It’s February 8th.
Regular readers might remember this is my daughter Molly’s birthday. In this case her 34th. Sadly, she only made it to her 12th. 😦
(The twenty-second anniversary of the accident that took her from us is in about five weeks.)
I try to remember happier birthdays.
Last year, another element was added to this date.
Bob Hall, my dear friend whom I met when were worked as private investigators together, who before had attended junior high and high school with my then wife-to-be, and later managed the Legendary Gun gun store (where I worked part time, for a while) in 2016 passed into eternity. Complications from cancer.
See, I told you this time of year sucked for me.
care about love, passing way before their time is a travesty!
Please take the opportunity today to hug those close to you, and tell them you love them.
You never know…
I was never a huge circus guy as a kid, probably because I wasn’t a very good athlete – although the acrobats did impress me. Of course, being feet from large wild animals was thrilling! (except for the smell!) And being a ‘semi-professional’ magician (starting in the Fourth Grade) I was drawn to performers like clowns – even considering crossing the makeup line and becoming a clown magician myself! I’d read of Harry Houdini, and how he got his start in traveling carnivals performing feats of strength and ‘oddities’, like being able to pick up needles with his eyelashes while hanging inverted! (How one does this for an audience – who knows?)
But what really got my attention were the oddities, the Sideshow. The beginnings of the traveling circus. People and animals with disabilities or birth defects – Siamese twins, women with beards, two headed snakes – that sort of thing. Obviously, middle-America in the early 1800’s needed some kind of diversion, right?
And this is precisely why the circuses are ending. If one wants to see an elephant, there are thousands on You Tube. The same for magic, people with birth defects and feats of strength. No longer must one wait in line for tickets, endure the crowds, animal smells and over-priced popcorn to see such things. The circus can come to you! And there are TV, movies, shows – all stream-able to your TV, computer or cell phone.
Jeff Cooper sometimes spoke of seeing the elephant. In the olden days, a farm youth (as most were prior to 1920) had little or no exposure to life outside that which was on the farm. Birth, death, butchering, harvesting, hunting, planting – all hard physical labor. But little else.
When a boy ‘came of age’, his father would shove a few dollars in his pocket, point him to town, and tell him to go ‘see the elephant’. The circus was coming to town! The boy would dutifully go, see the elephant, the sideshow, perhaps have some liquor and engage in games of chance. If he had any money left, he might find a woman of ill-repute with whom to ‘spend some time’.
It was all about a rite-of-passage. Learning something about the outside world.
But, in today’s instantaneous electronically-connected world, there is no rite-of-passage. Boys (and girls) learn about sex from the Internet. Not exactly seeing the elephant.
No wonder instant gratification is the motto for the Millennials.
And we as a society are lesser for it.
Go see the elephant before the circus closes forever! Reportedly, they will stop using elephants by 2018. of course, the circus will end before that…
Find a woman?
Going to the recent memorial for Bob reminded me of others who have gone before.
Like my work-pal Clive!
One of most unforgettable characters when I worked @ TMCCC was CLIVE.
At least that’s the name from which we all knew him: Clive.
Could he have BEEN any more British?
Clive was another of the credit card fraud investigators with whom I worked. He had the accent, was married to his American wife (his 3rd, I think) and had lived in the United States (legally) 40 years.
I once asked him why he didn’t go for citizenship. He said a piece of paper wouldn’t change where he was born!
He was a classical liberal and loathed Margaret Thatcher. We had many a thrilling political discussion.
He found out via the company grapevine I was a firearms enthusiast, and was quite anxious to know if I had a Lee Enfield .303 rifle. He apparently was familiar with them through the British military. I did not, but he still wanted to go shooting with me. We made a desert run (with his pal, a retired Flagstaff PD guy ‘Harry’, also an investigator) and had a blast (no pun intended).
I suggested he could obtain his own SMLE, but he didn’t understand that particular abbreviation. And, anyway, he explained his American wife (whom he lovingly referred to as SWMBO*) wouldn’t stand for it. She didn’t like guns. I knew a high-end range in North Scottsdale offered lockers for storage. And he was carefully considering it.
I took a vacation week, and upon my return found out that Clive had also. He told his wife he was not feeling well and stretched out on their couch.
He never awakened. (this was some years ago)
I never knew much more about him, until I saw his obituary. Turned out his first name was Richard, and he had been a respected scientist in the U.K.
From his obituary, in part…
For many years Clive was a Research Scientist for Weyerhaeuser and has three patents. He was a founder of Home Builders International, which developed low cost housing in Third World countries using mostly straw and mud for construction. He and his wife, Dawn, spent six months in Mexico City where Clive helped establish a factory to manufacture the straw and mud into a material suitable for home construction. He was the founder of the Phoenix Institute of Technology. It was a national group of scientists who developed a report on methods to generate power in Third World countries using only local resources. The report was presented to the world at an international environmental conference in New Mexico in 1995. It was written initially for the Vatican and the Mennonite Church who are the largest missionary groups in the world. This research was done and sent with no monetary exchange. (…)
Clive served 3 years in 341 Squadron of the Air Training Corps, connected to the Royal Air Force. (…)
I miss our spirited exchanges, my friend.
