04/21/15
Earth Day

Be Sustainable Comrade

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

Earth Day - RecycleIf Mr. Rogers were still on television each afternoon, taking his Cardigan sweater out of the closet, putting on his slippers and greeting all the little children; one of the words he’d highlight for an entire episode would be, Sustainability.  Mr. Rogers has already gone to great lengths to share a message about re-cycling so that empty soda cans don’t end up in the trash, cautioned kids to be friendly to Mother Earth and the importance of being mindful of others.

But the word Sustainability is the new order of the day.

Earth Day(On a side note, looking at the book cover, my first thought was to a frightening novel, Lord of the Flies; images of young boys running wild through the jungle as they sought the Conch Shell of power; killing, if necessary, anyone who got in the way.)

There was an Earth Day promotion waiting for me as I went through my email, a reminder from Turner Publishing that everyone needs to do their part.  I’m so glad to know that a company owned and operated by Jane “Traitor and Communist Sympathizer ” Fonda’s husband Ted wants to enlist everyone’s help in pushing forward a new world order as outlined in the United Nation’s Agenda 21.

“Celebrating Earth Day has put all of us at Turner Publishing in the “environmentally-friendly” mood. How have you been “green” this year? We recently started recycling in our office after evaluating how much paper we were throwing away each week! Maybe we should all start this week by picking one thing we will change in our routine that leads to a greener environment? Maybe…

  • Recycle all of the paper in your office or home
  • Choose paper over plastic at the grocery store
  • Eliminate air pollution by carpooling more often or riding your bike instead of driving
  • Stop buying plastic Keurig coffee cups and use a reusable cartridge!

You can be the one person to make a simple change and inspire others to do the same! Be the change and be green”

Reading between the lines, a favorite past time, were the words, “Be Sustainable, Comrade, or Else!”  Some folks can’t see the warning; but I can assure you, it’s there.

Take for example the newly discovered powers of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which now cover how long a shower you can take.  The University of Tulsa has been given a grant to develop a device which can be fitted easily to any hotel shower head to monitor how much water is used.

“EPA deputy press secretary Laura Allen issued a statement to the Free Beacon clarifying that “EPA is not monitoring how much time hotel guests spend in the shower” and said that the marketplace “will decide if there is a demand for this type of technology. It’s ultimately up to hotels to use technology like the monitors being developed at the University of Tulsa.”’

If that’s true, and finding any part of the Obama administration capable of speaking the truth might be more difficult than finding the Holy Grail…but if that’s true, then why mention a target limit of 7 minutes per shower in the title of the article?

We’ve seen a pattern of deceitfulness from the Obama administration.  “If you like your health insurance plan you can keep it”,  “If you like your primary care doctor you can keep your primary care doctor” and one of my favorites, “The Benghazi attack on our embassy was caused by a rogue video that enraged Muslims”.

The EPA recently mandated (more than a mild suggestion), mandated futher restrictions on wood burning stoves regarding “the level of fine airborne particulate emissions that wood-burning stoves can emit, from 15 micrograms per cubic meter to a maximum of 12 micrograms.”

“The EPA restrictions would ban the production and sale of the kinds of wood-burning stoves that compose 80 percent of those currently in use in the United States, Forbes reported.”

You might recall one of Obama’s campaign objectives during his run for the Oval Office back in 2008, “If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them.”  (Originally that was to have read, Obama’s campaign promises; but word check won’t let me put Obama and Promise in the same sentence)
“In 2012, the Obama EPA issued its “new source performance standard” that effectively made it impossible to build new coal-fired power plants, because no technology exists that would enable utilities to meet the new standards. At the time, the head of EPA’s air office, Gina McCarthy, assured the public that existing plants would not have to meet the new standard and that EPA was not promoting fuel-switching. Less than a year after McCarthy’s solemn promise, however, the following sentence appears on page 19 of Obama’s Climate Action Plan: “Going forward, we will promote fuel-switching from coal to gas for electricity production and encourage the development for a global market for gas.”’

When I read that the EPA is studying how to monitor how much water is wasted while someone takes a shower, flushes a toilet, turns on a CFL light bulb because incandescent bulbs have been outlawed, heats their house above 72 degrees or cools it below 78 degrees…let’s just say I’m skeptical when they say they have no intention of mandating that function.

On to victory as we celebrate Earth Day.  Remember, Comrade, Be Sustainable – or else!

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

04/11/15
Purple Heart

Injury In the Line of Duty…or not?

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

Purple Heart

When an individual puts on a uniform in the service of his community or country, either as a fireman, police officer or military serviceman we recognize the uniform perhaps more than the individual.  If they get injured while in our service it’s our moral duty to take care of them.

An article at the Fox News website by Catherine Herridge, Fort Hood shooting victim denied benefits, despite Purple Heart decision pointed out that a military board has denied benefits to a soldier who was shot during the Ft. Hood terrorist attack.

You may recall the Obama administration pressured the military into calling the shooting “work place violence” rather than classifying the shooting as a terrorist event “even though the evidence showed Hasan was emailing the Al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack”.

But that’s not all…the administrators of our military, those charged with looking after our servicemen who put the uniform on each day in defense of our nation took it a step further.

“MAJ Hasan has been charged with criminal activity, but has not been adjudicated a terrorist. Therefore, the clear preponderance of evidence does not support that the injuries sustained were the direct result of armed conflict,” the letter said.

