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Just When I Thought It Was Safe, Part Cinco

(If you abhor whining, read no further)

vulturesIt’s my fault, actually.  I had the audacity to turn 62.  And, with that milestone came the vultures.

First, my former employer TMCCC contacted me regarding applying for early retirement.  I’m currently medically retired due to my contracting lymphoma in 2008.  I left active employment in 2009, after six months of chemo.

Obviously, the sooner they can nudge me out, the less pension they will have to pay.  And current calculations are not very promising, regardless of my retiring now or @ 65.

So, it wasn’t a complete surprise when my private medical insurance carrier (thank GOD I paid the premiums when I was working!) contacted me to update their information.

This means contacting my physician with regard to my current condition and ability to work. 

In spite of the fact I was awarded SSDI and private disability due to having cancer, I have many other conditions which make returning to the workforce problematic.  Even though I AM currently in remission! (knock-on-wood!)

Working while diabetic is no biggee,  working with the neuropathy (chronic nerve pain) that comes with it – not so much.  And the arthritis.  There was a time I could stand and sit for long hours.  No longer.  Now, sitting more than an hour or two is painful.  Forget standing and walking much.

Oh, I can (and do) take various prescription pain medications.  Which make me dopey and put me to sleep.  And still only lessen the pain.  They do not take it away.

And my fear is the private insurance company will say, well, you have been in remission over 5 years…SAYONARA!

And the private addition to my SSDI payment isn’t much, but it is 21% of my disability pay.   And the total is still poverty level.

I rent a room in a friend’s home, and drive a clunky 2000 Oldsmobile.  I lost my home of 18 years, 2 1/2 years ago.  I’m not milking the system here.

And now I get to jump through more hoops in hope of keeping that 21%.

Sigh.

Wishin’ And Hopin’

Being on minimal disability, I cannot afford to ‘do much’.

This is not a bleg for money (although your kind generosity IS appreciated), but rather an observation.  An expression of lust.

Regular readers know I’ve a beater car, that sometime runs w/o dashboard warning lights on.  Or not.  With no A/C.  In AZ.  I rent a room from a good friend, because I lost my home of 18 years due to my reduction in income on disability.

Yes, I’m fortunate and grateful!  Seriously.

And, the Internet and television are my portals to the outside world.  Women (did I say I’m single divorced?), guns, cars.  All for my viewing pleasure.

Only.

And I’m generally okay with this arrangement.

But today, something caught my attention.  No, not a vehicle.  Not a woman (surprised?)

But THIS:

texas-borde-special-colt-lightweight-commander-45ACP-Baranti-Tol-Dawson-holster-sheriff-jim-wilson-LO-600x450I’ve always wanted a Texas Border rig, such as this.  With an appropriate BBQ gun – I’m certain Sheriff Jim Wilson doesn’t want to part with his (above), though.

Of course, this is wrong-sided.

I’ve no place to wear it, anyway (would probably sell it to get the A/C in my car repaired!)

Sigh.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill Needs Your Support!

It’s a problem as fresh as today’s headlines.

A Pennsylvania woman with a concealed carry license drives over the New Jersey line with a gun in her car.  In a routine traffic stop, she is arrested and charged for violating New Jersey’s unconstitutional gun laws. Only a national campaign saves her from a decade in prison.

And that’s just the point:  In an era where states like New York and California use draconian and labyrinthine gun laws in order to try to outlaw guns by fiat, a legal gun owner shouldn’t risk a life behind bars because he or she drives across a state line into a socialist-leaning state.

A Floridian shouldn’t live in fear of a move that takes him through New York, or a Virginian, of a trip through Maryland.

So it is good news that, after a campaign that has lasted for over a decade, we are now within striking range of passing reciprocity legislation that is friendly to citizens living in constitutional carry states.

Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) has told Gun Owners of America that he will be introducing this reciprocity bill within the next few weeks.  This bill will prohibit states like New York and California from cancelling the Second Amendment rights of Americans from other states. 

If you have a concealed carry permit — or if you come from a freedom-loving state that doesn’t require one — you can carry anywhere in the country without fear of losing your constitutional rights because of where you are.

