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Behind The Times

Most of you know I was raised on TV and movies.  It was an escape from my somewhat dysfunctional family and from the daily stress of life.  My roomie and I still enjoy much on electronic media, especially now that so many choices are available.

I recently completed watching the many morality plays that made up Have Gun – Will Travel.  Certainly NOT your typical horse opera.  And I went looking for something else.

And I found something.  It was produced in 2008.  (see, behind the times!)

john adamsJOHN ADAMS

It was an HBO production, and I found it on On Demand on DISH.  A seven part mini-series.

This, too, is no horse opera.  It is based on the David McCullough book about our second President, and his life leading up to his Presidency.  He was not handsome; he was not a great orator.  He didn’t stir the passions his cousin Sam Adams did.

But, he WAS a man of principle.

I find myself wondering if he was the last man of principle to hold that office, politics being as they are.

He abhorred slavery, and unlike some of the other Founding Fathers didn’t own any.  He was very uncomfortable with Dr. Franklin’s dalliances while they were on a diplomatic visit to France during The Revolution, and by all accounts was loyal to his wife.  He was not afraid to pick up a gun in defense of his country.

But few remembered the second President.  Until the book and this mini-series.

You should read/watch it!

A Right Is A Right Is A Right! Right?

Alphecca brought us this:

Or vice versa. Former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr examines the hypocrisy of Eric Holder and the left:

Imagine if voter ID laws were as rigorous as gun regulations found in many of America’s major cities. In order to vote in such a scenario, citizens would be forced to take a day-long class (at a cost of $100 or more) about the basics of the U.S. government and electoral process. They then would be required to take a competency test (only available at inconvenient locations during normal working hours) on the current election’s issues. Finally, after paying a non-refundable processing fee of $100 to score the results, they would then be forced to wait months for the actual voter registration card — which could be rejected for any reason — to arrive in the mail. If a voter decided to seek the help of a tutor to help ensure his non-refundable processing fee was not wasted by a possibly failing grade, he would have to be prepared to shell out another $100.

Much, much more at the link.

Which, of course, opens the whole Pandora’s Box about Rights.  What IS a Right?  What Is a Privilege?  And most importantly…

WHO DECIDES?

There are some folks who believe DRIVING is a RIGHT.  Germany just extended college education FREE to all!  Does that make college education a RIGHT?

I know, I know – who PAYS for all of this?

pandoraPandora’s Box, indeed!

Ethics

We have been watching Madam Secretary, a new TV show this season on CBS.  At first, the idea of the show distressed me, because I was thinking it was a stalking horse for you-know-who, especially if it was produced in the manner of The West Wing (a show some years back with Martin Sheen as the Prez).

Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to a stalking horse.  However…

Episode 3 (shown last week) dealt with ethical issues.  In short, the Secretary’s husband, a university professor, was placed in the middle of a diplomatic crisis when an American (who was caught spying for the U.S. in Pakistan, from info from a Snowden-like leaker) was scheduled to be executed.  The professor could stop the execution by giving a Russian diplomat’s daughter an ‘A’ instead of her earned ‘C’, so the Russian would be convinced to give their version of an American missile to Pakistan (under the table, of course).  (Ah, diplomacy!)

The professor’s course was (ironically) in Ethics, and he said he would be violating all he stood for by giving this bribe so the spy’s life would be spared.

The Secretary of State (who was trying to manipulate the Pakistanis, the Russians and her husband) finally convinced her husband he would not violating his ethics if he allowed the Russian’s daughter to take an incomplete (after the approved time for grades), thus her grade point would not be affected, and she could retake the course.

And ultimately, the American would be freed.  And he was.

Now, I recognize this is only a television show.  And I recognize in the real world, many times things are shades of grey, rather than black and white.

But, this is being sold as okay?  Ethical?

At least we know where the ‘real’ Madam Secretary’s ethics stood.  She was fired as an attorney on the Watergate Committee for “lying and unethical behavior”.

And the second episode of the TV show was entitled “Another Benghazi”.

Hardly a stalking horse!

BE AFRAID – BE VERY AFRAID

holderWord about the ‘Net (that bastion of information factual, don’t ya know!) is that there was a specific reason for criminal mastermind racist buffoon Attorney General Eric Holder to have recently retired.

NO, it’s not because of pending charges related to GUNWALKER, aka Fast & Furious.  Or his non-pursuit of federal charges against the New Black Panther folks inhibiting (White) people from casting their votes.  Or the massive Internet or cellular telephone surveillance he authorized against non-criminal U.S. citizens.  Or any other of the numerous felonies with which he should be charged and convicted.

It’s because The President sees a way to leave his mark on the Nation is when a conservative member of the U.S. Supreme Court retires, he’s going to appoint Eric Holder!!!

O…..M…..G!!!

Can you imagine?  I’ve been concerned about The President appointing someone of his ilk, but THIS guy?  Supreme Court appointments are for life.

