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A Melting Pot? Seriously?

(from Brock Townsend)

This map shows the US really has 11 separate ‘nations’ with

entirely different cultures

Via David

Note, this is not from some far-right blog, or racist screed.  Business Insider!
This does, in some general manner, explain the political forces in certain regions, however.
What do you folks think?
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Refinding Music And Tech

I’ve always been behind the times in both music and technology to deliver said music.  Especially since I got married in my late twenties and had a family and a job, with all the requisite trials and tribulations therein.

I had (and still have) vinyl, went to cassettes, then CDs.  I bought an MP3 player in the early 2000s.  But never had the money to fill it.

Life.  It’s both a cereal and a board game.  And my listening to music got somehow waylaid.  😦

But, I’m here alone in my rented room, doing my morning routine with the blog.  And something was missing.

I tried Pandora for a while, but it never hooked me.

J. told me recently about Spotify.  So, I thought I’d give it a try.  On both my PC and my new cell phone!  (NOW with earbuds that actually fit!)

Maybe I’ve missed ‘my’ music too much, but now I’m immersed in it via Spotify.  Free, with a few commercials every so often.  Or, one can pay.

Of course, I’ve no funds.

So, FREE it is!

Currently, I’ve been vacillating between Dave Brubeck, Gordon Lightfoot, and the Person of Interest soundtrack.

Yeah, I’m eclectic!

😛

(FTC – Spotify gave me nothing save the free music they give everyone!  go away!)

 

I Miss Our ‘Founding Brothers’!

(from Peter-Bayou Renaissance Man)

“Every house divided against itself will not stand.” That goes for America, too.

In watching the brouhaha over alleged links between President Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, and allegations of who said what, when, to whom, and why, and what the words mean, I’m driven to a conclusion already reached by many.This nation is irreparably, irreconcilably divided against itself.

That became clear during the Presidential elections last year.  Even before the vote, researchers identified several key areas in which the two sides of our political divide have become more and more divided.  What’s more, that divide has come to dominate different areas and groups in our body politic.  To name just one example, since President Trump’s election, the mainstream news media (dominated to an extraordinary extent by the left, progressive wing of US politics) have unleashed a barrage of insults, disdain and attacks that is almost unprecedented in its uniformity.  Sure, past Presidents have faced similar attacks from a segment of US media;  but there were always almost equal and opposing resources to respond in kind.  That’s no longer the case, thanks to the domination of the media by left-wing money and groups and individuals.  Alternative views are all but drowned out by the hubbub.

What’s more, the mainstream media no longer care about non-partisanship.  They openly advocate for one side or the other.  A classic example is an article in the Washington Post last Sunday titled ‘Is media coverage of Trump too negative? You’re asking the wrong question.‘  A key quote:

The president’s supporters often say his accomplishments get short shrift. But let’s face it: Politicians have no right to expect equally balanced positive and negative coverage, or anything close to it. If a president is doing a rotten job, it’s the duty of the press to report how and why he’s doing a rotten job.

There’s more at the link.

I happen to believe, unlike the author, that the question in the title of the article is the right question, and needs answering:  and I believe that her cavalier dismissal of the president as ‘doing a rotten job’ is her own partisan perspective, rather than based on fact.  Therein lies the problem.  She would probably dismiss me as a ‘right-wing nut job’, rather than take my views seriously.  (I tried very hard to read her article with an open mind, but the partisanship of which it reeked made that very difficult indeed.)  Of course, the same bias and partisanship can be found in articles on the other side of the political divide, as well.  The problem cuts both ways.

A blogger writing under the name of Didact summed up the divide in an article last January.

On the one side, we have always had the small-government libertarian types. Back in the days of Jefferson and Adams, they were the Southern Democrats. They were primarily advocates of an agrarian-focused, decentralised, minimalist, small-government philosophy that generally left people the hell alone to get on with their own business.

