About Bill Nicholas

Born in Cleveland, Oh., and raised with two sisters and two brothers. After graduating from West Tech High in 1967 joined the U.S. Navy, and served much of a 27 year career in Asia, including 3 years in Vietnam. Retired from the Navy in 1994 upon completion of duty as Space and Electronic Warfare adviser to Cruiser Destroyer Group 12 in Mayport, Fl. After retiring from the Navy entered the civilian workforce in building engineering, maintenance, and light construction, now retired and lives in Northwest Florida.

Politics…NEXT-GEN?

Stoneman Douglas High School, Bellwether or Flash in the Pan?

Will the demonstrations, marches and outcry for safety and gun control weather the dozen or two months until many of the student activists are eligible to vote?
Will it be the beginning of a new political era that defines itself with pragmatic, empathetic and reachable goals or be overwhelmed by big money and big politics? Will the judicial, constitutional and legislative hostage taking by the NRA prevail?

Politics as usual took a backseat during the elections of 2016. Will politics again see a new paradigm in 2020? Over the next two years roughly 7.5 million high school students will be eligible to vote. Those filled with the fever of positive change have the potential to swing elections across the country. Their collective kinetic energy can be a tsunami of positive change.

Former Senator Rick Santorum suggests that these students time would be better spent learning CPR or perhaps learning how to duck and cover whilst providing first aid. Senator Marco Rubio offers milquetoast solutions and no indication that he makes decisions independent of gun lobby influence.

Some conservatives and the NRA would have you believe the nonsense that recent protests are being organized and funded by anonymous billionaires. They believe the students are incapable of the intelligent problem solving, organizing or the dedication to execute such important actions. These marches and protests are from the grass roots and threaten the establishment.

Lobbyist and politicians are forced to take notice. Conservative and liberal partisans alike will not be able to soft soap responses to the questions raised by these students. It is no longer just a kitchen table discussion. It’s a front and center issue that if not acted on by current legislatures then undoubtedly the next general election will prove the durability and resolve of those “kids”.

shalom/bill

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Trade War…Will You Win?

Consumers, Middle Class lose in Trade War

Trade war skirmishers and pawns are the only long term causalities in trade battles. The implementation of restrictive tariffs benefit few and hurt many. Approximately 200,000 jobs were lost due to similar tariffs imposed by G.W.Bush in 2002.

Big business, big government, big investors, and big speculators never lose in a trade war. The middle class consumer is the only loser. We are the skirmishers and pawns of war in every aspect. When prices go up, those on restrictive budgets feel even the slightest increase in price. By some statistics 40% of households live payday to payday with little or no buffer for inflation or emergencies. Any uptick in price is a down tick in quality of life. Abandoning economic policy, disregarding or disestablishing trade pacts and holding to a policy that only tends to fan the flames of inflation.

Restrictive tariffs on imports will not rebuild heavy industry. The glory days of manufacturing may once again return but it takes years of long term investment and yes, even some losses or slow growth.
It takes years to build a modern steel plant and huge investments in skilled education and training to fill positions in automated manufacturing.

Yes, it would be wonderful if everything from automobiles to zippers were manufactured in the U.S. but, its not probable with our current employable cadre’, and even less probable due to a lack of investment both public and private in “Made in America”. We have spawned to many MBA’s and not enough welders, to many lawyers and not enough machinists, to many accountants and doctors and stock brokers and real estate agents and a hundred more jobs that don’t actually make anything. However, all of those non-manufacturing jobs rely on products, equipment and equipage to sell more and more snake oil to the biggest consumer fueled economy on the planet.

All to often we forget that we live in a global economy. Airbus assembles in Alabama, Motorola assembles in China, Chevy in Canada and Mexico, Ford from Australia to Zimbabwe. Trying to obviate and eliminate trade imbalance with punitive actions will only hurt consumers at home and alienate trading partners.

And please, don’t confuse flipping off our trading partners as patriotism.

We have seen nearly nine years of steady, albeit slow, growth and nearly zero inflation. As we, as a nation move forward, caution and fiscal wisdom should rule the day, not short sighted or often inflammatory measures that alienate trading partners and reduce the domestic spending power of the average consumer.

Shalom/bill

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Disorder affects 60% of Americans

Some research points to a new and troubling disorder… (POTUS)


University of Ido’no researchers have identified a new and troubling syndrome now prevalent in approximately sixty(60) percent of the general population across the United States. POst Traumatic Undefined Syndrom (POTUS) Has been linked to high blood pressure, mood disorders including depression and lethargy, increased alcohol consumption and premature aging.

The exact causation is still unknown however some researchers indicate the manic approach to international and domestic politics, public ridicule of government, bombastic unfounded accusations, exaggeration, self praise, sophomoric ramblings and outright lies may be contributing factors.

