Protests, especially those that involve fundamental rights and truths, are full of complex emotions and currents, and they are prone to outbursts of violence and aggression, regardless of the group that is doing the protesting. Peace and violence are not restricted by age, sex, place of origin, religion or group. It is the nature of the human race to strive for equality and recognition in the face of injustice and oppression. Everyone is worth something, has value, and wants to be recognized as a human being. I’ve heard rumors of bloodless revolutions, peaceful transfers of power from despots to democracy, but I can’t actually recall a real one. At least, not an honestly reported one. Wouldn’t it be a wonderous thing if we no longer had to work so damn hard to seek understanding and equality?

I love this writer’s sense of humor. I’ve been reading him since early 2000ish. All credit goes to Bill Harris at

After hitting golf balls with one hand for six weeks, I actually hit six balls with both hands on Monday.
My left wrist still isn’t healed, but it’s much better.
The difficult thing with this injury is that I’m not sure when to start strengthening exercises. It’s some kind of tendonitis, or possibly a torn tendon, or maybe something has burrowed into my wrist and is currently living there, waiting to breed.
The good news is that after six weeks of one-handed swing drills (not fun), I now have a draw swing 100% of the time. That’s a fast swing makeover.
So I now have a 5-gallon bucket and 15 lbs. of rice in the bucket, and I’m trying to build hand strength so that this doesn’t happen again.
I walked into the kitchen with an important question.
“Okay, I’m strengthening my hands by putting them in a bucket filled with rice. But I have a conceptual question.”
Gloria was finishing up preparations for Taco Tuesday. “What’s your question?”
“Well, I have fifteen pounds of rice. In a bucket. And I’m using it to work on my hand strength.” I paused. “But what happens if I need rice for dinner or something and I’m out?”
“No,” Gloria said.
“I always wash my hands before I put them in the rice.”
“And I’m boiling the rice.”
“Absolutely not.”
“Literally boiling it.”
“Never, never do this.”
“All right,” I said. “We’ll talk about this later.”

As a kid I disliked school. It moved slowly, I was uncomfortable in social situations and generally speaking, it gave me about an hour’s worth of work and information in a 7 hour period of time. Also, I really, really hated mornings and I hadn’t discovered coffee yet. Of course, back then, you weren’t allowed to have drinks in the classroom. Even now I’m not sure a 5th or 6th grade teacher would go for a student walking into their classroom with a cup of coffee in their hand…but if I were that age now, I’d certainly try.

But teachers, I loved my teachers. I was far more comfortable with them and they were fascinating people. Easier to understand, intelligent, kind and possessing a wealth of knowledge that they would share with me. It might take me a minute or two, but I can probably recall the face or name of virtually every teacher I had from 1st to 12th grade. Almost every one of them had a quantifiable impact on me that I can still speak about today. In fact, if I’m being completely honest, I’m more likely to sit and wonder what happened to my old teachers than I am most of the students that I attended school with. Like I said, I wasn’t comfortable in social situations and I couldn’t relate to most kids my age.

I could go on and on about the impact of teachers and principals in my life, even a couple of the janitors! I may have disliked school, but the people there made it forever amazing.

All of which leads me to this, my 6th grade year, which is probably my favorite year for a variety of reasons, but chief among them were my teacher and my principal. I could write a whole essay on Keith, the principal, but today I want to talk about my teacher, (The Honorable) Scott T McCulloch.

I was in his class for 3 days and then I moved for a couple of months. And then I was back in his class like nothing ever happened. It’s a long story and he didn’t make an issue of it. Scott was a loud, enthusiastic guy who had to speak in a whisper because he’d just had surgery on his vocal cords. He made up for the lack of volume with nice, thick hair and a great smile. His method of teaching fractions and percentages was to bring in the football scores from the weekend and we’d figure the stats on whoever was playing the Vikings that week. He never lacked for enthusiasm, was visibly compassionate and caring in a time when that wasn’t acceptable for most men to be, and that didn’t bother him at all. He sparked my interest in politics, ran for and won a seat as a Representative, was enthusiastic about science, life and his students. He was also the first teacher I ever got into a real argument with, but he still managed to handle it with grace and respect, even though he didn’t have to. He taught me that leadership can be quiet and considered, not just loud and obvious. He respected intelligence and knowledge and didn’t make fun of those that didn’t fit the usual molds. Scott is a great example of why I love so many of the teachers that I met in my time at school, and why I am so adamant about education and education reform today.

I lost touch with Scott sometime after leaving 6th grade, but I’d ask after him from time to time, and thanks to his continued interest in politics, I’d see his name crop up in news articles and the like and I would smile. Unfortunately I saw his name again today, but not in the section I’d ever want to see it. It’s a little harder to smile today.

