Your English Vocabulary Size is:
★★★ Top 6.08%
And, pre-Internet, there were mail-order catalogs with all manner of tricks and novelties available from across the nation. Even the world. And I would spend my meager allowance on as much as I could afford.
One magic and novelty company (Elbee Magic Co.) had a huge catalog, and included among the trick card decks and whoopee cushions were things like vinyl record albums, and promotional posters. Showing folks like The Beatles, live at the London Palladium featuring YOUR NAME HERE!
How cool was that? I could get a wall poster or even a vinyl record printed as though I were co-starring with The Beatles! Featuring Guffaw!
I never did, though. I was more interested in getting the playing cards.
And, time passed, and the magic company eventually went out-of-business. And I thought, so much for THAT idea…
Here it is 2016. The Internet is in full force, and I can (and do) send emails to politicians I hope listen to me and vote accordingly.
Sometimes, I receive a response. Like those from Senator McCain’s office a month or two after the fact!
My congressperson is Kyrsten Sinema (D). Aside from sometimes supporting the troops (she reportedly comes from a military family), she mostly is a big government liberal. A (D) after her name. Quelle surprise.
But being significantly younger than McCain, I had expectations she would be more tech-savvy. At least it generally only takes her a few days to a week to respond to emails I send. Even though in matters of individual liberty we rarely agree. Gun control, anyone?
Here is the last (form) letter I received from her (in part). In fact, I received TWO copies. So much for tech-savvy…
July 29, 2016
Wrong Street Address
Flotsam’s Mistake, AZ XXXXX-XXXX
Dear Mr. Guffaw,
Thank you for contacting me about TOPIC. I always appreciate hearing from Arizonans about issues facing our state and country. It is important that we have conversations about topics that are important to you and your family, and I hope you will continue to reach out to me to share your perspectives and suggestions.
Thank you for contacting me about TOPIC?! Seriously?
Considering this was all electronic, one would think at least the address would be correct?
Maybe I’ll send the next one from YOUR NAME HERE.
It would be fun getting a letter addressed to YOUR NAME HERE, regarding TOPIC!
New York Times Stumbles onto the Truth About BaltimoreJared Taylor, American Renaissance, April 29, 2015Discovers why blacks riot.An article from yesterday’s New York Times about the relative calm in Baltimore stumbled by accident onto something like the real reason why blacks were rioting. Near the famous burned-out CVS–the city had begged the company to “invest” in a dodgy neighborhood–the Times reporter found someone it identified as “Robert Wilson, a college student who went to high school in Baltimore.” The article concludes with Mr. Wilson’s explanation of why blacks rioted. He said nothing about Freddie Gray or police brutality. Instead, he said this:We’re just angry at the surroundings–like this is all that is given to us?–and we’re tired of this, like nobody wants to wake up and see broken-down buildings. They take away the community centers, they take away our fathers, and now we have traffic lights that don’t work, we have houses that are crumbling, falling down.This quote almost perfectly captures the black mentality that leads to rioting. Blacks live in neighborhoods that they, themselves, have wrecked, and then ask, “This is all that is given to us?”Hard-working white people built the “broken-down” buildings Mr. Wilson is complaining about. Many had parquet floors, high ceilings, and fine moldings found today only in the most expensive new construction.After the riots in Baltimore in 1968, whites panicked and sold their property at desperation prices. Now, these houses are “broken down” because blacks didn’t maintain them. This pattern of white flight and “broken down” houses was repeated in Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Washington, St. Louis, Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Jacksonville, and countless other American cities. Some of the best city housing in the world was handed over to blacks who wrecked it. Neighborhoods filled with irreplaceable architecture are now wastelands.Mr. Wilson complains that “we have houses that are crumbling, falling down.” The remedy for crumbling houses is for the people who live in them to fix them, but instead, Mr. Wilson asks, “Is this all that is given to us?”Like so many blacks, Mr. Wilson doesn’t realize how perverse it is even to think