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Remember, We’re A REPUBLIC!

flag(Yes, yes.  I know many think we have devolved into an oligarchy.  I’m writing about what we are as a Nation, on PAPER!)

To Benjamin Franklin:  “Well, Doctor, What have you given us, a Republic or a Monarchy?”

“A Republic, if you can keep it!”

There are various other versions of this supposed quotation, the essence of which is WE (The United States) are a REPUBLIC!

Remember THIS from Grade School?

“…and to the Republic, for which it stands.”

Speech by Senator John F. Kennedy, Beverly Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles, CA – (Advance Release Text)
November 2, 1960  (excerpts):

We live in a fast moving nation. But one thing constant from the birth of our Republic has been our faith in education and our determination to make it available to all our citizens.

(…)

Thus the value and importance of education was at the foundation of Western thought – and was again present at the foundation of the American Republic.

Virtually EVERY President (Yes, even Barack Obama!) referred in some manner to the American Republic!  (Don’t believe me, do your own searches!)

We are NOT, and NEVER HAVE BEEN, a democracy!

Then, why do all politicians, even conservative republicans (democrats are a given) make statements to the affect that thus-and-such yatta-yatta this democracy?

WHAT CHANGED?

Inquiring minds want to know.

 

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Again, The Grim Reaper Does Not Rest

Remember last year, and the celebrities just dropping like flies?

Well, it is continuing unto 2017!

And how sad is THAT?  😦

BILL PAXTON, who went from bit player to fifth lead, to third lead, to romantic lead (!) to character actor.  (You KNOW how I love character actors!)

bp1

bp2If you don’t follow Hollywood news, you will not have heard.  But, he passed away from complications after heart surgery Saturday at age 61!

And from all reports was a funny, decent, kind man.  (Sometimes, when these Hollywood folks go away, little is said about their character.  Because they are @$$holes.  Obviously, not in this case.)  He was married 30 years, and had two children.  Hardly stereotypical Hollywood.

bp3

Stripes, The Terminator, Weird Science, Aliens, Miami Vice (TV), Navy Seals, Tombstone, True Lies, Twister, Apollo 13, Titanic, Big Love (TV), Hatfields & McCoys (TV), Training Day (TV) – just to name a few.

Word is the remaining episodes of Training Day are ‘in the can’ and will be shown.  Sadly, even if he had survived, word is also it would probably not have been renewed for a second season.

RIP, Bill.  You will be are missed!

 

California Bans Students From Traveling To ‘Anti-LGBT’ States

(from Free North Carolina)

 The inmates are in charge of the asylum.

California has created a travel ban of its own, which prohibits its own public university students from traveling to “anti-LGBT” states.

The law that went into effect Jan. 1 prohibits state-funded travel to states that are not LGBT-friendly, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The law prevents students of the University of California and California State University from traveling to four states outlined by California attorney general Xavier Becerra, including Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Not LGBT friendly?  As defined by the California AG?

I’m not certain what that means, exactly.  Rejected ‘gender non-specific’ bathroom legislation?  Didn’t give extra rights to persons who are gender confused?

How is banning a student from travel (through the use of State funds) going to teach them anything about freedom?  (It does teach them about the abuse of State Power.)  And, how many students does this affect, exactly?  Sports teams?  Band members?  Debate clubs?

I think the California Attorney General is tilting at windmills, in the name of political correctness.

Toy Gun Memories

As it states in the ‘about’ part of the blog, I’m a child of the 50’s.  Television, movies, play, were all about The Lone Ranger, Space Command, Warner Bros. cartoons, Forbidden Planet, The Untouchables, and all other manner of sanitized violence.

And my green, wooden toy box reflected that.

It was filled with cars, trucks, robots, construction equipment, tools, and yes, toy guns.  Including a multitude of cap guns and rifles-that-made-noise, play bullets and all manner of boy’s toys.  Not a doll in sight.

Sadly, when my Dad married my step-mother, the toy box was moved to the exterior of the house.  Wouldn’t want Guffaw’s toys to clutter the house, now would we?  😦

And, as I advanced in grade school, I played with them less.  This meant my Mattel™ Fanner Fifty (with left-handed holster!), Detective Special (both re-loadable with Matty Mattel bullets and ignited with Greenie Stickum Caps), the construction gear, cars, tools, and everything else were subjected to the elements.

And eventually discarded.  😦

(My friend Leigh’s parents did film me in full cowboy regalia once, reenacting some scene from a forgotten cowboy TV show, running, jumping, rolling into prone, drawing and shooting one of my cap guns.  Of course, the 8mm home movie is probably long lost.)  😦

This was when children played outside!