(POTUS) is often manifested by lack of energy, reluctance to get out of bed and shutting off from family and friends. Unnatural fear of going outside due to the looming threat of Nuclear Fallout or invasion by Russian operatives with military grade nerve agents or polonium syrettes. The constant feeling of dread, and an unfeeling and unresponsive administration are also exacerbating factors.

Perhaps too that administration “Accomplishments” are predominately done by reducing or eliminating safety factors for the environment, banking system, economy, international trade, treaties with allied and non-allied nations (keeping in mind that treaties are supposed to be durable over generations, not administrations) and dare one say, Healthcare.

Never knowing which side of his mouth President Trump will speak from causes his allies and detractors both to reel in surprise every time he lets his fingers do the talkin’. Since taking office Mr. Trump, has in the same voice both praised and condemned. He has been manipulated by special interests that he himself cautioned congress not to fear or pander to, and even lent credence to known hate groups. Additionally, vindictive firings of long-term dedicated public servants has no place in government, especially from the Capitol.

With research continuing, (POTUS) continues to plague many Americans. A cure may not be ready until late 2020 however clinical trials are underway in hopes of finding an early cure.

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Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbors Pet? …or not

Pets are wonderful companions, house mates, hunters, guards and yes even the object of our affections. My question is, if they are so important to us then why aren’t we better stewards of our charges. I currently don’t own a dog or a cat but I am still treated with their “gifts”.

Like today as I was working in my yard and found an attachment to the bottom of my shoe in the form of feces, dog one would assume, by the aroma which wafted through the air. Later I was treated to some partially hidden cat leavings in my flower beds. But how did I find them. Whilst digging with my hands and spreading mulch. Yes it’s as smooth as hand lotion, just a tiny bit more aromatic.

I don’t believe in harming domestic animals(that is of course unless they are cows, chickens, rabbits, pigs etc) nor do I condone cruelty to animals just to satisfy some warped sense of superiority.

I would however like the people who “love” their animals, respect the boundaries of those of us that choose to live without the feces, urine, digging, chewing and climbing of those loveable creatures.

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The Trump post-presidency would be ….??

It’s no surprise that the President of the United States is the most powerful person on the planet. It is also no surprise that many former presidents have been prolific working to bring about positive change and raising the social and moral conscience of the people they once served as president. Like retired athletes and solider’s some help provide homes for the poor, and encourage the wealthy to benevolence. There also those who continue to pad their respective accounts as “talking heads” and continue to enhance their respective areas of influence. They revel in the spotlight. Hyper-egos that require daily feeding, hyper-egos that suck the air out of a room and leave little else, hyper-egos that pale by comparison to that of Donald Trump.

With rare exception, presidents are on the most part are full of themselves. On a world stage the “Leader of the Free World” must reflect confidence, worldly presence and intellectual and physical strength but by the same token must know that humility, compassion and empathy are just as important. (how to be a nice guy without being a punk) There is no room for unlimited power in the hands of a bully.

That is how I view Mr. Trump. He’s like a WWE evil star that all the fans love to hate. They purchase his memorabilia and buy into the shallow words that confuse leadership with oligarchy, or physical power with strength of character. Last November the electorate choose Mr. Trump, he has become the most powerful person on the planet. That comes with the office but, what about his post presidency? He will still wear the crown.

The next president will take a back seat to “The Donald” as he will leave with the same sphere of influence he entered the office with, but enhanced with all the political open doors, national secrets, global political access, and endorsement desirability that no other post-presidency has ever enjoyed. The question is, will Mr. Trump use his omnipotence for the betterment of the Republic? Perhaps go quietly into the night, or fearfully, rage against the dying of the light and attempt to govern beyond the office?

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Memorial Day 2015

image037Memorial Day 2015

According to The Polynational War Memorial since 1900 there have been 265 wars around the globe. Nearly every portion of the globe has felt the sting of armed conflict, apartheid, slavery, forced exile, genocide, and injustice. We all hope, that as a nation we are always on the right side of a cause.
Causes notwithstanding, remembering our nations dead is our just duty.

    When John McCrae in Flanders penned
    Had hoped that field of patriots dead
    Would be that beacon, the banner red
    Could be that last, that field of dead

    That soldiers bled would be the last
    To perish from the canons blast
    The war that ended all wars more
    That bloodied field, and moor, and shore

    But greed and avarice and bigots breed
    Then did fear and hatred seed
    Another world at bloody war
    That fowled field and moor and shore

    Then those patriots of every creed
    Would bleed and die for another’s need
    In hopes again that nevermore
    Would trouble field and moor and shore

    The guns fell silent a short time there
    When atomic power did fill the air
    But “quiets time” was not long lived
    When fear and hatred again survived

    My faith is strong, my nation great
    Again it fostered greed and hate
    It’s mine the oceans, sea, wind and land
    My god has granted me this stand
    From Golan to Sahara’s sand
    From New York to the Silver Strand
    From Asia’s crown to Ireland
    My god has granted me this stand
    It gives me right, it gives me cause
    To raise up arms and prove my laws

    Again wage war, must take a stand
    Protect us all, our motherland
    Perhaps again let this one more
    Be the war to end all war

    But keep in heart and mind and soul
    Our hero’s Sleep
    Or bodies bent and broken keep
    The hope the prayer that nevermore
    Will bloody field or moor or shore.

