Boycotts in America

February 13, 2017

top-10-reasons-to-boycott-companies-that-use-child-labor-e1447200997399Last week I promised to explain what “Five 14 Responding” was about. Well at the age of 34 I began a 20 year (2nd) career with the North Aurora Fire Department. I quickly became an EMT-A and Firefighter I eventually becoming a Firefighter II and a Paramedic. I became a lieutenant and my number was 519 and then I was promoted to Captain and my number changed to 514. All officers took turns being the duty officer for a week which meant that from early evening until the work day started the duty officer would or should be the first on the scene for any calls whether fire or ambulance. The first thing I would say on the radio was “Five 14 Responding” and now you know.

Now about those Boycotts…

It seems lately that if something or someone crosses a large group that group demands a “Boycott”. Case in point: Colin Kaepernick is a backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL. He decided to disrespect our flag during the National Anthem prior to the start of every game starting during preseason games. Like many NFL fans I Boycotted the entire NFL season, not because Kaepernick did this but because Roger Goodell who is currently the Commissioner of the National Football League did nothing about it thereby, supporting his actions with his silence. Colin wasn’t alone as many others joined in including some High School players. Everyone has the right to protest but an employer can restrict this behavior from the work place and Goodell did not. Was the boycott effective? Some reports were that the attendance was down and TV viewership was down across all games all season but picked up during the playoffs and Super Bowl. I watched the Super Bowl replay the day after and I watched my beloved Giants in a losing effort in the playoffs these were the only games I watched.

It seems now that many more boycotts are being called for to include products and services provided by Trump supporters, certain liberal actors and celebrities, Black Lives Matter, police and LEOs, military you name it and there is a boycott. Even the women’s movement (which I truly don’t understand) is calling for boycotts. If enough people band together and boycott a product or service it can have a profound effect. The problem is that with so many boycotts being called for the groups are small and largely ineffective.

I’m boycotting Budweiser for its commercial depicting immigrants being picked on back in the day. It was total bull shit. But this boycott is an easy one for me because I don’t like their beer to begin with. If I were to boycott every actor, singer or TV celebrity I disagree with my entertainment choices would be knocked down to “Blue Bloods” and country music. I guess my advice about boycotts is this, choose wisely. Make sure you are really passionate about the cause and make sure it is justified. Remember that if it is successful many people can be affected by it. If a company suffers enough they may actually go out of business only adding to the unemployment crisis we see now in this country. When comparing boycotts to the violence in the streets that we are seeing around the world the choice is a no-brainer.

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I’ve Been Busy

February 6, 2017

635945179805942255129741197_originalSo I’ve been too busy to blog but not too busy to Facebook, hmm! So I decided to throttle back on Facebook and make a weekly blog entry here on “Five 14 Responding”. So let me bring you up to date.

I retired! That’s big!! That’s huge!!! It’s been interesting for sure. We relocated from the People’s Republic of Illinois to the great state of Michigan. We sold our home there and put the proceeds into upgrading our former summer home. We had a 16′ x 22′ three season room added but in reality it is in use 24/7, 365. I’m sitting in that room right now with my laptop. I can watch the lake or the birds out back from this location. Love it! We had the exterior redone with new vinyl siding, new roofing and new gutter system. There was some rot here and there and all of that was reworked by our excellent contractor/builder. We had to have the electric service relocated to accommodate the new room so at that time we upgraded to 200 amp and added a panel in the barn for my woodworking shop. We (Paula and I with some help from Kim and Chad) built a 12 x 16 shed for all the outside tools and the garden tractor. We did hire out the shingling of the roof since I’m too old “fo dat”. We finished the inside of the new room ourselves and redid the living room and front bedroom due to drywall damage caused by the front wall rot that was repaired. We had some help with the drywall since I hate it. So we don’t “feel” retired. Actually, up until the Christmas holidays we were busier than when we were gainfully employed.