in terms of pleasant houses and neighborhoods being “given” to anyone. Does he imagine the white authorities “giving” nice neighborhoods to whites and cruelly handing out slums to blacks? They didn’t start out as slums. Whites saved and worked hard to build those neighborhoods. They maintained them, repaired them, and loved them.But in today’s world of welfare, food stamps, government housing, and white guilt, Mr. Wilson doesn’t know any better than to ask for handouts. Jesse Jackson is just as self-absorbed. At the funeral for Freddie Gray he wanted to know, “Why can’t the [black] West Side get the same things downtown gets?” Jesse Jackson is asking the same question: “Is this all that is given to us?”And who, exactly, is not giving enough? Baltimore elected its first black mayor in 1987. Today, the mayor, the police chief, the fire chief, and half the police force are black. Two thirds of the population and most of the city council are black. But when Mr. Wilson and Jesse Jackson complain about stinginess, they are not blaming Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; they are blaming white people.Mr. Wilson says Baltimore’s blacks rioted because they are “angry at the surroundings.” Blacks make their surroundings ugly and miserable, and then make them even more ugly and miserable by burning them down. And then they ask, “Is this all that is given us?And fathers? In 1983, Baltimore had the highest black illegitimacy rate in the country: 76 percent , at a time when the national rate for blacks was about 55 percent. Now that the national black rate is 72 percent , what is the figure likely to be for Baltimore? Ninety percent? Ninety-five percent? Whoever “they” are didn’t have to work very hard to “take away our fathers.” Black fathers were never there to begin with.It’s no surprise that Mr. Wilson thinks blacks haven’t been “given” what they deserve, and that “they” took away his father. He’s a college student–probably on scholarship–and that’s what blacks are taught from grade school.The New York Times invariably blames “racism” and white privilege for the plight of blacks. It assumes that if only whites could curb their bigotry, blacks would bloom and flourish. It is remarkable that it concluded this article with a quotation that so brutally undercuts its own assumptions. People who think “they” have taken away their fathers, who blame others for their “broken down buildings,” who look at misery of their own making and ask “Is this all that is given to us?”–such people will not bloom and flourish no matter what white people do. Nor do they deserve to.Best Regards,
(Here we are, revisiting a common theme in this blog. It’s as if they are not listening!)
I was fully prepared (okay, 85% prepared) to post last night for today, as this morning I was to be occupied during my blogging time-frame. Another medical procedure. Sigh.
Another endoscopy. A camera-down-the-throat (and biopsy) to see the ‘progress’ of my esophageal erosion due to chronic acid reflux. Which might lead to cancer and/or surgery.
Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be doing it!
This was set-up by my primary physician, as she saw I was suffering from this condition, and wanted to see the progression of the disease.
SO…I was referred to a specialist who saw me six weeks ago, and scheduled this procedure. One day, outpatient, a few hours. Roomie J will be driving, as I will be rendered unconscious by propofol (the Michael Jackson drug) for the procedure.
Last time I had this done, the clinic-de-jour called me (and sent me a letter) a month in advance to ask me questions about medical power-of-attorney, organ donation, that kind of icky stuff. And advised me there would be an intake charge. Up front.
I was grateful for the heads-up, as being on disability I don’t have lot’s of spare cash lying around for unexpected expenses. I still wasn’t thrilled at the charge, of course.
But this time, the different facility (I changed doctors as the previous guy seemed to want to get as much Medicare money out of me as possible) had not called or sent a letter. I assumed (NEVER do that – D. Brown) that if there were a charge, they would bill me.
They called me yesterday afternoon at 1630 hours (I was to be at the hospital at 0700 this morning) and advised me there would be a charge of over one hundred dollars! They would not bill me, and if I didn’t have the funds, I would have to reschedule!
Of course, I don’t have the money. And the caller had NO IDEA why I was upset, that this was in the very least an inconvenience and poor customer service!
THEN, she hung-up on me!
