Sunday, August 28, 2016

I've just about had it with Republicans

GOP candidate for governor Eric Greitens speaks at a Rolla rally Saturday.
This could be the last election in which I vote for a Republican.

It depends on what happens in November.

My dissatisfaction with the party started back in 2008 and it reached a breaking point Saturday in Rolla.

What started it was when the party faithful, or base, complained in 2008 that Sen. John McCain was too moderate for them to support. Add to that, the moderates were embarrassed by his choice of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. In sum, many of the Republican voters stayed home from the polls or voted a third-party choice. That is how we got Barak Hussein Obama, who offered hope and change. He fulfilled part of that promise; he gave us plenty of change.

Then in 2012, the Republican true believers were upset with the choice of Gov. Mitt Romney as their candidate. He was too liberal, having offered up a socialist medical plan for his state of Massachusetts. His vice-presidential choice, Paul Ryan, was lackluster. Also, Romney was a Mormon, and self-righteous conservative Christians just could not bring themselves to vote for a member of a cult. So we got a second dose of Obama.

Now, here we are in another similar situation, with the Republican moderates and the conservative Christians upset by the choice of Donald Trump. They have joined forces with the Democrats to begin a Never Trump movement. The Republicans say they aren't for Hillary, but if you aren't for Trump, you're for Hillary. The Republicans are going to fool around and hand the election over to the Democrats again.

The way things are going, I predict Hillary Clinton will receive 45 percent of the vote, the third-party candidates will receive a combined 15 percent of the vote, and Trump will receive 40 percent of the vote. President Hillary Clinton will be sworn in Jan. 20, 2017.

A similar situation exists in Missouri for the gubernatorial race, and it was illustrated in Rolla Saturday afternoon.

After an ugly primary, Republicans are not supporting candidate Eric Greitens wholeheartedly, because like Trump, he is a political outsider. The so-called establishment was against him, supporting people like the career politican, Lt. Gov Peter Kinder, instead.

Our Sen. Dan Brown was a Kinder supporter, but to his credit, Brown is now supporting Greitens. At least, he spoke favorably in support of him Saturday afternoon at a Greitens rally here in Rolla.

Sadly, I see Sen. Brown as an exception, for although there was a pretty good crowd for Greitens on a hot summer Saturday afternoon, I noted that there were no county Republican officeholders in the crowd. I admit that I don't know every single Republican central committee member, but I know a lot of them, and the ones I know were not there.

So it is clear to me that the Republican party has an intense discomfort for both its presidential and gubernatorial nominees. So much discomfort, in fact, that a bunch of them are apparently laying out this one.

Who can figure out a party that claims it wants to do away with politics as usual, but when the primary voters do just that, pulls back its support? Who can understand a party that claims it wants to run government on a business basis, yet turns its back on candidates that have leadership experience in business and other organizations outside politics?

I have never been a fan of the party of Lincoln, for I am not a fan of Lincoln, but I've always (at least since I became a parent and obtained a mortgage) been a conservative, and I've supported conservatives, who have been Republicans.

But if Republicans aren't going to support their own, and if they allow Democrats to win these two offices, then I'll quit them the way they have quit Trump and Greitens.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

If Rolla is blighted, how can we continue to live here safely?