On the other side, we have also always had the mercantilists, the industrialists, the big-government centralists. They believed that a strong central government was absolutely required to prevent the new nation from being overwhelmed by its competitors and sinking into irrelevance or slavery under a foreign power.

That ideological difference has persisted, in various forms and espoused by various parties, all the way through to the modern day. That is of course well known. Eventually, the divide became so deep and so bitter that it resulted in the War Between the States, which Northerners rather oxymoronically refer to as the Civil War, and Southerners somewhat more accurately refer to as the War of Northern Aggression.

That divide was eventually papered over, at least somewhat, by the North’s crushing victory over the South. To this day, the South still hasn’t fully recovered from that defeat and the years of the Reconstruction Era that followed- and the wounds and scars inflicted by that defeat still linger on.

But- and here is the key difference between then and now- even throughout those times of bitterest division and discord, the two sides were able to talk to each other, right up until the time for talking was over and there was nothing left to do but start shooting.

And that is precisely what America has now lost.

You will not find finer exemplars of the two spirits of America than Presidents Adams and Jefferson. One believed completely in a strong central government; the other believed equally completely in a weak one. The two argued, often contentiously and always with eloquence and conviction, in favour of their respective positions.

Yet the two of them were also closer than brothers. Their respect for each other transcended their political differences and united them in their love for their new country, and their desire to see it succeed. Not for nothing have they been called “Founding Brothers“.

This is what America has lost today. The two sides of the debate no longer talk to each other. They talk past each other.

Again, more at the link.

Many people recognize the existence of this divide in America;  but not many have thought about its implications for our nation as a whole.  Well, I’m a pastor, albeit a retired one.  I try to look at and think about this country from the perspective of my faith, just as others will see it through the filters of their own biases and perceptions and bedrock perspectives.  That faith makes me ask:  have things gone too far?  Have we reached a tipping point?

Jesus warned us:  “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”  Right now, our ‘kingdom’ (or country) is divided against itself.  Right now, our cities – overwhelmingly left-of-center in their political orientation – are divided against the heartland that feeds and sustains them.  Right now, our houses – our families – are often divided on political, social and economic issues.

Can this nation, in its present form, survive a divide so deep, so bitter, and so vitriolic?  I don’t know . . . but I have real and very serious doubts.  What say you, readers?

Peter

I remember stories of the politicians of old (the Sixties), who would yell at each other on the Senate or House floor, then meet afterward to share a beverage or two.
We have lost that civility, both in the legislature and the general population.
We already have discord, violence and riots in the streets.  And on the Internet.
What’s next – A shooting war?
😦

‘I Consider Myself A Guest Here’

Canadian William Shatner REFUSES

To Trash Trump: ‘I Consider Myself a

Guest Here’

William Shanter, the ICONIC Star Trek actor himself, refuses to talk ill of President Donald Trump regardless of his feelings for politics. In a recent interview he had with the Daily Beast he spoke all about it, and his new book, ‘Spirit of the Horse’. During this interview, Shatner made it really clear that his name was not to be added to an open letter that was released out of Hollywood last year denouncing Trump’s candidacy.

“I didn’t do that. I would never have done that,” the actor said of the anti-Trump letter posted on the Trek Against Trump Facebook page last September.

There were however, notable personalities of the original star trek series like George Takei (of course) who played Hikaru Sulu, and Star Trek Into Darkness director JJ.Abrams, who was a very avid Clinton supporter did sign that letter.

The Beast reporter did attempt more than once to get Shatner to dish on Trump, and the actor stuck to his guns refusing to do so, making it very clear that he wasn’t willing to speak ill of the president.

“I don’t want to discuss Trump or [George] Takei,” Shatner said, adding: “Listen, I’m Canadian and I’m apolitical. I love America. I consider myself a guest here.”

“I won’t do anything that might get me deported,” the 86-year-old star joked.

The Priceline pitchman, known best for his role as Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the U.S.S. Enterprise, also revealed that while he and Abrams have discussed him having a role in the rebooted Star Trek film franchise, the director hasn’t extended the offer.

