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Is This The Beginning Of The End?

I’m speaking of this Republic.

With Rome, it was either when the Ottoman Turks took Byzantium (Constantinople) 1453 AD or when a barbarian deposed the last western Roman emperor 476 AD (ancient history About.com)

My Western Civilization professor said it began with (and I’m quoting here) “Moral decadence and pleasures of the flesh!” (to the cheers of the 400 or so horny underclassmen)

What is/was the beginning of the end of this Constitutional Republic we know as The United States?

The Whiskey Rebellion? (1791)

The Civil War? (1861)

Federal income tax (1913)

Direct election of Senators?  (1913)

Establishment of the Federal Reserve?  (1913)

The National Firearms Act (1934)

Or is it an amalgamation of these and many other things, eating away at our Constitutional substance, punctuated by further federal government oversteps such as Ruby Ridge and Waco?  No-knock warrants, followed by airport searches and sobriety checkpoints.  Massive surveillance of our electronic communications.  Prohibitions of Speech seen as ‘politically-incorrect’.  The killing of Blacks by police – whether or not legitimate actions – spun by self-serving propagandists into an ersatz race war?

Now followed by widespread racial civil unrest, punctuated by acts of terrorism against civil authority.

I’m certain all ‘civilizations’, be they primitive neolithic cultures like the American Indian when the White man first laid eyes on him, or the Romans, or the Christian Turks all thought they would endure forever.

And so have most of we Americans.

I guess the true question isn’t what was the tipping point.

It’s what do we do NOW?

dark ages

from a miniseries The Dark Ages

Tamara (Again) Takes The Internets!

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.

 

51% – ers

from Brock Townsend:

Socialism’s False Promise

Via Billy

Given its track record, one wonders why socialism is gaining in popularity in the U.S. and what appeal it has to a generation that, apparently, knows little about it.

A recent survey from Harvard University has found that 51 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 do not support capitalism. Just 42 percent support the economic system that has allowed even the poorest American to live better and to have more opportunity for advancement than most of the rest of the world. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed support socialism.

Why does socialism receive such strong support among the young? I think it’s partly due to what is being taught in too many public schools and universities and it is partly due to ignorance and human nature, which would rather get a check than earn one.

Three quotes about socialism sum up both its false promise and its danger.

Back-in-the-day, when I was going to college, I paid all my own tuition, bought my own books, and worked full-time.  At minimum wage or slightly more than minimum wage jobs.  No student loans for me!
This is not to say I wouldn’t have considered a loan – I didn’t think I’d qualify and didn’t know I’d a choice!
What changed, wherein young people cannot work and afford college on their own? 
(I suspect the government is involved!)
(In the interest of full disclosure, I barely make it on SSDI today, and sometimes borrow (or am gifted) money to pay my auto insurance, or to make groceries.  This is not a bleg, but just a statement-of-fact.  What changed, when I could once afford to pay my own way, and now cannot?  I suspect the government is involved.)

A Period Piece

from Bayou Renaissance Man (in part)

Today’s award goes to the journalist(s) and/or editor(s) responsible for this utterly ludicrous headline:

It is, of course, complete and utter bull.  Naturally (and I mean that both literally and figuratively) women are, indeed, the only people who menstruate!  It can’t possibly be any other way.  Those responsible for this absurd headline are stretching reality in such a pretzel-like fashion that it’s grotesque to the point of ridiculousness.

(…)

There’s more at the link.

Look . . . if a woman chooses to self-identify as a man, but chromosomally, genetically and otherwise is female to the point that she still has periods, THEY ARE NOT A MAN.  THEY ARE A WOMAN.  PERIOD.  (Pun intended.)  Even if the relevant organs are surgically removed, so that periods are no longer physically possible, that won’t change the reality of the situation.

This is political correctness gone mad, and should be treated as such.  To do otherwise would be dishonest – and the hallmark of a doofus.  It’s as simple as that.

Peter

I applaud Peter for his directly addressing the complete absurdity of this concept!