Here in February I am trying to get motivated to get the garage organized and then attack the barn to get it setup for serious woodworking. I have a back log of projects.

We had a very busy and nasty presidential campaign season that went on forever and ended up with an upset win by President Donald J Trump. Now the left seems to be having serious trouble getting over Hillary Rodham Clinton’s defeat even though she took the lead in the popular vote she was campaigning in the wrong places allowing Trump to capture the electoral college which in this country is what counts. I think we are all sick of politics and political correctness so for me Trump is a breath of fresh air. So I have abandoned politics on Facebook because it is overwhelming. My blog may contain my opinions and you do not have to read it.

I have more guns and ammo than I need so I’m going to pare down my collection to what I consider the basics for home and personal defense and a little fun stuff too. My 12 gauge shot gun is loaded with #1 buck shot and ready for any intruders and that coupled with a 9mm Springfield “XD Mod 2” comprise my home defense. I think that should cover anything short of a full on ISIS attack. For that I have a Ruger Mini-14 which replaced my AR-15. AR-15s are the “scary” assault rifles you see in the press as the most evil of guns. Of course this is total bullshit but the left is what it is. I have a couple concealed carry options and that is where I will need to make some decisions. I desperately need some time at the range.

I now can feed the birds here in Michigan full time. I have a good group of clients that do their best to empty my feeders. I get 3 different woodpeckers, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Finches and sparrows year round along with a variety of migratory birds. I seem to have defeated the squirrel population since implementing my PVC pipe baffles. The birds love the variety of my feeders. I use sunflower hearts since the birds do not eat the shells which only makes a big mess I get more bang for the buck using hearts. I also use safflower, peanut splits and suet cakes. In the spring and summer I put out grape jelly which the Baltimore Orioles love.

My kids and her kids and the grandkids come to visit but not as often as we would like. We know they are all busy. The oldest granddaughter is a sophomore in college and the youngest just turned 12 so they all have school and sports that keep them all on the run constantly. We get it.

Next week I will explain what “Five 14 Responding” is all about along with some words of wisdom. So goodbye for now.

M&P Shield Review

March 20, 2015
Shield

I used the white nail polish trick on the lettering and bought an extra magazine for practice at the range.

So this is a review of my Smith & Wesson M&P Shield. I recently sold some handguns and the ammo for them. These were handguns I wasn’t using for the reasons I had purchased them. I am not a gun “collector”, at least I never intended to be. But when I took a step back I realized I was becoming one. I am a firm believer in having things to fill a role and that goes for everything. When it comes to guns each gun I own has a role, self-defense, target shooting, concealed carry and just for fun. The “just for fun” category was overcrowded so I thinned the herd and replaced them with a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield (M&P stands for Military & Police). This is a very small gun but is chambered for 9mm. It is also available in .40 caliber but I decided that 9mm is more than enough if you have the right ammo and know how to shoot straight. This gun came with a 7 round and an 8 round magazine. The idea behind this is you have a very concealable handgun with the 7 round mag and if you need more rounds you can grab 8 more and at that point you no longer care about concealment. Now with 7 rounds you can also have one in the chamber giving you 8 and with a spare 8 round magazine you have 16 rounds. If I need more than that then the SHTF.

Let me state for the record that this is a very comfortable handgun. Perceived recoil is surprisingly light for a 9mm in a gun this size and speaking of size, for those who carry this would make a primary EDC for most people and a damn fine backup piece for our Military & Police brothers (hence the name). So I drove out to my favorite range (RKA) and the range was down after they had an alarm system malfunction following a thorough cleaning of the range earlier in the morning. So since I really had to fire this handgun I made my way to JR Shooting Sports in Aurora. I refreshed my memory as to why I hate going there. They are rude, expensive and the air filter system is a total bust. Needless to say I did not spend too long there. I sent 50 rounds down the pipe and called it good. Well actually is was more than good, the experience (shooting) was great. The gun has very nice sights so no upgrades are planned for that. Sight picture was easy to understand and follow up shots were good because target acquisition was easy because of the lack of recoil and great sights. Double tap with the standard trigger is a piece of cake since the reset is short and the pull is not heavy at all. The feel of the gun is perfect for me, nicely fit in my hand and my second hand knew right where to go. This was the smartest handgun decision I’ve made. This gun can be carried all day and you’d almost forget you had it. My only complaint is the safety. It is very low profile and took some getting used to. However, taking the safety off is easy and intuitive, putting it back on was the tricky part but I’ve never been in a panic to put the safety ON. I give this gun 5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone who is in the market for an EDC handgun.

