Friday, December 13, 2013

What we deserve

Jennifer makes a point about not everyone getting the same symbols of wealth and luxury, Income Inequality is Not Evil

One commenter offers, Deserve has nothing to do with it. How about "Some people have the skills to make more money than other people. Some people have earned nicer houses and nicer cars. And this is the way it should be."

I think this still overlooks some of the important aspects of things.

"Have", I think, is an incomplete replacement for "deserve".

What we are talking about is getting more -- whatever the mechanism, the intent is not what we have today, but what we will have, or what is (or should!) be available in the future. Often, we mean "very soon" in the future.

In Dicken's time, this was called "prospects". Or, as one novel put it, Great Expectations.

We live in a monetary economy. Civilization has ever concentrated wealth. When the economy is based in money, that means concentrating wealth is measured in dollars, and the luxuries money buys. We all should know that love grows in small walls, that joy and family are more abundant when living outside of the money/wealth cycle -- those with the luxuries live for the wealth or power or keeping same, and cannot be diverted to the wealths of family and personal joys.

And yet we are driven by the concentrators of wealth that need the lower classes to work the factories, to flip the burgers, to milk the government entitlement programs to continue the wealth generation that keeps the rich wealthy, and the money economy moving wealth their way.

Back in the '60s the phrase was "drop out" of the "rat race". Since then their have been many individuals and families that have dropped out, or gone back to the land. Have taken up gardening for a significant part of their food, have taken to very lightly mechanized and small farming, gone to crafts like blacksmithing and horse shoeing and growing heritage crops that don't rely on industrial fertilizers and industrial practices to control weeds and other pests.

So, one choice an individual or family can make is how to invest in the "generate more wealth" monetary economy. Another is to choose a middle way, to live on the fringes and let the wealth generation pass them by. Pulling off a Jeremiah Johnson and just wandering off into the mountains takes generational wisdom, and is not to be lightly chosen.

Another issue is limits. Not all of us are as capable as someone able to choose between software engineering and Walmart associate -- allowing for economic circumstance that might prevent following a job that ends, that might eliminate the resources to move to a new job. That might allow age, or a college degree, to limit ability to apply for work. There are physical handicaps that limit what one may contribute to the community, the family, or the wealth generation economy.

In a very real sense, most of us, whether living in the wealth-generation economy, including farming the industrial-style way of most of America's farms and ranches, or being cared for by family, community institution, or government handout, are living a dependent way of life. Our "standard" of living is determined by commercial interests, and political expediency, We "better" our circumstances by pleasing our benefactors (not to say, masters).

In some ways, a benevolent feudal system would make better use of resources, and care better for those needing the most care. As today, just choose (your master) wisely.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Windows 8.1, the cloud, and a bigger tie-in to intrusive marketing has a nice article on how Windows 8.1 make your PC more like the tablet computers replacing the desktop personal computer in the market place.

It seems Microsoft is moving in the "right" direction, according to writer Mat Honan, with increased reliance on the cloud, specifically Microsoft's commercial venture "SkyDrive", and hard-baking Microsoft's "Bing" search (and marketing lead sales) engine onto the desk top.

Now, I wonder if the government is working with Microsoft to keep track of people that have files that might appear to violate copyrights? I mean, government lawyers need to prosecute folk to keep their jobs, and to earn Christmas bonuses. At least, they have in the past. Just look at how the IRS works to use information gathered for all kinds of uses by different government and private agencies.

In spite of government claims they have used their vast spying networks to arrest terrorists and felons, not one such defendant has been able to review or even have acknowledged the information the government gathered and either used or discarded, in deciding whether or how to prosecute -- clear violations of the law and the US Constitution, of a defendant's rights to a fair trial. If the government searches your mail box, your house, your car, you have the right to know what was searched, what was found or not found. Why give the government a clear, blank check, to hide what they do electronically, if something they *know* would benefit the defendant? There is the secret "no fly" list, and no knowing how people get on the list, or how they can get off, is a mistake is made.

So I am less than enthused about the "right" direction that commends Microsoft for.  And I sent them the following comment.

I am disturbed by the increasing reliance on SkyDrive, in terms of government intervention, policing, and regulations. Storing stuff "in the cloud" makes that stuff more visible, easier for government scrutiny.

This is disturbing both as a citizen, where government intrusion has resulted in flagrant and casual "mistakes", where expanding government surveillance results in more data used to further various political agendas.

I work part time at Walmart. Walmart, for better or worse, frustrates some customers, as we pull merchandise to make room for the next "season"s use of finite shelf space, as manufacturers are dropped or products are out of stock. So we refer them to What I see happening is a stratification.

Some people are less willing to expose their personal information to government scrutiny -- they cash their paychecks and deal strictly with cash.

