced Training”.  In my case I was sent to be trained on “Indirect Fire” weapons.  Mortar Gunnery School.  Unlike Rifles or Artillery, which are, at least in theory, “Direct Fire” weapons, the Mortar is fired high into the sky and, done properly, comes raining down out of the sky on your enemy like “Fire and Brimstone” on Sodom and Gomorra.

I also learned that the Mortar is a useful fishing accessory but that’s another story.

In addition to learning how to kill your enemy without ever seeing them, I think the most valuable thing I learned in Advanced Training was the magic of the clipboard.  It was a ticket to freedom on many days.

Walk around with a clipboard containing several pages of paperwork and others assumed you were working on a task of some kind. That clipboard would make those NCO’s and Officers who  had the power of making your life miserable more likely target those whose hands were empty for such enterprises as moving a pile of rocks from one side of the Parade Ground to the other on a day when it was 102 degrees in the non-existent shade.

By the time I made Sergeant I had turned the use of the clipboard into an art form.  It very often bought me many hours of leisure in place of undesired labor at menial tasks.

Want to have some fun?

In civilian life I observed that many public “servants” and private workers who serve the public, do not like note takers as they fear what might come back to haunt them from carefully documented note pages.

So, I substitute a notebook for my army clipboard.

I like to take a notebook with me when needing to visit the offices of sometimes surly City, County, State or Federal employees.  It also is helpful in commercial public enterprises.

For example, you might want to try this:

In a public office or private enterprise, enter and walk up to the counter. After making sure you are being observed,  take out and open your notebook and, looking at your watch or the clock on the wall, make note of the date and time. Then, with a friendly smile say “Good Morning” and ask the clerk for their name or copy it carefully from their name badge into your notebook.   If they ask you what you are doing,  just smile and say that your memory is not so good and you need notes to remind you of the purpose of your visit and what you accomplished during your time there.  Make  some notes to yourself in the notebook during the visit. At all times, and despite any aggravation, remain, pleasant and courteous. It works even better if you have a silent friend with you who just listens and smiles.

You might be amazed at the polite, helpful, even courteous service this usually leads to.

A little planning ahead and a clipboard, notebook or other prop can greatly enrich your life.

I have many fun examples I could share from my experiences but enough for now.

Bob Bandy

 

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SEVENTEEN INCHES

March 19, 2017 By: bob Category: Culture, On Bob's Mind, Something To Think About

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home plate

I received the following in my personal email from a friend.  It was sent to me without attribution but I was so impressed by it that I researched it and found that the article is credited as having originally been written by a person named Chris Sperry.  Coach John Scolinos (1918-2009) was a real coach.

I am reprinting it here because it is important and says something really important that I could not begin to say as well.  Enjoy and be enriched by the truth that it gives.  Bob

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In Nashville, Tennessee , during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA’s convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who is John Scolinos, I wondered.

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage. Then, finally …“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.“I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.” Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”

After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear.

“How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison. “

“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”………..“Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause.“They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.

“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”Pause.

“Coaches…” pause, “… what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? When our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate?” The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.

He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”

Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross.“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves! And we allow it.”

“And the same is true with our government. Our so called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve us. And we allow them to widen home plate and we see our country falling into a dark abyss while we watch.”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded,“you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “… dark days ahead.”

Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.”

Here’s how to fix what’s wrong with our country today.

“Don’t widen the plate.”

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JOURNEY TO THE DARK SIDE

June 11, 2016 By: bob Category: Something To Think About

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Storm Trooper 4

 

I was born in the small central valley town of Selma just south of Fresno and smack dab in the middle of California in the period following the Great Depression and just months before Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Can’t say if it was the best of times or the worst of times historically but I had hard working, honest, loving parents who devoted themselves to me and my two sisters.  We never had a lot of money but there was always food on the table and a roof over our heads.  We did things as a family and shared whatever we had.  So,  for me it was the best of times in the things that really mattered in my life.  My dad was the finest man I have ever known.  he lived his life for us kids and my mom.

At that time California was the “Golden Land”.  Hot summers.  Cool, wet winters.  Fertile soil. Abundant crops. From agriculture to manufacturing, jobs in all fields were plentiful for those willing to work.  Criminal activity was the exception and I remember little exposure to it other than in the movies.  We did not lock our doors, often left keys in the car so they would be easy to find.   Like most folks we attended Church and believed in “God and Country” in that order.

