Sunday, October 14, 2018

What We Must Do on November 6, 2018


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I’ll bet you are enjoying greater prosperity in the last two years or so than before that.  Maybe you have even scraped up enough funds for some bling on the bike, or maybe even a new bike. 

Almost everybody is doing better because of lower taxes, fewer backbreaking regulations on industry, more jobs, opening up lower cost energy resources, putting the United States interest first in the world, and many more. 

In short we have more independence now than two years ago.  That is a very good thing for everyone. 

Also -- and this is important -- if you value the foundation upon which our country was established, you must vote the right way in November.  If you are unsure what that foundation consists of, and why that is important, then read about it here.  


This next election is where many House of Representatives and Senate seats are up for grabs.  When you read through the listing of accomplishments of our president Mr. Trump below, you will see how this has affected almost everyone positively in this great country of ours. 



Imagine what could have been accomplished if more Republicans would have supported him, if fewer Democrats were in office, and if only half of the media instead of 90+% were against him. 

YOU can help make that happen by voting Republican, not Democrat, on Tuesday the 6th of November.  

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Democrats
NO

Here is the list
of Mr. Trump’s achievements, taken from the Right Wing Tribune:  If the list seems too long to digest, just skip down to a topic or two of interest shown in italics. 



Trump Achievements:
289 Accomplishments in Just 20 Months.
Relentless Promise Keeping

 


The White House has just released a list of Trump’s accomplishments over the past two years, and it’s MASSIVE:

Economic Growth
  • 4.2 percent growth in the second quarter of 2018.
  • For the first time in more than a decade, growth is projected to exceed 3 percent over the calendar year.
Jobs
  • 4 million new jobs have been created since the election, and more than 3.5 million since Trump took office.
  • More Americans are employed now than ever before in our history.
  • Jobless claims are at the lowest level in nearly five decades.
  • The economy has achieved the longest positive job-growth streak on record.
  • Job openings are at an all-time high and outnumber job seekers for the first time on record.
  • Unemployment claims at 50 are at a year low
  • African-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American unemployment rates have all recently reached record lows.
    –African-American unemployment hit a record low of 5.9 percent in May 2018.
    –Hispanic unemployment is at 4.5 percent.
    –Asian-American unemployment is at record low of 2 percent.
  • Women’s unemployment was recently at lowest rate in nearly 65 years.
    –Female unemployment dropped to 3.6 percent in May 2018, the lowest since October 1953.
  • Youth unemployment recently reached its lowest level in more than 50 years.
    –July 2018’s youth unemployment rate of 9.2 percent was the lowest since July 1966.
  • Veterans’ unemployment recently hit its lowest level in nearly two decades.
    –July 2018’s veterans’ unemployment rate of 3.0 percent matched the lowest rate since May 2001.
  • The unemployment rate for Americans without a high school diploma recently reached a record low.
  • The rate for disabled Americans recently hit a record low.
  • Blue-collar jobs recently grew at the fastest rate in more than three decades.
  • A poll found that 85 percent of blue-collar workers believe their lives are headed “in the right direction.”
    –68 percent reported receiving a pay increase in the past year.
  • Last year, job satisfaction among American workers hit its highest level since 2005.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans rate now as a good time to find a quality job.
    –Optimism about the availability of good jobs has grown by 25 percent.
  • More than 400,000 manufacturing jobs have been added since the election.
    –Manufacturing employment is growing at its fastest pace in more than two decades.
  • There are 100,000 new jobs supporting the production and transport of oil and natural gas.
American Income
  • Median household income rose to $61,372 in 2017, a post-recession high.
  • Wages were up in August by their fastest rate since June 2009.
  • Paychecks rose by 3.3 percent between 2016 and 2017, the most in a decade.
  • The Council of Economic Advisers found that real wage compensation has grown by 1.4 percent over the past year.
  • Some 3.9 million Americans have been able to get off food stamps since the election.
  • The median income for Hispanic-Americans rose by 3.7 percent and surpassed $50,000 for the first time ever in history.
    –Home ownership among Hispanics is at the highest rate in nearly a decade.
  • Poverty rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have reached their lowest levels ever recorded.
American Optimism
  • Small business optimism has hit historic highs.
    –NFIB’s small business optimism index broke a 35 year-old record in August.
    –SurveyMonkey/CNBC’s small business confidence survey for Q3 of 2018 matched its all-time high.
  • Manufacturers are more confident than ever.
    –95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future, the highest ever.
  • Consumer confidence is at an 18-year high.
  • Only 12 percent of Americans rate the economy as the most significant problem facing our country, the lowest level on record.
  • Confidence in the economy is near a two-decade high, with 51 percent rating the economy as good or excellent.
American Business
  • Investment is flooding back into the United States due to the tax cuts.
    –Over $450 billion dollars has already poured back into the U.S., including more than $300 billion in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Retail sales have surged. Commerce Department figures from August show that retail sales increased 0.5 percent in July 2018, an increase of 6.4 percent from July 2017.
  • ISM’s index of manufacturing scored its highest reading in 14 years.
  • Worker productivity is the highest it has been in more than three years.
  • Steel and aluminum producers are re-opening.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and NASDAQ have all notched record highs.
    –The Dow hit record highs 70 times in 2017 alone, the most ever recorded in one year.
Deregulation