I wonder what planet these administrators are from; really!  Getting shot six times isn’t the result of armed conflict?  Must have been one heck of a game of Tidily Winks those soldiers at Fort Hood were playing.

Putting aside whether or not the injuries were the result of an attack carried out during war time, on foreign soil or our own should not matter…  shouldn’t a member of our military be taken care of if he/she fell off a loading dock while pealing potatoes assigned to KP duty?   (I know, soldiers no longer are required to perform KP; pick some similar mundane chore like slipping down on a wet floor while cleaning the head)

There you go, soldier; we don’t have to pay for your injuries because you can’t prove they happened as an act of war.  Chew on that for a while …

Of course there are two sides to every coin; taking into account the numerous attempts to feign injury in order to collect a fat Workman’s Compensation package.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

A friend of mine worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a criminal inspector.  One of his jobs was investigating individuals who were collecting disability from the government, folks suspected of being less than honest about their injuries.  He told me about folks who claimed they were too injured to work collecting full benefits that showed up each month in their mail box.   The only problem was these folks were fit as a fiddle and off working ‘cash jobs’ that went as unreported income when they were supposed to be at home in their sick bed.

I wish there were more inspectors catching free loaders; but that goes against current policy under the Obama administration.  Truth be known, I think there are bonuses set aside for the more creative free loaders.

Talk about free loaders and spending taxpayer money, what about this?

“The director of the Philadelphia VA regional benefits office was paid $288,000 in “relocation payments” to move the 140 miles from Washington, D.C. to her new home last year”.

{…}

“Federal regulations allow for the reimbursement of relocation expenses including the “costs of house-hunting, moving, terminating leases, and a per-diem rate for meals and temporary housing for an employee and his or her family,” the spokesman said.”

Veterans Administration logoI’m so happy to know the VA administrators are able to take care of themselves; but isn’t their job to take care of military personnel who need medical treatment? (Sounds like they have their priorities messed up)

Moving right along…

I remember one police officer who fell out of his chair at the station and collected full disability benefits for about a year; that’s full pay with benefits, tax free because it was carried as Injury on Duty.  (not making this up folks; this actually happened)

Back in the 70s an off duty uniformed Houston Police Officer was injured while working traffic at the Astrodome, an extra-job where his salary was furnished by the Astrodome.  Long story short; he was seriously injured by a vehicle while working traffic; but the City denied his request for Injury on Duty status.

The City of Houston claimed that at the time of his injuries his actual employer was the Astrodome and refused to pay while he was out of work.  Eventually the courts convinced the City of their responsibility because the officer was directing traffic and wearing a uniform which represented his authority, authority which could only be given by the City of Houston.

More recently another Houston Police Officer, Jason Roy, survived a roll over accident during a chase.  His promised benefits have been denied after being disabled with a broken neck, making him unable to perform as a police officer.

‘“The City of Houston is cooperating fully and is not contesting Officer Roy’s medical condition.  The case is moving through the process dictated by the state. The next scheduled hearing will occur in mid-November. The decision as to whether benefits are granted is made by the Worker’s Compensation Division of the Texas Department of Insurance, not the city,” city of Houston Director of Human Resources Omar Reid.”

This means there’s a bureaucrat stationed somewhere along the chain of command to deny benefits; either at the City, State or Federal level of government.  Somebody is employed in a position of authority to ignore benefits promised, ignore right from wrong and to limit final responsibility in favor of saving the taxpayers money.

I would hope our military service men and women would be treated better; but our government is run by folks who have lost their compass as to what’s right and wrong.  Injury on Duty means nothing to administrators and bureaucrats whose sole purpose in life is to screw over those who’ve earned these benefits.

04/8/15
Obama, Hillary and the Muslim Brotherhood

Obama’s “Potemkin Village”

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

Financial MarketsHistorians would recognize the term “Potemkin village” as it’s used to describe “any attempt to make others believe we are better than we really are”.   I first heard the unusual sounding combination of words this past Saturday evening as used by Dieter F. Uchtdorf in his General Conference talk, On Being Genuine, when he addressed the Priesthood Session.

He intended to emphasize the importance of actually being who you claim to be publicly as he explained the origins of this interesting terminology.

“In the late 18th century, Catherine the Great of Russia announced she would tour the southern part of her empire, accompanied by several foreign ambassadors. The governor of the area, Grigory Potemkin, desperately wanted to impress these visitors. And so he went to remarkable lengths to showcase the country’s accomplishments.

For part of the journey, Catherine floated down the Dnieper River, proudly pointing out to the ambassadors the thriving hamlets along the shore, filled with industrious and happy townspeople. There was only one problem: it was all for show. It is said that Potemkin had assembled pasteboard facades of shops and homes. He had even positioned busy-looking peasants to create the impression of a prosperous economy.”

As I listened my first thoughts turned immediately to Barrack Obama and his administration; lie after lie covered by smoke and mirrors, deception and stone walling to keep the public in the dark until such time as the truth didn’t matter anymore.

The health and safety of our nation has taken a back seat to how Obama and his administration appear in public; but I fear it is much worse than Grigory Potemkin’s slight of hand trick to make himself look good, Obama’s implementation of Marxist communism seems to be the driving force behind all this fakery.