*She Who Must Be Obeyed
(So, the Angel of Death (aka 2016) marches on.
And we are lesser for it. I hate you.)
Robert Vaughn played Napoleon Solo, in the meme-changing TV show The Man From UNCLE.
Television was populated with ubiquitous cowboy and cop shows. Then Ian Fleming (the creator of James Bond) approached NBC with a concept.
And stars and genre were born. (the other star being David McCallum – Ilya Kuriakin. David remains with us, thankfully, as Ducky on NCIS.)
Mr. Vaughn played many other roles, but never lost identity with the Solo role.
Before UNCLE, Vaughn was one of the original Magnificent Seven. He was the last surviving of the seven.
By all accounts, he was a fine man.
He died of acute leukemia. He was 83.
Being a survivor of another blood cancer (lymphoma) this interests me. Please donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on my sidebar.
My youth keeps falling away…
RIP Mr. Vaughn
Peter (Bayou Renaissance Man)
posited thusly (in part)…
Donna Laframboise asks, “How many scientific papers just aren’t true? Enough that basing government policy on ‘peer-reviewed studies’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”
We’re continually assured that government policies are grounded in evidence, whether it’s an anti-bullying programme in Finland, an alcohol awareness initiative in Texas or climate change responses around the globe. Science itself, we’re told, is guiding our footsteps.
There’s just one problem: science is in deep trouble. Last year, Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, referred to fears that ‘much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue’ and that ‘science has taken a turn toward darkness.’
It’s a worrying thought. Government policies can’t be considered evidence-based if the evidence on which they depend hasn’t been independently verified, yet the vast majority of academic research is never put to this test. Instead, something called peer review takes place. When a research paper is submitted, journals invite a couple of people to evaluate it. Known as referees, these individuals recommend that the paper be published, modified, or rejected.
If it’s true that one gets what one pays for, let me point out that referees typically work for no payment. They lack both the time and the resources to perform anything other than a cursory overview. Nothing like an audit occurs. No one examines the raw data for accuracy or the computer code for errors. Peer review doesn’t guarantee that proper statistical analyses were employed, or that lab equipment was used properly. The peer review process itself is full of serious flaws, yet is treated as if it’s the handmaiden of objective truth.
And it shows. Referees at the most prestigious of journals have given the green light to research that was later found to be wholly fraudulent. Conversely, they’ve scoffed at work that went on to win Nobel prizes. Richard Smith, a former editor of the British Medical Journal, describes peer review as a roulette wheel, a lottery and a black box. He points out that an extensive body of research finds scant evidence that this vetting process accomplishes much at all. On the other hand, a mountain of scholarship has identified profound deficiencies.
. . .
Politicians and journalists have long found it convenient to regard peer-reviewed research as de facto sound science. Saying ‘Look at the studies!’ is a convenient way of avoiding argument … We’ve long been assured that reports produced by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are authoritative because they rely entirely on peer-reviewed scientific literature. A 2010 InterAcademy Council investigation found this claim to be false, but that’s another story. Even if all IPCC source material did meet this threshold, the fact that one academic journal — and there are 25,000 of them — conducted an unspecified and unregulated peer review ritual is no warranty that a paper isn’t total nonsense.
If half of scientific literature ‘may simply be untrue’, then might it be that some of the climate research cited by the IPCC is also untrue? Even raising this question is often seen as being anti-scientific. But science is never settled. The history of scientific progress is the history of one set of assumptions being disproven, and another taking its place.
There’s more at the link. Ms. Laframboise’s full report may be read here (the link is to an Adobe Acrobat document in .PDF format).
This is precisely why I profoundly distrust any politician who tries to tell us that ‘the science is settled’. All too often, it’s far from settled. It may even be actively and deliberately fraudulent, producing results tailor-made to satisfy the objectives of those who’ve funded the research. Too many ‘researchers’ begin with a goal in mind, their conclusions already identified, and then seek evidence that will substantiate what they want to prove. Anything to the contrary is ignored or discarded, or flagrantly manipulated to achieve the desired result (as in this example, to cite just one – there are many more).
That’s not research at all. It’s pseudo-scientific sleight of hand. It’s a shell game.
I used to believe in SCIENCE. After all, having been taught The Scientific Method, along with the histories of Newton, Curie, Tesla, Edison, Einstein and others, I believed hard work, documentation, reproducing results and guts did it.
The idea that scientists were bending or fabricating their results toward a financial end didn’t even cross my mind. (think Galileo!)