Makes me pray for Leon Panetta or Bernie Sanders.

h/t Boyd & Donna

Fence-Jumper Made It Farther In White House Than Secret Service Let On

Fence-jumper made it farther in White House than Secret Service let on

The man who scaled the White House fence and was able to run through the front doors made it farther into the building than was previously reported, CBS News has learned.

Whitw House Intruder GIF by  Adam Baumgartner

White House Intruder GIF by Adam Baumgartner

And the intruder was ‘armed’ with a Spyderco pocket knife! (per the Today Show reportage).

spyderco(courtesy of Tamara) A Spyderco pocket knife… “He’s from Texas, honey,” I yelled at the television, startling the cats, “That’s not ‘armed’, that’s ‘dressed’, you island-dwelling herbivore!

Amen.

Personally, my concern is for the protection and well-being of The President of The United States.  ANY President!  I don’t want this Constitutional Republic to devolve into a Banana Republic, with bodyguards stepping aside a la Caesar or some high-ranking mobster to make way for some whack job (or trained assassin) to deny our right to vote!

And make Joe Biden the President…

Last time that happened, we got LBJ – and we all know how well THAT worked out!

h/t Never Yet Melted, View From The Porch

A Decent Hourly Wage

Remember the various political entities demanding something-in-the-area of $15.00 per hour, as a minimum wage?

Well, burger-flippers, chew in THIS:

VERBATIM

The U.S. House will be in session for only eight days during a 102-day span between August 1 and November 12, which means that based on their $174,000 annual salary, lawmakers will earn $608 an hour during those days in the nation’s capital.

That figure was calculated by liberal activist Ralph Nader, assuming 10-hour workdays. He sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner on Monday, writing: “While millions of Americans are working more and more for less and less, you and your House of Representatives seem to have no problem working less and less for more and more.”

The House took a five-week vacation from Washington on August 1 and returned on September 8.

After two four-day workweeks, members left Washington again on September 18 and are not due to return until November 12 for a lame-duck session following the midterm elections.

Their hourly wage for the eight days is several times the hourly compensation of anesthesiologists, one of the country’s highest-paid professions at an average of $113 an hour, The Hill reported.

The Senate took the same break in August and also worked just two weeks in September before leaving to campaign for the elections.

Legislators and their aides argue that time spent in Washington constitutes only part of their job, and they also spend considerable time meeting with and serving constituents in their home districts and states, The Hill noted.

But Nader said in an interview: “You are paid by the taxpayer to work in Congress at least a 40-hour week. If you want to do anything back home after that, that’s discretionary time. They don’t pay you to campaign for your re-election.”

Even when they are in Washington, lawmakers devote much time to non-legislative matters. After the 2012 elections, new members of Congress were reportedly advised to set aside four hours a day for fundraising phone calls during their 10-hour workday.

Nader’s letter comes in the wake of a Gallup poll showing that in August just 13 percent of Americans approved of the way Congress is handling its job, while 83 percent disapproved — and 53 percent said they “strongly disapprove.”

The last time Congress’ approval rating was over 50 percent in a Gallup poll was in April 2003, at 58 percent, during President George W. Bush’s first term.

The approval rating stood at 84 percent in October 2001, immediately following the 9/11 attacks.

Now, I’m not normally one to agree with Mr. Nader on anything, but, most congresscritters actually work part-time, and spend the rest of the time traveling to-and-from their constituencies or running for reelection.

$15.00 an hour sounds about right for them. For the one day a week they actually work for us!  (And, of course, working for us is a misnomer.  They work for themselves and lobbyists.  Personally, I’d like to see them all be voted out and replaced with folks who start removing current laws, rather than passing more!  –  Guffaw)

h/t Free North Carolina

Audit The FED!

I just received an email from Ron Paul advising me his measure to Audit The Federal Reserve goes up for a vote this Thursday!

Seriously, why don’t ‘the powers that be’ want it audited?  Shouldn’t all agencies linked to government be accountable in this era of the most transparent administration in history?

Please let Ron Paul and your congresscritter know you support auditing all agencies.

Not coincidentally, I’m sure, I found this elsewhere on the Internet…

fed fire

A Libertarian Conundrum

Or rather MY libertarian conundrum!

I’m generally a libertarian (small L), politically and philosophically.  Want to MAKE me do something as a function of government?  I don’t think so.  (conscript me, tax me w/o representation, ad infinitum).  Want to believe something different than me?  Sure – have at it!  Believe in Krishna or The Flying Spaghetti Monster, or nothing.  I don’t care.

Just don’t knock on my door demanding I believe as you, with or without the force of government behind you! 

I respect your right to think and act and believe differently, as long as you leave me to do the same.  Period.

Now comes the conundrum -

I tend to be isolationist.  If one tribe or political party in far off Boogaboogastan wants to kill another tribe or political party, it’s no skin off my nose.  As long as it doesn’t affect me.  Or the National interest. (whatever THAT is!)