With six constitutional carry states — and at least four other states which may pass those laws this year — the Stutzman bill is a particularly important contrast to competing bills which would require states like Vermont to change their pro-gun laws in order to benefit.

Now, we know that some of our members would argue:  “Why shouldn’t principles of federalism allow states to spit on the Second Amendment if they want to?”  We respect this view, but respectfully disagree.  Gun grabbers have no problem creating national rules to take away our Second Amendment rights, irrespective of what we do.  So it’s time they were hoisted on their own petard.

In addition, the Supreme Court (correctly) ruled in McDonald v. Chicago (2010) that the reach of the Second Amendment extends beyond just the federal government and applies to all 50 states.

In this landmark decision, the Court noted (approvingly) that anti-gun Justice Stephen Breyer was “correct that incorporation of the Second Amendment right will to some extent limit the legislative freedom of the States, but this is always true when a Bill of Rights provision is incorporated.” (p. 44)

Why are we so optimistic about Stutzman?  The answer is that we now have a filibuster-proof majority to pass it in the Senate — if we can get the new GOP leadership to give us the opportunity to offer it as an amendment to a must-pass bill. 

ACTIONContact your Representative.  Ask him or her to call Congressman Stutzman and sign up as an original cosponsor to the Stutzman “constitutional carry” friendly reciprocity bill.

Of course, in a perfect World, all freemen would be able to carry whatever they want anywhere, with impunity.  Riding their unicorns into the sunset.  –  Guffaw

h/t Gun Owners of America

Stepin’ Fetchit Meet Myra Breckinridge

from Never Yet Melted (in part):

Rodrigo Kazuo and Meg Perret found their classroom environment at Berkeley hostile, even when their professor was lecturing on Karl Marx (!), because the Western canon is exclusively composed of works by dead, white, European males, not a single person of color or transgendered individual makes the cut.

Because a majority of founders of Western thought were gay, Black women…

Sigh.

BTW, have you noticed more ‘persons of color’, homosexual, transgendered or perhaps gender-confused folks in your favorite television shows of movies?

I have.

NOT THAT I CARE, PARTICULARLY.

I remember my Father (who had some bigotry issues) railing against the infusion of Black folks in 60’s and 70’s TV in much the same way.  He said it was much the same in the 40’s and 50’s with Jewish people.  They went from being 3% of the population, to a significant minority of those in entertainment media.  (He, of course, forgot that the only work many Jewish folks could get was in the entertainment field!)

And it was much the same with Black folks.  13% of the population, but represented numerically larger in the entertainment media in the 70’s.

NOT THAT I CARE, PARTICULARLY.

My questions are these:  Does the actor bring quality to the role, or further the plot?  Or were they just added because of political correctness?

And now we have this infusion of gay/transgender etc. folks.  Some are quite entertaining, but in my humble opinion, some are just over-the-top.  And included for shock effect and/or political correctness.

Which does a disservice both to them in their sexuality or color, and to the audience by their inclusion for political reasons.

Stepin’ Fetchit meet Myra Breckenridge.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some folks I find clever, and entertaining, regardless of ethnicity or bent.  Others are just plain annoying.  I won’t give you specifics – you probably have your own.

A couple generations ago, Black people were largely invisible, or stereotyped, and gays (etc.) were just flamboyant characters.  No mention was made of their sexuality.

But now it seems we’re out of the box, for certain.

There’s a popular cable series about polygamy.

What’s next, pedophilia and bestiality?

Where do we go from here?

We should be inclusive of different cultures and sexuality.  As long as it reflects percentages and social mores.

Of course, I’m a libertarian.  (Until mandated) I can always change the channel.

“Forget It Jake, It’s New York!”

Via David Codrea:

Now, another suit, filed in U.S. District Court for Eastern New York, claims that a disabled FDNY firefighter injured on 9/11 had $100,000 worth of guns confiscated by police for shouting in his own home – and that the cops conspired to convert his guns into police department property without compensation. [More]

And we’re supposed to rally around these guys again why?

[Via Harvey]

Yes, trust the cops, they are on your side!

Examples such as these are why we have such an issue with law enforcement in this country.  I come from a law enforcement family, and have friends who carry badges.  And I trust them all.