I’ve Been Remiss

March 8, 2015
Netanyahu-v-Nut-and-Yahoo

Serious meets 2 of the 3 stooges!

I’ve been busy with work and my woodworking hobby. I’ve also been busy planning for retirement within the next 14 months. It has been both fun and frustrating. But more frustrating than any of that is the continued bullshit I see happening to my beloved USA. This clown that some of us call the POTUS is dragging us into the gutter. This once proud and well respected country has become the laughing stock of the world. Now it appears clear to me that our strongest ally in the middle east has serious doubts about our commitment to them as a nation and for very good reason. This president of my country is a muslim sympathizer if not a full blown practicing muslim. Now don’t get me wrong, he can be whatever he wants to be but he should not be a liar. It appears that he is nothing but a liar. He says he’s a Christian but it is obvious to me that he is not. His heritage is anything but Christian. He is certainly not a capitalist, oh no far from it. He is at best a socialist but more likely a communist. Now, amongst other things he wants to negotiate an agreement with Iran that would eventually allow them to have nuclear weapons. This is not good for the rest of the world because Iran is the largest sponsor of global terrorism. They want a caliphate and force the world to follow Islam. Norfolk & Way, pal! One evening I was pondering the possibilities of what might transpire in the next decade. I predict that Israel, not the USA, will become the saving grace of not only the Middle East but of the entire civilized world. Only a few years ago I would have thought we, the USA would wipe the majority of the jihadist terrorists off the face of the earth but with the help of the current Obama regime they are stronger than ever. God bless my country and God bless Israel!

The Nightmare

November 26, 2014
(I received this in an email... once I stopped laughing I decided I needed to post it in my blog.)
In the nightmare I found myself nude in bed, and I was looking at a mirror on the ceiling, and I discovered that I am a Negro, and I’m circumcised!Quickly I sat up, found my pants and looked in the pockets to find my driver’s license photo and it was that same color. Black.

I felt myself being very depressed, downcast, sitting in a chair.

But it’s a wheelchair!!

That means, of course, besides being black and Jewish, I’m also disabled!!!

I said to myself, aloud ‘This is impossible. It’s impossible that I should be black and Jewish and disabled.’

‘It’s the pure and holy truth’, whispers someone from behind me.

I turn around, and it’s my boyfriend.

Just what I needed!!!

I am a homosexual, and on top of that with a Mexican boyfriend.

Oh, my God….. black, Jewish, disabled, gay, with a Mexican boyfriend, drug addict, and HIV-positive!!!

Desperate, I begin to shout, cry, pull my hair, and Oh, noooooo…I’m bald!!!

The telephone rings.

It’s my brother.

He is saying, ‘Since mom and dad died the only thing you do is hang out, take drugs, and laze around all day doing nothing. Get a job you worthless piece of crap… Any job.’

Mom?… Dad?… Nooooooooo… Now I’m also an unemployed orphan!

I try to explain to my brother how hard it is to find a job when you are black, Jewish, disabled, gay with a Mexican boyfriend, are a drug addict,
HIV positive, bald, and an orphan.

But he doesn’t get it.

Frustrated, I hang up.

It’s then I realize I only have one hand!!!

With tears in my eyes I go to the window to look out.

I see I live in a shanty-town full of cardboard and tin houses! There is trash everywhere.