An example of Obama’s questionable use of the presidency, and I’m being far too kind in calling it questionable; some might prefer treasonous…would be his entering into nuclear treaty talks with Iran.

Thomas Sowell wrote an article for the National Review,  Obama’s Iran ‘Agreement’ Is a Charade, in which he outlines the incredulity of forming any alliance with Iran and believing this band of terrorists might keep their word.  (I suppose the folks in Iran are saying the same thing about Obama and his administration; none are men of integrity.)

“By abandoning virtually all its demands for serious restrictions on Iran’s nuclear-bomb program, the Obama administration has apparently achieved the semblance of a preliminary introduction to the beginning of a tentative framework for a possible hope of an eventual agreement with Iran.

{…}

Why then all these negotiations? Because these charades protect Barack Obama politically, no matter how much danger they create for America and the world. The latest public-opinion polls show Obama’s approval rating rising. In political terms — the only terms that matter to him — his foreign policy has been a success.”

Sowell goes on to give a history lesson on Neville Chamberlain’s handling of a treaty made with NAZI Germany in an attempt to stave off war.  At no time did it appear that Chamberlain intended to set Great Britain up for the nasty ramifications of such poor judgment; but at the same time his actions did “throw a small country to the Nazi wolves in order to get a worthless agreement with Hitler”.

On the other hand, as Sowell points out, Obama’s worthless treaty giving Iran the ability to expand its nuclear program may well be throwing Israel to the wolves “for the sake of another worthless agreement”.

“If anyone examines the hard, cold facts about the Obama administration’s actions and inactions in the Middle East from the beginning, it is far more difficult to reconcile those actions and inactions with a belief that Obama was trying to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons than it is to reconcile those facts with his trying to stop Israel from stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”

If you consider the folks Obama has for his inner circle then his intentions become more troubling.

His senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and openly stated she looks forward to using America’s ignorance and tolerance of all religions via the First Amendment to further advance Islam into our society in order to bring about an eventual Transformation to Islam here.

Obama has been steadily weakening our military while at the same time placing ‘questionable’ individuals who happen to be Muslim, not only Muslim… but individuals who have ties to radical jihadist groups in key positions of government.

“In 2002 Mohamed Elibiary founded the Freedom and Justice Foundation in Plano, Texas. Freedom and Justice is the political party of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. He was appointed a member of the Homeland Security advisory council which meant Elibiary had access to security documents. In October of 2011, it was reported he took sensitive reports from the Texas Department of Public Safety.”

Obama, Hillary and the Muslim BrotherhoodI almost wish I wasn’t aware of the loose ends, the shady deals, the outright lies and deception Obama and his administration have foisted off on the public, all the while claiming to be working for a better America.  It would seem the America Obama wants our constitutional republic Transformed into is under the flag of Islam.

America’s economic recovery… It’s all for show and major media outlets refuse to report the truth, instead they prefer building up Obama’s image as America’s first and greatest Black president.

I haven’t brought up job reports, unemployment or the disturbing fact that 63 million potential members of the workforce don’t have a job, some of them having quit looking long ago so they aren’t considered unemployed.  How’s that for another of Obama’s Potemkin Villages?

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

03/24/15
FEMA

FEMA and the Science of Extortion

By: T F Stern
The Moral Liberal

FEMA logo

There are several articles on the Internet which put forth the idea that FEMA intends to withhold money from states which don’t sign on to the premise of man made global warming.   They use the updated term, Climate Change; but their religion of man made harm to Mother Earth continues as the foundation of their faith.

Frank Minero’s piece, Sorry Rick Scott, Admit Climate Change Is Real Or Florida Loses $100 + In FEMA Funding, caught my attention as it contained some rather inflammatory language.

“They’ll need to think long and hard on this one. The stakes are high. If they stick with their ignorant, anti-science rhetoric, they stand to lose millions in federal aid.” (emphasis added)

Would someone define ‘anti-science rhetoric’?  Doesn’t Minero mean folks who won’t fall for junk science substituted for real science and the political agenda associated with the Church of Man Made Global Warming?

At one time science was the search for truth regardless of where that path led; but we live in a time when political agendas foretell results and computer generated models validate theories without the need for actual or authentic data, how convenient!

Minero does a touchdown dance at the end zone of his article proving that Climate Change ‘science’ is nothing more than a political hoax.

“Here’s a list of the eighteen offending states: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Dakota and Wyoming. Not surprisingly, most of the anti-science policy comes from red states.

This is great news for the people living in red states. Now petty politics and greed won’t doom them to the absolute worst consequences of climate change.”  (again, emphasis added)

Those who voted for the Democrat/Socialist/Communist (interchangeable) agenda of man made global warming will be rewarded with taxpayer funding  (a politically incorrect term to be replaced with ‘people’)  of FEMA programs.

If, on the other hand, you require proof of this unsettled science, which is nothing more than a shake down scheme to redistribute wealth, then we will use the power of media to ridicule your pathetic attempts to stave off being robbed in order to advance the liberal agenda.

Never mind that actual scientific findings prove the IPCC report as having been considerably flawed, to the extent that it might have been a total fabrication.  Never mind that the World’s top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just [a] Quarter what we thought – and computers got the effects of greenhouse gases wrong.