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Looking toward the new year…

As we say hello to Groundhog Day and so long, farewell, aufedersein, and goodbye to Christmas, Hanukkah, The Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa or any other collective expression of mankind’s  concern for the life of our planet, a checklist if you will of thing that are still undone.  Things that should give us all pause.  Especially those who profess a faith in a benevolent deity.

Peace in the Middle East

Unwanted genital mutilation

Rape

Honor Killing

Global Warming

Peace in Africa

Eradication of Malaria, Small Pox, Yellow Fever…(far to many curable diseases to mention)

Honest wages for honest work

Racial prejudice

Fear of compromise

…and on, and on.

Whether or not you subscribe to the Bible, or the Koran, the Old Testament or New, the   Tanakh or the B’rit Hadashah.  Or, perhaps nothing at all, one cannot argue that the greatest gift anyone can give, is the gift of love.

Loving your neighbor is the first step in curing the ills of our planet.

Shalom/bill

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Guns, Guns, Guns…

Guns, Guns, Guns…

 

So let’s see, Mr. Wayne LaPierre would have an armed guard in all of our public schools. That’s a great idea. And it will be a bargain. Especially as we begin to drive the school bus over the fiscal cliff.

There are approximately 130,000 public schools in the U.S. Not including benefits, a sworn officer’s salary can be between $35,000 and $78,000. That is between $4.55 billion and $10.14 billion annually. Okay you say that’s only what it cost to fund the war in Iraq for a week (at the height of the conflict). And if you consider a DOD budget that percolates around $600 billion per year, $5 billion or even $10 billion is a bargain. So now the reality check.

Sequestration, Fiscal Cliff, No Tax increases for anyone. How do you pay for it Mr. LaPierre. And, suggesting that every other prophylaxis, except some gun control is just plain wrong.

The distribution of weapons and ammunition require better control mechanisms.  To try and  justify 100 round magazines, or unrestricted purchase of combat type ammunition or lack of licensing for gun owners is folly. Straw sales rule the day. Over 40% of all gun sales are transacted at gun shows which require NO background checking. Prove you are eighteen, have the money, and out the door you go with your own carbine that was solely designed to kill another person.

The AR-15 and many of it’s cousins are designed to rapid fire a bullet at over 3000 feet per second and are generally accurate at 500 plus yards.  That’s not a weapon for self protection.   It is a combat arm.

No matter how it becomes “sporterized“, or made to look like other long guns, it’s still a combat weapon with only one design purpose. To kill another human being.

In your home, with an AR-15 as a “self defense” weapon  you stand as much of a chance shooting someone in the next room or even the next door neighbors house if you miss your intended target. A shotgun is a far better in home self protection weapon.

I don’t suggest that a class of weapon be banned however, limiting some types of ammunition, banning high capacity magazines for both long guns and hand guns and requiring licensing for ALL gun owners.

To own, carry, use, posses or have a gun of any type or any fashion should require having a license. We need to have a license for everything from piercing someone’s ears to driving a car. We have to have a license to cut someone else’s hair. Yet we do not have to prove any level of competency to purchase, own and use a gun. Many of which are designed for only the singular purpose of killing someone.

There are enough guns in this country for every man, woman and child yet only about 1 in 3 people own a gun. With all other things being equal, the more guns there are in the public domain, the more guns will fall in the hands of people who would commit crimes.

The more shameful truth is that we kill each other at an alarming rate. We kill our brothers and sisters, wives and husbands, neighbors and friends. And at a greater rate than any other method we kill ourselves with guns. We must stop the madness.

Shalom/bill

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Okay, It’s time to retire…really!!!

Opening up jobs for people who really need them is most important to stimulate and economy and promote fiscal health. Entry level to advanced, all positions are needed. The shame is many are filled by retirees that just want to keep busy and don’t need the cash.

Sure, no one want’s to just give up a lifetime of experience in the workplace, however the longer you stay there the longer it keeps a fresh face from entering the workforce. Surly one doesn’t suggest that if you cannot afford to completely retire that you just tuff it out. But, if you are only working just to keep busy then I say, quit working for pay. Move out so someone else can move up. And if you get tired of bowling, golf, fishing and basket weaving go down to your local USO, or Hospital or Garden Club and volunteer your time to keep busy.

Shalom/bill

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