Hostages to Technology

Some days I feel like we are, in many ways, hostages to modern technology. About a month ago I wrote a post about “Modern Conveniences” lamenting how modern technology makes us intellectually and physically lazy. Since then I have been upgrading some technology in my own life. As I posted in my “Absence” article, I have upgraded from a tablet to a laptop. I intentionally chose an older operating platform for my laptop, because I don’t particularly care for how Windows 10 works. The problem with that decision is that technology is moving so fast that it is hard to find support for the older system.

I can find all kinds of articles with information about issues that I am having, but many are several years old. Most are at least two and some as much as seven years old and in today’s techno world, that is bordering on ancient. Plus being of the age that I am many of the terms that are used don’t really make sense to me. Now I am not completely computer illiterate, but I am no programmer either.  I know just enough about computer software and hardware to be dangerous.

Even with reasonably current technologies I find that you cannot do very much without using the internet. You want to find a price on something, go to the website. You want to ask a question about an item, go to the website. Often you are taken to some other company’s website (click the link). Or they want you to download their app, so they can then pester the living daylights out of you with the modern equivalent of junk mail. If you get on their junk mail list it might cause your computer to get sick (a virus or worm or malware). So then you have to protect yourself (computer) with yet another program or service, and then you are on their junk mail list too.

I heard someone recently quote a government official; he said, in relation to internet security, “Well they (meaning the public) don’t HAVE to use the Internet”. Technically that is true, but EVERYDAY we are literally being forced to use the internet. Many employers do not accept applications except on-line. Some employers do not issue “Paychecks”, they only do electronic deposits, either to your bank account or issue a “Pay-card” to the employee, where you can withdraw your money from an account they set up for you. The problem with that arrangement is that you are limited to the number of withdrawals before it starts costing you money and you were not given a choice. Many employers are not even sending pay records by mail anymore, you have to get it on-line.

What happens when somebody in the “Techno-world” decides to change the rules and you cannot get whatever it is you need from the internet without paying for the privilege? Whether it is your pay, simple information, or a service that used to be free. Is that not more or less being held hostage. Technology is holding something you need or want until you comply with their demands. If you happen to be techno-savvy enough yourself, you might get around them and get what you desire. But the AVERAGE AMERICAN CITIZEN might not be so lucky. As I am finding out in my little corner of this ever advancing world of technology.

Alien or Immigrant?

I find it very disheartening that supposedly very educated people (in both the media and public office at ALL levels) cannot bring themselves to be honest with the American public, who are we speaking about exactly when discussing the “undocumented immigrant” or the “illegal alien “.

According to the dictionary (several actually) an immigrant is someone who intends to take up permanent residence somewhere. This definition is not specific to any country, culture or region.  So according to this definition an “undocumented or illegal”  immigrant would be one and the same.  They all come here intending to stay permanently!

However there is a very different legal definition which is applied by the United States government.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS – which is a part of the IRS) offer a list of  “Immigration Terms and Definitions Involving Aliens” on their website (, which list (in this order); Alien (an individual who is NOT (emphasis added) a U. S. citizen or U. S. National.), U. S. National (An individual who owes his sole allegiance to the United States), U. S. Citizen ( we have several definitions including; 1: An individual born in the United States; 2: An individual whose parent is a U. S. citizen.*; 3: A former alien who has been naturalized as a U. S. citizen; 4: An individual born in Puerto Rico; 5: An individual born in Guam; 6: An individual born in the U. S. Virgin Islands), Compacts of Free Association (the following countries are independent republics, which were once part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific administered by the United States on behalf of the United Nations)** – Federated States of Micronesia – Republic of Marshall Islands – Republic of Palau, Immigrant (an Alien who has been granted the right  by the USCIS to reside permanently in the United States for a variety of reasons (which can be found in the USCIS documentation), Nonimmigrant (An alien who has been granted the right by the USCIS to reside temporarily (emphasis added) in the United States. (also for a variety of reasons listed in the USCIS documentation) and Illegal Alien (also known as an “Undocumented Alien”,  is an alien who has entered the United States illegally and is deportable if apprehended, OR an alien who entered the United States legally but who has fallen”out of status” and is deportable.

