I’m a tough taskmaster. Especially on myself. I recognize my foibles, and as soon as I do make a mistake I attempt to make amends to those whom I have wronged.
I’m certain not perfect at it.
Progress, not perfection, I’m told.
I just cannot wrap my head around those who not only would attempt to control us, but then take no responsibility for their actions. I don’t understand what must go through the heads of despots and dictators.
Imagine if Stalin or Pol Pot or Hitler (or Woodrow Wilson or FDR) had used their force for good instead of evil?!
Then I see THIS (from Brock Townsend):
Patricia Smith, whose son, Sean, was killed in the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya said that Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “ought to be wearing stripes” and “My son is dead because of her” on Monday’s “Varney & Co.” on the Fox Business Network.
Smith said, “My feeling is that she went on TV afterwards, telling everybody that I was the liar, that there’s someone here that is lying, and it wasn’t her, and that I was liar. I want her to apologize to me for calling me a liar on TV, because this is clearly not true. And I want to know why my son was left to die breathing in diesel smoke, which is the most horrible way to die, and she didn’t do anything to stop it. She could have.”
How much of a sociopath does one have to be to be responsible for the murder or incarceration of millions, to then go home, have a nice evening meal and retire for the evening?
And if they were responsible for the deaths of only four?
And then, to personally attack the veracity of a victim’s mother, instead of being contrite and apologizing.
What is WRONG with these people?
Much like interaction between neighbors, I believe interaction between nations is similar. In short, politics is like the rules of the street.
If you encounter someone out-and-about trying to rob/rape/burn a third party not known to you, you may choose to walk away, or engage.
If a nation takes force against another, you can make the same choice. Or not.
HOWEVER…we don’t exist in a vacuum, either as members of society or as a Republic!
(from Mike @ Cold Fury)
War is the health of the State.
Until August 1914 a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. He could live where he liked and as he liked. He had no official number or identity card. He could travel abroad or leave his country for ever without a passport or any sort of official permission. He could exchange his money for any other currency without restriction or limit. He could buy goods from any country in the world on the same terms as he bought goods at home. For that matter, a foreigner could spend his life in this country without permit and without informing the police. Unlike the countries of the European continent, the state did not require its citizens to perform military service. An Englishman could enlist, if he chose, in the regular army, the navy, or the territorials. He could also ignore, if he chose, the demands of national defence. Substantial householders were occasionally called on for jury service. Otherwise, only those helped the state who wished to do so. The Englishman paid taxes on a modest scale: nearly £200 million in 1913-14, or rather less than 8 per cent. of the national income. The state intervened to prevent the citizen from eating adulterated food or contracting certain infectious diseases. It imposed safety rules in factories, and prevented women, and adult males in some industries, from working excessive hours. The state saw to it that children received education up to the age of 13. Since 1 January 1909, it provided a meagre pension for the needy over the age of 70. Since 1911, it helped to insure certain classes of workers against sickness and unemployment. This tendency towards more state action was increasing. Expenditure on the social services had roughly doubled since the Liberals took office in 1905. Still, broadly speaking, the state acted only to help those who could not help themselves. It left the adult citizen alone.
All this was changed by the impact of the Great War. The mass of the people became, for the first time, active citizens. Their lives were shaped by orders from above; they were required to serve the state instead of pursuing exclusively their own affairs. Five million men entered the armed forces, many of them (though a minority) under compulsion. The Englishman’s food was limited, and its quality changed, by government order. His freedom of movement was restricted; his conditions of work prescribed. Some industries were reduced or closed, others artificially fostered. The publication of news was fettered. Street lights were dimmed. The sacred freedom of drinking was tampered with: licensed hours were cut down, and the beer watered by order. The very time on the clocks was changed. From 1916 onwards, every Englishman got up an hour earlier in summer than he would otherwise have done, thanks to an act of parliament. The state established a hold over its citizens which, though relaxed in peacetime, was never to be removed and which the second World war was again to increase. The history of the English state and of the English people merged for the first time.
Funny how so many “temporary” wartime measures turn out to be anything but. But the truth is that power glommed by the government, and liberty stolen from the people, are two of the most permanent things in existence.
(Via Jay Nordlinger)
Do no-knock warrants (The War On Drugs), or sobriety checkpoints (Alcohol), or metal detectors @ airports (Hijacking) have a ring? Or The Patriot Act or the NDAA, the TSA, Homeland Security (or any of their bastard children) post 9/11?