Having said that, I commend the company for (ahem) thinking outside the box (sorry!) to gain a larger market share.  Capitalism at it’s weirdest.

As stupid though it may seem.

Hard to imagine what is, or could be next…

(I shudder at the prospects!)

Today In History, Recent and A Few Years Ago…

Muhammad-Ali-quote-on-courageMuhammad Ali (born Cassius Clay) is one of my childhood heroes.  Not so much because of specifics (being a great athlete/boxer – which he was), but because he stood for something.  And if his goals were boasts, he surpassed them.

By taking risks.

In spite of being a member of a controversial religious sect, he gave millions to charities for all races.

One of his biggest supporters was broadcaster Howard Cosell, who was unashamedly Jewish.

Hardly following the party line of radical Islam there, Mr. Ali.  Good for you!

He passed yesterday from complications due to Parkinson’s disease.  Not a serene way to go.  Just short miles from a hospital wing bearing he and his wife’s name.  For treatment of Parkinson’s.

“I AM THE GREATEST!” he used to boast.

He was.

….

Today is the 27th Anniversary of the ending to the protests in Tianamen Square, Peking, P.R.C.  We all remember that famous photo of the guy and the tank.

Here it is, in a wider view:

a everyone-knows-the-photo-of-tankman-stopping-tanks-but-this-the-real-photo-s800x571-437607-1020

Makes me think of the force of unfettered government versus the individual.

I wonder if he had heard of Muhammad Ali?

______________________________________________________
(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
I would ask all of you bloggers out there to at least make the effort to post a link to www.projectwelcomehometroops.org/#22kill

22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE DAILY

Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #2 of 22)

“It’s The FOOD POLICE, Again!”

The Obama administration is pressuring the food industry to make foods from breads to sliced turkey less salty, proposing long-awaited sodium guidelines in an effort to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke

By MARY CLARE JALONICK – Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is pressuring the food industry to make foods from breads to sliced turkey less salty, proposing long-awaited sodium guidelines in an effort to prevent thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke.

The proposed guidelines released Wednesday are voluntary, so food companies won’t be required to comply. But the idea is to persuade companies and restaurants — many of which have already lowered sodium levels in their products — to take a more consistent approach.

It’s the first time the government has recommended such limits. Sodium content already is included on existing food labels, but the government has not set specific sodium recommendations. The guidelines suggest limits for about 150 categories of foods, from cereals to pizzas and sandwiches. There are two-year and 10-year goals.

“The totality of scientific evidence, as reviewed by many well-respected scientific organizations, continues to support lowering sodium consumption from current levels,” said Susan Mayne, director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “In fact, it’s very difficult in the current marketplace not to consume too much sodium.”

Americans eat about 1½ teaspoons of salt daily, or 3400 milligrams. That’s about a third more than the government recommends for good health and enough to increase the risk of high blood pressure, strokes and other problems. Most of that sodium is hidden inside common processed foods and restaurant meals.

()

I’m overweight and diabetic.  And have high blood pressure and cholesterol.  Much less than I used to, in all respects, fortunately.  :-)

NOT BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED MY DIETARY CHOICES!

I don’t always make the ‘correct’ decisions with regard to the type of foods, or portions or ingredients – but, Hell, it’s my body and my choice!

(Where have I heard that before?)

Worst case scenario – IF the government controls how much salt is in commercially-produced products and restaurants (removing shakers from tables ala Bloomberg), and I feel the need, I’ll just bring my own!

Damn government control freaks!

When it rains, it pours…

morton

Life

It’s a cereal; it’s a board game.  A defunct television series.

It also is what it is.

My favorite line from the James Bond books, is ‘M’ (the head of MI-6, Admiral Sir Miles Meservy) telling Bond when he complains about receiving an assignment change, “Things change, 007.”

M

‘M’

And that might be one definition of Life.  Things changing.

Of course, the best part are the good changes – grand nieces ascending from 6th Grade, and another graduating High School.  Others having birthdays.  A dear friend’s birthdays and their elder daughter getting her doctorate!