BUT, what if I had this opinion (and had been alive) during WWII?  What if The United States did?  Would we all be speaking German or Japanese now?  (Those of us who are alive?)

In short, what is in keeping with libertarian principles, but allows us to have our National Security and Sovereignty and be able to look ourselves in the mirror?

Do our National Principles apply only to us?  And if not, to whom, and when?

ProudHillbilly posted on 09/11 about the numerous folks killed and injured because of their religion World-wide.

A partial sampling:

2014.08.31 Iraq Ramadi 37 38 Thirty-seven Iraqis are reduced to pulp by a Shahid suicide bomber.
2014.08.31 Yemen Shabwa 6 2 Two Shahid suicide bombers take out a half-dozen human beings.
2014.08.30 Afghanistan Jalalabad 6 33 A Shahid suicide bomber disassembles six other people.
2014.08.30 Nigeria Borno 14 215 Boko Haram militants spray machine-gun fire into villages while yelling praises to Allah. At least fourteen are killed.
2014.08.28 Thailand Pattani 1 2 Muslim terrorists murder a teacher with a bomb.

Should we have gone into Iraq initially?  I won’t debate that, because the fact is we did.  And we then left.

And hundreds thousands are paying for our having done so.

A libertarian tenet is WE ARE NOT THE WORLD’S POLICEMAN.  We cannot afford to be, and we are not going to make everyone believe as we do.

It would be great if we could just leave others alone to their own Destiny.  Or Hell.  Pick one.

Then look in the mirror the next morning.

“May We GROPE Through?”

(in part from PawPaw’s House)

It seems that a bunch of golfers were frisked when Obama showed up at a club to play a round of golf.

Regulars at the Vineyard Golf Club in Martha’s Vineyard were gobsmacked when President Obama unexpectedly strolled onto a nearby green and they were immediately frisked. “There was no warning he was coming,” sniffed a guest.

If the President showed up at my club and the members were frisked, I’d be pissed, but I don’t know all the niceties of presidential visits.  So, I waited for Instapundit to weigh in.  We realize, of course, that Insty is a professor of law in Knoxville.

How come nobody ever tells them to buzz off, and that if the President wants to play golf he can damn well respect the rights of others? The response to the ominous “So, you’re not cooperating?” should be “No, are you assaulting me?”
If the President wants to go out in public, fine. If he can’t do it without assaulting the rights of citizens, then he should stay home. But hey, most of these folks probably voted for him. So: Enjoy!

Citizens of a republic shouldn’t be subjected to frisking or wanding just because the boss shows up.

There was a time when most folks had access to firearms, and one could walk into the White House unimpeded.  And nothing happened.  Now, not only is visitation severely controlled and restricted, but encountering the Chief Executive on the golf course means impromptu cessation of civil rights.

What if he went jogging?  Have an advance team feeling-up all the folks in advance of his running by?  (And yes, I know Clinton went jogging – and even he didn’t molest the spectators!)

Just let me know if The President will be in my vicinity.  I would leave, anyway, even if I weren’t legally armed.

Don’t Sugar Coat It!

…tell us what you REALLY think!

aka MADISON’S NIGHTMARE

(from Cold Fury, in part)

Moreover, as Madison and Hamilton took for granted in The Federalist Papers, which they wrote (with five by John Jay) to urge ratification of the Constitution, taxes would chiefly take the form of import duties or excises on such commodities as whiskey—and these taxes, Hamilton asserted, were naturally self-limiting because if they grew excessive, people would stop buying the overtaxed article, and overall tax revenues would fall. In the unlikely event of an imposition of any direct tax on everybody, or on citizens’ land or wealth, as opposed to these indirect levies, Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution required that it be levied equally or proportionally, though scholars debate the meaning of that clause. But one thing the Framers never dreamed of was a tax on incomes. And for generations, they were right.

But in 1913, after 20 years of Progressive-era agitation, the Sixteenth Amendment, passed by Congress in 1909, won ratification. It imposed a graduated income tax—a direct tax that did not fall proportionally on all. Indirect taxes such as import duties and excise taxes, the argument went, fell disproportionately on the poor and provided too unpredictable a revenue stream to a federal government that Americans increasingly thought needed strengthening. Though the income-tax rates were but 1 percent for incomes up to $483,826, rising to a modest 7 percent on incomes over $11.6 million, the now-constitutional machinery for the tyranny of the majority that Madison had feared was fired up and ready to confiscate wealth as surely as the Stamp Act confiscated property. And since in 1913, the Seventeenth Amendment—instituting direct popular election of senators—also won ratification, the upper house no longer served, even theoretically, as a brake on the passions of the people.

Today, Madison’s nightmare has become America’s everyday reality.

And, remember folks, 1913 was 101 years ago.

What has happened governmentally in the past 100+ years that has been detrimental to this Constitutional Republic?

I’m thinking A LOT!

Go to the link to see the whole thing.

"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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It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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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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