April 2019


Almost (but Not Quite) May in Wyoming


This Is a Bad Idea

I didn’t like it when Establishment Republicans refused to support conservative nominees for office in past elections, and I don’t like this idea either.

In an effort to guard against “the infiltration of the Wyoming Republican Party by liberals and moderates,” the Campbell County Republican Party will consider a resolution on Saturday that declares the party has the “authority to disqualify” Republican candidates for elected office.

The role of the party — any political party — is to help ensure the election of whomever the voters in that party’s primary election chose as their nominee. It is not the party’s role to pass judgment — after the primary or before — on the ideological purity of any candidate. Either you trust your party’s members or you don’t belong in a position of authority within that party.

In a state with a closed primary system, like Wyoming, the party already has some protection against “infiltrators,” unlike states like Georgia where anyone can choose any ballot to vote, or others like California where all candidates in the primary run on the same ballot and the contenders in the November election can be — and often are — both Democrats. I oppose such systems precisely because they do open the primary process to much more interpartisan mischief.

The place to call out candidates for their political positions is in outside-the-party voter education efforts — you know, like when you’re running, or supporting a candidate who’s running, against them. Using the party apparatus to enforce ideological purity is totally misguided.

The resolution cites long standing dominance of Wyoming politics as its justification. “Whereas; The Republican Party has held the majority of members in the Wyoming Legislature since 1937” and “the infiltration of the Wyoming Republican Party by liberals and moderates” as its reasoning.

Well folks, a notion like this is a damned good way to put a stop to one of those things.


Johnson and Johnson

Two restaurant chains from my childhood are still in business, more or less, and both had their beginnings right there in Sacramento, started by men known as <%NICKNAME%> Johnson.

Shakey’s Pizza, which became a dominant pizzeria chain before Pizza Hut came along, was started in 1954 on J Street just off the campus of what was then Sacramento State College by Sherwood “Shakey” Johnson. That location — the building is still there though it looks very different now — remained open almost until I moved from Sacramento in the mid-‘90s, and was always my favorite location long after Shakey himself was no longer involved with the chain. The company changed hands several times and now has far more stores abroad than in the U.S., but most in the U.S. are now in southern California.

The only store in northern California today is in Oroville, a long way from the chain’s Sacramento roots — but not as far as the Philippines, Kuwait, or even Auburn, Alabama.

Eppamianondas Johnson, on the other hand, stayed involved with his restaurant chain, Eppie’s, for much longer, and stayed active in the community in Sacramento until his death in 2013.

His first restaurant, opened in 1964, was next to the motel my parents managed about that time, so they were well acquainted with Eppie — and we ate there quite a bit too. Today that Eppie’s is now an IHOP, but a former Denny’s in West Sacramento now bears the Eppie’s name. It appears to be the only restaurant left that bears the name.

It’s unlikely I’d ever go to the last remaining Eppie’s, it being in California and all, but the presence of a Shakey’s just over an hour away from here in Auburn is a tad more tempting. If I’m ever down that way for other reasons it might be worth checking out, just to see if the pizza tastes as good as I remember.

It probably won’t, but there’s no reason I couldn’t give it a chance.


Take This Nationwide, PLEASE!

Because it’s apparent vast swaths of the country don’t require anything like it.

High school students in Natrona County are required to complete a financial literacy course in order to graduate.

“The main goal is for students to leave these courses empowered financially,” Natrona County High School Assistant Principal James Catlin told the board.

Catlin said that NC students typically take the course in their junior year.

The course provides skills and information for students to manage themselves financially. That includes lessons on how to plan for a career, how to fill out tax forms, how to prepare a budget, and more.

“It’s a super powerful class, and if you haven’t seen it, you should come around,” Roosevelt Alternative High School Principal Shawna Trujillo said.

Wyoming remains one of the most conservative states in the Union, with one of the least spendthrift state governments, so even just this one class certainly seems to make a difference. If more kids were familiarized with the realities of money, they’d be less likely to fall for the fallacies that fueled Obama’s rise, and Ocasio-Cortez’s notoriety.

God knows, if more school systems across the country required anything even remotely as effective as this one class in this one school district in Wyoming, the allure of socialism would be greatly diminished.

Not that that’s something educrats in other states would ever tolerate.


Declaring Early

First, this:

If you peruse my archives for 2015 and 2016 — and in fact right up to January 20, 2017 — you’ll find that I didn’t vote for Trump either, and had no more use for him as a candidate than Jeff did. I was also convinced that by nominating him in 2016 the Republican Party had guaranteed a Hillary win. I owned up to that mistake right away.

I haven’t hidden those old posts. I wrote those things, and I leave them there so that anyone who cares can see that I’m not going to claim I was a Trump supporter before I actually became one.

