Author: Pete

Christmas Letter 2016

2015 sucked. You may remember it from the last Christmas letter, or if you are lucky, you got to watch us flame through the year like the Bad News Bears.

2016 was different.

After our failed adoption with Brandon, we were quickly rematched with a new birth mom, this time in Florida. We took a couple of trips down to hang out with her during the pregnancy, but we were much less confident this time around. But then, a week into January, I met Nicole for dinner at 54th Street Grill, and there were no kids with her. This was unusual, but it was a nice change. Then she pulled out a box, and in it was a pee-stained stick that said “pregnant.”

Naturally this came as quite the surprise since we’d been told by the experts that we couldn’t conceive naturally. That meant we had to make a huge decision – do we go ahead and adopt anyway? We thought about it for a few seconds and decided yes, we were already committed to the birth mom.

We had numerous false alarms in late January, but eventually the call came that we needed to jump the next flight. We got to the hospital literally as the c-section was in progress. And little Mia Grace was born.

The next two months are a blur of a newborn screaming in pain every 15 minutes 24 hours a day. At the end of month two, the doctor finally relented and let us switch to a lactose-free formula. Almost instantly, Mia became our best sleeper. I really don’t remember anything from February and March except for having Mia with me in the basement all night so Nicole could sleep.

Throughout 2016, we learned that pregnancy while caring for a newborn is really not fun, but we knew it would be worth it.

April was filled with Royals games and dance competitions. Spring is always the best time for both. April is also the month Nicole and I celebrated four years.

In May, I lost my grandma after a long bout of hospitalization and pain. We all traveled up to St. Louis for the services and saw the family.

Then in June, I lost my mind, and I bought Nicole a new puppy for her birthday. The dog is so cute it’s ridiculous. She’s also stubborn, loud, and refuses to poop or pee outdoors. Ah, the gift that keeps on giving. We also took a road trip to St. Louis so that we could watch Nicole barf in plastic bags – as is her tradition while pregnant.

July and August, I was in bed. And in the bathroom. And back and forth. I had a case of Strep that was treated with Augmentin, and the Augmentin gave me C-Diff. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t google it. If you’ve had it, you know what I mean. Imagine if you will, horrible stomach pain 24/7, with a side of diarrhea every 10 minutes 24/7 – for months. My favorite (least favorite) moment was when I was on an important call with our distributor WHILE I drove myself to the ER. What I learned is that next time I need an antibiotic, I’ll just go ahead and die instead.

On the plus side, August also brought the finalization of our adoption of Mia. August 24th is her “Lucas Date”. Which is awesome because her birth mother had given her a legal name as a practical joke – Nicole Miracle.

Then September 9th, the most perfect baby in the history of babies was born – Molly Ryann Lucas. And I immediately saw that she had a cleft chin. Apparently she looks just like her dad – except for that.

For some unknown reason, my sister scheduled her wedding for a week later, so we loaded up our 4 kids and our recently c-sectioned wife and had a road trip to Madison. The drive there was ok, the wedding was a lot of work, and then on the way home, Nicole and I decided to get divorced. Fortunately when we got home we changed our minds.

Olivia and I went to the Royals and sat in the Crown Club for her birthday – and we got to meet Rex Hudler!

In October, my retina detached, as evidenced by a black line running through my visual field. I went to the ophthalmologist, then the retina specialist, and he diagnosed me with retinoschesis. Apparently I’ve had 4 previous detachments that were outside of my visual field. And apparently the treatment for this condition is – well, hopefully you won’t have any more detachments in your visual field.

November was my annual Society for Neuroscience trip, but this year I got to take Nicole (and Molly). It was in San Diego, so there was lots of beach time, and some unplanned house hunting. Yes, we like it there.

Finally in December, I started my quest to become fully inked and got my first three tattoos. More are planned, but it was a good start. My wife says they are sexy, but she also says I can’t get a “Don’t Tread On Me” tattoo no matter how much I want to. I thought this was America.

Making America Great Again

And so it is finished. America is doomed. By this time next year, we’ll be killing gays in the streets, subjugating women, and reinstating slavery.


By this time next year, we will have replaced Obamacare, started enforcing our borders, renegotiated NAFTA, fixed the tax system to encourage businesses to, like, keep making stuff here, and maybe even start fixing our law enforcement issues.

It really depends who you ask as to which of those scenarios will take place.

I get it, I really do. Donald Trump says a lot of mean things. He even says perverted things (or at least “a” thing). He’s made questionable business decisions. He’s bullied other companies into doing things the way he wanted at the price he wanted.

The thing that’s puzzling about the left’s complete and utter meltdown has been that Trump spent most of his life as a Democrat, and is by far the most progressive candidate ever put up by the Republicans. He is much closer to Bill Clinton (both in policy and in his dealings with women) than to Bush or Reagan.

