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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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AS GOOD AS IT GETS

December 31, 2015 By: bob Category: Humor

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Hillary and Donald 1a

America, a country with a population of over 300 million.  Is this the best we can be offered for the most important job in the country?

In this corner we have Hillary Clinton.  A serial purveyor of untruth and the matron of the Clinton Crime Family.  As Secretary of State Hillary left a trail of broken countries and disasters wherever she went.  A legacy of fear and anguish among America’s friends and hope and joy within the ranks of our nations foes. Her husband is a classic abuser of women, some willing and many unwilling (Jennifer Flowers, Juanita Broderick, Monica Lewinsky ad infinitum) and was disbarred from practicing law in Arkansas following a conviction for perjury.

In the opposite corner we have Donald, alias: P T Barnum – The Greatest Show on Earth – Trump.  He who is going to build a 3,000 mile long wall that will rival the Great Wall of China on our Southern Border and let Mexico pay for it with a smile on their face.

Scenario One:  The election is between Hillary and “The” Donald.  Hillary gets 80% of the Democratic vote who hold their noses and vote for her.  The other 20% don’t vote.  Donald gets the enthusiastic  vote of 45% of the Republican vote.  The rest stay home.  Hillary wins. The country continues on the road to destruction.

Scenario Two:  The Republicans run another “Establishment” candidate.  25% of Republicans vote for the Establishment candidate.  The 45% who would have voted for “The Donald” write him in.  The 30% who are sick of the whole thing stay home. Hillary gets 80% of the Democratic vote.  Hillary wins.  The country goes to hell in a handbasket.

Scenario Three:  The Republicans run a “Conservative” candidate who gets 60% of the Republican vote. Half of the 40% who would have voted for Donald stay home and the other half write him in. The other 20% of Republicans (Establishment type) either stay home or sit in a corner somewhere and pout.  Hillary gets 80% of the Democratic vote.  Hillary wins. The Clinton’s are resurrected as a co-presidency and re-invade the White House.  Bill starts interviewing future “Interns”.

The “New Regime” borrows a 100 Billion Dollars from George Soros at 30% interest. The proceeds of the loan are funneled through the Clinton Foundation who take a 10 Billion Dollar “Finders Fee”  and the remainder is used to hire the Trump Corporation to build a wall on our southern border to keep the dwindling number of honest, working American taxpayers from fleeing and becoming undocumented immigrants in Mexico.

Post Mortem:  Hillary sells the exclusive television rights to her suddenly found “Lost Emails” to MSNBC for 100 Million Dollars.

Hillary wins.  The Democrats win.  The Donald wins.  Mexico wins.  “A Grand Slam”.

As good as it gets!

ADDENDUM

Dateline: March 9, 2016

It appears as of this writing that of the Scenarios I spelled out on December 31, 2015 the most likely to come to pass is Scenario One.  However it is just possible (call it an “inside straight” in Poker terminology) that another outcome might occur.  Let’s call it…..

Scenario Four:  Hillary finds herself in an orange jump suit (finally) and goes to jail.  The Republican Party continues its Kamikaze attacks against the “Trumpster”, commits suicide and becomes a footnote in the dustbin of history.  Our current President decides that for the good of the country he must cancel the upcoming election and with his pen and phone uses an Executive Order to declare himself “El Presidente For Life”.  America becomes a Banana Republic which drowns in a Tsunami of ever increasing public debt.

As good as it gets 2.0!

Bob Bandy

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NO SITUATION SO DIRE….

December 28, 2015 By: bob Category: Something To Think About

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NO SITUATION IS SO DIRE THAT OUR GOVERNMENT CANNOT MAKE IT WORSE!

“Giving Money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys”.  P.J. O’Rourke – Civil Libertarian

Stop and think about it.  Name me any government department or program that is both cost effective and produces promised results in a timely way.

The Post Office?  They run deficits in the Billions every year.  The politicians and unions won’t let them do the things needed to end the red ink.

The “War on Poverty”?  Since introduced by Lyndon Johnson the government has spent Trillions of Dollars  on a program that has increased the percentage of our population living in poverty to a level greater than when the program started. Most/many of the recipients living on anti-poverty programs feel angry, frustrated and without hope. This noble sounding program has also seriously damaged the American Family. A large portion of its annual budget is spent on a vast, bloated unionized bureaucracy which provides lifelong salaries, pensions and healthcare for its government employees while doing little to help the “poor”.