The reason I went through the exercise above is to prove that there is no such thing as an “Undocumented Immigrant”.  A person either comes here as a “Documented Alien” (on a Visa or other approved status document, if they stay past the expiration of said document, they become illegal),  an “Illegal Alien” or under the “Compacts of Free Association (limited the three specific countries) .  So the media personalities and politicians referenced in the the first paragraph are either intentionally trying to mislead the public, by insinuating that these aliens have some legal immigration status, or they are so grossly inept that they should not hold their positions. You decide which is most accurate.

* Under the pChild Citizenship Act they give several examples of who would be considered a child of a citizen

** There is quite an explanation that goes with this, but the premise is that according to Treaty  citizens of these Republics are afforded the same rights as U. S. citizens.

Hope for our future

We in America are about to see another round of new college graduates in May.  Now in some ways that is a troublesome thing, because many of these graduates will be coming from schools with a decidedly liberal leaning faculty and curriculum. Some schools less so, but very few from decidedly conservative institutions of higher learning . This means that many of the graduates will have been greatly influenced with a progressive political slant, while some will be less liberal but not truly conservative.

The hope for our future, as America, is those few graduates like my two sons-in-law that are part of this year’s group.  Though they come from dramatically different backgrounds and family histories they do share a common attribute.  They think for themselves!  While one was probably always a conservative, the other came from a decidedly liberal background. It wasn’t until he came into our family and realized that the values we held in our daily lives were what he had wanted in his own life. Then he figured out that he was probably a conservative at heart.

We as a family are truly proud of both these young men for the effort and perseverance that they have shown in pursuing their individual degrees, but I want them to know how honored I am that they are free thinking proud conservative college graduates.  They represent the best our American way of life has to offer. Reward for effort, the ability to resist progressive academic influence and most of all, self-determination.

I am truly proud of you and feel blessed to have you as a part of our family.

Comey Crisis

As you may be aware, President Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey.

Oh my, what a shock!  Stop the presses!  Donald Trump has fired someone!


First of all the FBI is part of the Justice Department, which is under the direct control of the Executive Branch (the President), which means he has absolute discretion as to who works there.  As the top executive he (the President) can fire ANYONE in this branch of government.  He does not need permission from the Congress, the Democrats, the Republicans or anyone else.  The President does not have absolute discretion on who is hired in top positions, nominees have to be approved by the Senate to be hired, but the President does not need the approval of the Senate to fire them.

Now let’s review a little recent history.  President Trump has had more opposition in getting his nominees for key governmental positions through the congressional approval process than any president in recent history.  Part of that approval process was the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and consequently the Deputy Attorney General , Rod Rosenstein.

Most folks that follow politics know that Jeff Sessions was Donald Trump’s very first high profile supporter.  Jeff Sessions almost immediately after being approved as Attorney General, rescued himself from any involvement in the Trump / Russia investigation.  But because the Democrats in the Senate delayed the Sessions appointment as long as they possibly could, it also delayed the approval of his deputy, a certain Mr. Rod Rosenstein.

Mr. Rosenstein did not face the stonewalling and slow walk process that Jeff Sessions did.  As a matter of fact he received overwhelming support in the Senate.  He was approved by a vote of 94 to 6.  Maybe because he served in the Justice Department in several capacities under the Clinton administration and continued to serve under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations in various high level government posts.

His appointment to Deputy Attorney General took place on April 25th, approximately three weeks ago.  Many of the Democratic senators, Chuck Schemer, Dianne Feinstein, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren to name a few, all voted for his approval.  And had made many positive comments on his qualifications for the position.

I point this out because it was Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, not Jeff Sessions, that wrote the memo recommending that FBI Director Comey be dismissed.  Granted Attorney General Sessions attached a letter agreeing with the recommendation to the memo, that his subordinate Rosenstein wrote, before it was submitted to the President for action. Now all the Democrats mentioned in the paragraph above are claiming that this is some politically motivated move on  the part of the president.  If the very person that they ALL were saying, just three weeks ago, was a supremely qualified candidate to step into the shoes of the Attorney General, (who in their opinion) should distance himself from any investigation of Trump and the Russians, is recommending Comey’s removal and they now disapprove of that recommendation.  Doesn’t that show the hypocrisy of the Democrats as a whole?

How much does it take for Average American Citizens to see the underhanded and double dealing motives of the Democratic party?

Respect, or Lack thereof

We were in church this morning and something struck me that I have noticed before.  However today it just seemed more acute to me.  I thought about the respect, or lack thereof, people give each other.