But, boys are nothing but ingenious!  🙂

My friends and I began constructing rubber-band guns, using scraps of wood we ‘found’ at housing construction sites.  (Hey, we had to have guns!)

a less-refined version of this

a less-refined version of this

Affix a spring closepin to one end, stretch a rubber band (or a series of them for greater distance) and viola’!  A toy gun with which we could play cowboy, or soldier, or spy, or whatever.

Of course, we were never happy with the limited distance or inaccuracy.  (Sound familiar?)

As we got into the 5th and 6th Grade, we clamored for more.

So we attached the rubber bands to the wood (ala a slingshot) and began looking for projectiles to shoot!  Obviously, after a few misadventures with pebbles and bent bobbie-pins, we made the universal decision to not shoot one another.

For safety sake.

Of course, escalation lead to model rockets, amateur rockets, BB guns, and eventually real guns.  Always something to shoot.

And, we still don’t shoot each other.

This isn’t South Chicago…

 

Illegal Voting LEGAL Immigrant Can Be Deported

(From Judicial Watch)

Weeks after the House Minority leader blasted President Donald Trump for pledging to investigate voter fraud, a federal appellate court has ruled that a Peruvian immigrant can be deported from the U.S. for illegally voting in a federal election. The decision comes on the heels of a spat between Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and the president. The California Democrat accused Trump of making false claims of election fraud and said that undermining the integrity of our voting system is “really strange.” Most Democrats in Congress agree with the former House Speaker and strongly oppose an investigation, asserting it will limit access to voting.

Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of the mainstream media coverage promotes the Democrats’ inaccurate version of the facts. One news network referred to Trump’s voter fraud claims as “baseless” and simply an excuse to enact restrictive voting laws. Another wrote that “Trump’s ‘iIlegals voting’ comments are false and divisive,” calling voter fraud by undocumented immigrants “patently false.” In an editorial titled “The Latest Voter Fraud Lie,” a mainstream newspaper writes that the “baseless claims continue to get converted into policy in the form of stricter voting laws like requiring prospective voters to show a photo ID…” A multitude of similar media reports have flooded the news wires in the week’s following Trump’s meeting with congressional leaders to address the issue.

This week’s appellate court ruling provides a jolt of reality that the media has chosen to ignore. Election fraud was a significant concern in 2008 and 2010, which is why Judicial Watch launched an election integrity project in 2012. The project is a legal campaign to force cleanup of voter registration rolls as well as monitor elections. As an example of the pervasive fraud, Judicial Watch uncovered that 1,046 aliens, or residents who are not U.S. citizens, were on the voter rolls in eight Virginia counites leading up to the 2016 presidential election. If that rate of non-citizen registration held in the rest of Virginia’s counties, that would mean that about 6,500 non-citizens are registered to vote in the state. Additionally, Judicial Watch’s investigation found that 57,923 Virginians were registered to vote in at least one other state as well as 19 deceased individuals. Similar issues have been uncovered in several other states as part of Judicial Watch’s ongoing probe into election fraud.

The Latin American woman in the recent court ruling who voted illegally is hardly an isolated case. Her name is Margarita Del Pilar Fitzpatrick and she lied about being an American citizen on an Illinois Department of Motor Vehicle form. It was that easy. Fitzpatrick, a legal U.S. resident with three kids, voted in two federal elections in 2006 and claims that she had official approval to cast a ballot after presenting her Peruvian passport and green card. An immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals, the government’s highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws, determined that Fitzpatrick should be deported because non-U.S. citizens cannot vote in federal elections and can be removed from the country for doing so.

The Peruvian woman did not back down, appealing the decisions in federal court. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the two previous rulings in favor of deportation, though it acknowledged that Fitzpatrick “led a productive and otherwise-unblemished life in this country.” In its decision, the court states that the motor vehicle form sternly warns aliens not to check the U.S. citizen box and that Fitzpatrick is “literate in English and has no excuse for making that misrepresentation.” Aliens are forbidden to vote in federal elections, the ruling says, adding that “another statute provides for the removal of aliens who vote in violation of either state or federal law.” During oral argument, the appellate judges inquired whether Fitzpatrick is the kind of person the Attorney General and Department of Homeland Security want removed from the United States. “The answer was yes,” the ruling states.

Guess not all Circuit Courts of Appeal are created equal?

Of course, there will be whining from certain groups about ‘breaking up the family’, etc.

Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time.  Elsewhere.

