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Wednesday - April 13, 2016
Hello from the West Texas Branch Of Large Carbon Footprint Leaving Jingoistic Xenophobes.
As I said last week, I went to Houston to attend my 60th High School Class Reunion.  This was the 1956 graduating class from Lamar High School.  Lamar High School opened its doors in 1937,  the year of my birth, and from that moment until January 16th, 2014 they were the Lamar Redskins.  BUT, political correctness reared its ugly head and the name of the school was changed to the Lamar Texans.  Now, I just wonder how long it will be before someone decides that the name of the school itself, LAMAR, will be scrapped.  You see,  Lamar High School was named in honor of Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar who was the Second President of the Republic of Texas.  Mirabeau Lamar was also a member of the Texan Army who defeated Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836.   One must wonder at what point in time that this fact will become offensive to some individual or some group and the name of the school will be changed also.
I can assure you that the change in mascots did not set well with ANY of the 1956 graduates.  I also saw some film where some of the students in 2014 were not enamored with the caving in of the Houston Independent School District in dropping the REDSKINS as the school mascot.  One of the interviews I saw was with a black student who was pretty pissed about the change.  BUT, I don’t know why any of this should surprise any of us.   Some of my classmates who still live in Houston said that there was a move afoot to change the names of several schools in the Houston area, among which were Sydney Lanier Jr. High School (where I went from 7th thru 9th grades).  You see, Sydney Clopton Lanier served in the signal corps of the Confederate States of America Army. 
AH, but it doesn't end there,  John H. Reagan High School is named after a cabinet member for Jefferson Davis who was President of the Confederate States of America.   Well, that about ends it. 
NO!  We also in Houston have a Junior High School named after Albert Sydney Johnston who was a General in the Army of the Confederate States of America.  They did not mention Robert E. Lee High School in Houston but several others are under fire also.  Political Correctness is running the show for sure.

BUT, getting to visit with some really old friends even for a short while was worth the trip.  And other than the reunion I got to go out and eat with two of my old partners from the Houston Police Department.  And these were two men for whom I care a great deal.  We went through some good and some tough times together. 
I also got to visit with a man whom I have known for years and for whom I have a great deal of respect.  He was one of the most intelligent humans I have ever known  and even though he is a year or so older, his mind is as sharp as ever.  He grew up and married a really wonderful lady and raised two sons who are both professors at Duke University.  Both of his parents were professors at Rice University.  My friend retired from NASA.  I really enjoy visiting with him and rarely do I fail to learn something as a result.
I also got to see some old friends who lived several blocks down on the same street where I lived while growing up in Houston.  One was in my class from the first grade on.  He and I hunted and fished a whole bunch together and he is still sharp as ever and still has a great sense of humor.  His wife was in a different class in earlier years but graduated from Lamar in 1956.  They were both in good shape and it did my heart good to see a couple who had been together since our school days.
I also had a really nice visit with one of my oldest friends who was also a hunting buddy.  He had two older brothers and one younger, who is now deceased.  I was friends with the whole family.  His Mom was one of the great ladies of all times.  Those boys knew who the boss was for sure.  My friends' Dad had a good job with Halliburton and his boys and I and several other high school friends worked several summers for Halliburton unloading bags of sand from a boxcar and stacking them inside a metal building.  And trust me, between those bags weighing between 80 and 100 pounds and a metal building in Houston in the summer  the fun left the building pretty early in the day.  Of course back in the 1950s we were being paid something like $1.75 per hour and that was pretty good pay for high school kids.  Only problem was that you were too tired to go out and spend your money.

Then, of course, I got to visit with a couple of folks whose health had pretty much taken a turn for the worse.  One of my old hunting and fishing partners had to use a walker and was also suffering from Parkinson Disease.  His mind and memory were still in good shape.
And, naturally,  we were furnished a list of our classmates who had passed away and many of them were some of my oldest and closest friends.  I understand that our next one will be in 5 years.  I just hope that I am still in good shape and will be able to make it back.
I can tell you all that getting away from the normal political crap for a few days was very refreshing.  BUT, now I am back and it doesn't appear as if much has changed over the past week end.
I have just about had the lick with all the whining over the Colorado delegates going to Cruz.  I had read several months ago that Colorado did not have a primary but rather a series of caucuses in which the various districts in Colorado chose their delegates for the nominating convention.  SO, if I knew about this strange way of doing business, I must assume that either "The Donald" had somehow let this tidbit of information slip by his crack staff or he just chose to not send a team to Colorado to hustle the delegate votes.  It seems as if Ted Cruz took a different path and evidently cornered the market on the Colorado delegation.