Others are distrustful of computers, of relying on people and companies they don't know and may not trust. (Yes, even Walmart shoppers).

Microsoft "going in the right direction", relying on the cloud, and baking Bing into the OS, these all widen the "trust" gap, further stranding many across a technological divide increasingly exasperated by government surveillance, government deceit and misuse of information, and a perfectly smug marketing environment targeting the young and others disconnected from the people in their community.

Electronic "connections" favor marketers and manufacturers, not families and communities. Just like my criticism of Viagra and Victoria Secret ads -- they cannot claim to make better babies. That is, they don't enrich the span of generations, or the resilience of a sustainable community.

There are those that garden that raise grandchildren -- and they don't do it better because their tablet (if they have one) or PC searches more files on their computer, making the results available to marketers looking to distract them from their work, their families, and their, well, their lives.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Obamacare and civil liberties vs. the budget and government shut down

So, I am browsing along, and find a glam "survey" -- something about should Republicans continue to use Obamacare for leverage in the shutdown debates, despite growing 'backlash'"?


So, I wrote Congressman Jon Lucas (OK),

Mr. Lucas,

I am disturbed by questions, "Should Republicans use Obamacare as leverage in shutdown debate?"

I think the first question is, "does Obamacare or any other proposal diminish civil liberties of Americans?" Obamacare and many other issues fail this test, and should be shunned or repealed.

The bigger, all-encompassing issue, when talking about budgets, is spending money that hasn't been collected. And, of course, that huge, whopping national debt that no one has paid lip service toward paying *down*, since the Democrats took leadership in the house -- and current Republican leadership has miserably failed to address.

Please consider a "continuing resolution" that binds expenditures through 2016 to collected revenues, and requires a reduction of the principal of the national debt equal to interest payments, on a month-by-month basis.

Thank you,

Friday, October 4, 2013

I would like to see a different kind of "balance" to the national budget.

And, so I wrote to Congressman Jon Lucas (Oklahoma):

Mr. Lucas,

Please consider the elements of national security when considering the ongoing arrogance and disrespect of the White House to the budget process, and to the overwhelming risk of the current national debt.

Please act for a balanced budget - one that spends less this year than is collected in revenue this year, one that makes a dent in the national debt this year.

I could only respect and applaud you and your fellow Congressmen if you passed an actual budget, one that takes the impact of an economy impaired by runaway government spending  on the security of our nation, into account. Passing a real budget, even if (maybe especially!) over a Presidential veto, would send a strong signal for change, and possibly healing.

Thank you,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why does this analysis of the so-called "recovery" sound like the Ethanol plaint?

So, the Washington Times claims "Government job cuts create a historically slow recession recovery".

Huh.  It seems that while the private employers of America have added 7.4 million jobs, the loss of 10% of that number, 750,000 employees, from the public dole is the reason for the slow economy.

That sounds an awful lot like "add  10% ethanol to your gas, and we save 10% of the gas!" when the reality is that the resulting mix only gives 90% of the mileage. Yes, that 10% ethanol represents a 10% loss of usefulness of the mix. We pay, exorbitantly, an entire industry, and divert an astonishing amount of food to make the fuel -- that doesn't actually act like much more than a smaller gas can for the same price.

I mean if you go the same number of miles for 90% of a gallon of gas, as for a gallon that is 90% gas and 10% ethanol -- my choice is the smaller can for the same number of miles. At least if I skip the ethanol I don't have to add additional fuel-related products to correct damage to my vehicle from ethanol, and products to protect from additional damage from the ethanol. And I don't waste both tax money (burdened, because it represents the fuel and earnings of tax payers that tax "revenues" represent) and the food that might have been available to the world, if it hadn't been diverted to capitalize on federal money distributions. Not to mention the industries involved in distributing ethanol and tracking ethanol usage, reporting statistics of ethanol use and distribution, etc.

So that 10% dilution of jobs created during this "recovery" seems a bit disingenuous. Adding 10% ethanol doesn't significantly impact the amount of gasoline consumed in America, and the "loss" of 750,000 jobs, way less than 10% of all federal, state, and local employees, has on any recovery.

I suppose the loss of government jobs wasn't offset by steadily rising union representation and escalating salary and benefit price tags in a troubled economy. And I suppose those 7.4 million civilian jobs are distributed proportionally among the highest level incomes as well as the entry level and minimum wage jobs are.  And I suppose that the raise in minimum wages a few years back isn't crippling the actual income of many employers with employees that either earn minimum wage, or wages calculated from minimum wage (Min plus $0,10, min plus $1.25, or min times 1.3 or times 2.2). Well, maybe a little.

And raising taxes, siphoning off the incomes of people hiring employees, of people funding new projects, corporation operations, etc. doesn't dilute what money can accomplish in the economy. I suppose that doesn't affect the rate that money moves through the economy.