The meltdown is because Hillary was a woman. It was her time to smash the glass ceiling. And us uneducated redneck racist sexist homophobic morons in the red states stole it from her because she was a woman and obviously we all hate women.

Except that in addition to being a woman, she was an ULTRA left wing, abortion-loving, tax-loving, small business crushing likely criminal and possible traitor who thought she deserved to win. So much that she and the DNC literally rigged the primaries with vote flipping and all sorts of nefarious shenanigans, which actually stole the election from ANOTHER WHITE MALE, Bernie Sanders.

I will never defend Trump joking about grabbing women. I won’t defend him making fun of a disabled reporter (who incidentally was being a jerk to Trump). I don’t BELIEVE that he said Mexicans ARE rapists. I heard the speech, and he said “They’re sending their criminals, their rapists.” We can agree to disagree on that.

But Trump understands what almost everyone in the middle part of the country understands – WE MUST STOP SINGING THE FALSE SONG OF GLOBALISM. Soros has been pulling our strings long enough. We don’t need to bow to other countries to our own detriment. Trump is right that NAFTA has been a disaster for the working class of America. Trump is right that we need jobs HERE, not bombs to drop on Syria.

The reason 60M people voted for Donald Trump is twofold: Hillary is an evil war hawk who hates the unborn. And two, Donald Trump wants to put America first… all citizens of America. I reject the notion that people here who didn’t go through legal channels should have consideration.

Time will tell how he governs, but we can be certain of one thing – it will not be the status quo.

Christianity and Gay Marriage

If two men stand at an altar and vow to love each other forever, God isn’t confused by that.

Christians are told to love their neighbor as themselves. So, what if your neighbor is gay? What if your neighbor wants to marry their partner? What’s a good Christian to do???

I have a few thoughts, all of which are sure to offend one side or the other. As is my tradition.

I believe that Christ would want us to love them, not judge them, and try to be a positive witness (or light) to them. Jesus wasn’t keen on beating people over the head with His message. He was more of a “let them come to me if they want to hear” kind of guy. People were drawn to Him because he was loving, had a message that resonated, and was a person that you would want to be around.

But Christians, I’m about to call you out.

A lot of Christians have a giant stick up their rear. I’m not sure I can pinpoint the origin of this phenomenon, but it’s quite apparent, especially to non-Christians.

So let’s get what the Bible actually teaches on the table right up front. In Leviticus 20, we are commanded not to “lie with a man as one lies with a woman.” So basically, no homosexual sex. However, the same chapter also says we should put anyone who curses their parents to death. James 2:10 says “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.” Eeek. So if we… get drunk, have lust, overeat, steal, or curse someone, we are accountable for the WHOLE LAW!?

That’s a pretty heavy realization, one which Christians like to give lip service to, but not actually follow in practice. Homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible, and it’s an “outward” sin – meaning everyone around you can see it. Lust, on the other hand, is an inward sin. Those who are committing inward sins LOVE to look down on folks committing outward sins.

It’s often argued that Christian marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church. I agree with this interpretation. But here’s where I disagree with the typical Christian stance on enforcing marriage “laws” through the government. God can tell the difference between a Christian marriage and a non-Christian marriage. He doesn’t need our help identifying it. Two non-Christians marrying each other isn’t a picture of Christ and the church, either.

As Christians, we have a responsibility in our own marriages to make them as close to a picture of Christ and the church as we can with His help. But we also have a responsibility to love our sinful neighbors, as we are sinners ourselves and Christ loves us.

The government cannot legislate what constitutes a Christian marriage, because the concept of Christian marriage has nothing to do with the government at all. Legal marriage exists solely for taxation and estates, nothing else. If two men stand at an altar and vow to love each other forever, God isn’t confused by that. And we need to spend more time worrying about our own marriages and less time worrying about doing God’s job for Him.

The sanctity of marriage is not in any way reduced when a gay couple get married. To argue otherwise is to miss the entire point. Christian marriage is the picture of Christ and the church. No other marriage is – BUT, no other marriage is TRYING to be that picture. We are so hung up on the word that we are completely ignoring the CONCEPT.

If I have an orange and you have an apple, and you insist on calling your apple an orange, it makes no sense for me to get mad about it. WHO CARES what you call your ever-lovin’ stupid apple? If you like your apple and you want to eat it and you think it’s an orange, more power to you!

I’m so tired of the Christian platitude of “love the person but hate the sin.” We should love the person because they are no worse and no better than us, and loving them is what we’ve been commanded. That should be enough, if you’re really a Christian.


Our gun rights are as fundamental to Americans as our right to free speech, our right to due process, and our right to practice our religion.

