Since Oct 29, 2008

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I'm semi retired on the edge of the Ozarks. My shingle is still out but I'm not actively seeking work. If something interesting comes along that needs to be done and I'm not doing something else I'll throw a shoulder to the wheel. I am an engineer by trade and was a small business owner by necessity. I started my business just before the turn of the century and it has been risky. I would not do it again now though because the gubment has multiplied the risk. I still practice my trade and enjoy that when I do. Most days will find me fixing some piece of equipment that is broken, making it what I think is better than designed or building something new or planning some new activity. Senility, slothfulness and boredom are self-inflicted weaknesses though there will come a day when ones get up and go has gone.

I am in my seventh decade now, that amazes even me for a lot of reasons. I have finally realized that my concept of normal is based on that six or more decades of experiences that are not shared by someone half my age and that their normal is vastly different than mine because of that lack of experience. Not only are they not alarmed by what I see taking place, it does not register to them as irregular.

Things actually were better 50 years ago and the normal of today is alarming but not so much to someone who does not know something different. Just one example of the differences, sales taxes were 2% to 3% and we had all the things we needed and they were done well. Now sales taxes are 300% to 400% higher in real (inflation adjusted) amounts. We aren't getting more for our dollars, we are getting less and in lower quality. Why?

I've been all the way around the world more than a few times and worked in 32 countries. Travel is wonderful, it expands your thoughts and experiences. I still get itchy feet to hit the road again. The best part of going away though is coming home. Good men I have met from all walks of life no matter where you go all want pretty much the same things. To live peacefully, to be accomplished at their work, to make a good life for their family and they believe in God or some higher being and that we did not get here by accident.

We come into this world naked, afraid and with nothing. We leave behind a short memory and a reputation. Our treasures on earth are just vapor; so says Solomon.

I claim to be an arch conservative but I have a wide libertarian streak in me. I leave other people alone and I expect them to do the same with me. I will be there in a minute to do all I can to help someone in need. I won't start a fight and never have but I'll do all I can to give much more than I get if anyone ever assails me and more than that if anyone ever lays a hand on one of my family.

I love this nation and the Constitution and the Ideals we once stood for but hate this government. What passes for campaign contributions here are really just bribes and would be a criminal violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act if it were done over seas. The government we have allowed to grow is as oppressive as the one the founders rebelled against.

The Republic is lost, the nation will go on in some new form. The Republic could only be preserved by a moral, single minded, hard-working, individual freedom loving and educated population. That foundation is gone now and the few that have it are becoming a progressively smaller minority. The masses have now figured out how to vote themselves a raise from the treasury by confiscatory taxes on the shrinking number of people who work. They are aided in their theft by power hungry and corrupt politicians who live on both sides of the aisle.

Short of war, and the outcome of that is uncertain, the Republic will not be saved. Patriots are people living on borrowed time in this country. The next 20 years will be very hard for them. Trump is just a speed bump. Just like Reagan was. I'm having ill feelings about Trump here in 2017. The worm will turn again and I fear it will be worse than ever for conservatives. The left will seek retribution with a vengeance. I keep seeing scenes from Zhivago and the Russian Revolution.