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The “wall” between Mexico and the United States, yet another dumb ass dividing line

The “wall” is about the stupidest political argument I have ever heard. One side says “we need a wall or the country is going to end.” The other side says “that’s the dumbest thing ever.”

They are both wrong…Ok it may be one of the dumbest ideas ever, but our current immigration system is a total mess but let’s deal with one thing at a time.

I’m going to explain why both sides are being giant babies, so bear with me.

First, anyone who says the wall will solve illegal immigration (yes, that’s what it is) doesn’t understand the problem. The overwhelming majority of people in this nation illegally overstayed a visa of some type.

Second, for the group that is pro wall wants to know why it hasn’t been finished because Trump has been in office a while now.

Ok, it’s a 2,000 mile long project. Has anyone seen how long it takes to get blueprints, permits, layouts, and decisions on placement to build a 6,000 square foot home? Something like a year.

Yes, a wall is easier, but let’s play this out. I replaced a fence at my house. At the time we lived in a house that was around 1/3 of an acre. It took a week for permitting, a few days for supplies and 2 or 2.5 weeks later we had a fence. That was a 6’ privacy fence. This is a 2,000 mile wall across a large array of types of geographic changes. It isn’t going to be up overnight. Planning along will take (my engineering background coming out) more than a year. Then money, contracts, supplies, this thing is a 5-7 year project at least, and that’s in a hurry.

Plus, do you really need a full up really expensive wall across that entire border or can some of it be done with state of the art sensors? What environmental or business impacts will the wall have? Lots of questions to be answered.

Ok, for those that are anti-wall they usually fall in the category of amnesty for “undocumented workers” or “immigration for all” or whatever you want to call them.

Also a really bad idea. Yes, other countries have immigration systems that are managed differently from us. Every time I hear the “let’s just do it like this other nation” does I cringe.

Why?

It’s always some nation of 10,000,000 residents (smaller than NYC) that is being referenced. Managing something the size of the United States is different than dealing with New York City. It is much more complex. Immigration needs to be done in an orderly fashion, and we can’t just be the place where you show up and automatically are granted all kinds of rights, privileges and benefits.

Is the system broken? Yes.

In some ways immigrating is far harder than it should be.

Does that mean we stop all sorts of checks, as some people say?

Hell no. We need to know who is here, why they are coming here and what they intend to do once here.

In short, the wall is just another way we are being played. We have been told to look at this wall thing, pay attention to that. Both sides of politicians are doing it. Those that are pro and anti wall want you to focus on that.

Why?

Because there are things they aren’t doing in their day to day jobs that they should.

Ask them to focus on a balanced budget or fixing what they screwed up in our health insurance system. That might be worth doing. But wait…the wall…someone knelt….vote for me…donate.

That is what we will hear. As we approach the mid term we will hear more about what divides us, and they will try to drive wedges, rather than about a solid plan for the future.

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Former NFL guys made me think – protests and a divided nation

I have the good fortune of working with some people I really respect. One of those is a retired NFL player who now does sales and marketing. He has introduced me to several other former players, all of whom are now in business for themselves in one form or another, but that is a story for another day.

The interesting thing that seems to hold true, almost to a man, is the question of these protests going on around the league is that they view them as a massive distraction.

At best I have been told some things that say they (the protestors) made their point, now let’s move on. At worst it has been that these guys are going to screw up the future of the league thanks to the dip in ratings and the protests now going on with people boycotting the league on both sides of the discussion.

These things have made me think. Not about the NFL, but about what the NFLs actions say about us as a nation.

There is one side that wants to exercise their freedom of speech, and as an army vet, I say, more power to you. I won’t do it, but you choose what works for you.

On another side, there are people saying “if you don’t stop it you are fired.” I get that also. If I am a team owner and you want to do something while at work I disagree with, that ruins the value of my product, it is my right to fire you.

On another side there are those saying I won’t tune in while these protests are going on because those guys are just babies…This is a free country and we should celebrate those that gave us that freedom and stand up and respect the flag. Ok, despite the blatant contradictions about freedom and do what I tell you in this crowd, I totally respect their right to change the channel. I don’t like it when they yell at me to do the same thing, but hey, again…their right, and my right to walk away and ignore them.

Then there is the protest. It has transformed from something I understood to something I don’t. Is there police brutality? Yes. Is it every single cop on the street…hell no.

But we are so divided as a nation there is no more grey area, it is all black and white.

