When There Is No End In Sight

wpid-101471797824356719_jdoobwpv_f.jpg

I understand that many people on this planet rely heavily on stories they see on social media (I.e., Facebook, Twitter, Google+, ect.) as being actual news and that people choose their “side” on an issue based on the opinions of others. Unfortunately, y’all, not all, but many, will agree with me that social media has ruined everyone’s collective perspective on the world around us, a social choice has been made to remain being led by their noses. I did not nor will I superimpose anything French on any profile picture I have anywhere for any reason. This does not mean I do not feel sympathy for the dead or the survivors as many claim, it means I choose not to give in to games people play or the pressure people feel from the presence of “friends” not wanting to be left out. I rarely speak out about my political or religious opinions because, like many, I feel it falls on deaf ears.

But, now I will, now I will jump on my soapbox, now I will say the unpopular things, the insensitive things, the un-fuckingpolitically correct things, and the things that many are thinking but are afraid to say outloud. We, the people of the United States of America, have big problems that no politicians want to solve with already having an open borders policy. I personally live in a city where our homeless, many of which are our veterans, go dismissed on a daily basis because there is no money to support them. Yet, I watch as people flood across our borders get everything they need to survive because they are some sort of “refugee”, a term I will use very loosely here, and have little or nothing to go back to if they are turned away. For some reason it makes me less of a human being when I say enough is enough. There has and always will be some form of some kind of crisis in the world which makes people want to flee their nation, whether it be political, social, financial, natural disasters, or war. In every corner of the globe there are reasons to flee, to start over some place new, and to bring their problems with them. We don’t live in a world where everyone wants to be friends, holding hands by the campfire, and singing kumbaya. We live in a world of conquest, a world where the weak are preyed upon for one of thousands of reasons. We as Americans cannot stop this globally, but we damn sure should give it a shot here on U.S. soil. But we don’t, we reach out to the world to give it a tight hug eventhough we know we will be stabbed in the back. Reading this morning I see even more states have decided to go against the President and refuse to allow refugees, I applaud them, they should have been doing this long ago, we have our own people in need right here and right now. No, not every single refugee is a terrorist, but why take chances, why not be fearful of a sheep in wolves clothing, why not worry about our problems first? I’ll tell you why, fear. The United States of America has some pretty fucked up foreign and domestic policies that the government rams down our throats daily and most people thank them asking, “sir may I have another?”. Why? Fear, that’s why, fear. We are not the world’s police force, our military is a very misused tool eventhough our military took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America. I’m getting off base here, so let me touch back a moment, allowing more displaced refugees to enter the United States of America is a mistake, it invites everything everyone says we are fighting against into our backyard. Why? Go ahead, ask yourself why, ask yourself why it is a fantastic idea, and then sit back and watch.

The world is full of terror and terrible people, there is no collective place of safety anywhere, but this is our world to live upon and we need to start standing up and taking back what doesn’t belong to anyone else. But we won’t, its not politically correct, its not the christian thing to do, its not the politicians point of view, and its just plain wrong to sit back and watch. Bullshit. But your wrong if you think I don’t care, because I do, but I have my priorities in place, I put my families survival first, I see no reason at all, not one, why I should put my family at risk. Call me selfish, but their safety comes first, being able to feed them comes first, assuring their livelihood comes first, and seeing that I have others to battle for those things already I have no room in my life for more problems. Yes, I’m a cold hearted motherfucker because I personally don’t want or see the purpose of putting myself, my family, or other Americans further down the food chain because our President thinks it’s a grand plan. We have far too much domestic garbage on our plates, we need not invite more. With that being said, I do feel pain and sorrow for the people of France, for the lives lost and changed forever, and also that now they are forced to rely on the world to help reap their revenge. When will it stop? Where will the line be drawn this time? Your right, it will never end, somewhere there is always war, somewhere there is a government out of control, and the world will continue to lose lives, money, resources as she continues to grow and evolve. But you don’t give a shit about the future, your compassion is called upon once again to guilt you into the belief that we must stop our own lives to accept the problems others in the world have created. But wait, why is the United States of America getting involved to begin with? Asked yourself that yet? The United States of America doesn’t do shit ever unless they there is something politically to gain from it. Not you and I gain something, but the government gaining something. What is it they hope to gain now? Shall they write more checks from our checking account to cover the expenses? There is no end in sight. Let’s now look at what is happening, let’s look at the road we are being led down today, so let’s look internationally a moment at France’s use of Article 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union.

