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From ‘Across the Pond’

WideShut, a British blog, enlightened me to what folks are thinking about in Merry-Ol’-England…

Specifically, Should 16 Year Olds Get The Vote?

Seriously?

Apparently, in the former Great Britain, one is allowed to drive, have consensual sex, join the army and get married.  All at 16.  Hopefully, not all in the same week.  (Nothing was said about signing contracts.)

Much like the old tale, I remember being 16 and thinking my parents were idiots.  At 22, I couldn’t believe how much they had learned in 6 years!  And the older I get (61 is looming!) the older I think people should be to be able to marry, sign contracts, drive, have consensual sex, and yes, VOTE.

I fear, like so many of the ‘wonderful’ ideas exported infected into the East Coast of the United States from England – ‘free’ health care, anglo-centric Islamofascism, gun control – that this, too will take hold and arrive on these shores.  Complete with a host of other ‘new’ concepts which will be patently un-American, politically-correct and irresponsible to be foisted upon our republican Society.

As I’m fond of saying, “Didn’t we fight a war to get away from these @$$#0les?”

The Wisdom of David Nolan

TThe Whited Sepulchre reminded us of The Wisdom of David Nolan – founder of the Libertarian Party.

How does one tell if one is truly a Libertarian (philosophically, not necessarily a card-carrying LP member!)

In David’s words, below:

  As a founder of the Libertarian Party and editor-in-chief of California Liberty, I am often asked how to tell if someone is “really” a libertarian.  There are probably as many different definitions of the word “libertarian” as there are people who claim the label. These range from overly broad (“anyone who calls himself a libertarian is one”) to impossibly doctrinaire (“only those who agree with every word in the party platform are truly annointed”).

   My own definition is that in order to be considered a libertarian, at least in the political context, an individual must adhere without compromise to five key points. Ideally, of course, we’d all be in agreement on everything. But we’re not, and probably never will be. Debate is likely to continue indefinitely on such matters as abortion, foreign policy, and whether, when, and how various government programs can be discontinued or privatized. But as far as I’m concerned, if someone is sound on these five points, he/she is de facto a libertarian; if he fails on even one of the five, he isn’t.

What then, are the “indispensible five” — the points of no compromise?

YOU OWN YOURSELF

    First and foremost, libertarians believe in the the principle of self-ownership. You own your own body and mind; no extermal power has the right to force you into the service of “society” or “mankind” or any other individual or group for any purpose, however noble. Slavery is wrong, period.

   Because you own yourself, you are responsible for your own well-being. Others are not obligated to feed you, clothe you, or provide you with health care. Most of us choose to help one another voluntarily, for a variety of reasons — and that’s as it should be — but “forced compassion” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

THE RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE

   Self-ownership implies the right to self-defense. Libertarians yield to no one in their support for our right as individuals to keep and bear arms. We only wish that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution said “The right to self-defense being inalienable…” instead of that stuff about a “well-regulated militia”.  Anyone who thinks that government — any government — has the right to disarm its citizens is NOT a libertarian!

NO “CRIMINAL POSSESSION” LAWS

   In fact, libertarians believe that individuals have the right to own and use anything- gold, guns, marijuana, sexually explicit material- so long as they do not harm others through force or the threat of force. Laws criminalizing the simple possession of anything are tailor-made for police states; it is all too easy to plant a forbidden substance in someone’s home, car or pocket. Libertarians are as tough on crime- real crime- as anyone. But criminal possession laws are an affront to liberty, whatever the rhetoric used to defend them.

NO TAXES ON PRODUCTIVITY

   In an ideal world, there would be no taxation. All services would be paid for on an as-used basis. But in a less-than-ideal world, some services will be force-financed for the foreseeable future. However, not all taxes are equally deleterious, and the worst form of taxation is a tax on productivity — i.e., an income tax — and no libertarian supports this type of taxation.

   What kind of taxation is least harmful? This is a topic still open for debate. My own preference is for a single tax on land. Is this “the” libertarian position on taxes? No. But all libertarians oppose any form of income tax.

A SOUND MONEY SYSTEM

   The fifth and final key test of anyone’s claim to being a libertarian is their support for an honest money system; i.e. one where the currency is backed by something of true value (usually gold or silver). Fiat money — money with no backing, whose acceptance is mandated by the State — is simply legalized counterfeiting and is one of the keys to expanding government power.

   The five points enumerated here are not a complete, comprehensive prescription for freedom… but they would take us most of the way. A government which cannot conscript, confiscate, or counterfeit, and which imposes no criminal penalties for the mere possession and peaceful use of anything, is one that almost all libertarians would be comfortable with.

You notice you don’t see the word control in there, except perhaps the understood doctrine of self-control. Fascists, Communists, Statists, For-your-own-good-ists need not apply!  No Nudgers, either!

Condition GREY

Wirecutter shares with us a tale of people in Condition GREY…

The passengers on a San Francisco light rail line were so absorbed in their phones and their tablet computers that no one noticed when a madman pulled out a handgun and waved it around several times before opening fire and killing a random commuter, police have revealed.