  • There has been massive deregulation proceeding at a rapid pace, completing 22 deregulatory actions to every one regulatory action during Mr. Trump's first year in office.
  • Mr. Trump signed legislation to roll back costly and harmful provisions of Dodd-Frank, providing relief to credit unions, and community and regional banks.
  • Federal agencies achieved more than $8 billion in lifetime net regulatory cost savings.
  • Obama’s burdensome Waters of the U.S. rule has been rolled back.
  • Mr. Trump used the Congressional Review Act to repeal regulations more times than in history.
Tax Cuts
  • The biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history occurred by Mr. Trump's signing the Tax Cuts and Jobs act into law.
    –It provided more than $5.5 trillion in gross tax cuts, nearly 60 percent of which will go to families.
    – It increased the exemption for the death tax to help save Family Farms and Small Businesses.
    –It nearly doubled the standard deduction for individuals and families.
    –It enabled the vast majority of American families to be able to file their taxes on a single page by claiming the standard deduction.
    –It doubled the child tax credit to help lessen the financial burden of raising a family.
    –It lowered America’s corporate tax rate from the highest in the developed world to allow American businesses to compete and win.
    –Small businesses can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.
    –It cut dozens of special interest tax breaks and closed loopholes for the wealthy.
  • 9 in 10 American workers are expected see an increase in their paychecks thanks to the tax cuts, according to the Treasury Department.
  • More than 6 million American workers have received wage increases, bonuses, and increased benefits thanks to tax cuts.
  • Over 100 utility companies have lowered electric, gas, or water rates thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • Ernst and Young found 89 percent of companies planned to increase worker compensation thanks to the Trump tax cuts.
  • Opportunity zones were established to spur investment in left behind communities.
Worker Development
  • Mr. Trump established a National Council for the American Worker to develop a national strategy for training and retraining America’s workers for high-demand industries.
  • Employers have signed Trump’s “Pledge to America’s Workers,” committing to train or retrain more than 4.2 million workers and students.
  • Mr. Trump signed the first Perkins CTE reauthorization since 2006, authorizing more than $1 billion for states each year to fund vocational and career education programs.
  • Executive order was written expanding apprenticeship opportunities for students and workers.
Domestic Infrastructure
  • Mr. Trump's proposed infrastructure plan would utilize $200 billion in Federal funds to spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment across the country.
  • Mr. Trump wrote and executive order expediting environmental reviews and approvals for high priority infrastructure projects.
  • Federal agencies have signed the One Federal Decision Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) streamlining the federal permitting process for infrastructure projects.
  • Mr. Trump established the rural prosperity task force and signed an executive order to help expand broadband access in rural areas.
Health Care
  • Mr. Trump signed an executive order to help minimize the financial burden felt by American households, and he signed legislation to improve the National Suicide Hotline.
  • he signed the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever into law, which will advance childhood cancer research and improve treatments.
  • He signed Right-to-Try legislation, expanding health care options for terminally ill patients.
  • He enacted changes to the Medicare 340B program, saving seniors an estimated $320 million on drugs in 2018 alone.
  • The FDA set a new record for generic drug approvals in 2017, saving consumers nearly $9 billion.
  • He released a blueprint to drive down drug prices for American patients, leading multiple major drug companies to announce they will freeze or reverse price increases.
  • He expanded short-term, limited-duration health plans.
  • He let more employers form Association Health Plans, enabling more small businesses to join together and affordably provide health insurance to their employees.
  • He cut Obamacare’s burdensome individual mandate penalty.
  • He signed legislation repealing Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, also known as the “death panels.”
  • The USDA invested more than $1 billion in rural health care in 2017, improving access to health care for 2.5 million people in rural communities across 41 states
  • He proposed Title X rule to help ensure taxpayers do not fund the abortion industry in violation of the law.
  • He reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy to keep foreign aid from supporting the global abortion industry.
  • HHS formed a new division protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom.
  • He overturned the Obama administration’s midnight regulation prohibiting states from defunding certain abortion facilities.
  • He signed an executive order to help ensure that religious organizations are not forced to choose between violating their religious beliefs by complying with Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate or shutting their doors.
Combating Opioids
  • Mr. Trump chaired a meeting of the 73rd General Session of the United Nations discussing the worldwide drug problem with international leaders.
  • He established an initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand, introducing new measures to keep dangerous drugs out of our communities.
  • He approved $6 billion in new funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
  • The DEA conducted a surge in April 2018 that arrested 28 medical professions and revoked 147 registrations for prescribing too many opioids.