Over the weekend, a crazed Muslim who also may have been a deeply repressed gay man unleashed his anger by killing 49 innocent people in a gay nightclub in Florida. He was an American citizen, although he reportedly told hostages he was doing it because he wanted America to “stop bombing his country” which certainly sounds like he felt that he was really not an American at heart. All of that is beside the point. He walked in and shot people who had done nothing to him.

I cringed for two reasons. First, it’s a national tragedy. I am a Christian and very staunchly pro life. Over the years I’ve even changed my position and now oppose the death penalty. I think all Americans should have the same rights and privileges, regardless their color, what they believe or who they love. The fact this appears to be both a homegrown terrorist attack AND a hate crime is particularly disturbing. Secondly, though, I cringed because I knew what was coming – the gun control hand wringing and politicizing.

Of course, it took two seconds for everyone on the left to say “see, guns are bad” and everyone on the right to say “hey, get your hands off our guns you commies.”

In order to understand America’s obsession with guns, you have to go all the way back to the beginning. You can’t understand the 2nd amendment without understanding that America’s roots were revolutionary. America was founded to escape government tyranny and set up a system where that could never happen. If you look at the founder’s own writings, it’s incredibly apparent they wanted an armed populace for this very reason.

“I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians.” – George Mason, co-author of the 2nd Amendment.

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence.” – George Washington

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.” – James Madison.

“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787

“The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” – William Pitt, Speech in the House of Commons, November 18, 1783

I end with that last quote for a reason. Necessity. That’s what we are hearing now. We MUST act on gun control because bad, crazy people keep doing bad crazy stuff with them. No discussion at all about the uncomfortable fact that nearly all of the mass shootings of the past 20 years have happened in “gun free” zones where good people aren’t allowed to carry.

I’m going to say this as clearly as I can: To disarm the American people is to fundamentally destroy the roots of our founding. It is not just an insult to the 100,000,000 responsible gun owners in America, it is an insult to our own heritage as a country.

The left will say the right to bear arms was only for the “militia” referenced in the 2nd Amendment. In order to believe this, you have to completely ignore everything that the writers of the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment actually said about it. And this has been upheld time after time by the Supreme Court. Hillary has said that the Supreme Court is wrong on this Audio. But they weren’t, and she is.

The slippery slope effect is strong with us, too. We need to ban “assault rifles.” Politicians who say this are only demonstrating they don’t know the first thing about guns. I will go on the record here. I have multiple AR-15s. I have a dozen handguns. If the government suddenly decided that I have to turn in my AR-15s, I could still very easily kill 50 people in a nightclub.

An AR-15 holds between 10 and 30 rounds. My 1911 handguns hold 10 rounds, and my Glocks hold 19 rounds. But, 45 magazines are much smaller and easy to carry than AR Magpul magazines. And guess what. A .45 round is GIANT compared with an AR .223 round (I circled the actual bullet, which is the part that shoots out of the gun). See the picture:


If I loaded up a dozen magazines for my Glock with hollow points, I could inflict just as much damage as this guy did with his “assault rifle” and it would be much lighter for me to carry, and much easier to hide on my person. It takes less than 2 seconds to change magazines in any gun, “assault” or not. Even revolvers can be reloaded with a speedloader. Watch this if you don’t believe me, watch the first 10 seconds of this video: Speed Loader.

NO ONE has “automatic weapons.” They’ve been illegal since the 1980s. Every AR-15 and every handgun works by pulling the trigger once for each shot. You can’t just go in and hold down the AR-15 trigger and go nuts like a war movie. The term “semi-automatic” means that when you fire a shot, the next round gets loaded into the chamber. Guess what, folks. That’s no different than a revolver, which has been around since 1835.

All this argument trying to differentiate guns based on how scary they look is moronic. In this picture, we have two rifles:

Assault Rifles

They are EXACTLY the same except one is black and has a collapsible stock, and the other is wood and doesn’t have a collapsible stock. The black one would be considered an assault rifle (and was banned under the 94 ban), because, well, it looks scary.

The left talks about common sense, but what they seem to fail to recognize is that unless every single type of gun is outlawed, mass shootings will still happen, because some people are fricking crazy. People killed 3,000 people with airplanes and box cutters on 9/11. The Boston bombers used COOKWARE. Timothy McVeigh used fertilizer to kill 186 people. Bad people will always find a way to do bad things, and even if guns ceased to exist, it would still be incredibly easy for a crazy person to kill a bunch of people. Guys who lose it and shoot their wife and kids will just grab a knife and do the same thing – except it will be a much slower, much more agonizing death.

