Should You Do Your Own Electrical Repairs or Upgrades?

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This can be a tricky issue. Usually it boils down to:

  • Are you competent to complete the task?
  • Does the local electrical building code specify a licensed electrician and building permits?
  • What is the scope of the remodeling project?

Regular Maintenance or Full-Blown Remodeling Project?

We all have situations where we are simply fixing small issues. These usually involve tasks such as replacing GFCI receptacles in the bathroom or kitchen, replacing ceiling fans, and hard-wiring a new oven. These are likely considered regular maintenance.

These are all things that the average homeowner can handle. A project that goes beyond that may involve having to pull building permits and having the job inspected and signed off on. In this case you will likely have to hire a licensed electrician. Always check you local code to be sure.

For example, if you are doing a kitchen remodel, there is likely to be some electrical work. Kitchens are very electric-intensive because of all the appliances. Plus, there is the issue of water and electricity. They don’t usually play well together.

Bathroom remodels face similar issues. There might not be so many appliances but the water issue is at least, if not more, critical. With kitchen and bathroom issues you will likely have to hire a licensed electrician.

Preventative Maintenance for Electrical Repairs

We never know when electrical problems will arise. Who among us has had a circuit breaker or fuse trip in the middle of the night? (It’s always at the worst possible time, right?)

Anyway, now is the time to cover your backside, before fate slaps you upside the head. The most basic thing you can do is to map electrical circuits. This way, when you do have an issue in the wee hours or you are wiring an appliance, you will know just which breaker is involved. The builder made these decisions and they don’t always follow logic.


Speaking of the circuit breaker box, I always keep a padlock on mine. Why? Well, it just happens that one of the things that would-be burglars will do is to flip the main switch to cut power to your house.

Does this qualify me as a bona fide paranoia whacko? Perhaps, but at least I’ve got my (imaginary) ducks in a row (or mallards in a queue if you are reading this across the pond).

The bottom line of this post is that you should know which electrical projects you can and should tackle from both a legal and frugal standpoint. Stay safe and enjoy your kilowatts.


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Choosing and Maintaining Residential Fences

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A partially-completed privacy picket fence.
A partially-completed privacy picket fence.

This article was updated on 07/29/20.

Almost all homes will benefit from a backyard fence. They offer privacy, they let your children and pets romp without running off, and they serve as a deterrent to would-be thieves and vagrants (the fence is security for the back, the Ring Doorbell works for the front). If the home contractor did not install a fence during construction, it is up to you as the homeowner to take care of it.

Even if you already have a fence, it may be old and in extreme disrepair. Or perhaps you just don’t like the look of it and want a different style. Either way a new fence is a great home improvement project.

Types of Fences

But that is not a bad thing. There are many types to choose from. In fact, there are at least 10 types of popular residential fences. Just choose the one that fits your style and budget. Consider these:

  • Chain link. Not the most attractive but affordable, durable, and porous in those high wind areas.
  • Vinyl-coated chain link. This is a bit of an upgrade that allows for a wide range of durable colors.
  • Fence slat. A modification of chain link where plastic slats are inserted through the openings in the fence, offering privacy, security, and protection from the wind.
  • Aluminum fencing. Its benefits include low-maintenance and weather-resistance.
  • Wooden pickets. Very popular because they are easy to install and are attractive.
  • Post and rail. This will give your property a more country look, similar to the split rail type fence.
  • Decorative lattice. If you are going for an attractive style that you can train climbing roses on this might be the one for you.

Maintaining Your Fence

Seeing as how your fence lives outdoors in the elements, it will require some maintenance from time to time. Some types require painting, some require pressure washing and some require picket replacement periodically. Picket life can be extended by spraying a water-repellent or sealing coat on them.

If you have to repair or replace a section that intersects at a corner, you might wonder how to do it right. Not to worry; here is a detailed explanation on how to construct the section and tie a picket fence in at a 90° angle.

