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‘I Consider Myself A Guest Here’

Canadian William Shatner REFUSES

To Trash Trump: ‘I Consider Myself a

Guest Here’

William Shanter, the ICONIC Star Trek actor himself, refuses to talk ill of President Donald Trump regardless of his feelings for politics. In a recent interview he had with the Daily Beast he spoke all about it, and his new book, ‘Spirit of the Horse’. During this interview, Shatner made it really clear that his name was not to be added to an open letter that was released out of Hollywood last year denouncing Trump’s candidacy.

“I didn’t do that. I would never have done that,” the actor said of the anti-Trump letter posted on the Trek Against Trump Facebook page last September.

There were however, notable personalities of the original star trek series like George Takei (of course) who played Hikaru Sulu, and Star Trek Into Darkness director JJ.Abrams, who was a very avid Clinton supporter did sign that letter.

The Beast reporter did attempt more than once to get Shatner to dish on Trump, and the actor stuck to his guns refusing to do so, making it very clear that he wasn’t willing to speak ill of the president.

“I don’t want to discuss Trump or [George] Takei,” Shatner said, adding: “Listen, I’m Canadian and I’m apolitical. I love America. I consider myself a guest here.”

“I won’t do anything that might get me deported,” the 86-year-old star joked.

The Priceline pitchman, known best for his role as Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the U.S.S. Enterprise, also revealed that while he and Abrams have discussed him having a role in the rebooted Star Trek film franchise, the director hasn’t extended the offer.

“I’ve met with J.J. Abrams, who seems to be running the film franchise now,” Shatner said. “Though I’ve repeatedly expressed my interest in being in one of the Star Trek movies they seem to have no interest in bringing back old Captain James T. Kirk.”

Shatner, who made his small-screen debut as Captain Kirk in 1966, also revealed that he has never seen any of the new films.

A lifelong lover of horses, Shatner’s new book Spirit of the Horse is a love letter to his four-legged friends.

Although he is very liberal in his political beliefs, he knows how to stand for those beliefs without being ridiculous and out of line like his other Hollywood friends.

Yep. I could sit next to him on a plane, introduce myself as a conservative and he’d like me.

That’s how it’s suppose to be.

h/t Facebook, I Have the Truth.com

AMEN, Mr. Shatner and Mr. Wendal!

Now, I’m not an unabashed fan of the current President (although he is certainly a vast improvement over the last one!)  Having said that, I tire of the juvenile and sometimes criminal actions taken against the President.  Like it or not, he IS the President!  And deserves some respect.

(I’d preferred a more libertarian President, stopping this ongoing assault on the Fourth Amendment.  One with a better speaking style.  Wish in one hand…)

To see and hear (most) Hollywood types continue to attack and beat on him is more than shameful.  YES, everyone has a right to an opinion.

But, lets be adult about it, shall we?  Disagree on policy choices, not hairstyles!

 

Davis-Oliver Act Sets Out To Enforce U.S. Immigration Laws

(from FNC)

Via Billy

Immigration impacts virtually every challenge and threat America and Americans confront each day.
Failures of the immigration system have cost thousands of Americans and others present in the United States their lives.

The 9/11 Commission, to which I provided testimony, identified those failure of the interior enforcement program, as being at heart of the ability of terrorists, and not only the 19 hijackers who carried out the terror attacks of 9/11 but other terrorists, as well, to enter the United States and embed themselves as they went about their deadly preparations.

Members of pernicious transnational gangs from around the world, and not just Latin America, have easily entered the United States and set up shop in towns and cities across the United States peddling narcotics and perpetrating violent crimes.

Failures of the immigration system have not only surpassed the wages of American and lawful immigrants but have also cost millions of American workers their very jobs.

