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dysfunction

This tag is associated with 114 posts

Things About Which We Have Passion

superbowl_redditExactly!

Most of you know, my Father was sports addict, and as a result (because of my inability to play after the onset of my disability at age 12), I was a sports orphan.

And the culmination of all this for me is I don’t have a passion for most sports.  Watching, playing, appreciating.  Because I can’t play, and because I was saturated with it as a child.

(If YOU love your sports, enjoy!  It’s no problem for me.  But, like religion, please leave it outside my door!)

I oft wondered about the American fetish for the love of team sports – especially baseball, football and basketball.  It’s been explained to me that it has to do with civic pride.  And, of course, friendly bets around the water cooler.

Or the bookie.

Marx says religion is the opiate of the masses.  In this country, the opiate is also sports!  I guess it stops folks from discussing religion and politics(?)

MY passion is the ability to live free.  To make my own choices.  To not be compelled to give to others through the power and force of government.  If I choose to do so, that’s one thing.  At the point of a gun, that’s another.

And, of course, my passion for the love a good woman.

Currently absent.  :-(

But that’s for another post…

h/t FB

“Am I The Only One Who Saw This?”

The President of The United States was too busy to march with the 40,000+ against terrorism in Paris, but…

He rushed off the funeral of the head of state of Saudi Arabia…

WTF?

Please fill in the blanks for me.

Popular culture/media contends:

The President is not Muslim, nor is any President subservient to any foreign power or potentate.

bowing

¿Que?

Reportedly, we can obtain fossil fuels from Canada, Alaska, off our own shores (if the laws allowed it – but we allow Brazil to drill there!), but we must continue to go to a dicey part of the World and suck-up to ‘allies’ who support Wahhabism (Most of the guys did 9/11 were Saudi Wahhabis) to get their oil!

What’s up with THAT?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Duty?

NY Post:

Throughout the city, precincts are being ordered to hand up to borough commanders “activity sheets” indicating the number of arrests and summonses per shift, sources told The Post.

Police officers around the city are now threatened with transfers, no vacation time and sick time unless they write summonses,” one union source said.

“This is the same practice that caused officers to be labeled racist and abusers of power.”

More @ Resister In The Rockies

So, that tired meme about cops not having a quota of summonses (“I can write as many as I want!”) has been laid to rest in NYC.  Quantity, not Quality seems to be the order of the day.

There was a time, when law enforcement was about enforcing the law, NOT generating revenue or creating numbers to justify budgets.  Not unlike news organizations pandering to bring in an audience for the advertisers, instead of just reporting the news.  (If it bleeds, it leads!)

I’m a capitalist.  I’m all about the profit motive.  Free enterprise.  But some people need to focus on their duty, not their dollar!

h/t Free North Carolina

Red Light – Green Light

red lightRemember that game growing up?

John Lott gives us yet another perspective:

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Chicago Tribune delivered the “first-ever scientific study” of the nation’s biggest camera program. Researchers commissioned by the paper found little or no safety benefit: Mid-intersection “T-bones” declined, but rear-end collisions sharply increased as drivers slammed on the brakes to avoid a ticket. Most damning, the Trib cited the city’s “long-standing reliance on using the lowest possible yellow light time” to maximize revenues even at the cost of encouraging more accidents. . . .

Apparently, the message is getting out as the company that have made these cameras are slowly exiting the business.

With Redflex losing money in North America, its Australian parent company recently instructed him to “de-risk the business” by diversifying into electronic toll-taking and traffic management. Nonetheless Mr. Saunders remains keen to rescue the reputation of photo enforcement, even if that seems like a Hail Mary at this point. . . .

My ex lived in Philly for about 10 years, and they had a government contractor maintaining the traffic signals so poorly that both turned green.  And her new car was totaled.

And there was no one to answer for it from the government works.

Yes, my friends, government works for the common good!

NO…stop a minute!

 

This Blog Is NOT A Democracy!

It IS a monarchy, with oligarchic tendencies.

What I write and post (or borrow steal and post) is entirely up to me.  I write about my experience with firearms, libertarian politics, government intrusion on our rights and my family and friends.

I’m quite proud that anyone bothers to stop by, and the fact I’ve followers and readers all over still astounds me.  A woman in Pakistan and another in India, and many military personnel have read here.

Thank you again for stopping by! 

Now to the oligarchic part.  I trust in a small cadre of regular readers opinions.  Not just the occasional comment on some random post, but I respect their judgement.  Some have even become friends and counselors off blog, much to my surprise and pleasure.

I recently received a follower request from Steven D. Jennings of  Stone City Blog Network.  This is a group of correspondents and bloggers doing so from prison.

Now, I don’t begrudge prison populations from trying to better themselves, nor do I pretend to understand what it must be like ‘inside’.  And prison populations have increased something like ten-fold over the past 40 years, largely due to ‘victimless’ crimes like personal marijuana use.  Mr. Jennings admittedly is doing 43 years for multiple assaults.  NOT a victimless crime.

The question is, should I allow him and network access, knowing that recidivism is a very real concern, and that many behind bars crave information they might use, like firearms training and escaping restraints – both addressed multiple times in this blog?  (One of my previous posts viewed recently was how to get out of zip ties!  Coincidence?)

What do YOU think?

I want to be ‘fair’, but I don’t want political correctness to mar an otherwise positive blog experience.  And, I suspect some folks who deserve to be incarcerated, but are not, read the Internet for such information, regardless.  So this is probably moot.

Having Gratitude Isn’t Always Easy

I’m in whine mode.

(I know I said at the outset that I wouldn’t use this weblog for therapy, but, hell, it’s my blog, so here goes…)

Holidays suck.

