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Is ‘Instant’ Media Good, Or Not?

hbBack-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?

no sp

(Not mentioning potential for brain cancer and/or government surveillance/tracking, because so doing would further muddy the issue!)

You Only THINK You Own Your Land

You hold title to it.

But must pay the government in perpetuity taxes for that privilege.

Then, there’s this –

Hammond Family Declared as Terrorist and Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison

Via Iver

Our hearts and prayers go out to the Hammond family with deep empathy.  The magnitude of the injustices dealt to them is hard to comprehend.  Their once happy lives have been forever darkened with pains of corruptions.  The nature of their sentencing proves once again that justice is currently not found in the federal courts. The Hammonds are a simple ranching family that for generations has cared for the land they live upon.  Prescribed burns are a vital process in keeping the land healthy and productive in the area.  The BLM also performs prescribed burns and have let it get out of control many times, but never has it cost any federal agent hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and years of life in prison.

The Hammonds prescribed a fire that moved to public land, they extinguished the fire themselves.  The courts found that the burn increased vegetation for the following years, and had a positive impact on the land.  With no authority or justification to prosecute, eleven years after the fire, federal attorneys have obtained judgment that the Hammonds are terrorists and must be punished severely for their actions.

h/t Brock Townsend

Toxicity

Long time readers of my drivel know that one of my go-to sources for life hacks is The Art of Manliness.

When it comes to stuff my father didn’t teach me (because he didn’t make the time, or didn’t know – he wasn’t malicious in his errors) TAoM covers many of the bases.

Everything from how to shave to how to escape quicksand (and more) are covered!

Sometimes, the subject matter in basic, i.e. how to balance a checkbook.  Other times it’s more philosophical…

For example:

How to Cut Toxic People Out Of Your Life

Surely a delicate and difficult issue for most of us.

There are people in my own history whom I have offended, and to whom I’ve made amends.  Some have returned as friends, others have not.

The important thing is to not remain in toxic relationships, lest they damage your own psyche!

Or worse…

Food Stamps, Etc.

Doc in Yuma (a regular, loyal reader and sometime contributor) sent me this regarding control of Food Stamps.

Sent to him under the title “Compassionate Conservatism”.

Put me in charge…

  Put me in charge of food stamps. I’d get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for
Ding Dongs or Ho Ho’s, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans,
blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away.  If you want
steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.
  Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I’d do is to get women
Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations.  Then, we’ll test
recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine and document all tattoos and
piercings.  If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, smoke or get
tats and piercings, then get a job.
  Put me in charge of government housing.  Ever live in a military barracks?
You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair.  Your
“home” will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be
inventoried.  If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your
own place.
  In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or
you will report to a “government” job.  It may be cleaning the roadways of
trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you.  We
will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo
and speakers and put that money toward the “common good..”
  Before you write that I’ve violated someone’s rights, realize that all of
the above is voluntary.  If you want our money, accept our rules.  Before
you say that this would be “demeaning” and ruin their “self esteem,”
consider that it wasn’t that long ago that taking someone else’s money for
doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.
  If we are expected to pay for other people’s mistakes we should at least
attempt to make them learn from their bad choices.  The current system
rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.
  AND – While you are on Gov’t subsistence, you no longer can VOTE!  Yes that
is correct.  For you to vote would be a conflict of interest.  You will
voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Gov’t
welfare check.  If you want to vote, then get a job.
  Alfred W. Evans, Gatesville , TX
First of all, I’m a (conservative) libertarian (small L).  Voluntarism, coupled with non-nanny-statism would be the order of the day.   With that in mind, some of the controls suggested are ones with which I disagree.  For example…
“Food” choices.  If an EBT (food stamp) recipient wants T-bone steak or Twinkies to eat – I don’t care!  Only so many funds are allocated each month, and buying steak will ‘eat up’ the funds rather quickly.
It would be nice if the purchase of TP, laundry soap and similar household items were included on the ‘approved’ list, though.
Forced birth control is repugnant to me.  And recreational drugs and body disfigurement are not on the food stamp list.  Not my problem.
The whole ‘government housing’ thing is also repugnant.  If someone wants to live in a hovel or cannot afford maintenance, it is no concern of mine.  As long as it doesn’t affect the public health and safety.   Funny how a ‘conservative’ cries for such control, but screams about the prospect of FEMA camps…
I do like the idea of (voluntary) government service to help maintain the infrastructure.  I’m not certain it should be tied to receipt of food stamps, however.
“While you are on Gov’t subsistence, you can no longer VOTE!  For you to vote would be a conflict of interest.”
WOW – what a concept!
Of course, while a compassionate State maintains some kind of a ‘safety net’ for the truly needy, I’m a little unclear how this can be administered efficiently, fairly and at a reasonable cost.
After all, it IS government of which we speak!