The bad?

That dear friend (Bob Hall) being unable to be present for his daughter’s doctoral degree.

Daily dealing with issues regarding aging, illness and finances – both my roommate and I.

Friends, relatives and acquaintances becoming severely ill.  Some almost certainly in their way out, others hanging-in-there, but…?

And some already gone.  More than I ever expected.

Even some leaving voluntarily, but still present.  Apparently, friends no longer.  :-(

“Things change, Guffaw.”

I haven’t needed a fictional intelligence department head to tell me.

I already know.

Things are as they are.

This just in. Ray Carter passed this morning.
Puts my whining in perspective.

It’s Official…

I’ve been ‘disabled’ since I was age 12.  Legg Calve’ Perthes disease destroyed the cartilage and bone in my right hip, and was starting to attack my other hip and both knees.  After much failed experimentation, ‘they’ were able to stop the advancement.  ‘They’ decided the best course of action was to cast me, fusing my right leg at the hip.  In 1966.

So my right leg is substantially shorter than my left, and fused at the hip.

I’ve lived my life this way.  I’m used to it.

And, anyway, a hip replacement is elective and expensive.

In spite of this (in my youth), I ran, played, jogged, walked, took Kenpo karate, lifted weights…all manner of things!

Sadly, this disability kept me from joining the military or becoming a cop.  Childhood dreams dashed.

But, in spite of my limitations, I never felt, well, disabled.

Yes, sometimes ‘it’ got in the way (like needing leg room to drive – straight leg, and all), but it never kept me from most things.  I usually avoided wearing ‘Ed Sullivan-the really big shoe’* when I was younger, because I thought it made me look crippled.  Which I was.

And I rarely felt sorry for myself.  Well, sometimes.

But Life brought the addition of a serious car accident, diabetes and lymphoma, all potentially more lethal.

And Diffuse Type B Cell Lymphoma is listed as the ‘official’ reason for my Social Security Disability Income.

As of age 58.

And I am still here, now approaching age 64.  Wearing ‘Ed’ more often.

My roommate J. has been having her own health issues for many years.  They needn’t be enumerated here. Surgery pending on some.  Suffice it to say we don’t get to gun shows much, anymore.  Too much walking.

😦

But she never asked for one of those disabled mirror hangers!  I obtained one a while back, and we kept in in her car, as she does most of the driving, her car being in better shape then mine.

She finally remembered to ask her primary care doc for the form to get one!  And got hers!

This meant I got to have and use mine for the first time the other day!

20160521_085240

It’s official – I’m a gimp!

*Ed Sullivan was an entertainment reporter who hosted a TV variety show, from 1948-1971.  He would announce he had a really big show, but pronounced it as shoe – hence the pun.

 

Gender Inequality

…or at least equal opportunity for yuck!

I’m speaking about equal opportunity for MEN here.

I’ve been taking out the trash and the garbage my entire life!  Or, at least since I was able to walk, lift and receive an allowance.

My sister?  Nope.  And SHE, too, received an allowance.

Why the disparity?  I AM MALE!

Don’t you know – IT’S THE JOB OF THE MAN (OR BOY) TO TAKE OUT THE TRASH!

How do we know this?  Every woman – starting with my Mother and stepmother – said so!

And subsequent girlfriends and even the (now ex) wife!

And currently my female roommate!

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?

Everyone in the house makes trash and garbage.  I don’t mind sharing the duty necessary to get it to the dumpster.  But, when did it become solely the purview of the MALE?

I tried the argument that if there were gender-specific jobs that she should take care of the house and make the meals and do the wash.

That didn’t go over so well…

And I also received the counter-argument that they had to suffer childbirth and other things feminine.  As if I created women to be that way!

garbage rights

It’s an argument with a woman.

Men lose, automatically.

Survivalism Is Not Necessarily Ludditism

Joel writes:

Things that aren’t necessities but may as well be

61S3ZUWlhAL._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_
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…
IMG_1322
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.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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