Fence gates can also be an issue. Not only are they subjected to the elements but they also get a lot or wear and tear from opening and closing. I found an easy solution to replacing my own gate recently using an Adjust-A-Gate Steel Frame No Sag Gate Building Kit.

In short, when it comes to residential fence choice and maintenance, you have decisions to make!


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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.



Antifa, Obama’s Shadow Government, Resistance Against Trump

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Antifa activists

This article was last revised on 08/12/18.

While there have always been fringe political groups, they are much more obvious today due to the internet, and of course, 24/7 cable news coverage. The range and scope of the organization of these groups on an internal level varies widely. Many are grass-roots groups that are self-funded; others are bankrolled from external sources that set the agenda to some extent and even issue paychecks to demonstrators (George Soros comes to mind).

Antifa has been Garnering Attention Lately

The Antifa moniker is shorthand for Anti-Fascism. The original movement began in Europe in the 1920s. Notably, Benito Mussolini’s propaganda machine used the term anti-fascist to label their opponents.

Anti-fascist groups also rose up to counter the Nazis such as the Red Front Fighter’s League. As you might infer from the term “Red” they were organized by the Communist party.

The political takeaway from these early anti-fascist groups is that they were resisting truly repressive regimes.

The current incarnation of Antifa in the United States is a bit different. Resisting a diplomatically-elected president such as Trump (or Clinton if that had of transpired), neither fascist by the way, is a bit of a stretch from the original intent.

www.thenation.com explains it like this,  “Antifa combines radical left-wing and anarchist politics, revulsion at racists, sexists, homophobes, anti-Semites, and Islamophobes, with the international anti-fascist culture of taking the streets and physically confronting the brownshirts of white supremacy, whoever they may be.”

Antifa encouraging killing police officers.
Antifa encouraging killing police officers. So brave; why the masks?

Their current target is Trump although none of the above-mentioned terms actually fit him or his politics. Rather, it would seem that members of this organization (and others) are being used as dupes.

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Is Antifa Going off Message?

Despite all their claims, they talk the talk but fall short of walking the walk. Recently, on Aug. 4, 2018, Paul Welch took the American flag with him when he went to Portland to oppose a right-wing rally being held at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Sounds patriotic as apple pie, right? Standing up for fundamentalist anti-stormtrooper government types. But not for the thugs as he said two people dressed in black and covering their faces (did we mention cowards covering their faces?) approached him and demanded he give them the “fascist symbol” he was carrying. When he refused, the Antifa duo tried to rip the flag from his hands.

Another masked counter-protester then approached Welch and began striking him from behind with an unidentified weapon concealed in black fabric.

“It strikes me as the worst sort of political theater,” Welch said of what happened to him. “It’s kind of like you’re playing into your opponent’s hand when you do that sort of thing. That’s not what I was there for.”

Effie Baum, a spokesperson with Popular Mobilization, a group that helped organize the counter-protest at City Hall, declined to comment.

Of course Effie, because you are covering for a bunch of cowards with political Napoleonic complexes. Who live in their parent’s basements. And stuff their gobs with Cheetos. When they are not chasing Pokemon with their establishment iPhones. Please.

At least three people were hospitalized after clashes between right-wing demonstrators and Antifa protesters. Anger after the fact was largely directed at Portland police, who used “less-lethal” riot-control weapons.

Is there an Antifa Connection with Obama’s Shadow Government?

What is a shadow government? In general, it consists of groups and individuals who exert some degree of control over the official government. The groups may include the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Tri- lateral Commission, the Bilderbergers, the Federal Reserve, the World Bank, or the International Monetary Fund. The liberal mainstream media is certainly involved.

The individuals involved are the un-elected Obama era bureaucrats littered throughout the federal government. The judiciary and certain levels of state government are also involved. Undoubtedly many of these individuals (who wield quite a bit of power) are still loyal to Obama and his liberal policies.

Does Obama give them direct marching orders? That is unclear but to think so might be a bit too conspiracy theory-ish. However it’s no secret that he has remained very active politically since he left the White House and he is certainly sending out signals.