“I’ve met with J.J. Abrams, who seems to be running the film franchise now,” Shatner said. “Though I’ve repeatedly expressed my interest in being in one of the Star Trek movies they seem to have no interest in bringing back old Captain James T. Kirk.”

Shatner, who made his small-screen debut as Captain Kirk in 1966, also revealed that he has never seen any of the new films.

A lifelong lover of horses, Shatner’s new book Spirit of the Horse is a love letter to his four-legged friends.

Although he is very liberal in his political beliefs, he knows how to stand for those beliefs without being ridiculous and out of line like his other Hollywood friends.

Yep. I could sit next to him on a plane, introduce myself as a conservative and he’d like me.

That’s how it’s suppose to be.

h/t Facebook, I Have the Truth.com

AMEN, Mr. Shatner and Mr. Wendal!

Now, I’m not an unabashed fan of the current President (although he is certainly a vast improvement over the last one!)  Having said that, I tire of the juvenile and sometimes criminal actions taken against the President.  Like it or not, he IS the President!  And deserves some respect.

(I’d preferred a more libertarian President, stopping this ongoing assault on the Fourth Amendment.  One with a better speaking style.  Wish in one hand…)

To see and hear (most) Hollywood types continue to attack and beat on him is more than shameful.  YES, everyone has a right to an opinion.

But, lets be adult about it, shall we?  Disagree on policy choices, not hairstyles!

 

Climate March!

(Naw – no political agenda attached here…)  😛

I attended a small, non-political meeting of personal interest to me yesterday morning.  One of the ‘rules’ is we don’t discuss politics – AFTER the event begins.

BEFORE it began, however, one of the participants began whining how later Saturday morning there was scheduled to be a ‘Climate March’.  I inquired if it was for or against the climate.

She didn’t get it.

I saw THIS, this morning on Free North Carolina

REVOLUTION: Leftists March With Communist Flags in Front of the White House

Via Billy

Leftists commies marched today to protest ‘climate change justice’ whatever that means, and did so by marching with Communist flags in front of the White House.

I guess an ideology that killed over 100 million people will bring justice to the United States. Leftists don’t even hide their support for Communism anymore. These people are historically illiterate, most likely a product of ‘higher education’.

More with video @ The Gateway Pundit
Climate Change Justice?  I guess Lenin’s Useful idiots* were out in full force, yesterday.
The idea that humanity (read Western Civilization) is responsible for all of the problems in the World, including changes in the climate (due to industrialization, pollution, and probably being White) is ludicrous, especially given the freedom and prosperity brought to more individuals from these systems that at any time in recorded history.  (And ignoring the blackmail and bribery used to fudge the climate figures!)  The fact they see the solution to this situation as rampant globalization, human rights abuses, and income redistribution (leveling the playing field) and refusal to acknowledge the continued failure of collectivism toward these ends points to the useful idiots part.
*Lenin’s Useful idiots – how Vladimir Ulyanov characterized college students as easily-manipulated dupes, because of their unformed idealism and lack of Life experience.

 

Don’t Do Anything Rash! (The Adventure Continues…)

SO…

I go to see my primary doctor yesterday afternoon.  She confirms ‘yes’, I DO have a rash of undetermined origin, now permeating most of my body.  My edema in my right calf is of significant size, and has NOT diminished when horizontal.

She prescribes a synthetic corticosteroid to deal with the rash.  She is MORE concerned about the edema.

She sends me to a diagnostic center for an ultrasound of the leg.  (I must drive myself, as J. is still recovering from her shoulder surgery and cannot drive.)

It’s either this, or she admits me to the hospital.  She’s concerned I might have a blood clot(!)

So, it’s back from central Phoenix to Chandler (nearer to where I live) for the imaging.  It’s approaching 1700, but they are waiting for me. (My doc has pull!)