  • He brought the “Prescribed to Death” memorial to President’s Park near the White House, helping raise awareness about the human toll of the opioid crisis.
  • He helped reduce high-dose opioid prescriptions by 16 percent in 2017.
  • The held the Opioid Summit on the administration-wide efforts to combat the opioid crisis.
  • He launched a national public awareness campaign about the dangers of opioid addiction.
  • He created a Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis which recommended a number of pathways to tackle the opioid crisis.
  • He led two National Prescription Drug Take Back Days in 2017 and 2018, collecting a record number of expired and unneeded prescription drugs each time.
  • He approved $485 million of targeted grants in FY 2017 to help areas hit hardest by the opioid crisis.
  • He signed INTERDICT Act, strengthening efforts to detect and intercept synthetic opioids before they reach our communities.
  • The DOJ secured its first-ever indictments against Chinese fentanyl manufacturers.
  • The Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team, aimed at disrupting online illicit opioid sales was established.
  • He declared the opioid crisis a Nationwide Public Health Emergency in October 2017.
Law and order
  • More U.S. Circuit Court judges were confirmed in the first year in office than ever before.
  • He confirmed more than two dozen U. S. Circuit Court judges.
  • He followed through on the promise to nominate judges to the Supreme Court who will adhere to the Constitution.
    –He nominated and confirmed Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
  • He signed an executive order directing the Attorney General to develop a strategy to more effectively prosecute people who commit crimes against law enforcement officers.
  • He launched an evaluation of grant programs to make sure they prioritize the protection and safety of law enforcement officers.
  • He established a task force to reduce crime and restore public safety in communities across America.  
  • He signed an executive order to focus more federal resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations such as drug cartels.
  • He signed an executive order to focus more federal resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations such as drug cartels.
  • Violent crime decreased in 2017 according to FBI statistics.
  • There were $137 million in grants through the COPS Hiring Program to preserve jobs, increase community policing capacities, and support crime prevention efforts.
  • He enhanced and updated the Project Safe Neighborhoods to help reduce violent crime.
  • He signed legislation making it easier to target websites that enable sex trafficking, and strengthened penalties for people who promote or facilitate prostitution.
  • Created an interagency task force working around the clock to prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and prevent human trafficking.
  • He conducted Operation Cross Country XI to combat human trafficking, rescuing 84 children, and arresting 120 human traffickers.
  • He encouraged federal prosecutors to use the death penalty when possible in the fight against the trafficking of deadly drugs.
  • He approved a new rule effectively banning bump stock sales in the United States.
Border Security and Immigration
  • Mr. Trump secured $1.6 billion for border wall construction in the March 2018 omnibus bill.
  • Construction of a 14-mile section of border wall began near San Diego.
  • He worked to protect American communities from the threat posed by the vile MS-13 gang.
    –ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations division arrested 796 MS-13 members and associates in FY 2017, an 83 percent increase from the prior year.
    –The Justice Department worked with partners in Central America to secure criminal charges against more than 4,000 MS-13 members.
    –Border Patrol agents arrested 228 illegal aliens affiliated with MS-13 in FY 2017.
  • Mr. Trump is fighting to stop the scourge of illegal drugs at our border.
    –ICE HSI seized more than 980,000 pounds of narcotics in FY 2017, including 2,370 pounds of fentanyl and 6,967 pounds of heroin.
    –ICE HSI dedicated nearly 630,000 investigative hours towards halting the illegal import of fentanyl.
    –ICE HSI made 11,691 narcotics-related arrests in FY 2017.
    –Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand introduced new measures to keep dangerous drugs out the United States.
    –Signed the INTERDICT Act into law, enhancing efforts to detect and intercept synthetic opioids.
    –DOJ secured its first-ever indictments against Chinese fentanyl manufacturers.
    –DOJ launched their Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team, aimed at disrupting online illicit opioid sales.
  • He released an immigration framework that includes the resources required to secure our borders and close legal loopholes, and he repeatedly called on Congress to fix our broken immigration laws.
  • He authorized the deployment of the National Guard to help secure the border.
  • He enhanced vetting of individuals entering the U.S. from countries that don’t meet security standards, helping to ensure individuals who pose a threat to our country are identified before they enter.
    –These procedures were upheld in a June 2018 Supreme Court hearing.
  • ICE removed over 226,000 illegal aliens from the United States in 2017.
    –ICE rescued or identified over 500 human trafficking victims and over 900 child exploitation victims in 2017 alone.
  • In 2017, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested more than 127,000 aliens with criminal convictions or charges, responsible for:
    –Over 76,000 with dangerous drug offenses.
    –More than 48,000 with assault offenses.
    –More than 11,000 with weapons offenses.
    –More than 5,000 with sexual assault offenses.
    –More than 2,000 with kidnapping offenses.
    –Over 1,800 with homicide offenses.
  • Mr. Trump created the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office in order to support the victims and families affected by illegal alien crime.