I used to believe in GOVERNMENT. The blueprint the Founding Fathers left us was damn near perfect. Persons who sought government service would swear to uphold the principles espoused in The Constitution.
But, there was an assumption those who chose public service would be MORAL and ETHICAL!
The fact such persons would commit perjury by swearing falsely never even crossed my radar.
The scales have indeed dropped from my eyes.
And scientists and politicians will have to reach a high bar to gain my trust ever again.
Now, I’m relegated to a bunker (in an unknown location) and tin-foil hat (at least philosophically).
If you don’t know the access password, watch out!
I posted a while ago three examples of voter fraud (or potential fraud). One of the examples was shown to be a spurious claim. This, of course, doesn’t mean that the other two are invalid, or that other claims don’t exist.
For Immediate Release
October 21, 2016
Contact: Pat McDonough
Phone: 410-238-0025 or 410-303-8864
Massive Voting Fraud In Upcoming Maryland Election
Pat McDonough, candidate for U.S. Congress in Maryland’s Second District, is charging that Maryland will be a victim of massive voter fraud in the upcoming election.
A few years ago, members of “Voter’s Alliance,” a volunteer group, conducted an investigation in Frederick County that uncovered a large number of non-citizens voting in Maryland’s elections. The group discovered that these non-citizens were called in for Jury Duty. When the non-citizens arrived at the Jury office, they admitted that although they were registered voters, they were not citizens. They confirmed they were violating the law by signing a required legal document at the Jury office.
Under present Court rules and state law, the information contained in the documents confirming a non-citizen is registered to vote is to be forwarded to the State Election Board. Step 2 requires the Election Board to remove this individual from the voting list and provide the information to the State Prosecutor for future action.
None of these mandated actions are being initiated at this time. This means the law is not being enforced and the violators are not being punished. The system is broken and some public figures may need to be called on to provide answers. Remember, at the federal level, these violations are a felony.
Multiplying the number of non-citizen voters discovered in Frederick County by the other 23
sub-divisions brings us to the conclusion that the number of non-citizen voters could be in the thousands in Maryland. This scandal is not a Democrat, Republican or partisan issue. This challenge is about great leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King and Susan B. Anthony who put their lives on the line to maintain equality and integrity in the voter process.
It is hard to believe in this day and age with modern technology, the non-citizens are voting unlawfully. It is even more difficult to believe that these unlawful voters are getting away with this violation and are remaining on the voter’s rolls.
This scandal is a form of suppression of voters’ rights. Our votes are being cancelled or diluted by a non-citizen who is voting at the same time.
Pat McDonough attempted to remedy this situation with legislation in the 2016 session of the Maryland General Assembly. The Delegate’s House Bill 1122, the “Voter Disclosure Act,” would introduce a common-sense chain of actions that would protect the voting rolls of Maryland.
The State Jury system would be compelled to forward any information discovered about non-citizens voting within five business days to the Election Board. The Election Board would then be required to remove the violators’ names from the voting lists and forward their information to the State Prosecutor for appropriate actions. House Bill 1122 failed in committee by a vote of 12 to 8, along partisan lines.
McDonough is now demanding that several key actions must be initiated in order to protect Maryland voters during the upcoming election. He is taking the foll wing actions:
• He is sending a letter of complaint to the State Prosecutor’s office requesting that they summon information from all Jury clerks in every sub-division requiring them to provide any information related to non-citizens being called to Jury Duty and rejected.
• In the spirit of bipartisanship, McDonough will be providing this information to Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger contact Maryland U.S. Attorney Rosenstein to investigate this matter because it is a violation of federal law.
Delegate McDonough stated, “I am asking Congressman Ruppersberger to join me in a partnership to protect the voting rights of Maryland’s citizens.”
from Free North Carolina (in part)
AND, from Breitbart:
Many are even older than 110. In fact, it seems that NC has an awful lot of voters that are 112, too. The Carolina Transparency project did a review of the voter rolls this year and found that there are 631 Democrats who are 112 or older. By contrast, the Republicans can only find 229 over 112 voters in the state (and “unaffiliated” found 39).
And it gets worse. Two voters — and, yes, they’ve already voted in early voting — are over 150! One in Gaston County is 154 and another in Granville County is an astonishing 160!
This isn’t necessarily evidence of vote theft. It could be a massively failed voter registration system, although it is notable that the largest number of these voters just happen to be Democrats. But what ever is the case, it is highly unlikely to have this many centenarian voters still able to get out of their wheelchairs or retirement homes and have a run down to the polling place. Something certainly seems amiss in North Carolina.