Is the failed Obama legacy the reason he just can’t accept the fact that he is not in charge anymore? It seems that this might be at least part of the reason. He is still trying to make his mark.

Now for the Antifa connection. It is extremely doubtful that the shadow government is directly pulling their strings. But the bottom line is that some of their goals coincide. In particular, foiling and if possible deposing President Trump. One way or another, they are marching in lockstep.

Democrats Fueling the Fire

Many Democrat Congress members seem to have abandoned doing the nation’s business in order to focus almost full-time on taking Trump down. For example, Elizabeth “Pocahantas” Warren, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

The shadow government takes their cues from these folks. In a loose way the end result is a very real coordinated resistance effort against Trump and his administration.

The bottom line is that all this is very bad for the American people. Their interests are not being served. The Trump election was a mandate for the changes he ran on. The problem is that the Democrats are resisting all these changes because it threatens their lofty positions in society.


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About the author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.


So Much Hypocrisy, So Little Time

OK, just to get this started, I do not always or often use this blog as a bully pulpit. But, perhaps the time has come. There is so much insanity in the news today. It might be that my advanced age or my meds are having a subtle effect on me, but I think it is time to tell some people to put on their big-girl panties and SHUT THE HELL UP.

  1. Kathy Griffin’s juvenile stunt with the President’s decapitated head. OK, you were more than a idiot for doing it, but now you portray yourself  as the victim of your pathetic stunt? Even CNN fired you. How much more of a loser can you be? Where were you when Obama was trampling on the constitution and illegally surveying citizens without a search warrant? Moron award #1.
  2. The black community criticizing Bill Maher for using the dreaded “N-Word” saying,” Senator, I’m a house n—-a.” Black entertainers and celebrities and rappers and regular black folks on the street delight with using this term to describe their friends. Yo. And it is totally cool with the martini-sipping inner-city hipster types. But if you want to criticize Bill, clean up your own act first. And while I’m at it, drop the term “ho.” Your moron-ness is showing more than your undies on your sagging britches. Moron award #2.
  3. Hillary Clinton not calling it quits. Ok, she lost; get over it. She was so in love with herself she thought she had it in the bag. After all, she was a woman so it was her turn, qualifications and felonies be damned. Now she is blaming the DNC who conspired with her to cheat against Bernie Sanders in the Democrat primaries. Moron award #3.
  4. The “good Muslims.” Well, this is the story that won’t go away. Refugee Muslims in Germany defecating on lawns and raping citizens. The ones in London first raping children and now mowing people down with a truck and stabbing as many as they can “for allah.” Yet the “good Muslims” still welcome terrorists into the mosque and refuse to turn them in. You are complicit. Clean up your own house. Take a stand and drop the “religion of peace” crap. Moron award #4.

Well, these are just a few of the things that have me juiced up and most other writers are afraid to mention. Let me not be the last to remind you: laying down and saying , “la-la-la-la” is your own choice.


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The Sad Demise of Michelle and Barack Obama’s Legacy

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Article updated on 02/28/20

A presidential legacy is a term that is often bandied about as an indicator as to what kind of impact the president had on society and global policy. This is also true, albeit to lesser extent, with first ladies and their “pet projects.”

For most presidents the jury remains out for a while, sometimes as long as a decade, in order to give the dust time to settle. But with the Obamas, it began happening almost overnight. There is no way to sugar-coat this—the initiatives were bold but they were doomed to failure due to being ill-conceived or outright counter-American values.

One problem is that Barry Obama never really had any real world experience to prepare him for office. Even the most lowly congressional aide knows that the president of the United States doesn’t bow to a Saudi king.

Or deliver pallets of cash to the Iranians like some mafioso, just to avoid banking channels and legitimate procedure.

Even had he been the best community organizer in that economic crackerjack city of Chicago, that doesn’t really qualify as the executive experience that a job such as the Presidency demands. And nothing he did was even original; it was mostly cobbled together from the ideas of his mentor Frank Marshall Davis and Saul Alinsky both avowed communists or socialists.