Nikhom Thephakaysone is charged with murdering promising San Francisco State University student Justin Valdez, 20, in cold blood, without provocation on a Municipal Railway last month.

Police say the CCTV footage from the rail car show that neither Valdez nor any of his fellow passengers saw it coming – even though Thephakaysone pulled out a .45-caliber pistol several times – even rubbing his nose with it in his hand once.
MORE

I used to hang with a shooter who said average people walk around inattentive (Condition WHITE), but those whose faces are buried in newspapers or magazines (the cell phones and tablets of the day) are even WORSE.  CONDITION GREY!

Don’t be GREY!

cell

Statistics Are Just NUMBERS, Right?

I’m not a fan (nor a regular reader) of the Huffington Post, any more than I am of ‘public’ television or NPR.(No, that’s not true – I dislike HuffPO more, for their outright bombast)  At least NPR tries to have the ‘cosmetic appearance’ of centricity.

HOWEVER

Give Me Liberty linked to a HuffPo stat-fest, showing how drug overdoses and traffic accidents accounted for more deaths statistically than firearms!

Now most readers of this blog (all two of you) knew this, but my point is this comes from the Huffington Post!

Does this mean they’re preparing an opinion piece about severely restricting drug access and use or driving?

I kinda doubt it.

But, it IS good to see.

“But It’s A DRY Heat!”

I’ve lived most of my life here in the desert.  I was born back East, but, my parents moved us out here when I was a pre-schooler.  I’ve visited my birth State a few times – it’s pleasant in the Summer, but horrible in the Winter. And the cultural/political attitudes, well…

Let’s face it, I’m a Desert Rat, and I like it, just fine.

When I was growing up here, we’d play outside all day, getting water from the garden hose, as needed.  And we sometimes got sunburned.  I remember walking home (a mile and a half) from the bowling alley with my friends, the day Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon.  I don’t remember the temperature, but it was mid-Summer.  100+ degrees, easily.  And, we didn’t care.

It’s gotten statistically warmer here as the years have progressed.  Not because of global warming, but because of the heat island effect – as the metro area grows, more concrete and asphalt.  And we feel the results.  My 60-year-old body isn’t as resilient as the high-schoolers who leisurely walked home in the Summer of ’69 to watch history being made.  I generally hobble from A/C unit to A/C unit.  It’s a way of life, here.

And, with the exception of government-produced town lakes (aka mosquito hatcheries), the humidity remains low.  7% yesterday.  I’d much prefer here to say Chattanooga in July – 95 degrees and 95% humidity.  There’s little oxygen in the air (it’s mostly water) and there’s a permanent wet stripe from your armpits to your squishy shoes.  I know, I’ve been there.

We reached 122 degrees here a few years ago.  It was 116 yesterday, 118 scheduled today.  This is the price we pay for shirt-sleeve Thanksgivings and Christmases.

But, it’s a DRY Heat!

dry

h/t Brigid

Everyman, the Ostrich

ostrichmanAbove, witness the Ostrich-man, in his natural habitat.

He is an American, but in name only.  More than likely, he identifies himself (herself?) as a(n) (fill-in-blank-with-ethnicity or religion) American.  Even if he is here illegally.  He probably doesn’t have a computer.  But if he does, it’s for gaming, word processing and perhaps porn.

He doesn’t like politics.  He believes all politicians are evil, corrupt, self-serving, lawyers (liars) – whose only function (as they see it) is to get re-elected and get more lobbyist’s ‘gifts’.  But, not many pay attention to the ‘issues’ or even vote.

He pays no attention to the state of the economy, or the news, or individual rights.  Or to the Constitution and it’s ubiquitous erosion.  He’s too busy working to make enough to pay the high taxes imposed to pay for everyone else’s (fill-in-the-blank-gov’t-program-handout).  He wears blinders when yet another infringement occurs – be it  the FBI’s COINTELPRO (1960s), airport metal detectors (1972), sobriety checkpoints (1986), random stop-and-frisks (2012), no-knock warrants (1970), shotgun microphones, FBI ‘administrative’ warrants (recently overturned-thank you!), The Patriot Act (2001), NDAA (2012), NSA monitoring of all cellular and Email traffic, cameras on every corner, black boxes in cars, locators in cell phones, warrantless GPS on cars, DHS claiming Christians and conservatives are radicals – but Islamic folks are just practicing their beliefs, The Fort Hood shooting is deemed ‘workplace violence’ (NOT terrorism)…

I could go on, but I’m already physically, emotionally and spiritually ill.

(I keep telling myself) WE (persons who participate on the Internet) are NOT EVERYMAN, and we DO participate  and WE DO pay attention, and WE DO write our congressmen and senators and presidents.

And we DO bitch to each other.  Sometimes, vociferously.

WE NEED TO KEEP COMPLAINING!  To anyone who will listen, and yes, to those crooked politicians, yet again.

If we stop, we’ll be joining the rest of our Nation, with our heads in the sand.  Or up some orifice.

And we’ll be in the perfect position for the next infringement.

