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For Those Just Arriving From The Equator

Because everyone else over 2 years old knows!

h/t The Feral Irishman

Borepatch Hung It Up, June 11 !

BOREPATCH, blogger extraordinaire, posted his last post on June 11.

Almost SEVEN YEARS after his first!

He says he wants to hit the road on his new bike.

Can’t blame him, after all this time.

Vaya Con Queso, my friend!

Hope to catch that beer with you one day.

Stay safe.

I Drive A GM Car

Not by choice.

My beloved ’89 Isuzu Trooper (Molly’s Trolley) gave up the ghost in 2002.  I traded in her carcass for the only ‘decent’ car I could then qualify for.  A 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue.

Which I still own and sometimes drive.  In 2015.

Because my being on disability means I just squeak by, and cannot afford car payments.  My last significant repair cost over $700, which I borrowed from my roommate and paid back @ $100/month.  Plus my rent.  Ouch.

I’ve oft had fantasies of getting some extra funds.  Paying off long-overdue bills and maybe getting a slightly newer car.

And, considering the questionably available maintenance and longevity of the Olds, she still runs.  Sometimes.

So, why not a GM car?

Here’s why (from Say Uncle):

First, I (and you) foot the bill for their mismanagement and union kowtowing. Now, this:

Automakers are supporting provisions in copyright law that could prohibit home mechanics and car enthusiasts from repairing and modifying their own vehicles.

In comments filed with a federal agency that will determine whether tinkering with a car constitutes a copyright violation, OEMs and their main lobbying organization say cars have become too complex and dangerous for consumers and third parties to handle.

Good thing Dave-the-genius-mechanic is moving out-of-state!  Wouldn’t want him to get in trouble for tinkering with my car.  After all, he just repairs Airbus A320s for U.S. Air American Airlines!

Guess I will now always need a G(overnment) Motors –  approved shop!

And the sad part (aside from Dave leaving the State!:-( ) is of all the beater cars I’ve owned, THIS is the one who lasted the longest!

Where Has The Republic Gone?

Long time passing…

The Gunner’s Blog recently mused on the very principles which The United States was alleged to have been founded.

And how they largely no longer exist:

America? It is gone.

My America, the homeland I honored as the highest expression of freedom’s ideals, is no more. Limited government and sweeping individual liberty are things of the past. So is the business environment that sometimes allowed little David companies to become giant killers. We are burdened by taxes, by rules and red tape and the odious creed of political correctness.What happened was that people abandoned God and good as their guiding lights. America has never been a very religious country, but for a long time the cultural influence of Christ’s gospel was felt–honored only partially and quite inconsistently, but present none the less and tacitly accepted as a good thing. Now, though, some even openly call the gospel a bad thing. Few ever consider looking to it for moral guidance. This moral end-swap has left us without moral guidance. What we have instead is the desire to impose moralisms, often invented ones, on other people.So the country that started out with people promising freedom to their neighbors in return for their own freedoms–their neighbors as themselves–now has become a hive of busybodies. Everyone thinks ‘there oughta be a law’ and oddly enough it is always other people’s behavior they think it about. The idea that you create freedoms by imposing laws is entirely backwards. The word ‘freedom’ is appropriated and misused in arguments for restrictions, probably because it is traditionally a popular word in American politics. But it would seem we have forgotten what the dictionary says it means.As I read the history books, great nations do not end in sudden cataclysm but decline slowly into folly and despair. They end not with a bang but a whimper. Where once proud Romans stood, illiterate peasants tended olives and vegetables through the long Dark Ages. The great overarching lesson of history is that people fail to learn the great overarching lesson of history.
It’s George Santayana all over again!
And, I HATE having him quoted to me, and to have the quote be correct!
(PS – this is my 2000th post!  Thank you for stopping by – Guffaw)

A Humble Remembrance

A loyal and (sometimes) vocal follower of this tiny blog pointed me in a direction I’d somehow overlooked, in local history:

35 years later, we should remember fallen firefighter

Ed Gaiki

Ed Gaiki

Ed Gaiki.

I’d not heard or thought of his name in many years.  Thirty-five years ago, I was still living in this town, before I got married and a year later bought a house with the wife and moved to ‘the big city’.

(excerpted from the above link)

Ed was the only firefighter to die in the line of duty in this town’s firefighting service in it’s history.

…As they arrived, smoke was rising from the roof of the Jumbo Bagel Deli, at the end of the strip center.

Within five minutes of the call, Gaicki and eight other firefighters would go into building to search for people and the source of the smoke. Within 15 minutes, the roof collapsed, flaming wood pancaking down onto the nine firefighters.

