Saturday, January 29, 2011


I remember when "that question" started to bug me. I was volunteering at Menlo Park VA Hospital and I heard one of the doctors ask a Vet there, "What do you want in life?"

Later I heard the same doctor talk with another Vet and ask him, "Is there anything that you've always wanted, either to do or have? What do you want?"

It seemed for the next few weeks every time I turned around there was someone asking that question in one way or another. It was an interesting question really, considering I was volunteering at the PTSD unit and some guys there gave up on "wanting" anything a long time ago.  Most seem to feel they didn't deserve it, some just figured it wouldn't last, and of course there were those who acted as though wanting something was for children and not for grown people in the real world. No kidding, some of the guys had no motivation to want anything.

For me, while I had gone back to work after taking some time off between jobs. I had just started Contracting out my services and felt pretty good about it.

For the first time in my life, it seemed everything was working out as it's supposed to according to Hoyle.  I was doing pretty good for myself.  There was the business that I was trying to get started, I was in a fairly good relationship if you consider that we hardly saw each other most of the time, I was volunteering so that I could try to give back to the Community, and there was a few dollars in my checking that was actually mine to keep. Imagine that!  

So why was "that question" bothering me?

Well for years I felt that I was missing something, something special, something that I felt I might have lost and couldn't find.  At first I thought maybe it was the adventure of the Marine Corps? And yes, I always looked at my time as a United States Marine as an adventure. Then I thought that maybe it was the camaraderie, the fellowship, the sea stories that I missed or really wanted back? 

But it couldn't be and I really didn't think it was that because I didn't have a lack of friends. Most of the people I knew back then were very good friends, and yes they were great fun to be around even if they weren't as full of beans as some Marines can be.

Some of them I'd only met withing those few years after spending so much time on the road going around the country on work.  Some on the other hand were very old friends who would call me for get-togethers and maybe ask me to help out at their local rodeos. Of course they'd always call so that I could do my part during gatherings and branding season.

Most of them I had known for quite a few years.  One close friend told me later that though he really couldn't put his finger on it, he knew that I felt there was something missing. 

A day or two after my birthday, I drove into the Union 76 in Livermore California for a fill up and a cup of coffee to go. It was a day no different than any other Winter day in the Bay Area, a little cold but clear. Livermore was still all and all a Cowboy town back then, and it was beyond most of our crystal balls to see that just ten to fifteen years down the road it would be transformed into some sort of "Yuppyville." 

When I walked into the 76 for my coffee, I knew that I had met that young woman working behind the counter once before. And no, I couldn't remember her name. And yes, it surprised me that she remembered mine. After all, if memory served me right, she was after my friend Mark who happened to be single at the time. 

"Tom, hi, how are you?" she asked.

"Good. It's a slow day." I answered.

"What's Mark's phone number? she asked with pen in hand waiting for me to give her his number.

"Why?" I asked not believing that she really expected me to give out a friend's number to someone who I hardly knew.

"Well, I'd like to call him. Do you think Mark would buy my horse?" she asked as though she knew Mark.

"Mark, buy your horse? No way! He's into motorcycles, not horses." I answered laughing a little at what I thought was a pretty good joke of sorts.

I paid for my coffee and walked outside to check on my fill up, and then decided to get more information about her horse since I might know someone in the market for one. 

When I went back into the store to ask her about it, she said that her horse was a six year old registered Quarter horse bay, a gelding, and about 15.2 hands tall.  Then she went on to say that she was into racing barrels, and the reason she's selling him is that he was just too slow off the dime and around the barrels. She assured me that he was a great horse. According to her, he trailed well, was calm, easy to shoe, great with kids, and never gave her a lick of trouble. Sound familiar? I thought so to!

Before leaving I asked if I could take a look at her horse, just so that if anyone asked me if I had actually seen him that I can at least say that I did. She said she was getting off work in an hour and would be glad to show him to me. 

I left and returned in an hour and then followed her to where she boarded her horse on the other side of Livermore.

It was an interesting stable. For one thing she had a trailer on the property and lived there. Secondly there were only a hand full of horses in the old place. It was pretty run down and looked like it was built in either the late 1950s or early 60s. It also looked like it once boarded maybe 40 horses easily. She helped maintain the stable in return for keeping her trailer there.  And yes, her trailer was indeed a Cowgirl Cottage.

When she brought out her horse, it was nice to see that she was exactly what she said he was. He was a bay, about 15.2 hands, a Quarter, a gelding, and yes he was calm. Actually lethargic was more like it.

She didn't say he'd been starved lately to save money on feed while she was selling him, or that he was skin and bones. She didn't say he was probably suffering from not being wormed in a long time, and she didn't mention how his hooves were cracked and uncared for. She also failed to mention how his teeth may have needed floating because it hadn't been done in forever and a day. In fact, the horse was completely neglected. And come to find out later, he was one of those horses that people buy and board and never care for or go see.

When she handed me his lead rope he slowly walked a few steps up to me with his head hanging down and when he reached me he just let out a groan. 

Under his ragged coat and tangles mane, besides his cracked hooves, and worn out look, there was a horse with really nice conformation. He had a wide chest and straight legs. He wasn't pigeon toed or splayed. His head was nice, no roman nose or parrot lip, and his teeth looked good considering his upkeep. He wasn't sickle hocked and he had a great hind end. He was just gaunt and needed help.