Sanctuary! Sanctuary!

I was recently asked (by a liberal friend) my thoughts on the Sanctuary Cities controversy.

To be honest, I’d not given it much thought.

Initially, my gut response was (as I suspect it is with most conservatives in the Republic) they (the cities and States creating Sanctuary Zones) are in violation of federal law.

Period.

But then the libertarian part of my brain became engaged.  Have these cities and States (or even those therein who are seeking Sanctuary) received due process for their actions?  Or is it just the power of the federal government that is forcing these political entities to bow to their will?  And, of course those individuals, too.

I remembered, the Republic antebellum, when the States held much more power.  But Lincoln killed that concept.

And the federal government has continued to grow ever since!  Have you ever seen a warrant, signed by a judge, used for the searches at the airport?  Or DUI checkpoints?  Or when ‘they’ spy on your computer?

If the illegal aliens avoiding the feds are in these places, they need due process to be extracted and deported.  If they are more than illegal aliens (like criminals) they too need due process.

That pesky Constitution so says.

As a conservative, I say go get ’em.  As a libertarian, I say wait for proper paperwork.  Just withholding gov’t funds to cities and States may be a great tactic (as ‘they’ ubiquitously do with highway funds!) but blackmail is not proper paperwork.

I am a conservative libertarian.

I am all about legal aliens to be here legally, get their ‘green’ cards, and move toward proper citizenship, if they desire.

Illegal aliens?  Should be deported.  Except is the most special circumstances.

But the paperwork needs to be in order, first.

Not just federal force.

 

 

Irony

or sick comedy.  I don’t know which.

One if my many maladies is I have arthritis.  It seems to rear it’s ugly head in colder, more humid weather.

Fortunately, I live in a (mostly) dry desert.  😛

I went to the grocery yesterday, and reviewed the over-the-counter preparations. (A through G?)

Most were made of menthol, along with some kind of delivery system – cream, aerosol, etc.  I already have some Icy (something) at home.  For me, it doesn’t work as advertised, it just burns.  😦

Then I saw this cream made with emu oil.  Another preparation which had been recommended to me.  Preparation E?

I happily spent the $12 and took the 4 ounce jar home.

Remember TRIOPENIN?  From SNL?  The pill bottle of pain medication impossible for the elderly person to open, eventually ending in a hammer breaking the bottle?

I thought it was real!

This simple jar with a simple screw-top lid.  Instructions state do not use if the safety seal is broken.  If I could unscrew the lid, I could verify the seal was intact, or not!

ALAS.

Banging the jar lid on the counter.  Pounding the lid with the jar upside down. Submerging the top of the jar in hot water to make it expand.  Vice grips and a large ‘C’ clamp.

Nada. 

I began wondering if some teenager superglued the lid shut, as a painful prank?

EVENTUALLY, some combination of the efforts above prevailed, coupled with prying between the jar and the lid with the sharp edge of a Buck-type knife.

THEN, of course, I had to remove the safety seal.  No, it had not been molested.

And, I finally got to the emu-oil preparation.  Initial trials are moderately successful.    We will see about the longer term.

I’m now wondering if ALL the jars are similarly sealed?

Crap…

not this brand

not this brand

FTC – I purchased the cream, then had to painfully wrestle with it, just to get it open.  That should be enough for you.

 

On Pedophilia

(Here’s a hint, I’m against it!)

And so is Peter.  Vehemently, as he writes below:

Pedophilia does “no lasting harm”??? Yeah, right!

Richard Dawkins, well known for his militant atheism, has really put his foot in it this time.

In a recent interview with the Times magazine, Richard Dawkins attempted to defend what he called “mild pedophilia,” which, he says, he personally experienced as a young child and does not believe causes “lasting harm.”

Dawkins went on to say that one of his former school masters “pulled me on his knee and put his hand inside my shorts,” and that to condemn this “mild touching up” as sexual abuse today would somehow be unfair.

. . .

Child welfare experts responded to Dawkins’ remarks with outrage — and concern over their effect on survivors of abuse.

There’s more at the link.

All I can say is, as a pastor and clinical counselor, I’ve had a great deal of experience trying to help the victims of pedophiles. Many went on to become pedophiles themselves – a cycle that carries on down the centuries, if you go back far enough.  Others have had their confidence in themselves destroyed, their ability to love and be love corroded, and their lives ruined.