I decided years ago that I would have no trouble at all voting to re-elect Donald Trump if he sought re-election. He’s accomplished some impressive things, pissed off all the right people, and exposed the corrosive self-entitlement that has turned official Washington against the people it’s supposed to serve.

I’ve always had more of an affinity for the crusty types that rub the thin-skinned the wrong way, who may speak more plainly than is considered “polite” in the name of honesty. I find Donald Trump to be such a man, and far more trustworthy than the mealy-mouthed ingratiators who can’t abide him.

So, why not keep him around?

Update: This might surprise and befuddle some of those who irritated me most during the 2016 campaign:

[Lindsey] Graham has been riding point for the Republican side of the amnesty push, and [Jeb] Bush has said that violating our nation’s borders and invading our country illegally is “an act of love.” Neither has demonstrated the requisite allegiance to the country they seek to lead, to merit a single vote — let alone enough to win election. I’d sooner vote for Donald Trump.

Emphasis added, and remember: I wasn’t going to vote for Trump, so that tells you how little chance these two ever had. Graham talks tougher these days, but I doubt I’d give him much more consideration for president in the future than I have in the past. As for Jeb, well... No. Still just no.


You Might Be...

If 2/3 of the tweets in your Twitter feed are tl;dr, you might be a nitwit.

If this was true before Twitter expanded from 140 characters to 280, you’re definitely a nitwit.

This has been your Tally Book Public Service Announcement for today.


Football Is Over

...until August, when NFL preseason play begins.

If you were paying attention to that new spring football league you already know it shut down with two weeks of regular-season play to go. The reasoning behind the timing of the shutdown still mystifies me, but I did anticipate it wouldn’t last long. Just not less than a full season.

Mrs. McG had discovered that a number of players from Mississippi State were playing for the Birmingham Iron, so that was the team we had been following. They had just clinched a playoff berth when the plug got pulled.

It sort of reminds me of how the World League of American Football ceased play in the U.S. after its second season, when the Sacramento Surge won the league championship.

Today we got a consolation by watching Mississippi State’s spring game, but that’s it for four months.


More Thoughts My Brain Made

The Left’s problem is that they’ve chosen to pursue a segment of the voting-age population that has, over the generations, lost its motivation to be civically engaged — thanks to policies enacted at the Left’s own insistence.


Thoughts My Brain Made

If someone made me absolute ruler of the world — just gave me the keys and said, “You’re in charge, command it and it will be done” — I would make a list of all the people on earth who think they’re qualified to rule humanity, and I’d build a fleet of spaceships. I’d round up all those would-be world-rulers, put them on those spaceships, and launch them into the sun.

And then I would put the keys away, except that every so often I’d have to identify and round up a new crop of would-be world-rulers and build a new fleet of spaceships. That’s all I would use that power for — because trying to control all of humanity is pretty much the only reason anybody ever causes serious trouble in this world.

A mere serial killer may off a few dozen people before he’s stopped, but it takes a genuine do-gooder to kill millions at a time.


Criminal Mastermind Alert, 6

A tip of the, er, towel to Charles for this one.

A Stockholm policeman arrested a fugitive criminal on Friday evening after the two met completely naked in a steam sauna.

The officer was just starting to acclimatize to the intense heat, when through the haze, he realized that one of the men sitting next to him was a drugs offender who had gone on the run after being sentenced to prison.

Of which Charles remarks, “I’m guessing concealed weapons were not involved.”


I Could Learn to Appreciate High School Basketball

Is March Madness over yet? Will the NBA title be decided before school gets out for the summer? I can never keep track of professional or college basketball, despite Charles’ best efforts to help. However, there’s a chance I may do better a few years from now if stories like this can serve as a gateway drug.

In March, the Wyoming Indian boys and girls both captured championships. Both championships game wins came in dramatic fashion, the WIHS boys beat Pine Bluffs in double overtime and the Lady Chiefs knocked off Southeast on a 3 point buzzer-beater.

Both WIHS boys and girls are no stranger to winning championships, but they had never done it in the same season.

Wyoming Indian High School is located in Ethete, a community on Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation with a predominantly Arapaho population. Basketball is highly popular on the reservation and in a wide variety of Indian communities across North America, including Interior Alaska where it offers young people something to do during long winter nights. Winters in Wyoming may not be as harsh, but life on a reservation in this day and age is tough enough even without 20-hour-long nights.

The high school’s football program, on the other hand, has struggled in recent years with poor records and lack of players. So, basketball it is.

Update, April 25: Wyoming’s high school sports authority offers relief to Wyoming Indian’s football program.


A Nu Start

Okay, who’s up for a rollicking new month of almost daily blog updates?

You are? Then what are you doing here?




April 2019


Original content and design © 2019 Kevin McGehee. Images and excerpts are © their respective owners.