Covering the Rolla City Council for the local paper, I often want to snicker, giggle or laugh. This past Monday night, I wanted to laugh uproariously at 6th Ward Councilman Steve Jung.
Wait,  I should have said I wanted to laugh uproariously WITH the councilman, not at, for I am pretty sure he was having some fun with yet another businessman standing before the council with his hand out, seeking the council's help in getting public money.
Here's the deal: Our town has an aging apartment building for low-income senior citizens. The Rolla Apartments project, according to the information presented by the city administrator at the council meeting, was built 37 years ago with federal money. It was owned from the start by a St. Louis union's charitable fund, and it has been managed all those years by the Sansone Group, a large family-owned outfit also based in St. Louis.
It has been tax exempt for all those years. All the other landlords in Rolla that I know of have to pay real estate taxes to the city, county, school and other funds, but the Sansone Group has avoided those payments for 37 years. The family outfit apparently has also avoided spending a lot of money on keeping the place up, because now they have approached the council for help in getting some state money to do about $7 million worth of repairs, upkeep, maintenance, retrofitting, replacements and beautification. All the other landlords that I know of in Rolla have to come up with their own money to do that sort of work.
I'll not go into detail about the process the city must follow to help this company out, but part of it requires the finding of "blight" in the property. At Monday night's council meeting, a consulting firm paid by the Sansone Group presented its blight report. Apparently, the more pitiful you can make your place sound, the better chance you have of getting some of that free, or at least low-cost, government money.
The blight report, if you read it through quickly and didn't think about it deeply, made the Rolla Apartments sound like the building was just about to collapse. There were hints that its condition posed a safety hazard and health hazard to the poor old people that live there.
In the public hearing, Councilman Jung asked one of the Sansone company reps a question that went something like this, "If the building is in this bad a condition, how can we even allow our elderly citizens to continue living there another day?"
That right there was the moment where I wanted to laugh. I don't know Jung at all, but he's no dummy. He knows the whole "blighted" finding for any project involving free, or low-cost, government money is a bunch of hooey and horse crap. He was just having a little jocularity moment.
The company rep quickly defended the living conditions and the facility, and he offered to give any councilman a tour. He acknowledged that the building simply needed some major remodeling, and a careful reading of the blight study bears that out.
In other words, the Sansones and the St. Louis union have their hands held out to the government for some free, or at least low-cost, government money, because they don't want to spend $7 million of their own money. Let the taxpayers pick up the tab. There's plenty of tax money. That's the way business is done nowadays in America.
Rolla loves doing that kind of business. The council has assisted a major department store company in building a retail site here. The council recently helped a shopping center owner build a new supermarket and give a complete facelift to the whole center. The council is in the proecess of helping another St. Louis company build a new shopping center with Menard's anchoring it. In all of those cases, there was blight found, lots of blight, so tax money is needed to help the developers get a good return on their investment.
Heck, the council has declared the whole city blighted, as a retired Missouri University of Science and Technology professor, pointed out in the public hearing on this funding request for the Rolla Apartments.
I guess you could say that blight is just our thing here in Rolla. It's what we do, or, as the young people say, it's how we roll. I look for the the other landlords that I know of in Rolla to figure out how to take advantage of this and get on board with this trend.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Democrat, Republican, or Southerner?

I did not write this. I wish I could take credit for it, but I can't. It came to me in an email from someone who did not write it or know who did. It is just another anonymous gem from the internet. Enjoy it. And if you are the writer, may God bless you.

Are you a Democrat, a Republican, or a Southerner?
Here is a little test that will help you decide.
The answer can be found by posing the following question:
You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children .
Suddenly, a Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you,
screams obscenities, raises the knife, and charges at you . . .
You are carrying a Kimber 1911 cal. 45 ACP, and you are an expert shot.
You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.
What do you do?

*Democrat's Answer:*

   - Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
   - What is a Kimber 1911 cal. 45 ACP?
   - Does the man look poor or oppressed?
   - Is he really a terrorist? Am I guilty of profiling?
   - Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
   - Could we run away?
   - What does my wife think?
   - What about the kids?
   - Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of
   his hand?
   - What does the law say about this situation?
   - Does the pistol have appropriate safety built into it?
   - Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does
   this send to society and to my children?
   - Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
   - Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to
   wound me?
   - If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away
   while he was stabbing me?
   - Should I call 9-1-1?
   - Why is this street so deserted?
   - We need to raise taxes, have paint & weed day.
   - Can we make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage
   such behavior?
   - I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and try to come
   to a consensus.
   - This is all so confusing!