Article 42.7… Much like NATO’s Article 5 Defense Clause, France has chosen to rely on its European neighbors and followed through with Article 42.7 of the Treaty on European Union. So what does this mean? Since Article 42.7 is consistent with commitments under NATO; the only conclusion would be France doesn’t want American involvement; considering Article 222 of the Treaty specifies; “the union and its member states shall act jointly in a spirit of solidarity if a member state is the object of a terrorist attack or the victim of a natural or man-made disaster. The union shall mobilize all the instruments at its disposal, including the military resources made available by the member states.” And understand this, France was attacked by ISIS and American involvement in Syria hasn’t REMOVED ISIS; why? Because the Obama Administration isn’t interested in removing ISIS, this Administration is only focused on a Regime change in Syria; i.e. removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. And this Administrations involvement HAS and WILL make things worse. Consider this, the 5,000 “Moderate” Syrian Fighters being trained in Saudi Arabia will only become the NEW ISIS fighters in Syria within a few months. All at the cost of U.S. Taxpayers to the tune of 15 Billion Dollars. Look at it like this, British Survivor of the Terrorist Attack at the Bataclan Theatre, France, witnessed ISIS terrorist using knives to torture their mortally wounded victims by slitting their stomachs as they lay on the floor. Think about that for a minute… Allow that to sink in a fucking minute. This Administration is continuing to develop the fighters that will fill the ranks of ISIS and WE ARE PAYING FOR IT TO HAPPEN… And you think it ends there? Ask yourself this, how come 2,098 Syrian Muslims are allowed to FLEE Syria and come into the United States but only 53 Syrian Christians have been allowed in? But the President, OUR ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES said this at the G20 Summit, “We don’t have religious tests to our compassion. We do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.” And if you TRULY BELIEVE it’s all Obama’s fault, THEN WHY IS HE STILL IN OFFICE? Why hasn’t your State Representative in D.C. filled for impeachment? Why? Because they too DO NOT CARE about you or I. It’s time to wake up and see that Americans are not who they are interested in, because if they were, the United States of America would be a different place right now. Believe me, I don’t blame a certain President, he is not the blame for the state of the Union, but he is responsible for his policies and the continuation of policies from decades of other corrupted politicians. Daily we are asked to put our lives in the hands of people who don’t care about you and I, I only am asking why we still do it, why do we trust people who do not have our interests in mind, and why do we continue to elect people who keep fucking us all over?

In the end, I’m very fucking displeased with people, in general, right now. The United States of America is being jammed down the toilet politically and financially already, perhaps if the politicians and the people of this great Nation keep flushing it hard enough we will become a place nobody wants to come to legally, or flee to, and we will continue to evolve into a nation of politics and policies which has fucked it’s people into poverty unable to ever recover. Yes I’m fucking pissed, yes I’m done, and yes, if we as a Nation are not willing to unfuck generations of corruption in our government and big businesses then we will never see the end of the greed which we so proudly support. The decision is yours to want to lead or to follow, that choice cannot be made for you, the mistakes we are making as a Nation makes us appear as fools to our enemies. Every breath you take is being watched right now, history books are being written right now, and when we look back we can all hang our heads in shame together.

I’m done posting my normal day to day stuff here for a while, I’m tired of this whole pointless blogging thing, but before I stopped for a bit on the regular shit I had the above to say. I’m not here on this planet for the politicians to decide my fate in life and I have a feeling this post may raise more than one fucking eyebrow, but it all needed to be said, it all needed to be heard, and I stand behind it 100%. If you feel this is the end of our relationship I understand. If you feel that you must bitch at me for “keeping it fucking real” don’t bother. In my opinion, one way or another we are fucked because most people just don’t care anymore. I don’t know if I’m ready to put my soapbox away yet, there is much more I wish to discuss which I have stayed silent about for far too long. It’s all fun and games until the scorpion is backed into a corner. Live well my friends, live well while you still can, and if you read this and you are mad, merely thank me because you are fucking welcome.

Talk About A Ghost From Christmas Past

_20140927_085500

I really hate the fact that I have begun to think in the terms of my elders, but at times they have it too right to ignore. It takes a certain kind of lowlife douchebag to steal property which belongs to others, no matter their reasoning or justifications. There’s something broken within their morality meter which allows them to cross the forbidden line between right and wrong. Yesterday I was reminded that many laws are designed to better protect the criminal than the victims. Yesterday I received a letter from the state of Texas which informed me that Mr. Lowlife Douchebag III (his real name will never be spoken by my lips here) is scheduled for release from state incarceration in November 2014 after successfully meeting state parole requirements. Why is this information important to me personally? I will explain that in a minute since the incident happened back in this blogs literal infancy and I have never mentioned it here before in any kind of detail.

