George Rucker's Preposteroius Newsletter for February 13, 2018

Welcome to another Tuesday,                                                    13 February 2018

It is hard for me to believe how old I have become, although the wrinkles in my face give  it away.   I did not expect to be on the earth this long but many of my ancestors have managed to get to 88.  My grandmother, my father, my favorite uncle and now I have basically 11 years left to match their longevity.

I joined the Navy at 17 during the month of April, roughly 60 years ago.  My wife Patty at the time was two but closer to three.  I did not meet her until she was 28 with three children and I was 43 with two.  I will be retired from the military for 40 years very soon.  My retirement pay is higher now than my active duty pay at my retirement, but you must consider that when I joined I received $68 dollars per month, a paltry sum, let us not forget room and board was included.  Now we have 12 grandchildren, the oldest a computer science major with a minor in cybersecurity, in his third year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute with an A average.

With our children grown,  the two of us, who happen to be just older children and moving on with our lives, just trying to have as much fun as possible.  We are now retired and hope the rest of our lives will be kind to us.


Here is a recipe from a cookbook, “Company’s Coming Soups.”  Written by a Canadian named  Jean Paré.  She is prolific cookbook author, most are not expensive and under $5.

Patty and I were happy with this soup but think it needs more liquid but perhaps Scotch broth is thick, perhaps trying to cut it in half is not a good thing.  We did use beef.  Since we knew that the peas and parsley might not do well in leftovers we just added them whenever reheating leftovers.

Scotch Broth


1 tablespoon cooking oil,
1 1/2 pounds of stewing lamb (or beef), cut into ½ inch pieces
2 cups chopped onion
2/3 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup chopped celery
8 cups beef stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dried flakes)


Heat cooking oil in large frying pan on medium-high.  Add lamb.  Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned.  Transfer to a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker.

Add the next 8 ingredients, Stir.  Cook, covered, on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours until lamb and barley are tender.

Add peas and parsley, Stir.  Cook covered on High for about 5 minutes until peas are tender.  Makes about 12 cups.


Some of my readers are young.  I just wanted to let you know a tip about resumes.  I could start with my first resume.  I wrote it myself as my first job was for 20 years in the military.  It was about six pages long and I thought it was good, however I was failing at finding a good job after taking a one credit course I found that a single page is perhaps the best way to go.

While working in the hospital, my second 20 year job, I noticed the switchboard operator was sort of a resume scanner.  Some people would walk in that were perhaps not dressed like they truly wanted to work in the hospital and were just filling a square for the unemployment office, she would just toss their resume into file 13 after they left the building.  These unsolicited resumes were frequent as there was a time to collect unemployment you had to get initials of three job applications.  There was a time you could fax the hospital and fax machines used rolls of paper.  Many a good resume was again tossed if it was not mailed on great stationary but only this curly paper.

Again one sheet, great stationary (the best you can afford) a great envelope that matches the stationary.  Do not use labels but type on the envelope.  One more thought, absolutely zero grammatical or spelling errors.  This should all be evident if you are putting your best foot forward and truly want the job you are applying for.

Now for my secret formula if the above has been followed.  References need to be hand picked and know you.  By hand picked I mean special people, noteworthy people, that would impress anyone who called and wanted some information about you.

I will tell you first who not to list.  During the Viet Nam war I did not want to get a Top Secret Clearance, yet the US Air Force for some reason wanted me to go to 7 level school at Goodfellow Air Force Base.  A Tech Sergeant kept telling me to make mistakes as nobody wants a Top Secret Clearance and I would be off to war.  I used people who were war protesters or people who were in jail due to notoriety, they now known as friends of Obama or college professors.  The Air Force sent me three of these 20 page forms to fill out before I was sent off to Goodfellow AFB without a clearance to attend the school.  In those days the highest enlisted grade was Master Sergeant, warrant officers were over them.  Well this Master Sergeant looked me in the face and said that he felt I was just deliberately putting down false data.  He then said he would fill out the form and I would sign it.  I noticed he had all three of my forms, now 60 pages of data.  He probably did one of the best things anyone has done for me, other than my Father-in-Law to this day.  The clearance allowed me to become a better and much more qualified NCO.  While waiting for the FBI to check my clearance I was assigned to teach two wheeled Safety for motorcycles at Goodfellow.