I am sure that investments of large parts of the economy in debt "derivatives" and financial gimmicks like credit default swaps rather than, say, industries that employ people has anything to do with why merely adding more fast food workers doesn't solve the nation's problems.

I am sure that considering a house to be an investment, instead of a place that a family lives, doesn't weight the evaluation of the economy in unhealthy directions. I am sure that a "mobile" work force -- expecting to hire seasonally, workers to move for jobs several times in their work career, doesn't contribute to an unstable and costly waste of resources of people, of community assets, and increases demands for government support.

Well, maybe I do think the simplification of counting the loss of state and local workers with the slowed growth of union federal workers to explain why the national debt siphoning off tax revenues and credit availability to the nation is somewhat misleading.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Budgets, and debt ceilings, and Washingtion, Oh! My.

Congress faces yet another challenge, to meet responsibilities they swore, under oath, to meet when each member of House and Senate assumed office.  So I wrote Senator Coburn.

Dr. Coburn,

Please restore to the House, and to Congress, the power of the purse.

The Constitution rightly lays out the responsibility of Congress to define a budget -- and to check the President if he strays from the Congressional view of the needs of the nation.

This administration has failed to meet expectations of presenting a viable budget, a budget likely to pass the Congress, a budget proposal that can be hammered into something acceptable to the understandings of administration and Congress about what the nation needs.

In the absence of Administration competence, as demonstrated year after year, the House should be commended for producing a likely proposal -- and the Senate should, indeed must, consider such a budget proposal with gravity and respect.

Whether, then the President signs such a budget package has nothing to do with whether Congress might respond with a clear veto override.

Signals to the President, and clear actions from Congress, detailing that continuing budget resolutions and debt ceiling adjustments will no longer be considered, well, that might imply some discipline on the part of Congress. I would consider that an essential step in a healthy direction for our nation.


Brad Kruse
Ponca City, OK

Again, the Disarmed Victim Zone false chimera of safety strikes innocent Americans

There was a shooting in Washington, D.C., at the Navy Yard. Already gun violence is being decried, and the gun control advocates are gearing for a drive for The Goal of disarming America -- in violation of the Militia Act, and in defiance of FBI reports that  seem to predict the continuation of mass shootings.

See, the FBI reports over the last decade and more, that communities and states that increased concealed and open carry, and home owner acquisition of guns for defense -- each saw declines in all forms of violent crime, including accidental shootings.

So the unwary might conclude, hey, if you ban all guns, like one particular theater in Aurora, Colorado, or all public schools in America -- and government bases and installations like the Army base in Fort Hood, Texas and the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. -- why you might think, "Wow. Those places must not just attract shooters looking to commit mayhem -- they must actually generate the impulse to shoot up a bunch of unarmed people!" I consider these "Disarmed Victim Zones". And I worry each time I enter one.

So, again, I wrote Senator Dr. Coburn,

Dr. Coburn,

What strikes me about the recent Navy Yard shooting -- is the disparity of lives lost in gun-free zones.

What I have read summarizing FBI reports, is that shooters stopped by civilians, even without answering shots being fired, the loss of life in recent decades averages about 2.3 per incident. When authorities stop the shooting, the average is over 10 lives lost.

And, as I have noted before, *creating* a chimera castle defined with "guns not allowed" signs. A random shooting must include a desire to inflict dismay and loss on others -- the gun free (Disarmed Victim) zone does exactly that. By not just disrupting the social rules to obey laws and signs, but to also violate that illusory boundary of safety, it is the gun free zone that *creates* the venue, and the allure, for the mass shooter.

Gun control in America has historically been used to suppress minority rights and position in society, and has always had the effect of suppressing poor and minority Americans.

Now would be a very good time to recognize that Congress has no Constitutional mandate to limit or manage firearm usage in America where laws have not been broken, and to dismantle all the mechanisms to monitor, regulate, and limit gun ownership.

Until someone is injured, so-called gun control laws bear a horrible similarity to thought control. And that bothers me, a lot.

Those lives lost at the Navy Yard might have been lost to explosions of welding gases, propane or other fuels, that could fairly readily be configured, once the shooter determined to take lives. It isn't gun controls that save lives -- it is the knowledge that the community isn't held powerless by the law, like a sheep held ready for slaughter.
Thank you,

Brad Kruse
Ponca City, OK
Then, I noticed that there is at least another soul that noticed how gun free zones increase bloodshed,

Saturday, August 17, 2013

President Obama, Ammonium Nitrate, explosive bureaucratic growth, and the Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group

On August 1, 2013, President Obama signed an Executive Order creating a new Federal bureacracy, making Ammonium Nitrate a federally controlled substance (instead of a common fertilizer), and imposing Federal authority over the operations and regulations of state, local, regional, etc. organizations, including imposing reporting requirements, disdain for privacy, and leaving open wide, undocumented discretion to expand the efforts to un-named agencies and organizations, industries, and substances. A blank check, with the Secretary of Labor (organized labor) guiding the way to chemical safety.