Don’t you see? EVERYTHING is countenanced as a WAR by government! And, as such, demands these extreme measures for the government to combat them.
And the only way they relinquish any of their ill-gotten power is through long, hard-fought legal battles. Like courts now requiring warrants for cell-phone access.
Or, I suppose, through another choice.
Also to be hard fought.
(from Brock Townsend)
One of the most appalling aspects of the current refugee crisis is that persecuted Christian across the Middle East are being completely ignored in favor of Muslim migrants. And when even the world’s most prominent Christian figurehead does nothing to help, but instead worships at the altar of multiculturalism and its “new world order,” what hope is there for Middle East Christians fleeing genocide?
A disturbing report claims that when Pope Francis found out that two of the 12 Muslim refugees he recently planned to take back to the Vatican turned out to be Christians, he “dropped them like a hot potato.”
Roula and Malek Abo, a Christian brother and sister duo who hail from Syria, say they have been “let down” by the Pope after left them behind at a Lesbos refugee camp. They were promised a new life in Italy. According to blogger Geoffrey Grider:
Holy Father, I’m confused? You seem to be more socialist than Catholic, and now more Muslim? Or, at least, more political? (Not that other Pope’s haven’t been political…)
I’d make a list, but it would be REALLY long!
Perhaps, this was just about a photo op?
(Full Disclosure – I was baptized Catholic, but raised away from The Church, largely under the influence of my Presbyterian step-mother. My Father pretended not to care, but was a Catholic in secret. So, I’ve never been confirmed in The Church, and don’t follow the infallible Papacy as God’s Word.)
And then, there’s the whole ‘render unto Caesar’ thing…
♫ I ain’t workin’ here no more! ♫
Prior to my almost twenty-two year stint @ TMCCC (that major credit card company) as a credit card fraud investigator, I held FORTY JOBS(!)
Beginning at age 16.
I don’t know if it was immaturity, or low pay/no benefits, or just the wrong fit. Not everyone is right for every job. Some jobs I quit, some was fired, some laid-off. In many I was quite angry at the way things were managed. And I left – one way or another.
BUT, I never considered THIS:
Of course, I never won the lottery, either!
(From Amerika via Free North Carolina)
Unless you were fortunate enough to be hiding under a rock for the last twenty-four hours, you know that a planned Donald Trump rally in Chicago turned into a violent riot instigated by MoveOn, George Soros, Black Lives Matter and Bernie Sanders supporters.
What common factor do these groups share? They are all Leftist. As liberal democracy has spent itself into oblivion, debilitating its economies, and simultaneously made a series of horrible leadership decisions under leaders like Barack Obama and former Communist Angela Merkel, people have become desperate. And now their divisions are showing.
More @ Amerika
This is just like the violent riots by the Tea Partisans, Conservatives and The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy folks against the candidacy of Barack Obama isn’t it?
Oh, wait a minute? No violence or destruction by those folks.
What about the Occupy Wall Street morons? Oh, that’s right, leftists, faux-anarchists and Lenin’s Useful Idiots. Millions of dollars in damages, and violence.
And now, the idiots blocking traffic because of Trump’s appearance here in The Valley of the Sun.
ALL FROM THE LEFT AND IT’S TRAVELERS.
Don’t get me wrong – I support the right to protest, it’s a fine American Tradition. But there is a difference between expressing one’s opinion and fomenting violence.
And if you don’t care for a candidate – VOTE against them!
(of course, this assumes one is a registered voter…)
(from Brock Townsend)
Republican presidential contenders and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued for the Senate to run out the clock on President Barack Obama, depriving him the chance to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death today.
Far left President Barack Obama will want the Republican Senate to confirm an appointment this year but this hasn’t happened since 1880.
There hasn’t been a justice nominated and confirmed in an election year by divided government since 1880.
Josh Blackman reported:
Hopefully, this remains true. Of course, we thought the Clinton Assault Weapon Ban and the Obama Affordable Care Act were non-starters, as well.
Or should we?
Here in the United States, we pretend to have ‘Freedom of Speech’. The First Amendment and all that.
Of course, even that has it’s limitations. Child pornography for example. Yelling fire in a crowded theater. Criticizing a President, who happens to be Black.