Historically, I know there was racism but I did not see it in my own life or experiences and it never occurred to me to hate someone who was “different” than me.

In many ways it was a much simpler time.  We did not have the medical “miracles” we have today but also we did not have many of the other  things and “stuff” we can’t seem to live without, and often can’t afford, today.  I started working with my dad in his shop when I was 12 and by the time I was 15 years old I had an after school job.   After graduating from High School I had a full time job at a shoe store and later a men’s clothing store.  I only made a bit over $100 a week but taxes were low and I rented an apartment for $50 a month.  Utilities were only a few dollars a month.  You could hardly fit $20 worth of groceries in the back seat of a car.  Come Friday night you could put ten gallons of gas in your car, go to the movies, have burgers and root beer after and finish the evening at the bowling alley  and do it all for $10 or less.

If  there was some incident of corruption in government it was considered shameful if discovered and those who practiced it were outcasts and looked down upon, not made into “Rock Stars” as they so often are today.

Your word was considered your bond and a handshake was considered more binding than a legal document is today.  I remember my father taught me at a young age that if a person’s word was not good then likely the person was not good for much else and to never trust them.

So when did the country I love begin the journey to what I call the “dark side” or as they refer to it in the Star Wars movies,  “The Dark Side of the Force”?

I have thought about it often and it seems to me that much of it can be attributed to four things.  The “Great Society” and beginning of the Welfare State, The Vietnam War,  The “Drug Culture” and the decline of the respect for basic values and humanity that followed.

Government in particular seems to be corrupt at all levels,  very little at a local small town level, more so at a county level,  much more so at a state level and  nearly totally corrupt at the federal level.  It is not that everyone involved in Government is corrupt but the small percentage that are are honest are overwhelmed by what I like to call a “Consortium of Clowns, Criminals and Lunatics”.  The “Good Guys & Gals” don’t have a chance.

What used to be simple truth has been corrupted and it is destroying our culture.  What we are left with is half-truths which are often more damaging than an outright lie.  Take a lie and put some lipstick on it and call it “Talking Points” or “Spin”.  We face an onslaught of it daily from politicians, advertisers and too many of the people we must deal with in the normal course of living.  I am often dismayed and amused when people I know seem surprised that a politician who has a history of lying to us is caught in a lie.

I fear we have gone past the point of no return and are doomed to a world where the values I was raised with are becoming nothing more than a quaint, outmoded anachronism.  If I look back at the history of great civilizations it would seem that the Second Law of Thermodynamics applies to humanity as well as in nature.  Entropy dictates that order eventually descends into decay and disorder. We are descending from the order and structure of our founders to the decay and destruction of a lawless society based on lies, corruption, chaos and theft.

And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made.  (Paul Simon – Sounds of Silence)

Bob Bandy

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Criminal Enterprises

May 22, 2016 By: bob Category: Humor, On Bob's Mind

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Criminal Enterprise 3

A story of two organizations.  

One is a ruthless, efficient, organized criminal enterprise.  

The other is a ruthless, corrupt, inefficient, dysfunctional, poorly organized criminal enterprise that can’t balance its own books.

One of these organizations is operated by professional criminals.

The other is comprised of a few good men and women.  The other 98% are clowns, criminals and lunatics.  Sort of Larry, Moe and Curly on steroids trying to be a well oiled criminal enterprise.

Which is which?  Here is a hint.  One of them is 19 Trillion Dollars in debt.

If you had a license to legally pick the pockets of everyone in America don’t you think you could at least break even?

Meet your government.  They “legally” tax your income, your property, most everything you buy, your phone, water, gas, electric, cable television, etc. etc. bill. They also attach fees and assessments to your property tax bill.  They even charge sales tax on the “other taxes” on gasoline and many other items.   As the comedian Gallagher once said “Everywhere you leak they hang a bucket!”

Despite government’s ability to rob us endlessly, they still run deficits, then tax us to pay the interest on the debt that they created.  Talk about “creative accounting”!

Not to worry though.  Soon we will be given the choice for a new “Dear Leader” to guide us further down the path of bloated government and overwhelming debt for our children and grandchildren which will have to be “paid for” with devalued and inflated dollars.

Looks like we will be able to choose between “Hillary” (if she can stay out of jail) or “The Donald”.  What could possibly go wrong?

Bob Bandy

 

 

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