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This tag is associated with 83 posts

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.

“What A SQUARE!”

When I was growing up, I wanted to join The Boy Scouts.  They seemed cool, but, I was too young.  There was The Cub Scouts, though!  And one could evolve into a Boy Scout from there.  I convinced my parents I should join.

I think I was in the Fourth Grade.  I became a Bobcat, a newbie.  My parents never even sprung for a full uniform, just the shirt, bandana and cap.  And I had to walk about a mile to my den mother’s house on meeting days.  At least I got to hang with other boys my age, and we sometimes did cool stuff.

But, soon, my den mother moved away, and no provision had been made for us to transfer to another den.  By default, I left.  No Boy Scouts for me!

But one of my fondest memories of The Cub Scouts was the Scout Oath.  Not the solemnity or the promise.  The language.

Maynard

Maynard

In the early 60’s, the counterculture wasn’t yet tipified by the hippie.  It was the beatnik that brought societal scorn.  As typified by the character Maynard G. Krebs on The Dobie Gillis Show.  (the G stood for Walter, it was silent!)

When something was mainstream, whitebread, uncool, the beatnik said it was SQUARE.

And The Cub Scout Oath (of that era) was:

I, _________, promise to do my best
To do my duty to God and my country,
To be square, and
To obey the Law of the Pack.

Now, sometime after 1964, the changed the oath to read to help other people, instead of to be square.

I wonder if that was because every boy jack of us said the oath as follows:

…To be a square…

Not really comprehending what being square meant.

Being on an extremely limited disability income, I sometimes (often) find myself in a financially uncomfortable situation.  Often a week or more before my stipend is due to arrive.  I wish I could say it was because of extravagance, but more often than not it’s because of a math error.

Fortunately, I am sometimes assisted by my friends.  I am most blessed.

And yes, today, I AM SQUARE.

I AM ALSO A SQUARE!  I need one of these!

beatnik

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.

Not Exactly Andy Rooney…

not THIS guy

not THIS guy

But kind of…

There’s a lot to love about America and its people: their pioneering spirit, their entrepreneurship, their ability to think outside the box, their passion for the arts, etc.  Increasingly, however, as time goes by, I find the things I don’t like about living in a nation that has long since ceased to be a sanctuary for freedom are beginning to outnumber the things I love.

Here’s what I don’t like about living in the American police state: I don’t like being treated as if my only value to the government is as a source of labor and funds. I don’t like being viewed as a consumer and bits of data. I don’t like being spied on and treated as if I have no right to privacy, especially in my own home.

I don’t like government officials who lobby for my vote only to ignore me once elected. I don’t like having representatives incapable of and unwilling to represent me. I don’t like taxation without representation.  (THIS is the statement that wins the Internets! – Guffaw)

Brock Townsend

h/t Free North Carolina

Today in History

I remember walking home about a mile-and-a-half (in the Summer heat, in Tempe, Arizona) the day of the Moon landing, with friends Jim and John, after bowling a few lines @ Tempe Bowl.  The RED CARPET Lounge, in the bowling alley, had an exterior sign missing some letters.  As we were irreverent high-schoolers, it was always the Ed Carp Lounge to us!

We came home to watch the history on our televisions.

Interesting that there is a direct line from JFK asking we land on the Moon ‘in this decade’ (certainly as a technology/arms race with the Soviet Union), to the Moon landing, to further development of solid-state technologies leading us to personal computers, the Internet and cellular telephones.

We didn’t know the half of it watching Neil and Buzz!

But we were proud.

h/t Theo Spark

I Haz A Sad…

(Sorry. I don’t normally utilize geekspeak any more than I do ebonics – Guffaw)

America’s Vanishing Historic Movie Theaters

by David Rosenberg

During the golden age of Hollywood, the excitement of going to the movies wasn’t only about seeing the stars on screen. It also meant spending time at the neighborhood movie theater, an architecturally ornate center of the community’s social life.

Photographer Stefanie Klavens has long been interested in 20th-century American popular culture, specifically its aesthetic qualities, and has created a photographic series of iconic movie palaces titled “Celluloid Dreams.”(…)

Please click here to see the entire article and collection of fantastic photographs of days gone by.

Palace Theatre Los Angeles, California

h/t Slate

I love living in The Valley of The Sun (except when it’s over 107) but, old buildings here were built in the 1920’s (until back East when it could be the 1820’s – or earlier!  Sadly, many folks here seem to think progress means destroying anything over 50 years old – at least some things, like the Orpheum Theater, are designated historic sites and immune from destruction.

And they are still being used today!

Do They Have A Fourth-Of-July In England?

Of course they do, you nit, it’s just not INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Here, we celebrate our freedom from government-imposed tyranny!

theo3

courtesy of Theo Spark

…or perhaps not.

(In addition to the constant video and audio surveillance, warrantless searches, police overreaching, Internet spying, illegal detentions, eminent domain theft, inability to defend ourselves, welfare statism, forced unionization, ad infinitum – ad nauseum.)

REGARDLESS, HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE INDEPENDENCE DAY!  I plan to read the Declaration of Independence aloud today, in it’s entirety, before doing so is also banned! – Guffaw

(NOT) My Dinner With Andre’…

But rather, My Breakfast with Murphy’s Law!

