Category Archives: Ross: UNMASKED

Editorial commentary as told, predominantly from the Founders point of view.

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The Conversation

ross-n-mrsRecently, as many of you know, my family took a month long vacation to the Philippines. While there my sister-in-law gave my wife and I a pair of Rodrigo Duterte T-shirts. Yesterday, for shits and giggles, we both decided to wear them at the same time while out grocery shopping. While we got quite a few looks from people, (maybe because the shirts are bright yellow), we didn’t get any comments; that is until we got to WalMart.

A conversation ensued between a WalMart cashier, (who is a Filipina friend of ours), myself, and another WalMart customer, (who from the way she was dressed appeared to be a throwback to the Woodstock era hippies.) I will attempt to reconstruct the conversation to the best of my recollection; but some of the wording may not be exactly as it went down. Continue reading

And They Say I’m Crazy

jokernicholsonAnyone who knows me, and I mean really knows me, knows that I am not that bad a guy. I can be straightforward, to the point of being blunt; but I am honest and treat people fairly. I try to live by the motto; live and let live; as much as possible that is. However, there are a few things I simply cannot stomach, with ignorance; willful ignorance in particular, being at the top of the list.

Due to the medication I am required to take to manage the pain I suffer from in my feet, I am required to undergo routine medical exams to ensure the pain meds are not causing me any harm. The first thing they check is my blood pressure; which routinely reads around 115/65. I find that amazing because of the fact that so many people in this country refuse to accept the fact that our country is on the verge of coming apart at the seams; while they continue to believe that by voting for ‘more of the same’ or the ‘lesser of two evils’ is gonna make things better. Continue reading

Ross: Shit’s Getting Real

madonna_bjI can’t believe what a circus this election has become. Just the other day I read how Madonna, the pop singer, promised to perform oral sex on all men who vote for Hillary. In her comments prior to an Amy Schumer standup concert Madonna stated, “One more thing before I introduce this genius of comedy…If you vote for Hillary Clinton I will give you a blowjob, OK?” To ensure that she was taken seriously, she continued by saying, “Swear to god…and I am good. I’m not a douche and I’m not a tool. I take my time…And I do swallow.”

What the hell kind of shit is this when a pop star gets on stage and promises oral sex in return for votes for the candidate she supports? But then it shouldn’t surprise me; after all, the people of this country are more upset over Trump’s grabbing some ‘pussy’ than they are the crimes Hillary Clinton has gotten away with. Sex sells, while the important issues take a back seat, or get left on the side of the road with no one paying any attention to them. Continue reading

Ross: Mad As Hell

montesquieuIn an effort to show their magnanimity, their benevolence, and the fact that they have not lost touch with the people they represent, presidents often stage photo shoots with prestigious people, or those who have achieved something the people admire and respect them for. Why else would a president invite the winners of a sporting event to the Oval Office for a meet and greet when it has absolutely nothing to do with the running of the country?

Such was the case in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy invited forty-nine Nobel Prize winners to the White House. The Nobel Prize, in case you didn’t know, is an annual award given to those who have made significant advances, or achievements in fields such as peace, science, or academics. In other words, they are considered the best and the brightest of the world in their areas of expertise. Continue reading

Forget Relativity: Let’s Talk About Einstein’s Theory of INSANITY!

einsteinThe name Albert Einstein has become almost synonymous with genius, yet very few people know much about the man other than having heard of his theory on special relativity; E=mc2. Along with over 300 scientific papers, Einstein also published 150 non-scientific papers, and is known to have made many interesting quotes. Among those attributed to him is, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Using that definition, wouldn’t you say that the American people are insane? Every four years the people get all fired up about who will become the next president of these States united, and then once the winner is sworn in the people go back to their lives to repeat the process in four more years. But does anything really change? Sure, taxes may go up or down; the economy may improve or decline, but the one question nobody seems to be asking is; does government increase in size or does it decrease in size? Another question you may want to ask yourselves is; do you have more freedom after four years of your choice for president, or less freedom? Continue reading

Ross: Is War on the Horizon?