BOHICA  -  Bend over, here it comes, again!

February 23rd – 24th, this year…

(for my Jewish friends)  is the celebration of PURIM!

Miss Cellania links us to BuzzFeed Food and

32 Crazy Hamantaschen For Purim

These are Hamantaschen.

These are Hamantaschen.

They are the official cookies of the Jewish holiday Purim.

They are the official cookies of the Jewish holiday Purim.

Image by David Silverman/Staff / Getty Images
Marked by costume parties and copious drinking (who knew that Jewish folk got crazy?), Purim is a raucous Jewish holiday that elizabeth bankscelebrates a foiled plot to kill all of the Jews in ancient Persia.Go to the link above and see all the delicious Jewish cookies!  (NO, not Elizabeth Banks) along with a history of the holiday and many recipes!TWO of the highlights…(well, three —–> )Chocolate & Peanut Butter "Inside Out" HamantaschenTry this Reese’s-esque cookie interpretation.Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Hamantaschen

Gluten-allergic folks can celebrate not only Uncle Mordechai’s heroic rescuing of the Jews, but also this rice and coconut flour variant on the classic shortbread Hamantaschen dough.

Great.  Just like Brigid’s food posts, I’m craving some.  Hoist on my own petar’.  Sigh.

You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy!  L’Chaim!

A PAPERLESS Society?

When I worked at my last job, we did many things on a computer terminal.  I was there over 20 years, and saw many changes.  Of course, as the technology evolved, so did our machines – usually about 4 years after everyone else did.

They kept harping about A PAPERLESS SOCIETY, but kept us using paper and printing on it.  More electronically, but, eventually paper was involved.

Now, my roomie prefers the really soft, cushy roll of paper.  You know the kind – advertised by cartoon bears in the woods.  Sadly, roll it about two-times-over and one is down to the cardboard tube.  Time to change the roll.

tpI prefer the 1000 sheet-single-ply.  If they could, they’d rate it with a sandpaper grit number.  More sheets; don’t have to change the roll as frequently.

My experience is the female-of-the-species prefers as my roomie does.  Better soft than abrasive.

This has evolved into two roll dispensers in the main bathroom, his and hers.  And ‘roll follies’ when one roll is needed upstairs, but the reloads are downstairs.  But, all-in-all, we work it out.

As we humans know, unless one is in a less-civilized part of the World, eventually, paper is involved.

Peace Sign

peace sign

Nice ‘toon.  I remember when the peace sign was called ‘the track of the American Chicken, when all Americans right of hippiedom automatically assumed it stood for laziness, things unclean, drug use and anti-American beliefs to say the least?  Now it’s become iconic, ubiquitous…

So, I did some research.

The peace sign (or symbol) was derived in the late 50′s in Britain, by protesters against nuclear weapons.  They co-mingled the semaphore signals for the letters ‘N’ and ‘D’  (nuclear disarmament).

peace 3

Thank goodness the Left hasn’t compromised Winston Churchill’s iconic symbol for VICTORY!

churchill

 

Political Correctness will be the Death of us!

Both The Duck and Old NFO have recently addressed the problems inherent with political correctness.

The Duck takes the macro approach – viewing it from the standpoint of relations between countries and the way the United States used to be thought of, versus the way they are viewed now.

Old NFO takes the more personal approach.  His quote from the U.S. State Department:

Chief Diversity Officer John Robinson penned a column in the department’s latest edition of “State Magazine ” advising readers on some rather obscure Ps and Qs.

Chief Diversity Officer?  Seriously?

Old NFO goes on to say:

You ‘really’ have to wonder if this is all these people have to do every day is sit around and think up crap like this…  I realize it IS Foggy Bottom, the bastion of oh so social and politically connected Staties, who hate the military (and do everything they can to prevent military action), but come on… GET A LIFE!

Punctuated by The Duck:

America was once of the strongest brashest countries in the world, we said what we thought and meant what we said. If some podunk country messed with us we sent in gun boats and the Marines, and burned them down. The rest of the world learned not to mess around when it came to the United States, but shortly after we changed the name of the “War Dept” (as it likely offended some of the liberals), to the “Dept.Of Defense”, we also started adopting those warm fuzzies, adopting terms like compromise, worrying more about how we said something than what we were saying(emphasis Guffaw)

Whether it’s more about the guy across the street, or across the World, we need to maintain our standards and integrity.  And stand up for ourselves, both personally and as a country.

This doesn’t mean be a bully or a bigot.  But recognize that we are judged by what we do, not just by what we say.

Calling the Fort Hood massacre ‘workplace violence’ instead of terrorism is an obscenity.  The man was exclaiming “Allahu Akhbar!” while performing his murders.  We’re too much in Condition White as a country, scouring the Rules of Engagement looking for loopholes instead of engaging.

Go to both links above and read.  Then allow yourself to say Indian instead of Native American, and allow your country to use the word terrorist instead of criminal, when it’s appropriate.

Yeah, I know.  I’m politically incorrect.  So what?

"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

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
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

Penn Jillette

“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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