  • He more than doubled the number of counties participating in the 287(g) program, which allows jails to detain criminal aliens until they are transferred to ICE custody.
TRADE
  • Mr. Trump is negotiating and renegotiating better trade deals, achieving free, fair, and reciprocal trade for the United States.
    –He agreed to work with the European Union toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsides.
    –He devised a deal with the European Union to increase U.S. energy exports to Europe.
    –He litigated multiple WTO disputes targeting unfair trade practices and upholding our right to enact fair trade laws.
    –He finalized a revised trade agreement with South Korea, which includes provisions to increase American automobile exports.
    –He negotiated an historic U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to replace NAFTA.
    –He obtained agreement to begin trade negotiations for a U.S.-Japan trade agreement.
    –He secured $250 billion in new trade and investment deals in China and $12 billion in Vietnam.
    –He established a Trade and Investment Working Group with the United Kingdom, laying the groundwork for post-Brexit trade.
  • He enacted steel and aluminum tariffs to protect our vital steel and aluminum producers and strengthen our national security.
  • He conducted 82 anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations in 2017 alone.
  • He is confronting China’s unfair trade practices after years of Washington looking the other way.
    –He established a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China and later imposed an additional 10% tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods.
    –He conducted an investigation into Chinese forced technology transfers, unfair licensing practices, and intellectual property theft.
    –He imposed safeguards of tariffs to protect domestic washing machines and solar product manufacturers hurt by China’s trade policies.
  • He withdrew from the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
  • He secured access to new markets for America’s farmers.
    –He made a recent deal with Mexico included new improvements enabling food and agriculture to trade more fairly.
    –He made a recent agreement with the E.U. to reduce barriers and increase trade of American soybeans to Europe.
    –He won a WTO dispute regarding Indonesia’s unfair restriction of U.S. agricultural exports.
    –He defended American Tuna fisherman and packagers before the WTO
    –He opened up Argentina to American pork experts for the first time in a quarter-century
    –American beef exports have returned to China for the first time in more than a decade.
  • He OK’d up to $12 billion in aid for farmers affected by unfair trade retaliation.
Energy
  • Mr. Trump wrote a Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks to construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
  • He wrote a Presidential Memorandum declaring that the Dakota Access Pipeline serves the national interest and initiating the process to complete construction.
  • He opened up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to energy exploration.
  • Coal exports are up over 60 percent in 2017.
  • He rolled back the “stream protection rule” to prevent it from harming America’s coal industry.
  • He cancelled Obama’s anti-coal Clean Power Plan and proposed the Affordable Clean Energy Rule as a replacement.
  • He withdrew from the job-killing Paris climate agreement, which would have cost the U.S. nearly $3 trillion and led to 6.5 million fewer industrial sector jobs by 2040.
  • U.S. oil production has achieved its highest level in American history
  • The United States is now the largest crude oil producer in the world.
  • The U.S. has become a net natural gas exporter for the first time in six decades.
  • He initiated action to expedite the identification and extraction of critical minerals that are vital to the nation’s security and economic prosperity.
  • He took action to reform National Ambient Air Quality Standards, benefiting American manufacturers.
  • He rescinded Obama’s hydraulic fracturing rule, which was expected to cost the industry $32 million per year.
  • He proposed an expansion of offshore drilling as part of an all-of-the above energy strategy.
    –He held a lease sale for offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico in August 2018.
  • He got the EU to increase its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States.
  • He issued permits for the New Burgos Pipeline that will cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
Foreign Policy
  • Mr. Trump moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
  • He withdrew from the Iran deal and immediately began the process of re-imposing sanctions that had been lifted or waived.
    –The Treasury has issued sanctions targeting Iranian activities and entities, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force.
    –Since enacting sanctions, Iran’s crude exports have fallen off, the value of Iran’s currency has plummeted, and international companies have pulled out of the country.
    –All nuclear-related sanctions will be back in full force by early November 2018.
  • Mr. Trump held a historic summit with North Korean President Kim Jong-Un, bringing beginnings of peace and denuclearization to the Korean Peninsula.
    –The two leaders have exchanged letters and high-level officials from both sides have met resulting in tremendous progress.
    –North Korea has halted nuclear and missile tests.
    –Mr. Trump negotiated the return of the remains of missing-in-action soldiers from the Korean War.
  • He imposed strong sanctions on Venezuelan dictator Nicholas Maduro and his inner circle.
  • He wrote an executive order preventing those in the U.S. from carrying out certain transactions with the Venezuelan regime, including prohibiting the purchase of the regime’s debt.
  • He responded to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.
    –He rolled out sanctions targeting individuals and entities tied to Syria’s chemical weapons program.