*Republican's Answer:*


*Southerner's Answer: *

Click . . . . . (Sounds of reloading)
Daughter: 'Nice grouping, Daddy!'
'Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?'
Son: 'Can I shoot the next one?!'
Wife: 'You ain't taking that to the Taxidermist!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Band and something unusual

Here are some more entries in the Edgar Springs Prairie Days parade held Saturday, August 13.
The band was at the beginning of the parade.
Near the end was this truck from a local garage, carrying a car that needs drastic work.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Allis Chalmers and Mahindra tractors in the Edgar Prairie Days Parade

Here are some more entries in the Edgar Springs Prairie Days parade held Saturday.

John Deere tractors in Edgar Prairie Days Parade

Here are some more entries in the Edgar Springs Prairie Days parade held Saturday.

McCormick Farmall tractors in Edgar Prairie Days Parade

Here are some more entries in the Edgar Springs Prairie Days parade held Saturday.

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Although I go to our regional medical center
for regular, primary care,
what that guy tells me every few months
doesn't seem very fair.

Back in December I visited,
and he said with a sigh,
“If you don't lose some weight,
you're simply going to die.”

“You're too dadgum fat,
your sugar is elevated.
“And the way you eat,
you're likely constipated.”

Well, I wasn't. Nevertheless, I gave up sugar
on January the third.
I quit candy, cookies, cake and pie.
Honest. I give you my word.

In May, I figured my main sugar number
would be way down,
but the doc looked over the report
and he gave a big frown.

“Your blood sugar level was 5.9 in December,
and now today it's up to 6.1.
You've lost a little weight,
but what else have you done?”

I told him about the sugar,
but he said that wasn't enough.
He said I should quit potatoes,
bread, pasta and other good stuff.

So I'm trying to cut starches
and hoping next time he doesn't say,
“Why don't you just give up
everything but water—and a One-A-Day?”

Monday, August 15, 2016

Vintage trucks and car in Edgar Prarie Days Parade

Here are some more entries in the Edgar Springs Prairie Days parade held Saturday, April 30.

Trump in the Edgar Prairie Days Parade

I am not sure if this float that was in the Edgar Prairie Days parade Saturday at Edgar Springs was pro- or anti-Donald.
The sign on the front of the trailer says "Make 'merica Great Again" and the side sign says "Trump for Farmers."
Inside is a goat.
Is the float saying that the goat farmers are for Trump or that Trump is a goat? I don't know, but I like Trump and I like goats, so I like this float.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ford tractors in Edgar Prairie Days

There were several tractors in the Edgar Prairie Days parade Saturday

Here are a couple of those tractors.

These are Fords, but there were others there, too, so keep an eye open and keep checking back here. I'll get more posted in the next few days. 

Buehler Park: Perfect site for a dog park

First today, let's take a look at a local issue: the possibility of a dog park in Rolla.
A couple of meetings ago, the Rolla City Council heard a presentation from Kent Bagnall, a prominent local businessman,  and a woman who I did not know. They laid out the need for a dog park and the cost of it. How it was to be financed was not clear to me; perhaps I dozed off when they were talking about that. No action was taken by the council. I'm not sure what the next step is to be. I didn't make much of it in the paper; perhaps I should have, but I figured if it meant anything, it would come back before the council. I haven't taken a look at Monday night's agenda; maybe it's coming back then.
The only controversy was the location. Bagnall mentioned Buehler Park as a possibility. During the public comment section of the meeting, local activist Tom "Yusha" Sager jumped up to complain about the possible location. He said Buehler Park is not an appropriate place for dogs, and then he described how that park near the junction of I-44 and Kingshighway (Business 63) is used by motorists as a rest stop.
Well, that seems to me to be a reason to put a dog park there. Owing to the number of motorists who use the park, along with the number of dog owners in Rolla, it needs to be a really big dog park. Motorists who travel with their dogs--and I'm sure there are many--will love having a dog park there. It would be nice if the city would use some of that tourism tax they give to the chamber of commerce to play with and use it to build a nice, lavish restroom facility for the motorists. Heck, use some of that transportation tax to pay for the dog park that will be used by so many travelers.
I think the city needs a dog park. I used to pooh-pooh that idea, but many transplants from cities that have dog parks have moved here and they want one here, too. I'm married to one of those transplants, and she really would like to have a dog park here. I don't mind having one, just so it doesn't cost tax money to build. Actually, we are using tax money to pay for Kohl's. We actually raised the sales tax to pay for the construction of the new Price Chopper and renovation of the Forum Plaza. We're going to raise the sales tax to pay for the new Menard's and other stores out by the traffic circles on Kingshighway. I don't want to raise taxes to build a dog park, but I don't know why we couldn't make the case that it is for travelers and use that tourism tax money.
That's why the dog park must be at Buehler Park.