Suddenly I feel a sharp pain near my pacemaker…. Pacemaker?

Besides being black, Jewish, disabled, a fairy with a Mexican boyfriend, a drug addict, HIV positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, an invalid with one hand, and having a bad heart, I live in a crappy neighborhood.

At that very moment my boyfriend approaches and says to me, ‘Sweetie pie, my love, my little black heartthrob, have you decided who are you going to vote for in the Primary? Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama???

Say it isn’t so!!! I can handle being a black, disabled, one armed, drug addicted, Jewish queer on a pacemaker who is HIV positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, lives in a slum, and has a Mexican boyfriend,
but please, oh dear God, please don’t tell me I’m a Democrat

They’re Not Happy

September 2, 2014

mobAdmittedly This is not my original work. A friend emailed this to me as a joke. Well it is only funny because it is very close to the truth. So as you read this please keep in mind the reality behind it…

 

 

 

They’re not happy in Gaza …
They’re not happy in Egypt …
They’re not happy in Libya …
They’re not happy in Morocco …
They’re not happy in Iran …
They’re not happy in Iraq …
They’re not happy in Yemen …
They’re not happy in Afghanistan …
They’re not happy in Pakistan …
They’re not happy in Syria …
They’re not happy in Lebanon …

SO, WHERE ARE THEY HAPPY?

They’re happy in Australia …
They’re happy in Canada …
They’re happy in New Zealand …
They’re happy in France …
They’re happy in Italy …
They’re happy in Germany …
They’re happy in Sweden …
They’re happy in the USA …
They’re happy in Norway …
They’re happy in Holland …
They’re happy in Denmark …

Basically, they’re happy in every country that is not Muslim
and unhappy in every country that is!

AND WHO DO THEY BLAME?

Not Islam.
Not their leadership.
Not themselves…

THEY BLAME THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE HAPPY IN!

AND THEN; they want to change those countries to be like…
THE COUNTRY THEY CAME FROM WHERE THEY WERE UNHAPPY!

Excuse me, but I can’t help wondering how damn dumb can you get?
Everyone seems to be wondering why Muslim Terrorists are so quick to commit suicide.
Let’s have a look at the evidence:
– No Christmas
– No television
– No nude women
– No football
– No pork chops
– No hot dogs
– No burgers
– No beer
– No bacon
– Rags for clothes
– Towels for hats
– Constant wailing from some idiot in a tower
– More than one wife
– More than one mother in law
– You can’t shave
– Your wife can’t shave
– You can’t wash off the smell of donkey
– You cook over burning camel shit
– Your wife is picked by someone else for you
– and your wife smells worse than your donkey

Then they tell you that “when you die, it all gets better”??
Well no shit Sherlock!
It’s not like it could get much worse…

