Category Archives: Just Stuff

Questions & Thoughts About the NRA

As I begin this blog it is Saturday, March 24, 2018 and all over the world people are gathering in protest of gun violence. The subject cannot be addressed in America without mention of the National Rifle Association and answering several important questions about the organization. Following is a small list of questions that we as a nation should be addressing:

  1. Should the NRA be a tax-exempt organization? The subject is complex but for simplicity, is there any reason for the NRA to be tax-exempt? The concept implies that some charitable activity is taking place, that somehow society is being served by the institution’s activities. We all know of the Salvation Army’s work during  troubled times and probably don’t question their tax-exempt status. What does the NRA do that resembles the work of the Salvation Army?
  2. Should trying to influence politics threaten tax-exempt status? If organized religions become involved in influencing the political outcomes in America, should they lose their tax-exempt status? Is the same true of the NRA? In 2016 the NRA spent tens of millions trying to influence political outcomes. They gave over $30 million alone to the election of Donald Trump. In the eyes of democracy, the collective donations of such groups far outweighs what the American people can bring forth. Should this be more tightly regulated?
  3. In 2011 Stephen Colbert wanted to show just how simple it is to raise money and play with the outcomes of American elections. He announced his candidacy for President of South Carolina and hired a lawyer to advise him about creating a tax-exempt “super”

    PAC to raise money. This short video clearly demonstrates the    system as it exists. Should these doors be slammed shut?

  4. The NRA likes to claim that it was founded to improve the marksmanship of the American rifleman and thereby help create a better prepared military. It also claims it was founded to fight against the effects of slavery and the power of the KKK. While these claims may have some merit they are certainly not the guiding spirit of today’s NRA. I would argue that well over half of all NRA efforts are aimed at promoting and protecting gun ownership and protecting the interest of the gun manufacturers. How do you feel about this?
  5. The NRA likes to claim that it was founded to improve the marksmanship of the American rifleman and thereby help create a better prepared military. It also claims it was founded to fight against the effects of slavery and the power of the KKK. While these claims may have some merit they are certainly not the guiding spirit of today’s NRA. I would argue that well over half of all NRA efforts are aimed at promoting and protecting gun ownership and protecting the interest of the gun manufacturers. How do you feel about this?
  6. 501 (c) 4 groups are not required to reveal their sources of income. Should this be changed?

This list is certainly not all inclusive. There are many more questions that need to be discussed. Feel free to ask your questions and leave your comments below.




BJs are OK Today

I remember being one of those loyal Democrats who for a short time tried to support Bill Clinton getting blown and enjoying a fine smoke afterwards.

When the red sphinctered Republicans accused him of having sex with that woman I pointed out that even Eisenhower got his socks knocked off a few times while overseas. There’s a long history of presidents having sex in places other than the second floor of the White House.

There’s also a long history of men lying about their sexual exercises to keep their wives happy and in the dark. When the GOP finally got down to asking him if he had engaged in sex with Monica, Clinton messed up by saying it depended on how one defined sex. That’s when I stopped supporting Clinton and the aroma of family valued impeachment heat wafted over the great DC Swamp. Well, the self-righteous impeached, the wise men of the Senate refused to convict, and William Jefferson Clinton became member two of the Andrew Johnson Boys Club.

Continue reading BJs are OK Today

Is The AR-15 a Man Killer?

For several weeks now I’ve taken a serious look at the AR-15, trying to separate truth from fiction. The only truth I’ve found is that there is great disagreement. While the AR-15 is America’s favorite rifle there seems to be a wide diversity of opinion about its standard ammo, the .223 cartridge. I Googled the title of this post and saw lots of people claiming the .223 is not what our military should be taking into combat.

I read a statement from an Army sharpshooter about how many bullets it took to finally take an enemy soldier out. You’ll find lots of disagreement about the .223 being an effective bullet for deer hunting. You’ll also find some articles by ER and trauma doctors who have seen the damage up close and personal.

One trauma doctor said the damage done by a .223 looks like a bomb went off inside the victim’s body while being hit by a 9mm can seem to be not much more than a knife cut. What the .223 does to the body is caused by its velocity. As it travels through the body the bullet is traveling at such a high rate of speed it sends out a shock wave that compounds its effectiveness.

So while I don’t see any mechanical difference between a hundred year old semi-automatic rifle and the latest version of the AR, I do see a great difference in their respective ammunitions. I’ve said in other posts that while I’m not opposed to the AR I am opposed to any device that increases the number of rounds and the rate of fire. Maybe it’s time to consider the permitted velocity of civilian .223 ammo.

Click HERE for an informative article about the damage done by the .223 cartridge.

