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♫ FEE-LINGS! WHOA -O-O FEELINGS! ♫

I can’t find a single study from Bloomberg’s groups that aren’t loaded with errors. They have an anti-gun agenda and will lie to achieve it.  –  John R. Lott, Jr.
How Bloomberg’s Million-Dollar Desire For Gun Control Is Backfiring
[While I think there is a fair amount of lying going on they don’t think of it as lying. They just don’t understand facts are independent of their feelings. If they feel something then, in their view of reality, it is true. I’ve had people flat out tell me this. I would point out that what someone was saying was in direct contradiction to verifiable facts. And I would get a response of something to the effect, “Well, it’s true to them and that is what matters.”

There is also a very telling anecdote about liberal “research” in this same article:

In 2006 I was at a cocktail party in Arlington, VA, talking to a liberal journalist about his soon-to-be-released book on Iraq when John Lott joined us. John listened for a moment and then said to the author, “I’m curious. You say you just finished a book on the Iraq war. I always find it so hard to finish a book. I get so deep into the research I have a hard time stopping to write. I’m guessing you had a hard time leaving Iraq. There is so much to investigate and understand.”

The author said, “I didn’t go to Iraq.”

John paused with this quizzical look on his face before asking, “Oh, how did you do your research?”

The author said, “I didn’t have to do much. I mean, I already know what I think.”

Feelings versus facts. It’s a type of mental disorder.—Joe]

There’s a thesis in popular conservative/libertarian culture that liberals (or at least the current flavor of liberal, the progressive) act(s) based on feelings more than facts, even if the facts deny their feelings.  “Oh, those cute polar bears are dying in records numbers, due to global warming!” – even though recent data shows their populations have increased and so have the square footage of ice on which they live.  Not to mention they are extremely dangerous to humans, cuteness aside.  “If it just saves ONE life.”  or “It’s for the children.”, facts aside are other feeling-based statements.

I cannot speak for all conservative libertarians, but, I have on occasion questioned my use and ownership of firearms, looking at how doing so affects my community, my family and myself.  And I stuck to my principles.  And didn’t buckle to ‘feelings’ about some whack-job shooting up a school by disarming myself.

I did the same process after the accident that killed my daughter.  However, I ultimately didn’t give up my driver’s license, my vehicle, or insist others do the same “for the children”.

I see that as counterproductive, and unscientific.

h/t The View From North Central Idaho, John Lott

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

Yeah, it’s a song title, above.

Sometimes, I get down on myself, because I once had a wife, a daughter, a home, a ‘career’.

And now?

No wife, no daughter, no ‘career’ (I’m disabled).  I DO have share a home, though.

And that’s my point.

Living Freedom recently had a posting entitled

Poverty vs poverty: Seven traits of the successful poor

It mentioned traits of folks down-on-their-luck who, if they are not thriving, do more than just survive.

I could have been worse off than I am.  I lost my home as my income decreased, and a good friend took me in.

But, that’s not my point.

MY POINT IS I’M GRATEFUL FOR HER HAVING DONE SO!

Certainly, I wish things could be different.  It would be nice to have a wife, to have my daughter back.  To have my house back.  To have the income I once had.

But, not being a child, I know wishing doesn’t make it so.

So (most days) I choose GRATITUDE!

I’VE MADE IT!

I’VE MADE IT, yesterday.

I’m not normally a superstitious person.  I do sometimes say ‘knock-on-wood’ (jokingly) when wishing for a positive outcome, but really don’t believe it.  I own no rabbit’s feet or lucky charms.  I don’t throw spilled sodium chloride over my shoulder.  I’ve not crossed my fingers since I was, well, 7 or 8.

However, I do pay attention to specific calendar anniversaries, and some events have meaning to me.

And sometimes, I’m compulsive about them.

Case-in-point:  My Father passed away, after a series of smaller heart attacks in 30 days prior, from a heart attack, on August 14, 1977.  He was 61 years old.  His birthday was November 16th.  MY birthday is November 24.

I am currently 61 years-of-age.  (You do see where I’m going with this?)

We are of  similar physical types, and have similar ‘issues’ – like weight ‘issues’, diabetes.  Fortunately (knock-on-wood) I’ve no apparent heart problems.

Subtract 16 from 24, this leaves 8.  8 from 14 is 6.

YESTERDAY WAS AUGUST 6, AND I’M STILL ALIVE!

I don’t know why, but for the past 5 years or so, as I approached age 61, this loomed over me.  My Dad’s dad lived until he was 68.  My maternal grandfather until 85.  This shouldn’t have been an issue, or even a blip on my radar.  I’m a rational person.