TV Shouldn’t Be Like This

June 24, 2014

TVEach TV provider continues to try to outdo each other. The number of channels continue to climb and of course the prices continue to climb as well. The one thing that they fail to do is to provide good customer service. If it wasn’t for the fact that I enjoy watching sports…  More and more sporting events find their way onto channels that force us to pay high prices to receive. Back when I was growing up it was big news to own a “color” TV and the dial had 13 numbers representing stations that were broadcast on VHF (Very High Frequency). Then came more over-the-air stations on UHF (Ultra High Frequency) most notably FOX. The next Hi Tech innovation was “the remote”. Wow you were hot stuff if you could turn on and off the TV from the couch and even change channels. Viola, the term couch potato was born. Then there was the rotating antenna where you could change the direction of the antennae to pull in stations you wouldn’t normally get. I remember my dad standing up on the roof rotating the antenna (we didn’t have a motorized antenna) to get a Connecticut station that was broadcasting a Green Bay Packer Football game. Then enter the new era in Television, pay TV. I recall folks saying it would never work because people won’t pay for something they get for free. Ahh, but they were wrong. Pay TV (cable) gave people more options and better quality signals so it caught on. Over time Cable TV spread far and wide and became normal for city dwellers as well as close in suburbs but in more rural areas it was not cost effective for cable companies to string the cable for a low number of customers. Necessity truly is the mother of invention and with the advances in the space age technology Satellite TV entered the picture and the picture was damn good. So now no matter where you live you could get the more expanded lineup of channels. The Weather Channel, Bravo, A&E, The History Channel, (the list goes on forever) were all available for 99% of the population. But for that expanded lineup came a much higher monthly fee. With the boom of the internet they started bundling TV with Phone service and Internet and any combination of the three and now even home security is in the mix. I will say after today I will have tried four different providers (see the logos pictured above). Dishnet ruined my day because of a dispute with Fox Networks which came at a time when it made watching NASCAR and a show called Sons of Anarchy difficult to watch. So I fired them and hired DirecTV. Love their picture quality. Love their customer service too. But I had to have faster internet so I thought getting a bundle with Comcast was the way to go. Big, big mistake on my part. Their system sucks almost as bad as their lousy customer service. So I hired AT&T (again) but this time instead of just DSL internet I’m going with their U-verse system bundle. Their customer service is not very good so if this doesn’t work out I think I will fire them and go old school. Yes, I will use a new High Definition Indoor antenna and call it a day. Just need to figure out a way to record shows for viewing on our schedule. I will have to find a sports bar to view my NASCAR events too 🙂

Sports Teams Need Political Correctness

May 16, 2014

redskinsSo the Washington Redskins owner has stated he will not change his teams name or logo. How can someone who obviously is a man of means, continue to insult an entire race or class of human beings? Daniel Snyder who is 49 years old and a Billionaire has been criticized in the media for his insensitive attitude by refusing to consider renaming the team. His answer is to create a foundation to benefit Native Americans. This move clearly indicates that Mr. Snyder is acknowledging that there is some validity to the media claims that this name is hurtful to Native Americans. I think calling them Indians is hurtful. After all, they were called this in error after Christopher Columbus, who was directionally challenged, mistook the now West Indies for the East Indies and assumed the indigenous people were Indians. But the entire sports community is riddled with insensitive references and really needs to be educated on political correctness. If you look around you find the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Indians and my beloved Chicago Blackhawks (even though there is no tribe called Blackhawks the logo is an Indian).

If skin color is the issue then what about the Cleveland Browns? That has to have Cleveland residents, many of whom are people of color, in a state of hysteria. Staying with that theme what about the Carolina NFL franchise since Panthers don’t generally inhabit the Carolinas. This has to be a reference to the “Black Panthers” of the racially charged era of the 1960’s. This has to go, as I’m sure white folks are offended or should be.

I was raised as a Catholic and I am offended by the use of “religious” references such as the Saints, Angels or Padres. I’ll bet some people never even made the connection between the Cardinals and the Catholic church, but I did. I’m sure that those Patriotic folks who live south of the Mason-Dixon line are offended by the New York Yankees. People plagued by obesity are offended by the Giants not just the baseball team but football as well. Double effort to insult those double sized Americans. This counters the message of the FLOTUS.

What message is being sent to our youth by the Raiders, Vikings, Buccaneers and the Chargers. Are we promoting violence in the form of rape and pillage, forcibly taking from others?  I remember when I was sent off to the local Catholic High School in Riverhead, NY. They asked the students to come up with a name for our sports teams and an election was held. The winner was “Marauders” but the Sisters of Mercy would not let that stand and the Monarchs became the name of our teams. The nuns considered it the name of a popular butterfly and totally ignored the reference for the term as another name for a king. What about the Cincinnati Reds (barbiturates) and the Milwaukee Brewers who are also sending the wrong message to our youth? I guess the era of “just say no” is over and was an epic failure.