I wore sandals I don’t usually wear, so she could get a better look at my legs and feet (wrestling with socks and ‘Ed’ the really big shoe can be difficult when swollen.  The sandals are uncomfortable and make driving difficult.

And I cannot afford to Uber.

J. is with me for moral support and to listen to my cursing.

Finally, we find the place and I get the ultrasound.  NO CLOTS!  😛  They contact my doc, who prescribes a broad spectrum antibiotic and schedules me to return Friday @ 1300 for follow-up.  She does this all herself and makes certain she speaks with me about diet to accompany the antibiotic.  Initially, I missed her call (loud surroundings) and she called back and left a message.  Then she kept calling until she could speak with me personally.

I have a great physician!

The Good News is I picked up the meds.  The Bad News is neither is recommended for evening use.  So, another night of calamine lotion looms.

I think I received three hours of sleep.  J. has another physical therapy appointment this afternoon.  AND I TOOK MY FIRST PREDNISONE THIS MORNING!  😛

C’mon work!

Time will tell.  It’s been about two hours, and I feel slightly less itchy.  (Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking?)

I will keep everyone advised.  (No Clots – Hooray!)  😛

Yep. It’s March 18th And 19th, Again


Twenty two years. Since we were in an accident on a Saturday.

And she left us on a Sunday.

Forever to be age 12.

There have been many memories. And many tears.

And many sad days and nights.

I miss you and love you with all my heart. And would trade places with you in an instant, were that possible.

You out there know what I’m going to say next.

Please, tell those whom you love that you do love them. And hug them if at all possible.

Because you never know.

I LOVE YOU MOLLY! ❤️

 

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.

Gun Talk Media VS The NRA

I received two emails yesterday from two (one would think) like-minded entities.  One, the NRA (full disclosure, I am long time Life Member), the second, Gun Talk Media, an Internet blog and media source.

I have posted on this blog regarding the NRAs push to contact Congress regarding the last administration’s efforts to restrict gun rights to those who may have mental limitations (by their view mental illness).  And I have supported their efforts to reverse this measure.

Now comes these emails.  The NRAs requesting immediate action on a pending Senate vote to stop this travesty.

And this from Gun Talk Media:

FAKE NEWS ALERT
Social Security Administration Gets Into Gun Ban Business

As he left office, President Obama screwed American seniors who own or want to own guns by issuing an executive order directing the Social Security Administration to treat seniors in the same miserable way the Veterans Administration does our vets. That is, the SSA now reports to the FBI anyone who prefers to have someone else handle their finances, and the FBI puts that person on the list that is a LIFETIME BAN on owning firearms.

Naturally, the general media portrayed this as keeping guns out of the hands of those with serious mental defects, and when the House of Representatives voted 235 to 180 to repeal this gun confiscation move, the howls from the fourth estate nearly drowned out the facts. Nearly.

As a Gun Talk Truth Squad member, you have the opportunity to push back on these bogus reports, and to answer friends who offer that this ban “seems reasonable.” Here are the facts.

The media said that the SSA would be providing the information to the FBI so these people could

be included in a “background check database.” Well … doesn’t that sound reasonable? The fact is that this move actually puts these people on a list that bans firearms ownership for life.

Who would oppose putting those with “serious mental defects” into a “background check database?” The NRA, of course. But wait. Another vocal opponent is the ACLU. Yes, the American Civil Liberties Union.  Groups supporting and providing aid to those who actually do suffer from mental handicaps also opposed the “I’m outta here” move by the departing “vertical pronoun” President to ban tens of thousand of Americans from owning guns, and all without due process.

Here’s an example of the media coverage of the House vote to repeal this rule. This is from Politico.

Democrats ripped the move as an effort by Republicans to undermine background checks for gun purchasers. After the House vote, Sen. Dianne Feinstein pleaded with supporters to rally against the move in the Senate. “Senate may vote today to weaken background checks on gun purchases. Call your Senator to oppose this change — ensure your voice is heard!” she wrote.