Now for selecting impeccable references that people questioning them would believe.  My first reference was a retired Two Star Admiral who was once the Chief of Staff of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, formerly known as Bethesda Naval Hospital.  He was the Chief of Staff of the hospital, President Reagan went after being shot.  He also happened to be the Chief of Staff in the Hospital from where I received my second retirement.

My second reference was a black Army Guardsman, an E-9, a true friend to me and my family for many years.  He was also the First Sergeant of the Unit Training Equipment Site, (UTES) Headquarters Camp Edwards, Mass.  I picked him because he was black and to show no racial prejudice, plus he lived just down the street and would let me know if he received any calls.  I have since moved but still consider him a good friend.

Your third reference can be your choice but you get what I mean.

Last, there are no better Jobs than those offered by the government.  First choice should be Federal, second State, then County or City.  They all should have a website to view available jobs.  If they have a sample resume you are truly almost there.  You need to get through a computer reader first and then a personal interview.  One, you can not fool a computer, so you need to copy the resume first.  By copy, you need the actual fount and its size, then how the resume is totally set up from name, address, experience etc. even their position on the page Then you do exactly the same except with your information.  Easy Peasy, spoken from one who currently collects three government retirements.


Some people have sort of a wish list of things they would like to do.  There however is another list of thing I would never do.  They are just off the list of things that look like they would be fun.  Here is an anti-bucket list.

Extreme   skiing in Wyoming.

Cliff camping.

Skywalking in the Alps.

Climbing Redwoods.

Sitting on the Trolltunga rock in Norway

Jumping on the Trolltunga rock in Norway.

Ice climbing a frozen waterfall.

Extreme picnicking.

Skywalking on Mount Nimbus in Canada.

Extreme kayaking at Victoria Falls.

Diving 30 meters through a rock monolith in Portugal.

Climbing Mt. Wellington.

Standing on the Edgewalk in Toronto.

Cycling in Norway.

Walking over a crevice.

Glacier boarding anywhere.

Biking on the Cliffs of Moher.

I am ALREADY old.   I didn't get here by being stupid!  Feel free to google any of the above.


I have printed out the four page Republican answer to the FISA memo.  The following statements are true.

1. Andrew McCabe admitted under oath the dossier was used as the justification to secure a FISA warrant on Carter Page.

2. The FBI’s probe into the Trump campaign was triggered by aide George Papadopoulos

3. The FBI had no evidence of a connection between Papadopoulos and Page

4. The FBI knew the DNC and Clinton campaign were behind the dossier–but didn’t disclose that knowledge to the FISA court

5. The FBI paid Christopher Steele to work on the dossier

6. Top DOJ official Bruce Ohr met with Steele in 2016 and told the FBI the British spy had an anti-Trump bias

7. The memo reveals which officials green-lighted surveillance on Carter Page

I am hopeful that the Democratic version of this will be released Friday so I can print it out also.


A man runs into the vet’s office carrying his dog, screaming for help. The vet rushes him back to an examination room and has him put his dog down on the examination table. The vet examines the still, limp body and after a few moments, tells the man that his dog, regrettably, is dead. The man, clearly agitated and not willing to accept this, demands a second opinion.

The vet goes into the back room and comes out with a cat and puts the cat down next to the dog’s body. The cat sniffs the body, walks from head to tail, poking and sniffing the dog’s body and finally looks at the vet and meows.

The vet looks at the man and says, “I’m sorry, but the cat thinks that you’re dog is dead, too.” The man is still unwilling to accept that his dog is dead. So the vet brings in a black Labrador retriever. The lab sniffs the body, walks from head to tail, and finally looks at the vet and barks. The vet looks at the man and says, “I’m sorry, but the lab thinks your dog is dead too.”

The man, finally resigned to the diagnosis, thanks the vet and asks how much he owes. The vet answers, “$650.”

“$650 to tell me my dog is dead?” exclaims the man.

“Well,” the vet replies, “I would only have charged you $50 for my initial diagnosis. The additional $600 was for the cat scan and lab tests.


A redhead, brunette and blonde were on their way to Heaven.

God told them the stairway to Heaven was 1000 steps, and on every 5th step He’d tell them a joke. But, they must not laugh or else they couldn’t enter heaven.