Public School System?  Well intentioned teachers find themselves trapped in a system designed to promote political correctness over education and whose main goal is more about empire building and power by its Union Leaders than educating the nations youth.  A large portion of the nations education budget is spent on bureaucracy and administrative costs. In the meantime we are producing “graduates” who often cannot read or fill out an employment application.

The Military?  Not very cost efficient but the most powerful military in the world yet the politicians and current regime in charge micromanage our Military and will not let them do the things needed to win over our enemies.  Instead, our “government”  spent Five Hundred Million Dollars training five (or was it seven) Syrian “Freedom Fighters”  who have all since disappeared.  Poof!

Social Security, Bankrupt.  Medicare, Bankrupt.  Amtrak, Deficits.  I could go on and on.

It is not so much that government is inherently evil but that it is just inept, clumsy and more interested in a political agenda and power than it is in providing common sense workable solutions for its people.

Let us consider our governments ability to manage the nations “family” budget.

As a nation we are soon to be Twenty Trillion Dollars in debt.  When interest rates return to what is  more customary and usual, say 5%, it will take One Trillion Dollars a year just to pay the interest on the nations debt. With anticipated 2015 government revenues of 3.18 Trillion Dollars it would take over 30 percent of the governments income just to pay the interest on the debt.   If interest rates were to go to 7.5% or 10% or more (the Jimmy Carter years) – you do the math.

Have we already gone over the cliff?

Bob Bandy

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MONUMENTS ALONG THE WAY

October 20, 2015 By: bob Category: On Bob's Mind, Something To Think About

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Monument valley 1a

LESSONS IN LIFE – THINGS I HAVE LEARNED

As I get older I find myself reflecting on my life and the things I have found to be true.  Many of these truths I discovered by observation and many I have learned the hard way, through experience.  The following are in no particular order.

1.  It is human nature throughout history to want to act irresponsibly without negative consequences.  But, there are always consequences.  The hardest person to forgive is me.

2.  Success in life’s endeavors most often follows self discipline.  Including hard work and responsible behavior.

3.  The Native American Indian made the mistake of believing Government promises.

4.  We do not truly appreciate what we have not worked for.

5.  Core values are essential to inner peace and harmony.

6.  A loving family and true friends are more valuable than gold or silver.

7.  We humans often do not want to hear the truth if it is unpleasant.  “I have given up my search for truth and now seek a good fantasy.”

8.  Creating dependency destroys lives.  Whether the dependency is for drugs or a handout.  That is why the nations parks have signs saying “Don’t Feed The Animals”.  It makes them dependent.

9.  Good intentions often lead to bad unintended consequences.  Example:  The War on Poverty.  In 50 years we have spent 22 Trillion Dollars fighting poverty and it is worse today than when we started and we have done great damage to the family unit in the process.

 10.   Never stop being thankful for things I too often take for granted.  The “green pastures and quiet waters” of life. My loving, faithful and long suffering wife.  The laughter and shining eyes of my daughter.  The joy and comfort of good friends.  A warm bed on a cold and rainy night.  Indoor plumbing .

11.  My faith in my Creator.  For “I am fearfully and wonderfully made…..” Psalm 139:14.

12.  And finally, when I find that I am taking myself too seriously,  I look in a mirror.  My Creator also has a sense of humor.

Bob Bandy

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AS DARKNESS FALLS

August 25, 2015 By: bob Category: On Bob's Mind, Something To Think About

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The end is near

And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment – wickedness was there,

In the place of justice – wickedness was there.

Ecclesiastes 3:16

     At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 Benjamin Franklin was reported to have been asked by Dr. James McHenry: ” What have we got, a Republic or a Monarchy?”.  To which Benjamin Franklin replied: ” A Republic, if you can keep it”.

     For some time I have been troubled by what I see happening at all levels of our government.  It seems that no matter where I look I see only a thirst for political power.

     I continue to search but find only department after department, agency after agency that have succumbed to the politics of the moment.  The Internal Revenue Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the (in)Justice Department, the “Supreme” Court, ad nauseum.  All seem to be the lap dogs of the ruling political party.

     Freedom, truth and true justice are being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.  And this altar is for a god that will never be satisfied.

     I hope for a turning point down the road.  A return to the values my country was founded on.  Faith, personal responsibility, integrity and honor.  It is only a hope.  For now, I fear the darkness that is falling over our land.

     If you read my writings you will find that I rarely quote from the Bible so you will forgive this single verse from the above mentioned Book of Ecclesiastes.  Chapter 3 verse 1 tells us: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

     Has America’s season passed?  It is my prayer that it has not.

Bob Bandy

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