So I asked he how much she wanted in case I found someone who'd be interested. It would be nice to know what she wanted for the horse.  Then I asked what she'd take knowing that no one was going to take what she was asking.  She said she'd take half of what she was asking. She also said that he can board there if need be.

I then asked her if she wanted a Check or Cash? She said she'd take cash if she could get it. And that's when I said, "Jump in my truck and let's go to my Bank. I'll give you what you'll take and not what you're asking for. He needs a lot of work and care. I'll give you cash. You can sell him to me." 

And that my friends is how I bought my horse Murphy back in 1996.  The feeling that I had, well it was all about my needing my son Murphy.

That's right! Something was missing, and come to find out it was this horse. He found me to care for him.

And yes, he's been with me ever since. 

Murphy, 2010, Glencoe, CA

Friday, January 28, 2011

Kind of a “Life Stew”

Since starting this Blog last month, I've used a shotgun approach at what I wanted to write about.

The shotgun approach is the concept that with a big enough spread I might hit something that my friends might find interesting.

To my way of thinking, a rifle or bullet approach would have meant pin pointing a particular field and area of concern like say politics and focus my writing only on that subject.

I didn't really want to do that for a couple of reasons. First, like you, I'm concerned about what's happening to our country politically, and yes I have opinions on what's going on - but just like you, I'm no Politician or Political Analyst.

I am just a concerned Citizen. 

The second reason is that I truly love people on the overall. I've always loved hearing about what my friends have done in their lives. I've always enjoyed their stories of the great things that they've experienced both big and small.

I love watching their expressions change with every infliction of their voice. It's something that I've enjoyed since I was a kid growing up in Hawaii where "talking story" is an old tradition and a way of life.

Sure, I've met some people in my life who were so mean and nasty that they give the rest of mankind a bad name.

And sure, some folks are just no good no matter what! Working in some of the lines or work that I have can sometimes jade a person. And being real honest with you and myself, I think for a while there I thought it had.

It took effort on my part to shake that sort of attitude and again give people the benefit of the doubt.

I find that it's sometimes not easy to believe something good about someone, rather than something bad, especially when their worse side keeps popping up over and over again and we see who they really are.

And no, I'm not talking about just Liberals and Democrats.

Lastly, I like stories about almost everything. From the ones that others have told me to the one's that I've lived, I like them all. 

It's true. From the story about landing a marlin in Baja just under 15 minutes, to getting drunk with a monkey in the Philippines as a young Marine. From seeing my first huge herd of buffalo, to watching a dolphin trainer at Sea Life Park in Hawaii do her magic.

From finding the ruins of my grandfather's old CCC ranch in Kunia on Oahu, to my trying to hunt for gold in a creek in the Sierra Mountains, to my building horse stalls as it's starting to snow. Yes, I love it all. 

From bears scrounging around in camp at two in the morning, to a story about a mule that was a true man killer. From telling others about buying a new saddle from someone who didn't know that saddles have sizes, and to my wife's new horse Tango, and more.

Yes, I love stories about our lives.

A great long time friend, who has known me through all sorts of ups and downs, wrote me this: "I’m getting a kick out of the writings.  Kind of a “life stew” concept that takes a little bit of everything and brings it together in a serving of satisfaction."

That is one of the nicest things that I've ever been told. It's nice to hear that I'm on the right track as to what I set out to do. It is exactly what I've intended. 

I hope you find the same feeling as you read some of these stories and opinions. 

And by the way, I know some stories are funny while some are not, and yes some are too strange to be thought true. 

For me, I always try to go with what my Grandfather once told me, "Tell 'em the truth, because they'll never believe it anyways!"

Until later, enjoy the stew! 

I love this picture. To me, it really shows what life's about.
Full of the unexpected!

Hopefully, like the armed Cowboy,
I hope you're ready for what you might meet coming around a blind corner.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

George Washington Banned From NAACP Rally

This is unbelievable and if I hadn't checked it out for myself, I wouldn't believe it.

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance at the state house in Columbia, South Carolina, had an interesting twist this year. The event was held on the north side steps of the Statehouse on Monday, January 17th.

Prominent at that location is a large bronze statue of George Washington. But some did not want to look at the grand statue of George Washington, instead the NAACP organizers constructed a "box" around the front and sides of the statue of Washington to hide him from view.

Why you ask? Well the answer is that the NAACP did not want the people attending their rally to be offended by Washington's presence. No kidding! Offended by Washington's presence, imagine that?

It does not matter to those people that George Washington is the Father of Our Country, nor does it matter to them that our freedoms were bought and paid for by Washington and other men like him over 200 years ago.

It obviously did not matter to the NAACP organizers who had a "box" built around that statue just how offensive their actions are to the rest of America.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Actions like building a "box" around a statue of George Washington so that "they" wouldn't be offended by Washington's presence might seem childish and ignorant to some. Maybe it is that? But it does make me wonder if those people from the NAACP truly understand what King was saying?

Probably not, but that doesn't matter because even their stupidity and ignorant behavior can't make up for their disgusting actions.