Ever see Chris Rock’s take on violence in the schools and gun control?

Pickin’ Pimples Has Gone Professional

They say a person is never too old to learn something new and that happens to me often. A couple of months ago I learned that there is an entire world-wide subculture that enjoys videos of people getting their pimples and blackheads extracted by dermatologists.  There’s even a dermatologist in California who has become world-renowned by the title, Dr. Pimplepopper. It’s been rumored that there is discussion about her hosting a reality TV show on one of the major cable networks.

Continue reading Pickin’ Pimples Has Gone Professional

Latest PPP Poll – Trump Won’t be Happy!

Public Policy Polling (PPP) is one of the most respected and accurate polling organizations. Their most recent general population poll contains some very interesting results with not much being favorable for Trump. Trump’s core still supports him but lots of those who voted for Trump are having their doubts. The anti-Trump numbers continue to climb.

I’ll start you off but to see the full poll you’ll have to click the button and visit PPP’s website.

Americans Now Evenly Divided on Impeaching Trump

PPP’s new national poll finds that Donald Trump’s popularity as President has declined precipitously just over the last two weeks. On our first poll of his Presidency voters were evenly divided on Trump, with 44% approving of him and 44% also disapproving. Now his approval rating is 43%, while his disapproval has gone all the way up to 53%. If voters could choose they’d rather have both Barack Obama (52/44) or Hillary Clinton (49/45) instead of Trump.

Just three weeks into his administration, voters are already evenly divided on the issue of impeaching Trump with 46% in favor and 46% opposed. Support for impeaching Trump has crept up from 35% 2 weeks ago, to…

                       Click the button for the complete results.

Stars to the Rescue!

Many Americans and citizens of other nations are worried about the coming of Trump. I’ve given this some thought and concluded that nothing can be done to totally shield us from the harm that precedes the arrival of this so ill prepared politician. All we can do is work on what we can to lessen the damage he is capable of.

The one solution I’ve arrived at is to distract and keep him distracted. We all know is his Achilles heel is his ego and how difficult it is for him to manage that ego when it’s been challenged. To date, anyone who has insulted him has ended up being counter attacked in the next day’s Twitter cycle. At the recent Golden Globe Awards Meryl Streep laid into him pretty hard about some of the things he did during the election. Next morning we were treated with a streak of anti Streep tweets from Trump’s Twitter Tower, (Please notice the wordplay!).

Continue reading Stars to the Rescue!

Moby Dogfish, My First Shark

It was around 1997, off the coast of NC, that I brought my first shark aboard my brother’s center console. We were drift fishing around a manmade reef near Morehead City when some deadweight thing took my frozen shrimp and began pulling. There wasn’t any fight or sport. Just an exercise in lifting a piece of lead to the surface.

Once it surfaced my brother identified it as a dogfish and warned me about the sharp spine in front of it’s dorsal fin. We didn’t keep it but when I got back to Joe’s home I looked it up on the Internet and learned that it was the world’s most common family of sharks and highly prized for its food value. One major market is Northern Europe and the UK where it is sold in fish ‘n chip shops and labeled rock salmon.

American fishermen who harvest dogfish export almost all it to Europe. The fins are sold into Asian markets where it’s made into a cheaper form of shark fin soup.

Since that first dogfish I’ve caught a ton of them. In the colder seasons of NC they may be the only thing you catch and you’ll begin to see them as a nuisance. Most species of shark are great fun to catch. A common one in NC is the Atlantic sharpnose and a 10-20 pounder will let you know you’ve had your string stretched.

I’ve yet to eat shark meat but it’s on my bucket list. I have some trepidations about cleaning one since I’ve read that they urinate through their skin and if you don’t clean them properly the flesh will have the taste and flavor of ammonia. I need an old-timer to be with me and teach me the ropes.

The largest shark, and fish, I’ve caught was a 110 pound spinner shark. I caught it off the pier at Emerald Isle, NC. Took me about an hour to get it to the pier and I had to cut it loose since there was no way I could lift it.

Check out this short video of spinning sharks.

We’re Screwed & I Ain’t Lying!

This past week was not comforting. Trump’s false information and lunacy wagon rolled on at full nonsense. Rachel Maddow did a revealing segment on the dishonesty for profit of the National Enquirer and other check out stand tabloid magazines. Breitbart dishonesty still held a seat at the right arm of Trump, and Vice News did an interview with the current leader of the asylum and reigning leader of the war on truth, Alex Jones. And, if you listen closely you can still hear the whiny little bitch, Rush Limbaugh, whimpering from his den of darkness.

That there is such a profitable market for such extreme entertainment does not speak well of us or our future. Add to the mix that Alex Jones said to Vice that we ain’t seen anything yet.

