I have a book that a reader sent me a year or two ago – and I apologize but I don’t remember who sent it – It’s about a guy who took it into his head to semi-retire into the Alaskan outback, near or above the Arctic circle. You know, just go out there and build a cabin and live.
Now, that’s more-or-less the plot of Into the Wild, and I think we know how that story turned out. But this older guy, Richard Proenneke, wasn’t some overindulged and suicidally starry-eyed kid. He was an old Alaska hand and actually knew what he was doing. He built a cabin that was a literal work of art – after he got old and retired from retiring, it became a tourist attraction for really hardy tourists. It makes the Secret Lair look like a particularly disreputable shed. And he made nearly every part of it from native wood or stone or bone – hell, he carved wooden door hinges.
Every single thing he had that he couldn’t make himself had to be flown in on a little bush plane and it could only happen a few months out of the year, so space and weight were real factors. And I was looking at the photographs reproduced in the book – Proenneke was a photographer, and my only complaint about the book is there aren’t enough photographs – and in one shot of the cabin’s interior I saw…a roll of paper towels.
And I had me a chuckle. Now, here’s a package of six paper towel rolls, which I just bought today…
It doesn’t weigh hardly anything, of course, but it’s bulky as hell. I suppose you could open the package and distribute the rolls around the plane, but my point is that if it needs to come by bush plane, you’d have to really want that roll of paper towels. Seems like there are more important things to which you could devote that plane space.
Except maybe there aren’t. When I was first alone out here, experimenting with ways to make due with virtually no income and really studying the difference between a want and a need, I learned that the line between the two is not always clear. Some commodities, while of course you can get along without them in the sense that you won’t actually die, are themselves so useful that it almost doesn’t matter. It’s not a question of life and death, it’s a question of quality of life. Indoor plumbing: Have I ever wasted a moment wishing I hadn’t devoted all that precious Lair space to an indoor toilet? Nope, not so much as a millisecond. To the best of my knowledge, and leaving poisonous spiders out of it, nobody ever died from using an outhouse as I originally planned. But a flush toilet is just such a massive improvement that, if you’ve got the water pressure, only an idiot would decide not to go ahead and dig for a septic system. Electricity’s the same way: Not a necessity of life, but look at all the things it makes possible.
Those are big things. There’s a myriad of little ones, like paper towels. It’s good to pay attention and learn what those things are, because it’s the little things that mark the difference between living and just surviving.
PAY ATTENTION – my personal motto.
I’ve found in my years that had I paid attention (or more attention) perhaps things would have turned our better or differently. Perhaps not.
But almost always were worse for having not done so.
(from Free North Carolina)
An officer in the Metropolitan Police Department’s first district “dry-fired” an unloaded weapon at the head of another officer during a roll-call meeting on Saturday afternoon, possibly under orders from a sergeant as part of a training exercise, four MPD sources tell WUSA9.
Those sources say a Sergeant later told officers in the room that they had secretly ordered the officer to unload his weapon and then pretend to fire on his colleague as part of a “training exercise” on situational awareness. The officer then pulled the trigger of the unloaded weapon while pointing it at the head of an officer until it audibly clicked, the sources say.
Both the officer who allegedly fired the weapon and the sergeant who allegedly ordered him are assigned to regular duties, pending an internal affairs investigation, MPD spokesman Sean Hickman tells WUSA9.
“I can tell you there are about seven different versions of the incident that are out there,” MPD Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters on Monday. “I’m not sure which or how many of those that you’ve heard, but I prefer to wait until I see some facts and some direct statements of what happened before I make a judgment.”
Who said law enforcement officers are better trained than the public? I know the officer probably needs his/her paycheck, but I think my response would have been something akin to “Are you SERIOUS?”, and if the response were in the affirmative, QUIT ON THE SPOT!
Should there have been an ‘accident’, I’m certain the officer in question would have used the defense “I was just following orders!” – a defense we’ve heard before, somewhere.