Late in the evening seven years, nine months, and three days or 2,834 days ago, we were settling down after just returning from a get together with my in-laws. After looking at the time, we had realized it will be Christmas Day in a few short hours. When we came in the house for the first time our hands were full, so after setting down all the food and bags, I returned to the truck to get the everything else. It was at this time I first noticed wet foot prints on the driveway and an out of place shadow where they ended at just the edge of where the light reached. I continued to the driver’s side of the truck, opened the door, reached into the center console, and retrieved my pistol. I remained bent across the seat, looking out behind me, waiting for movement. After a very long couple of minutes, I climbed back out of the truck and walked to the edge of the drive, and then I saw the shadow blink. Before I knew what was happening I had this man pinned to the ground with a pistol pointed at his forehead. Many moments passed while I stared into the eyes of this man, many thoughts passed in my mind, and then my wife’s voice broke the silence. Hearing the noise she came out, thinking I had dropped something or tripped. I will never forget the look of fear on her face as she looked in our direction. She went back inside swiftly and called 911.

It was thirteen minutes from the time she made the call before I saw the flashing lights come blazing up the driveway. The two cars pulled very close to where I was standing, four officers emerged and stood behind their open doors with weapons drawn, demanding I relinquish my weapon. I froze, I am the one who is making sure the douchebag does not run. I was confused. Moments later I was on the ground, I was rushed from behind, I can hear my wife screaming at them in terror. All I can think is it is Christmas Eve. We were both arrested. I was released early Christmas morning after being cleared of any criminal activity and establishing myself as home and property owner. After processing, my pistol was released back into my custody. Months later he was convicted of attempted armed robbery, armed trespassing after dark with intent to cause harm to persons and property, and finally with the possession of a stolen firearm.

The number one question I have been asked is why I did not shoot and kill this man because the right to do so with my actions protected by Texas laws. Why? Why is a powerful question. My answer has always been simple and has always remained unchanged. Shooting him to kill him never crossed my mind, never even close. It’s not my nature, no matter what, a human life is more valuable to me than things or property, and, eventhough I felt threatened, there was other options which I executed which defused the threat. In the end, I have a conscience which seems to always guide my actions. Yes, I was and remain to this day, mad. The lessons I have learned in my life have served me well and they have taught me that I am not the judge or jury, but just a human being on planet dirt trying to scratch out some kind of a life, like everyone else I can only assume. As far as his release, it isn’t my place to know if he is rehabilitated or not in the allotted time prescribed by the state of Texas. I do know, this experience was a part of the reason I have the security system I still use this very day. I may have lost faith along the way in my fellow humans, but at the same time the safety and security of myself and my family remains very high on my personal list if priorities. Its hard to say live and let live when the idea is more often than not, one sided. Below is a general look at the laws here in Texas, it should not be looked at or taken as any form of legal advice as I put it here for informational purposes only.

Texas law allows a person to use force in the protection of property to prevent or terminate another’s trespass or other unlawful interference with the possession of real or personal property. Deadly force can be used in Texas when the crime against property is classified as arson, burglary, robbery, criminal mischief at night or theft at night. Deadly force may also be used to prevent a person from fleeing with property immediately after the commission of a burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime if the actor believes that the property cannot be recovered by any other means or the use of force other than deadly force would expose the person to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Texas also allows a person to use force and deadly force to protect the personal property of a third party. The use of force is permissible if the person believes that the force or deadly force is necessary to prevent the commission of theft or criminal mischief, or if the person believes that the third party has asked them to protect the property, the person has a legal duty to protect the property, or the third party is the spouse, parent, child or under the care of the person using force.

Born, raised, and protected by guns, guts, and glory.

Caught Smuggling Drugs In Where?

 

_20140630_210718

I would like to talk about women smuggling drugs, or anything really, stuffed in their vaginas. No where in the above definition does it say that a vagina should be used like a glove compartment or as a pack mule for long trips. I will be the first to admit, however,  that I love experimenting with vaginas, but not for short or long term storage of foreign objects. Who knows, I have read and seen some weird shit criminals do and perhaps some women just see their vaginas as a bonus pocket or compartment. I’m no expert so I cannot really say. Here, below are two stories which got me to thinking about what not to shove in a vagina.vagina-meth Border agents find one pound of meth in a woman’s vagina. Today in Found at the Border: A woman was caught trying to smuggle a pound of meth into the United States by hiding the stash in her vagina, according to authorities. A federal complaint says agents noticed part of a broken condom hanging out of 31-year-old Claudia Ibarra’s pants as they patted her down at the port of entry in San Luis on Tuesday. Ibarra, a U.S. citizen, was chosen for a pat-down because a Customs and Border Protection officer noticed she was acting very nervous. Once officers found the broken condom during a pat-down in a secured room, officers asked Ibarra to remove her pants and underpants. Ibarra complied, and one officer “was able to see a piece of plastic protruding from her groin area,” according to the federal complaint. “At that time, Ibarra admitted to having a package of methamphetamine concealed inside of her body,” the complaint states. Ibarra had to be taken to a hospital in Yuma because the package “could not be removed from her body,” and the package of meth, weighing exactly one pound, was successfully removed. Ibarra faces two federal drug charges.