Standing On Principles

gayI like to think I have Principles

I like to think I stand on them, and admire those who do also.

Unless, of course, their principles are diametrically opposed to mine!

One would think that working as a county clerk, and gay marriage was upheld by The Supreme Court, and licensing gays violated my principles, that it would behoove me to look for employment elsewhere(?)

The same thing applies to pharmacists who dislike dispensing a ‘morning after’ pill to their customers.

Or going to work at the Walmart sporting goods department, and being told you must sell guns and ammunition.  And you are anti-gun.

This just in – an Islamic flight attendant is objecting to be required to serve her passengers alcohol!  (as if she didn’t know this going in!)

If working there and doing your assigned job violates your principles – QUIT!

There’s an old saw, emblazoned on many a sampler and kitschy poster, stating “When you work for a man, WORK for him!”

Perhaps the women in the news are hoping to become another cause celebre, and make it to the Supreme Court?

In another lifetime.

I’m certainly not pristine in holding to my principles.  I AM human.  I worked for a polygraph company (not as a polygrapher) and federal legislation was pending to severely restrict private polygraph pre-employment companies.  (It passed).  But the boss had us calling in on company time (we were getting paid to do this) in an effort to sway the Congress to not pass the bill.

And, having had some (not all) negative experiences with polygraphs, I privately supported the legislation.

But, I also needed a paycheck, so…

I chose getting a paycheck over standing on my principles.

I was laid-off six months later, regardless, I’m sure in part to the decreased company revenue.

I probably should have quit.

THE Conundrum Of This Age

Bayou Renaissance Man (from whom I rarely steal quote, as I’d be doing it DAILY! – translation – you should be reading him, daily!) expresses most eloquently this conundrum…

The conundrum of dealing with radical Islam

I’ve written about the military side of dealing with fundamentalist Islamic terrorism in these pages from time to time.  The trouble is, a military solution isn’t a solution, because it can’t target the mindset that produces legions of suicidal fanatics.  The Russians developed a very direct, pragmatic and utterly ruthless approach to Iranian-sponsored terrorism during the 1980’s.  It worked, because those ‘at the top’ who were controlling the terrorists could be threatened into compliance.  That doesn’t seem to be the case with an organization like ISIL in Syria and Iraq.  When you believe – truly believe, with all your heart and soul – that death in battle, or by assassination, earns you a martyr’s reward in Paradise, death isn’t a threat.  It’s a promise of greatness that you embrace eagerly. The same applies to Hamas and its extreme attitudes towards Israel.  How can you reason with a movement that celebrates death in combat, that indoctrinates its youngest children with lessons about the praiseworthiness of martyrdom and hatred for Israel?  There are many other fundamentalist Islamic terrorist groups who’ve adopted similar outlooks on life.

So, how do we deal with them?  It’s easy to say “Kill them all” – but it’s also completely impractical.  Despite losing thousands of its fighters in combat, ISIL appears to have a limitless supply of replacements.  Young women in Europe and America even travel to areas it controls out of a desire to become brides of ‘jihadists’.  Fanaticism is an inbred streak in the human race – not confined to Islam by any means – and as long as there are fanatics, there’ll be those driven to join fanatical movements.  We can’t kill them all without killing the entire human race.  Speaking as a member of that race, I have a profound objection to being included in that process!  There is no way to completely destroy fanaticism.