Those that are anti-protestors and taking a knee during the anthem seem to indicate the police can do no wrong, and we should respect them, and the veterans no matter what…I disagree with that.

There are the protestors, and now some of the people behind them are now painting all police with a broad brush and saying they are all wrong and we should randomly shoot, kill, be against, or whatever those there to protect us….I disagree with that.

I think it says a lot as a nation that those of us that think both sides are wrong are barely allowed to speak, for when we do both sides shout at us about freedoms and how if we disagree with their point, and their side we are stupid and need to get on board now.

We need to be less divided as a nation, and I’d like to see that protest take place at some point. But in order for that protest to happen the two sides would have to agree on something and that doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon.

Was the Zodiac Killer insane, or just like you and me? Or was it both?

I think that humans rarely understand ourselves. Even trained psychologists don’t fully understand the underlying motivations of some humans. I also believe we are all very similar in our desires and thoughts. Some people are better at controlling the evil than others, but we all have the thoughts (from time to time).

The older I get the more I believe that serial killers and the so-called insane give us insight into the human condition and thought process. Those insane merely don’t control the evil the way well adjusted people do.

Before someone goes crazy I don’t want to become a serial killer, I really just want to understand people better and I find serial killers (especially the Zodiac who never got caught) very interesting. Mainly because he had to be a normal person and blend in with society or he would have been caught. He killer a large number of people across more than a decade.

The first letter he sent to authorities in attempt to get credit for his work. So, my theory is that serial killers are typically people who didn’t get the credit they felt they deserved in one way or another throughout their lives. Let’s dive into this first letter of his and see what the hell it is I am talking about.

Zodiac is talking about the first person (a woman) that he killed.

SHE WAS YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL BUT NOW SHE IS BATTERED AND DEAD. SHE IS NOT
THE FIRST AND SHE WILL NOT BE THE LAST I LAY AWAKE NIGHTS THINKING ABOUT MY
NEXT VICTIM.

He found a woman he liked, he found beautiful, and for some reason he felt he couldn’t have her in his life in a meaningful fashion, so he fixed that and made her a more permanent part of his life. She was now “his.”

MAYBE SHE WILL BE THE BEAUTIFUL BLOND THAT BABYSITS NEAR THE LITTLE STORE AND WALKS DOWN THE DARK ALLEY EACH EVENING ABOUT SEVEN.

He describes the type of person he wanted to kill next. He was describing the type of woman he found attractive. As killing someone etches them into your brain he wanted this type of woman etched. He also mentions walking around seven in the evening. So, he is either waiting for sundown, or he has a job that keeps him busy during the day (likely both).

OR MAYBE SHE WILL BE THE SHAPELY BLUE EYED BROWNETT THAT SAID NO WHEN I ASKED HER FOR A DATE IN HIGH SCHOOL.

Speaking as a guy, when you are younger, asking a woman out takes courage. Being told no isn’t a big deal, but the way some women go about it just messes with your mind. Perhaps some woman who fits this description laughed at him and recalled it for years, and it bothered him, and perhaps made him have this type of woman in his mind because of that memory.

BUT MAYBE IT WILL NOT BE EITHER. BUT I SHALL CUT OFF HER FEMALE PARTS AND DEPOSIT THEM FOR THE WHOLE CITY TO SEE. SO DON’T MAKE IT TO EASY FOR ME. KEEP YOUR SISTERS, DAUGHTERS, AND WIVES OFF THE STREETS AND ALLEYS.

Not sure what he is going for here, but some men are obsessed with female body parts. Perhaps he just took it to an extreme.

MISS BATES WAS STUPID. SHE WENT TO THE SLAUGHTER LIKE A LAMB. SHE DID NOT PUT UP A STRUGGLE. BUT I DID. IT WAS A BALL. I FIRST PULLED THE MIDDLE WIRE FROM THE DISTRIBUTOR. THEN I WAITED FOR HER IN THE LIBRARY AND FOLLOWED HER OUT AFTER ABOUT TWO MINUTS.

He is complimenting how smart this made him feel. Perhaps throughout his life people told him he wasn’t smart enough to do certain things and he has no self confidence in this area. This could be a way of him working on that issue.

THE BATTERY MUST HAVE BEEN ABOUT DEAD BY THEN. I THEN OFFERED TO HELP. SHE WAS THEN VERY WILLING TO TALK TO ME. I TOLD HER THAT MY CAR WAS DOWN THE STREET AND THAT I WOULD GIVE HER A LIFT HOME. WHEN WE WERE AWAY FROM THE LIBRARY WALKING, I SAID IT WAS ABOUT TIME. SHE ASKED ME “ABOUT TIME FOR WHAT”. I SAID IT WAS ABOUT TIME FOR HER TO DIE.