And then…….. pelvis-meth1 Laci Caldwell’s vagina may hold less cargo than Claudia “Home of the One-Pounder” Ibarra’s, but the 25-year-old accused smuggler wins points for creative storytelling. Caldwell was stopped on Monday while walking from Mexico at the San Luis port of entry south of Yuma after agents noticed she “seemed to be in pain or discomfort and that she was standing awkwardly.” Pain? Well, sure — the woman was in labor, about to give birth to 134.3 grams of meth. That’s nearly five ounces, or more than a quarter of what Ibarra was accused of trying to smuggle. Ibarra fessed up promptly when asked about her extra baggage. Caldwell, though, whose hometown wasn’t listed in a federal complaint, apparently thought for a minute there that she’d be able to talk her way out of trouble.

After noticing her awkward stance, customs agents asked for a second time whether she was carrying any contraband, and she said no. Agents felt a hard object protruding from her groin after a pat-down. “When asked what the hardness was, Caldwell replied that it was the result of a medical mishap during the birth of her first child,” the report states. For some reason, agents didn’t wish her well and send her on her way. They conducted a “partial body search,” which resulted in the discovery of “an off-white colored bubble/ball extending from Caldwell’s vaginal canal . . .” Yet Caldwell stuck with her story, again saying the object was an “abnormality” that occurred after her first pregnancy, “and she insisted that she be taken to the hospital for an X-ray.” Agents didn’t believe the tale but agreed an X-ray was in order.

They took her to the Yuma Regional Medical Center, where a doctor told them he’d prefer to just do a thorough vaginal exam. Then Caldwell saw her chance to ditch the evidence, according to the report. She changed into a hospital gown, and after “soiling this gown,” she changed into another. She tried to throw away the first gown, which one of the customs agents noticed was wrapped around an oblong object. The agent told her to put the stuff down, but Caldwell threw the object behind a door. Two plastic packages containing the 4.8 ounces of meth were found on the ER floor. U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence Metcalf ordered Caldwell to be detained, deeming her a flight risk. Caldwell’s being charged with two felony counts — one for smuggling the meth and another for possession with intent to distribute.

Both stories were found on Phoenix New Times with both pictures.

Posted From Scorpion Sting’s Motorola Droid Maxx!

Neither A Fan Or Foe Of Cannabis

Marijuana_USA_Icon_MGN.1372022180

To tell y’all the truth I don’t care either way. Cannabis (marijuana) just doesn’t happen to be in or around my life personally. As a personal note, just because I don’t agree with social drug use doesn’t mean I am an advocate against it. But, the business of drugs in the United States is huge and there is no shortage of people ready to part with their money. OK, where am I going with all of this? I’m looking for opinions, not anger, not justifications, nor the legalities, just opinions from everyday people. If your life involves the recreational use of drugs so be it, if your life doesn’t involve the use of drugs so be it, I personally don’t care, it doesn’t change my opinion of anyone. Are we clear?

Now we, in the United States, are at the dawn of something new, the age where states are legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Many feel this is a great triumph and many see it as the further downwards spiral of the USA. Either way, its here today, it is happening today, and we are seeing a shift in the politics of pot. Its just where we are as s country. As a parent, I have my own concerns. Living in Texas, however, if you want to buy weed you must do it the old fashioned way, illegally. I was reading some news late last night about a company who is or has unveiled a vending machine to dispense marijuana in states where it has been legalized but so far has been restricted to the dispensing of medical marijuana. The printed facts out on the internet rage in every direction possible so it is hard to say what is what while being fair to everyone.

_20140628_102826

Would a vending machine for weed be a welcome site in your neighborhood if it was legal to place it there? What concerns, if any, would you have about a vending machine to dispense weed in public places alongside soft drink machines, candy machines, and so forth? Do you think the weed dispensing vending machine will start out as s fad, a novelty, and then fade away? Not that my personal opinions matter, but I see it as a new tool for the criminal element to use. Wait, y’all thought just because weed is being legalized in a fee states that this was going to eliminate any and all criminal elements from the equation? It would be nice but I think we would be wrong in that assumption because drugs (legal and illegal) are big business and I don’t see anyone making money willing to back down and forego their profits for the collective ides of progress.