If it can be called a component of a legacy, the establishment of a highly-effective shadow government was brilliant. His loyal civil servant followers continue to soldier on long after that last trip on the tax-payer’s dime.

And Michelle? Meh. She may have been a competent lawyer, who knows? But for someone to utter, “This is the first time I have been proud of my country,” only after she has landed the fattest plum of a spousal job on the planet? Oy vey! What a total lack of decorum.


Barack Obama’s Failed Programs

Although Obama delved into many social and economic experiments consistent with his progressive agenda, only three have the dubious honor of taking center stage.

For example, venturing into the clean energy game might have been a laudable goal but doing it with no real scientific justification and rolling the dice with taxpayer money was just a bad move; there is no other way to put it. Remember Solendra? They left taxpayers liable for $535 million in federal guarantees. This kind of speculative investment is best left to the private sector because they can conduct business much more effectively and realistically.

The next failed initiative is Obamacare. Granted that it’s inception was perhaps done with the best of intentions, but it was unworkable from the beginning. Now it is collapsing under it’s own weight; the last of the huge insurance companies are bailing and Grandma can’t afford her meds.

Finally, the Iran deal brokered by John Kerry was doomed to failure from the get-go. This was a bad deal and it resonates with the Neville Chamberlain mindset when dealing with Hitler—you know; just give them a bit of appeasement and life is good. It’s not playing out so well with the emboldened Iranians now that they have cash-in-hand and an Obama absolution for all things done.

Obama’s Transgressions Just Keep On Coming

Unlike past ex-presidents, Obama hasn’t had the good grace to bow out and let the new president go about his business. He keeps his hand in it, partially some think by guiding his own shadow government with the help of his old allies and minions who are still in government employ (and are the prime suspects of carefully-planned leaks under the Trump administration).

It turns out that it is a two-edged sword. Yes, he can continue as a radical organizer on a grand scale to try to topple Trump but it also keeps him under public scrutiny. His misdeeds keep surfacing.

  • Sam Westrop of the Middle East Forum tells us that following the civil war in Sudan, ” The Obama administration approved a grant of $200,000 of taxpayer money to an al-Qaeda affiliate in Sudan — a decade after the U.S. Treasury designated it as a terrorist-financing organization. More stunningly, government officials specifically authorized the release of at least $115,000 of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization.”

Michelle Obama’s Failed Legacy

Michelle Obama had a laudable goal of getting American children in shape and eating right. The problem is that she approached it too scientifically and in too much of a heavy-handed manner.

Schoolchildren would hardly eat the industrial slop they were fed to begin with, but at least it was things they liked such delicacies as pizza, burgers, fries, etc. When all of this was replaced with “healthy” industrial slop the kids rebelled and most of the victuals ended up in the trash.

She also failed to take into account that kids that participated in after-school activities like sports and cheerleading were running on empty when expected to perform since they were not allowed to pack snacks on school property; many schools were instructed to frisk the kids and to dispose of “unauthorized” food items, leaving the parent’s wishes completely out of the loop.

Her stance today is summed up as, in her words, “So consumers out there – again, I don’t care where you’re from, what your party is – I would be highly insulted by that thought. ‘You want to talk about nanny state and government intervention? Well, you just buy the food and be quiet. You don’t need to know what’s in it.’ That’s essentially what a move like this is saying to you, mom. They think you don’t care because what they hear from are the people who want their kids to eat whatever they want to eat.”

Her legacy on this issue is doomed because parents don’t want to be preached to, don’t want to be told that the government does not approve of the way they handle their private and personal family relationships.

Barack and Michelle Obama's failed accomplishments
Barack and Michelle Obama’s failed accomplishments

The Bottom Line

The joint Obama legacy will not likely be one that is a long time in the making. Just five months into a new administration all these lofty ambitions have crumbled into the footnotes of history. Is this good or bad? That is your decision to make, dear reader.


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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.






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About the author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.


And Coming Up to the Mid-Term Elections

Is Physical Cash and Currency Coming to an End?