And after all, I don't judge those people by the color of their skin but instead I judge them as I do all people -- and that's by the content of their character just as Martin Luther King Jr would have wanted.

And yes, their character is just shameful.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So Where Would You Hide A Deer?

So where would you hide a deer? My friend with the deer had a problem, pointedly an out-of-season buck. What he told me was something that I would have never thought of doing.

Actually in the days when I was hunting and hunting was a religious experience, I would sometimes go without taking a shot after searching all weekend for a legal deer. Unlike a lot of other parts of the country, California's terrain of thick woods and hilly country can make finding a deer sort of tricky. So most of us hope that luck will be on our side when hunting season rolls around. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't!

There was one winter back in the early 1990's that I worked up in very unfriendly Monticello Minnesota for a few weeks. I was only there for a little while working at the power plant during an annual planned outage.

Driving to the plant was always interesting because snow was coming down very heavily and none of the native population acted as though they ever drove in snow before. I'd never seen so many people spin out in my life. It was incredible to watch.

Yup, outside of the plant was colder than a polar bear's backside. And yes, inside wasn't much better. Inside the plant, almost no one was at work. I wondered why for a few minutes before a guy walked by where I was working, so I took the opportunity to ask what was up with only having a skeleton crew on duty?

"So tell me pard, where is everyone?" I asked while hoping he was different than everyone else that I had met in Minnesota.

"You must not be from here, right?!" he said completely dashing my hopes that he was different as soon as he opened his mouth.

"Right!" I admitted to him. "I'm not a local. I'm out here from California. So where is everyone?"

"Ah California! It figures! Out here men hunt! Today is the first day of Deer Season! No one works today if they can get it off. I'm out of here later," he answered.

Thinking that he might be nicer if I told him that I hunted also, I was wrong as soon as I asked, "I deer hunt in California, so tell me, how tough is it out her?"

"What's tough about it? The deer are brown and the snow is white! I shot one yesterday outside my bathroom window. I bet you never shoot one just after ...."

Just then the noise of the plant picked up and I really couldn't hear what he asked, so I just shock my head no and went back to what I was working on.

Now friends I can honestly say that up until that point in my life I'd never met anyone who has taken a rifle to the bathroom with them or has ever shot a buck from their bathroom window, either standing or sitting.

Over the years I've been told a lot of hunting stories, some funny and some strange. I remember a friend telling me once how he was still in his sleeping bag when a big old buck walked through his camp. Another friend once told me about a deer he shot on a slope across where he was only to find out that the downed buck was actually on the other side of a river unknown to him. I remember him saying how he had a heck of a time getting it across and what a pain that was.

Then of course there are those people who've told me about shooting and loosing this or that deer after taking their shot.  Most say they'll never know whether they missed it, or whether it was just wounded and the deer disappeared in the thicket.

Knowing the guys who've told me this, I can honestly say that they probably missed.  Poor shots as they were, it wouldn't surprise me.  I know some guys who can't shoot real well unless the buck is big and close, almost standing right in front of them. Other than that, they probably couldn't hit it even if they were using a rifle. And God knows how they'd be with a bow?

So friends over the years very few hunting stories surprise me. And now with times getting tougher with gas prices at almost $4 a gallon again, and of course food and especially meat prices climbing as well, I personally don't have too much of a problem with someone taking a deer out-of-season to feed their family. To feed their family makes it OK in my book.

I'm not advocating poaching or breaking any laws, especially to the extremes that some people do break the law. I'm talking how I can understand how someone can take a deer because of economic hard times out of necessity to feed your family. I believe there is a difference.

You can call me wrong, or whatever else, but I can't help but wonder how many other folks out there understand and maybe agree with what I'm saying here. It is a man's first responsibility in life to provide for his family. So for me, hunters taking a deer out-of-season these days just doesn't surprise me one bit.

Maybe that's why when my friend was talking about shooting this buck, and just how terrified he was that a Game Warden was going to come down on him like a hammer, I understood both the reason he took the deer and how he'd have good reason to be so concerned.

Game Wardens have a lot of authority. If a Warden finds that you weren't within the Law, then a Game Warden can fine you, confiscate your gun, and even jail you.

So when my friend told me that as he was opening his front door that he heard a police siren closer than he'd like and that he panicked, well I understood real well how he could have gotten a little rattled. Then when he said that after hearing the siren that that made him run over to his truck and grab up his deer and he decided to hide his deer in his house somewhere, well I have to admit that that was new!

But friends, when he said that he hid that deer in his shower with the water running and the radio on just in case the Game Warden came knocking on his door, well my friends what can I say that's definitely something you don't hear about everyday.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Which One Is The Real Communist?

A friend of mine put that interesting question to me. Since Chinese President Hu Jintao is visiting President Obama in Washington, which one is the real Communist?

While talking about the fact that Chinese President Hu Jintao was visiting and had a state dinner with the President Obama, the Chinese President among other things has supposedly pressed President Obama to focus on our economic problems.

Everyone knows that the Chinese government is our biggest lender. We owe them One Trillion Dollars in loans. Loans for money that went where? Who knows? 

The Obama administration spent almost a Trillion Dollars on a so-called Stimulus Bill approved by the Democrat controlled Congress during Obama's first few months in the Oval Office.