But not before telling me to reschedule I had to call my specialist’s office – THEY couldn’t do that! At 1630 in the afternoon.
(I did rant, but used no foul language.)
Fortunately, my doctor’s office was still open.
SO…it’s been rescheduled for August 16.
PS – While I was writing this, the hospital called to see where I was. I advised them of yesterday’s conversation and the rescheduling. Must I do everything?
I don’t pretend to even understand it.
Historical examples include Socrates, who took poison voluntarily; Numerous Samurai, who committed seppuku because they violated The Bushido Code.
It’s not always about suicide, though.
And sadly, the antithetical, so-called ‘honor’ killings…
There are select folks in service to the United States, who have it. Like this example given us by my friend Old NFO.
As compared to a certain Presidential candidate.
By The Book
Phillip Jennings is an investment banker and entrepreneur, former Marine Corps Captain who flew missions in Vietnam and, after leaving the Marine Corps, flew for Air America in Laos. He won the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society short fiction award in 1998. He has a degree in business administration and is the CEO of Mayfair Capital Partners. He is the author of two novels and one non-fiction book.
He authored the following article which appeared in the May 26, 2016 edition of USA Today. It is short and should be required reading for everyone.
Secretary without honor
When I hear people say Clinton emails don’t matter, I remember a young Marine captain who owned up to his career-ruining mistake.
Apologists for Hillary Clinton’s alleged criminal mishandling of classified documents say that it doesn’t matter, that she really did nothing wrong, or nothing significant. But the real question is not so much what she did as how she has responded to being found out.
Once during the mid-1960s when I was on active duty in the Marine Corps, I was the air liaison officer for a battalion of Marines aboard 11 ships in the Mediterranean. As the air officer and a senior captain, I had a rotating responsibility for the nuclear code book, kept in the safe in the operations room of the lead amphibious squadron command ship. I shared that duty with another captain, a squared away young man, liked by all he commanded and the son of a very high-ranking Marine.
On the day our ships were leaving the Mediterranean, we met the new amphibious squadron near Gibraltar and made preparations to transfer security codes and other sensitive material to the incoming Marine battalion. The young captain was on duty and went to the operations office to pick up the code book. He was alone in the office. He removed the code book and placed it on the desk while closing the safe. In a rushed moment, he stepped across the passageway to retrieve something he needed from his quarters. Seconds later, he stepped back into the operations office and found the operations sergeant having just entered, looking down at the code book.
Against all regulations, the code book had been out of the safe and unattended. It mattered not that it was unattended for only seconds, that the ship was 5 miles at sea, or that it was certain no one unauthorized had seen the code. The captain could have explained this to the operations sergeant. He could have told the sergeant that he “would take care of it.” He could have hinted that his high-ranking dad could smooth it over.
But the Marine Corps’ values are honor, courage and commitment. Honor is the bedrock of our character. The young captain could not ask the sergeant to betray his duty to report the infraction, no matter how small. Instead, the captain simply said, “Let’s go see the colonel.”
That captain had wanted to be a Marine officer all of his life. It was the only career he ever wanted. When he reported the incident to the colonel, he knew he was jeopardizing his life’s dream. But he did it.
The results went by the book. The amphibious squadron stood down. Military couriers flew in from NATO. The codes were changed all over Europe. The battalion was a day late in leaving the Mediterranean. The captain, Leonard F. Chapman III, received a letter of reprimand, damaging his career. He stayed in the corps and died in a tragic accident aboard another ship.
I saw some heroic acts in combat in Vietnam, things that made me proud to be an American and a Marine. But that young captain stood for what makes our corps and our country great.
Clinton is the antithesis of that young captain, someone with no honor, little courage and commitment only to her endless ambition. This has nothing to do with gender, party affiliation, ideology or policy. It is a question of character — not just hers, but ours. Electing Clinton would mean abandoning holding people accountable for grievous errors of integrity and responsibility. What we already know about her security infractions should disqualify her for any government position that deals in information critical to mission success, domestic or foreign. But beyond that, her responses to being found out — dismissing its importance, claiming ignorance, blaming others — indict her beyond anything the investigation can reveal. Those elements reveal her character. And the saddest thing is that so many in America seem not to care.