But between other cops/agents stealing under color of authority, and rampant illegal surveillance, we have to ask:

Whom do we trust, NOW?

Drug Stores

Remember when we called a spade a spade?  Not pharmacies?

I remember, as a grade-school kid, going into Skaggs Drug and buying CP potassium nitrate in 4 oz. bottles.  No one questioned me.  There were no forms to fill out.  No one asked if I was making rocket fuel or gunpowder from it.  (I was!)

And I still have all my eyes, hands and fingers!

Here it is some 50 years later, and my roommate not only acquired the crud I had (and am finally getting over, thank you!) but it progressed into some kind of respiratory infection.  Antibiotics and numerous pills later, she too is finally getting better.

And one of the medications prescribed was sudephedrine.  You know, the stuff that can be distilled into methamphetamine. 

And I had to present my driver’s license (which they swiped into the cash register computer system) and then sign for it.  For the 12 tablets!

Not only am I annoyed at this invasion of privacy, but for THIS amount?  When the Mexican cartels are buying it by the ton and making meth and exporting it here?

PITA.

The Travis McGee Reader recounts a similar story.  Go there and read it.

The shed a tear for our loss of more freedom, once again.

And, if you can, go launch a bottle rocket.bottle rockets

The Thing That Most Annoys Me

controlI’m disabled.  No, that’s not it.

This is not a label I wear well.  My leg disability onset when I was 12 (Legg Perthes – wiki) and other ‘issues’ have been added to the list as I have aged.  (arthritis, diabetes, lymphoma, skin cancer).

I spent most of my adult life labeling myself as NOT disabled, and refusing such aids as a built-up shoe (which I now wear, aka ‘Ed Sullivan’-the really big shoe*).

I used to jog, work out, lift weights.  I ran the city police obstacle course.  Back and mobility issues now preclude such things.

In the past year my lower back/hip began causing me chronic pain, largely due to one leg being 3 inches shorter than the other.  My doctor expressed surprise I’d not really had any back issues until now.  And prescribed me exercises and additional pain meds. (Yea!)

And with diabetic neuropathy, walking, standing or even sitting can be painful.

I’m NOT looking for sympathy or pity.

But, I do wish to share with you my most common, frustrating annoyance.

As my right hip is fused, I cannot bend forward, or even lean very much.  This makes sitting (as at the dinner table) sometimes painful.

AND MESSY!

It’s amazing how much food can fall off a fork and into one’s lap (or more correctly, one’s belly)!

My dinner partner can lean forward and errant food can gently fall onto her plate, or the napkin in her lap.  But me?

NOO-OOO!

There are even times the belly is too far and it’s hit’s my chest!

At an Italian restaurant, my shirt sometimes resembles a bad guy in the movies, with 5 hits center mass.

And I look like a complete slob – which I am not.

I spend an inordinate amount of money on stain remover – or place the napkins on my entire torso, like some bumpkin at the Mayberry diner.

Yes, I have a multitude of chronic conditions, but this is my most annoying.

I guess I’m grateful.

 

*ask your parents if you don’t get the reference or the joke

Opinions Have Consequences

Back when I worked @ TMCCC, I befriended a guy I’ll call Batman.  Why Batman?  Well, he liked the Batman persona, dressed as him for Halloween and even his license plate was DRKNITE.

And he was something like 30 years of age.

He was one of the few ‘company’ friends who came and visited me in the hospital, after the accident.  He brought me a stuffed Marvin the Martian.  I still have it.  I honor his kindness.

Then, Life separated us; he went to Australia, and I did not.

Years later, I discovered he had repatriated, and we became friends on Facebook.  And made noises about getting together for lunch, or a drink.

Then, he started posting on FB about the nasty Second Amendment, and how none of us should be able to possess firearms.  Obviously, his couple of  years as a faux-Aussie took it’s toll.

I tried to dissuade him, first by posting about Our Constitutional freedoms, then, more directly in debate.  But to no avail.  He kept posting vile ideas about us being forced to give up our Rights.  Me giving up mine.

So, I unfriended him.  It was all I could do.

Now comes another foreign-influenced man, an actor, Liam Neeson.  From Ireland, I believe.