For The Four Rules in question, please refer to the blog sidebar…
The PC police have found a new target. Not satisfied with monuments and flags, the Maryland general assembly recently voted to alter the lyrics to the official State song, James Ryder Randall’s “Maryland, My Maryland.” Lincoln apologist Christian McWhirter penned a piece for Time magazine that labeled the song “dissident.” This is true if using the standard definition of the word, opposition to official policy, especially that of an authoritarian state. Anti-Hitler Germans were dissidents.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Sam Adams, and the rest of the founding generation were dissidents. Anti-Lenin and anti-Stalin Russians were dissidents. Demonstrators at Tiananmen Square were dissidents. It seems dissidents are those usually on the right side of history. Obviously McWhirter disagrees.
Gee. Time magazine. Who knew?
So, which is worse – the constant (and government-approved) encroachment of Islamic folks (some of whom appear to be scofflaws and terrorists!) or the constant encroachment against our civil liberties by our own government?
Must I choose one? Really?
from Free North Carolina
We are currently in the process of losing our freedoms and effective control over our societies. It is sheer madness to continue Muslim immigration in a situation when militant Muslims are actively waging war against us in our own cities. Western political leaders who promote such policies are guilty of criminal negligence at best. They must be removed from power, and replaced by people who protect the long-term interests of our nations.
On the morning of March 22, 2016, Belgium was struck by coordinated nail bombings. Two hit Brussels Airport at the check-in counter, before the security screening. Another suicide bomber hit Maalbeek metro station, located not far from prominent EU buildings. The attacks occurred a few days before the Christian Easter celebrations. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks. At least 35 people were killed, and many seriously injured. The Muslim terrorists have connections
to militant Muslims in many parts of Europe and the Middle East.
The authorities faced difficulties in apprehending some of the terrorists partly because they enjoy widespread sympathy and support in certain Muslim communities.
Brussels is not merely the capital of Belgium. It is also the capital of the European Union (EU), and houses the headquarters of the Western defense alliance NATO. It is therefore a symbolic target. The city contains a large Muslim immigrant population. In notorious urban districts such as Molenbeek, radical Muslims have ties to international Jihadist networks. Belgium has produced more Jihadists as a proportion of its population than any other Western European country. On May 24, 2014, a gunman killed four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels.
Following the Brussels bombings, the US State Department warned US citizens of the “potential risks” of traveling to Europe. A statement said terror groups were planning “attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants and transportation.”
Europe is now becoming more like Israel, facing constant Islamic terror threats in daily life.
And we are becoming more like Britain or Canada, with a side of Russia, as far as RIGHTS are concerned. Bill of Rights?! WHAT Bill of Rights?! And The Supreme Court deciding (through attrition) that union non-members can be forced to pay…
WASHINGTON — Conservatives bent on crippling the power of public employee unions lost their best opportunity in years Tuesday when the Supreme Court deadlocked over a challenge to the fees those unions collect from non-members.
Rather than seeking to reschedule the case for their next term, the justices simply announced they were tied 4-4 — a verdict which leaves intact the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upholding the fee collections. (USA Today)
A dog whose name “Dash” sounded too much like the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State jihadist group prompted a security scare at a California bank.
The alarm was raised after Dash’s owner Bruce Francis, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and lives in San Francisco, tried to make an online payment to the person who walks his pitbull mix.
Francis wrote “Dash” in the memo line for the check, panicking officials at Chase Bank who mistook it for “Daesh” and canceled the payment, local news reports said.
The bank also flagged the payment to the US Treasury Department which sent a note to Francis asking him to “explain what Dash means.”
“I thought to myself, ‘great, they’re stopping the world’s stupidest terrorist,” Francis told the local KTVU station after the incident earlier this month.
In spite of the mix-up, Francis said he is taking the incident in his stride and didn’t mind the inconvenience.
His check for walking “Dash” has since been approved.
Ah, I remember the old days, when Bob Hall would write things nonsensical on the memo lines of checks – like ‘for cocaine purchase’, or ‘for gay sex’. My guess is those days are gone, what with corporate and governmental nosiness.
PS – For the unitiated, DAESH is what ISIS or ISIL calls themselves.
(via Wirecutter – in part)
In the book Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam, John Nagl includes the following quote:
“When there are no economic and political foundations for the guerrilla movement, there will be no guerrilla movement. The bulk of any guerrilla movement joins out of belief in what it is doing; the hard core of leaders keeps going because of political beliefs…If the great mass of the population knows that they will be protected by a strong, just government, it has no reason to cooperate with the guerrillas, and the system of intelligence and supply that sustains all guerrilla movements breaks down. Without popular support the mopping up of the hard core die-hards is fairly easy.”