Coin FlipImagine that, the global warming ‘estimates’ were off by around 75%!  The data fed into computer models used to twist the arms of law makers in order to bring about a United Nations one world government isn’t accurate.  Flipping a coin would give better results; at least that way you’d be right half the time.

If that isn’t enough, Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace recently shot down the Climate Change hoax when he addressed the Senate committee charged with coming up with legislation to combat global warming.

“There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years,” he said as he explained, “he left the group when it became more interested in politics than the environment.”

It would appear the anti-science rhetoric being spread around has been by the environmental alarmists.

03/12/15
Ammo

The 2nd Amendment Assault Continues

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

AmmoAfter reading the title of a recent news article entitled, Government backs off from banning assault rifle bullet, quite a bit of information is offered; some of which is intentionally misleading.  The article, which I’m sure has multiple variations scattered throughout the nation on virtually every media outlet,…where was I… the article claims that a public uprising has stemmed the government from stripping away yet another portion of our 2nd Amendment protection from government; that’s right, the 2nd Amendment was written to protect citizens from their government.

“Amid a massive outcry from gun enthusiasts, the government has backed away from a proposed ban on a specific bullet used in assault rifles that can pierce vests and body armor worn by police officers.”

For some reason a rifle which looks very similar to a military weapon in many ways has been allowed to be called an ‘assault rifle’ as if the AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle is the same as a fully automatic version the military uses.  The AR-15 is not an assault rifle; there isn’t such a thing, it’s a made up term.

Rifles are supposed to shoot ammunition; that’s about the extent of their purpose.  What the rifle is aimed at; now that becomes a decision of whoever is pointing the weapon.  Why a weapon is used is also up to that individual; it’s not up to anyone to presuppose a weapon’s purpose based on what it may or may not look like.

As for the kind of ammunition used in any given rifle, again, that is up to the individual based on purpose and how much the ammunition costs.

Unlike government agencies which have unlimited resources (taxpayers), individuals can’t buy up massive amounts of ammunition without considering the cost.  Then there’s the type of ammunition to consider; target practice ammo is considerably less expensive than ‘field ammo’ used to ‘inflict death and destruction’ on what ever target is picked.

That brings up a secondary topic; why did the Department of Homeland Security order over a billion and a half rounds of ammunition, to include several thousand rounds of hollow point ammo?  Hollow point ammo isn’t made for target practice and is intended to be used to ‘inflict death and destruction’.  The Department of Homeland Security has been telling the American public that the purchase was for training government employees?

“… at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month.  Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years.  In America.”

I don’t recall ever getting a straight answer from the Department of Homeland Security.

The only logical explanation would be that the Department of Homeland Security was planning to go to war; and since they are tasked with policing Americans the logical answer would be that our government is planning to go to war against…you got it…its own citizens.  (look up the definition of tyranny).

Lethal Weapon 3Getting back to the original article on why the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) planned to ban a particular type of ammunition, their explanation was to “protect police officers”.   That’s interesting since, presumably, most of police officers targeted by ‘cop killer ammo’ were play actors in a movie, Lethal Weapon. 

There really is no factual basis for calling them ‘cop killer ammo’, it’s a myth; but for the same reason folks call the AR an ‘assault weapon’ these same folks think ‘cop killer ammo’ sounds more sinister.

“So what are the “cop killer” bullets now? According to the Brady Campaign, it is any hollowpoint bullet on the market. For those of you that don’t know what a hollowpoint bullet really does, it is designed so that it does not over penetrate instead relying on it doing more tissue damage and expending all of its kinetic energy inside the target. This means that is less likely to penetrate a vest than other solid bullets. Wait, I thought “cop killers” were designed to penetrate polices vests?  Well, it would seem once a bullet gets painted with the capricious “cop killer” brush, you don’t have to let a little things like “precedence” and “reality” get in your way.”

Even if there were ‘cop killer bullets’; and any bullet that strikes in the ‘right place’ is a killer, criminals who are intent on killing police officers would figure out how to obtain them.  Criminals haven’t been kept from obtaining heroin, cocaine or guns even though there are laws prohibiting these items.  Criminals don’t give a crap about the law, that’s why we call them criminals.  (news flash – neither do our elected representatives or those appointed to serve in government agencies)

I guess the ATF really wants to stop average law abiding citizens from purchasing lethal bullets, armor piercing bullets; oh why stop there; the ATF wants to eventually ban ALL bullets.  You can keep your guns; but they don’t operate without bullets.  There, now it’s ‘out there’ as Billy Crystal would say.  Once it’s out there, it’s out there.

George WashingtonThe message sent to Washington wasn’t from ‘gun enthusiasts’ as the article said; no, the message was sent from citizens who recognized that our government was attempting to whittle away an important part of the 2nd Amendment.  Our right to own and bear arms was specifically addressed because the Founding Fathers understood the biggest threat to liberty would come from an all powerful centralized government; something like we are quickly approaching.

If and when this monster sized central government turns on the citizenry, may it never happen in my lifetime; but if and when that happens citizens will be forced to use what ever weapons and ammunition they can lay their hands on.  It won’t matter if it’s a militarized police unit coming to remove ‘undesirables’ from society’ as was done in Pre-WWII NAZI Germany,  or if it’s your local Army Reserve Detail coming to haul right wing conservative nut jobs off to a FEMA camp.  The purpose of having a weapon and ammunition is to kill; there’s no nice way of saying it.