A couple of pews in front of us were three young people, a young man and two girls. They were probably in their early to maybe mid-teens. They certainly were not being blatantly disrespectful, but they were playing and giggling among themselves. Then the young girl in the middle decided to apply eye make-up to her friend, all while the music was playing on stage. Then this same girl was on her cell phone during the sermon, not talking mind you, but doing something on it (texting, playing a game, whatever) and not respecting the pastor who was giving the sermon, by simply listening to what he was saying. It occurred to me that in this day and age we are not teaching our youth that they need to show respect.  They are not getting the lesson that to expect respect, you must first give respect to others.   We as parents, grandparents and mentors are failing them by not demanding that they give respect before expecting it in return.

Later in the sermon there were some people speaking rather loudly in the congregation while the pastor was trying to make his presentation. Apparently some folks nearby said something to them, (We were in the balcony and this exchange took place on the main floor out of our direct site) and they decided to leave.  I am not sure what exactly was said but there seemed to be some cause for concern because some members of or church (off duty police officers) were alerted to the event and went outside to see if there was anything going on that might be cause for alarm.  Apparently during this commotion one of the people stated that the person speaking loudly had been drinking.  Now how much sense does it take to realize the going into a church worship service on a Sunday morning while you are intoxicated is disrespectful in and of itself, let alone getting loud with your commentary during the sermon?

I am sure all of you see more and more of these types of behavior every day in your interactions with the public. What I wonder is how bad is it going to get before we as Average Red Blooded American Citizens stand up and say “enough is enough”?  These events took place in a church, where respect should be prevalent! We should expect and even demand respect in our houses of worship, but do we?  I didn’t.  Why?  Maybe because it is too politically incorrect to say to someone, “You are out of line.  Stop it”.  Maybe too uncomfortable to stand your ground regarding your expectations, even with a teenager, because you might offend them because if their behavior?


I have been absent lately because I have been struggling with editing my posts on a tablet.  I don’t like windows 10, which is what we have on our main computer, plus I find it hard to work on a desktop computer with my bifocal glasses.  So I have been writing and editing my posts on a tablet, which has proven difficult.

The fix that I came up with was to get a refurbished laptop, which has been more difficult than expected due to having to download and install over 190 updates and fixes.  Then trying to download some basic programs like Adobe Flash and a Chrome browser has been quite frustrating.  The lesson that I am learning is to not try to be so cheap and buy refurbished equipment.

So please bear with me while I get everything in order to post more regularly.


I have contemplated the meaning of “Equality” in America for sometime now.  I was raised to see people for who they are, not what color they are or what ethnic group they belong to. However it seems to me that many of the groups claiming to want diversity are promoting actions or policies that limit the very goals that they are supposed to be striving for.

It seems these groups want to be “equal” only until they want to be special.  Minority groups want “equal” treatment, but then they want special consideration because of their minority status.  What is “equal” about that?  They want governmentally imposed advantages in whatever it is they are seeking.  Be it a job, school admission situation or other perceived entitlement.   That is not “equal” treatment but rather it is forced discrimination.  The employer or school administration now has to give extra consideration to a certain applicant because of their minority status, instead of equal consideration based on qualification alone.  The government has basically told minorities that they cannot compete on their own.  They are not able get that job or be accepted to that school without government intervention. I want to be perfectly clear that I am speaking of the large advocacy groups that have formed to manipulate the legal system, the individual people whom the legislation was intended to protect.

There are at least seven different federal laws dealing with discrimination, with dates ranging from 1963 all the way up to 2008. And topics that range from race to age to physical or mental disability, even genetics is now a covered class.  Obviously racial and gender bias are the most well known and discussed.  Age discrimination was a hot topic back in the eighties.  Back then I was told the group most discriminated against was “white males between 18 and 40 years old”! Because they were not part of any “recognized class”.

As with most legislation that is meant to “help” protect the individual person from big greedy corporate America, instead groups (as mentioned above) and/or government bureaucracies are created who inevitably abuse the very legislation that caused them to be created in the first place.

Modern Conveniences

I have been thinking a lot about the past lately.  Mainly about how so called “modern conveniences” have weakened the will and intellect of our nation.

When I was much younger I was told, as many of you were, that advances in technology help improve our lives, as a matter of fact I am still told that today.  To a degree that is absolutely true, but in a lot of ways technological advances have made us lazy.  Both physically (think obesity) and mentally (think basic math skills).

