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Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye. 

My college mate, friend, and boss (when I worked security at the closed Legend City amusement park, in the 70s) has passed away.

John Conneally

Fair Winds and Following Seas, My Friend!

We only recently reconnected on Facebook after a 30 year absence.

As Father’s day is looming, I was going to write initially something about my Father, his Father, my Grandfather, or having been a father, etc….

But, you guys have already seen this in this venue.

I was a step-child.  And my step-mother and I were not in agreement on most things.  Like how to treat me.  And my father was largely absent.  My childhood memories are largely not pleasant ones.

Here’s what John’s stepson and one of his daughters had to say about him.

For Father’s Day.

John Conneally was my step-father from my body’s age of 8 1/2 to 14 1/2 and helped Tina Poling-Conneally raise me during those years. He introduced me critical analysis, science fiction, the concepts of leadership, teamwork, discipline, tactics, strategy, deduction and showed me what being brilliant without much solid, applicable way to make it useful for one’s self and society as a whole. As invaluable as they all are the most important one for me is the latter, and it motivates me more and more each day.
John died sometime either last night or today of complications from leukemia, liver failure and lung cancer. He had exposure to horrendous chemical wastes and other environmental hazards while in the Navy which very likely caused his leukemia and the liver and lung cancer came from self-medicating with tobacco and alcohol to keep his highly sensitive and strong soul from feeling and dealing with the internal awarenesses the society he grew up in had zero ability to teach him how to handle; John would have been a capable medicine man, shaman, holistic therapist and healing artist had he been born into this part of the world in the 80’s to today.
He lived as best a life as he could and I am glad I was able to be influenced by his life, both the good and the bad. May his pathways now lead him through all the misconceptions _and_ perfection of his life he just left. May his soul reach out to the wonders he sought and may be achieve them increasingly and unceasingly.
May he be able to choose rebirth, if and when he wants to from the realms of Experience that are without sufferings, pain fear and lack. May his lives and experiences between lives be of benefit to himself and All Beings.

Fare well, John Conneally. I am praying for you and perhaps we’ll meet again someday in much better and healthier ways.

Love to you.

____________

It’s a very hard thing, to think of someone you love in the past tense. Rest in peace, Dad. You are already missed.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

My wish for all of you as parents is to be as well thought of and loved in hindsight, as John’s children have of him.

If only…

 

 

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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?
😦

Bob Owens R.I.P.

We (both the firearms rights community and humanity) have lost yet another.

Bob Owens.

I knew him through the Internet and other bloggers.  He was both personable and knowledgeable.

BearingArms.com reports that Owens was “a graduate of roughly 400 hours of professional firearms training classes, including square range and force-on force work with handguns and carbines.”

The site added that he was “a past volunteer instructor with Project Appleseed. He most recently received his Vehicle Close Quarters Combat Instructor certification from Centrifuge Training.”

According to Young Conservatives, “Bob was well-respected among conservatives and Second Amendment advocates. He would frequently take on gun control advocates in social media with his classic brand of intelligence and sharp wit, often leaving them in the dust.”

As news of Owens’ death spread on social media, many people expressed sadness. Others hit back at pro gun control supporters who made political statements about Owens’ death.  (Heavy.com)

Of course, there was so much more to Bob than just a couple of dry paragraphs.

From Bob, himself:

About the Author

Written By: Bob

Bob Owens is native of North Carolina who began blogging at the politics-focused Confederate Yankee in November 2004 before transitioning to this site in 2011.

In August of 2013 he has been the editor of Townhall’s Second Amendment web site, BearingArms.com, where he now does most of his writing.

Prior to Bearing Arms, Bob was a contributing writer at Pajamas Media and Shooting Illustrated,

He also does Twitter.

He is currently working on his first novel, The Long Way Home, and has published a short Kindle e-book for people interested in purchasing their first firearm, entitled So You Want to Own a Gun. He is a Rifleman and volunteer instructor in the Appleseed Project, where he shares stories of our history and heritage and teaches rifle marksmanship, but mainly likes to play Line Boss.

He is married to the girl of his dreams, and they have two children.

I was told during an extremely low time in my life that being a father meant suicide was no longer an option.  In spite of this, I’m not judging Bob – who knows what demons resided in his psyche?

Godspeed, Bob – Requiescat in pacem

(PLEASE – If you are distraught, or worse, ask for help!  Everyone, whether they realize it or not, has friends and family who care about them.  Don’t take this path! – Guffaw)

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255

Decency And Character

Yep.  I’m speaking of the recent dustup of things long-time ago said by candidates.

Mr. Trump has been recorded using language that might have originated in a high school locker room.  As has Secretary Clinton (at least in print).  And her husband.  And Jack Kennedy.

And, The President.

Use (or non-use) of such language, of course, is not a qualification for The Presidency.