Our Declaration of Independence was issued as an open letter to a tyrannical King; but it applies equally to any tyrant with the intent and ability to enslave American citizens.  The time draws ever closer when citizens will be forced to defend against such tyranny.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

03/8/15
ALOA

Texas Locksmith’s Eyes Beginning to Open

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

ALOAYears ago I did my best to convince my fellow locksmiths that jumping on the licensing bandwagon was a mistake.  During a heated discussion while attending a meeting organized by the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) one fellow wanted me to step out back and settle our differences the old fashioned way; maybe that would have been fun in my younger days.

We were told the state had already decided the locksmith industry was going to be licensed and so we had better come up with a plan to submit to the legislature, one that would be favorable toward our needs.  That plan was approved by members of the Texas Locksmith Association (TLA) board and passed around so everyone in attendance could get a look at it.  Unfortunately that wasn’t the bill which the legislators were handed.

I couldn’t say for sure what happened in the back rooms of Austin; but you can bet the farm that the ALOA and Alarm Service Industry folks had their hand in the deal since these were the same folks who’d insisted the locksmith industry get licensed to begin with.  We were placed under the Department of Public Safety held in check by a bureaucracy which is now called the Private Security Bureau (DPS/PSB), a board of appointees which supposedly represents the interests of the entire Security Industry, more particularly, the Alarm Services Industry; well shucky-dern, isn’t that a coincidence.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since that time; but there has yet to be one locksmith sitting on the DPS/PSB, something which should tell you locksmiths are not being given any representation when it comes to laying down the rules.

I expect one day a locksmith will eventually sit on the DPS/PSB as promised so many years ago; but then again, consider who that individual might be…  You can count on it being a sycophant willing to go along with whatever the powers that be direct, just like the TLA and GHLA board members of the past.  No thank you, let’s just step outside and settle this like we should have done so many years ago.

Licensing serves a couple of purposes, neither of which protects the public from unscrupulous vendors.  First, licensing limits competition for those who are already covered and secondly it acts as a revenue generator for the State which is more than happy to destroy the free market system (socialism/communism) by enslaving those required to obtain and then maintain a license.  All cost increases to a business are then passed along to the consumer who must also pay for a protection racket run by the State which doesn’t provide protection; not much different than protection rackets run by the Mafia.

Fast forward to the present, specifically a message from the president of the Greater Houston Locksmith Association (GHLA) found in the monthly newsletter.

“At the TLA Convention, the legislative update from DPS/PSB was simply about the locksmith laws that those in the industry are already aware of them. As an organization, we need to be prepared to take a different approach when it comes to the lobbyist in Austin, Texas. It takes money to see changes and not be ignored by the P.S.B. A different approach is much needed.” (emphasis added)

After all these years GHLA board members have finally figured out that the DPS/PSB folks have been ignoring them.  The DPS/PSB is good at ignoring locksmiths and imposing mandates arbitrarily, mandates which are costly in both time and effort and do absolutely nothing to improve the industry or provide any measure of ‘promised security’ for the public.

ALOAJust a couple of weeks ago while attending the TLA convention in Plano, Texas, the one mentioned in the president’s message, I met with a couple of new GHLA board members.  My purpose for attending was to represent the Society Of Professional Locksmiths (SOPL) and to encourage those in the TLA and GHLA to become members and support this national locksmith association; one which wasn’t under the thumb of the Alarm Services Industry or the ALOA.

SOPL has on-line training courses which cover a wide variety of locksmith related items and are cost efficient.  If these classes were to be approved and shared at meetings held by either the TLA or GHLA for the purpose of obtaining Mandated Credit Hours to maintain an individual’s locksmith license, members would be that much better off.

I introduced myself to one of the new board members who didn’t know me; no surprise since I prefer tending to my business rather than attending local meetings, and explained that he needed to properly represent locksmiths along with some history (some of this was a real eye opener to him), history which can be reviewed by reading articles I’ve written on the subject.

I drove home the point that it was important to stop dancing with the enemy, the enemy being the DPS/PSB, that our going along quietly had done nothing to improve the individual locksmith’s position and that we were in fact 2nd Class citizens that had no voice.

Maybe, just maybe some locksmith’s eyes are starting to open.  They are beginning to understand that the State is not our friend and that somebody needs to stand up to them instead of paying a lobbyist to plead mercy at the feet of our Puppet Masters (DPS/PSB).

A complimentary copy of this article will be sent to the Texas Locksmith Association (TLA), the Greater Houston Locksmith Association (GHLA) as well as the Society Of Professional Locksmiths (SOPL).

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

02/24/15
Networking

Spinning the Circles

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

NetworkingMany years ago a friend of mine invited me to become a part of a multilevel marketing business, a chance to start something on the side and provide extra income.  This wasn’t some get rich quick scheme and would require effort and acquiring new skills to become moderately successful.

One of the first skills was learning to ‘spin the circles’, my friends way of saying that you had to stand in front of an audience with a chalkboard and invite them to share their dreams, dreams which were in fact goals worthy of extra effort needed to start their own business and join your group.