I’m a strong believer in the rule of law.  I’ve worked inside the criminal justice system to help promote the rule of law.  Nevertheless, if there’s any one sin or crime that cries out to Almighty God for vengeance, it’s pedophilia.  In the words of Jesus himself:

But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

You can debate, if you wish, whether those words were meant to include pedophilia, or merely other types of offence.  Personally, I have little doubt.  No, scratch that – I have no doubt.  If a pedophile were caught in flagrante delicto, I would have few or no moral qualms if the parents of the child concerned executed him on the spot.  I think there’d be little or no sin in that;  in fact, I could make a strong case for it being the justice of an outraged God.

Pedophiles can’t be cured.  Time after time that’s been tried, and failed miserably.  They can only be prevented from committing their crimes, either by incarcerating them where they can’t get at children, or by executing them.  Harsh?  Yes, it is harsh.  Having seen too many children’s innocence destroyed by pedophiles, my feelings towards the latter are very harsh indeed!  Right now, I’m not feeling particularly charitable towards Mr. Dawkins, either . . .

Peter

As I got older, one of the things I never expected to experience was to meet and befriend a number of people – women and men – who had been sexually abused as children.  ALL became profoundly damaged adults.  Some even became abusers.  Such is the nature of pedophilia.
If I had encountered a pedophile in the act, I too, would have no problem dispatching the miscreant.
“Some people just need killing.”
attributed to Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and a number of historical folks

A Possible Explanation

I used to LOVE the rain!  Growing up in the desert, it was rare.  Coupled with the addition of huge thunderheads, lightening and sudden downpours, it was the BEST!

Then, I got older and two things happened.

  1.  With age and illnesses came THE arthritis. (It’s a rule, once one reaches their sixties, one is required to put THE in from of the infirmity, i.e. the flu, the AIDS, the arthritis.)
  2. As people in Arizona don’t get rained-upon very often, unlike Midwest, South, and East-Coast people (and pretty much everywhere else!) they are less familiar with the process of driving in the rain.

AND PRETTY MUCH BECOME DANGEROUS IDIOTS ON THE ROAD, WHEN WATER IS INVOLVED!

So, rain isn’t as much fun for me, as it was when I was age eight.

BUT, I’ve developed a theory.

Remember, when it rains, how earthworms surface on sidewalks?

a-rain-worm

I’m now convinced that those that escape the sidewalks make it to cars, and start driving like maniacs!  Obviously they have less driving experience (with the rarity of precipitation).  And many don’t even have licenses!

THIS explains how there seem to be more idiot drivers during rainy weather, than when it is dry!

No Good Deed…

You know the rest!

With both my roommate and I having infirmities and physical limitations (along with no longer being 22!) sometimes things get procrastinated about, or just ignored.

One of those things is our back ‘yard’.

Living in a small townhouse, the yard isn’t particularly large, but my roomie, with her love for the flora, has numerous plants, both potted and in the ground, which sometimes require tending.

And between recent other adventures and doctor’s appointments, the yard has not seen proper maintenance.

And a number of ‘volunteer’ plants have been added to the mix by Mother Nature.  Like lantana, which has taken over to the extent we cannot reach the hose bib or electric box!

Now, there is a time constraint, as her first shoulder surgery is scheduled for March 21.  And I suspect nurse will be added to the title chief cook and bottle washer for me.  And, with her right arm immobilized for a minimum of six weeks, her physical abilities will be severely limited.

So, Thursday last, I carved out some time in the morning to take a stab at the yard.  Because it was necessary. (It didn’t help a number of massive fronts were coming in from California starting Friday!)

My target:

wp-1487515826737.jpg

(the white structure on the right is a non-functional Jacuzzi – now a plant stand)

I popped a significant pain pill, waited for it to kick in and headed out.  Wishing in all seriousness I had a machete ala Indiana Jones.

I had a rake, a shovel, and a weed-eater.

The plan was to work until it was done – no excuses!  Then, the pain pill wore off.  At about two hours.  When not involved in manual labor, they last four or more!

So much for THAT idea.

BUT, I cleaned up 75-80% of the yard, obtained access to the bib and the utility box (getting stabbed byagave-americana the century plant at least twice!), and trimmed back the palm tree by the back gate as to only get attacked by one palm frond, in lieu of three.

With palms like these, who needs anemones? – Thelonious Monk (from the liner notes for the Dave Brubeck ‘Take Five’ album)

More obviously needs to be done.  But that’s for another day.

And Friday and Saturday I paid for my good deed…

My arthritis kicked in big time, as did muscle pain, general tiredness and malaise.

And my doc wants me to limit use of NSAIDS, having over-used them for the past twenty years or more.

SIGH.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…