The brunette went first and started laughing on the 65th step, so she could not enter Heaven.

The redhead went next and started laughing on the 320th step, so she could not enter Heaven either.

Then, it was the blonde’s turn. When she got to the 999th step, she started laughing.

“Why are you laughing?” God asked. “I didn’t tell a joke.”

“I know,” the blonde replied. “I just got the first one.”


I was impressed the other day when SpaceX launched a huge rocket, the Falcon Heavy.  To me even more impressive was when both boosters returned to earth exactly as planned and in the upright parking position..

Space Exploration Technologies, SpaceX, is authorized to conduct: (I) A flight of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) transporting the modified Tesla Roadster (mass simulator) to a hyperbolic orbit.

Think about that a Tesla Roadster convertible, with a dummy in the drivers seat and the top down will be heading off to Mars.  Only humans with a sense of humor would conceive of such a thing.  There is probably a ton of Ripley’s Believe it or Not records being set with this flight.

The payload mass simulator, a cross-brand promotional stunt, and a boyish antic of Elon Musk's. The car will fly on a hyperbolic orbit in relation to our planet, meaning it will achieve escape velocity and depart Earth’s orbit. The red Roadster's destination is a heliocentric orbit around the sun at roughly the same distance as Mars. If it makes it, the car could float aimlessly in space for thousands or even millions of years.

The arrival of Falcon Heavy has piqued the curiosity of the world. Aerospace industry experts wait to see if Musk really can pull off a base price of just $90 million, about a fourth of the rocket's closest competitor. The U.S. Air Force and satellite company Arabsat eagerly await the debut of a rocket they have already booked for future launches.

A red car will orbit with the red planet. You could argue the stunt is a flippant marketing scheme or a symbolic gesture of humanity's quest to settle the solar system. Either way, the Roadster launch is the type of shenanigan we have come to expect from SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. A look at his many companies provides a glimpse of the tech magnate's vision of the future.  Now Musk, 46, got his start as a leading technology entrepreneur in 1995 with the dot-com company Zip2, which he founded with his brother Kimbal to develop online city guide software for newspapers. He then used money from the sale of Zip2 to co-found, which merged with Confinity and became PayPal in 2001.  Amazing, simply amazing.


Three guys died and when St. Peter met them at the pearly gates, he said, "I know that you guys are forgiven because you're here. Before I let you into Heaven, I have to ask you something. You have to have a car in Heaven because Heaven is so big. What kind of car you get will depend on your answer."

The first guy walked up and St. Peter asked him, "How long were you married?" He answered, "24 years." "Did you ever cheat on your wife?", St. Peter asked. The guy said, "Yeah, 7 times ... but you said I was forgiven." St. Peter said, "Yeah, but that's not too good. Here's a Pinto to drive."

The second guy walked up and got the same question from St. Peter. He answered, "I was married for 41 years and cheated on her once, but that was our first year and we really worked it out." St. Peter said, "I'm pleased to hear that. Here's a Lincoln."

The third guy walked up and said, "St. Peter, I know what you're going to ask. I was married for 63 years and didn't even look at another woman! I treated my wife like a queen!" St. Peter said, "That's what I like to hear. Here's a Jaguar!"

A few days later, the two guys with the Lincoln and the Pinto saw the guy with the Jaguar, crying on the golden sidewalk. When they asked him what was wrong, he said, "I just saw my wife. She was on a skateboard!"


I really can't stand it when homeless guys shake their cups of money at me. Do they really have to rub it in that they've got more cash than I do?

Father: "Son, you were adopted."
Son: "What?! I knew it! I want to meet my biological parents!"
Father: "We are your biological parents. Now pack up, the new ones will pick you up in 20 minutes."

"Mom, how come I still didn't get my period? I mean I'm already 19 and Janet got hers when she was just 13!"
"Listen to me, Brian, you're NOT getting a period ever!"

Doctor: "I'm sorry but you suffer from a terminal illness and have only 10 to live."
Patient: "What do you mean, 10? 10 what? Months? Weeks?!"
Doctor: "Nine."