The mistake politicians make is to assume that they’re dealing with rational human beings.  Rationality is relative.  ISIL’s leaders and its wannabe martyrs are entirely rational, according to their system of thought and belief.  To change their behavior, we have to change that system.  To do that, we have to radically reform the society and culture that have produced it.  Attacking and militarily overrunning that society won’t inculcate contrary values – we’ve proved that time and time again, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The solution has to include methods of changing the situation on the ground.  However, that requires a long-term commitment and huge amounts of money, neither of which are available right now.

The only answer our politicians and leaders appear to have is to keep killing as many Islamist fanatics as possible in order to ‘control the infection’ in their society and culture, even though they must know that doing so will produce still more fanaticsEinstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.  That perfectly describes how we’ve tried to control radical Islam for the past few decades.  When will we learn from our failures and try to find a better solution?  Is there, in fact, a better solution?  In my darker moments, I fear there may not be one at all.  History suggests that may be the case, and that the struggle against fanaticism in all its forms may be a Sisyphean endeavor.

Your guess is as good as mine . . .

Peter

Thinking Outside The Box

Most of us live with our firearms.  They are as much part of our daily routine as shaving, brushing our teeth, picking up our wallets and keys on the way out the door.

But, what if…?

Melody Lauer aka Limatunes recently made a choice to put her gun away for an entire year!  Or in her words…

 

The Year I Put My Gun Away

If you could put my blog into a category it would be “self defense.”

To me, however, it’s a little more than that. It’s my story–my unique journey. If others can glean a little from my experiences and thoughts I’m honored, if not, it’s no big deal. There have been times, however, when I’ve purposely withheld parts of this journey from my readers because I wasn’t sure how what I had to say would be received. Or I may not have been ready to put it out into the virtual void. This is one of those times.

I’ve been hanging on to this post for almost two years and it feels like a good time to get it off my chest.

I want to tell you about my biggest “break-through” year in self defense. It was a year I learned more about how to defend myself, increased my confidence, improved my overall skills and expanded my horizons. I learned how to manage fear and angst and to trust my instincts. I learned how to manage medical emergencies, have fun and express myself in many other ways. This was one of the best years of my life.

It was the year I put my gun away.

My journey, my work, my goals have all been a means to build confidence in myself, not a tool. I chose a tool to aide in my journey, not to define it. I sought to be well-trained with a tool, not ruled by it. Guns, to me, are tools to master in a long list of other tools to master (including my sewing machine).

I have always wanted real self-defense solutions, not crutches or bandaids, platitudes or false security. So when I felt my gun was becoming a crutch I decided it was time to get rid of it–or, at least put it away for awhile.

I want to tell you about why I felt compelled to put it down and why I picked it up again and why I always knew it would find a place on my belt again, when I was ready.

While my husband and I were packing for a much-needed vacation to a place without reciprocity I felt nervous at the prospect of having to leave my gun behind. I started thinking about all the “what if” situations and wanting my gun.

I hated the feeling.

It exposed everything I’d wanted to avoid about carrying a gun in the first place. It exposed my weaknesses and my fears, my shortcomings and false security. I showed me I wasn’t confident that I could protect myself without my gun. I was using that gun as a means to “feel” safer, but that didn’t make me safer. It was becoming a cliche I wanted to avoid.

I honestly evaluated myself and decided it was time to rip off that bandaid, throw out the crutch and walk on my own.

You should really go and read her whole essay.  It does turn mindset on it’s head.

Thanks, Melody.

Nixon Redux

It’s been said The Libertarian Party (big L) was started by a number of folks in Colorado in 1971, who were having a political discussion regarding the downfall of The Republic.

Because President Nixon had instituted wage and price controls!  (And took us off the gold standard, furthered the Vietnam War, the draft, and started the EPA?- Guffaw)

Fast-forward to today, wherein Rand Paul is waging a largely one man battle against The Fed™, and now this…

(courtesy of Irish)

It’s Not Your Money – Feds Put Currency Control In Place

This story has been floating around for a few days, now, but I don’t see much coverage of it.  According to The Sovereign Man blog by Simon Black, the DOJ has instituted cash controls that require banks to notify them if anyone withdraws as little as $5000 cash in one transaction.

Assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell gave a speech in which he urged banks to “alert law enforcement authorities about the problem” so that police can “seize the funds” or at least “initiate an investigation”.
As Black highlights, according to the handbook for the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council, such suspicious activity includes, “Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more…”

Imagine going to your local bank to get some cash; for a specific purchase or just because you want to have some cash on hand.  You tell the teller that you’d like to withdraw $5,000 from your account. She hesitates nervously and wants to know why.

You try to politely let her know that that’s none of the bank’s business as it’s your money.

The teller disappears for a few minutes, leaving you waiting.

When she returns she tells you that you can collect your money in a few days as they don’t have it on hand at the moment.

Slightly irritated because of the inconvenience, you head home.

But as you pull into your driveway later there’s an unexpected surprise waiting for you: two police officers would like to have a word with you about your intended withdrawal earlier…

How do you know you live in a police state?  That’s a pretty good working definition right there. 

 MORE AT SILICONGRAYBEARD

for more information here are some additional links provided by blog buddy Leigh
 
http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/2014/11/16/the-money-in-your-bank-account-was-stolen-this-morning/
http://www.examiner.com/article/bank-deposits-will-soon-no-longer-be-considered-money-but-paper-investments
http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/11/warning-bank-deposits-will-soon-no.html
http://investmentwatchblog.com/nov-16-2014-g20-to-implement-a-new-policy-that-makes-bank-deposits-on-par-with-paper-investments/

In the interest of fairness, one of my jobs during my 21+ year tenure at TMCCC was to research and complete SARs (Suspicious Activity Reports) as part of financial institution law.

These are the reports regarding ‘suspicious’ financial transactions taking place at federally-licensed/insured financial institutions.  At the time, based on a floor of $10K.

Aggregate.

This meant if you did a number of financial transactions involving moving funds around, or large credit card purchases totaling 10K, you would probably appear on the institution’s radar.  And some functionary (like me) would review your accounts, and prepare a report, if warranted.

Of course, 10K (or more) meant a report would be prepared, regardless.  (We did catch some bad guys this way!)

And you and your transactions were duly reported to The United States Treasury Department for further investigation.

Wouldn’t want any money-laundering or tax evasion amongst our citizens, would we?

And now the floor is 5K.  In this economy.

Can’t have the citizenry moving their money around all willy-nilly, now can we?  Because, whose money IS it, anyway?

A Machine Gun Theme Park?

Indeed! :-)

Orlando, Florida – (in)famous for it’s theme parks – has added yet another.

But this is not in the Disney Family…

Inside Orlando’s First MACHINE GUN Theme Park!

Shooting simulation experiences start are $30 but tickets to shoot real weapons start at $99 and up depending the type of gun you choose to shoot.

“A traditional bulls-eye is our most popular target followed by Osama bin Laden.”  – Dan Shalloway, owner of Machine Gun America

Frankly, I like the inclusion of the word FIRST in the article’s title.

(And NO, FTC, they didn’t give me anything to post the article.)

h/t Doc in Yuma

Texas Was Always Iffy, Anyway…

Free North Carolina brings us this gem:

Ukraine Rebels Plan ‘Summit Of Unrecognized States’ Including Texas!

 https://i1.wp.com/resources1.news.com.au/images/2014/07/21/1226996/215141-69acd80c-1087-11e4-9633-5d2eb5bc90d6.jpg

A top official from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) has said he will host a “summit of unrecognized states” in February or March if he can guarantee the security of its participants. In an interview with the Donetsk-based Oplot-TV, Aleksandr Kofman, the self-styled foreign minister of the Moscow-backed DNR, said talks on the summit have already begun and that he hopes the meeting will result in a “League of New States.” Kofman listed representatives from Spain’s Basque region, Belgium’s Flanders region, Venice, Italy, and the U.S. state of Texas as potential participants. (There was no mention of Kosovo, which has been recognized by 108 states but notably not by Russia.) Kofman’s interviewer expressed particular interest in Texas, asking if there are “sprouts of support” in the U.S. state. “There’s more than sprouts,” he said, adding that those in favor of Texas independence “fully support the Donetsk People’s Republic.”

Texas reportedly has the best and freest of the State economies, with ever-increasingly-more free gun laws and business growth!  Compare with NY and California.  And, they have made secession noises before.
And they were there own Republic, previously.
Who knows?  Could happen…

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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