As more states have legalized medical marijuana and the first inroads are made into full weed legalization in the United States, a new crop of businessmen have positioned themselves to surf the rising market tide for marijuana and marijuana-related products, an economy that could grow to be as large as that of tobacco or alcohol. Is this going to be the next big American industry? I remind everyone, since 1970, marijuana has been classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance by the federal government’s Drug Enforcement Administration. This lumps cannabis in with LSD, heroin, and MDMA as a drug that has a high potential for abuse in the United States.

marijuana2_infographic_USA

Nationwide, the classification is widely viewed as unreasonable and outdated. Medical marijuana is now legal in 18 states (as well as the District of Columbia), a growing minority that, along with the passage of the recreational weed laws in Colorado and Washington, could signal the coming end of marijuana prohibition in the United States. The day may soon arrive when any citizen in any state, as long as they’re over 21, can purchase weed from an accredited place and smoke til their hearts content.

Overall, in my little opinion on this matter, I don’t care for the idea of the vending machine. I have my reasons, some are even listed here. I just wanted to share this with y’all to see what y’all might be thinking. I do not wish to debate it as a right or wrong type discussion, I was just looking for the different opinions and why we have them.

pot-flag

Spending The Entire Day Waiting

US-veteran

Yesterday I spent the entire day at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston waiting for assistance at the pharmacy. When I say all day what I really mean is I was in line for mandatory valet parking at 7:04 am, by line I mean there were already 64 vehicles ahead of me, for a service which doesn’t even start until 7:30 am. This is after a 55 minute drive from my house. But, before I begin my monologue about my personal frustrations with the VA Medical wait times or my personal complaints, my experience is minor compared to most others trying to get more critical treatment. In no way am I saying I have bigger problems, just I have my own problems. Regardless of what a person’s reason for visiting a VA Medical center, things should happen in a more timely manner than what it does currently.

My reason, and I had only one reason, for visiting the VA Medical center was a very clear and simple mission, to find out who and why my insulin changed. I would waste time explaining the significance to everyone but only a diabetic and doctors (most) would understand. Let’s just say we don’t change insulin for no reason at a whim. What started this quest was simple, Friday I got my new 30 day supply of insulin which was the wrong “brand” and the wrong dose. Names change so I did a little research and found what they sent me was wrong altogether. I called the pharmacy, and the short version is, I was told I must be mistaken and if a mistake was made it was because I ordered refills for the wrong insulin. Really? I’m that fucking stupid? I referred to my Rx # and so forth directly from the myhealth website and I was again told the mistake was all me. After hanging up I contacted my PCP in Conroe, spoke with her nurse, and was assured nothing had changed in my prescription details. Well, at that point in the day it way too late to drive into the VA so I made plans for Monday morning. Unfortunately those plans got scrapped and I was delayed until Tuesday. For your curiosity purposes I have included a screen capture from today to illustrate how vets can use this website to order and track prescriptions and yes this is my own personal list.

After driving, after waiting for mandatory valet parking, and after getting my number at the pharmacy, I sat there prepared to have a discussion with the pharmacist. I had my last vile, the vile they sent me, and the printed version of what you see below. So, I waited. after 2 1/2 hours my number came up so I got in line to wait another 20 minutes. Finally, when it was my turn to speak with a pharmacy technician, I was told that he could not help me with my problems and that I would need to take a different number so I could be consulted by the pharmacist. WTF? Again, I sat and waited in the sparsely populated waiting room of the pharmacy. Now, we are in lunch time so the slowness begins creeping to an almost halt. I’m hungry, but not hungry enough to leave and lose my place in line. Good thing I had brought a baggie full of spicy roasted almonds for a snack. Somewhere around 2:30 pm I was again alerted my number was up and got back in the line to wait behind the others whose numbers were called. Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel appears, I’m next. I was so close I could taste it.

The pharmacist very nicely asked what my problems were and how could he assist me. After explaining it all again to him he looked at me and told me any and all changes had to come directly from my PCP. Really? What changes did she make which changed not only my insulin but almost triples my dose? Of course, there ate no changes on record. The he pulled the “you must have ordered the wrong insulin when you did your refill request” bullshit. How in the hell can I do that? I have one fucking choice and that is what in the fuck I clicked. Here is the real kick in the balls, he tells me regardless of anything that is said that the current 30 day supply of insulin has already been verified, processed, and shipped which means he can not refill any more until July and if changes through my PCP happen then those will need to happen prior to that date. WTF are you smoking? If I am in need of this insulin immediately then I need to purchase it on my own. If I thought I would look good in prisoner orange I would have just ended his smart ass right then and there. FUCK I hate this fucking place!

And, by the way, one can not simply go to a civilian pharmacy and get insulin without a fucking prescription. I can, however, go on line and order it from a pharmacudicals supply in Canada with no prescription for a mere $260.10 plus express shipping. Yea, like that’s gonna fucking happen. Who knows what the fuck would be in that vile. As a result, my civilian PCP was nice enough to see me this morning. That only cost me $167.30 but he did give me a prescription for the correct insulin and the correct dosage. Which was generous of him, probably since I have been a patient of his for the last 15 years. So I got lucky, this time. At the pharmacy I had to pay the self-pay cost of $208.08 but now I have what I need for the next thirty days. I also am able to get in to see my VA PCP at the end of June so things hopefully work out and get back on track, hopefully.