A random sampling would include new cars, home improvements like remodeling the kitchen, fancy jewelry, travel to exotic vacation spots and so on.  Inevitably there would be one person who was above ‘material things’, a person who dreamed of ‘World Peace’; the perfect beauty pageant answer that said absolutely nothing.  This individual wore a holier than thou smirk as if to say he was satisfied with a twelve year old beater and didn’t appreciate being challenged beyond the 40 hour work week; life was more than filling a toy box with more toys.  Next!

This came to mind as I went over the lessons shared at church yesterday.  During Sunday School we’d talked about  Miracles and how they were presented in the New Testament.  Class members shared some of their experiences which they considered to have been miraculous to some degree.

One brother had been involved in what could easily have been a fatal traffic accident; but for the ‘grace of God’ he some how survived and was able to regain full use of his body.  Another talked about a relative who’d been given six months to live after being diagnosed with cancer; but two years later is cancer free.

An older brother added to the discussion by mentioning that when he purchased tires for his car they came with a sixty thousand mile warranty.  He paused and formed his next thought carefully, “If I’ve calculated correctly…, I only need to purchase one more set of tires based on how many miles I drive a year”.   Now that’s a sobering thought; recognizing the inevitable ‘jumping off place’ as you approach mortality’s finite limits.

But what about those who die unexpectedly; step in front of a fast moving truck or have a sudden heart attack?  How do these individuals plan out their mortality, or does finality enter into the equation as they meander through life much as a leaf blown hither and thither?

spinning2I should mention that the last hour of study was tied to a General Conference talk given by Thomas S. Monson,  Guided Safely Home, wherein we were challenged to figure out our ‘purpose’; an extremely broad topic requiring a bit of thought.

Depending on what level of ‘purpose’ you were thinking about the answers could be as trivial as obtaining a new car, better employment, writing a best selling novel or…, the top prize, exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom sitting in the presence of our Father in Heaven.   What level of ‘purpose’ was/is worth altering your life style choices?

If you wanted to improve your relationship with your wife or children what would you consider doing?  If you wanted to become successful at work how would you go about improving your chances?  If you wanted to improve your relationship with God what have the prophets told us?

The more I thought about the lessons, putting the two together as I contemplated my own ‘purpose’, it came to me; these lessons had been presented much the same as ‘spinning the circles’, not much different than multilevel marketing.

I’m no spring chicken and recognize the time limits placed on my mortality.  What do I wish to accomplish with the time given me; assuming I don’t step in front of the proverbial truck or have that unexpected heart attack that takes me before I’ve planned my own funeral?

To ‘spin the circles’ and grow your own business you needed to find out your prospect’s short term, mid range and long term goals.  These goals must be strong enough stimulate a prospect into acting upon them.  If you couldn’t bring out a worthy challenge then the likelihood of bringing the prospect on board were greatly diminished.

I remember hearing about a fellow who when asked what he might do to improve his lot in life responded, “Hey, I’ve got a television and a six pack of beer; what else do I need?”  Not everyone will respond to an invitation to grow.

I’d love to have a new truck with all the bells and whistles.  My house in Buffalo is coming along; but wouldn’t it be great to have top of the line appliances instead of entry level Sears?  I’ve been slowing down my hours in business intentionally as I get closer to retirement; wouldn’t it be great to have some kind of supplemental income other than my police retirement and social security?

spinning3My creative writing has slowed down; isn’t it worth a little extra effort to share some of the thoughts that are lined up in that fog of a brain?  Spending more time at the temple, to be fully immersed in scripture study gaining a better understanding of what the Lord would have me do; that would be the sweetest thing of all…

A tune from Fiddler on the Roof invades my thought process.

…If I were a rich man,
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Idle-diddle-daidle-daidle man.
Lord who made the lion and the lamb,
You decreed I should be what I am.
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan?
If I were a wealthy man.

As I close my thoughts, pausing to breathe out and proclaim quietly, “Oye”…, the question remains, what is my purpose, my goal to accomplish in the time allotted me?   What will I do differently to bring about those changes necessary to accomplish my life’s mission?

More importantly, what will you do?  Will you take a few moments to consider your purpose?

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

02/10/15
Obama and Obamacare

Never let facts interfere with a lie

By: T F Stern
The Moral Liberal

AA - Obama Not Done Lying

Shakespeare had a line in his play, Hamlet; most are familiar with, “To be or not to be, that is the question”.  Taking considerable liberties with this, “To lie or not to lie, that is the question”.  Hamlet would have been a success either way; but for today’s purposes let’s have some fun.  Brian Williams of NBC might come forward on his nightly news forum claiming he was at the performance and might have the original Playbill in his files.

What’s the big deal, everyone lies or exaggerates; at least that’s the rationalization from those who idolize Brian Williams, the leftist agenda offered at NBC and other major media outlets.  What ever it takes to get the job done; lie a little, cheat a little and if we get caught we’ll admit that it was only a miscommunication or that we accidentally forgot to include a little just like everyone else does.

“You like your doctor, you get to keep your doctor! You like your plan, you get to keep it!”  Obama said that or something similar no less than 12 times; but we have learned that Obama knew from the get go that it was a lie, that most folks would not get to keep their doctor or their original health plan.  Obama knew this prior to twisting arms to pass Obamacare.  Is telling the truth important?

Then there’s the United Nations IPCC report which intentionally left out two fairly important statements which were supposed to be in the final draft regarding Global Warming.  If you’re not up on the IPCC report, that’s the focal point used by most of the nation’s leaders to justify and combat the man made global warming crisis.  (It’s sometimes referred to as the man made global warming hoax since that is a more accurate assessment of this scheme to redistribute wealth on a global scale.)