And I cannot understand why people are letting this slide… NONE of the veterans I know are, that’s for sure…
I hold out that someone, somewhere will eventually grok honor…
It does seem as though it is missing from the national character, though…
July 15, for the un-Shakespearean…
(this would be TODAY, people!)
Word-on-the-street says (where IS this street, exactly?)
The hacktivist group Anonymous is now calling for nationwide Day of Rage protests on Friday, July 15th. The video below promotes the protests.(WARNING: There is some disturbing and graphic violence in this video):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEWtsSffvQg [About 5 ½ minutes; it isn’t necessary to watch it for purposes of the warning being given].Use this as a list of places NOT to be on Friday the 15th. While the video by Anonymous does specify non-violence and denounces the actions taken against police officers that were not involved in these deaths, with the tagline “Day of Rage” I think it’s safe to expect emotions to be running very high on both sides of the line. No matter how great your empathy might be for those who have unjustly lost their lives, these protests are not safe places to be.These are the locations and times for the protests:Phoenix: 5:00PM (EASTLAKE PARK, 1549 E Jefferson St , Phoenix, AZ 85034)Tucson: 5:00PM (CATALINA PARK, 900 N 4th Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85705)Little Rock: 6:00PM (OUTSIDE STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, Dr Martin Luther King Jr Dr., Little Rock, AR 72201)San Francisco: 4:00PM (CIVIC CENTER PLAZA, 355 Mcallister St, San Francisco, California 94102)Oakland: 4:00PM (FRANK OGAWA PLAZA, 1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612)Los Angeles: 4:00PM (LEIMERT PLAZA PARK, 4395 Leimert Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90008)Denver: 5:00PM (CIVIC CENTER PARK, 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver, Colorado 80204)Washington DC: 7:00PM (OUTSIDE WHITE HOUSE, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500)Atlanta: 7:00PM (OLD DECATUR COURTHOUSE, 101 E Court Sq, Decatur, GA 30030)Tampa: 7:00PM (OUTSIDE HILLSBOROUGH COURTHOUSE, 800 E Twiggs St, Tampa, FL)Orlando: 7:00PM (LAKE EOLA PARK, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, Florida 32801)Miami: 7:00PM (GWEN CHERRY PARK, NW 71 St., Miami, Florida, 33147)Chicago: 6:00PM (RICHARD J DALEY CENTER, 50 W Washington St, Chicago, Illinois 60602)Des Moines: 6:00PM (IOWA STATE CAPITOL, 1007 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319)New Orleans: 6:00PM (LAFAYETTE SQUARE, New Orleans, LA 70130)Baltimore: 7:00PM (201 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202)Boston: 7:00PM (MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 01233)Detroit: 7:00PM (Campus Martius Park, Detroit, Michigan 48226)Lansing: 7:00PM (STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, Capitol Avenue at Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933)Ann Arbor: 7:00PM (THE DIAG, Burns Park, Ann Arbor, MI 48109)Minneapolis: 6:00PM (MINNEAPOLIS URBAN LEAGUE, 2100 Plymouth Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55411St. Louis: 6:00PM (GATEWAY ARCH, St. Louis 63102)Carson City: 4:00PM (NEVADA STATE CAPITOL BUILDING, 101 N Carson St, Carson City, Nevada 89701)Manhattan, NY: 7:00PM (TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan, NY, 10036)Newark: 7:00PM (NEWARK CITY HALL, 920 Broad Street, Newark, New Jersey 07102)Durham: 7:00PM (200 E. Main St. Durham, North Carolina)Columbus: 7:00PM (GOODALE PARK, Columbus, Ohio 43215)Cleveland: 7:00PM (CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY, 325 Superior Ave E, Cleveland, Ohio 44114)Portland: 4:00PM (PIONEER COURTHOUSE SQUARE, 701 SW 6th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97204)Philadelphia: 7:00PM (LOVE PARK, 1599 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102)Pittsburgh: 7:00PM (PITTSBURGH CITY-COUNTY BUILDING, 414 Grant St, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219)Nashville: 6:00PM (801 Broadway Nashville, TN 37203 Estes Kefauver Federal Building)Memphis: 6:00PM (Health Sciences Park Memphis, TN)Austin: 6:00PM (TEXAS STATE CAPITOL, Outside South Gate-11th and Congress Ave.)Salt Lake City: 5:00PM (SALT LAKE CITY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, 4600 S Redwood Rd, Salt Lake City, Utah 84123)Seattle: 4:00PM (QUEEN ANNE BAPTIST CHURCH, 2011 1st Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98109)Milwaukee: 5:00PM (DINEEN PARK, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)And if your home happens to be in or near one of these areas, be aware that your city could be under siege. Make plans to stay safe and hunker down with emergency food and purified water, or to go someplace safer.