The problem that most folks have is that no one knows where the money went, or who it went to. It's true. No kidding. Other then sending money to States who have spent themselves into a ditch, the administration has funneled money to so many Democratic Party politicians and their aides, DNC Party donors, and liberal organizations and other liberal causes.  Interesting enough the administration has no idea where all the money went. 

It's sort of like what happens to the U.S. dollars that Americans send to other countries in foreign aid, or as disaster relief or famine relief.  First the heads of those governments take their percentage, then the lower bureaucrats take their cut, the local military get theirs, then of course there's handling charges, and it goes on and on. Heck, what makes it to the actual people that need help? Well, no one knows how much money actually makes it to where it is supposed to go because no one in the money chain wants to tell us what they got or even who got what.

Giving American dollars to foreign governments as Foreign Aid is stupid when we have to borrow the money from China in the first place.  It's like borrowing from a friend who happens to be a Banker so that you can give money to your sister.  You may look like a great brother because your sister knows she doesn't have to pay you back, but your friend just hopes you won't screw him out of the money you borrowed. Especially while the interest on the money is growing.

When the Chinese did their Stimulus Plan for their country, they gave the money directly to their people to spend and stimulate their economy. And it worked! Imagine that.

So at the State dinner, one has to wonder if President Hu has lectured Obama on the benefits of Capitalism? No kidding, the Chinese are all for it these days. They have found a great deal of power in making money. So maybe spending some time with President Hu will rub off on Barack Obama.

You see the question is a legitimate one. Obama wants to CHANGE America. And since entering office many Americans have seen his idea of CHANGE and now are asking if President Obama truly is some sort of a Communist?

Seeing President Hu with President Obama, it's fair to ask ...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yes There Is A Difference!

Yes There Is A Difference between us and them!

An e-mail that I received asked me if I thought that there really is a difference between the people who attended the Liberal Hate Fests of George W. Bush and those who have attended the Tea Party rallies?

Well, I do. I believe Tea Party rallies are made up of people who are "mad as hell" and are refusing to take it anymore because they believe that they have been skipped over, ignored, abused, and beaten down. On the overall, they believe that they have been silent too long and now is their time to be heard.

They are the great silent majority that has traditionally been quiet and just took whatever the government has handed them. Whether it's higher taxes or more regulation that no one should be asked to have to adhere to, the Tea Party is a reaction to too much!

And how do they protest that's different from Liberals protest you ask, ah there's the difference.

Yes, they are dissatisfied and unhappy with the direction of the country. Yes, they are frustrated with the coverage they get in the Liberal News Media which paints them as something they are not. Yes, they wear the clothing like that of the Patriots of the Revolutionary War. Yes, they list their grievances. And yes, they wave non-threatening signs while they scream and shout their support of OUR Constitutional Rights.

Anyone who goes to a Tea Party rally would find that no they don't preach hate.

They mingle and talk among each other to find other like minded people and brainstorm for solutions. They ask about you and your relations. They want to know if your burden is like theirs. They ask you to join them if you to are tired of dealing with over taxation, no representation, and a life ruled by Big Brothers in Washington and in State capitols across the nation.

I remember attending two big Tea Party rallies, and being involved in Security for many years, I asked the police who were there how things were going? At the first rally the police reported that they had zero incidents. At the second rally, not only did the police report that they had zero incidents but also that there was something else. When I asked what that was? The police said the area of the protest was "cleaned up". There were no trash left behind and everything was as it was when they arrived.

I asked if that was different from other protests and the police supervisor that I spoke to advised me that most anti-U.S. protests like the anti-Bush protests of a few years ago would leave the area a wreck with trash everywhere and property damaged or tagged with graffiti.

From my experience supervising the security for businesses around a Liberal anti-U.S. protest, the businesses always suffered property damage of some sort. And of course the cost to repair the damage had to be passed on to the public. But I'm sure that that was never a concern for them. After all that is the big difference between them and the those who attend Tea Parties and other Conservative rallies.

They threaten and are callus beyond imagination. They incite and they almost enjoy the idea of violence on Americans. They hate. That's the difference between us and them.

 I can't imagine knowing anyone who would wave any of these types of protest signs. They are of the same mentality of the people who hung a symbol of Sarah Palin on their home. Their hate overwhelms them!

The difference is that they hate, and it consumes them!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Look To The Left, Not Sarah Palin!

So in the last few days, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Tea Party will disappear once the economy gets better, a lunatic goes into a crowd and shoots up everyone including a Congresswoman, and the Left Wing Media immediately blames Sarah Palin if you can imagine that.

First off Harry Reid is just showing once again that he is truly out of touch with reality. Heck, I remember when he attacked our troops in Iraq by telling them that they were fighting there for nothing and that the "War Is Lost" according to him.

He doesn't understand that the Tea Party is bigger than just some sort of an economic rebellion by the American people. It has grown to be a force that has taken over the role of watchdog for our democracy. It has grown into a guardian movement. One that is concerned with the counter-Constitutional actions of elected representatives. While others simply call them politicians, some of us know them better for what they really and truly are and that my friends is our hired help in Washington.