“None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed climate changes to increases in greenhouse gases.”

“No study to date has positively attributed all or part of the climate change to man–made causes”

And yet the U.N. continues to push for a global government based on impending catastrophic events which will certainly befall humankind due to man made global warming.  Based on intentionally misleading IPCC reports, would this be considered a lie?

Internet search engines can find most anything; but when you find what is offered can anyone be assured that the information supplied is of any worth?  Looking for graphs and charts regarding air pollution turns up some interesting; useless but interesting charts.

There were so many charts on CO2 levels as to be a bonanza; that is until you figure out that the ‘settled science’ on CO2 being the cause of global warming isn’t settled.  CO2 isn’t a pollutant at all; in fact it is a required component for plants to grow.  Turns out the increase in CO2 is helping plant life to flourish, thereby helping to feed those in need across this planet; but you won’t hear environmental alarmists talking about that little tidbit.

Then there’s the ‘climate change blame game’, which countries are at fault for the world’s miseries and how much should the ‘world court of opinion’ exact for their alleged crimes against Mother Earth and her inhabitants?

“South Africa, on behalf of a broad group of developing and poor nations, called for a show of good faith — including for rich countries to show how they intend to keep a promise to scale climate assistance up to $100 billion (88 billion euros) by 2020.”

China vs US top ten pollution citiesThere were a couple of interesting charts on general air pollution which caught my attention.  It became painfully clear that cities in Communist China far out ‘performed’ cities in the United States as the worst polluters based on suspended particles in the air, nearly 10 to 1.

Why would that be interesting?

It’s important because the so called environmental movement here in our country has been hiding, at least until recently, their close associations with communism and their desire to transform America into a pure socialist state.

“Until recently, those attacking the capitalist system as the cause of global warming were intentionally a little vague as to what will replace it if we are to solve the problem. But on Sunday in Oakland, that curtain was drawn back and the new system was finally revealed: Communism. Or at least hardcore socialism as Marx defined it — the necessary transitional phase before true complete communism (i.e. no private property, no families, no individualism). Most countries we tend to think of as “communist” actually self-defined as “socialist”: The USSR, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, for example, was (as its name reveals) socialist. I point out this detail in case anybody reading this article thinks that the “socialism” advocated at the rally was merely some kind of squishy soft-hearted semi-capitalism; no, it is the same type of socialism one finds in places generally thought of as communist.”

Wait a second; didn’t the chart show that Communist China was almost 10 times worse at polluting the planet than our capitalistic nation?

Never let facts interfere with a perfectly good lie; that’s how the left gets away with their tall stories, their yarns and the evening news.

01/30/15
Shariah Will Dominate

U.S. Courts of Law – Sharia Courts?

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

Shariah Will Dominate There’s a news item on the internet about Sharia courts being used in Texas.  It would appear that what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander; or something like that.  Having read the article it would appear these ‘Sharia’ courts are well within the framework of religious courts, similar to those used by other religious orders.

“Brietbart Texas confirmed Tuesday that “an Islamic Tribunal using Sharia law” is indeed operating in Texas.  But not to worry: an attorney for the tribunal assures us that participation is “voluntary,” and one of the Sharia judges, Dr. Taher El-badawi, says it’s devoted only to “non-binding dispute resolution.”’

That sound less than threatening to our justice system; however, some folks aren’t entirely at ease, saying this is “just the first step”.

This is how it starts. This is how it started in the United Kingdom. When Sharia courts were instituted there, Muslim and non-Muslim officials alike all assured the British public and the world that they would be voluntary, restricted to matters involving non-criminal matters, and subject to the British courts. Any areas in which British law and Sharia law conflicted would be referred not to the Sharia courts, but to the British courts.

That is not how it worked out…”

The article goes on to indicate that, “Many Sharia law bodies rule on a range of disputes from domestic violence to child residence all of which should be dealt with by UK courts of law.” Instead, “they operate within a misogynist and patriarchal framework which is incompatible with UK legislation.”

The solution to these issues becomes self evident, pardon the use of an antique phrase.  If Sharia courts are in violation of the law of the land then enforce the law of the land; it’s that simple.

I’m not at all sure how Sharia Courts operate; but if they are similar to a Bishop’s Court, as are conducted to hold members accountable in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), then their purpose is not to usurp powers designated to the State and serve only to improve the lives of members of the church. 

In the LDS Church, if someone has been unfaithful to their marriage vows, less than ‘up front’ in dealings with others or some other character flaw which requires more than a simple apology; and, if that individual wishes to repent and resume his/her eternal progression toward becoming more like Jesus, then a Bishop’s Court is convened. 

Priesthood courts of the Church are not courts of retribution. They are courts of love. Oh, that members of the Church could understand this fact.”

The Bishop’s Court is not a replacement for Civil or Criminal Courts.  Bishops are required to notify the proper authorities when it becomes apparent that state law has been broken, such as rape, incest or bodily injury.  The purpose of a Bishop’s Court is to permit the repentance process to take effect, an opportunity for individuals to ‘get right with the Lord’; not hide violations of law. 

Sharia Courts should not pose a threat to society, if they are indeed what they claim to be…and yet…

There is a certain amount of distrust generated toward Islam/Muslims; and rightly so.