Before you scream “but the government IS NOT JUST,” you need to read that again. People like to pick out the one thing they don’t like and camp out on it but miss the rest of the idea. The government doesn’t have to be just. The unwashed masses just have to think it is. They just have to believe that the government will keep them safe–even if it’s keeping them safe from you. In a guerrilla war (even a cold one) every step, every action, every word becomes propaganda that can be leveraged by one side or the other. Ask yourself what will be remembered about the Malheur takeover—not what YOU will remember about the coverage, but what the public will remember. You may remember the sight of LaVoy Finicum lying in the snow, but the public will remember David Frye complaining that he couldn’t have his marijuana and ranting about UFOs while holding a gun to his head. They’ll remember Blaine Cooper’s viral YouTube video, waving a sex toy sent to him by trolls. At some point between “Amazing Grace” on the Hammonds’ front lawn and David Frye being coaxed out, it stopped being about the message. It became a joke, and the public was laughing.
EXCERPTED FROM HERE
The government already holds most of the aces with the education/indoctrination system and media under their control, as well as military might. Once they start restricting transportation and controlling food distribution, they’ve got 90% or more of the population under control because the people will be grateful for tidbits instead of realizing the government is corralling them in tighter and tighter.
A side note for those who think a ‘revolution’ will be popularly supported. Those folks also forget that roughly 51% of the gen pop support Hillary and/or Bernie.
A nasty, messy, bloody slog comes to mind. With much of the population clueless as to the issues or in league with the totalitarian teat off which they feed.
Do we want history to mention a IIIper Day as Guy Fawkes Day is mentioned in Britain?
Think long and hard before you take any action which might be deemed inappropriate by those in power.
Democrats AND Republicans
There was a recent ‘news’ item regarding the ‘debate’ over gun control policy between Secretary of State Clinton and Senator Sanders.
To wit (in part):
FLINT, Mich. — One of the more heated moments at the CNN-MLive.com debate here Sunday came after moderator Anderson Cooper turned the floor over to Gene Kopf, whose 14-year-old daughter, Abigail, was critically injured in an Uber driver’s shooting spree on Feb. 20, which left six dead in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Kopf asked what Democratic presidential primary candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders would do to crack down on mass shootings, adding that he didn’t “want to hear anything about tougher laws for mental health or criminal backgrounds, because that doesn’t work.” Kopf noted that Jason Dalton, the man who was charged with the shooting that nearly killed his daughter, “had no mental health issues recorded, and had a clear background.”
Clinton began by saying, “We have to try everything that works to try to limit the numbers of people and the kinds of people who are given access to firearms,” and she agreed with Kopf that “not every killer will have the same profile.”
But, she continued, “I also believe, so strongly, Gene, that giving immunity to gunmakers and sellers was a terrible mistake.” Clinton was referring to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which protects gun manufacturers and sellers from being held liable when their products are used to commit crimes.
Sanders, Clinton pointed out, voted in favor of that bill when it passed in 2005.
“No other industry in America has absolute immunity … and they sell products all the time that cause harm,” Clinton said. “You talk about corporate greed? The gun manufacturers sell guns to make as much money as they can make.”
Her comment drew sustained applause.
Cooper piggybacked on Clinton’s reference to the gun immunity law, noting that the “families of Sandy Hook victims announced that they are going to sue Remington, who made the AR-15, which was used in the Newtown massacre,” but that the law Sanders supported was likely to prevent them from doing so.
“Tonight, what do you say to those families?” Cooper asked Sanders.
“Well, this is what I say, if I understand it — and correct me if I’m wrong. If you go to a gun store and you legally purchase a gun, and then, three days later, if you go out and start killing people, is the point of this lawsuit to hold the gun-shop owner or the manufacturer of that gun liable?”
Simply put, Sanders argued, illegal gun sales are one thing, but he doesn’t believe that manufacturers should be held responsible for a crime committed with a product that someone purchased legally.
“I think what you do is you hold those people who have used the gun accountable. You try to make guns as safe as possible,” Sanders said.
