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Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Further Adventures of My Mom

Mom and Lily checking out the raccoons
raiding Lilly's dinner bowl on the porch.
Wild animals are a feature of life on the prairie.
I talked to my brother in Nebraska the other day and he told me the story I am about to tell you. He and I had a kind of bet going as to whether Mom would tell me if when I made my weekly call to her.
Never got a bet going because we both bet the same thing.

Ring, ring! 

Me:  Hi, Mom. What's up?
Mom:  Oh, nothing....
Me:  Nothing at all interesting happen this week?
Mom:  Nope
Me:  No cop cars or fire truck?
Mom: Oh, uh, well..... (nervous laugh)
Me:  No rattlesnake wranglers?
Mom: Well, there was that....

Here's the story*:

Mom goes into the kitchen and finds blood on the floor. The blood trail appeared as if something was dragged under the dryer. So Mom decides to see if something was under the dryer. The dryer does't work. Mom had the hose pulled out of the dryer vent, leaving an open hole that goes under the house.

My 82 year-old Mom lives alone out on the prairie southwest of Ft. Worth. My sister lives next door. There's a neighbor down the road. Now think about having a hole in your floor in your little house on the prairie. Now imagine what might come up through that hole.

Mom has been having a prairie rat problem of yet. Big ones. She traps 'em, clobbers them and poisons them. So when she pulled back the dryer, she found she had another solution to her rat problem presented itself. As he pulled back the dryer she began to hear a buzzing sound.

When she looked around behind the river she found a coiled and angry three-button rattlesnake who was not happy that he had been disturbed while digesting his supper.

Mom pushed the dryer back and apparently went back to watching TV. She was worried about the dog, Lilly, who is nosy and might get bit if she stumbled upon it. So two day later, Mom calls the cops and asks if they know someone who might remove a rattlesnake from her house. The police officer stumbled over that one and said he'd see what he could do.

Five minutes later two squad cars and a fire truck roared up in front of the house. Apparently one of the firemen was experienced in rounding up rattlers. He came into the kitchen where Mom was holding an angry Lilly by the collar with one hand and a hoe in the other.  As the rattlesnake guy approached the dryer, the large cops and a fireman hovered near the door ready to make a quick escape if the young snake evaded his would-be captor.

The snake guy knew his stuff though and soon the snake had been dispatched. The first responders left, Mom nailed a board over the hole and then apparently went on unperturbed. By the time I called at the end of the week, she seems to have forgotten the whole incident. She never forgets to tell me who died in Keene last week, but the really good stories, like trips to the emergency room because she hurt her back falling off a ladder six months before, or the rattlesnake under the dryer story, Mom doesn't find interesting enough to tell me about.

I don't think she wants to worry me.
I told her she needs to get a powerful pellet gun in case another rat climbs up on the fridge. After all, she's closed up the hole, so there's no way for them to get back out. I figure she could sit in her TV chair and pick them off as they popped up. After all, she doesn't have her own rattler anymore.

As I've said before, my Mom is a tough prairie bird. Gotta love that!

© 2018 by Tom King

* Some details of this story may be slightly inaccurate. Prying a story out of Mom can be challenging.  

Saturday, May 26, 2018

An Open Letter to My Republican Congressman Who is Wrong on Net Neutrality

Dave Reichart (who by the way
is being considered for FBI director).
If he doesn't get that this is a leftist power
grab, do we really want him in charge
of the FBI? I know I don't.
I finally got a response to an email I sent to my Congressman almost a month ago. I wrote him to discourage him from trying to reinstate the Obama administration's so-called Net Neutrality Rules which the new FCC governors wisely rejected shortly after Trump reconstituted that governing body. To my horror, it turns out the Davester thinks giving power over the Internet to the FCC is a lovely idea. Here's the letter I wrote to my Congressman. If you don't want to see the Internet become Ma Bell by taking a huge step backward and becoming a public utility, it's time to speak up. Congress is being sold a bill of goods - a power grab disguised as "consumer protection". Here's my letter.

Congressman Dave Reichart
Message Subject:
I am disappointed in your stance on so-called "Net Neutrality"
Message Text:

Dear Congressman Reichart, 

I do hope you read this and change your mind. Net Neutrality as enacted under president Obama is little more than an excuse to shift power over the Internet to the FCC. It makes the Internet a public utility and gives the government regulatory power. The Internet is possibly the last bastion on Earth of a free market system. It's a step backward. Remember what happened when we deregulated the phone system. Costs came way down and innovation went way up. Perhaps you have forgotten the tyranny of Ma Bell before deregulation? 

This is not just about protecting consumers as it has been sold. It's about finding ways for the government to control the Internet. Facebook is role modeling how this can be done right now. At least with Facebook I can take my business elsewhere. I promise you if the FCC gets power over the Internet by declaring it a public utility, the economic engine that has been the Internet will wind up the way too many over-regulated US industries have wound up. 

Obama already shifted important controls over the Internet to globalist international bodies during his term. Lets not give future leftist governments power over perhaps the most important tool currently in freedom's arsenal. 

The Internet isn't broken. Ask yourself why our previous president was so anxious to "fix" it. The FCC leadership was right when it struck down unnecessary and inhibiting regulations and rejected giving itself regulatory power. They wisely saw censorship, taxation and suppression of dissenting voices in the future of the agency if we give it this power. 

The free market can take care of ISP's that slow customer speeds down arbitrarily. Consumers will take their business to other providers that don't. And ISP's depend on customer good will to stay in business. Please give trusting the free market a try. 


Thomas W. King