So I wrote Senator Coburn (R, OK),

Dr. Coburn,

I read with dismay the "Executive Order -- Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security" as published on

This appears to be a blank check, intended to monetarily enhance organized labor, and to enormously increase the stature of organized labor in reaping from the American economy.

This appears to be a blank check to expand the role of the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies in intruding in all facets of the American economy.

This Executive Order appears to create a super-entity combining the EPA, ATF, and un-named agencies, at the President's whim (ACORN, anyone?) -- completely without Congressional oversight.

This Executive Order appears to annex all levels of regional(?), state, local, community, industry, etc. entities into Federal control, oversight, and management.

With the addition of Ammonium Nitrate, and other un-named-as-yet chemicals, to the list of chemicals of interest, it appears President Obama intends to take personal, direct, detailed control of the ammunition industry, in violation of the Second Amendment.

Please consider legislation both de-funding any operations of the proposed Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group, and any activities associated with this Executive Order. Please attach penalties of loss of job seniority and pay for any Federal employee performing any task associated with this Executive Order. Please assert the responsibility of Congress to enact laws, and to oversee the operation of the Executive Branch of Government.

I swear Obama must be invested in ammunition and guns up to his eyeballs -- no one could keep the nation worried and buying guns and ammo at historic rates, and at historic prices, that isn't doing it for his own ends and stuffing his own pockets to beat the band.

I note that every action taken in history to limit arms ownership and use, has had the worst impact on the poor and the minority communities. Gun control -- like this back-handed control grab of ammunition manufacture -- is race control, and wealth control.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Congress to leave Food Stamps spending pretty much intact

The Washington Post reports that the House of Representatives is considering a farm bill that would reduce spending for SNAP (food stamps) by 0.5% over ten years. Wow. So I wrote Representative Frank Lucas:

Mr. Lucas,

I work part time at Walmart; the VA considers me disabled, but I manage about 26 hours, most weeks.

I noticed that one of my co-workers in Lawn and Garden will buy a $1.58 soft drink on SNAP, instead of walking to the associate break room and spending $0.50 out of their pocket. This seems to be an issue with SNAP -- that people are using the free money to make poor decisions.

Other families seem to be able to afford new, bigger screen TVs because the SNAP program supplements their income.

I understand that for some Americans, SNAP does bring the food budget up to "adequate", but in many cases I am convinced that SNAP merely displaces their other sources of food purchasing money, until SNAP become nothing more than a straight forward government cash addition to family income. That is, a social welfare program rife with unintended consequences.

Please consider whether Congress is responsible for people that choose expensive fast food and prepackaged food over staples and lower cost but nutritious food. Most people could eat adequately on much less money than many SNAP recipients spend, if they were willing to actually, like, cook their meals.

Because government spending creates industries, industries devoted to growing and maintaining those spending programs. Industries that administer the program, enable merchant compliance, gather additional recipients into the program, etc. And Congress has *no* mandate to create such industries.

And do cut SNAP by 50% in the next five years. Counting long term unemployed and young never-employed into unemployment statistics will be a good start.

Thank you,

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Institutional racial prejudice, and the US Government in America

Racial bias as a matter of policy is wrong for any American. Especially for the government. So I wrote Senator Coburn,
Dr. Coburn,

While the Supreme Court, properly, considers the Constitutionality of universities and other schools using racial discrimination, or racial quotas under so-called "affirmative action", the US Senate, the Congress, and the nation should take a different approach to the problems of race relations.

Repeal affirmative action.

De-regulate, without decriminalizing, institutional prejudice that establishes and maintains distinctions and intolerance of people, based solely on racial characteristics.

Intolerance of race, any race, is wrong. Especially if the institution entrenched in bias is the government.

Thank you,

Brad Kruse
Ponca City, OK
So I wrote Senator Coburn,

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Energy and the lawn

So I wrote Senator Coburn,

Dr. Coburn,

A friend gave me a two-hand scythe some years back. To my regret, I haven't found anyone that remembers using one for field harvest, that can show me how to make the silly thing work, easily, cleanly, all day long. Go figure, living four miles from the Conoco home refinery. I did find a scythe stone on, and it helps a lot, keeping the blade sharp without running for the shop, the vise, and the grinding wheel.

 But I was thinking. . .