So when it comes to political correctness our sports teams are clearly out of step. The owners need to be sent off to the government run re-education centers to get their minds straight so that they can show some empathy and compassion for the many minority and special interest groups in this country. If you think about it all of us belong to at least one special group and many of us are likely to be in several groups. We need to hold the owners feet to the fire to get them to rename the teams something much more palatable such as the Oakland Oak Trees, or the Cleveland Cuyahogas. The Chicago Blackhawks could be the Chicago Icers!

Mother’s Day

May 7, 2014

mothersWell another Mother’s Day is fast approaching. I think it’s important to celebrate Mother’s Day even if your mother is no longer with us here on earth. I’m one of those fortunate to still have my mother around as I approach my retirement years. I think it is amazing how well she is doing at age 91. Oh she forgets a thing or two here and there but she remembers much more than most and after all she has 91 years worth of memories to draw from. My mother was always there to support me even when I was wrong. Make no mistake, she is not one to mince words and she will let me know if I crossed the line. She put up with an awful lot of crap from me until I enlisted in the Navy. When she saw that I had matured into a reasonable human being she realized she had done her job well and there was nothing left to do. Then it became a friendship as much if not more than the mother/son relationship. My mother is a lot of things and they are all good. She is an artist and very crafty. She is an excellent cook (except those few years when she experimented with “healthy” eating). She does some of the best cross stitching I have ever seen and in my mind she could do whatever she set her mind to and do it very well. She is an avid bird watcher/lover. She is a religious woman with strong faith in Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She is a professional mother. She is the oldest of 5 children and only 1 of 2 still with us having lost her only brother and 2 of her 3 sisters. She is from Long Island, NY and misses the ocean deeply but she never complains about moving to the Midwest because she supported her late husband. She is a widow since 1998 but has gained strength of will and mind as her body weakens. She decided on her own that she needed to give up driving several years ago and she decided on her own that she needed assisted living. She knows what to do and when to do it. Someday I will miss my mother as many of my readers do now. I can and do call her on the phone nearly every day and I visit her at least once a week and share a meal. I owe her an awful lot but it’s a debt that can never be satisfied. I love you mom, happy Mother’s Day!

The Cost of Freedom of Speech!

May 1, 2014

SterlingLos Angeles Clipper owner, Donald Sterling is a racist or at the very least a bigot. In the US he has that right, he can be a bigot, a homophobe, a Nazi or even a member of the KKK. However, he can not break the law. If he were to discriminate and there was proof that someone was hurt by it he could be criminally or civilly sued. This man’s attitude is one that is diametrically opposed to the majority of our society and yet he has not broken any laws (as far as we know). His opinions are his to express or not and there is nothing to keep him from expressing his views in public or private. The first amendment of the constitution guarantees his right to freedom of speech. I do not agree with his views and I think he is quite wrong minded but at age 80 it is not likely that he will be changing his attitudes any time soon. So what is this all about? His bigotry is well known by any of those who know him as the owner of this NBA team for the past 33 years. But all of a sudden it’s a big deal! Why? His girlfriend taped a conversation that documented his bigotry (some say racism). This is bad press, the media is up in arms and yet he has broken no laws. Now along comes the NBA commissioner who launches an investigation into this matter. He verifies that the tape is in fact Mr. Sterling’s voice and Mr. Sterling admits that it is him. The punishment is handed down by the NBA (not the State or Federal government) who fined him some $2.5 million and he is banned from the NBA for life, yes for life! Now the rest of the owners will vote to force him to sell his team. I’m not saying this guy is a good guy but is this fair? Who is the next target? What is this all about? Well from everything I have read and learned this is all political. It’s a way to point to a rich, white male (Republican) who is a bigot. Why now? Because there is a critical election coming up that could make or break the remaining two years of the Obama regime. I think it is unfortunate that this individual thinks the way he does but if he has always felt this way why the hell did he buy a basketball team in a sport dominated by black athletes. He could have bought a hockey team, after all. So who is the next target? Take it to the bank, there will be more targets as the political operatives will continue to make race a hot button issue through the November elections.