Why?  Not only do I not have any funds to get neat presents for friends and family, but, I’ve no one with whom to share the non-materialistic parts of the holidays.  One terrific couple I know gifted me with a cool assortment of cheeses and beers (including Lindeman’s raspberry ale!), and all I could give them in response was a small bag of garlic goldfish.

Hardly an even trade.

I love my sister and her kids, and her kid’s kids dearly, but going to a family celebration alone with certain people in absentia is always painful.

Now it’s the downhill slide from the New Year, to Molly’s birthday, to the anniversary of the accident, in March.

We’re told the best way to get out of this kind of funk is to create a gratitude list.  So here goes…

I’ve a roof over my head, and a working car.  Thanks to my friends!  I’m on Medicare.  I’ve disability benefits, which, while in no way am I rich, I can buy food, gas, and pay rent.  I’ve a select group of friends, both locally and on the Internet, who help out whenever they can.  Many of these friends have gone above and beyond – for years – when I am unable to give back in kind.

This must mean something.

I’m disabling comments for this post.  Because, in lieu of giving me an Internet “there-there”, or a virtual hug (or a kick in the pants), please stop for a moment and create your own gratitude list.

It helps.

Customer Service

Is it out there, anymore?

I remember my Father ranting about the dearth of customer service when I was a teenager – and that was in the 60’s.

Back then a guy in a uniform (or at least a uniform shirt) filled your tank, checked your oil, and cleaned your windshield.  And no tip was asked or expected.  Now, IF there’s a monitor/cashier at the self-service gas station behind the bulletproof glass, it’s an effort to get them to look up from their graphic novel to take your card for purchase.

And waiters/waitresses?  One would think when they are first being trained, they would be instructed that the more courteous and efficient they are, the better tip they will receive.  But most these days are barely capable in getting your food to you at all.  Need extra napkins or a refill on that beverage?  Good luck with that.

And getting the order correct in the first place?  Fuggedaboutit!

Retail stores?  Just try to find someone who has any idea where stock might be, or even be able to direct you to it.

Call centers?  Pshaw.

And we who chat regarding firearms on the Internet are familiar with H & K’s (in)famous lack of customer service.

One word.  OBAMACARE.  And government services in general.

And, while I’m on the subject – do any of these aforementioned folks speak American English?  This assumes I don’t have to migrate through a computer-generated menu prompt resembling a RPG in Urdu to get to a human.

Sigh.

We now return you to your post-holiday festivities.

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.

Losing My Religion

I enjoy a good political discussion.  Or even a debate.  Unfortunately, in today’s climate, they often regress into name-calling, accusations and loud pronouncement as akin to grade school’s “Oh YEAH?  Yeah!”

Why does this happen?  Back as early as the 80’s, political enemies would do the “Oh Yeah” thing across the aisle, then adjourn to the neighborhood bar to share a beverage or two, and tell each other how great and principled each one was.

It’s become a sharper exchange, now.  One where one might be reviewing the dark bar parking lot for the presence of ‘friends’ as well as enemies!

The reason?  People no longer seem to subscribe to agreeing to disagree, because whatever the political cause, it’s become their RELIGION.

Want to annoy a Roman Catholic?  Tell him he’s a papist, and that the Pope IS indeed fallible.  A Republican?  That he’s a shill for corporate lobbyists, and therefore has no soul.  A Democrat?  That most any policy foisted upon this nation by the current  President is extra-Constitutional and illegal, and he deserves to be impeached, convicted and imprisoned.

Their response will undoubtedly be you don’t like him because he’s Black, and you are therefore racist.  And that makes any argument you present invalid.

And that will p*** you off!

No more are there rational, reasoned exchanges back and forth regarding policies.  Now it’s all name-calling and telling people what they believe is B.S.

It indeed may be, but that is not a way to discuss and argue.

facts“Just the facts, Ma’am.” –  Sergeant Joe Friday (Jack Webb)

THAT should be everyone’s mantra.

On The Marquess Of Queensberry

(And other rules.)

We, as civilized human beings, have always had rules with regard to combat.  War.  Interpersonal violence.

Sometimes the rules were indeed civilized, as The Marquess of Queensberry describes.  Sometimes, they are less so.

Modern warfare pretends to rely on The Geneva Conventions, and other treaties.  A nation cannot use certain kinds of ammunition, or poison gasses, or treat their prisoners-of-war in a less than humane manner.

Including torture.

Now, it has come to pass that the Senate of the United States has investigated our use of enhanced interrogation techniques against enemies of The United States.  And found that we engaged in tortuous behaviors.

Certainly, not the institutionalized tortures to death of the German Nazis, or the Feudal Japanese Empire, but torture nonetheless.

As Fox News populist Bill O’Reilly reminds us, it’s inappropriate to support bad behavior with other’s previous bad behavior.  Of course, he supports the torture of our enemies.  Hypocrite.

And the report concluded that for all the measures used, money expended and treaties/laws violated, very little of import was obtained through these methods.  And many in the CIA were distressed and ashamed at engaging in these actions.

When it comes to one-on-one, I support doing all that is necessary to survive.  If I am attacked, I’m not adverse to using groin and neck strikes and eye gouges to stop the attack.  Or a firearm, if appropriate.  Because I believe prima facie, as I am not initiating the attack, I am more moral than my attacker.  And my survival is therefore paramount.

However, when it comes to Nation-States…it might be more complicated.  Or not.

We, The United States, ascribe to The Rule of Law.  This includes treaties into which we have entered.  Treat our prisoners of war with humanity.  And stand proudly with our Principles.

This doesn’t mean we are limited to 19th Century Rules, “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.” (Henry L Stimson, U.S. Secretary of State).  Intelligence gathering is a valid tool of warfare.

It does mean if we don’t keep to our standards, we lose our National Soul.  And they have already won.

"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.

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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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