Now, I truly hope these events turn into a big ‘so what-who cares’, and no one shows up! But, given the attitude de BLM (as reported ad nauseum) it might be wise to avoid these areas and nearby neighborhoods.
I’m all about the right to protest (a fine American tradition!), but given recent events, the suggestion this is about incitement to riot and not peaceful protest is rather obvious.
And I’m too old and infirmed to be in the middle of a race riot and possible assaults on police.
Because I’m more a follower… (sigh)
Your English Vocabulary Size is:
★★★ Top 6.08%
as recently posted by The Queen of Snark (in part)
(…) In the wake of the Istanbul bombings, the people in charge of wrapping the world in foam padding are trying to figure out more ways to make us perfectly safe. Apparently this will put a security checkpoint at the edge of the airport grounds to screen you before you get to the security checkpoint inside which will screen you to get on the plane. It’s screeners all the way down!
…and if they move screening back to the airport access road, they set off a truck bomb in the traffic jam rather than a backpack bomb in the terminal.
The reductio ad absurdum of this, of course, is to avoid creating the security bottlenecks that make such target-rich environments by putting a TSA checkpoint outside every front door in America.
(and here’s the money line)
There’s just no practical way to nerf the world.
I recall the ‘old days’, wherein the meme was tap…rack…BANG!
(a clearance drill – tap the magazine to make certain it’s properly seated, rack the slide to remove any miss-fed ammunition or poorly-ejected cases, then reengage)
The problem with that was. People revert to their training. They were discharging their weapons as a matter of course, 1…2…3!
(The story goes some folks were unnecessarily shot due to following this training!)
Now, when applied to Modern Policing…
Utterly Useless: Armored vehicles and SWAT team waited outside the Orlando club for nearly three hours.As long as they come home at night……………Danny Banks, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s special agent in charge, said at a news conference, “In that time, we need to set up, re-evaluate, reassess what’s happening and make sure that all the pieces were in place.” UnbelievableAt approximately 5 a.m., the SWAT team made the decision to rescue the hostages, officials said.Police set off controlled explosions inside the club to distract the gunman. An armored vehicle smashed through a wall of the club, and officers swarmed in behind. Eleven Orlando Police officers exchanged gunfire with the shooter, according to Mina.“We made a decision to do an explosive entry on the outside of the club to get to those people, and our SWAT team at that time encountered the suspect somewhere in that area, near one of the doorway entrances, and shot and killed him,” Mina said.More @ ABC
Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #14 of 22)
Some more than others (Animal Farm)…
Seems to me the term has come to be defined as something along the lines of:
“You have something I want and don’t or can’t have, therefore you have discriminated in some manner against me. Therefore I want – I demand – equality. And if I don’t receive equality – by >my< definition, of course – I will act against you by any means >I< feel appropriate until I am satisfied.”
But what that truly seems to mean is “until I have more than you”
And so it goes.