No, I do not think I can ever get them to admit this whole thing was their mistake. I have come to a conclusion in the short time of dealing with the medical portion of the VA, they have to not have a soul or something to work there. I wonder how in the fuck they sleep at night. I do know, it is because they operate with no conscience. But, to be fair, I base this opinion solely on the people I have encountered myself. However, I have met ex-VA doctors, nurses, and technicians who say that they did not agree with how things worked but their hands were always tied when trying to make a positive difference. I can’t say I know what every veteran is going through and I know my problems are simple compared to most because my are Rx related. I would hate to see the state of my “health & wellbeing” if my only option was the VA. I am deeply sorry our Veterans must endure such bullshit as a course of their own survival, they truly deserve better, they deserve the best that is offered, and maybe with their asses in the news now the VA will clean their act up. I know, I know, wishful thinking.

20140618_105649

Our Jobs As Teenagers

nillionaire

My 17 y/o daughter and I had an interesting conversation over the holiday break which sparked my daughter’s interest into looking at what other teens make per hour at their part-time jobs. I tried to explain to her that she was very lucky making $10 per hour as well as only having to work 20 hours a week. She is actually pretty damn lucky because her part-time job is working at the church daycare as a teacher’s aide. She has had this job for a little over a year and half. She has never had to work at a fast food place or a place of retail so she knows nothing about how it actually is in a real marketplace for employment. She is lucky in other ways as well, like every bit of the money she earns is only earmarked for things she wishes to spend it on. She has no bills with the exception of putting fuel in her truck. In my opinion, knowing how I grew up, she is extremely lucky she can spend her paychecks as she pleases. She is smart with her money to a degree, she always puts some away in her saving account. She has a hard time comprehending that “most” teens her age with a part-time job are only making $7.25 per hour and work in less than ideal conditions sometimes.

She says I was lucky as I explained to her what I did for money when I was a teen. I made what I thought was decent money at the time back in 1983 because that is when I really started getting paid. I worked with my dad who was a concrete contractor for many years before for basically spending money but never anything to save. I learned many skills working with him that I still value to this day. I was never afraid to bust my ass working in the Houston heat & humidity and not see a dime for my efforts. When I needed money all I had to do is ask, well, most of the time. As the summer between 8th and 9th grade approached I had already obtained my driver’s license, I already had a truck (rebuilt from parts from the junkyard where I found it), I was dating, and all I needed was a part-time job to pay for all the things I wanted to do. Back in 1983 the state minimum wage was $3.35 or something like that per hour. Where I lived teens had a limited choice to part-time employment like working at a fast food place, the theatre (an old singleplex), the car wash, a grocery store, or out on the farms and ranches. My dad offered up $700.00 per month cash (over the summer) to keep working with him and when school started back up it was going to be $350.00 a month cash. Doesn’t seem like much by todays prices, but back then the money would last me a long time. So, no, I never had to go get a minimum wage job while in high school.

The conversation evolved back to today and the struggles over the minimum wages at fast food places. This is where I was told my asshole side came out to play. My daughter wanted to agree with the fight, the fight to change paying employees at least $15.00 to flip burgers, get my order wrong, and waste my damn time. Oh, wait, the money paid isn’t supposed to reflect the quality of service you receive now is it. More money does not mean the skill level and caring just went up. I think it’s a joke. And, no, I don’t know the struggles of the people working in that industry or any other for that matter. Plus, I’m not a fast food eater, mostly because I hate paying for shitty service, shitty attitude, and shitty food. No, you may not argue that everything would be better if these poor mistreated people made more money. You’ll never be able to convince me that paying $15.00 per hour will make the fast food experience better for the customer, and if you believe that bullshit it might be time to re-evaluate your past dining experiences. People, in general, want everything handed to them while they provide little or no effort. Why no, right? Society has been moving in this direction for many years, right? We are victims of our own bullshit, right? Wrong! Get a job, work your ass off, work your way up, try harder than the next person, and stamp out your place in this fucking society as a person that has something to offer back besides an open hand waiting for something to dropped into it. What ever happened to “earning a living” or “working hard” or “getting a job”? They don’t exist, people just sit on the couch and wait for the government check.