1) Carbon cycles. Harvesting hay preserves the summer's carbon for use in winter. That boosts the CO2 and other airborne carbons, as well as build fertilizers for the coming growing seasons, at a time that a blanket of snow would seem to suppress the carbon, delaying spring.  If we want to boost CO2 usage, and growing cycles, what would happen if we concentrated industrial use of fossil fuels to mid and late winter? The intent would be to shift consumption to support boosting an abundant springtime, and use natural growing cycles to make best use of all that carbon.

2) Lawn care.It seems wasteful of resources to build and industry that blankets Ponca City, and other places, with scores of trucks pulling trailers filled with high dollar, modern technology lawn mowers and trimmers. Just as it is ignorant to think that building new, battery powered cars will take less energy than maintaining an existing vehicle, with increasing maintenance requirements, for years and years -- building new riding lawn mowers cannot make sense, in an energy sense.

Where in the past people could plan a lawn with the intent of pushing an unpowered mower -- we could still do that. Reel type mowers work as well today as before. And having a few lawns to mow wouldn't hurt some young people, or many others. Besides, keeping lawn and home care in the neighborhood increases person-to-person contact and builds communities as well as the character of young people.

3) Hand-gathered harvest. Enhance the USDA Organic label program. Provide labels for crops and products cultivated and gathered with tools and equipment that use no fossil fuels. Permit use of horse or oxen drawn wagons and equipment, just nothing with a battery, gasoline, diesel, propane, or other fossil fueled device.

Providing, now, for challenges in supply lines and fuel price and access might get more people thinking about alternatives.

We should recognize that what worked for our ancestors before the glut of affluence from burning fossil fuels, still works today. But we have to rediscover the techniques and tools, and recover from regulations that presume continued growth and universal affluence.

Because, 4) we could support home owners that mow their lawn but once a month, pull weeds by hand instead of chemical pesticides, etc.

Thank you,

Friday, May 24, 2013

Sustainable resources

I wrote Senator Coburn (R,OK):

I propose a wider application of the word "sustainable". For one thing, measuring the resources a community uses in terms of dollars is *not* sustainable. Just look how the US Government chose to stop including food and fuels in measuring inflation. Or how the Obama administration has devalued the dollar.

 o Lumber used in a community should be sourced within 50 miles, perhaps 50% of lumber within 30 years.

 o Properties forfeited to counties for tax liens could be divided, in lots of 10 and 40 acres, and allotted for a new wave of steadholder, for a low-tech approach to raising food with non-patented seed, no "big" equipment, family occupied and operated. A system of agriculture dependent on government spending, intercontinental supply chains, governmental and private crop and production insurance, and highly technical equipment is *not* sustainable, not if energy or monetary resources are interrupted.

o Employment within walking distance of worker residence, 1.5 miles, should be recognized and encouraged. Commutes further than eight (8) miles should be recognized and discouraged. And, yes, this does penalize monster and big businesses. Stores intending that 80% of customers live within 1.5 miles should be recognized and encouraged. A school should be considered "local" only if 80% of students, 80% of teachers, and all staff live within 1.5 miles.

o Mass transit will not be the answer to challenges to energy supply, not when infrastructure and massive construction projects are based on large amounts of money, and energy, to implement. This is why using less energy is more effective that building out massive wind farms or solar farms.

 o Move to paying taxes "in kind", and return to "county farms" for people requiring assistance and support, rather than interpreting need in dollars.

 o Pass a Congressional budget that is "balanced" -- total  expenditures not to exceed average collected revenues of the immediately preceding three fiscal years. Five year plans sunk Russia. Let us stop playing with other people's money, and make do with what we have. And, please, let us give the government a *stake* in growing the economy that they plan on taking more money from, in funding special interests and cherished programs.

 o Building codes assuming affectations of the wealthy must be re-examined. Single-child bedroom "standards", expectations of hot water in each home, immense housing developments intended to generate developer revenue, rather than conserve community energy, building homes that aren't intended to serve the occupants for generations instead of until the next promotion or transfer. These are wasteful of energy, of money, of strained resources. In general, we have to start valuing resources in terms other than dollars -- like availability if political, economic, or energy expectations are interrupted.

My own feeling is that climate change is here. Recovery will never again be complete while we measure condition and recovery in dollars; we cannot afford it. Whether due to man's consumption (and depletion of) fossil fuels or natural cycles of the Earth or the sun, CO2 levels seem to be rising, and weather is getting more energetic.

Between wider devastation from flooding, drought, and storms from hurricanes and tornadoes to thunderstorms, and the nation's economic woes -- we will *not* be rebuilding to what we, as a nation, had been.

Just looking at the Moore tornado this last week, I think of the lives changed. The homes, and vast amounts of building materials from lumber to cement that were destroyed and must be transported, and much of it replaced. The amount of electrical wiring, fixtures, drywall, nails -- and many of them resources that, if replaced, will further deplete strained resources of labor, material, etc.