That is all for this week.               George

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Thomas L. Friedman: Our democracy is in serious danger with Trump in charge


New York Times

February 19, 2018 09:51 AM

President Donald Trump is either totally compromised by the Russians or is a towering fool, or both, but either way he has shown himself unwilling or unable to defend America against a Russian campaign to divide and undermine our democracy.

That is, either Trump’s real estate empire has taken large amounts of money from shady oligarchs linked to the Kremlin – so much that they literally own him; or rumors are true that he engaged in sexual misbehavior while he was in Moscow running the Miss Universe contest, which Russian intelligence has on tape and he doesn’t want released; or Trump actually believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says he is innocent of intervening in our elections – over the explicit findings of Trump’s own CIA, NSA and FBI chiefs.

In sum, Trump is either hiding something so threatening to himself, or he’s criminally incompetent to be commander in chief. It is impossible yet to say which explanation for his behavior is true, but it seems highly likely that one of these scenarios explains Trump’s refusal to respond to Russia’s direct attack on our system – a quiescence that is simply unprecedented for any U.S. president in history. Russia is not our friend. It has acted in a hostile manner. And Trump keeps ignoring it all.

Up to now, Trump has been flouting the norms of the presidency. Now Trump’s behavior amounts to a refusal to carry out his oath of office – to protect and defend the Constitution. Here’s an imperfect but close analogy: It’s as if George W. Bush had said after 9/11: “No big deal. I am going golfing over the weekend in Florida and blogging about how it’s all the Democrats’ fault – no need to hold a National Security Council meeting.”

At a time when the special prosecutor Robert Mueller – leveraging several years of intelligence gathering by the FBI, CIA and NSA – has brought indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups – all linked in some way to the Kremlin – for interfering with the 2016 U.S. elections, America needs a president who will lead our nation’s defense against this attack on the integrity of our electoral democracWhat would that look like? He would educate the public on the scale of the problem; he would bring together all the stakeholders – state and local election authorities, the federal government, both parties and all the owners of social networks that the Russians used to carry out their interference – to mount an effective defense; and he would bring together our intelligence and military experts to mount an effective offense against Putin – the best defense of all.

It is sWhat we have instead is a president vulgarly tweeting that the Russians are “laughing their asses off in Moscow” for how we’ve been investigating their interventions – and exploiting the terrible school shooting in Florida – and the failure of the FBI to properly forward to its Miami field office a tip on the killer – to throw the entire FBI under the bus and create a new excuse to shut down the Mueller investigation.

Think for a moment how demented was Trump’s Saturday night tweet: “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

To the contrary. Our FBI, CIA and NSA, working with the special counsel, have done us amazingly proud. They’ve uncovered a Russian program to divide Americans and tilt our last election toward Trump – i.e., to undermine the very core of our democracy – and Trump is telling them to get back to important things like tracking would-be school shooters. Yes, the FBI made a mistake in Florida. But it acted heroically on Russia. What is more basic than protecting American democracy?

o obvious what Trump is up to: Again, he is either a total sucker for Putin or, more likely, he is hiding something that he knows the Russians have on him, and he knows that the longer Mueller’s investigation goes on, the more likely he will be to find and expose it.

Donald, if you are so innocent, why do you go to such extraordinary lengths to try to shut Mueller down? And if you are really the president – not still head of the Trump Organization, who moonlights as president, which is how you so often behave – why don’t you actually lead – lead not only a proper cyberdefense of our elections, but also an offense against Putin.

Putin used cyberwarfare to poison American politics, to spread fake news, to help elect a chaos candidate, all in order to weaken our democracy. We should be using our cybercapabilities to spread the truth about Putin – just how much money he has stolen, just how many lies he has spread, just how many rivals he has jailed or made disappear – all to weaken his autocracy. That is what a real president would be doing right now.

My guess is what Trump is hiding has to do with money. It’s something about his financial ties to business elites tied to the Kremlin. They may own a big stake in him. Who can forget that quote from his son Donald Trump, Jr. from back in 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets.” They may own our president.

But whatever it is, Trump is either trying so hard to hide it or is so naive about Russia that he is ready to not only resist mounting a proper defense of our democracy, he’s actually ready to undermine some of our most important institutions, the FBI and Justice Department, to keep his compromised status hidden.

That must not be tolerated. This is code red. The biggest threat to the integrity of our democracy today is in the Oval Office.