    –He directed strikes in April 2017 against a Syrian airfield used in a chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians.
    –He joined allies in launching airstrikes in April 2018 against targets associated with Syria’s chemical weapons use.
  • He established a new Cuba policy that enhanced compliance with U.S. law and held the Cuban regime accountable for political oppression and human rights abuses.
    –The Departments of Treasury and State are working to channel economic activity away from the Cuban regime, particularly the military.
  • Mr. Trump changed the rules of engagement, empowering commanders to take the fight to ISIS.
    –ISIS has lost virtually all of its territory, more than half of which has been lost under Trump.
    –ISIS’ self-proclaimed capital city, Raqqah, was liberated in October 2017.
    –All Iraqi territory had been liberated from ISIS.
  • More than a dozen American hostages have been freed from captivity all of the world.
  • Mr. Trump took action to combat Russia’s malign activities, including their efforts to undermine the sanctity of United States elections.
    –He expelled dozens of Russian intelligence officers from the United States and ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle, WA.
    –He banned the use of Kaspersky Labs software on government computers, due to the company’s ties to Russian intelligence.
    –He imposed sanctions against five Russian entities and three individuals for enabling Russia’s military and intelligence units to increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities.
    –He imposed sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs, and 12 companies they own or control, who profit from Russia’s destabilizing activities.
    –He sanctioned 100 targets in response to Russia’s occupation of Crimea and aggression in Eastern Ukraine.
    –He enhanced support for Ukraine’s Armed Forces to help Ukraine better defend itself.
  • He helped win the U.S. bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
  • He helped win the U.S.-Mexico-Canada’s united bid for 2026 World Cup.
Defense
  • Mr. Trump wrote an executive order keeping the detention facilities at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay open.
  • he approved $700 billion in military funding for FY 2018 and $716 billion for FY 2019.
  • He authorized the largest military pay raise in nearly a decade.
  • He ordered a Nuclear Posture Review to ensure America’s nuclear forces are up to date and serve as a credible deterrent.
  • He released America’s first fully articulated cyber strategy in 15 years.
  • He authorized a new strategy on national biodefense, which better prepares the nation to defend against biological threats.
  • The Administration has announced that it will use whatever means necessary to protect American citizens and servicemen from unjust prosecution by the International Criminal Court.
  • He released an America First National Security Strategy.
  • He put in motion the launch of a Space Force as a new branch of the military and relaunched the National Space Council.
  • He encouraged North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies to increase defense spending to their agreed-upon levels.
    –In 2017 alone, there was an increase of more than 4.8 percent in defense spending amongst NATO allies.
    –Every member state has increased defense spending.
    –Eight NATO allies will reach the 2 percent benchmark by the end of 2018 and 15 allies are on trade to do so by 2024.
    –NATO allies spent over $42 billion dollars more on defense since 2016.
  • He wrote an executive order to help military spouses find employment as their families deploy domestically and abroad.
Veterans affairs
  • Mr. Trump signed the VA Accountability Act and expanded VA telehealth services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mental health care.
    –He delivered more appeals decisions – 81,000 – to veterans in a single year than ever before.
  • He strengthened protections for individuals who come forward and identify programs occurring within the VA.
  • He signed legislation that provided $86.5 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the largest dollar amount in history for the VA.
  • he enacted the VA MISSION Act, enacting sweeping reform to the VA system that:
    –Consolidated and strengthened VA community care programs.
    –Added funding for the Veterans Choice program.
    –Expanded eligibility for the Family Caregivers Program.
    –Gave veterans more access to walk-in care.
    –Strengthened the VA’s ability to recruit and retain quality healthcare professionals.
    –Enabled the VA to modernize its assets and infrastructure.
  • Mr. Trump signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act in 2017, which authorized $2.1 billion in addition funds for the Veterans Choice Program.
  • He worked to shift veterans’ electronic medical records to the same system used by the Department of Defense, a decades old priority.
  • He issued an executive order requiring the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs to submit a joint plan to provide veterans access to access to mental health treatment as they transition to civilian life.
  • He increased transparency and accountability at the VA by launching an online “Access and Quality Tool,” providing veterans with access to wait time and quality of care data.
  • He signed legislation to modernize the claims and appeal process at the VA.
  • He signed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, providing enhanced educational benefits to veterans, service members, and their family members.
    –He lifted a 15-year limit on veterans’ access to their educational benefits.
  • He created a White House VA Hotline to help veterans and principally staffed it with veterans and direct family members of veterans.
  • VA employees are being held accountable for poor performance, with more than 4,000 VA employees removed, demoted, and suspended so far.
  • He signed the Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act, increasing the number of VA employees that can assist justice-involved veterans.