I sound a little bitter don’t I? Or do I? Don’t mistake my honesty about all of this for being bitter, just consider that I’m real tired of all the people who complain but are not willing to get a damn job and when they get a job for unskilled labor they complain that they are not paid enough. I can speak for where I live locally and the teens don’t want to work. The ones that do are not doing it for weekend cash they are doing it to help support their household. Those who aren’t teens, what should they be paid? Good question since working at a fast food place is still considered being unskilled labor. I don’t know anymore, it seems, at least on the surface, that the debate will continue about minimum wage, especially in the fast food industry. I guess people are no longer happy with the opportunity to merely have a job and unfortunately in our society there is an actual need for an unskilled labor force. If people want better for themselves then they need to better prepare themselves to be in a different job market that earns more money, not ask it to be handed to them like it is today in the here and now.

So, what should be the wages, the limitations, and the requirements? Hell, I’m in my mid-40s and had to have a second full-time job to make ends meet, and that is with a wife who is employed full-time. I didn’t know all I needed to do was whine a little and it would all be handed to me with no effort on my part. This is the world we live in, everything isn’t equal and nor should it be equal because we all don’t offer equal qualifications and/or work ethics. Be assured that the government will be forced to increase the minimum wage because of all the political pressure that is currently being applied. And, sadly, when the enablers get their way, we as a society, will once again take a few steps backwards. Where does the extra money come from? The consumer will be having the wage increase passed on to him/her through everything they purchase which is soon going to mean that what I make an hour won’t be enough, according to the same standards. Yea, I know, I can speak until I’m blue in the face and still get told I have absolutely no argument. Well, this has been my opinion and I think it will be a giant mistake and the people being served at the local fast food restaurant and at other places which use unskilled labor will soon be seeing a cost increase because the labor still has to be paid for by employers.

Where do we go from here? In my personal opinion, I think that this will just be another nail in the coffin for any business, large or small, here in the United States. Many places already operate on a shoestring budget just to keep the doors open and make some profit after paying the bills. Your right, fuck ’em. Why should I care what people are getting paid. Part of me thinks about the amount of blood, sweat, and tears it took me to get where I am at today. Part of me dislikes it when anything is just handed over to those who are not willing to earn it. I was raised different from that, I was raised in a manner that made me realize I needed to be able to provide something in exchange for compensation. I raise my own children the same way and not look for the free ride. Hopefully I’m alone in the way I raise my kids because if so then this next generation of people entering the workforce are truly fucked. I wonder what would be dropped in my open hand being a white male, 45, skilled, educated, and currently employed. Anything extra for me? I didn’t think so. But I already knew this fact. Anyway, as a society in the United States, we keep throwing money into the burning caldron, before long the people like myself that actually have to earn a living will be out of money and there will be no help, there will be only dust in the bankrupt coffers. Too melodramatic?

I never wanted to be a millionaire, I still don’t want to be a millionaire, and I doubt I will ever want to be a millionaire. Why? I like my life and the people in it. We work hard for what we earn and live a lifestyle which has been great for all of us, all too much money will do is corrupt what we consider to be perfect. Y’all may think one’s life revolves around money, I used to think the same way, but when you have nothing it always brings a smile to your face when you can put a little aside for a rainy day. I’m not saying the minimum wage is accurate, but I’m not the judge of that either, and it is called “minimum” for a reason. The only place people can go when they are on the bottom is up, many people acknowledge that the journey will be long and hard, others prefer to demand something without offering anything more in return. As much as we would all like to think we are worth our weight in gold, the reality is that if we were then we would no longer have value. I’ll leave it up to y’all because y’all should make your own decisions based on your individual opinions. The minimum wage is out of the hands of the “people” and will always be decided by politicians who take only their status into consideration. Fuck it, roll the dice. I hope everyone gets what they are expecting.

holdingMoney

Being A Number On A List

air-force-logo

I write quite a bit about the United States Air Force, the AMMO careerfield, the places in the world I have traveled, and the people I have met because my time in the Air Force consumed just shy of 15 years of my life. I write quite a bit about being a United States Air Force Disabled Veteran as well since this “status” was given to me and has been a part of my life for the last 13 years. In a way, my “status” is no more than being a number in a system and a monthly disbursement of funds. Fortunately for me, I did not have the struggles that we hear over time about how people get denied benefits. I was fortunate to receive a 100% disabled rating from the start. One of the “benefits”, if it can be considered a benefit, is that my vehicles bear Texas DV permanent license plates. I’m one of those people you will see out in the actual parking lot and not in the designated handicap parking spaces. Why? Good question. Perhaps because I intend on confusing people who notice. It really matters not to me where I park, most days, as I get older, being closer to the entrance is nice, but not required. I can get there from anywhere, might take me a little longer, but I will get there eventually.