 More @ Front Page
I’m all about legal immigration.  This Republic was built on and by immigrants.  Certainly there were illegals one hundred years ago, not passing through Ellis Island (or the equivalent).  But times, technology, and populations have changed.  As have the immigrants, themselves.
There was a time folks strove to come to America to live the American Dream.  Many still do.
But, there are those who hold to their non-American cultural, criminal or religious traditions.
We need to keep them out.
How we do that, and at what cost is the question.
The Manchester bomber was a British citizen, born in Manchester of Libyan immigrants.
‘They’ are playing the long game, people!

Veterans Affairs Has 346 Workers Who Do ONLY Union Work

(from Judicial Watch, in part)

An estimated 346 employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs do no actual work for taxpayers. Instead, they spend all of their time doing work on behalf of their union while drawing a federal salary, a practice known as “official time.”That’s according to a report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. But exactly what those VA workers are doing and why so many are doing it is not clear. The VA doesn’t track that, and the GAO report offers no clue.

Rep. Jody Arrington, R-Texas, a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, thinks the number on 100 percent official time may be much higher. He also notes that the 346 workers don’t include those who spend most, not all, of their time doing union work.

“The lack of accountability at the VA when it comes to monitoring official time suggests it might be worse,” said Arrington, who has introduced legislation that would require the department to track the use of official time, among other reforms.

Pointing to the waiting list scandals at the department, Arrington said the official time situation is reflective of the “broken culture at the heart of the VA” and adds, “I haven’t heard one good, acceptable reason why the practice has continued.”

The VA was not eager to discuss the matter with the Washington Examiner. After several days of inquiries, it responded with the following statement: “VA believes that the appropriate use of official time can be beneficial and in the public interest as stated in the Federal Service Labor-Relations Statute, which governs how executive branch agencies treat official time. VA takes the position that labor and management have a shared responsibility to ensure that official time is authorized and used appropriately. VA practices are in compliance with the Federal Service Labor-Relations Statute.”

Official time is allowed under the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act. The idea behind it is to ensure that a federal employee who is also a union official won’t be penalized for being away from work if he or she is negotiating a contract or addressing a worker grievance, for example. It is essentially a trade-off for the limitations put on federal unions, such as prohibitions on striking.

At least 700 federal workers do nothing but work on official time, according to the GAO and data obtained from various Freedom of Information Act requests. The VA uses official time far more than any other agency.

“Employees spent approximately 1,057,00 hours on official time for union representation activities … In addition, the data show that 346 employees spent 100 percent of their time on official time,” the GAO found in a January report.

It is possible that even those figures are conservative. The GAO said the said the VA’s poor monitoring meant the data was “inconsistent and not reliable.”

The GAO didn’t know what the employees are doing with all of that time. “We just didn’t get into that in that particular study,” said Cindy Barnes, the GAO’s director of education, workforce and income security issues and author of the report.

Part of the explanation is that the VA is one of the largest federal agencies with 373,000 workers, making it second only to the Pentagon in the sheer size of its workforce. About 250,000 VA workers are covered by collective bargaining agreements, according to the GAO, citing 2012 data. Arrington puts the covered figure at 285,000.

By comparison, the Department of Homeland Security has 240,000 workers and the Department of Commerce has just under 44,000 workers. But those departments get by with proportionately far fewer people working exclusively on official time. DHS has 39, while Commerce has just four.

Another factor is that the VA’s workforce is represented by no less than five unions: The American Federation of Government Employees, the National Association of Government Employees, National Nurses United, the National Federation of Federal Employees and the Service Employees International Union.

National Nurses United representative Irma Westmoreland was the only union official willing to talk about the practice with the Washington Examiner. She is one of five nurses union members who work exclusively on union time at the VA. The union has another nine who spent 80 percent of their time at the VA on official time, she said.

Westmoreland said her work was necessary because nurses can’t simply stop taking care of a patient to do something like address a worker grievance. People such as her do the union work and make it possible for the other nurses to focus on providing care.

“I have to travel across the country working with 23 VA facilities in four time zones,” she said. “The management teams want somebody at 100 percent official time so they don’t have to pull somebody out of care.”