But it was.

It didn’t help that I was born premature, with an unnamed twin brother, who died – I nearly did;  Lost my Mother in grade school due to emphysema; had a near-fatal automobile accident (in which my daughter was lost); have had flesh-eating bacteria, diabetes and two kinds of cancer.  Life and Death have cropped up more than with most with me, I think.

I’ve made it, AGAIN.

Still flipping off the Reaper!  :-)

PS – If I suddenly fall off the Internet, in the next couple of days, you’ll know he was delayed in traffic.

A Firm, Dry Handshake

My own Father was not a hugger (of other men).  Perhaps it was his generation (b. 1916), or time in history.  But for him, a firm handshake said it all.  A man’s word is his bond was often something implied in the handshake.  Whether the word meant agreement to an implied contract (Yes, I will clean up my room), welcome (Welcome home, son, good to see you!), or even LOVE. (no verbal statement made)

As a result, when it comes to interaction with other men, I welcome a firm, dry handshake – as described numerous times in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels.  Not simply gripping the others hand with the tips of the fingers and thumb, but full engagement – thumb crotch to thumb crotch (or whatever they’re called).  Not the (again, intoning Mr. Fleming) slimy, wet, limp grip of the Middle East, which makes a man want to wipe his hand on his coat tails, either.

It has come to pass that scientists have determined over-use of soaps, antibacterial hand cleaners and sanitizers have weakened our respective immune systems.  In the effort to ‘keep clean’, we have invited more resistant microbes into the mix.

And now, scientists (I wonder if they are the same ones?) have determined the following:

Fist bumps ‘cleaner than handshakes’ (!)

I remember when I first saw the ‘fist bump’, as part of a ‘cool’ ritual of Black youth.  Instead of shaking hands (as the White Devil slavemasters had done) they ‘checked in’, sometimes additionally bumping forearms and even hips!

I thought it was well, stupid then, and my opinion hasn’t changed.

Then, a popular comedian and game-show host began fist-bumping.  He said it was because of his aversion to spreading or receiving bacteria. (I wonder if he kisses or has other personal contact with women?)

NOW, such behavior is reaching the mainstream (as shown in the news item, above).

I can see not wanting to shake hands with someone who is openly infectiously diseased.  That’s just prudent.  But fist-bumping like a hipster is just silly.

I know, I’ll probably die younger because of it.

But, my word remains my bond, and I’ve no other way I can comfortably express that.

And, I like hugging and kissing women, too!  :-)

Must be generational.

…and then, they died of an overdose…

My good friend Old NFO discussed this most recent of ‘infamous’ drug deaths.  I was reminded of the PBS Series on JAZZ.  They’d mention some historic jazz figure, and then, more often than not came this line:

…and then, they died of an overdose…

So sad.

Is it the artistic personality, fame, fortune or humanity which binds all these folks together?  Are we all, at our core, addicts of some sort?  (Wikipedia – List of Drug/Alcohol related deaths)

I come rife with an addictive personality.  I have excess weight, due to compulsive overeating.  I’m neurotic, but not particularly artistic.  My real mother died when I was in grade school as a direct result of her cigarette addiction.  She had emphysema. ( I remember her turning off the oxygen tank and lighting up!)  My father was an alcoholic, ate too much and smoked cigars.  I come by my addictions honestly.  Even though I’m getting ‘help’ for my addictions, in all seriousness, I don’t expect to see 85, like my maternal grandfather did.  My fraternal grandfather made it to 68.  My own father to 61.

I’m 61.

Today is my daughter’s birthday.  She would have been 31.  Auto accident, age 12.

At least it wasn’t drugs or alcohol.  :-(

I love and miss you Molly!Molly birthday1

Condiments

I’ve always been a picky eater.  You wouldn’t know that by looking at me.

mustardBut one of the things I’ve always enjoyed has been MUSTARD.  Hot sweet mustard, stone-ground mustard, spicy brown mustard, mustard mixed with horseradish, even plain ol’ yellow mustard.  And Grey Poupon.

On hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pretzels, Polish sausages, bologna; used for chip dip (!)

This liking isn’t too surprising.  I was born on the East Coast.  Many East Coast subcultures thrive on mustard.

Not so much out here in the West.

Many of the fast-food franchises stock mustard.  But, ask for it on a sandwich?  Or ask for extra?  It is as if you said staple that bag of onion rings to my forehead.  And extra means two drops instead of one

Most drive through help doesn’t get it.

I’ve a theory about this.  One of the subcultures not famous for mustard use is Mexican.  And many fast-food places hire Mexican help.  One place hired Bosnians.  Equal difficulty with the Mexicans in (not) understanding English, but they certainly understood mustard!

