Arlan Hofstad

the "Bear" of the Hofstad family

Arlan with hunting hat
Arlan with hunting hat
This is what the farm looked like in March of 2009
Arlan pulling kids with mower
The Fiscal Cliff Simplified and Explained - Jan. 2013
Lesson # 1:
  • U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
  • Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
  • New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
  • National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
  • Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

    Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:

  • Annual family income: $21,700
  • Money the family spent: $38,200
  • New debt on the credit card: $16,500
  • Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
  • Total budget cuts so far: $38.50

    Lesson # 2:
    Here's another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:

    Let's say, You come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood....
    and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.

    What do you think you should do ......

    Raise the roof and ceilings, or remove the shit?
    Arlan camping
    Little Girl On A Plane
    An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, "Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."
    The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, "What would you want to talk about?"
    "Oh, I don't know," said the atheist. "How about why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?" as he smiled smugly.
    "OK," she said. "Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps.
    Why do you suppose that is?"
    The atheist, visibly surpised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."
    To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death, when you don't know crap?"
    And then she went back to reading her book.

    A Story Of Grace
    There was a man by the name of Fiorello LaGuardia who was the mayor of New York City during those dark days. LaGuardia seemed to have a genuine heartfelt love for the common man, especially the down trodden. One time, during a newspaper strike, he spent his Sunday mornings reading the funny papers over the radio, and with all the appropriate inflections. Why? He didn? want the children of New York to be deprived of that little bit of enjoyment. He was well- known for his blustery outbursts against the bums that exploited the poor. He was completely unpredictable and full of surprises.
    One night he showed up at a night court in one of the poorest wards of the city; and that? where this phase of our story begins. He dismissed the presiding judge for the evening and sent him home to his family. Then the mayor himself took over the bench. As it happened on that bitterly cold night, a tattered old woman stood before the bench, accused of stealing a loaf of bread. You must understand these were desperate times. A lot of people were going hungry.
    With quivering lips and tear filled eyes, she admitted to the theft. But, she added, my daughter? husband has deserted her, she is sick, and her children are crying because they have nothing to eat.
    The shopkeeper, however, refused to drop the charges. It? a bad neighborhood your honor, she? guilty, he shouted. The law must be upheld, she? got to be punished to teach other people a lesson. LaGuardia knew that her accuser was right. The very office that he swore to uphold required that he enforce the letter of the law. LaGuardia sighed. He turned to the old women and said, I?e got to punish you; the law makes no exceptions. He then pronounced the sentence. The old woman shuddered when she heard the words, ten dollars or ten days in jail. But already the judge was reaching into his pocket. He pulled out a ten-dollar bill and threw it into his hat. Here? the ten-dollar fine, which I now remit. Furthermore, I? fining everyone in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so that her grandchildren can eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant.
    Sitting in that courtroom that night were about seventy petty criminals, a few New York policemen, and her accuser, a fuming, red-faced, storekeeper. The bewildered old grandmother left the courtroom with $47.50. This was enough to buy groceries for several months.

    That? a very good story and it? a true story, but how is that relevant to us today.
    Let? review the event and see what really took place that cold winter evening.

     1.   Was the storekeeper correct in his accusation?  Yes.
           The old woman had committed a crime. 
     2.   Was guilt confessed?   Yes.  She admitted the theft.
     3.   Did her reason for stealing make any difference to the law?  No.
           The law can make no exceptions.
     4.   Was the judgment decreed and sentencing pronounced?  Yes.
           The old grandmother was found guilty and sentenced to a fine she could not pay. 
     5.   Was justice carried through, thus satisfying the law?  Yes.
           The fine was paid in full.
     6.   Was grace extended?  Yes.
           The guilty party walked out of that courtroom completely free and her penalty paid.
     7.   Did the guilty party do anything at all to deserve or earn the grace received?  Not a thing.
           It was free, and there for her to accept.
     8.   Was the law done away?  No.
           The law is still intact; and it? still against the law to steal bread in New York City.
           The law was neither changed, adjusted, sidestepped nor done away.  
     9.   Having received grace, is the grandmother now free of the law to go steal again?
                                           As Paul would say, God forbid.
     10.  Could we therefore conclude, that: 
          a.  The law was fulfilled,
          b.  Justice was done,
          c.  Her accuser silenced,
          d.  Compassion won out over the law,
          e.  Yet the law is still intact.