What I do *not* hear on the news, though, is the loss to Oklahoma from productive people choosing to leave the state, to find accommodations or work. I don't hear of employment lost as people working at home no longer have the resources to continue to produce, or employers that temporarily or permanently lack a venue to continue operation. Just one example is the schools devastated in the tornado. Most school budgets don't include items for "replace buildings this year". And lack of schools will hamper inspiring people to restore residence nearby, increasing the loss of productive people to the area, if not the state. Some of the loss to Oklahoma will benefit other states, but many employments, and sources of tax revenues and economic contributions, will never recover for the state or the nation.

Whether the people involved receive assistance from the state, the Federal government, or private and religious resources -- that is a drain on national and local economies. My neighbor spent two days, this week, helping with a church group near Shawnee, OK. That meant that two days of his ranching were put off -- including losing much of the hay that he had cut, during a brief window between rains. Some of what he put on hold can be made up, but some will result is loss of crop and herd production.

And that is true everywhere. I expect that the expanding list of "once in a lifetime" events, as they occur more often, are draining the abilities of private and government insurance to respond completely.

The high rate of taxes, and the immense National Debt and ongoing and increasing annual deficits of the United States government, further drain the economy. As for CO2, I argue that government, or other fund raising, represents *overburdened* energy and carbon consumption. I note that gasoline prices are jumping again, perhaps moving toward a stable economic level based on production (limited) and demand (growing)

Thank you.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Trucker fired, because pickup rammed his trailer

I wrote Dr. Senator Coburn,

Dr. Coburn, An unfortunate traffic accident occured a few miles from my home last week. A local Ponca City man and neighbor drove his pickup into the trailer of an 18 wheeler leaving a local construction company yard. There were no skid marks, and there was speculation the deceased, the pickup driver, might have intended the consequences.

I was told that the driver of the semi rig was fired on the spot.

I have several concerns about what turns out to be a knee-jerk reaction in many industries, to fire someone when something unfortunate happens.

Every driver has someone giving instructions, directions -- orders where to go, what to pick up and deliver. If the driver were to be found impaired (I don't believe that was the case, here), then possibly the driver is at fault -- but the dispatcher, or the driver's supervisor or lead, must surely be criminally negligent for not assuring that their driver was alert and unimpaired, and competent to operate the assigned equipment for the assigned task. Yet companies successfully fire the lowest-ranked people involved to evade responsibility.

Second, this driver was involved in a death related to his assigned task. The semi driver did not *choose* to be in that location, nor to be there at that time. And yet he was left with the knowledge that his presence with his rig caused the death of another person. Anyone in this position, regardless of other circumstances, must surely need some emotional support, transport, and likely supportive care. I find firing this person at the same time to be a horrible vilification of what may turn out to be entirely the fault of the deceased. But we now have a fired semi driver, being treated as if he *deliberately* killed the pickup driver. This has to have been crushing for the semi driver, and an insurmountable social indictment in front of his friends and family, as well as to him.

Third, the trucking company now has no driving reason to understand what went wrong, no outstanding reason to review whether the people that sent their driver on that task that day made mistakes, no reason to review the readiness, alertness, competence, and lack of impairment on the part of other drivers and supervisory and dispatch people.

Please consider whether an employer should be penalized for firing someone, contractor or employee, without due notice and reasonable process, without reasonable discovery of what happened and who all was responsible for creating the situation.

Thank you, and my heart goes out to the family of my neighbor, and to the driver of that semi,

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Boston Maraton bombing -- thug

I wrote Dr. Senator Coburn,

Dr. Coburn,

About the bomber from the Boston Marathon.

I would like to stop putting petty thugs like this in the news. And to put the crime in perspective.

I would like the US Government, at all levels, to stop grandstanding, to justify suppression of civil rights of communities, and to stop justifying massive budgets.

I would prefer to have the City of Boston file charges against the bomber for -- malicious mischief and manslaughter. These charges should be simple to prosecute, and adequately deal with what happened.

I do *not* consider the injuries and deaths to be insignificant, but I also do not see the bombs as part of an orchestrated effort to influence a nation or state. No social change, or conquest, is involved.

History has shown, clearly, that making the headlines, prosecuting the horrendous charges, getting the horrendous sentences, only rewards the miscreant, enlarges the Federal presence, and encourages copycats. It is time to rein in Federal intrusion into the antics of minor, local thugs.

Please request that the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, etc. all recommend that the City of Boston file charges of manslaughter and malicious mischief against the bomber, and all Federal offices, agencies, etc. withdraw from the case.

Let's try something cheaper. It might even be more effective. And let those harmed by the kid's actions sue the parents and religious teachers that taught him bombs and intolerance are OK.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Senator lies about black powder use

Senator Lautenberg, trying to jump on the PR bandwagon pulling the crime at the Boston Marathon into a media and politician's event, proposes background checks for black powder.

