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Living on a River

A post moved from my other blog.

I moved this one here because the wusssies that run my other blog felt it was too commercialized for their taste.  Meanwhile they provide all manner of ways to monitize your blog site as it grows.  If I wasn’t so heavily published there, I’d start a new one entirely.  But for this post, I decided to just move it over.

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This will be a shameless plug. It didn’t start out that way. A romantic at heart, I was just inspired to sit down and write. You see, the biggest heron I ever saw just glided down the river at treetop level. This creature looked like a flamingo on steroids, a pterodactyl with feathers. So write I did. I waxed poetic about how this experience reminded me of seeing pelicans for the first time, gliding with the kind of cool only they can display, inches above the swells in the Atlantic, just off the beach in Dam Neck.  But after scribbling for a while I realized that there was an opportunity here.

Some Back Story

Almost 8 years ago, Lyn, aka she-who-must-be-obeyed, and I were evaluating our situation, living in Governor’s Green, Fredericksburg, Virginia. We were empty nesters, living in a large home, which had doubled in value in just 4 years. Real estate junkies that we are – we’d purchased that home on a whim and a 20% up-front discount – and knowing full well that we were at the peak of the market, we decided to cash out and find THE home. The search was on. I had many times looked at the home we occupy now and passed it up without the slightest thought. Lyn however found it on her own search and it had the magic ingredient. Water. True to the definition of her name, Lynette, she always want to live on water. When she pulled up the ad for this house on Realtor.com I was inclined to just say no. But the look in her eye had me saying yes. I bought here for two reasons: To let Lyn have the home she wanted and because there would be room to build a proper wood shop on the property. There were countless properties in this market where I could have built a shop. But they don’t light Lyn’s eyes the way this one did.

This is how the house used to look.  It was just a simple 
river house with four bedrooms, good storage and little else.  
                                                           
To be perfectly honest with you, it wasn’t much to look at when we got here. But it was SMALL. That is what we were looking for. A simple house in Thornburg, Spotsylvania County. After years of big neighborhood houses, creating lawns that people used to take pictures of and ask pointers on; after maintaining spaces for social gatherings and high living, we now had a little split level on the Po River that didn’t NEED anything and made us feel like we were living in the Pocono Mountains every time we came home. Not bad, not bad at all. We have an abundance of wildlife for our three little acres. There are deer, owls, red tail hawks, bald eagles, cardinals, heron, rabbits, groundhogs, foxes and on and on. As it was, we had a perfect little hide-away.

Not So Fast, Lazy Man!

My contentment was not to last. One day I came home and saw Lyn contemplating our west wall. “What are you doing?”, I asked, not really wanting to hear the answer.
“Ya know,” she said, “If we blew out this wall we could put in a big living room and a garage.”
OUCH! But what does a husband say to that. I took the profits from the previous house, minus what I spent building the shop and gave her a huge living room, a two car garage and three decks. I know, you can say it. I’m a sucker. But $100,000 later, we have more than doubled our footprint and beautified our home. My girl was thinking. The extra glass just below the new roofline was Lyn’s idea.  It came to great.

My Man Cave

Before there was a garage with a room-over, I had already added my dream shop. I make furniture as a hobby. I call it a hobby because I never sold very much. With the help of some friends to stand up the walls, I built a wood shop that occupied as much ground as the original house, 24′ x 36′. It stands at the opposite end of the property, near the road, on the crest of the next hill. I was surprised how quickly my tools filled it. But if you spend 25 years collecting shop tools they’ll have a big footprint. And for the first time I was comfortable working in a large shop rather than a garage or basement.
It has a wall-mounted heat pump that could use a shot of refrigerant, but fully charged it will just about chase you out with the heat in the winter and cooling in the summer.
Two cars can fit in the shop with careful maneuvering. By adding another bay door, or two you could easily fit two with rom left for quite a gear head heaven here. And there is a raceway going in as I write this not ten minutes from here. The track will be open to privates cars several times a week.

Work Shop

Or Next Adventure

Lyn and I have come to a new crossroads in our life together. We are planning our retirement. But we don’t want an ordinary retirement. Sadly, we can’t keep our hideaway on the Po River and maintain our present lifestyle. So we must let go.