So, if you want theses successes to continue and expand, get out there and vote for the Republicans, then write everyone you voted for and tell them that you want them to support Mr. Trump and his policies and you want more of the things described above -- much more!  
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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

We Must NEVER Forget 911

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We must never forget what Islamist terrorists
did to us in 2001.  





Think it was just isolated to 9/11/2001?  


It was not.  We are still in danger from these people.  



 Here is a page that shows all of the 104 terrorist attacks and threats since 9/11.  
Note that this page has not been updated, except for the graphic that looks like this: 


Scroll to the right in the graphic in the link above to see each specific incident.  


 "This graphic does not include activities that are merely linked to terrorism, such as traveling abroad to join a terrorist organization.  Each plot requires some threat directed at the U.S. homeland. Additionally, to be included, the primary motivation of the terror plot or attack must be a radical Islamist ideology, which supports the use of violence as a means to achieve the long-run objective of imposing Islamic law."  


All attacks were committed by Islamist terrorists.  

If you have forgotten the devastation on our own soil of the 9/11 attacks, look here for a short review.   The blood shed by over 3000 people is not visible in the photos. 

NOT ONE of the five masterminds of the 9/11 attack have been brought to justice, some 17 years later!  


We must stand strong against these terrorists and our sympathetic politicians forever and always, lest the freedom of this greatest country on earth be lost forever. 
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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

July 4, 1776


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Flags

In between your morning ride on the bike, your afternoon of hot dogs at the lake, and your evening of fireworks, consider the real meaning of the day we celebrate.


A History of Independence Day
from the History Channel

When the initial battles in the Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, few colonists desired complete independence from Great Britain, and those who did were considered radical.

By the middle of the following year, however, many more colonists had come to favor independence, thanks to growing hostility against Britain and the spread of revolutionary sentiments such as those expressed in the bestselling pamphlet “Common Sense,” published by Thomas Paine in early 1776.

On June 7, when the Continental Congress met at the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, the Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies’ independence.

Amid heated debate, Congress postponed the vote on Lee’s resolution, but appointed a five-man committee – including Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York – to draft a formal statement justifying the break with Great Britain.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.


Our freedom comes from that document declaring our independence and from our Constitution, both so masterfully crafted by the patriots who came before us. 

Enjoy your day!






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Monday, June 25, 2018

No Drone Zone at Caesars Head

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I rode up to Caesars Head a few weeks ago.


Caesars Head is a South Carolina State Park, 26 miles from home, and it is fairly easy to get to.  The twisty road that goes up the Blue Ridge Escarpment to the park is only about eight miles long, and is in fairly good condition in most places.  The twisty part of the road is not nearly as long as on the nearby US-178, but there are several tight turns along the way. 