Now, for a comment on a national issue: I'm about sick of people who are so-called conservatives telling me that they are not going to vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, so no one  else should either.
Someone very close to me has declared that he will never vote for Trump, and he doesn't understand how any Christian can do so. I'm not a very good Christian, but I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he, Jesus, died as an atonement for my sins and rose again and then ascended into heaven. He's coming back to judge me. Maybe he will judge me harshly for supporting Donald Trump for president in 2016.
"Lord," I will say. "Let me explain it to you." Then I'll tell my savior this:
We have been given a democratic republic by our Founding Fathers. We have the opportunity to vote for our officials, and the one who gets the most votes wins. We have developed into a two-party system, so one of the two nominees will win. If you usually vote, but you miss one election and don't vote at all, you are giving an advantage to the nominee of the party you usually oppose. If you usually vote, but you vote for a third party, you are doing the same, helping the candidate in the major party you would usually oppose.
So the self--righteous Republicans who say they are not voting at all or who are voting for a third party are helping Hillary Clinton. I guess you could say they are giving her either a half vote or maybe a full vote by not voting for her major opponent, Donald Trump. Now how righteous is that? We know from news reports that the nation's law enforcement officers think she was at least negligent in her handling of her electronic mail service. That is enough to get either a non-com or an officer in the military kicked out, maybe court-martialed. Why does she get a pass? How is voting for her, or failing to vote against her, being a good steward?
What righteous candidate is there? The libertarian? Libertarians believe in the absolute right to abortions and drugs. Evangelicals who oppose same-sex marriage because it is a sin but declare they will vote for the libertarian candidate who believes that it is a right are being hypocrites if they declare Trump is too sinful to support.
So, summarizing, I have been given two choices, Trump and Hillary.  The third-party candidates are non-factors to me. I am a citizen of this nation, and the right to vote has been won for me by people who gave their lives. I am not going to piss that away. I will cast a vote for president, based on the choices laid before me.
"So, Lord," I will say on Judgment Day. "I voted for Trump because he might have been offensive but he had not done anything as bad as Hillary.
"And, Lord," I will add. "Christians who refuse to vote are like the Quakers who refused to help with the American Revolution because they were pacifists, but who took advantage of all the rights and benefits of citizenship in the new country afterwards, rights won for them by the blood of other people. That is hypocritical."

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Saturday in an Ozarks (real America) town

Kids wait eagerly for the parade—and candy!

Edgar Springs, which was the nation's population center for 10 years a couple of decades back, celebrated its annual Edgar Prairie Days festival Thursday through Sunday. There were a number of activities on the first two days, but
Here in the Ozarks we appreciate the police and veterans.
on Saturday there was a parade.
Fair royalty smiles (well, some of them) to the crowd.
Children lined the route early
for they knew there would be candy thrown their way once the parade began.
Adults did a lot of visiting, running back and forth across the road to hug, shake hands and talk to people they hadn't seen in awhile.
You see, for Edgar Prairie Days, people who grew up in Edgar Springs and then moved away for work come home to renew friendships and get a taste and feel of America.
As you can see from these photos, the police led the parade, serving as an escort, followed by the VFW Color Guard. Here in the heart of the nation, we appreciate our veterans, the flag and the nation for which it stands and for which they served.
Then, of course, every festival has to have royalty, and the royalty rode in the back of a pick-up, smiling and waving to the folks along the way. The Little Mr. and Miss Edgar Springs Pageant was held Thursday night.
Check back in at The Ozarks Almanac for some more Edgar Prairie Days Parade pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Offended? Let's ban some more things so you will feel better