Our river house is for sale! Shameless plug, I know. It’s my blog. It’s my laptop. I can do what I want.  We are presently interviewing for a new agent.

We will take a bit of a bath on the deal. The market is still flat. So somebody is going to get a free two-car garage with great room above, and a nearly free workshop. Poop! Personal pride notwithstanding, I can live with it. We will be one step closer to our retirement plan.


Main and upper deck and storage shed.

Lower Deck
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Obama's top 50 WHAT?!

The Washington Monthly, in their March/April edition of 2012, published a list of the Jerrett, er uh, excuse me; the Obama Administration’s top 50 Accomplishments.  Needless to say, a blizzard of comments followed.  I was not aware of the article until a friend on Facebook brought it to my attention in order to make the point that we mean haters who hate (read: Conservatives) ought to at least be willing to cheer Obama’s successes while we jeer his failures.  I agreed and asked for an example, saying in all sincerity that if he could point out a legitimate accomplishment, I would happily laud it.  In response another friend, Brenna, sent me the link to the article.  When you read it, from the very first example, you are left blinking in astonishment that ANYONE could construct this list and hope that readers anywhere would actually take seriously what is on the list.  To be certain, only two types of people do; the frustratingly immature who believe it “just because” – They see Obama as cool, so he is right.  He is always right. – and the intentionally credulous.  Harry Reid is their patron saint.  He knows that what he and Obama have done runs the gambit from theater to sedition.  But he continues to blather on, knowing that no one believes he believes any of it himself, but hoping that enough people will pick up on enough talking points to keep the blind stalwarts in the fight.

So I am left with this list of “accomplishment” to address as I said I would.

Number 1 – Obamacare

I can’t believe they actually listed it. Let’s start from now and work our away back to passage of the precursor to socialized medicine.
Just a few days ago, the Supreme Court struck down an item in Obamacare that demanded that all business with over 50 employees pay, through their insurance policy, for contraceptive services (for the purposes of preventing babies – that’s an important distinction)  including abortifacients.  The court held that based on religious beliefs, a closely-held corporation could opt out of participating in medical procedures that offend those beliefs.  In the case of Hobby Lobby and others, the objection was to four items on a list of 17 that they said they could not abide being a part of.
(Full disclosure:  I am an atheist and an activist in the secular community.  I don’t care wit about Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs and don’t believe churches should have special rights that are different than those of a corporation or a person. That said, the very principles that protect people to run their own lives according to their religious beliefs are in the same first amendment the protects free speech.  If you want to end religious exemptions from law, you must start with the first amendment and go from there.  Whose going to be the first to pick the good religions and the bad ones?  Who is going to the first secular person to quash 250 years of protections for religion and not expect the same thing to be done to us secularists the following week?)
The vitriol that followed the ruling was typical of the history of this whole non-medical care exercise from the beginning.  But having to do with this particular ruling, the left was instructed to scream that “Old White Men” were denying women ACCESS to contraception.
First, the Hobby Lobby objection was to items that were to be used to destroy the “ception” that the acceptable stuff was supposed to run “contra” to.  So the words “to contraception” used here were intentionally misleading.  Secondly,  no one is being denied ACCESS to anything.  It is simply not being FINANCED by others who object to doing so for moral reasons.  But the baseless whining continued.  Hilary Clinton said this was the first time in our history that we treated corporations as if they were people, a lie, until she adds, “when it comes to religion”.  See what she was doing there? She’s hoping most liberal proles don’t know that corporations have all the rights people do.  If you need an explanation, read Smith or Locke.  One among the rights shared by people and corporations is religious liberty.  That stupid concept that Jefferson blathered on about just to make Barry’s life harder.  Both Barry O and Woodrow Wilson have complained about the constitution getting in their way as they try to run the nation.
I only spend this much time here to demonstrate what a rhetorical shipwreck Obamacare has become. There is nothing about it that is or will be successful.  There is almost nothing about it that does anything for the healthcare industry.  It dismantled valuable insurance companies, it will not see 32 million more people insured, it has been run from day one with staggering incompetence, and if you think medical costs have gone up too fast in the past, wait until you get to the other end of this year and into next to assess the damage to the economy and your own wallet.
The fact is that with every step of the nightmare that is the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act (PPACA), as with defending the serial criminality of this administration, the tactics have been the same; marginalize the opponents, crate straw man arguments and argue against those instead of arguing the actual point and merits of the case.