There has been a lot of speculation lately over the fate of physical cash (folding money as Grandpap used to say). Many self-appointed seers have stated that it is no longer needed because we have a plastic card with a chip, by golly!

Folly, I tell you. To rely on electronics and fancy machines for making our transactions is convenient. Yes, I will give you that. I do it myself. But a problem arises when the grid falters; everything electronic grinds to a halt. And woe to the Captains of Complacency.

The problem becomes more severe in an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack. Everything digital or electronic (other than things which have been properly shielded) go bye-bye.

The Government’s Interest in a Cash-Free Economy

The government has a huge interest these days in a cash-free marketplace. Every transaction by strip or chip can be recorded and made accessible and recordable since those freedoms against intrusiveness have been eroded. So long, Bill of Rights.

The government databases can record your purchases, your preferred stores and websites, your personal demographics, oh, and your bank balance and credit card info. Feel all snuggly and warm now? Didn’t think so.

Is there an upside? Sure! Organized crime and drug dealing will have to scramble to find new ways to keep up business as usual. But you know that they will so to assert “not” is a straw man argument.  However as a citizen, where do you draw the line between personal anonymity and “We’re just here to help?”

Public Acceptance?

To this writer it is amazing how many people are willing to give up their personal rights to the state for convenience at Starbucks. According to Reuters.com, “Overall, 34 percent of respondents in Europe and 38 percent in the United States said they would be willing to go cash-free, according to the survey conducted by Ipsos for the ING bank website eZonomics.”

I suppose that most of the respondents never went through the aftermath of a natural disaster like a hurricane when there were no electronic transactions for basic necessities for weeks. Cash is king, baby. Be ready for cash or bartering.


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Japan Slaughters Over 300 Whales

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This article was updated on 8/18/18.

The Japanese are known for all manner of odd things — quirky cartoons, schoolgirl fetishes, and more. But by far the most curious is their tradition of slaughtering whales. Certainly the Japanese consume their fair share of seafood, but their whale meat consumption is way down since the aftermath of WWII so it hardly justifies their current hunting tradition.

What is the Japanese Fascination with Slaughtering Whales?

So why do they do it? Just this year they indulged in an annual Antarctic hunt that killed more than 300 of the mammals. It’s not for the meat and it is probably not for perfume (ambergris is produced by sperm whales and valued as an ingredient for women’s perfume for some reason).

No, the Japanese Fisheries Agency says the annual slaughter is really, “research for the purpose of studying the ecological system in the Antarctic Sea.”

Wow, didn’t see that coming. But then hey! I’m not a highly-paid Japanese press agent, right?

According to Yahoo News,  “Under the International Whaling Commission (IWC), to which Japan is a signatory, there has been a moratorium on hunting whales since 1986. Tokyo exploits a loophole allowing whales to be killed for ‘scientific research’ and claims it is trying to prove the population is large enough to sustain a return to commercial hunting.”

Maybe it’s just me, but that sounds like crappola in all its glorious splendor.

The History and Future of Whales Slaughtered by Japan

Te Japan Whaling Association to have begun around the 12th century However, Japanese whaling carried outon an industrial scale began in the 1890s when Japan started to participate in the modern whaling industry, at that time an industry in which many countries participated. Japanese whaling activities historically have extended far beyond Japanese territorial waters and even into whale sanctuaries protected by other countries. So nothing about their behavior is benign or even scientific and it is not in the realm of national sovereignty, it’s an international issue.

They also go so far as to claim that opposing their practices has nothing to do with being green. Ironically, they call their activities “capture surveys.”

Today, Japan is on board with Norway’s arguments on its own whaling activities. The thin argument is that it’s entitled to continue whaling because of the place whaling holds in its cultural heritage, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. The whale meat from these hunts is consistently sold in shops and restaurants, which negates the “scientific” justification. To take the charade further, it is showcased at an annual food festival that, in some cases, features the butchering of a whale for onlookers.