Deputy Chief Gary Ells, the only remaining active firefighter who was there that night, was one of those trapped. Four of the men got out quickly. News reports at the time describe how four others, including then-Capt. Ells, had to crawl through the building, beneath the remnants of the flaming roof, eventually having to share an air tank before they were rescued.

One man didn’t make it out alive.  (January 15, 1980)

He was 27 years old.

A memorial service on the anniversary of his death will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Gaicki Park, 5616 South McClintock Drive. (January 15, 2015)

“… I think it’s also important to keep the story alive as a reminder to the rest of us, of the men and women who serve us every day and sometimes pay dearly for it.”  – Deputy Chief Gary Els

Since that time, much personal history has passed.  We had a daughter, got divorced, lost the house, and our daughter passed away.  And I never got to go into ‘public service’, as I had wanted.  I probably didn’t remember, as I’d been just married two weeks before (January 1).

Regardless, we should always remember those who gave their all, whether in the armed services, police or the fire departments.  We owe them that measure, minimally.

Thanks, Ed.

h/t The Arizona Republic, KM

Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls…

bellBayou Renaissance Man posted regarding the recent interactions between the constabulary and suspect(s), the protests that followed, and the police political assassinations that followed THOSE actions.

And, as usual, he did so with aplomb.  You should go to the link above and read him.  (And, if you are not regularly reading him, why not?)

And he brought up a recent court decision and the Peelian Principals.  (Sir Robert Peel being the founder of Modern Law Enforcement.)  They are:

  1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
  2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
  3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
  4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
  5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
  6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
  7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
  9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

And here’s Peter’s money quote:

I can already hear the scoffing from police officers that those principles are utterly outdated when dealing with a society that regards the rule of law as nothing more than a polite fiction.  I can’t blame them;  our politicians and leaders in other spheres often appear to honor our laws more in the breach than in the observance.  Needless to say, our citizens all too often take their cue from their leaders (or is it the other way around?)  Nevertheless, any officer of the law who enters upon his career regarding the people he’s called to “protect and serve” as the enemy rather than his peers and fellow citizens is riding for a fall.  Sooner or later, someone’s going to provide one for him. (end)

It does appear as though we as a Society have transcended into pre-civil war status.  That is, that those charged with ‘protecting and serving’ the public are ‘protecting and serving’ each other, to the exclusion of the public (not entirely) and engaging in rampant abuses of power and authority not seen in many years.  In The United States, anyway.

Including wholesale surveillance of cellular telephone and email communications.  Restrictions placed on travel (elimination of 4th Amendment protections at border crossings, airports, ‘sobriety checkpoints’ and even some railroad and bus stations)!  And lets not forget misused or misapplied warrant services.  Does the name Jose Guerena come to mind?  Rendition and torture, in violation of both civil and military law.

And punishing of those who wish to bring such facts to light via the Internet or even cell phone cameras.

And now the remaining folks in blue who actually do their jobs and refrain from abuse are being subjected to political assassination, in the name of social justice?

Isn’t this what some Internet bloggers have been suggesting for the past few years?  Just because it’s painted in race doesn’t make it any less real.

Can we as a Society fix this before it’s too late?  Before cities, towns and States are overrun with folks tired of the governmental abuses?

Ask not for whom the bell tolls.

It peels for thee, Republic.

Self Defense In Israel – “Never Again!”

israelI’d always believed that ISRAEL had very liberal gun laws.  Liberal as in classically liberal, e.g. open carry is ubiquitous, etc.  Turns out this was NOT the truth:

From Nikki

If you haven’t already heard, two pig-humping Paleoswine walked into a synagogue in Jerusalem, Israel today (posted November 18) and proceeded to murder five innocent people, including three U.S.-born rabbis. The sons of sows used meat cleavers, an ax, and a gun in their attacks in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem.

That’s right. They hacked innocent worshipers to death with meat cleavers. By the time police arrived and shot the two savages, several people had been hacked and/or shot to death.

Meanwhile, it was a rude awakening for Israel. As Y.B. ben Avraham explains at Zelman Partisans, it is an error to cite Israel as some sort of bastion of firearms freedoms. It isn’t.

While it is true that one sees young people, fresh from graduating high school, with select-fire rifles slung on their backs, and in Judea and Samaria it is a bit easier to obtain a community weapon or permit, in reality, the “freedoms” look much more like Chicago or NYC than say, Arizona. Everything is by permission, and licensure, and the restrictions have been getting much more restrictive and onerous, in practice, especially in the large metropolitan areas.