Caesars Head

Twisty part of US-178


























The reason I went to Caesars Head was that it was an easy addition to a route that I rode called A Two Hour Afternoon's Jaunt that had appeared in an issue of the old and gone Motorcycle Lifestyle Magazine

Anyway, the overlook at Caesars Head (that is correct; there is not an apostrophe in Caesars) is usually a good place to see the mountainous countryside from a birds-eye vantage point.  That photograph at the top of the post gives you an idea. 

Pretty country, yes?  Here is a slightly different angle:


You can see the back side of Table Rock Mountain, with Table Rock Reservoir this side of it.  This overlook is really the only place you can see into the distance from Caesars Head Park, and the overlook is very close to where you can park your bike.

As I was parking that day, I noticed something new.  


Did you spot it?  Here is a closer view:


Now do you see?

It says I can't fly my drone here any more.  (Not that I have one.)  It is mounted on a very substantial post. 

That's unfortunate, because I like to see videos of places like this taken from a drone.  Some of the drone pilots are quite good at getting the right views and motion, and their editing can be very effective in enhancing their work.

Like these: 
There are some large houses adjacent to the park, and I suppose some of those residents could have been buzzed by some irresponsible pilot.  If that is the case, there are probably civil actions that could be taken against the pilot, instead of banning drones entirely. 

I did a little research and found that drones are outlawed in all national parks.  Citing safety and noise issues, drones are banned until the National Park Service comes up with a long-term policy.  [I wonder how long that could take.]  The ban covers not only the 59 full-fledged national parks but about 350 national monuments, seashores and other sites run by the NPS, about 84 million acres in all.

That is a lot of territory now off limits. 

Seems like our freedom is again under attack here.

Oh, by the way, the ban carries a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and six months in jail!

Try this website called Know Before You Fly to learn some of the rules.   


For recreational use, you can fly under the Special Rule for Model Aircraft:
  • Fly for hobby or recreation ONLY
  • Register your model aircraft
  • Fly within visual line-of-sight
  • Follow community-based safety guidelines and fly within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization
  • Fly a drone under 55 lbs. unless certified by a community-based organization
  • Never fly near other aircraft
  • Notify the airport and air traffic control tower prior to flying within 5 miles of an airport*
  • Never fly near emergency response efforts
Or, you can get a Remote Pilot Certification (14 CFR part 107).  For that, you must:
  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Pass an aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center
  • Undergo Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) security screening
  • Register your aircraft with the FAA
Part 107 Operating Rules:
  • Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 pounds, including payload, at takeoff
  • Fly in Class G airspace
  • Keep the unmanned aircraft within visual line-of-sight
  • Fly at or below 400 feet
  • Fly during daylight or civil twilight
  • Fly at or under 100 mph
  • Yield right of way to manned aircraft
  • Do not fly directly over people
  • Do not fly from a moving vehicle, unless in a sparsely populated area
If you fly for commercial purposes, then the rules are different.


Whew.  That is a lot of hoops to jump through just to fly a little airplane.  I think that the regulations include all of the model planes that many of us flew when we were kids (and now, sometimes as adults, too, like I saw back in 2014).  

As I said, I think our freedoms are being encroached upon. 

For state regulations, you can look here or here, but know that these websites may not be completely up to date.

Local municipalities may also have rules and regulations, so you will have to contact them to find out what they require.


Anyhow, our freedom to do almost anything is getting cut more and more these days.  So, fly 'em while ya' can.  (But not at Caesars Head.) 

Fortunately, the park is still a nice place to go to look at God's creation. 
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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Odd Sights I've Seen -- One in Minnesota(!), and a Bear's Head Nearer Home

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As I ride around the Upstate of South Carolina, western North Carolina, and eastern Georgia, I sometimes spot unusual sights along the way.  Some of these are simply new to me, but others are strange and out of the ordinary.

Here are a couple of recent examples, all from the same day of riding:

1.

This is a photograph of the sign for the Amsterdam Hotel in Duluth Minnesota.  I just popped up there to see the sign the other day.  I'd say the prices are certainly reasonable, with running water, telephones in all rooms, and a bath for a bit extra! ...and it is just half a block from this sign. 


The approach: 


Surprisingly, it didn't take all that long to get there from home.


Now the truth of the matter.
 

In actuality, the sign is quite nearby -- about 12 miles from my house, in fact.