However, Trump's decision or lack thereof to try to get the Colorado delegates did not slow down his whining and accusing of everyone from the RNC to the State of Colorado.  Now, while I agree that the method used by Colorado doesn't seem to make much sense to me,  it is what it is and it is just as fair for Trump as it is for Cruz or anyone else in the race.  And, I am sure that Trump will run away with the State of New York.   I just wonder if Cruz or Kasich will  reach the stage on the whining plateau as did "The Donald" on Colorado?
And I have an announcement to make:  I will not be seeking the Republican Nomination either.  SO, I would imagine that this will make it as big as Paul Ryan announcing that he would not be seeking same.
ALSO, I might add that I have heard about all I can stomach about  the "DISENFRANCHISEMENT OF  VOTERS".  As well as I can remember, the first and I had hoped the very last time I would be subjected to incessant whining about "DISENFRANCHISEMENT  OF  VOTERS"  was in 2000 when it seemed that this accusation was being thrown about by Al Gore several times an hour.  And yes, I thought Al Gore was a complete turd back then and he has done nothing to change my opinion.
I have heard enough screeching by Hillary and just outright stupidity out of Bernie Sanders.  I will vote for ANYONE who is the Republican candidate even if it is "The Donald".
I just hope that on election day, the American voters realize just how dangerous this coming Presidential election really is.  Losing Antonin Scalia off the Supreme Court has really made this election ultra important.  If we get one or perhaps two or even three new Justices in the next eight years, we can ill afford them to be of the caliber of Sotomayor or Kagan. 
Tony Aguilar,    Mary Vigil,      Joe & Ruth Lucero,   Ted Salgado,  Raoul McPeters,  Bill Morrill   -NM  -  Ella Dunlop,    Kaleigh Paige Hudgens,     Bobby Peiser,  Bob Wallman,  Maria Tupaz,  Bernice Murphy,    Judy Langham,     Liz Deguren,  Roger Tucker,   Charlotte Williams,     Zak Krejci,   Debra Blake,   Mary Denson,   Randy  Jones,      Don Weaver,        Roger Goertz,     Jerry Carpenter,   Steve  Mida,   Sherry Welch,  Shirley Boatright,   Dick Burnett,  Freddie Dietz,    Kaylee King (2)    - TX -  Sr. Delphine Grigas (98) - IL -   Paul & Debby Gula,  Mike Burkebak,   Alan Miller,    Debbie McKeown, Violet  Fermin,  Carlos Fernandez, Hamilton Anderson,  Arlene Anderson,   Kate Nolan  - FL -    L.T. Drennan - OK -     Lynn Jones - NE -    Gladys Beasley, Barbara Urban - MD -   Charles Latham,  Rocky Leonard,    Bette Miller,   Sheriff Richard Mack - AZ -   Kate Powell,  Annise Kennedy,  Sam Wittstruck (17 yoa),  Kenny McPeters  -  CA -     Pat  Holley,   Keith Chambers,   Nancy Chambers,   LANA Athey,   Vicki Watson - CO -      Hal Whitmore - DE -   Herb Johnston - NY -     Lonnie Shoultz - AL   -   Perry Evans  - AR -   Jim Pinney,    James E. Brady III (2 yrs. old)  - OH -  Joyce Marie Severino - GA  -     Josip & Lela  Slivar - ZAGREB, CROATIA -  Sister Clarice Carroll (83) - HAITI  -     RET. COL.  Pete Mekkelson -WVA -   CDR USN (Ret) Bob Palmer - WI -  Timothy Lincoln Palmer* (Newborn Grandson of CDR Bob Palmer - smallest of quads),   Tyler Seddon  - RI   
GySgt. Daniel West,  MSgt. (Ret) Randy Morrow , CAPT. Michael Rice,  CAPT. Nick Francona, GySgt. James Walker, CAPT. George Zeigler,    CAPT.  Catherine Schmidt Fiancé of Capt. Zeigler)    SSgt. Matt Ross, Alex Boyd,  RCT Graydon J. Phillips,  CAPT. Levi English,   GySgt. Eric Harmon,   LCPL Archer Abblitt,  Maj. Todd A. O'Brien,   MGySgt. '46 - 82 (Ret)  Harvey  Weigart -   US MARINE CORPS -    Kenneth Thomas - USCG    SSgt. Eric Grudziecke, A1 Elizabeth Chaffon,  Cody Barber, Col. Phil Samples, TSgt. Aaron Brown,   TSgt.  Rebecca Goodwin, 1st LT.  Mandie Yates,   - US AIR FORCE -   Capt. Brian Kriss - TxANG -   Zachary Moore - US NAVAL ACADEMY -    Lt. William Jourdan,  CDR Robert McLay,  Lt. Tommy Brown, Lt. Russell Brown,     CAPT. Wayne Putnam (Ret),   E5 Matthew J. Blaker (and crew of the USS ANZIO),    LT JG Ethan English,   - US NAVY -   Bud Barnett - USNA 74 -    SSgt. Mike Campagna - SPECIAL FORCES  -   SSgt.Michael Strawn, Sgt. Logan McKinzie,  Capt. (Fr) Kevin Peek, Maj. Fred W. Tanner, Lt. Col. Robbie Ball,  SSgt. Travis McGowan,   Michael B. Hudgens,     Scott Hillyer,   Jeff Schoonover,  CWO2 Mitchell Wittstruck - US ARMY    -  CWO3  Tim Helton and the 1/230  Air Cav Squadron TNANG  -  All of the  men and women presently serving in the United States Military
John Mallory - DEA -  Fr. Joseph M. Peek,  Gary and Cindy Hogman,   Ashtyn Wages and John Paul Tupaz and their families. 