It took a massacre for Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to announce an easing of restrictions on carrying weapons. Unfortunately, the epiphany is insufficient. The moderation in policy only applies to those who currently hold licenses, such as security guards and off-duty military officers. What about the rest of the defenseless would-be victims whose only recourse against ax- and meat cleaver-wielding sociopaths is to wait for a police officer to arrive? What about the innocent faithful, praying in a synagogue whose only hope is to wait for help to arrive?

The homicidal butchers gave Israel a wake-up call when they walked into that synagogue wielding implements of murder and proceeded to shed innocent blood. The massacre prompted the Public Security Minister to loosen gun regulations for license holders.

What will it take for the Israeli government to realize that their infringement on the natural rights of the people can end up in nothing but slaughter?

Have they forgotten?

Or are they channeling their rights-controlling brethren in Chicago and NYC?

It’s better to ask forgiveness than to get permission!  MAROONS ALL!

Due Process

from Alphecca

The Washington Post has been running a very good series of investigative reports on how police departments around the nation have been seizing billions of dollars from often innocent citizens without charging them with any crime. That link takes you to the first installment. On the side, near the top, are the links to the other five pieces. It’s time for Congress to address this issue nationally. Somehow, I doubt that Republicans will allow that.

I’ve been concerned for years about how The Federal Government (through the IRS) can garnishee, attach, freeze, steal assets in advance of due process.  Then it’s up to the poor object of these seizures to fight to get said assets back!

Seemed kind of ass-backwards to me(?)

Now (or perhaps for some time) police departments are engaging in similar behavior!

I’m reminded of a local tale (from the 70’s) in this area, wherein a guy made a police report subsequent to a business burglary.  And reported the losses to his insurance company.  Later, he found some assets in the rubble he had previously thought stolen, and attempted to amend his report.

He was charged with FRAUD, FILING A FALSE REPORT, AND HIS ASSETS SEIZED!

As he sat in the middle of his printing business, watching agents remove everything, crying, he asked one, “Why?”

“Because we can.” was the terse response.

What is it Lord Acton said of government?  Absolutely.

Halloween 2014

halloween frazetta

by Frank Frazetta

Halloween was probably my favorite holiday – as a child.  When else can I go out at night, largely unescorted after I reached school-age, and extort goodies from as many neighbors as I could, all whilst my identity was hidden!

Living in a city-locked white-bread college town, possible dangers were negligible, and we could get popcorn balls and caramel apples along with the usual  candy bars and such.  I even remember returning home on one occasion to get a second bag!

Then, I became a teen, and my interests lie in other than candy…

Fast-forward to fatherhood, and escorting my tiny daughter in her princess costume to a few neighbors.  This evolved to letting her go out by herself, in costumes she herself had sewn and designed (Jean Grey from the XMen, for example).  Dad got into the act at work, oft winning department costume contests, using makeup, wigs, even shaving my head and/or face a couple of times to make a costume character come together!

After the accident, the holiday lost it’s appeal.  I dressed up a couple times at work – but my heart wasn’t in it.

I don’t even give out candy.  Getting up and down to answer the door is just too time consuming and physically difficult.

And besides, Jean Grey doesn’t stop by, anymore.

What DID You Accomplish, As Secretary-Of-State, Ms. Clinton?

When she was asked about her accomplishments as Secretary of State, she responded:

“My accomplishments as Secretary of State? Well, I’m glad you asked! My proudest accomplishment in which I take the most pride, mostly because of the opposition it faced early on, you know… the remnants of prior situations and mindsets that were too narrowly focused in a manner whereby they may have overlooked the bigger picture and we didn’t do that and I’m proud of that. Very proud. I would say that’s a major accomplishment.”   –   Hillary Clinton 11 March 2014

Can anyone figure out what in the hell she just said? And she may be running for President?

Reminds me of a TV commercial of some years back, wherein the politician on-screen says, “And furthermore, in conclusion…” as if he is being paid by the word!   I’m thinking she needs a teleprompter, not unlike another politician who dare not open his mouth without nearby speechwriters.

As another blogger stated, I’ve no problem with a woman as Chief Executive, but, JUST NOT THIS ONE!  And I’m not even mentioning Benghazi or Watergate! – Guffaw
h/t Boyd & Donna
"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

This election is not about who gets voted off the island.
It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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“F**k Civility. Hyperbole, passion, and metaphor are beautiful parts of rhetoric. The marketplace of ideas cannot be toned down for the insane.” - Penn Jillette

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