And by the way, check out my recent story about the website that’s keeping track of all Trump’s lies.

We are living in a post truth era and many of us seem to be enjoying it.

Sorry Charlie, You Ain’t Your Average Tuna

I became interested in saltwater fishing in the mid 1990, especially around the Morehead City, NC area. The Gulf Stream runs along the NC coast about 35 miles out and is prime fishing for dolphin, king mackerel, wahoo, and several species of tuna. The most prized tuna is the Atlantic bluefin and can bring huge money in Japan. The US government and the state control the tuna catch and the penalties for bagging one out of season can be substantial.

My brother, who lived many years at the coast told me one year a couple of guys had been out in the gulf stream and hooked up a pretty large and very out of season bluefin. Greed got the best of them so they hid it in the bilge and brought it to shore. That they had the animal for sale quickly became known and it didn’t take long before the tuna cops tracked them down. When it was all said and done the fish had cost them many thousands of dollars in fines, some jail time, and the loss of their 35′ center console deep-water boat, it’s trailer, and the big dually they used to pull the rig.

This memory was prompted by a story I just read about the first fish auction in Tokyo for 2017. The highest priced tuna brought $632,000 ($1,300 a pound). The same restaurant that bought this fish paid $1.76 million for a fish in 2013. That represents the world’s record.

What you don’t hear so often is how the demand for horribly expensive sushi is making tuna horribly rare. There is a worldwide need to place the fish on the endangered specie list before it ends up dead as the dodo birds.

ACLU & You

Just read about the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) writing and releasing a open letter to Trump explaining how many of his campaign promises threaten various parts of the US Constitution, established law, and international agreements. Afterwards I wondered how many people really know what the ACLU stands for and fights for.

In conservative circles the ACLU is seen as a threat to all things red, white and blue. But in more open minds the ACLU is viewed as a group of active attorneys whose mission is to help ensure the people’s rights as guaranteed by the Constitution. In doing so, however, they have often taken positions that some fail to understand. The example that comes to mind is their defense of a neo-Nazi group in Skokie, IL. A lot of people don’t understand that the Constitution says we have a right to assemble, but it doesn’t exclude Nazis.

Continue reading ACLU & You

Damn, That’s Not Toothpaste!

Saw a meme on Facebook that brought back a couple of incidents. The meme showed two tubes sitting on a bathroom sink. One was a tube of Colgate toothpaste and the other a tube of Cortizone cream. I shouldn’t have to tell you what had happened but if I do I’ll do it this way.

Years ago I walked into the bathroom, grabbed my toothbrush, reached in the vanity drawer for my tube of toothpaste, put some on my brush, and began to clean the morning scum off my choppers. Instantly I was aware that something was wrong. Instead of toothpaste I was brushing with Preparation H.

My Aunt Kate was in the habit of keeping most of her medicines on the top shelf of her refrigerator. She had some sort of nasal congestion and would occasionally go to the fridge, grab a spray bottle of decongestant, and spritz her nose. She did this on one occasions and instantly realized her nasal passages were entirely slammed shut.

Instead of decongestant spray she had grabbed the spray can of denture adhesive and filled her nose with glue.

Now, haven’t we all done something similar. Feel free to share your experiences.

Leave a Comment

I’ve been experimenting with getting the Visitor Comment feature up and working and think I’ve finally got it working. Just below the title line of each article there is a link that says “Leave a Comment.” This same link appears at the very end of each article. You’ll be asked for your name and you are free to use a nickname. You’ll also be asked for your email address and this has to be real for verification purposes. It will not be made public, however.

I’m now going to play with another couple of options to see if I can get them working as well. Thanks to those of you who helped me test this.


Heaven & Hell Revisited

Today I had lunch with two of my closest high school friends. All three of us are seventy-four years old, in pretty good health, and can mentally hold our own. The main differences between today and back then is we are all more gnarly and we move slower. Anyway, when we were saying goodbye one of us suggested we have lunch again, “before one of us dies!” For whatever reason the following story I wrote in 2004 came to mind so I decided to republish it. Enjoy!

A Few Thoughts On Heaven and Hell
Published June, 2004

As of this month, I am officially an old person. I recently turned age 62, filed for Social Security and within days should receive my first Social Security check. So, now that I’m old I’ve decided to spend a little time thinking about heaven and hell: since that’s what old people seem to do a lot.

We all know about the heaven and hell of the Bible but there are lots of others, especially hells, of a more worldly nature. For example, General William Tecumseh Sherman once uttered something about war being hell while General George Patton felt that war glorified the best in humanity.

Continue reading Heaven & Hell Revisited