My question is, what ever happened to the character of individuals?  Used to be persons with character aspired to be The President.  Washington, Jefferson and John Adams come to mind.  All persons of character.  Each very different.  (Yes, I know Washington and Jefferson owned slaves…)

They were human.  I suspect they might have uttered socially-inappropriate language in private moments.

But they rose to the challenge to move this Constitutional Republic forward.

I don’t see that in any of the current of recent candidates.

Now, it’s reported by the Clinton’s that they have victims of rape by Mr. Trump coming forward!  Seriously?  Not only is the timing questionable, but the whole pot-kettle thing!

I know politics by it’s very nature is dirty.  Regardless:

I weep for The Republic.

Knives Of My Youth

There were a couple, or three.

The first I owned because of my Father’s disconnect.

He was raised on the East Coast, in a more poor part of town, by a railroad policeman/former Marine.  An Irish neighborhood.

In my mind, his youth resembled a Dead-End Kids movie, except not in NYC.

And, laws aside, there were knives and guns around.  And his Dad’s rules about them – were something akin to ‘touch anything without permission and you get a beating’!

Fast-forward to 1960s Arizona.  A desert, agricultural college town.  Lots of farm and ranch kids.  About 3/4 or whom carried some kind of folder with them.  Girls included.

And me.

We had a couple guns at home, which I was not allowed to touch (see above).

One day, while I was in grade school, my Dad came into the back yard where I was playing.  And he handed me a folding knife.  I was going to be leaving for camp in the Summer, and he thought I should have one of his (!)

CamcoWaterfallCelluloidJack

not mine

AND, not unlike The Dead End Kids, he gave me a quick lesson in Mumbley-Peg with it!  Not understanding knives didn’t stick well in the dry, desert dirt.  See, disconnect.

None of my friends had ever seen such a game.  And, anyway, they didn’t bring their knives out at school.

And, I took the knife to camp, a fellow camper borrowed it, cut himself, got taken to the ER(!), and I never saw it again!  He was okay, though.

Fast forward to a year or so later.  I’d made friends with a couple of kids a block over, including a little red headred headed girl (!)  (Puberty had yet to hit, and, anyway, she was younger than me and a friend’s sister…I wonder where she is now? STOP THAT!)

My birthday came around, and surprise-surprise, the little red haired girl stopped by with a present!  (Hell, most of my friends hadn’t given me anything!)

And what do you think it was…?

NO, not a folding knife.

A sheathed belt knife!  How cool was THAT?  Of course, my Dad immediately glommed onto it for his camping and fishing trips.

not mine

not mine

And it resided in the truck’s over-the-cab camper for years.  Until my Dad passed and everything was given away or sold.  😦

Now, my maternal grandfather (aka ‘Gramp’) always carried a knife!  When I was a kid, I thought this was a disconnect, as he was an East Coast banker-type.  The only time we ever say it was when there were presents.

Used to open the boxes!  A Christy gentleman’s knife!

not his

not his

And it, too, is lost to history.  😦

Although, if I really wanted one, Christy still makes them!

FTC – no companies gave me any of these knives for commercial endorsement – now go away!

 

 

ANOTHER David – Please Keep Him In Your Thoughts

Another David…

An older gentleman (73?), with some health issues, suffered some chest ‘discomfort’ last night, and is in the hospital this morning awaiting an angiography.

Please keep him in your thoughts, and if you are the praying kind, please do so.

He is a good friend – I’ve known him about three years.

(Some of us are getting to ‘that age’ wherein more friends, co-workers and acquaintances become ill and worse.  We all need to support one another in these difficult times.  Thank you for him.- Guffaw)  

This just in – Yesterday afternoon, David received two stents, and is recovering well!  He is expected to return home today.  Thank you for all your kind wishes and prayers – Guffaw

“Chivalry Is Not Dead…

…it’s only that people are sleeping knights.”  –  (with apologies from) Guffaw, in high school (c) 1968

chivelryMy Daily Kona thoughtfully expounds on this very subject, that is Chivalry, the rules of Western Civilization’s gentlemen, as seen through the eye’s of libertarian science fiction author Robert Heinlein:

In part…

     I have been told that I am a throwback to a bygone age, my mannerism and vocabulary are archaic from what I was told.   I am a firm believer in manners, I like to quote “Lazarus Long” a character that Robert Heinlein created.  Basically Lazarus Long was an immortal and he would keep notes of his experiences and observations.
“Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as “empty,” “meaningless,” or “dishonest,” and scorn to use them. No matter how “pure” their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best.”  –  MrGarabaldi

You should really go and read all the rules, as MrGarabaldi outlines.  And remember, once upon a time, they were the rules of gentlemen (and gentlewomen).  And Western Civilization relied upon them for social order – the very lubrication Lazarus Long spoke of in the previous paragraph.

See how far we have diverted from them, and decide for yourself, was it worth it?

