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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Brexit

Brexit is bound to have a lm economic effect all over the world. Hopefully, it does not have the negative impact of the 2008 collapse had and that everything smooths over after a few months.   I remember taking a world geography class in college where we learned about the other failed attempts to make a unified Europe.  Certainly more lax trade in Europe would benefit everyone. Or at least for the Europeans. Easier travel would be nice to if I lived in Europe. Unfortunately, as good as an idea as it was I think it was doomed to fail from the beginning. Last I heard there were at least six failed attempts at forming a European Union. At some point they need to see the writing on the wall.

I think part of the problem is when they start bringing in financially unstable countries and then have to bail them out. Like Greece! From a historical approach Greece has been unstable financially. Not through any fault of the citizens. Mostly, through politics. Let’s face it, Greece has a big tourist base to boost it economically. Everyone wants to see Greece and eat Greek food. Greece has needed bail out money to prop it self up. Greece needs to get new leaders in place and get its economy back on track.

Sadly, this all affects the world economy because many countries are interdependent. The U.S. economy has already taken a hit just on the vote alone.  Which is sad that the stock market would react that much before anything more than a bite has been done. They are estimating that it could take a few years before Britain would fully leave the EU. Yet it affects the economy in the present. Hopefully it does not turn into 2008 all over again.

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Future of Gun Laws

With the recent shooting in Orlando, it is apparent it is time to over haul gun control. Now, I have never shot an AR-15, but I do not understand the need for an assault rifle in civilian hands. By no means am I anti gun, but something needs to be done. This is one of those issues that spans many different areas and may require the government to spend more money to help decrease the problem. Unfortunately, they will probably raise taxes or cut funding to make up the difference. 

Mother Jones and The ACLU wrote an article about “no fly list”/terror watch list = being able to buy guns.  They also mention the failed legislation that was in response of the Orlando shooting.  I agree that if you are on a no fly list or watch list you should not be allowed to purchase a fire arm, especially an AR-15. Granite there will be the occasions where a wrongfully accuse person is/will be put on those lists.  Based on comments and reports I have seen it has taken the better part of 18-36 months to go through the red tape.  Now, I do feel sorry for people going through that but I would completely understand the red tape if I went through it all be it frustrating. There is something to be said for due process even of there are 20 John Smiths or Jane Does in a 10 mile radius. 

Switzerland feom Wikipedia gives an over view of how another county has a low crime rate.  This system creates a lot of paperwork and red tape. I am not going to lie, I rather enjoy being able to take a fun home 15-20 minutes after I fill out paperwork.  But in all reality, who does not like imidiate gratification.  Maybe that’s the problem; maybe Americans need to learn to be patient and get our ducks in a row before we can go duck hunting. I for one would feel better knowing that everyone is being checked out closely.   To transfer a firearm person to person you have to have strict paper work.  In the United States not so much.

Maybe part of the reason is there to many people profiting off the gun violence. WIBW interviewed staff at a local gun shop in Topeka, Ks. The gunshops are not to blame for selling the guns. The United States is a capitalist country, however, when there is mass shooting, there is a big rush to buy guns and ammo. Usually, out of fear that there will be a shortage or a ban on certain items.  That makes sense. But how often do you see a spike like that after a drunk driving accident or a high speed chase for cars.  Maybe the bigger issue is that gun lobbyist are fear mongering and causing histaria that their guns will be taken away. None of which has ever been said or proven. Only people wanting to cause histaria have claimed that person xyz will take their guns and civil liberties. But for people that actually read the Constituition know that gun owners are protected under the second amendment.  The interpretation of the amendment and finger pointing will be saved for another day.

Maybe, like Switzerland, The United States needs to employment a license to purchase a fire arm. I know that would be popular, but if you need one to opporate a car, why not a weapon? Cars are not meant to kill, but they do. Guns are meant to kill. 

When you buy a car they usually want proof of insurance and a photo I.D. Why does it seem easier to buy a gun than a car? Maybe what we need is expanded background checks. What that will consist of I do not know.  From what I have seen the Orlando shooter did not have a criminal record beyond being investigated and he did not have a history of mental illness. Mental health should be expanded on the background checks but it could take time to check close enough for a persons mental health. Then the question is where do draw the line on saftey and mental health. Many people with mental illness go untreated or keep it to themselves. Adding stricter back ground checks for people on the no fly list, being investigated and mental health may be a start but people still will fall through the cracks.