As far as the future is concerned, Japan claims that as it is simply conducting ongoing research on whale maturation. It affirms that in the absence of “verified” non-lethal sampling methods, whales would continue to be slaughtered until the feasibility of non-lethal techniques is established. It seems that the motto of the Japanese whale slaughtering industry is, “We must eliminate them to find out how to conserve them.” That sounds like Nancy Pelosi, also a windbag.

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Homemade Oatmeal Flax Seed Bread Recipe

Mixing ingredients for oatmeal flax seed bread
Mixing ingredients for oatmeal flax seed bread


I can safely state that one thing I cannot tolerate is store-bought white bread. It’s full of crap ingredients and air. If I can’t buy some good stuff, I just prefer to make my own. The good thing about homemade bread is that I get to control the ingredients.

So, that being said, here is the recipe for the oatmeal flax/chia seed whole wheat bread that I baked today. I like to pair it with a bowl of Panamanian-style ceviche but it works fine by itself or toasted. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Flax/Chia Seed Whole Wheat Bread Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic milk
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • Enough whole wheat flour for mixing and kneading
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup flax seeds
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds
  • 2.25 oz. pecans, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • Rapid-rise yeast

Assembly and Baking

  • The oats are not as as processed as the instant kind so mix them with the milk and allow them to soak for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Mix in the yeast, egg, seeds, bran, pecans, and enough whole wheat flour to where you have to turn it out and knead it.
  • Knead the loaf, adding flour, until you have a proper consistency. The more you knead it, the better texture it will have.
  • Butter the loaf pan and press the dough down into it.
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  • Let the loaf cool on a rack.
  • Enjoy!

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Economics and Consequences of Illegal Aliens and Work Visas

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RIP America
RIP America

This article was updated on 07/31/20.

No one can dispute the fact that Donald Trump was whisked into office on a wave of fly-over America. Not left-coasters, not right-coasters, but the average American who has lost his and her job due to exporting production, importing foreign talent, bad trade deals, and illegal immigrants.

Yes, illegal immigrants are felons. Sneaking into another country is a crime. I’m not making a moral judgement here; how can you fault a man or woman who just wants to provide for family since the rabiblanco government in Mexico makes no concessions for their own poor and downtrodden? It is the encouraging system that is at fault.

The Economic Effects of Illegal Immigration

America has almost always encouraged immigration. Where would we be without the Irish and Italians? Not in the prosperous position in which we find ourselves.

But those emigrants came in according to the law, embraced the country, and assimilated to the point that some never taught their children the old-country language.

The problem with the illegals today is that for the most part, they don’t have those same goals. They come here illegally and suck up tax-payer provided public services (emergency room medical, food pantry access, public transportation, etc.) without giving back to their hosts.

The problem is that after working under the table or under a fake or stolen social security number, rather than pumping wages back into our economy, they send it back to their home country as remittances which does nothing to stimulate or sustain our economy. The center will not hold.

According to CNN, “Last year, Mexico received $27 billion in remittances — a record high and far more than what the country got from its oil exports, $18.7 billion, according to Mexico’s central bank. The vast majority of remittances sent to Mexico come from the U.S. and they support millions of low-income families in Mexico.”

This is money that should have been spent in the country that is providing all the services that the illegals willingly consume.

I’m all for hard-working people but not when their prime motivation is sucking my country dry in order to make theirs more prosperous.

Americans Won’t Do that Work

How many times have you heard this bovine excrement canard? Most likely, many times! Complete liberal nonsense. Who do you think did all these jobs before the Rio Grande got an express lane?

Point in case: I am a veteran and went through a 4-year carpentry apprenticeship. After that I worked as a commercial journeyman carpenter for 20 or so years. Today I can’t even buy a job framing or hanging drywall. Why? Because I have a real social security number and can’t afford to work for $5/hr.

The same is true in many other industries. But the authorities, especially those on the Democrat side of the aisle will not address it. Why? I don’t know; ask them that after they explain why they can’t be bothered to fix the VA hospital problems.

When I say authorities do not think that I am casting stones. This encompasses both the Republicans, the progressive Democrats, the RINOs (can you hear me John McCain?), the whole kettle of rotten fish.