He outlines 31 Rules that used to have prevalence in polite society.  In the interest of transparency, I more often than not violate number 12, but always adhere to numbers 21 and 29.

Number 17.  😦

(for St. Valentine’s Day*) The Millionaire – a remake (kinda)

marvin millerWhen I was growing up, there was a television show called The Millionaire.  In the show, personal representative of millionaire J. Beresford Tipton (Michael Anthony) doled out one million dollars to a worthy nobody every week.  Of course, the plot revolved around how this windfall affected their life.  At the time, one million dollars was a lot of money.  The only caveat was the recipient was to agree never to reveal the source of their new wealth.  I suspect the IRS wasn’t involved in this agreement.  🙂

Today is St. Valentine’s Day*, a day I loathe, as I’m alone.  Obviously, if there was someone in my life, celebrating it would be terrific.  But alas…

I was preparing dinner last night, when the doorbell rang.  It was the UPS guy.  He presented me with a small, heavy package.  I hurriedly opened it and discovered a surprise!

NO, it wasn’t one million dollars, but rather a serious amount of ammunition in the calibers I own and shoot!  Accompanying the ammo was a note.  Obviously someone reads this blog, read I am ‘ammo poor’ and took it upon themself to send me a gift of reloads!  How cool is THAT?

I don’t know how soon I’ll be able to go shooting, again, but it’s nice knowing people whom I’ve never met are kind enough to send me gifts.  I’m quite moved and humbled.  And now more sufficiently armed.

And as I’ve no way to thank them personally, I’m posting about it.  And, I’ll never reveal the source.  Part of my agreement.

You never saw a happier worthy nobody!

*I’ve asked this before – WHY is it just Valentine’s Day, unless one references the massacre?  It’s not Patrick’s Day?

But Brutus is an honorable man…

Having studied American History for some time, with certain foci (The American Revolution, progressivism, political intrigue and assassination, Constitutional government, libertarianism) something has been bothering me.

Like most civilizations, historically, we have (had) a code and at least made an effort to abide by it.  A man’s word is his bond.  A handshake means something, as does a signature.  Being a gentlemen means holding to certain standards of behavior and deportment.  Honor.

But, it appears all this is now a facade; it has all fallen away.  Especially regarding men of influence and power.  Lying, cheating, stealing, having an alternate code of whatever it takes to accomplish ‘x’, rules the day.

I remember my College Course ‘Introduction to Western Civilization’ wherein Dr. Smith taught us that The Roman Empire didn’t fall because of barbarian attack.  It fell because of a decline in morals – in short, a loss of honorable men.

I’ve been following the articles on Manly Honor, as posted in The Art of Manliness website.  I suggest we need to return to the evolution of the Code in the Twentieth Century – Personal Integrity.

As author Brett states in Manly Honor VII…

But today in this final post I want to strip away many of those layers and try to get back down to the heart of manly honor – the basics of why it’s worth preserving and how we can, and must, revive elements of it in this anti-honor-honor world.

You should go and read, not only this chapter, but the previous six.  Both men and women.  We can restore civility, integrity and a code of behavior as it once was, if we agree to take a code upon ourselves to behave and act accordingly.  And by doing so, perhaps we can reverse this trend wherein people protest by destroying and stealing property, and songs are written about killing civil authority and defiling women.  By being an example for our youth.  By doing what’s right for the American Culture and our own worth.

A little game of chance

Back when I was contracted to perform private security at the old country club, there were a number of regularly scheduled events.  One of these was a famous golf tournament (years later moved to another venue) and various other sundry events for society and charity.  We provided security for all.
One of the lesser known events was a private card game in the club room, almost every Sunday night.  I never knew when it began, but it usually ran way past closing and the clubroom grillman always had to stay to make certain the participants were properly fed and watered.  And boozed.
One of these regulars was a nephew of famous Senator, famous himself in California politics, another a local businessman in the construction business, the owner of the business.  The third, yet another local luminary.
And they’d meet almost every week to play cards.
Usually they’d sneak out some one-way exit without security knowing, but every so-often they’d ask for a security escort to their cars.
One early Monday morning, about 0300 as I recall, they called security asking for just such an escort.
I arrived quickly to the clubroom, the grillman gone, the game just ending.
They were ‘settling up’.
“Let’s see, that’s five thousand to you, and eight thousand to you.” one said!  These weren’t matchsticks or pennies.  And out came the rolls of bills.
Soon, we were on the way to the parking lot.  A couple of Mercedes and some other luxury car.  One of the guys tried to tip me, but I declined, as that wasn’t allowed (and I thought would be poor form, anyway).
I was glad none appeared impaired, as I’d hate to have let them on the road in such condition.  Rich and drunk.  They were just rich, at least by my standards.
I was bringing down $90.00 a week!  (1975)

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…