Harry Reid thinking that we in the Tea Party will just go away is wishful thinking on his part. And guess what, Twenty12 is coming. The Senate is on the line again in Twenty12 as well as the Oval Office. The President and people like Reid who are still out of touch with the fact that America is not yet willing to surrender to a Communist or Socialist ideal, yes will feel the voter wrath in November of next year. And friends, when November of 2012 gets here, it won't be a repeat of November of 2008 with Union SEIU workers with nightsticks standing polling place to threaten voters this time. 

This time it won't happen because the Tea Party which some like Reid and Obama hope and pray would go away will be there instead to watch and document the attempts made by Liberals to block to will of the people.

Now as for this shooting in Arizona, it is a shame that something like this has happened. It's a shame whenever someone takes the life of anyone. It shouldn't be made more special because that person was a Congressperson. It should be looked upon as it is, and that is with horror that it happened at all.

But that is not the way life is is it? There are always those people who will take the bad action of others and try to use it to their benefit. Their are always those who are ready to make a horrible thing like a shooting in which people were killed something that serves their position on something or other.

The anti-2nd Amendment Right people in the media and Congress are all a buzz that "this proves Americans need to be disarmed". And then there are those anti-Conservatives who will take this and use it to attack people that they have nothing but disdain for. And yes, the Left's number one target is Sarah Palin.

Arizona's Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik who has said the "vitriol" in today's political discourse contributed to the shooting incident. Many in the News Media have taken that to mean Conservatives, especially Sarah Palin.

On CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was asked to comment on Saturday's shooting.

Majority Whip Durbin did not lose any time in accusing Sarah Palin when he said, "We live in a world of violent images and violent words." then went on to cite the phrase "don't retreat, reload," in an attempt to paraphrase a statement used in a tweet by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

Shame on him for such a low blow. The "don't retreat, reload," statement that Sarah Palin made was in actuality to her daughter when giving her instructions on how to shoot Trap on an episode of her TLC show Alaska. To use a phrase out of context and now saying that Sarah Palin actually incited the shooter to do his horror filled act is just pitiful. Shame on the Left for doing such a thing!

I guess they have short memories. To my dislike sometimes, I don't. For me, I remember when the Left truly DID incite people to violence and murder. Remember these during protests just a couple of years ago.

So where was the FBI, or the Secret Service, or the local police? Did anyone ever look into these people to find out what sort of sanity these people had? What sort of person holds up this sort of thing?

Where were the outraged Liberals like Dick Durbin or Arizona's Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik, or as a matter of fact any of the Liberal Left's Champions, when signs like these were being waved?

No my friends, none of what has happened in Arizona has anything to do with Sarah Palin.

If the Liberal News Media and the Left's Politicians want to really and truly acknowledge where the fault lies with hate speech and rhetoric that provokes and urges on all sorts of hatred in America ... then let them look to themselves and those who they openly sponsor.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Wife Gets Her Horse

It was 7:30 Friday morning when my brother showed up with two horses. One a 15 year old Arab and the other a 2 year old Quarter. Both good looking, even tempered, and both needing a home.

So how did they get here? In this economy when people are getting rid of their horses because they can't afford to feed them, why two more horses here? Well, it all started about about ten years ago.

That was when I started taking in unwanted and neglected horses.  Even then I was making friends with people who couldn't afford to keep their horses. 

It wasn't hard to get them here. It was always the same routine.  Someone would say something about a horse that was "free" and an owner in trouble, and I'd be in my old Milley trailer and down the road I'd go.  Thehen when I get there, I really couldn't say no.

The first two years I picked up quite a few horses, but I did find good home for most. Of course there are those that are just going to stay and hopefully enjoy their retirement here.

Of course my brother showing up with two more is not that crazy really.

There are crazier things.  On one of my brother's trips to California from the Big Island of Hawaii, it sort of got a little crazy for me.

My brother had an appointment at the Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto and needed me to pick him up at the airport in San Jose. He was flying in from Hawaii and it was an appointment that was six months in the waiting. The appointment was at ten that morning and his flight was supposed to come in to San Jose at six. All this meant that I needed to leave my home in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at three to be there on time.

Well I picked him up at almost eight because his plane was late and we headed for Palo Alto. There is nothing like driving in city traffic when you haven't done it in a long time. Yup, nothing like it at all.

Two trucks that had never seen a dirt road or a bale of hay nearly took off my back end while trying to pass me. A small car named something that looked like it belonged on an Italian restaurant's menu nearly clipped a big rig driven by a guy with a turban. All the while my brother screamed obscenities at everyone. It was shaping up to be a rough morning.

Before leaving home that morning, if 3am still qualifies as morning instead of the dead of night, I had helped give birth to a foal from a mare that had a rough time of it. By the time I got my brother to his appointment, I was tired, hungry, and knew for certain that I thanked God for where I live. Yes, even at 5am in the morning the traffic in the San Francisco Bay Area is nuts!

The Sierra Nevada Mountain range stretches from Oregon to Mexico and is as beautiful as places come. My little part of it is a place called Glencoe with a population of 189 that sits about in the middle of the Sierra's in California.