It would appear North Carolina and Maryland have some ‘issues’ in this regard. I’m certain there are no problem in swing or more populous States, though. (/sarcasm font)
Growing up I was taught to believe this Nation’s Principles were sacrosanct. And, with them her institutions. Now, the scales have dropped from my eyes. The DOJ and FBI are corrupt. Voting in so many places is polluted. And many of the voters seem to think it’s okay to tamper with such things – the ends justify the means, and all that.
I weep for The Republic.
And, I am ANGRY.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (link)
This act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 2, 1964, prohibited discrimination in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public facilities, and made employment discrimination illegal. This document was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.
Here we are, in our ultra-modern, colorblind society, 52 years later…
USC ‘Segregated’ Dorms?
Columbia University to host no-whites-allowed student leadership retreat
What’s good for thee, but not for me?
This BLM nonsense (and it’s additional illegitimate spawn) have ’empowered’ persons of color to take back the power they somehow missed, and do their own thing.
I see this as an extension of the street wisdom of ‘whitey don’t know anything – we must find our own way’, complete with no basic understanding of language, history or culture. (Ebonics, the 3/5 compromise, etc.) Making well-meaning but ignorant folks easily manipulated (Lenin’s Useful Idiots, again).
Just as the Fabians, the communists, Saul Alinsky and many others planned!
And they have their willing accomplices in the media and government fueling the fires! And approving illegal, segregated activity.
It’s back-of-the-bus for YOU, whitey!
Hasn’t anyone learned anything?
(as posted by Wirecutter
Hofstra University has posted a “trigger warning” sign to warn students about the potentially disturbing content that may be discussed during Monday night’s presidential debate.
According to CBS New York reporter Tony Aiello, a sign inside of the student center at Hofstra reads, “Trigger warning: The event conducted just beyond this sign may contain triggering and/or sensitive material. Sexual violence, sexual assault, and abuse are some topics mentioned within this event. If you feel triggered, please know there are resources to help you.”
Back when I was in college (covered wagons, etc.) there were those doing their duty. Either by questioning the authority of the government to facilitate wars, or by going to fight them! People on both sides of the issue were VERY vocal and emotional.
Yet rarely did either side feel ‘triggered’ and in need of a ‘safe space’ or ‘counseling’ based on someone’s speech alone!
Have our youth become so overly sensitive that this is thought necessary? By the nature of societal evolution?
Or, has this been the plan all along?
First, please pray for the innocent victims and injured, if that’s what you do…
So many people were affected by 9/11.
Not all were the first targets and responders.
Here is one story:
Ms. Scott is probably familiar to many of you, especially if you lived in the 70’s. She was ubiquitous – on TV shows such as Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, Welcome Back Kotter, Ryan’s Hope, and movies like American Grafitti and Earthquake. I remember her guesting on The Mike Douglas Show, wherein she shared she was the (uncredited) dead nude body of murder victim Anne Mary Deacon – as she was lifted from her shallow grave, in Dirty Harry!
Being (mostly) single, and in my 20’s during the 70’s, I always found her attractive. So this part of her story saddens me.
Ironically, she died in Florida shortly after moving there from New York City to help an ailing sister. One day she collapsed and was in a coma for several days but awoke in the hospital and seemed to be fine for a spell. She was released two days later on her birthday. No explanation was given for the coma, but she seemed fine and in good spirits. Three days later she went to take a nap and never woke up. Cause of death uncertain despite an autopsy. She was cremated.
Her fiancé had been killed in the 9/11 attacks.
The mother of her fiancé said Scott developed a drinking disorder shortly after the the 9/11 atrocities. She says, “Debralee has cirrhosis of the liver from her drinking.” The actress’ sister Jerri Scott adds, “She never did get over Dennis’ death.”. (IMDB)
We got the bastard, and many of his crew for the terrorist attacks. But, are still fighting
wars police actions overseas contingency operations against the forces who are determined to topple Western Civilization and establish a caliphate, with all the fundamentalist Muslim trappings. Including Sharia Law.
How does one fight a war against a radical philosophy hiding within a religion, with no geographic boundaries?
We owe it to The Republic, the 2996 people killed directly, those killed indirectly, the injured, and their loved ones to find a way to stop this poison once-and-for-all!
Not to do so dishonors their memories.
It is with a truly heavy heart that I post this.
Gene Wilder, dead at 83
The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and so many others…
I still have a wooden dollar, commemorating my going to the Arizona premiere of Blazing Saddles – somewhere.
While I am no longer married (although my ex and I remain dear friends), I do have the distinct memory of asking her of doing me the honor of being my wife, after asking her to turn down the sound on the TV so I wouldn’t be interrupted.
We were watching Silver Streak at the time.
It’s said it was Alzheimer’s disease…
At least he can now be with his beloved wife, Gilda Radner.
RIP, funny and talented man!
Addendum – my sincerest apologies to the current Ms. Wilder. Gene remarried after the passing of Gilda, and she loved him for another 25 years. I’m sorry for your loss.