Other countries, even those vanquished by us in war whom we rebuilt – not so much.
Germany, who placed restrictions on religion (Scientology). And, until recently, politics (National Socialism).
I don’t know if this is backlash to the influx of Muslim refugees, who obviously include some terrorists, or the resurgence of anti-Semitic thoughts and actions rising throughout Europe (and the World) during the past 20 years.
Or perhaps the ubiquitous yin-yang battle between Jews and Arabs…
But something new has been added. or perhaps re-added.
It’s one of the most talked about publications of the year. It’s not a new book. And it’s not even a well-written book. But Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler, which hits German bookshops for the first time in 70 years on Friday, is certainly attracting attention.
Hitler’s anti-Semitic tirade is seen as the forerunner to the Holocaust. But that is also why historians want it republished.
Hitler wrote it mostly while in prison in the mid-1920s, and academics say it helps explain the Nazis’ crazed ideology when they came to power less than a decade later.
As such, they say, it’s a crucial academic text. Not pleasant reading, but essential to understanding the Holocaust and Hitler’s brutal rule.
Surprisingly, some Jewish groups have also supported this edition.
This is an annotated, critical version, with thousands of academic notes.
And without this republication, the only hard copies available in Germany would be the pre-1945 Nazi editions, still found in second-hand bookshops or online. Those are certainly not critical.
The idea is that republishing Mein Kampf will help undermine it.
Until now, the copyright has been in the hands of the Bavarian government. But because 70 years have now passed since the the death of the author – in this case, Adolf Hitler – that copyright has expired.
Germany could ban it. After all, the swastika and other Nazi symbols are outlawed here, under incitement-to-violence laws.
Germans see that not as an infringement of free speech, but as a way of guaranteeing it, by not allowing fascist groups to intimidate minorities.
But the problem with banning Mein Kampf is that this could simply increase its power. (taken in part from BBC-World-Europe)
Is censorship bad, prima facie?
Or does Europe need to look it’s demons in the face, full-on?
And by extension, we as well?
(a follow-up to the November 8 post I Sometimes HATE Novembers, as promised…)
So, here I was, in my insurance-paid-for-rented-condo, about a mile North of my home, while contractors rebuilt it, after the drunk driver had hit it two weeks prior. That’s what I get for buying a corner lot, off a street that zig-zags. Drunks never caught that nuance, head straight for the alley, see the power pole, and crash into my back yard.
It had happened before. Last time it was just the fence that was destroyed.
I, of course, still had to go to work, pay bills, and check the mail at the house, all while surveying the excruciatingly-slow process of rebuilding the rear of my home and replacing the fence.
Thankfully (?) I was beginning to have more health issues (joy, joy) which meant I was missing more work. Which gave me the excuse to stop by and check the mail and the progress of the reconstruction more often.
And, it had been a couple of days since I had last checked the mail, and it was my birthday(!), so I thought I’d check the mail again. Hell, there might be a birthday check from someone in the mail?
I pull into the driveway. No contractors present. This always bothered me, as this process was taking forever. Of course, mine wasn’t their only project.
(This had been a little over two weeks!)
AND THE SIDE DOOR WAS STANDING OPEN ABOUT TWO INCHES!
This alarmed me, as no one was around. The door had been always locked and the extra key placed in one of those Realtor-access combination locks around the door knob. Which was now nowhere to be seen!
I exited the car and drew my 1911 pistol. (Yeah, I know. All my training (which I had trained others to do many times before) was to leave the area to a relatively safe location and call the police to respond. After all, there may have been multiple armed intruders inside burgling my home!)
BUT, this was MY HOME! And the training went out the window. Sigh.
I slowly entered the kitchen, listening intently for any activity inside, pistol at-the-ready. Then into the living room, bath and two bedrooms. This was relatively quick, as it was a 740 square-foot house.
It was obvious someone else had been inside. Someone NOT a contractor. A home computer, portable television, stereo, some faux Samurai swords and a number of other items were missing. Movers had taken many of the larger furniture items to put into storage prior to the reconstruction. But I was told they were unable to take the gun safe, as they were prohibited from storing firearms.
They had removed the Dillon XL 650 reloading press from it’s mount, preparatory to the rebuild. But had not put it into storage. (I guess it was gun-related). It was gone.