But not everyone at the VA is involved in care. So what are the other 341 exclusive official time workers doing? Westmoreland had no insight.

“I don’t know how the other people do it,” she said.

American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox told Arrington’s subcommittee in February that official time involved activities such as “designing and delivering joint training of employees on work-related subjects and introduction of new programs and work methods that are initiated by the agency or by the union.”

He added that “in no way did the [February GAO] report suggest that the use of official time presents problems for the department.” The report sought only to quantify the amount of time used.

Arrington argues that the practice has to change if the VA is ever to be truly reformed. He has sponsored the Veterans, Employees and Taxpayer Protection Act, which would require the VA to track the use of official time. It also would prohibit employees involved with direct patient care from spending more than a quarter of their work hours on union activities and bar any VA employee from spending more than half of their time on official time.

The legislation would effectively put VA employees under right-to-work protection. The VA would be prohibited from agreeing to union contracts that force workers to join or otherwise support a union as a condition of employment.

Westmoreland said she has no trouble with better tracking the use of official time but warns against putting any limitations on its use.

“It makes it very difficult if you cannot have set official time,” she said.  (The Washington Examiner)

Our tax dollars at work?  Hardly.  The most regular visitor to the White House during the last administration was a big union guy.  One hopes this has changed, and that the inappropriate union influence in the federal government has ended.Or, as least, tricked down to STOP!

 

Mexico Upset Over Illegal Criminal Immigrants

(from BMEWS, in part)

Residents of a Mexican city are upset about immigrants causing crime, according to a Tuesday report from El Universal.

The report said that there was a press conference held in Tapachula by a leader of a local group called: “For a different Mexico.” The group’s president, Victorino Alvarez Fuentes, said that immigrants were urinating in public and sexually assaulting women and minors.

Tapachula is near the Guatemalan border and besides immigrants from Central American countries, there has been a recent influx of African immigrants entering Mexico seeking to eventually get to the U.S.

Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is concerned about an influx of immigrants into the country from African and Asian countries, according to a report Thursday in El Universal.

“Many of them will have to return to their home countries,” Socorro Flores, undersecretary of Latin America and the Caribbean for the Mexican Foreign Ministry, said to El Universal.

The Mexican government is now trying to deal with this influx of immigrants by setting up shelters and working with the countries of origin of the immigrants on deportations.

Central America has recently been dealing with an influx of immigrants from abroad. It was recently reported that Guatemala has caught 56 times more African immigrants in 2016 than they did in all of 2015. These immigrants frequently have the goal of heading to the United States and seeking asylum.

Goose, gander or pot, kettle?

Choose your metaphor.

THIS, from a country that actively participates in the resettlement of it’s own citizens into THIS country, complete with detailed instructions on how to avoid the authorities and get (U.S.) government benefits!

Hypocrisy much?

Is THIS That To Which We’ve Come?

I truly hope not!

A dear friend (and regular reader of this humble blog) recently attended a talk presented by the President of the Arizona Republic (newspaper).

The president outlined her personal history, then presented what was countenanced as  ‘the toxic culture that is America today’.

Summarized by my friend, as follows:

She was part of the historic decision of the paper to endorse Hillary Clinton for President, the first Democrat ever endorsed for President in the paper’s 126 year history.  She was only part of that decision.  The board, heavily conservative, many of them Goldwater Republicans, considered their decision very carefully.  They discussed the options, giving no endorsement at all, endorsing a third-party candidate, or Clinton (which they eventually did).
For them, it was never a partisan  choice, they had endorsed John Kasich in the primaries. For them, it was on their consideration of fitness for office.  They knew it was weighty decision.  They knew it would cost them business.  They knew that it would be an unpopular choice for many in a Republican dominated state.  But an endorsement of Trump was never in the cards for them.  Something I didn’t know, but was interesting to learn.
What they were unprepared for, was the volcano of ugliness that followed.  Death threats came in by the hundreds.  Targeted personally toward individuals on the board.  Things like:  We know where you live.  We know where your children go to school.  We know the license plate on your car.  We know where you park.  We are going to do to you what was done to Don Bolles.  You will die.  We will kill your family.  Hundreds of these.  Every day.
Threats came by phone, by mail, in person, via email (of course).  People attempting to sell subscriptions were spat upon, had guns brandished in their faces.  It got so bad that the Republic ceased trying to make in-person subscription sales.
One extreme right-wing Catholic group spammed her email 5000 times a day.
Her response, in part:
I was horrified.  This is America?  This is what we do to people who disagree with us politically?  I’ve had my share of political arguments.  I’ve vented anger, but I never imagined anything like this.
Thankfully, nobody was actually killed, although there were several assaults.
All over an ENDORSEMENT.  A simple statement of opinion.
It is ongoing.  She said that she now “only” gets 2-3 death threats a day.  Although, every time Trump calls the press “enemies of the people” or complains about the press, there is another spike.
One man calls every day, just to say, “I hate you and think you should die.”
This is what we’ve come to.
Well, I’m not going to be a part of it any more.  I will state my opinions, exercise my freedom of speech, but I will never again engage in behavior that dehumanizes or could be perceived as threatening to people who disagree with me.
Civil discourse begins with me.  I hope it doesn’t end there.
I’m interested in this blog’s readership response, if any.  Of course, any non-civil discourse or threats will be dealt with as appropriate.
I’ve my own opinions on the matter, which I may present at a later date.
Anyone?

 

Surrogate Fathers

I’ve had a couple of surrogate fathers in my lifetime.  Why?  Because my own father was either on business trips, working, or wrapped up in his sports addiction.  Even the bonding time we did have was surrounding his sports (going to hockey games, where he was in charge of the off the ice officials, fishing – where he required silence so he could drink beer and fish).  When I became disabled at age 11, he was no longer able to teach me sports.  He couldn’t relate.  You get the idea.

I’d two surrogate fathers – Wayne Taysom, who had been my seventh grade homeroom teacher, and Kenneth Wells, my high school choir teacher.

Mr. Taysom and his Mormon family happened to live on my way home from high school.  How fortuitous for me!  Wayne and his lovely wife Jeanne would welcome me in whenever I stopped by.  To talk, have a healthy snack, sometimes even dinner!  In spite of the large family running around!  (Come to think of it, Jeanne was a surrogate Mom, as well!)

Kenneth Wells was my high school choir teacher extraordinaire!  He offered me one of the few highlights in my high school life, teaching me how to sing, read music, perform in the Baroque manner and how to appreciate such diverse music as J.S. Bach and Stan Getz.  He pushed the Concert Choir into taking All State, and singing on Arizona State University’s Gammage Auditorium in 1970.  It was one of the highlights of my life.

These men gave me both discipline and direction when my own Father was unable to.

I salute them!

Honorable?

(from Brock Townsend)

Attorney General Lynch Signed Off on ALL FISA Applications to WireTap Trump

Via Billy

According to ABC, all applications to the FISA Court were signed off on by the Attorney General and therefore if any applications were processed in the past year, they were signed off on by Loretta Lynch.  This means that Lynch signed off on any requests for wire tapping President Donald Trump during the Presidential race.   This is disheartening knowing that she released a video over the weekend calling for the need for more marching, blood and death on the streets.  This also means that she chose not to investigate the Clinton Foundation for illegal activities but rather signed an application to wire tap President Trump.

Finally, another very disturbing fact about the wire tapping request of President Trump is that the FISA Court turned down President Obama’s Administration’s first request to wire tap President Trump that was evidently signed off on by Attorney General Lynch.  With only two applications denied out of 10,700 from 2009 through 2015, the fact that the Obama Administration’s application was denied by the FISA Court is very disturbing.  The odds of this happening were 0.02%.