She obviously knew him in some way, but she worked at a library so she met lots of people.

I GRABBED HER AROUND THE NECK WITH MY HAND OVER HER MOUTH AND MY OTHER HAND WITH A SMALL KNIFE AT HER THROAT. SHE WENT VERY WILLINGLY. HER BREAST FELT VERY WARM AND FIRM UNDER MY HANDS, BUT ONLY ONE THING WAS ON MY MIND.

Again his obsession with female body parts is obvious.

MAKING HER PAY FOR THE BRUSH OFFS THAT SHE HAD GIVEN ME DURING THE YEARS PRIOR.

Maybe he had attempted to flirt with her, and she refused him. Maybe she didn’t even realize he was doing it, but for some reason he felt she had been unfriendly. Maybe she was just shy and didn’t engage in a conversation but she had obviously been (in his mind) unkind to her.

SHE DIED HARD. SHE SQUIRMED AND SHOOK AS I CHOAKED HER, AND HER LIPS TWICHED. SHE LET OUT A SCREAM ONCE AND I KICKED HER HEAD TO SHUT HER UP. I PLUNGED THE KNIFE INTO HER AND IT BROKE. I THEN FINISHED THE JOB BY CUTTING HER THROAT.

She made him feel pain (emotional) so he was going to be sure she felt pain. He was angry.

I AM NOT SICK. I AM INSANE.

BUT THAT WILL NOT STOP THE GAME. THIS LETTER SHOULD BE PUBLISHED FOR ALL TO READ IT.

Perhaps he is insane, perhaps it was a temporary insanity as he obviously blended in well with society. I am surprised some conspiracy theory person hasn’t said he was a composite of various CIA operators designed to keep the public looking for something while they did something else they didn’t want to public to focus on, like some kind of elaborate false flag.

IT JUST MIGHT SAVE THAT GIRL IN THE ALLEY. BUT THAT’S UP TO YOU. IT WILL BE ON YOUR CONSCIENCE. NOT MINE. YES, I DID MAKE THAT CALL TO YOU ALSO. IT WAS JUST A WARNING. BEWARE…I AM STALKING YOUR GIRLS NOW. 

  1. CHIEF OF POLICE

ENTERPRISE

He wants contest. He views this whole thing as a game he is playing.

In short, was Zodiac someone known to people? Was he the quiet guy in class? Was he someone’s coworker, the guy that always showed up for that after work beer. One thing is certain, in ways he was just a normal person. In others, he lost control of his demons from time to time, but were they his demons or were they the demons of every human walking the planet.

Zodiac-confession

Political Election Cycles Suck for People In The Middle!!!

It is that time again…election time. When those of us with more centrist leanings get pummeled by both sides and called names for not immediately falling in some party line and acting like a zombie. We aren’t zombies, we just believe both sides have a point. Although interestingly both sides try to shame us into running their way or “we are unthinking.”

There is the far right who says everything the President does is perfect, no human ever elected as a “true” Republican can do anything wrong, they then perform a purity test on people in their own party and label some as RINOs (Republican In Name Only).

Then there is the far left, who does a similar purity test, wants to launch a zillion investigations every single time someone at the other end of the political spectrum burps without prior written permission and tells anyone not voting their way they are stupid (ok both party extremes do that one).

Doubt me? Below are a few random twitter pulls from each side.

Kishwar TweetMoore Tweet

Now, then there are people that realize both sides of the political aisle have some issues correct, and some wrong. There are a few elected officials that feel this same way. They can’t say it in public or their “base” voters will go absolutely nuts and throw things at them in public.

One thing is certain. Political election time is supposed to be a time when we all come together to pick the leadership of this great nation. Yes, I believe this nation is great now, has been great before, and remains so. We don’t need to make it great again, and we don’t need to fundamentally shift our beliefs to remain great.

We abolished slavery. Are race relations perfect? No.

We have a messed up immigration system, it isn’t perfect.

We certainly have issues with the funding of schools and other stuff. We aren’t perfect, but we are pretty good, and we will continue to improve. In ways we are great, in ways we aren’t. That doesn’t make either side of the political aisle less American.

What I urge all politicians to do this cycle is to reach out to all voters. Hear their concerns, and act on them. Don’t only discuss problems, please work together to solve them.