How About the H-1B Work Visa?

This one is all over the map. Silicone Valley says they need them because there are not enough Americans. Total bovine excrement, again. It really all boils down to the paycheck. You can say whatever you like about how great these employers are but their bottom line is more important than their loyalty to our citizens and the country that has provided them such a great work environment. And social media platforms like Facebook are making things worse by banning conservative voices and promoting posts that glorify Antifa and BLM.

Many companies have not only sought to import foreign workers and sponsor their H-1B work visas but force American employees to train their replacements prior to being fired!

Disney, that standard-bearer of the American entertainment industry, is one of the worst offenders. The New York Times states, “About 250 Disney employees were told in late October that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost.”

“I just couldn’t believe they could fly people in to sit at our desks and take over our jobs exactly,” said one former worker, an American in his 40s who remains unemployed since his last day at Disney on Jan. 30. “It was so humiliating to train somebody else to take over your job. I still can’t grasp it.”

Even more ominous, some tech and energy workers here in Houston that I have talked to have been told that they had two termination choices. Either train your foreign replacement and get your severance package or just walk away with nothing. Some choice.

No wonder we elected Donald Trump. And no wonder Congress members on both sides of the aisle are throwing dirt on him and trying to block his every move. He threatens their jobs in the good old boys and girls club and all the insane perks that that entails. These are just some of the economics and consequences of illegal aliens and work visas.



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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

Delicious Pizza Margherita Recipe

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This article was updated on 8/10/18.

The pizza Margherita is something of a minimalist pizza pie (in my opinion). That doesn’t mean you can’t tweak it by adding anything that floats your boat.  Word has it that in June of 1889 Neapolitan pizzamaker Raffaele Esposito created it to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. He garnished it with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to represent Italy’s national colors as they are on the Italian flag.

Despite the simplicity of the recipe, there are a number of variations. For example, some recipes call for the basil to be added after the pie is done. I prefer to put it under the cheese before baking so the herbs flavor cooks into the cheese and sauce.

Optional Pizza Making Equipment

If you really get into making your own pizzas, I recommend:

  • A pizza stone. This is essential if you want top-notch pizza. A good pizza stone does wonders for your crust development because, unlike a baking sheet, it’s completely heated before the pizza is placed upon it. and that, my friend, is how you achieve a crisp and chewy crust that you can’t get out of a box. As you can see above, mine has some serious mileage on it.
  • A pizza peal. This is one of your best friends when using a stone. The one in the image below is typical. You build the pie on it, you transport the pie on it, and you can cut the pie on it. No muss, no fuss.

Pizza Crust Considerations

You basically have two choices. If you have the time and inclination, make your own. Check out this pizza crust recipe. If you are pressed for time, simply buy a crust in the grocery store. Don’t go for the really cheap ones.

The good thing about making your own crust is that you can add in just about anything—herbs, flax seeds, you name it. Use organic ingredients whenever possible. If you don’t have issues with glutin, toss in a teaspoon. Glutin is a wheat protein that holds breads together.

Pizza Topping Ingredients

  • 7 roma tomatoes. You can use the big slicers but the romas are much more economical. Cut up the tomatoes and chop them up in the blender.
  • Mozzarella cheese. How much you use is up to you. Slice it about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and place it randomly (see the video in the link below under Preparation to see what I like).
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil.

That’s pretty much it for the basic ingredient list. Have fun with it and throw on anything that suits your fancy.

Preparation

This is very easy. Spread the tomatoes out evenly leaving about 1/2 inch around the edge “naked.” Add the basil. Add the cheese randomly. Watch the video. Have patience; it takes a while to load.

Bake that Baby

Preheat your oven (with the pizza stone on an oven rack) to 500 degrees. Bake it until the dough is crisp and browned and the cheese is golden and bubbling in spots. This will usually be from 13 to 16 minutes; just keep an eye on it.  Slide your pie off the peal onto the stone.

Let it rest about 5 minutes and then slice and enjoy!
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