This new-fangled Internet thing is a fantastic place!  Not only do we get to have stuff delivered by The Brown Truck of Happiness ™ after a few clicks of a mouse (funds or credit permitting), get to communicate via Email, text, and Skype, but sometimes we get to develop friendships unheard of only a few years ago.

I am speaking, of course, of meeting persons we otherwise previously might have no knowledge of.  Like fellow gun bloggers!

Sure, we can speak on our cellular telephones with such folks, and that too is very cool.  But sometimes they have the means to visit our communities old-school.

And we get to break bread together.

Murphy’s Law and I have exchanged numerous emails over the years, and commented on each other’s blogs.  I was fortunate yesterday to have him pass through my little berg and take me to breakfast!

@ 0700  (Yikes!)   He originally wanted 0600!

To be fair, he was on his way South, and wanted to cross the bulk of the desert before the heat of the day.  As it was 108* here, yesterday, I completely agreed.

We met at a local, independent diner not far from where I live.  We compared notes about our lives, disabilities, guns and such, and had a great time.

I only hope (as I don’t have the financial means to travel) that he’s able to stop by again some time.  Perhaps in the more temperate months?  (hint, hint).

As we say here in the Southwest (if we’re sick-and twisted. as I am):  Vaya con queso*, my friend!

*go with cheese

PRIVACY – We Hardly Knew Ye

Here’s an interesting, if not fully convincing, piece by Ronald Bailey at Reason on what the future of privacy might look like.

“You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it,” declared tech guru Scott McNealy back in 1999. Fifteen years later McNealy’s statement is no longer factually controversial.

We all give up gigabytes of personal information to Facebook, Foursquare, Google, AT&T—and that’s just the voluntary stuff. In the past year, former government contractor Edward Snowden has revealed that our own government has been engaging in pervasive domestic spying, keeping track of everyone we’ve called, for how long we spoke, and from where. Privacy looks increasingly like a quaint mid-20th century relic.

In his new book, The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (Current), former Futurist Deputy Editor Patrick Tucker explores a more positive take on how we can personally use the megabytes of information generated and collected by our digital paraphernalia to help us live smarter, healthier, and better lives, and maybe even regain some measure of privacy. Tucker, who is now technology editor at Atlantic Media’s Defense One, argues that all that data will enable us to predict and thus take more control over our futures. The Internet of Things is being born as the world is increasingly loaded up with gadgets that can sense where they are and can report what is happening around them to any other device connected to the network.

To illustrate just how naked we all soon will be, Tucker opens with a vignette from the near future in which your cellphone wakes you with a text message alerting you that on your way to work you will run into an old girlfriend who is going to tell you the happy news that she is engaged. The phone tells to you to act surprised at the news. This scenario unfolds as predicted, but instead of waiting for her to tell you, you blurt out your congratulations. As it happens, she not yet made her new romantic status public and is quite alarmed by your mistimed felicitations. The phone did warn you to act surprised.

Science Fiction?  Hardly.  Perhaps there is something to be said about going off-the-grid and becoming full Luddite?  :-(

c/o Floyd @ threedonia

Posse Comitatus, Schmomitatus!

Inside the Ring: Memo outlines Obama’s plan to use the military against citizens

A 2010 Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities details what critics say is a troubling policy that envisions the Obama administration’s potential use of military force against Americans.

The directive contains noncontroversial provisions on support to civilian fire and emergency services, special events and the domestic use of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The troubling aspect of the directive outlines presidential authority for the use of military arms and forces, including unarmed drones, in operations against domestic unrest.

“This appears to be the latest step in the administration’s decision to use force within the United States against its citizens,” said a defense official opposed to the directive.

Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities,” was issued Dec. 29, 2010, and states that U.S. commanders “are provided emergency authority under this directive.”

“Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the president in accordance with applicable law or permitted under emergency authority,” the directive states.

“In these circumstances, those federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances” under two conditions.

The conditions include military support needed “to prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore governmental function and public order.” A second use is when federal, state and local authorities “are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”

“Federal action, including the use of federal military forces, is authorized when necessary to protect the federal property or functions,” the directive states.

Military assistance can include loans of arms, ammunition, vessels and aircraft. The directive states clearly that it is for engaging civilians during times of unrest

A U.S. official said the Obama administration considered but rejected deploying military force under the directive during the recent standoff with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his armed supporters. (…)

(The Washington Times)

So, let’s see…

THE GOVERNMENT is wiretapping our cell phones and computers; taking photos and videos of us with public (and private) cameras; tracking our vehicles with GPS; tracking US with our cell phones; reviewing our Emails and Internet search choices; searching us without warrant at airports and train depots; stopping us on public roads demanding we produce identification of citizenship and to prove we’re not drunk; constantly interfering with lawful possession, commerce and transportation of firearms; detained U.S. citizens without trial or access to legal assistance; executing U.S. citizens via drone use (I’m certain there are numerous other atrocities I’ve NOT enumerated here)

AND NOW

Is actively promoting the elimination of posse comitatus by allowing incorporation of the military into domestic law enforcement operations!

Click here for the lyrics to Deutschland Uber Alles – I’m certain we will soon be required to learn it.  (replaces aluminum foil chapeau and skulks away)

h/t wirecutter

"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

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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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