This all could have been avoided.

In July of 2012, in a move the New Yorker called a “singular act of courage”,  Chief Justice Roberts decided he wanted to be a co-president for a few hours and missed the opportunity to gut the whole mess when he stepped off the bench, into the well and made the administration’s argument for them.  The question was whether the penalty for not participating in Obamacare was a tax or a fee.  On consecutive days the administration’s lawyers argued that 1) it was absolutely a fee and not a tax 2) it was absolutely a tax and to a fee. The reason is because of the dubiousness of the governments authority to cause people to buy something they don’t need under the penalty of law.  Only in Orwell’s crazy world should this thinking survive.  Roberts would have been correct to laugh the parties right out of the court room.  But he didn’t.  He chose to nail his name into the pages of history and leave us to take this monstrosity apart piece by piece while the misinformation  continues to gush from the White House and a sycophantic press.  With each step, we will have to fight the straw man misdirection and hysterical wailing.

Original Sin

The “Patient Protection” part of PPACA is a laugh riot.  The people most left out there flapping in the breeze, the people least able to absorb the damage inflicted by this 2700 page law and upwards of 30,000 pages of regulations (!!!) are the patients.  The doctors are going to be, and are already, screwed to the floorboards trying to comply with it.
The genesis of all this was even more frustrating for honest people to watch unfold.   In 2010, through lies – this won’t increase budget deficits – to qualify the bill for the what the Senate calls “reconciliation” and outright unethical practices, this monstrosity was presented to BHO for signature.  The question of ethics comes in first, using “reconciliation” to blow open 1/6 of the economy. This is preposterous.  Reconciliation in this context is used to shuffle line items in an overall budget and make small adjustments without having to adjudicate the whole thing over again.  It took Reid and Pelosi to stoop to the levels they did to use this process to magically marry two bills that had not gotten through both houses of the legislature, in some cases skipping steps by “deeming to have voted”, buying votes with HUGE kickbacks and voila, you have the worst law from the worst lawmaking since the nation’s founding.  They really did think they had made the whole thing so complex and confusing and rush-  rush that the public would do shrug and say. ‘Well, okay, if you say so.”  Instead they created the Tea Party.  That movement is the child of Reid and Pelosi more than anyone else.

Conclusion:

Point one of the top 50 accomplishments is a total failure.  Little secret; it may have been intended to fail.  Time will tell.

A Not So Insignificant Aside:

In the piece above, I wrote that we were hearing that women were being denied ACCESS to healthcare because people did not wish to FINANCE their lifestyle choices; specifically not paying for a handful of abortifacients.  I have heard from hysterical women and sunken-chested men several times asking if it was fair that insurance pay for viagra and other treatments of erectile disfunction (ED) and not pay for abortions and abortifacients.  I rarely believe that these complainers don’t see the difference at work here, but I will do the unpopular and point out the weakness of the argument for the truly dense.
ED and related prostate problems, including cancer, are disorders.  It is a doctor’s obligation to treat this as such and do his best to cure or mitigate it.  Pregnancy is not a tumor.  If you are pregnant and the baby is growing nicely, then there is nothing for the doctor to treat.  His primary obligation is to monitor his patient and make sure all remains well.
If the patient decides to terminate the pregnancy, that is an elective procedure.  NO ONE has a moral obligation to finance that procedure.  Mother and child are healthy.  If an insurance company wants to cover that procedure, the pregnant woman is in luck (women in their productive years who don’t want babies ought to check into this when buying medical coverage.  But that is NOT MY CONCERN!)
“But, ah!” comes the occasional retort, “what’s to stop a doctor from citing a bullshit health reason to give a friend viagra just so he can have more sex?”  The answer is nothing.  If a doc wants to compromise his practice and be a total douche bag.  He can do that and probably get away with it.  In much the same way some doctors take into account the “mental anguish” some upper middle class college girl will face by experiencing a perfectly natural biological process.  That’s contrived bullshit too, but it remains one of the prime arguments in favor of a pregnancy being treated like bubonic plague.
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The Entire Federal Government is a Sewer. I Blame You!

 Yes, you!  I mean you…personally!