Also, political supporters…stop the purity tests, and above all end the damn name calling. It is getting really old.

Leonard Cohen was brilliant as a songwriter and political predictor

The older I get the more I am certain that a very select group of songwriters tried to warn us about the direction of the world. This time we turn to Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson. Their song “Everybody Knows” is one of those timeless songs that when you hear it, you say, oh that one…and sing along.

Certain pop culture tunes knock me out with their ability to warn us of the direction of politics. This one is no exception.

 

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows

 

This is what some politicians want us to think. The War on Terror is over and we lost. First, that war is not now nor will it ever be over. Humans have wanted to terrorize other humans for many thousands of years. It isn’t ending soon. Those same politicians want you to think that without their help you will always be poor, and never rich, unless they tax that rich guy back into the same condition as poor people. Notice that political discussion, at least these days, is so rarely about building anything up, it is about tearing someone else down.

 

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long-stem rose
Everybody knows

 

Translation? The other guy did it, and lied about it. He hit the giant floating chunk of ice, he’s to blame…Here is a tiny treat to hold you over. Note when you see political ads there is rarely a solution offered, but there are a lot of complains about how that other guy sucks.

 

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
Ah, give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

 

Translation? I’m the one that loves you, I’m the one that cares about you. Send me into office and I’ll be sure to send you something in return.

 

And everybody knows that it’s now or never
Everybody knows that it’s me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah, when you’ve done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it’s moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

 

How often in modern political campaigns do you hear that “this time if we don’t win it’s over, the world is coming to an end and the nation will never be the same again.” I’m tired of that. We will still be a nation, but we are always a nation of change.  We were once a nation of slavery, we no longer have it. See, we changed, and we didn’t end. We can and will change again and we will be better tomorrow than we are today.

There are a few more verses to the song, but I think you see the point. We are 90 days away from a mid term election. I for one am really sick of the ads already. It is all about how this guy is to blame for this problem, and only I can fix it. So I’ll make that other guy pay so….you see the point.

I urge everyone to look for the candidate espousing ideas, and not the guy looking to blame someone else, then take something from one person and hand it to another. Look for the candidate that wants to build things up, not tear them down.

The Hardy Boys Mysteries

The first Hardy Boys Mysteries were published around 90 years ago. I know, I was shocked too.

image1 (10)I fondly remember reading some of these as a kid, and promising my 2nd grade self I would read “all of them.” I think somewhere around the 4th grade I forgot about that promise and stopped reading them, but I got through many.

I now have 2 boys at home of my own, and they are about the right age to read these. So one of them picked up the first one and is making his way through, which prompted me to read a few again so we could talk about it.

Yes, the language is dated, no I don’t have the original ones I have the updated ones that took out much of the racism in the fist set. But, one thing struck me pretty solidly.

Boys never change. The Hardy brothers like action and adventure. They also have to figure out how to balance school, girls, sports, and their hobby of solving mysteries. They do all of this while hanging out with a group of friends that could have been my practical joking bizarre group of guys I knew in high school.

Yes, in some ways the books are dated. In other ways they really aren’t. Highly recommended for the modern generation (and can now be gotten on eBook).

I hope these books will be enjoyed for generations to come, and in the picture is one of my father’s copies. So we are on at least the third generation of Imholt boys to read these things! Maybe someday it will be four. Only time will tell.

Hardy Boys #2 The House On The Cliff

I have boys who are about the right age to start reading The Hardy Boys. The older son is reading the first one and claims “it’s a great book, lots of action.” So, for nostalgic reasons, and to talk to the 3rd grader about it I picked them up to read along with him.

First, the language the characters use between one another is dated, there can be no hiding that. That and the stories (mysteries) are somehow solved by the boys in giant leaps based on assumptions with almost no clues.

But remember, these weren’t written for adults. They were written for kids. They were great to get kids to think. My son is starting to try to figure out how to solve the mystery before the Hardy Boys. But, the best part is, he is excited to read.

Don’t worry about them being dated (unless you have the originals and then there is some racism taken out in the later versions). They are good books for kids, and they do nudge the kids to read more. Give it a shot! You have the recommendation of at least one 3rd grader.

image1

Avengers Infinity War – Part 1 finally saw it

Ok, so long after everyone else saw the thing I finally watched Avengers, Infinity War Part 1. It was cute, but basically it was every Avengers movie you have already seen. There are spectacular CGI things, tons of cool action and a story-line that I could not possibly care less about and instantly forgot.