Don’t get me started on A-1 Sauce.  I LOVE A-1 SAUCE!  And loathe mayonnaise – especially on hamburger!.  And ketchup is meh…

h/t Brigid

A Girl and MSgtB – What a Team!

A Girl and Her Gun tells us of a story from MSgtB.  A boy and his dad, and the boy has cancer.

Being disabled, not a man of means and spending much of my day on the Internet sometimes gets me to whining.  The state of the Nation, our rights being systematically eroded, yatta, yatta.  And me with my own petty health issues – which I won’t detail here.

But here’s a kid who has his whole life ahead of him.  And his dad will shave off his ubiquitous (since high school) mustache to raise $500.  $500 for his son’s care.

$500!  Are you kidding me?

I can’t afford to contribute, but you can do so here or at MSgtB’s site above.  Let’s see if we can make it $5000!

Team Sammy

h/t A Girl, MSgtB

Magazines & Moon Clips…

…and crisp apple strudel.  (sorry!)

Before I moved (and subsequently) I took a hard look at those things I was taking with me.  I left many things behind, simply because I wasn’t using them and I’d no place to put them.  And I didn’t want them gathering dust in some storage locker based on the mistaken idea I’d eventually be able to free them for use.

So, it’s been over six months, and I’m still unpacking and looking for a real or metaphorical shoe horn with which to insert the remaining boxes of books, gun stuff, electronic gizmos and wiring and other effluvia into my new digs.

And friend Bob made a suggestion.  Part of what I’m ‘saving’ is a box containing assorted firearms stuff.  Stuff I no longer use, as I no longer have said firearms.  Holsters; ammunition; magazines, reloading stuff.  (Before you start emailing me, I’m not selling anything that might have legal restrictions over the Internet!)  And I’m left-handed.

I’m not selling the ammo, as while I am a capitalist, I don’t wish to inadvertently arm some miscreant.  And it only increases in value.  I might sell the holsters, although piecemeal over the ‘net is probably small return.

But, locally, I could sell magazines I’m no longer using!  Empty magazines.  At least until such time they become controlled or illegal.  Backpage, here I come!

Hasn’t happened, yet.  Like Congress, I’m a procrastinator…

Give me a couple weeks…

Compulsive? Me? Naw…

(written a couple days before Christmas…)

So (I told myself) “I’ll get all these different tasks accomplished in my roommate’s absence.”

Fat chance.  (Why are a fat chance and a slim chance the same? – George Carlin)

To be fair, I did go to two grocery stores this morning, in preparation for the Christmas feast.  But I thought I’d be able to rearrange my bookshelves to accommodate more books, and clear the remaining boxes from my room after emptying their contents into precise spaces in the closet.

Fat chance.

I did get some of the bookcase rearranged, but, between the bending, kneeling and having to wear ‘Ed’ (the really big shoe) to keep my pain level at a minimum, work took it’s toll.  (Note-to-self:  realize that self-made projects expand to fill the time allotted, plus 25%.)  My back, knees and hands are now killing me.

But, I DID make a dent.  Progress, not perfection.

More tomorrow.

PS – I wrote this the next day.  It’s been three days more, still having ‘issues’.  Guess I’m officially old and out-of-shape!

JOY

I recently had a conversation with a friend which sparked a bittersweet memory.

One of the things many of us miss as adults is the wonder, the surprise, the simple serendipity of joy.  In childhood we experience it often, probably because most things and experiences are new to us, and we’ve yet to become jaded.

One of my favorite memories of my daughter Molly was when I gave her a gift.  She was turning twelve, and I knew just as the Sun rose in the morning that soon she would be developing into a teenager, full of doubt and promise.  One who no longer trusted her parents to be all-knowing and truthful.  Because, of course, we weren’t and could never be.

But here we were, proud father giving his daughter a present.  She opened it, her eyes widened, and there was that sudden exhalation of breath.  Excitement, happiness, joy.  Innocence and appreciation in one second, one breath.  Followed by the big hug.

I don’t even remember what I had given her.  But what she gave me was so much more.  An everlasting memory of a happy young woman, unspoiled by the adolescent hormones of parental treachery.  Not yet jump-started into that distrust generated simply by being parents and adults.

Zen masters tell us to be in the now.  Live life as if each moment was your last.  This is what Molly showed me that day.

I’ve had many difficult times of year.  The holidays and my birthday comprise one such time.  Not because of those specific events, but rather because of who’s not there.

But, I’ve already received my present this year.  As I get every year – when I remember it.

Live in the now, with joy, and never be disappointed.

Thank you, Molly.

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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