Fathers Day in Topeka

For Father’s Day I drove to Topeka, Ks. Now this is not a long drive for me, it usually takes me about an hour and fifteen minutes.  Not a long drive by any means.  But with work and everything else I do not get to make the drive down there very much. But it is always nice to see family for a little while. I figured since the wife was going to see her dad, who was only a short drive away for the day I would make the drive and spend the day with the family.  Now I was born and raised in Topeka but…… I was ready to leave come freshman year of college.  It was not for personal reasons, I was just bored in Topeka.  Mainly, because I had been to Kansas City plenty of times to know that i felt like I was missing out on something.  In Topeka, let’s be honest, not much to do for s teenager after the mall closed. Yea we had movies and bowling allies and such but how often can you do that as a teenager.  Other than that there was drinking and drugs, which was not for me.  It always felt like a little big town.  Lots of stuff to do if you had money and we’re old enough to enjoy them………

Back to my point. For lunch my parents and I went to The Wheel Barrel. It is a new place in North Topeka. It is a small sandwich shop. It is not like the chain places subway, good cents or Jimmy Johns. Real sandwiches. Two pieces of bread and stuff between them. Not hoggie buns. It was was really good, I highly recommend it if you are in the area. They give you a pile of chips to go with it but there was so much in the sandwich I could not eat anymore.  I had the special of the day. They called it.. Wait for it! …… The Dadio! It has two eggs over easy, roast beef, four pieces of bacon, Swiss cheese and Gouda cheese. Defenatly worth it. 

The rest of the day we watched sports. Who would of thought two guys on Father’s Day would watch sports! We watched the Kansas City Royals win in extra innings along with the the PGA tournament. My wife was rather sad that Jordan Spieth did not win only because he is her celebrity husband.  But she will get over it. 

For dinner we went to The Oriental Express. Which is located in an old Kwick Shop gas station. For those of you who have been through Topeka in the last twenty years…You know what I am talking about. Which is strange because it is some of the best Chinese food I have had in years! I am already planning for my next few visits. It is not pretty but do not let that fool you! 

Beyond that. That was my day in my home town.  My parents took me on a driving tour of the downtown area because of all the detours.  They were showing me all the renovations they were doing to the downtown. I am happy that they are attempting to revitalize areas of town.  I wish they did it sooner. With all the new business and changes I town I feel like a visiter to Topeka. Never like o am from there. So many things are changing.  Hopefully for the better. I am hoping Topeka can attract business and sports teams in the future.   If you are in the area, give it a look….

Traveling by Train For Long Periods

MSN posted an article entitled 12 Things You Should Know Before Traveling Across the Country on Amtrak by Macy Williams.  The article was a slide show of little little tips about traveling on trains, especially for long stints at a time or overnights. Like the article points out the difference between the sleeper cars.  I have not had the opportunity to stay in one as of yet, but hopefully soon.  I have always heard good things about the food on trains but have not really tried it other than the M&Ms I bout that one time but I would hardly count that as train food.  When my wife and I traveled to Chicago, we saw numerous people bringing their own meals onto the the train in big greasy bags.  Which, of you have lived or stays in Kansas City long enough to have a meal that usually means one thing! BBQ! The article did say that you could bring alcohol on the train, but you could only drink it in your sleeping quarters. If that’s the case come prepared. When we traveled they did serve alcohol on the train at the snack bar but it was mostly beer and basic wine.  If those do not appeal to you, plan ahead! I did bring my own bottle of scotch the train ride home but I wanted to save it for a better occasion. 

Traveling by trains something people should experience at least once in their life if they have the chance.  Sometimes it can be cheaper to travel by train than fly or drive.  Just depends on where you go and lots of factors.  It is a great way to see the scenery.  Of course it depends on what part of the country you are in or going through. The Midwest is a fun ride and I can imagine the southwest and northwest would be scenic as well. There are areas that offer short train rides for a few hours of you do not want to travel far.  Many of them are dinner events or an afternoon ride and can be fun as well. 

Nicaragua Throw Back Part 3

View from the top of Iglesia De La Merced. The Iglesia of Guadalupe was used as a fortress by William Walker in 1856, when the American filibuster was being driven out of the country after invading and placing himself as president a year earlier. The interior of the church features a stained glass dedication to the Virgin of Guadalupe and rows of Corinthian columns. 1

USEOS Y GALERIAS DE NICARAGUA

View of Catedral De Granada. Originaly built in 1583, and destroyed in the 19th century, only to be rebuilt again in the early 20th century. The interior of the church features three naves and four chapels and extensive stained glass windows. 1

Concepcion and Madera in the background.  Great place to visit. Both located in one of the largest fresh water lakes in Central America. If I remember this was on top of León Cathedral. 

León Cathedral 

The cemetary close to the churches.

Funeral Persesion

St. John of Gods Hospital. Currently, it is abandoned and they have one guard out front at all times.  Currently considered a historic landmark.  Very beautiful building.

Islands around the area.  We got to get off the boat and visit with some locals.  All the people were very friendly.  The islands we would stop on were poor.  The people were living in shanties with what looked like whatever they could find to build a house.  The island next to it may have a multimillion dollar house on it with pools and helicopter pad.  A couple of the neighboring houses had been featured in house hunters international.

The San Pablo Fort

Cathedral De Granada

This is across from the Catherdal De Granada in the square.

MUSEOS Y GALERIAS DE NICARAGUA

Local art/history museum in Leon. Very pretty on the inside.  Lots of colorful art.  

Additional information:

1. USA Today