I want to have a real conversation with some people on my time line today. Or maybe less a conversation and more a rant. Yes, it involves politics, yes it involves the current administration, yes it involves real people. In short, it might make you uncomfortable. You need to get over that.

Over the past 8 months my income has dropped by 80%. I literally make 1/5th of what I made in January. Unlike a lot of people, I didn’t have to go on unemployment or get laid off, I could still work from home with virtually no change in how I do my job. I was one of the “lucky ones”. I can only imagine how hard it is for those that weren’t “lucky”.

So what changed?

I handle freight across North America, which means that all that stuff you see on the shelves, on Amazon, or in your home? Yeah, that got moved via truck, rail road and ship line in order to get to where it’s at. That’s what I do. Shipping is quite literally the life blood of our nation, and a vast majority of it comes from outside of our country, like China and Mexico. Without shipping, our cities would run out of critical supplies in 24-72 hours. When the world shut down, most of that stuff stopped moving. It stopped being produced or shipped. That’s why you’ll go into Lowes, or see on Amazon, that the dishwasher you ordered might take 2 months to get in, if it even has an estimated arrival date. That’s why a lot of stores are re-configuring their floor plans, they’re doing it to hide the fact that they’re way short on inventory and they have no damn clue when it will get delivered to them, if at all.

But the President said the economy…

The President is full of shit. The stock market isn’t the economy. It has almost nothing to do with the economy and doesn’t reflect the state of the nation’s economic health. Production does. Sales do. The act of buying and selling is what moves our economy. All of that is down, way down. As in, ~35% down. The stock market is a vehicle in which the already wealthy are able to increase their wealth very significantly without actually contributing anything to the growth of the economy or industry. That doesn’t make it a bad thing, but it also means that it doesn’t put real money in the pockets of the average American – roughly 65-70% of us, at last count. It isn’t our economy, period.

But the President said Covid….

The President is full of shit. Covid is a real thing. I don’t care what you saw on YouTube or Facebook, I don’t care what the President said. Stop filling your head with Russian propaganda. You know what matters? The rest of the world took it seriously. It wasn’t a political thing, it wasn’t a hoax, it wasn’t a damn conspiracy theory cooked up in a lab in China. It was a real threat with real consequences and almost every country outside of the United States believed it, so they shut their countries down to minimize the spread. It shut down production and shipping. It shut down the world economy, an economy that we rely on and are supported by. All that American exceptionalism doesn’t mean a thing if we can’t get product in from other countries.

And let’s talk about that for a minute. You know that trade war that President Trump started? That one with China and Mexico? Those tariffs? That’s a tax on Americans, not the country of origin. That raises prices for us, not them. It makes it harder to get stuff into the US, and more expensive for us when we do. So when Covid hit, our economy was already hurting, this just made it much, much worse.

Which leads me to this. All those things that used to be produced here, or locally in your state? They aren’t produced here anymore because American companies could produce them cheaper elsewhere. You didn’t lose your jobs and factories because of China or Mexico, you lost them because the American government made it very profitable for American companies to move all their operations over seas due to financial and tax laws that encourage high profits to shareholders over the well being of workers, the economy or our country. Profit above all. And our President? He’s a direct beneficiary of exactly those policies. They’ve made him richer, they have allowed him to declare multiple bankruptcies without any consequences – all paid and covered by the American taxpayer. He’s spent 4 years in office ensuring those very policies not only continue, but are expanded.

And many of you let it happen. You voted your own damn jobs away and smiled while doing it.

I can go on. I can talk about how we got here, how economic policies of the last 50 years or so have led to exactly where we are. I can talk about how we no longer have a news media and how that affects our understanding of events. I could talk about all that and why it matters, but I’m not going to. You’re responsible for educating yourself and taking ownership of your country – or not. And a lot of you have chosen not to.

What I will say is this – I’m looking at working 2-3 jobs right now in order to take care of my family during a time when a significant portion of the country is whining about wearing a mask and can’t understand why we all just don’t get back to work. All I have to say to that at this point is a nice, Southern “Well bless your heart!”

Being a 3rd party candidate in the Presidential election is a lot like walking into your first job and demanding to be made CEO. Nobody knows who you are, who you’ve worked with, and since you don’t have a team of your own, how you’ll get things done. It’s the top job, nothing higher, and is supported by a nationwide network of governors, representatives at every level, voters and organizers. And yet, every 4 years somebody wants to jump to the head of the line without ever making sure they have the rest of the team in place first.

Voting for a 3rd party presidential candidate is like rooting for your guy to make employee of the year, except they don’t work at your company and nobody knows who they are. They’ll never get the award but it’s a sure thing that somebody you weren’t going for, will.

I support 3rd party candidates, but swinging for the fences when everybody else is playing football is probably not a viable strategy.