The Obama Presidency is now arguably the most corrupt in US history.

The HONORABLE Loretta Lynch?  Seriously?
I know historically AGs have played fast and loose with the law.  From XXX to John Mitchell, and beyond…
People speaking of political corruption often invoke Watergate and the Plumbers.
We are so far beyond that it pales by comparison!
And, the whole FISA thing makes it stink even more.
“The Obama Presidency is now arguably the most corrupt in US history.”
Perhaps, not so arguably.
(PS – shouldn’t it read candidate or president-elect?)

The Polygraph

(forgetting, for a moment, one cost me a job-unfairly, I think, back-in-the-day!)

polygraph-simpson

The polygraph is an instrument which measures things like heart rate, perspiration, breathing and sometimes other body activity over which the person measured has little or no control.  A skilled operator (who should also be a skilled interrogator) uses these measurements to determine if a subject is telling the truth to certain, carefully worded questions.  It is not a lie detector, but a truth verifier.

Prior to 1988, many private companies utilized a pre-employment polygraph test, to determine if a subject was generally honest before hiring.  Some also used polygraphs post-employment, at random intervals, to see if anything had changed.  In 1988, Congress passed legislation limiting the use of pre-employment tests, with the exclusion of persons in  certain sensitive positions, security, police and a few other jobs.  Some States followed suit.

Many private companies were put out of business.

Having worked for a private investigations/polygraph firm for a number of years, it was an interesting experience.

First, some of the polygraphers (many of whom were retired law enforcement) thought themselves superior to the lowly civilian private investigators.

Second, I observed on numerous occasions, polygraphers watching job applicants arriving for a test, and making disparaging remarks, even before the interview or test began!

“This guy has liar written all over him!”

Hardly a lack of bias going in.

There was also a polygraph school adjacent to and affiliated with the investigations/polygraph company.  When I was first employed as an investigator, I was considering signing up for the school, thinking it might be an important addition to my investigative skills.  After observing and hearing the polygraphers, my interest waned.

This is not an indictment of all polygraphers, but just an observation based on some of those with whom I had negative encounters.

I suspect some of the laws have changed post 911, what with more agencies tasked with protection of the Republic from terrorists and spies.

I hope the current crop of polygraph examiners are more professional than some I encountered back-in-the-day.

We need all the help we can get.

Veterans Day

vet-day-2016

I always tried to make it a practice at TMCCC to stop by the desks of veterans with whom I worked and thank them for their service.

As I can no longer do that…
Lonnie, Glenn, Glenn, John, Stan, Jim, Jodie, Ardith, John, and Gloria.

Thank you for your service!

What Do We Do NOW?

Continue to fight the good fight.

Republicans have The House – the purse strings

Republicans squeaked by in keeping The Senate.

This is important.

Just because Republicans have both the House AND the Senate doesn’t mean statist gun-control types are finished!

Keep checking your six, and keep your powder dry.

Oh, yeah – DONALD JOHN TRUMP IS THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.  I wish him well, but have no allusions he’s for stopping all the wars, the TSA, rendition, drone strikes on U.S. citizens, no-knock warrants, NSA surveillance of U.S. citizens, sobriety checkpoints and supports open and CCW everywhere!

Or that he can get his own party’s support to built a wall.

Not that many years ago, he was for gun control and a so-called ‘assault weapons ban’.  He claims to have changed his stripes.  People can change.  Hillary was once a Goldwater Republican.  Charlton Heston (in the distant past) supported gun control.

AND DJT remains a big government statist populist. (Although, he likes McDonald’s and drove his own car during the campaign, sometimes).  Hillary hasn’t driven her own car in 35 years?  Remember Bush marveling at supermarket scanners? Out-of-touch, much?

Regardless of party labeling, we should continue to watch ALL the Republicans (and of course the Democrats/Progressives/Socialists).

AND, the White House.

It’s not specific parties that are evil.

It’s government.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…