Tell your friends that there has been a law in effect for decades that prohibits the truly mentally incompetent from owning guns, and this law provides for due process. Under current law, if one has been adjudicated mentally incompetent, he or she can’t own a gun. “Adjudicated.” As in, a judge and a court room. Where you can defend yourself. Not a bureaucrat who checks a box and places your name on the banned-for-life list. ~ Tom

So, has the NRA been waving a false flag (creating FAKE NEWS) to feather it’s own nest?  Or is it simply rubber stamping additional efforts to let the government know we are no longer allowing our civil rights to be curtailed without due process?

What do YOU think?

Mike Connors R.I.P.

 Death, obviously knows no change in calendars…
mike-connors

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Connors, who starred as a hard-hitting private eye on the long-running television series “Mannix,” has died. He was 91.

The actor died surrounded by family Thursday afternoon at a Los Angeles hospital from complications of leukemia that had been diagnosed a week earlier, said his son-in-law, Mike Condon.

“Mannix” ran for eight years on CBS beginning in 1967. Viewers were intrigued by the tall, smartly dressed, well-spoken detective who could mix it up with the burliest of thugs and leap on the hood of a racing car to prevent an escape. Episodes normally climaxed with a brawl that left the culprits bruised and beaten.

“Up until Mannix, most private investigators were hard-nosed, cynical guys who lived in a seedy area and had no emotions,” Connors theorized in 1997. “Mannix got emotionally involved. He was not above being taken advantage of.”

In the first season, Joe Mannix was a self-employed Los Angeles private investigator hired by a firm that used computers and high-tech equipment to uncover crime. The ratings were lukewarm. Connors feared the series would be canceled but it was produced by Lucille Ball’s Desilu studio, and CBS was reluctant to antagonize its biggest star.

In the second season, Mannix opened his own office and combatted low-lifes by himself. The ratings zoomed.

When “Mannix” was revised the office acquired a secretary, played by African-American actress Gail Fisher.

The network was concerned that affiliates in the South might object to her character but “there wasn’t any kind of backlash,” Connors recalled.

Another highlight was the theme music by legendary screen composer Lalo Schifrin.

Connors also starred in the TV series “Tightrope!” and “Today’s FBI.” Each lasted one season.

His movie and TV career stretched from the 1950s to 2007, when he had a guest role on “Two and a Half Men.”

Connors made his film debut in 1952’s “Sudden Fear,” which starred Joan Crawford. Other films included “Island in the Sky,” ”The Ten Commandments,” and a remake of “Stagecoach.”

Connors, born Krekor Ohanian in 1925, was from an Armenian community in Fresno. He served in the Air Force during World War II and played basketball at the University of California, Los Angeles.

After graduation he studied law for two years but his good looks and imposing presence attracted him to acting. In an era when film actors were given names like Tab and Rock, he appeared as Touch Connors — “Touch” being his basketball nickname. He later changed it to Michael and finally, Mike.

Connors and his wife, Mary Lou, were married in 1949 and had two children: a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Dana. Their son, beset by hallucinations starting in his teens, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and before his death lived in a small residential care facility. Connors and his wife championed efforts to erase the stigma of mental illness.

In addition to his wife, daughter and son-in-law, Connors is survived by a granddaughter, Cooper Wills.

___

The late Associated Press writer Bob Thomas contributed biographical material to this report.

We humans always seem to make the passing of time with a New Year, with the hope that Death will do the same.

But, he never stops.

There have been others, Mary Tyler Moore being the most notable.

But my high school TV years were filled with shows like Mission Impossible.

And Mannix.

For me, Mannix filled the generational gap between 77 Sunset Strip and Magnum.

This was Mike Connors image, even though he did other things.

He even did a show where he was named Ohanian – his real Armenian name – but it didn’t take.

He once quipped as Mannix he was hit on the head something like 57 times, but always came back.  Maybe PIs should be issued safety helmets?

Godspeed, Mike.  R.I.P.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…