Update 13 Nov 15: It seems that every election brings the clarion call of the under-educated saying we need to get rid of the Electoral College. This call is very popular among in the very places it is meant to protect.

Without the EC, places like Detroit, Philadelphia, New York, Milwaukee, Chicago and Los Angeles would get 100% of the politicians’ attention. No one else would, They wouldn’t have to spend any time and money courting your vote because they already control the population centers. The cities, which have been taken over by the takers of the world, would also dominate the federal government. No one would care what the rural voter thinks about anything.

The Electoral College is the last vestige of states’ rights left in this once wonderful American Experiment. Like the rules the Democrats flout in congress while Republicans continue to follow, the electoral college was intended to be a bulwark against mob rule. Lose it and that’s what you will have from now on.

I give the EC scant mention at the end of this post, but inspired by my friend, Tammy on FB, I thought I’d expound a bit. Enjoy!

It goes without saying that every generation has it’s unique flavor.  And with each new generation, the one before voices its disappointment and says theirs was a better generation.  The young ones roll their eyes and think oh sure, like you guys were so great.  But you know, as we watch that cadre – Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation” – die away now, any dismay they register with us is probably correct and quite more subdued that we deserve.  They have watched the country they struggled for morph into an unrecognizable creature.
We – I’ll say the population under 75 – have watched or participated in the dumbing down and perversion of knowledge and civic duty not seen since the early days of the Soviet Union. (Read The Perversion Of Knowledge: The True Story Of Soviet Science)  We have permitted our political zoo to become so blatantly and nakedly cynical of us that there are now no boundaries on what they can concoct.  And no matter how stupid or harmful the concoction, they get away with it.
Why?  Because we are lazy.  It’s easier to just say, damn, there’s nothing you can do about it.  Another reason is because we are mind-bogglingly gullible.  Congress is now polling lower in this country than Putin (that’s Russian for “Hitler”). But each precinct sends back the same asshole that voted for Obamacare or corn subsidies or No Child Left Behind or nearly a trillion dollars paid to municipal and federal unions or anything having to do with anybody getting married or Dodd-Frank or…, all of which have put us right here economically.  And then we completely lose sight of the economy as well.

Monumental Misdirection

Here’s where you have to really start paying attention.  Because the political zoo we have today is playing you for rubes on a scale that that would have made Joe Goebbels proud.  Every week you turn on the TV and see the attention of our politicians riveted on a new “scandal”.  They pound podiums, ask probing questions.  Pundits discuss the nuances and mis-steps surrounding each “scandal”.  We are left furious that the administration told us Benghazi was a protest about a video, we shake our fists that the IRS claims to have lost files, we shake our heads at the poor treatment of vets.  But here’s the thing: these are not scandals, scandalous though they may be.  These are crimes; genuine criminal activity, carried on out by elected officials and federal employees.  These crimes are not alleged.  They were committed.  As allegations, they fall on the heads of the accused.  Members of our government conspired to to do harm to groups or individuals for money or votes.
Too carried away, is it?  Veterans died while VA administrators cooked the books in order to secure their bonuses.  And they all cooked the books in the same weird way.  So where did the idea originate? Cincinnati?  Do you think that if the head of the Cincinnati office came up with a fraud scheme to cheat the taxpayers and not take care of patients, he’d advertise it, tell everyone what he was doing?  Nope. This fraud was hatched very high up DC.
We already know that the IRS crimes were not the product of a Cleveland plot as originally claimed by Lerner. (Poor Ohio, these dick heads in DC seem bent on giving that state a bad name)  Nope this was carefully coordinated with senators, the Justice Department and the Obama campaign.  There is one and only one place to pull that off.  I’ll give you a hint:  It’s not Lois Lerner’s office.

Want to talk REAL crime?