I wrote Senator Coburn.

Dr. Coburn,

Please oppose Senator Lautenberg's proposal for background checks for black powder and black powder substitute powders. His misuse of the terms "explosive", while possibly appropriate, conceals the fact that literally tons of black powder and black powder substitutes are consumed in America annually, and during season, at times monthly, during re-enactments and other recreational uses of black powder for recreational shooting.

I am shocked that his background checks don't include purchases of nitrate fertilizers and diesel fuels, and please don't suggest that to him. My point is that misuse of explosives and firearms is primarily suppressed by healthy communities, healthy economies, and vigorous social institutions -- and only exacerbated, as history demonstrates, by government regulations.

The good Senator's PR release on his proposal is at

Again, if the Second Amendment is to have virtue, then the government *cannot* know who might or might not own or use a weapon. Background checks create a trail that is used today, and has been used since using them was illegal when first instituted. Any claim that background checks or registrations of guns or ammunition, including powders to reload ammunition, is a breach of faith with the American people.

Thank you,

Brad Kruse
Ponca City, OK

Friday, April 19, 2013

Another immigration bill

The presence of millions of people living in America, working jobs and paying bills, without the benefit of citizenship and protection of the law they are funding, is an affront to all Americans.

Because the government failed to protect the security of our borders is no reason to hound those living in America -- citizen or not.  My community isn't responsible for the border; the government isn't responsible for who lives and works in my community.

I wrote Senator Coburn,
Dr. Coburn,

Please support extending citizenship to people that have lived in the US as law-abiding people, regardless of whether they crossed the border against the law.

Please do deny legal protection to anyone [citizen or not] involved in orchestrating illegal border crossings; predators like that need to be pursued relentlessly, until the ends of time. Exile and deportation should be the first and most prompt response.

Please rescind penalties on employers and property owners for hiring or renting to people living in their community. Let us return to assuming our neighbors are Americans when they act as if they want to live and let live.

The security of the borders of the United States are the proper concern of the US Government. Policing our communities for failures to protect our borders is not. Those in our communities, until and unless they violate the law, are the proper concern of civil authorities.

Please accept any state or community recognition of residence in their state or community as prima facie evidence of citizenship, permitting those so identified to act, and be treated in good faith, as citizens of the US.

Please, please do address the human rights violations of Mexico and the northern tier of Mexican states, that have made people fleeing from their homes such a massive problem for the United States. I still contend that the US needs to extend an offer to those northern Mexican states to leave Mexico and become American states. At the least it would reduce the length of the US southern border.

Prohibition still has lessons to teach America today. Rescinding restrictions can be more effective in reducing threats to America. At the least, rescinding restrictions removes funding for criminal enterprises.

Thank you,

Friday, February 22, 2013

Windows 8 update KB2795944

OK, Microsoft has the Windows 8 Pro feature where they send out, and install, updates.

They don't care if your settings are set to "download, but do let me *choose* which updates to apply" -- they reset it to their "recommended" "Dang! If there is an update, install that thing anyway!" setting.

KB2795944 is a "cumulative" update, incorporating several other updates at the same time. A big "update", 19 plus Megabytes of download. In software, not video or audio or even document sizes that isn't much. In terms of updates to the operating system, it is a *bunch*.

When KB2795944 updates on my computer, it *kills* all audio. That means YouTube videos are silent. Adobe Flash crap is silent. Windows Media Player music and songs is silent.

I looked on the Microsoft "support" site (ha! Like calling the block long line at MacDonalds "Fast Food") at I quit looking at the Thirty First page of - get this - five - items per page. Without getting to a place to look for issues with KB2795944 or other updates that kill the audio on my computer. Demonstrably. Repeatedly.

And don't ask about the hours wasted, and work time lost, isolating this nonsense.

Apparently there are other issues of installing updates on Windows 8, including 8 and 12 hours waiting for updates to finish.

Sure glad I got in on the Windows 8 Pro offer.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Reactive gun control, prosecution, and mere gun ownership

Tam at View From The Porch found an article that twisted off the dial of Tam's *Doh!* meter.

Ohio's criminal gun law largely reactive
Tam's reacted,
I was unable to read this nice lady's column because of the title.
I read the article. Here is my response to Tam with my review of the article.

Jessie Balmert's article says, to me, that more folk with prior criminal convictions (firearm ownership "disability") need to be rousted out, searched for firearms they shouldn't have, and be sent to prison for having those firearms they shouldn't have.
That gets kind of close to putting people in prison for what they are thinking -- the implication is that someone with a firearm, because of prior convictions not necessarily related to violence or guns, is about to use that weapon to commit crimes and mayhem.

And that crowds very closely to the contention of gun-control activists that having a weapon makes you more likely to be about to commit a crime with it.