Why do I bring all of this up? I had an interesting interaction with a young lady at our local Big Box supercenter, insert the name you know belongs, who afterwords really got my son to thinking and asking questions he had never asked before. First, she asked to take a picture of my H1 Alpha where the license plate is visible to help her in her project she is putting together showing disabled parking placard fraud. When I asked why she responded with an interesting observation she made while watching me and others. She pointed out that each entrance to the Big Box supercenter has 21 handicap parking spaces yet there are 40+ vehicles out in general parking that have disabled plates. She continued to explain that there are only two vehicles with actual disabled plates using handicap parking spaces, the rest are using disabled placards of different varieties. He points out that half of them are expired, some of them have had the dates obscured some way, and a small percentage actually look proper. I still don’t see my place in this conversation yet. She continued by saying that the two vehicles that had actual disabled plates had people in them which were using the assistance of motorized chair, where all the placarded vehicles moved under self locomotion. Okay, so what is the issue or problem with me. She says she has noticed before as she has been doing her “study” for a few months that there are times I park is handicap parking when it is available. I was waiting for her to ask me why, but it never happened.

TX-parking-handicap-sign

I soon walked off because I actually was there for a reason beyond looking who is parking where. As I walked off I made a call to a friend of my in the county sheriffs office and asked if what she was doing was legal. He said he would roll out there and see if he could talk with her. Why did I call? I called for 2 reasons, first of all her stalking people in the parking lot enough to recognize people who frequent this store (which is mega-creepy) and secondly because she was taking pictures of people, vehicles, and license plates. Is she doing anything illegal? We’ll talk about that here in a bit. This whole thing prompted my son to start asking a few questions of his own. We will talk about a few of them. First he asked why the police don’t tow, boot, or ticket vehicle in disabled parking with expired credentials. I actually know this answer, it is because disabled parking violations on private property is not exactly a high priority with the police department. Now this same problem in a public setting or at government facilities is swiftly handled. Why? My guess is money, logistics, and manning. Second he asked what were the requirements for getting a disabled plate or placard. Personally I don’t know what others needed to do, I had to fill out forms and be examined before being given my prescription to take to the DMV. I would only expect that this would be the same process for everyone. But, I don’t often assume things, so I leave this one as unknown.

Thirdly he asked don’t I wish that I could closer to the entrance all the time. Sure, it would be nice, but I don’t mind the longer walk. Last, he asked me a question which he shouldn’t be worrying about which was are most of the people who have handicap parking privileges frauds. Good question. People have their reasons for doing everything. Most people who know they are doing something wrong have already weighed the odds of getting caught and are willing to accept the consequences. Sure, I see people getting in the car and out their car and wonder to myself what the reason for their disabled plate/placard is. But then I would imagine that people ask the same about me. What they see is a man in his mid-40s who gets out or gets in his vehicles a little slower than others. They see a man who walks a little bit slower than most. Other than a modest limp, nobody would think nothing to be any different about me. I don’t where my medical history on my shirt for the world to read nor is it available at your request to review. I personally don’t know other people are doing or why they are doing it. In the end if I ever get to the point where my mobility is really shitty I can always have my wife do the annoying thing I see allot, which is to stop right in front of the front doors and drop me off.

Now, getting back to the young lady in the parking lot. She claims to be a college student here locally and a while back handicap parking fraud caught her attention and through some research she found it was a large problem that is mostly ignored. So, she has become an “advocate” for the disabled driver, she uses her website to get out her word and findings, I guess like an investigative reporter of sorts. She also does petitions and writes lawmakers in Austin to try to get the laws changed so the fraud will disappear. As well, she feels she is at least a little bit partially responsible for the fines increasing in Texas for violators. I look like at it like this, karma truly is a bitch. Everything has a way of catching up with you in one way or another. I know that I’m not the one who is a fraud, I’m not the one doing something illegal, I’m not the one who needs a lesson in morality, and I’m not the person who will get shot confronting someone over a parking space. Life is too short to let the little things ruin your day. It may seem that I don’t actually care, which is isn’t altogether true, I do care, I care that I have myself in-line, what someone else does with their life is their choice. Too many assholes have frauded the disabled parking system that Joe Public looks at all of us with scrutiny and in-turn sees no harm in the handicap space being mis-used. Not everyone is a thief and a liar, not everyone is a fraud, not everyone is lazy, and not everyone who has disabled plates needs to be in disabled parking. It would be nice however, if people did follow the law and that the laws are enforced. In a perfect world maybe, but not in the world I live in.

964342

Overall I guess the actual point of this post is to show people that not everyone feels “privileged” with what they believe to be their undisputable right to park in a handicap spot. And yes, I am a person who could go either way. Most days my body decides to be cooperative with me living my life, other days not so much, but life must still carry forward. I think the only problem I have with people, in general, is the ones that admit they borrow a vehicle or a placard so they can park closer, because that is just lazy, and lazy isn’t a handicap, it’s a choice people make everyday.