There was news this past week about a complaint filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by a man who didn't like a co-worker's cap. The cap was emblazoned with the Gadsden flag, which is a drawing of a coiled snake and the words, "Don't Tread on Me." The Gadsden flag made the complainant uncomfortable and scared. He said the cap's message was racist, because the flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden during the Revolutionary War, and he was a slave owner, as were many men who founded and fought for this country.

This is an extension of the anti-Confederate flag outcry, more oversimplification of history for the oversimpletons. It is an effort to stamp out American history. Look for more to come, and keep in mind that the Stars and Stripes was once the flag of a slave-holding nation. It likely flew on the slave ships owned by wealthy New England traders. Even during the War for Southern Independence there were slaves in the North. They will eventually get to that flag, but first things first.

I haven't heard whether the EEOC has made a ruling, but I presume the sycophantic Southern Baptists are already at work drafting a resolution against the Gadsden flag. The Baptists have banned the Confederate flag on church , including certain cemeteries in the South where Confederate dead await Resurrection Day, because it is a sin to offend other people. They use I Corinthinas 10:23-24 as their scriptural support: It says: " 'I have the right to do anything,' you say—but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything'—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others."

Because I believe scripture and want to follow it, I got to thinking about what other things the EEOC should prohibit in the workplace and the Southern Baptists should ban on church property. To the Confederate flag and the Gadsden flag, let's add these:

1. Pork, because it offends Muslims. Moreover, some bad people have been reportedly throwing packages of bacon at the front doors of mosques. That is undoubtedly a hate crime in the modern United States. Surely, that's enough to call for an end to pulled pork sandwiches, pork and beans and sausage biscuits. No Southern Baptist church should ever allow ham at a carry-in dinner ever again.

2. Barbecue grills and smokers, because these offend and frighten climate change believers. According to this new religion, whether you use charcoal or propane, you are burning a fossil fuel and that is thawing out the ice caps. If you truly love your family, your neighbor and the Lord, you will never serve them another charred hot dog.

3. The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, George Washington, and the U.S. flag, because all of this American history stuff has slavery attached to it, which makes it frightening and offensive.

4. The pledge of allegiance and the national anthem, because love of country is idolatry, according to some sects, and besides, we're globalists, and these relics of the past promote nationalism, which is now a hate crime.

5. White cops, because any time they defend themselves, they hurt black people. In fact, after reading the new Black Lives Matter list of demands, I conclude that we need to do away with law and order entirely because law and order is racism.

6. Any definition of marriage as being only one man and one woman. Marriage should be between anyone that loves, such as two men, two women, two couples or a crowd of fans at the football stadium. I love my sweet little baby, Gracie, and she loves me, so modernists would approve of a marriage for us. Love wins, they say. It doesn't matter that Gracie is a standard poodle.

7. Missionaries from the U.S. to other nations who talk about Jesus Christ and the cross he died on to take away our sin, because their presence implies that the religions of Africa and Asia are not good enough for God or man. That preaching is offensive to Buddhists, Hindus and headhunters.

Oh, my, the list could go on and on: Southern accents, "Dixie," Dixieland jazz, Dixie cups, hunting and fishing, fast cars, guns--there is just so much offensiveness that needs the attention of the federal government and the Southern Baptists these days.

I am going to think more about what I can do today while I cook some pork on my charcoal grill and watch my Confederate flag in the breeze.