The Koran teaches its followers that to lie is permissible under a variety of circumstances. (Such as swearing to uphold the constitution of the United States?) 

There are two forms of lying to non-believers that are permitted under certain circumstances, taqiyya and kitman. These circumstances are typically those that advance the cause Islam – in some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them.”

When a representative of the “religion of peace” tells us there is nothing to be concerned about, a religion that calls for and murders innocent Christian women and children, sends drugged up teenagers on suicide bombing missions and beheads those who don’t ‘voluntarily’ join their ranks…let’s just say I have my doubts as to the sincerity of their promises.

There’s an old Russian proverb that comes to mind, “Trust, but verify”.   In the case of Sharia Courts being held anywhere in the United States I’d prefer Lady Justice not be blindfolded.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

01/19/15
School Board

What is the school board afraid of?

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

Education and Religion Apple on Books

A recent news item had to do with the Goochland County Public School Board demanding home schooled children justify their religious beliefs.  When I read this on the internet my first reaction was, “Really? This could become very interesting”.

“A policy approved by the Goochland County School Board in 2013 has several parents who home school their children upset.

The policy requires children ages 14 and up who want to be home schooled to provide a statement about their religious beliefs to the school system.

As part of that, the board reserves the right to bring the child and his or her parent in for a hearing.”

It should be pointed out that the Goochland County School Board has no ‘rights’; rather, they have ‘powers’ given them by the citizens who have placed this board in charge of their school district.  Their assumed or presumed responsibility to govern all aspects of family life beyond what is taught in classrooms becomes a can of worms.

Paul Newman played the part of a washed up ambulance chasing lawyer looking for a chance to redeem himself in, The Verdict.  His client sought damages for negligence against two doctors who treated a patient, a patient who died as a result of their being too tired to read the patient’s admission chart.  During the course of the trial the lawyers for the hospital and doctors began asking questions to a nurse who’d been on duty the night of the incident; but the answers she provided were unexpected and all but buried the hospital and the doctors for having been incompetent and negligent.

My reason for bringing up this up, as the Newman character pointed out, “Never ask a question for which you do not already know the answer”.

What purpose would it serve the Goochland County School Board to obtain answers about any student’s religious beliefs, much less singling out home schooled children and their families?

The supposed purpose of any school board is to administer the secular teachings of children, costs of education, maintenance of buildings and other property associated with such schooling.  There really is no function of the school board which provides any governance with regard to a family’s religious beliefs or lack thereof.

Looking beyond their poorly worded ‘right’ to demand the ability to interrogate home schooled children and their parents, what is the school board afraid of?

It is a given that the school board represents the all powerful State; but at what point is the State interfering with the sanctity of the family unit?  Are they afraid that a clear line would be established, a line separating where the authority of parents and educators was shared or flat out ended?

“Sir William Blackstone, in 1769, captured this shared responsibility when he articulated the doctrine of in loco parentis, literally “in the place of the parent.” Blackstone asserted that part of parental authority is delegated to schoolmasters.”

CommonCoreLogo-color2Many schools have thrown in with Common Core as the foundation for all aspects of teaching, and by design, Common Core is nothing more than communist indoctrination, a method of transforming our society into a totalitarian Utopia wherein the State replaces the family unit, something which has been deemed a threat to the state, no longer necessary or wanted.

Indeed, family values constitute a threat to government agencies that usurp powers never granted nor intended by the citizenry.

As of January 16, 2015, the Goochland County School Board reversed its decision to have home schooled children and their parents justify their religious beliefs; but, “the school board still maintains the right to demand a hearing with homeschooling families”.

Just for fun what could/would happen in such a hearing?

If the school board demanded a child account for his religious teachings at home, perhaps a child from an LDS family, a child who had been taught proper principles as found in church handbooks?  There’s a strong probability that the youngster would explain the need for a moment of prayer and supplication to the Lord prior to moving forward.

“I’d say that when you start a meeting that way (with prayer), people aren’t stuck up with the pride of their opinions. You pretty quickly come to an agreement as to what ought to be done in any situation.”

I can’t imagine the members of any school board sitting still and listening to a young person in such a manner; it violates elitist arrogance, their demanding a ‘right’ they never had to begin with.   What an opportunity to teach the Plan of Happiness, the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Another movie comes to mind, People Will Talk, where a prominent doctor and member of the teaching staff had been accused of an unsavory and even criminal behavior.  During the ‘informal hearing’, a hearing which would be used to remove the good doctor from his teaching position, the board directed the accused to voluntarily make an accounting of his actions.   Dr. Praetorius calmly explained that he had no intention of voluntarily explaining anything and that he considered ‘this trial to be a trial’.

Can you imagine the home schooled child of a local attorney pointing out to the school board that they were in violation the law, that they never had the power to do anything other than regulate the secular education of any child, much less interrogate anyone about their religious beliefs?

No, it wouldn’t do to be shown up by some kid who’d been home schooled, not good at all.  So what are they afraid of?

They are afraid everyone would find out that home schooled children are receiving a well rounded education, one which meets or exceeds anything the State can provide.

Members of public school boards which attempt to shut down home schooling are afraid that their ‘powers’ really are limited, at least for now, they are restricted from interfering with the family unit and its sanctity.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.