"Ignorance is dangerous enough in itself.  But ignorance on the part of an egomaniac, who announces that he is his own best advisor, is incorrigible ignorance.  He can surround himself with the best minds in the country and it will not do any good if they are just there for window dressing."....... THOMAS  SOWELL
"The unprecedented public criticisms of President Obama by four of this former Secretaries of Defense, not to mention retired four-star generals, demonstrate that having knowledgeable and experienced advisors cannot make up for headstrong ignorance on the part of a President."...... THOMAS  SOWELL
"We have a system that increasingly taxes work and subsidizes non work.".............. MILTON  FRIEDMAN
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."....... PATRICK  HENRY
 "An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us!.... Sir, we are not weak if we make  a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power....  Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone.   There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us....   Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of the chains of slavery?  Forbid it, Almighty God.  I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."..... PATRICK  HENRY
Barack Hussein Obama,    Michelle Obama,   George Soros,    Joe Biden,   Louis Farrakhan,   Debbie Wasserman Schultz  DNC  Chairperson,   Leon Panetta,       Supreme Court Justices - Ruth Bader Ginsberg,  Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, AND John Roberts,      Eric Holder,   John McCain R-AZ,   Valerie Jarrett,   Nancy Pelosi,  Harry Reid,  Diane Feinstein,   Barbara Boxer,   Lanny Davis,   Hillary Clinton,   Bill Clinton,   Chuck Schumer,       David Axelrod,  Rahm Emanuel,   Ezekiel Emanuel,   Kathleen Sebelius,   Bill Richardson,   Jay Carney,    Susan Rice,    Rep. Keith Ellison D-MN,    Former Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano,      COLIN  POWELL  ( R) ,   Michael Moore,      John Kerry,   Lindsey Graham,   Former President Jimmy Carter.   Al Gore,      Chuck Hagel,    Dick Durbin,      Andrew Cuomo     Chris Christie R-NJ ,   Michael Bloomberg,   Sheila Jackson Lee D-TX,     Susan Collins R-ME,   Patrick Leahy,     Jeff Flake R-AZ,    Eddie Bernice Johnson D-TX,   John Boehner R-OH,    John Cornyn R-TX,   Mitch McConnell R-KY,  Mike Huckabee R-AR,   Lisa Murkowski R-AK,      Robert Menendez NJ,   Al Franken MN,   Claire McCaskill (D-MO),   Patty Murray WA,   Henry Waxman CA,   Linda Sanchez CA,   Maxine Waters CA,       State Senator Wendy Davis D-TX,   Elijah Cummings D-MD,   NY Mayor Bill de Blasio,   Lois Lerner,   Michael Morrell,   Tommy Vietor (National Security Council Spokesman),  Karl Rove,    Rep. Ann  Kuster D-NH,   Jen Psaki (State Department),   Josh Earnest,   Marie Harf(State Department),   Jerrold Nadler (D-NY),   Rep.  Jared Polis (D-CO),       Orin Hatch (R-UT),   John Koskinen (IRS COMMISSIONER),   Jeh Johnson (Homeland Security Secretary),   Elizabeth Warren (D-MA),   Deval Patrick (D-MA),   Charlie Crist (D-FL),   Jerry Brown (D-CA),    John Lewis (D-GA),   Michelle Nunn (D-GA),   Jay Nixon (D-MO-Gov.),   Mary Landrieu (D-LA),   Julia Pierson,   Jonathan Holmes Gruber,   Rep. Al Green (D-TX),   Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-TX),  HOWARD  DEAN,   Timothy Kaine* (D-VA),    Charles E. Samuels Jr.,   Amy Klobuchar (D-MN),   Mark Dayton (Gov. MN-D),    Suspended San Francisco Sheriff ROSS MIRKARIMI,   John Kirby (State Department Spokesman),   Barbara Mikulski (D-MD),   Secretary of Defense Ash Carter,    Dallas County Sheriff  Lupe Valdez,    JOHN  HICKENLOOPER (D-GOV-CO)