One of the first initiatives of the Valerie Jarrett administration started with a fabrication.  There were, we were told, hundreds of guns being sold everyday in Mexico after being purchased here in America. Our guns were the fuel behind the drug wars.  There were a few problems.  We found out in short order that drug dealers and other criminals found guns from overseas were cheaper and easier to get than anything they could buy from the US.  The Mexican government had not claimed, as stated by Jarred’s spokes goon Barry, that they almost always found serial numbers of US guns at crime scenes. No one was listening.  I think Americans knew it was bogus.  That wouldn’t do at all.  The people had to be made to listen and obey.  So guns were intentionally allowed to walk (enter Mexico without a means to trace them) by law enforcement to create the scrim behind the narrative.  The tail was already wagging the dog.  Then, Oops!  Brian Terry was killed by one of Eric Holder’s guns; which is to say Barry Obama’s guns.  Caught with their hands in the cookie jar, the Jarrett administration circled the wagons, planned their obstruction of justice against the efforts of congress and had to put off gun control until something else came up.  Terry’s death allowed for touching sound bites but no genuine respect on the part of the Imperial Presidency.  Lots of Mexicans were killed with these guns too, but that doesn’t seem to matter much at all.
In Benghazi, it wasn’t the crime of 9/11/12 that was the issue.  The White House circus didn’t commit a crime that night.  They just plotted out a neat bullshit story while four Americans were dying or were about to.  The crime came later, lying to congress about how the bodies came to be so cold and why they lied about it to begin with.  The administration’s actions before and during the attack are a simple matter of incompetence and depraved indifference to the lives of those killed.  The crime is the lying and obstruction.

Congress swings into inaction!

There should be no question on either side of the aisle, in either house of the legislature, of the need to appoint an omnibus special prosecutor or several prosecutors.  It should simply be a question of which of those two to pick.
But congress and likely YOUR congressman don’t really want that.  They have it easy right now. With very few exceptions, both parties in both houses are using the rhetoric inspired by the crimes that have been committed to avoid actually doing their jobs, passing budgets, getting the federal government out of our lives and pocketbooks or vise versa if you are of a big government persuasion.  Most important, by chattering at microphones, they avoid dealing with the crimes about which they chatter.  By paying lip service to the “scandals” they avoid doing anything that requires taking a real stand and the rubes back home think they are doing their jobs.  They are safe from real repercussions because in at least one case, possibly two, the Attorney General is up to his eyeballs in the crimes himself.  The previous Secretary of State is a culprit in one, the heads of the IRS in another and to one extent or another, the President (the one we elected) is a party to all, if only by neglect or providing the motivation for each crime.  In the case of the Benghazi coverup and Fast and Furious, I’d say he was probably one of the main perpetrators.

With mealy-mouthed Harry Reid in between the perps and those who should  be calling for criminal charges, the whole cast can play out their feigned anger for TV cameras and never actually do anything that would require leadership or the cashing in of any political chips.  Certainly the cowards John Boener and Mitch McConnell aren’t going to rise to the occasion.

…And a bonus.  No one is bugging these guys about the economy.

If they’re the assholes, why am I mad at you?

Simple, my lazy friend, you continue to elect these monuments to muck.
“But, MJ, I don’t like these guys any more than you do.”
Great. Do you vote?
“Sometimes.”
Do you volunteer for candidates and causes you believe in, do you write your congressman, the local newspaper?  Do you even read a newspaper?  Do you talk to anyone in office about what pisses you off?
“Well…”
Well, then, you are responsible.  It is considered politically chic to say that you hate these politicians and to spout your own point of view.  “But it doesn’t make any difference,” you say, so you won’t waste any of your incredibly cool time to wait in line to vote.  Thanks to you, these ass faces inside the beltway feel no sense of accountability.  That’s on the left and the right!  They are laughing at you every single day for how easy they have it.
Funny, the “you” I am speaking to is often the guy I hear saying we should do away with the electoral college and certainly doesn’t understand the value of having states appoint senators vise a popular vote.  For the hyper morons in the room, states used to appoint our senators.  But it didn’t feel good. So spotting the opportunity to further corrupt and fleece the electorate, politicians said, “Sure! We’d be glad to elect Senators by popular vote!”
That doesn’t speak too poorly of you.  Most people don’t understand the correct need to follow constitutional law or even why the constitution says what it says.  No matter; there are people in high office right now who belong in a cage.  The rest perpetuate the criminals’ imperial reign.  Some will read this, some even enjoy it, and click on the next thing that pops up.  Others will get riled up for about a minute, maybe yell at their spouses about it.  Very few will take much from it.  So…I guess it’s true. It doesn’t make a difference.  That’s your fault, too.

Matt Jordan is a travel writer, political commentator and author of 16 20 24. Get your SIGNED copy here!

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