There were some short comings outside of that. It had so many “main characters” in it that none of them was around much. So if you like Spiderman, or Iron Man you sill see them, but not much.

There were potential things in this movie that I was upset didn’t get more time. Like the interaction between Rocket and Thor had the potential to be hilarious but was so brief it fell flat. Spiderman working with Doctor Strange, again high potential and not there much.

They were so focused on just how many different people you could see throw a punch, or fire a gun that you barely get to see any story line in depth. You just assume all the characters know everything.

Even Iron Man’s delivery of “what’s going on” when Spiderman first shows up basically said it all. It was flat, brief, and read like it came off a power point slide in an executive briefing.

In short, I enjoyed the movie while I was watching it, wasn’t upset that I watched it, but I’m not going to sit down and watch it again anytime soon.

Orange is the New Black – Season 6

 

551274-orange-new-black3_430x573I have been watching Orange is the New Black since around season 3. I power watched the first few, then waited for Season 4, which I enjoyed. Season 5 not as much, and now Season 6 is over.

The point of the show finally hit me. They are now trying to make me feel sorry for everyone (with rare exception) in the prison system. Rarely is anyone there for something they intended to do. It was always “a victim of circumstance.”

I get it, at some level that is true. At another, everyone there in prison (yes even on the show) broke the law.

Now in Season 6 they are trying to convince me (even more overtly than before) that everyone from the guards, to the people building the prisons to everyone except the rare 1 or 2 people who work there at the prison are just as guilty of breaking the laws as those in the prison.

The only challenge is, that isn’t reality. Netflix wants us to believe it is, but it isn’t. There are criminals in this world, and they should be dealt with. If a guard is smuggling in drugs, he should be behind bars. If prisoners are abused, guess what.

But, if you are there, and you did perform the services of a drug mule, even if you got caught 2 weeks before the statute of limitations was going to come into play, well…guess what. The law is the law. If you don’t like the laws find a way to petition to get them changed. Until then, obey the law and you won’t have to see how you look in orange, and determine what it takes to smuggle in your favorite recreational drug.

Flash Fame, is being known or “followed” all that matters now?

balloonThere was a time in this nation when being famous wasn’t the goal of virtually everyone. There was a time when people wanted a decent job, the ability to support a family, a promotion and a nice retirement. More and more it is about getting a camera pointed at you, followers, ‘likes,’ or some other such validation given by people that will never be known to that person receiving the accolade.

 I’m not sure when it started. I remember when I noticed it, and said “some people.” It was back at the balloon boy incident. If you don’t remember, google it, but this was a particularly peculiar event. A family built some “weather balloon” for some unknown reason and filled it with helium. It had a payload capability underneath it and the balloon somehow got free. Their claim was that their youngest son was in it. National attention was drawn to this balloon. Helicopters were called out, first responders, news crews mobilized. People from all over the nation watched.

Well the kid wasn’t in the balloon, the parents told him to hide in the attic and wait, “for the show.” The boy was discovered safe before long, and the truth was known within days. The cost to the public was in the millions…all for a PR stunt this family wanted to use to simply be famous. I should mention they had unsuccessfully pitched their own reality show prior to this event.

Fast forward to today. You have Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and I’m sure a host of others I haven’t even heard of.

When I was out with kids the other day I saw someone taking that “impromptu” Instagram photo. They had lights, a hair and makeup mirror, three cameras (all with a camera person), and a “manager” keeping the public back, in a public place because the backdrop was almost perfect. When I said something I was told “oh she’s a social media personality, follow her she’s great.” I was sucked in, I looked the person up.

I will not mention who she was, but I assure you, you have not heard of her. She specializes in the “look where I am, I just happened to snap this pic” kind of stuff. Grand total following….907. Not 907,000 a total of 907. I personally know scientists with a greater following.

It struck me that this person (or someone on her behalf) was spending real money trying to make her famous.

Then I thought about it some more. I did some looking on a few job sites. Some actually said outside sales people must have a social media following of more than xxxx followers (xxxx changed based on the job).

I thought about it again. As a guy who has published a few books, I have noticed that some publishers and agents will only talk to you if you have a massive social media following already.

Then I looked at the books on my shelf. Decent writers are now ghost writing dead guys (Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum). All because no one will take a risk on a not famous person and try to build that fan base. You have to be famous.

We have really shifted where people, companies, news organizations, and even the voting public don’t seem to care about common sense, or even finding that up coming writer or actor. It is all about flash fame.

We need to get back to normal, and sooner or later this whole thing will crash. It is only a matter of when.