Think about what your parents had when you were young.  Did they have a television?  If so, was it black and white, or color?  Did it have a remote control?  If it had a remote, you’re pretty young for this post. Did they have a lawn mower?  Power or reel? Do you even know what a reel mower is?  If not “Google” it (one more advance in technology that helps make us mentally lazy).  Did they have indoor plumbing?  I ask this because my parents did, but one set of my grandparents did not until I was in my early teens.

I remember several years ago my wife told me about how she and her female relatives (sisters, cousins, aunts, mother and grandmother) were visiting about what their favorite “modern convenience” was.  Some said washing machines, some said dishwashers, some said microwave ovens. But grandmother said ” running water in the house”.  Gives a whole different perspective to “modern” doesn’t it?

At one time I sold office machines for a living.  The man I worked for asked me, “you know how to tell the younger folks?”  I said “no”, he told me “Old folks check the math from a calculator on paper, youngsters use a calculator to check the math on their paper”.  Now, many of us don’t even remember how to do basic long hand calculations beyond simple addition and subtraction.

Let’s think about some things a little more recent.  When you were in school did you do book reports as homework?  Now, our children do “Internet searches” to complete their homework.  When you type a letter (oops, I mean e-mail) do you really worry about proper spelling or do you let “auto correct” fix it?  Do you realize how often “auto correct” puts the wrong word in?  I am saddened that EVERY day I see something in a news broadcast or correspondence from business associates that has glaring grammatical or spelling errors.  You know why I think this happens. Intellectual LAZINESS on the part of the individual putting out the information.  We have been lulled into complacency by having a machine or program do these things for us and we no longer take individual responsibility for our ability to articulate our thoughts.

Easter Time

We, just like many Average American families, will get together to celebrate Easter.  It is a time to be with family and friends, eat, hunt Easter eggs and generally enjoy life.

Unfortunately,  just like Christmas, too often the true meaning of the holiday is not the focus.  Many forget that we are supposed to be celebrating the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  Being thankful for the opportunity for salvation that these events offer and for the many blessings that have been bestowed upon us throughout our lives.

Once again we have allowed the commercialization of the holiday to overshadow the reason we are supposed to be celebrating.  The Easter bunny, candy, Easter baskets, fake grass and plastic eggs that you can fill any number trinkets have taken over the season and in the process consumed billions, if not trillions of dollars, over the years.

My hope is that we, as a society, get back to the true meaning of this and other “religious” holidays.  We are living in a time fraught with trouble and strife, I believe primarily because we have turned away from God’s teachings. If most of the population in our country is Christian, some 80% as some statistics indicate, would return to observing the principles of Jesus Christ some of the things ailing our land might be somewhat lessened.  Our country as a whole has turned so far away from God that I don’t believe for a moment that ALL of our troubles would cease, but maybe some would decrease.

* Footnote: This was originally written an intended to be posted on Easter Sunday, but due to some technical issues it wad delayed.  TG

Profit vs. Service

The recent issue with United Airlines removing a paying customer from an overbooked flight to make room for employees that needed to be at their next assignment, shows the current viewpoint many, if not most, large corporations take toward their customers.  They are just dollars (profit to be made) instead of human beings. 

I was raised in a time, not that long ago, where customer satisfaction was a huge and sincere concern.  I have personally seen businessmen that I worked for or with, actually loose money on a deal to make sure the customer felt as if they were treated fairly.  In most of those instances, the businessman had actually done nothing wrong, but their reputation was important enough that they were willing to go above and beyond to keep from having even the perception that a customer might be dissatisfied.

Today if you ask a corporate executive how important the reputation of their organization is, you will most likely be told that is THE most important thing, but yet you see United Airlines removing paying customers to improve profit.  There by proving profit outweighs customer service.

In retrospect they could have bought first class tickets on another carrier, or for that matter chartered a plane to fly their crew to Louisville and be money ahead.  A charter would probably cost in excess of $20,000 dollars but now, they will most likely pay hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in settlement and legal costs. Not to mention the damage they have done to the “Brand” that is supposed to be so important.
But I digress, the point is that they have so deeply ingrained “profit above all else” into their personnel, that they have effectively stymied common sense.  Company policy and profitability are THE main focus of mid-level management, instead of “what is this going to do to our company’s reputation”. Most likely their incomesdare directly tied to profitability through bonuses or wage scale. There is a very good likelihood that the personnel at the plane had reached the maximum dollar value allowed to be offered for voluntary dislocation by their supervision and therefore felt they had to go to the next level, which was physical removal of the person refusing to cooperate.