I have to wonder, in a world where, when seconds count, the police are minutes away -- someone previously convicted, living a "clean" life, having "paid their debt to society", isn't as entitled to protecting themselves in the neighborhoods they are allowed to live in, and protect themselves from tyranny from government (and unwarranted police harassment), as the next guy.

This smacks of class discrimination, the way Rosa Parks was arrested for setting in the wrong bus seat.

The article you referred to advocates, whenever anyone is stopped for anything from warning about rushing through a yellow light to driving past a drug den (even if you live the next street over), to "looking suspicious" -- to investigate and search to check in case the convicted felon has a gun they shouldn't have -- which presupposed everyone has to satisfy the cops all the time that: a) They aren't felons or otherwise "disabled" for firearm ownership; and that b) They don't have a weapon that would make them suspect of about to commit a crime with it and might have a disqualifying factor.

And then I recall that the Supreme court held it would violate the constitution, to require[edit] convicted felons to register weapons (i.e., the "disabled" person would have to voluntarily admit breaking the law -- which is a bad thing to do to non-convicted people, and a morally corrupt practice for government or police to do to anyone).

The article reiterates what everyone should know -- that gun control regulations, like Prohibition, the war on drugs, the war on crime, the war on poverty, and other attempts to legislate "morality" -- just don't work. Criminals get guns, suicides and others get guns. What government "wars" and vendettas do accomplish is to create industries invested in harvesting flows of government spending, creating criminal empires that flourish on the banned article, and tie the hands of honest, law-abiding citizens.

So, the poor lady [writing the article] doesn't advocate more gun laws. Just violating the rights of selected classes, accepting any "spillover" intimidation and harassment of *legitimate* gun owners and non-weaponed "disabled" folk as acceptable breakage, I guess.

Actually, for the most part, I think repealing prohibition is the right example approach, that gun ownership is a matter of a person's thoughts, arresting anyone for possession, or even for using a weapon in a crime, is a matter of arresting for *what you are thinking*, and unconstitutional. The crime you use the gun for is a crime, and making murder and mayhem a crime is sufficient to protect Americans.

Maybe I am getting to be libertarian. I thought I just couldn't stand any of the Democratic President candidates since LBJ, so I must be Republican. But the Republicans today seem to accept so much breakage. *sigh* Because there is the whole rest of the victimless crimes thing, from statutory rape of able, consenting folk (largely unprosecuted), adultery (unprosecuted, where stil illegal), drunk driving (most of us know folk that never drove sober, live quiet lives, never had an accident), prostitution in all its varied forms up to and including gold digging and sex for favors and job security, not wearing seat belts and running stop signs and red lights and speeding when there is no accident, etc.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Walmart vs. Assault Rifles

I am confused.

Gun opponents claim that gun control laws disarm criminals. They don't, never have, FBI statistics show that increasing legitimate gun ownership -- makes all forms of violent crimes, not just shootings, go down. At least it did in the cities and states that increased people carrying concealed, and towns that required all homeowners to own and possess a firearm in the home, over the last decade and more.

So one point of contention is the so-called "assault rifle". Often a rifle style that has been used, in the past to distant past, on the battle field (as how many weapons from knives and rocks have not?). Like the long rifles of the Revolutionary war these had the advantage of having the problems debugged, of getting ammunition and parts available, and having a corps of trained users steadily entering the civilian market place. We sometimes refer to them as "veterans".

The AR/AK type rifle is often used for hunting. Now, here comes my surprise. Walmart sells stuff. If folk will buy it, and Walmart can make a moderate markup and sell it -- most often it goes on the shelf. There are a few things they do as a service to the community, including handing out state literature on hunting and fishing seasons, selling hunting and fishing licenses and stamps. And ammunition and guns, where legal. Guns used to hunt, or paintball guns, since there is a market.

And BB guns, used to teach youngsters the fundamentals of gun handling, safety, and marksmanship. This is important. In case of emergency, we want as many trained shooters as possible, if ever called to service. The better prepared to serve our children are, and we are, the less likely some bandit, pirate, or enemy nation is to try something aggressive against us.

So, Walmart sells guns, mostly for hunting. They never claimed otherwise. They call where they sell guns variously "outdoor sports", "sporting goods", "hunting and fishing". No self defense, no "Hey this gun is great on bad guys!" promotions. Hunting guns.

Just like the Bushmaster .223. Which is sold by Walmart as a hunting gun. McDonalds didn't stop selling coffee because that lady in Alberquerque scalded herself. Yes, a semi-automatic gun shooting NATO rounds could find a place on the battle field. The framers of the Constitution, and the Congress that passed the Militia law, expected no less.

So, I am confused. Why does anyone worried about assault weapons care about what Walmart sells or doesn't sell for hunting?