And the 800 pound, Fort Knox gun safe was missing. And this was on the floor…
Someone obviously had pried off the combination dial and locking lever to open the safe. And when that failed, THEY TOOK THE ENTIRE 800 POUND SAFE!
Credit cards, spare checks, school transcripts, cameras, my birth certificate and over fifty firearms! Gone.
First, I called the insurance company, to see if they had perhaps authorized storage of the safe and it’s contents, and had inadvertently broken the locking mechanism somehow in transit. Then, I called the mover and the police.
And was scolded by the 911 operator, as it was for emergencies only. How was fifty+ firearms possibly out on the street was not an emergency?
Ultimately, the contractor, the storage guy, my insurance man and the police arrived on the scene. I recounted my actions upon arriving multiple times for each of them. And I was livid. To keep me occupied (and busy and out of the way) the police advised me to make a list of what was in the safe, including all the firearms and serial numbers.
I knew most of their descriptions by heart, but the list (with Polaroids and serial numbers) was not around. It was probably in the materials previously packed and moved to storage.
Fortunately, I still had many of the receipts and gun boxes, which were labeled on the edge with the numbers.
And set about making the list on a legal pad.
All parties were questioned. The contractor’s employees all had cellular telephones they were required to keep with them at all times (for GPS tracking purposes). And all passed the location test.
As if someone couldn’t have left the phone at home off-hours to do a burglary? Or they told someone else? Come on! I never broadcast about the safe in my home, suddenly, after many strangers had seen it, it went missing.
After six months, the house was reconstructed, painted, re-floored (safe drag marks) cleaned (even clothes in the closet dry cleaned!) and restocked with the stored items. I had called in to stop all my credit cards the same day.
I received a check for the maximum available from my policy. (Note-to-self: Make certain all valuables are covered, and if there is a cap it covers all firearms. I was insured for a maximum of 5K on the firearms, eventually paid just over 7K total. Firearm valuation of the missing? Over 21K! in 2009 gun values)
Fortunately, I had taken my favorite 1911 and .38 snub with me to the condo!
And none of the identity items, credit cards or firearms have ever surfaced.
I’m thinking Mexico, and thank God that Fort Knox makes a quality piece of security equipment! I suspect it’s abandoned in the desert somewhere, still unopened. (Let this be a lesson – if you’ve not done so already, bolt your safe to the foundation and wall studs – even if it weighs 800 pounds!)
And among the missing are my electroless nickel Colt Gold Cup, 1969 Browning High Power, 4 AR-15s, my Ithaca Deerslayer Police Special 12 gauge, my pre-model 27 Smith & Wesson 5″, my Sig-Sauer P220 – marked made in W. Germany(!) and my 1942 Springfield Garand!!
I had to use the insurance money for other things, and never was able to replace any of the missing firearms.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
FTC – Fort Knox safes gave me nothing. I bought it at a gun show. Leave me alone!
As I’ve aged, I’ve developed more of an appreciation for our military veterans.
I don’t know why, exactly?
Maybe it’s because, with my childhood Life plans having failed, due to my leg disability, I was unable to join the largest, least-exclusive club in the World (Service Veterans). And I’ve been able to observe, albeit from a distance, the brotherhood, camaraderie and sacrifice imbued in those men and women.
And with the addition of the instant news cycle, see some of the physical damage caused to them.
On previous Veterans Days (when I was employed) I made it a point to walk around on break and shake hands of those I knew had served and say “Thank You!” I know it’s not much, especially for persons my age who returned from Vietnam and were denounced as war criminals and spat-upon. And the Korean War Vets who were (and are) pretty much largely ignored by the media.
I was accompanying my roommate to another of her doctor’s appointments on November 11 this year, and there was an older guy (my age?) with the jacket and cap, embroidered with his service particulars. I didn’t see what they were. I made a point to walk over to him and shake his hand. It was the very least I could do.
After her appointment, J. wanted to get a bite-to-eat, so we stopped at a restaurant we sometimes frequent. And before our meal arrived, in walked another veteran. Also with an embroidered cap and patched jacket. Significantly older. A larger man, with silver hair. With his wife.
After they were seated and had placed their orders, I got up and walked over to them. I excused myself, apologized for interrupting, and explained I just wanted to thank him for his service. He smiled, shook my hand vigorously, and his wife beamed.
Then I saw the identifying patch on his sleeve.
I left hurriedly back to our table, so he wouldn’t see me cry.