This is the Gold Country! The place where the 49ers, the 1849ers, came to California in the first place. And right then sitting in traffic after his appointment heading out of the San Francisco Bay Area, my mind couldn't help but wonder how many cars we had in Glencoe compared to how many there was on the freeway that day.

My brother was as hungry as I was by the time we got to Livermore, so we stopped at a place that I used to go to when I was living there. The gals who worked there were gone so like a lot of places it just didn't feel the same when something's missing. Then my brother came up with a good idea. He wanted to know if the Rough Stock was already at the rodeo grounds for that weekend's rodeo.

After we dropped on by the grounds, we saw that they were there and that the Rodeo Mixer was on for that night. The Mixer was a combination of cowboys and greenhorns who get together a few nights before the rodeo to share a night of BarBQ, drinks, dancing, and greenhorn penning where the local Rotary Club members can get their pictures taken on a horse.

The BarBQ was great and I got to see a lot of old friend. ...

I bet you're still wondering about where this is leading considering it's a story about getting two more horses?

Well during the dance, and yes I was still dressed in my old carhart jacket which yes did have some blood on it from that morning's birth. And while I wasn't up to dancing, an old lady friend had a different idea and grabed me for a Two Step which I quickly remembered.

Then in the middle of this two step I see this very pretty gal sitting there by her self tapping her foot to the band The California Cowboys who were on their game that night. I made mention that she was pretty and my old friend told me to ask her to dance and the next thing you know I was asking her for her phone number at the end of the night. She was as she still is, and that my friend is a very good lady.

We talked on the phone for the next month and she came up to visit, and yes we dated for a while. During that time I asked her to go riding with me, and we did. But the horse she rode was Ol' Mac and he was getting older daily. While he was truly what anyone would consider "Bomb Proof," the problem was that he was also arthritic.

That gal that I met during the Rodeo Mixer married me five and a half years ago, and I've been blessed ever since. The only slack in the rope that we call our life is that three years ago Ol' Mac had the hardest time getting shod, and after talking with the shoer we agreed that his riding days had ended.

If there is one thing that I have learned in my life it's that you should never promise something that you can't produce. Seven years ago I promised a nice gal that we'd be able to ride together. Three years ago that stopped just when she was in the middle of learning to ride.

Part of the reason that my wife and I haven't rode together is that I've been pretty hard head steadfast about her first horse being another "Bomb Proof" older horse.

When I got Mac, I got lucky. He was a horse that anyone could ride. It never mattered if it were kids, old folks, or even a nice gal from the city. When it came to pleasure riding, Mac was always nice to have around and available. For the last three years, I just haven't had a horse like him that I would be able to trust with anyone atop him.

Well the other day, my brother and his wife gave such a horse away. When he told me about it, I said that it was too bad that I didn't know about it because it sounded like a horse that would be perfect for my wife. Then two days later, the people that took the horse said that they were having money trouble and couldn't keep the horse after all.

So friends, we now have two more horses around here and that's how my wife got her first horse. Fact is that horses are always coming and going in life, and now my wife will start experiencing the joy of being able to hook up with one of God's great gifts and really enjoy the time she has with her.

From all that we can see over the last three days, her new mare's name is Tango, and I really believe that she'll make a great riding companion for my wife who is just starting out with horses.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

To Answer An E-Mail Regarding My Defending Theodore Roosevelt

My friend asks, "Out of curiosity, how much reading have you done into the late 19th century Progressive Movement? In my opinion, you haven't characterized it correctly. They were quite interested in big govt. solutions/socialism. They also realized that it couldn't be done quickly, but by incrementalism. President Wilson was a big proponent of it. Both Roosevelts continued along the path. They went into hiding for a while, but are out again now in force.

My good friend,

That's a great question! Actually while I was going for my degree in Criminal Justice, I started to read about the formation of different Police Departments.

I started reading a great deal about Theodore Roosevelt starting when he was a New York City Police Commissioner. I found it very interesting that he was already fighting against corruption, graft, citizen abuse, and the political machines and "Bosses" of the time.

This lead to my reading about how he championed blue collar Americans who had no rights during that era. This lead me to reading about the horrid situation with Child Labor abuses in our country.

"With the coming of industrialization in Europe and the United States, the implied right of abuse was transferred to the factory, where orphaned or abandoned children as young as five worked sixteen hours a day. In many cases irons were riveted around their ankles to bind the children to the machines, while overseers with whips ensured productivity."

Source -

Wouldn't you fight against such Bullspit? Knowing you the little that I do, I'd say that you would absolutely fight against such an abuse.

Since I have been a long time Republican and hard core Conservative, and subsequently have done what most Conservatives do .... and that's give all that I can to help those in need without the government getting involved, I couldn't understand how people are calling Theodore Roosevelt a modern day "Progressive".

Then I found out that the Progressive Movement from 1890 to 1920 was different than what is called Progressives today. Which by the way was not a term used by modern day "Liberals" again until 2004 after the DNC hired a Linguist to help the DNC "re-package" their message. Why? Because in poll after poll at the time, the term "Liberal" had become a negative in the eyes of the American public.

The Progressive Movement from 1890 to 1920 tackled such problems as unfit working conditions and landlord abuse. It never expounded the ideals of Socialism and in fact fought against the idea that the State should take care of it's citizens from cradle to grave. It did however give the average working man, woman, and child some muscle to defend itself from situations were they never had a voice.