Imagine if you will, though, the government figures out how to do a real, nationwide gun ban/buyback like they did in Australia. There are about 350 million guns currently in circulation. Because it has always been a constitutional right, very few of those are actually registered and documented anywhere, unless you happen to live in a fascist state like Illinois, California, New York, or Massachusetts. That means the government to really effectively find most of the guns, they’d have to search house to house and seize privately owned property that Americans paid for with their hard-earned money.

Let’s assume, however, that the government comes up with the 250 BILLION dollars it would roughly cost to do a buyback at cost. (Pete’s very rough estimate.) At least 20% of the population would hide their guns. That would leave about 70 MILLION guns still out there, and the only thing that would increase would be black market gun sales and black market violence. Instead of just drugs getting smuggled in from Mexico, it would be guns. The genie is already out of the bottle, and it can’t be put back.

It worked in Australia because Australia wasn’t founded by revolutionaries. Our gun rights are as fundamental to Americans as our right to free speech, our right to due process, and our right to practice our religion.

Can both sides of the aisle agree that people on the no-fly list shouldn’t be able to buy guns? Of course, we should be able to agree. Felons already can’t buy guns. People who have been adjudicated cuckoo also already can’t buy guns. Selling guns to suspected terrorists seems like a really bad idea. Of course, these people should have the right to a process of getting taken off of the no-fly list, because this isn’t communist China.

I will always choose a little bit of risk to keep my freedom, and you should too, proud American. So go buy a gun. Not because you need one today, but because it’s your right, and someday, if things keep progressing the way they are, you may just need it.

Supporting Trump Isn’t Racist or Sexist

Today it seems that if you support Donald Trump (for whatever reason), you are automatically deemed a racist, sexist, xenophobic redneck idiot. As someone who supports Trump and DOESN’T hate minorities or women, I find this disturbing. I also don’t care for the label of “idiot” but at least with that one, you can consider the source.

Hillary Clinton represents everything that is wrong with American politics. She is beholden to special interests, particularly foreign ones, and also seems to be a pretty mean-spirited, war-mongering hack.

Here are some of the things the current political system has gotten us (regardless who had power):

  1. Endless “police actions” (read: WARS) throughout the world wherever we have financial interests, but not where we don’t
  2. An elite class of people/corporations who can buy whatever power or influence they want, by legally bribing candidates
  3. A completely retarded healthcare/insurance system that is even more screwed up than when it was run by greedy corporations
  4. Literally anyone can cross the borders into the US without so much as a glance. I accidentally crossed into Canada from Maine and probably would not have even been noticed until I reached Montreal
  5. Political correctness has devolved into “you can have free speech unless it hurts my feelings”

These are just a smattering of the things that are wrong with the system, and they are the tip of the iceberg. The country is going to hell in a handbasket, and we just keep on bringing back the same asshats who give themselves raises and better insurance while passing laws that restrict and bankrupt the rest of us.

God help you if you’re in the middle class. You get to pay for all of the social programs AND you get to pay to prop up the corporations taking advantage of every loophole that 60 years of lobbying can get you.

Donald Trump is a blowhard. He speaks many times without thinking. I think we can all agree on that.

Here’s what Donald Trump isn’t: He’s not a racist or a sexist. He has married, promoted, hired, and supported more people of color, people from other countries, and women than any other major executive you could name. AND if you look at wage disparity, Trump kicks Hillary’s ever-lovin’ rear end all over town. She’s not even paying her own campaign staff equitably between male and female. He famously said that women should make what men make if they do the same job as a man at the same level. Hillary tried to turn that into a sexist comment. Really??

Trump famously wants to close the borders. For that, he’s called a xenophobe and a racist. But if you ask any family that immigrated here legally, they are with Trump. There’s a right way to do it. We can argue about how easy it should be, but there shouldn’t just be a “come on in whoever you are” sign at the border. We need to know who is here. That’s not racist. That’s what it means to be a sovereign nation.

He famously said “they aren’t sending their best, they’re sending their criminals, their rapists.” The media immediately changed “their” to “they’re” in their reports so they could claim Trump thinks all illegal immigrants are rapists. Asinine.

Trump wants us to return to American exceptionalism. He wants us to bring the jobs back here. He wants to protect the borders and get out of the phony-baloney wars that we’ve inserted ourselves into all over the world – a practice which has directly resulted in 100’s of thousands of deaths, a fair amount of which were civilians and children. Trump says what he thinks. No focus groups, no lying, no special interests.

If we get Hillary, we get 4 more years of the same stuff – except this time with an untrustworthy, warmongering, Wall Street and Saudi beholden shill. We conservatives will be longing for Obama by the time she’s done.

If you want to say I’m an idiot for supporting Trump, feel free. But don’t you dare tell me I’m a racist or a sexist or throw your ridiculous social justice politically correct BS at me. Ad Hominem arguments are a pointless waste of time.