[What? Please explain, Bucky ]

Well the sign is really located in Greenville South Carolina (about 1177 miles from Duluth), and was painted on an old manufacturing building around 2007 for the movie Leatherheads, shot, in part, in Greenville.


The movie is set in 1925 Duluth, and is a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of America's nascent pro-football league.  Dodge Connolly (played by George Clooney) is a charming, brash football hero who is determined to guide his team, the Duluth Bulldogs, from bar brawls to packed stadiums.  But after the players lose their sponsor and the entire league faces certain collapse, Dodge convinces a college football star and war hero Carter Rutherford (played by John Krasinski) to join his ragtag ranks. 


Here is the movie trailer.  

The hotel sign is located within view of the Swamp Rabbit Rail-to-Trail, but you  can go right up to it as I did at 111 Welborn Street between Willard and S. Hudson Streets. 


This is a picture of the Vance Hotel in Statesville, NC that was used in the movie to represent the Amsterdam.


Elsewhere in the movie, Clooney rides his 1918 Indian motorcycle up to the 1924 Poinsett Hotel which is still open in Greenville. 


From the movie:



Interestingly, the 1918 Indian motorcycle is not vintage, but rather a custom-built electric-powered replica.  It was fabricated in El Segundo California at Customs By Eddie Paul.  Why electric, you ask?  The Leatherheads script required a functional vintage-looking motorcycle that could be ridden and operated by the actors during recording of dialogue.  Thus the need for a quiet motor.


Leatherheads Links:


2.

The next odd sight is the head of a bear, also in Greenville -- and not in the zoo, by the way.

Here it is. 



Looks like a bear's head, right?  Looking right at you.  Snarl on his mouth.  Rounded ears. Right? 

Take a closer look.


Now do you see it?  It's a bear.  Correct? 


Actually, it is a burl on a tree on Richland Way which parallels Richland Creek.  About here on this map:  34.850730, -82.383861

The bear from a different angle. 


Looking right out of the tree, he is. 


In the creek nearby, there are a number of concrete footings for a railroad trestle that stood here from 1886 to 1991. 


You have to look over top of the lush kudzu growing along the bank here to see the footings at this time of year. 

The trestle that once sat on the footings served the former CSW railroad, and looked like this.  The railroad right-of-way paralleled Traxler Street, visible to the east on the map cited above. 


The Swamp Rabbit Trail may be extended on the former railroad right of way, requiring a new bridge to be erected across Richland Creek ravine to replace the wooden trestle. 



So, there were two odd sights today, both in the city of Greenville.

What kind of odd sights have you seen in your two-wheeled travels?



See more Odd Sights I've Seen by clicking "odd sights" here or on the left side of the page.
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Thursday, June 14, 2018

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Celebrate our freedom symbolized by this wonderful banner.


...and keep this in mind,that Winston Churchill, in the U.K. House of Commons, November 11, 1947, had this to say: 

Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…
Churchill clearly did not originate this famous remark about democracy, but it is certainly true. 

It is good to remember that about our form of government amidst this world of chaos.   Remind your kids, too, that their freedom depends on it.


References:

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Your Favorite Bucky's Ride Postings


Blogger keeps statistics on the number of views each blog posting gets over time.  Unfortunately, the counter can't differentiate between bots that hit on a posting and human hits, so the numbers have to be taken with a healthy grain of salt.

Anyway, with that caveat, here are the postings having the greatest number of views among the almost 300 postings on Bucky's Ride. 

All time, since the first posting on January 25, 2009
(I bought the bike in September of 2007):

·        Visit to the Deeley Motorcycle Exposition
Aug 22, 2010
·        Valve Clearance Adjustment Tips
Feb 4, 2012
·        Wheels Through Time
Oct 15, 2010
·        Dressing for Cold Weather Riding
Nov 26, 2009

Month Ending June 5, 2018

·        Odd Sights I've Seen
Apr 30, 2018
·        Valve Clearance Adjustment Tips
Feb 4, 2012
·        Unused Tread Width -- aka Chicken Strips!
Jun 14, 2014
·        Skyuka Mountain Road
Sep 22, 2013

Week ending June 5, 2018


·        Skyuka Mountain Road
Sep 22, 2013 
·        Unused Tread Width -- aka Chicken Strips!
Jun 14, 2014
·        Old Mill at Newry -- Off the Beaten Path
Feb 10, 2011
·        Piedmont South Carolina -- Mill Town
Jan 29, 2010

See whether some of these also become your favorites. 
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