violence-riot-clinton-trumpAside from seeing the occasional Hillary bumper sticker I have yet to encounter anyone who openly admits to supporting Hillary Clinton in her bid for president. Yet apparently there are many of them out there, as she is leading in almost all the major polls against Donald Trump by anywhere from 4 to 14 percentage points. While I myself have no intention of voting, I would like to ask those of you reading this that support Hillary Clinton to think about what it is your decision may portend for this country. Continue reading


bohicaWhen I was young there was a phrase I grew up hearing over and over again, “If you only knew how ridiculous you sound right now.” That phrase has been repeating itself inside my head with increasing frequency as the November 8 election draws near. Also, with increasing frequency I am hearing people ask me why I hate my country so much. It is not that I hate my country; it is that I hate what is happening to it. My sentiments are best explained by something H.L. Mencken once said, “The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”

As I sit here and watch the two candidates, and their supporters, bicker back and forth as to whom would make a better president, I can only shake my head in disgust at the ignorance of the typical American voter. From what I’ve seen there are but a handful of Americans living who know what the function of the president of the United States is; at least according to what the Constitution says it should be. Continue reading


fubarIt is a misfortune, inseparable from human affairs, that public measures are rarely investigated with that spirit of moderation which is essential to a just estimate of their real tendency to advance or obstruct the public good; and that this spirit is more apt to be diminished than promoted, by those occasions which require an unusual exercise of it. ~ Federalist 37 (James Madison)

F.U.B.A.R. is an acronym which stands for; fucked up beyond all repair, or recognition; depending upon whom is using it. It is a phrase anyone who has spent time serving in the military is intimately familiar with. It also defines perfectly the state of our government today. Oh, and for those who take offense with the repeated usage of the F Word, worry not, this will be the only time I use it in this commentary. Continue reading

And They Say I’m Crazy

jokernicholsonAnyone who knows me, and I mean really knows me, knows that I am not that bad a guy. I can be straightforward, to the point of being blunt; but I am honest and treat people fairly. I try to live by the motto; live and let live; as much as possible that is. However, there are a few things I simply cannot stomach, with ignorance; willful ignorance in particular, being at the top of the list.

Due to the medication I am required to take to manage the pain I suffer from in my feet, I am required to undergo routine medical exams to ensure the pain meds are not causing me any harm. The first thing they check is my blood pressure; which routinely reads around 115/65. I find that amazing because of the fact that so many people in this country refuse to accept the fact that our country is on the verge of coming apart at the seams; while they continue to believe that by voting for ‘more of the same’ or the ‘lesser of two evils’ is gonna make things better. Continue reading

Ross: On Freedom of Speech (Twelve Steps to Happiness)

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” ~ Joe Klaas

shut_up_americaWhen I write these commentaries it is never my intent, nor has it ever been, to piss people off. That said, I know that the things I say, do in fact, piss many people off; and, quite possibly, harbor ill will towards me. Although much of what I write includes my own personal opinions; those opinions are based upon the knowledge I have gained from countless hours of study. How many hours of research have gone into the opinions and beliefs you hold, if I may ask? I may not always be right; and I will admit that I am wrong if someone can provide overwhelming evidence to prove it. However, I will not tolerate fools who think their personal opinions should be given more weight than opinions which are supported by undeniable facts and evidence. Continue reading

Intelligence has left the building…

Did you watch the ‘debate’ last night?

I have come to the conclusion that neither morals nor intelligence exist in this land any longer.


Ross: Back In Full Fury Mode…

First off, I know what you’re saying; “Didn’t Neal say we might not hear from him for awhile in regards to political rants?” You’re right you did hear me say that. But last night this thought popped into my head and kept me awake for the majority of the night while it gelled into the basis for what I am about to say. Forgive me, it seems I just can’t shut my brain down, no matter how frustrated and angry I get. So it would seem you’re not getting rid of me that easily. Continue reading

Ross: Pot Calling The Kettle Black

for_rossWhile I was on vacation in the Philippines the nightly news was filled with stories regarding the deaths of those both using, and selling Shabu, slang for methamphetamines in the Philippines. While serving as mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Duterte made what was once one of the most dangerous cities in the Philippines one of the safest due to his strict enforcement of the law regarding drug pushers, and crime overall. While running for president he made a promise to the Filipino people to clean up the drug problem throughout the country, just as he had in Davao City. Continue reading

Ross: About the Philippines

~ Part 1 ~

Mr_mrs.ross_FOAs some of you may know, I recently took a much needed vacation. I traveled with my wife and son to the Philippines for just over 3 weeks so that Heidi could see her family again, I could visit her province for the first time, (the military would not let me travel there while stationed at Clark), and so my son could experience how other people live. Aside from my wife who was born and raised there, it was an eye opening experience for us all.