Of late, he been making popular movies regarding his wife (and/or daughter) being kidnapped.  And he rescuing them – being some-kind of agent/operative, and all.

Then this news story appears:

Speaking at the ‘Taken 3′ press conference in Dubai on Monday, the Irish-born star of ‘Schindler’s List’, who once again plays Bryan Mills in the final film of the trilogy, responded to a question about the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris last week, which he linked to gun violence in the US.

“There are too many fucking guns out there, especially in America,” said the 62-year-old. “I think the population is, like, 320 million? There are over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America. I think it’s a fucking disgrace. Every week now we’re picking up a newspaper and seeing, ‘Yet another few kids have been killed in schools.’”

Reported by the Washington Post, Neeson added that there is a distinction between the violence of the movies and reality.

He said: “A character like Bryan Mills going out with guns and taking revenge: it’s fantasy. It’s in the movies, you know? I think it can give people a great release from stresses in life and all the rest of it, you know what I mean? It doesn’t mean they’re all going to go out and go, ‘Yeah, let’s get a gun!’”

Now, I’m all about the First Amendment, too, but, just like with Batman, I can take action.  We were not friends on Facebook (so I couldn’t unfriend him) but I can not support him by refusing to see-rent-buy his movies.

It was all I could do.

Fortunately, some others stand with me:

PARA USA, the company that rented the guns used by Neeson in “Taken 3″ (2014), his latest action film, has responded to the movie star’s recent anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment remarks by stating publicly that they will no longer be providing the weapons for his cinematic fantasy roles.

There is strength in numbers. people!

Listen up, Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Stephen King and your ilk.  I’m not against YOUR rights – why are you against mine?

h/t Never Yet Melted, HuffPo

SO…What Did The New Year Bring?

Let me preface this post with I don’t rarely get sick.

Seriously.

I had a minor bout of flu last Summer, for about three days.  I’ve not had a cold in YEARS!

I’d like to say it’s because of my healthy lifestyle, but, that would be a falsehood.  Because of my various ongoing ‘issues’, I get little exercise, and I eat the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).  Pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, spaghetti (now called pasta), some beer, Mexican food.  If I eat veggies, it’s usually a salad, with Italian dressing, croutons and Parmesan cheese.

When I DO become ill, I usually don’t do it half way.  Diabetes, lymphoma, skin cancer.  And the whole fallout from that near-fatal auto accident some years back.

So, no one was more surprised than I when around Christmas, I began to wheeze upon exhaling.  Just a tiny bit, at the very end.  At first, I thought it was some fool revving his bike at 0600, while I was blogging(!) :-)

The Winter air quality in the Valley sucks - inversion, ya know!

Then, New Years Eve, I became congested, phlegmy.  No sore throat pain, just throat-clearing nonsense.  I thought it was a true cold, but, it just appears to be allergies, and reaction to the cold weather (28° F, in Phoenix this morning, cold and rainy New Years Eve Day!)

And this morning started with a minor sore throat and cough!

Guess it’s to the drug store pharmacy for Guffaw!

weezy

Red Light – Green Light

red lightRemember that game growing up?

John Lott gives us yet another perspective:

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Chicago Tribune delivered the “first-ever scientific study” of the nation’s biggest camera program. Researchers commissioned by the paper found little or no safety benefit: Mid-intersection “T-bones” declined, but rear-end collisions sharply increased as drivers slammed on the brakes to avoid a ticket. Most damning, the Trib cited the city’s “long-standing reliance on using the lowest possible yellow light time” to maximize revenues even at the cost of encouraging more accidents. . . .

Apparently, the message is getting out as the company that have made these cameras are slowly exiting the business.

With Redflex losing money in North America, its Australian parent company recently instructed him to “de-risk the business” by diversifying into electronic toll-taking and traffic management. Nonetheless Mr. Saunders remains keen to rescue the reputation of photo enforcement, even if that seems like a Hail Mary at this point. . . .

My ex lived in Philly for about 10 years, and they had a government contractor maintaining the traffic signals so poorly that both turned green.  And her new car was totaled.

And there was no one to answer for it from the government works.

Yes, my friends, government works for the common good!

NO…stop a minute!

 

"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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