The sort of liability regulation that Clinton supports would be too onerous and potentially threaten gun manufacturing, said the senator from Vermont. Sanders campaign has made the decline in manufacturing jobs in the United States a major area of focus, and he and Clinton have clashed repeatedly on the gun issue over the course of the campaign.
“What you’re really talking about is ending gun manufacturing in America,” said Sanders. “I don’t agree with that.”
I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but to me it sounds like Hitler and Mussolini debating who gets possession of Ethiopia. A Progressive versus a Socialist. Splitting hairs comes to mind…
Can you imagine such a discussion regarding The First Amendment? Which books, blogs, films, and periodicals could be limited or eliminated? Or publishers?
Having issues, yet again, with computers.
First, printer problems.
In an effort to fix those, after much rebooting and gnashing of teeth (and other technical stuff), I ‘got rid’ of programs I thought might be gumming up the works, by restarting my computer.
The reconfigured, updated machine seemed very slick! But then, the ghost in the machine appeared.
I was (and am) unable to access the INTERNET via my PC. I called the ‘tech support’ number provided, and believe it to be a spam site trying to extort funds from me to get my computer back!
They said I owed money for the FREE Windows 10 upgrade I did a month or more ago!
And kept pressuring me, in an East Indian accent! (Not that all help desk folks with that accent are crooked!)
SO, here I am doing my blog post from my cheap, PRC tablet.
And I don’t know how long (or if) I’ve the technical expertise – or patience – to update my quote, funny and video. 😢
And if Microsoft is indeed extorting funds, I’ve no way to pay them.
(This just in – after running limited diagnostics, and system restore, I seem to be ‘back’. Yes, some programs are now gone from the reconfigure, but the spam (or MS extortion attempts) seem to have abated!)
Back-in-the-day (the 60’s), if news happened during the day, we had to wait until the 5:30 Huntley/Brinkley Report to hear about it.
Unless it was of a catastrophic nature, like the JFK assassination. Then, someone who had been listening to a transistor radio passed the news along word-of mouth. (The school janitor?) And people with TVs ran to them for the latest reports. Because, not everyone had a TV!
Otherwise, if the evening news had been missed, it was the next morning’s Arizona Republic that brought the news. Usually bad – because news of a good nature is rarely news.
Fast-forward (another antiquated term from VHS tape days) to this post-Internet era. I’ve a smartphone which I am rarely without. She lives in my right, front pocket (having a fused hip means my back pocket isn’t a good idea for access) with my keys, .38 speed strip and my Blur lockblade knife. (The .38 S&W snub is in my LEFT front pocket, in a pocket holster, me being sinestral, and all!)
I keep my smartphone on, because, why not? She bleeps and chirps with receipt of texts, emails and the latest headlines. (I do put her on vibrate or mute as appropriate!) And sometimes she even rings announcing a telephone call! :-) Or a specific ringtone advising me of particular callers, like my roomie or close friends. Roomie’s ringtone is Moonlight Sonata, and Biff’s is the Peanuts theme!
Which brings me to my point (finally!)
Biff has a smartphone, but he doesn’t keep it on. Doesn’t use it for spur-of-the-moment research, or shopping or to-do lists. He doesn’t use it for email or texts, either. Or receipt of the latest news!
He uses it as a telephone, when he chooses to have it turned-on.
And, I razz him mercilessly about this. The term Luddite has been bandied about.
Why have a smartphone, if one isn’t going to use it as such?
He says he doesn’t want to be that connected. And usually leaves it in his car, anyway!
We met for coffee the Saturday evening last, and were having our usual conversations, and I brought up the death earlier in the day of Justice Scalia.
And, he didn’t know about it – he hadn’t heard! And he’s a radio news guy!
(I’d received a notification minutes after it had been reported, from three news sources!)
To be fair, he hadn’t worked that day.
So, which is better? – to be voluntarily ignorant of the day’s events, to choose to call only when one makes that choice, or to be tethered to the electronic instantaneous (or nearly so) news cycle? And at the mercy of people who choose to call, whenever?
Being already a volunteer for the tethering, my opinion in the matter is skewed one direction. Much like having a P.C. at home with a router, I don’t think I could revert to dial-up.
Or no Internet access at all…
So, which is better?
(Not mentioning potential for brain cancer and/or government surveillance/tracking, because so doing would further muddy the issue!)