I have no idea what crosses through people’s minds when the subject of the Philippines is brought up. Could their only knowledge of the Filipino people be the boxer Manny Pacquiao, or could it be the news reports regarding the new Filipino President Duterte’s alleged human rights violations?

My intent in writing these short articles are to share some experiences I had while visiting the Philippines, and hopefully educating the people of this country regarding these amazing people. Don’t get me wrong, everything was not a bed of roses while I was there, but overall I came home with a newfound respect and love for, both the country, and the Filipino people.

Knowing that there are many living in this country who could not find Idaho or any of the other states in America without a map with the state names on it, I am relatively certain that there are a good many who could not find the Philippines on a world map without help. There are probably many who are not aware that the Philippines consist of almost 8,000 islands and comprise over 115,000 square miles of land. If you were to superimpose the Philippines over a map of the United States it would span from Louisiana up to Kansas, with it spreading east and west into Texas and Mississippi. Continue reading

Back in the U.S.S.A….

ross_unmaskedBack in the good ole U S of A. Here is my first rant since returning; going out in letter form to everyone I can think of in the government all the way from Obastard to the Attorney General to the head of Homeland Security:

To Whom It May Concern:

I just returned from a wonderful vacation in the Philippines visiting my wife’s family on the island of Cebu. However, my return trip was marred by an incident which occurred at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

While on vacation my brother-in-law gave me a magnificently hand-crafted belt buckle as a gift. However, upon passing through security at Ninoy Aquino International Airport it was confiscated by security personnel at the final security checkpoint before boarding the plane. Continue reading

Ross: What Do You Say We Start From Scratch?

Hell no he isn’t back yet. He is in the Philippines fighting Tsunami’s or Drug Lords or trying to teach the local gentry their rights…. He’ll be back one of these days. I’ve just been holding on to this one for awhile. As for me? I’m just sitting ’round scratching my yah-yah wondering when. Might be freer over there. ~ Ed.

Let’s start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read, you begin with… Neal’s dictionary!

start_overBefore I begin there are a few words that are essential you understand the meaning of it you are to understand the things I am about to say; a prerequisite of sorts. Therefore, as an introduction I would like to provide you with a short list of these words which are crucial that you understand.

Cede: (verb) To give control of (something) to another person, group, government, etc.

Infringe: (verb) To do something that does not obey or follow (a rule, law, etc.): to wrongly limit or restrict (something, such as another person’s rights)

Inherent: (adjective) Belonging to the basic nature of someone or something

Oppression: (noun) unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power: something that oppresses especially in being an unjust or excessive exercise of power.

Sovereignty: (noun) Supreme power especially over a body politic: freedom from external control.

Tyranny: (noun) Cruel and oppressive government rule: cruel, unreasonable or arbitrary use of power or control.

Unalienable: (adjective) Impossible to take away or give up.

Now that you have an understanding of these words, let’s begin at the beginning. Continue reading

I’m An Asshole (And I Can Prove It)

assholeThe Zombie Apocalypse is here! However, instead of being surrounded by flesh eating corpses I am surrounded by something far more dangerous; a nation full of people who are both ignorant and apathetic. Under normal circumstances ignorance and apathy would not be a concern, but unfortunately these ignoramuses vote; and therein lays the danger.

On many an occasion I have said that America does not have a democracy as its system of government; it has a Constitutional Republic. In theory there are worlds of difference between the two systems, but in practice there is only a fine line of demarcation between the two. Continue reading

Why Do People Fear The Truth?

Augustine-TruthEtched into the wall at the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency is a passage from the Bible, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) When a person is called upon to give testimony in court they must swear an oath to “Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Why do people consider honesty to be a valuable attribute, but when someone tells the truth people get all upset?