MSNBC,    ACLU,   Congressional Black Caucus,   NAACP,   Jesse Jackson,  AL  SHARPTON,    UNITED   NATIONS,     Jane Fonda,   LA RAZA,   MOVEON.ORG,      PETA,   CAIR,     BOB  COSTAS (NBC),   ESPN,     The NFL,   CNN,  The Environmental Protection Agency,    Al  Jazeera America,      Republican National Committee (RNC),     NBC,   CBS,   CNBC,  ABC,  BUREAU OF  LAND  MANAGEMENT, Department of Education,  Department of Energy,  Tom Steyer (Progressive Billionaire Opposing Keystone Pipeline),   NBA,  NHL,  NOW (National Organization Of Women),   Patricia Ireland,    Jesse Ventura,  Geraldo Rivera FOX News,   Juan Williams FOX News,    The Washington Redskins Football Team,    James Brown (CBS -NFL Pre-Game).  CDC (Center for Disease Control),  Bill O'Reilly FOX News,  Shepard Smith FOX News,  Alan Colmes  FOX News,   MICHAEL  MOORE,   Bryant Gumbel,  BLACK  LIVES  MATTER,   The SIERRA  CLUB,   Megyn Kelly FOX News,   Quentin Tarantino,   The University of Missouri
*By Request    
I don't know about the rest of you but I was really taken back when I learned that Bruce Springsteen (The Boss) had cancelled a concert in North Carolina in protest to a proposed North Carolina State Law regarding Trans-Gender bathroom use.  Rarely a day passes when Trans-Gender bathroom use is not high on my list of priorities. But isn't it nice to see that an entertainer the stature of Bruce Springsteen (The Boss) has seen fit to also push this to the top of his importance agenda?  Then again, perhaps I am being a bit snotty since I don't give the first damn about Bruce Springsteen or any of his concerts or his family or his dog or his likes or his dislikes.  Bruce Springsteen is pure turd from the word go.
OK.  Here is an article from the pages of the (Sub) Standard Times.  Headlined .... APPLE  PUZZLED  AS  TO  HOW  FBI  HACKED iPHONE  WITHOUT  ITS  AID.  First of all, obtaining the  encrypted information from the Apple iPhone was ordered by a District Judge.  And for those of you who have had no dealings with Search Warrants or Court Orders let me give you a clue.   A COURT  ORDER (and a Search Warrant is a Court Order)  IS  NOT  A  REQUEST.  IT IS AN ORDER FROM A DISTRICT OR A MAGISTRATE  JUDGE GIVING THE  ENFORCEMENT AGENCY  THE AUTHORITY TO OBTAIN  THE ITEMS SPECIFICALLY NAMED IN  THE SEARCH WARRANT/COURT ORDER.  I can remember that the Arrest Warrants from New Mexico began with YOU  ARE  HEREBY  ORDERED to bring in the body of whomever was named in the warrant.

I can recall several occasions when some smart ass would decide that they would not comply with a Search or Arrest Warrant or Court Order and which ever business decided they would refuse were promptly shut down until we found what was ordered seized by a Judge.  Apple was way wrong to deny their assistance in that matter in my opinion.  HOWEVER, the FBI found a way to bypass the encryption on the iPhone and evidently got what they needed.  

Let's see now.  How do you suppose the FBI was able to hack into the Apple iPhone.  I am sure that it never crossed Apple's mind that perhaps the Federal Agency might just have contact with an Apple employee who would help either because it was the right thing to do..... or .... perhaps they were given some monetary recompense.
I did receive one cartoon where an FBI Agent took the Apple iPhone and gave it to his kid and told him that under no circumstances should he try to bypass the encryption.  And of course it was done in an hour.  I also wonder if it might perhaps cross the minds of the Apple big wheels that there are probably literally thousands of really smart college students who do this kind of stuff for fun?  It is just like when many police agencies went to scrambled radio transmissions.  I know in Hobbs, NM, it took at least 2 weeks before scanners were being sold which could receive our scrambled radio transmissions.  If it is electric.... someone can bypass the security system.
This past week end served to reinforce something I have known for a long time.  Growing up in Houston, Texas in the 1940s and 1950s  were the absolute best of times. Even though I did not realize it at the time, I was learning more about our country,  our state, our government, and lots of other things than do most people today learn in all of their schooling.  The thing is that I remember many of the things I learned in my school years.  Unfortunately our public education system today is falling way short of what it needs to be.