People have a way of rewriting history. In the case of those who fought against housing and labor abuses, they weren't Communist ( and trust me when I say that I've seen real Communist at work) ... but instead they were simply Americans looking out for the next guy.

I think if I were around during the Gilded Age and saw the ways that Americans were being treated, then I'd probably would have joined in the fight to help those in need.

If it were happening today, would my fight against such abuses mean that I'm a bleeding heart Liberal? No it doesn't because I wouldn't advocate a Government take over of that business who is doing the offense ... instead I'd use the law of the land to rectify such an abuse.

Remember pard, TR wasn't the one who started a lot of the reform. In fact much of the reform started way before McKinley took office. But those reforms did lead to things like the 1938 passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act (52 Stat. 1060) where the federal government started regulating child labor, among other provisions.

TR said all he wanted was for Americans to have a "Square Deal", and his policies which he carried on after McKinley was shot would go along with the preamble of the U.S. Constitution:

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

That ain't Socialism! That God Bless Us is Americanism!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Defending Theodore Roosevelt

I never thought that I'd be in a position to defend Theodore Roosevelt. But I guess if I'm going to defend one of my heroes, then it may as well be TR.

Lately, maybe because the Progressives are so much in the news, I hear more people trying to paint TR as a flaming Liberal. But should anyone call him Liberal in today's terms? I don't see how!  

He wrote over thirty books, a besides being our 26th President, he was also a Cowboy, a Policeman, a Soldier, a Conservative, a Populist, and an old school Republican activist.

As a New York Police Commissioner, he reorganized and helped to modernize the New York Police Department. The police force was reputed as one of the most corrupt in America, so he attacked the corruption and abuse of power within the Police Department .... and later did the same in the New York state house.

He took that same sort of vigor to the Oval Office after McKinley was shot by going after corruption in the Political Machine of the times and the abuse of power by corporations over average Americans.

He was definitely anti-Special Interest and a Government ruled by those interest.

Some of the results of his fight were the never before heard of Child Labor Laws to restrict the exploitation of children. 

And besides the Child Labor Laws, he championed the 8 hour work day, the 40 hour work week, an employee liability law for industrial injuries, and a living wage. This is what made TR so-called "anti-corporations".

During his time he was the first to start food safety regulations to stop the sale of bad meats and other foods, drugs, and beverages. The result was The Pure Food and Drug Act and Meat Inspection Act (1906) which was passed to protect public health.

He was not in favor of Unions and was actually anti-Union, especially by today's standards where they control so much with their political contributions. He hated the idea that those with money could make huge political contributions and subsequently control things. 

He appointed three very Conservative Justices to SCOTUS including Oliver Wendell Holmes.

He loved nature and championed the conservation movement of the time. He was a Conservationist and set goals to preserve the land FOR our future. He was not an environmentalist like those in today's Environmentalism movement which has become a political wing of America's Left and a haven for crazies who see humans as the enemy of the environment.

TR was so concerned about our environment and energy needs in the future so much that he put aside coal, oil, mineral, and forest reserves that did not come available until 2009. He knew that at the rate that they were using our natural resources during his term in office that there might not be any available one hundred years later. So he put much of those lands aside for the USE of Americans in later generations when he founded the National Parks system and other resource preservation acts.

He also championed a woman's right to vote and was a women's suffrage supporter to reform laws against women, especially old laws against a wife's right to inherit her husband's property. In many states at the time it was against the law for women to own property, and in many states after a husband's death ... the property would go to his next male kin.

TR believed in U.S. power, built up our Navy, welcomed the idea of U.S. expansion, and he even sought to extend the Monroe Doctrine to other countries. He put into place a temporary U.S. style of colonial rule over the Dominican Republic in 1905 and Cuba in 1906, as well as organizing the 1903 secession of Panama from Colombia in order to obtain the Panama Canal Zone. 

In an article on immigration, Roosevelt said, "We must Americanize in every way, in speech, in political ideas and principles, and in their way of looking at relations between church and state. We welcome the German and the Irishman who becomes an American. We have no use for the German or Irishman who remains such... [b]He must revere only our flag, not only must it come first, but no other flag should even come second[/b]."

None of these that I've listed are anywhere near Liberal positions today. 

The idea that the American Progressive movement of the late 19th century is in anyway similar to the so-called re-labeled Liberals today who call themselves Progressives is insane. They are like night and day.

One great example that the Progressive Movement of the late 19th Century is different than the so-called Progressives of today is that during the TR's time Progressives sought to enable the citizenry to rule more directly and circumvent political bosses.

Read Theodore Roosevelt's speech that he gave in 1912 pertaining to "The Rights of the People to Rule" and tell me if it is the same as the Liberal Left's agenda today? It isn't.