What is the truth? I suppose you could look it up in the dictionary, or I could provide you with my own definition for it. The way I see it the truth is simply things as they actually are, supported by facts and evidence.

The truth does not take sides, it is not biased, it is not prejudiced; it merely is an accurate rendering of things. The truth also does not care if it hurts feelings or offends. Whether you accept it or reject it, the truth does not care; it remains constant and unwavering. Continue reading

Put Your Heads Back In The Sand (There’s Nothing To Learn Here)

People don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed. ~ Friedrich Nietzche

Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what every man wishes, that he also believes to be true. ~ Demonsthenes

heads-in-the-sandThey say that if a lie is repeated enough times it becomes everyone’s truth. That may very well be true, but no matter how many times a lie is repeated it does not alter the fundamental fact that it is, in fact, a lie. The truth is the truth; whether people choose to accept or to reject it.

What I’m more interested in is what transpires when an individual who has lived their entire life believing a lie suddenly comes face to face with the truth. Continue reading

Ross: Are We On A Runaway Train?

runaway_trainWhen I was a kid trains used to fascinate me. I had a model railroad set, I road on them to visit my grandmother in San Francisco, I lived right next to the tracks in San Jose and would climb the fence and watch them go by; carrying either passengers or cargo, and as a teenager I even hopped a few for the thrill of it. To this day I still can’t help but gaze as they pass by; the powerful locomotives pulling whatever it is they are hauling that day.

How much have trains played a role in American Culture? They joined the two halves of our country with the driving of the final stake at Promontory Point in Utah, they’ve played roles in our films; beginning with the old Westerns when the bandits robbed them, to the newer movies such as Batman Begins were the League Of Shadows used one to release their toxic gas into the air. Continue reading

Ross: Covering All The Bases

ross_unmaskedLately I’ve been harping on the fact that the truth doesn’t matter anymore; that people are content to live their lives believing comfortable lies. Occasionally on this journey of mine, I’ve stumbled across people whose eyes have already been opened and can differentiate between the truth and the lie most others believe. However the rest of those I encounter, not only reject any efforts to learn the truth; they shun it like the plague. I guess ole Van Loon was right when he said, “Any formal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession – their ignorance.”
Continue reading

Ross: Checkmate In Five

“Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.” ~ Daniel Webster

checkmateWhile I’ve never been any good at the game, I respect those who are good at chess. Chess is a game of strategy and planning; pitting your wits against someone of, hopefully, equal skill. A typical chess match has 3 stages; there are the first opening moves where pieces are moved into position where they will be most effective; there is the actual battle between the two players, and then there is the checkmate where one side’s strategy fails and his/her king is captured.

Although there is no bloodshed, make no mistake about it, chess is a game of war. If you are unskilled at the game you can be checkmated in 4 moves by a skilled opponent; (believe me, I’ve had it happen to me). Continue reading

Ross: Clinton vs. Trump (An Outsiders View)

hill-trumpIt is an unfortunate fact that one of the two above people are going to become the next president of these States united; someone’s going to be chosen by the electoral college and go on to occupy the Oval Office for at least 4 years, if not 8.

I once had a discussion with someone regarding this idea of voting for the lesser of two evils and how all it does is ensure the perpetuation of evil in government; just is a smaller degree. The person with whom I was conversing suggested a means of correcting this flaw in our system by including on the ballot a None of the Above choice. If None of the Above received more votes than did the candidates, the office for which they were running would remain unoccupied until a candidate was provided which the people had enough confidence in to cast their vote for. Continue reading

Find A Mirror: (Do You See A Patriot, or Do You See A Sheep?)

man-in-the-mirror_miniWith the 2016 presidential election just around the corner, and the field being narrowed down to two candidates; the billionaire bigmouth and the pathological liar, the people of America are once again faced with the choice of either a Republican candidate who doesn’t understand the Constitution, or a Democrat candidate who doesn’t care about the Constitution. Yet the people of this country will vote for these candidates by the millions; thinking that their choice is the best choice for America.

It is obvious, at least for anyone who has been paying attention, that neither of the two presumptive nominees have made any statements about adhering to the limited powers granted government by the Constitution, nor to the powers granted the office which they seek. It is also obvious by the way the people of this country are falling into place behind their party’s presumptive candidate that the people of this country don’t care what the Constitution says either. Continue reading

Ross: A Fatal Flaw

NOTE: For some unknown reason, this column has been sitting in draft mode since January 2 of this year. Apparently I must have been called away while working to upload – and it disappeared – until today. Our apologies to Mr. Ross. ~ J.B.


Ever Vigilant

I was born on a midsummer day in 1958; a Babyboomer born to a father who had served his country in both World War II and the Korean War. In fact, I am named after my father’s best friend who lost his life aboard the USS Helena (CL-50) when it was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on July 6, 1943; Neal Hampton Rood. Patriotism and American Pride were instilled into me in massive doses from the moment I took my first breath. That’s just the way things were back then, it was America, love it or leave it.

As I edge closer to 60 I have become more and more convinced that the America that I grew up to love is gone; never to return. I am an avid movie watcher and I watch them, not solely for the action or storyline, but for how they speak to me on a subconscious level. Some movies speak to me more powerfully than others and such is the case with the movie Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe. There is one scene in particular which causes a lump to form in my throat; it is when Marcus Aurelius asks Maximus to go to Rome to ensure Rome returns to being a Republic. In that scene the Emperor tells Maximus, “There was once a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish…it was so fragile. And I fear that it will not survive the winter.” Continue reading

Ross: My Annual Independence Day Message

independence_twice foughtIn his Inaugural Address to the American people, George Washington offered up a warning, of sorts, when he wrote, “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

If you think about it, our country, or our government to be specific, is a lot like a vehicle; a new car or pickup truck. If the owner of a new vehicle follows the instruction manual and has the recommended maintenance done on schedule, the vehicle will last quite a long time. If, however, you ignore the manufacturers recommendations the life of the vehicle will be reduced dramatically. Continue reading

Ross: Not All Change Is Good

changeIn 2008 the world, and America in particular, stood in amazement as a young community organizer, turned US Senator, with absolutely no background or qualifications, leapt to the forefront of the Democratic nominees to eventually become president of these States united. Along the way followers attended his campaign rallies by the thousands; standing there with tears in their eyes and awestruck expressions on their faces while this young upstart offered us Hope & Change. Continue reading

Ross: My Thoughts On Brexit

confederate_flags_groupAside from the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion, Britain’s vote to leave the European Union has been leading the news in the category of current events. Stock markets tanked the day following Britain’s decision to opt out of the European Union and White House staffers said Barack Obama’s message to British Prime Minister David Cameron could be summed up in one word; BUMMER.

Is it though, a bummer I mean?

If you look at the European Union, what is it but a joining together for the common benefit of individual sovereign nations? That sounds awful familiar; I wonder where I’ve heard that before? Of course, the United States of America; that’s where. Continue reading

Ross: Qualifiers

ross_unmaskedThis will probably be my last article for awhile. I got an e-mail from a friend whose opinion I respect saying I need to take a break; that all my recent submissions have been a repetition of the same thing. I too have noticed that my tone, and the message I’ve been trying to get across, has become increasingly negative.

I believe it is because I’m simply getting burnt out. I do have a month long vacation, (outside the continental US) planned in September, and was planning on using that time to recharge my batteries while getting away from all the things here that have been dragging me down. I guess I’ll just have to scrap that plan and just stop writing now.

I did want to finish a couple of loose ends first; I absolutely hate leaving things undone; and these last two articles were works in progress when I got my friends e-mail. Continue reading

Ross: You Should Be Grateful

ROSS_cvr_v1_webHave you ever met someone that caused you to wonder what goes on inside their head? I have; in fact I wonder about it all the time. However in most cases I think that were I to find out it would drive me insane. If what comes out of most people’s mouths is any indication of what goes on inside their heads, then what passes for logic for them is most likely convoluted and irrational.

Everybody has an opinion on things and in a perfect world those opinions would be based upon critical thought; an examination of all the facts leading to a well thought out conclusion. But as my dad used to always say, “Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and they all stink.” That is especially true when one’s opinions are not based upon fact, but upon emotional responses to things; there is usually no logic involved in the forming of them. Continue reading