"Are the American people fit to govern themselves, to rule themselves, to control themselves? I believe they are. My opponents do not. I believe in the right of the people to rule. I believe the majority of the plain people of the United States will, day in and day out, make fewer mistakes in governing themselves than any smaller class or body of men, no matter what their training, will make in trying to govern them. I believe, again, that the American people are, as a whole, capable of self-control and of learning by their mistakes. Our opponents pay lip-loyalty to this doctrine; but they show their real beliefs by the way in which they champion every device to make the nominal rule of the people a sham. I have scant patience with this talk of the tyranny of the majority. Wherever there is tyranny of the majority, I shall protest against it with all my heart and soul. But we are today suffering from the tyranny of minorities. It is a small minority that is grabbing our coal-deposits, our water-powers, and our harbor fronts. A small minority is battening on the sale of adulterated foods and drugs. It is a small minority that lies behind monopolies and trusts. It is a small minority that stands behind the present law of master and servant, the sweat-shops, and the whole calendar of social and industrial injustice. ...

The only tyrannies from which men, women, and children are suffering in real life are the tyrannies of minorities. If the majority of the American people were in fact tyrannous over the minority, if democracy had no greater self-control than empire, then indeed no written words which our forefathers put into the Constitution could stay that tyranny.

No sane man who has been familiar with the government of this country for the last twenty years will complain that we have had too much of the rule of the majority. The trouble has been a far different one that, at many times and in many localities, there have held public office in the States and in the nation men who have, in fact, served not the whole people, but some special class or special interest. I am not thinking only of those special interests which by grosser methods, by bribery and crime, have stolen from the people. I am thinking as much of their respectable allies and figureheads, who have ruled and legislated and decided as if in some way the vested rights of privilege had a first mortgage on the whole United States, while the rights of all the people were merely an unsecured debt. Am I overstating the case? Have our political leaders always, or generally, recognized their duty to the people as anything more than a duty to disperse the mob, see that the ashes are taken away, and distribute patronage? Have our leaders always, or generally, worked for the benefit of human beings, to increase the prosperity of all the people, to give each some opportunity of living decently and bringing up his children well? The questions need no answer." (Theodore Roosevelt, 1912)

This sounds more like Tea Party Conservatism than it does 2011 Liberalism.

This sounds like all of the reasons that the November 2010 Elections turned out the way they did.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Can You Believe It's 2011!


I see a lot of signs that this may be a good year!

This morning my father-in-law lost it and laughing so hard at his own joke that he had tears running down his cheeks. And friends, that in itself is something rare to see.

I heard from a friend last night that this year may be good in the aspect that President Obama may stay out of Washington all month golfing in Hawaii. It seems that he loves his time away from the Oval Office. Well there's some of us that really like it when he stays out of the Oval Office. Maybe he can stay away for the next two years? Maybe being a golfer is more suited for him? Afterall his abilities to lead our nation is lacking at best.

Another sign that there is hope for the new year is the big event at Travis Air Force base in California. This month will see Nancy Pelosi give up her huge government furnished jet which she has used liberally to transport friends and relatives and her wealthy donors across the country and to Europe. She will be flying commercial like you and me. And friends, it's about time.

This coming year will probably go down as the "Year of the Great Repeal". It will be a "Take it back, we can't afford it" year.

"Take it back, we can't afford it!" That's what my mom used to tell us kids when we were in a store and we'd find something that we wanted. There was six of us kids, my dad was a sheet metal worker and welder, and of course mom managed the household. She knew how to stretch a dollar, especially when dad was off of work again because work was slow out there.

Maybe we need a "mom" as our president? Heck just her experience of running a family in itself is more experience than the present president had before he took office.

Yes, it was always up to mom to manage the family's money wisely and not spend our budget on things we just couldn't afford.

Sounds familiar to you? I bet it does! It's that way with most us. We are the great majority that folks forget about or can't relate to. Average Americans, not rich and not poor. Average Americans who fight to make it from check to check. I can't help but wonder how many in this present Administration can identify with us?

President Obama and his family are worth Millions and Millions of dollars. And some might say that that is his present financial condition and it wasn't always that way for him, but I can't help but wonder if it he's always had it easy.

Think about it. I think Obama would be hard pressed to understand us. I guess if you've never lived like us than it would be very hard to understand what folks have to do to get by sometimes. Especially during hard times.

Obama can't understand us. Here's a man who went to one of the most expensive private schools in Hawaii, Punahou School which was once known as Oahu College, and who went to expensive colleges in the mainland. Heck, the man had someone else pay for his college tuitions to the multiple colleges. And yes, those who paid his way are unknown because the public hasn't been able to see Obama's college transcripts.

We don't know what kind of grades he got, what he majored in, what kind of student he was, or who actually paid for his education .... because he won't release that information to us.

The concept that you can't always get what you want, even if you whine about it, is probably unfamiliar to someone like Obama who has had everything handed to him. Most Americans know how it is to want things and yet can't afford it.

The State of California is in the midst learning that lesson. Now it's the time for the Federal Government to learn how it is to have to "Take it back, we can't afford it!"

We The People just can't afford it.

From what happened during the elections in November, and knowing how hardy most Americans truly are, I see things as being pretty promising for 2011!

My advice to people who ask me about politics and what to expect from the world, was said best back in 1903 by Teddy Roosevelt, when he said, "Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."

I'm sure some will say that we have an attitude, but that's how we should deal with the future. We should speak courteously, deal fairly and wisely with each other, and we should keep ourselves armed and ready because our fight to retake America has just started.