My friend Tin Can Assassin of NINE POUND SLEDGEHAMMER took the Internet with this one:
Trash is trash, doesn’t matter what color you are. Quality is quality, doesn’t matter what color you are.
This is the middle of an analysis of the recent unpleasantness in Baltimore and elsewhere, wherein it seems people are responding to real and imagined wrongs by violence and destruction.
You really should go and read the whole essay!
I posted a few days ago regarding losses – specifically the loss of my daughter, and a good friend’s loss of most of his lower left leg and foot.
Hardly an upbeat read.
However, Life is not just loss. Life also gives us lessons!
Since I heard from my good friend Bob regarding his diabetic amputation surgery, I’ve tried to contact him. We exchanged texts initially a couple of times, and he advise me he would call.
I feared the worst.
So, I took it upon myself to call him. Not to incessantly badger him (thinking he was busy enough) but once a week, just to check-in on him and his condition. And attitude.
And I ended up leaving messages. And this concerned me.
Bob returned yesterday’s message last night. I needn’t have been concerned.
Bob – (my former PI and gun store boss) was in great spirits! YES, he did lose his left foot and about 12″ of lower leg. And yes, he has a long, painful recovery and rehab ahead.
But he was not only doing physically well – he was doing well emotionally and spiritually, too!
Now, Bob would be the first to tell you he is not a religious guy. And not the most spiritual. But he almost lost his life to sepsis, and took his survival to mean he is supposed to remain here a while longer.
And not wallow in his losses.
He is fortunate to have the great support of his wife and two daughters. And his brother. And he reminded of previous losses and near-death experiences he has suffered.
AND HE SEES THIS AS YET ANOTHER CHANCE TO REDEEM HIMSELF!
Or, in the words of his parents (both deceased), “Put on your big boy panties and get on with it!”
And his is and has.
And, he reminded me (indirectly) that I have similar lessons. I, too, have had losses, and near-death experiences. And I have wallowed. Or more specifically whined.
I might lose some benefits. So what? Big boy panties are available for the wearing.
Bob has set an example for me to try and emulate.
A loyal and (sometimes) vocal follower of this tiny blog pointed me in a direction I’d somehow overlooked, in local history:
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.
h/t The Arizona Republic, KM
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.
THAT should be everyone’s mantra.
Five weeks ago, Campus Reform went to Harvard and asked the students if ISIS or the U.S. poses a bigger threat to world peace. The answers that were given were entertaining enough to create a viral video that has since received about half a million hits.
In addition, the video received air time on Fox News.
Somewhat skeptical of the video, a few students at Harvard decided to go around and ask their fellow classmates some questions of their own. The questions focused on ISIS and the Pledge of Allegiance.
When one student was asked if ISIS or the U.S. posed a bigger threat to world peace. He said:
“I guess I’ll have to say America. I think ISIS as a group… I believe as Ben Affleck said, could fit into a baseball stadium, so they don’t have the potential to put countries into war as America would.”
Also, the response to being asked to say the Pledge of Allegiance, which anyone applying for U.S. citizenship must to be able to recite, was even more concerning…
Disgusting. And shameful.
To disagree with a political philosophy is an American Right, a tradition. But, to do so in complete ignorance is SHAMEFUL. Of course, look what we see every day on the ‘news’, the Internet.
Of course, sometimes there it’s an agenda.
I was surprised to hear people must apply for citizenship, anymore. I thought it was just granted – like a fief.
h/t Facebook, IJReview
…it’s only that people are sleeping knights.” – (with apologies from) Guffaw, in high school (c) 1968
My 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:
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. :-(
We have been watching Madam Secretary, a new TV show this season on CBS. At first, the idea of the show distressed me, because I was thinking it was a stalking horse for you-know-who, especially if it was produced in the manner of The West Wing (a show some years back with Martin Sheen as the Prez).
Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to a stalking horse. However…
Episode 3 (shown last week) dealt with ethical issues. In short, the Secretary’s husband, a university professor, was placed in the middle of a diplomatic crisis when an American (who was caught spying for the U.S. in Pakistan, from info from a Snowden-like leaker) was scheduled to be executed. The professor could stop the execution by giving a Russian diplomat’s daughter an ‘A’ instead of her earned ‘C’, so the Russian would be convinced to give their version of an American missile to Pakistan (under the table, of course). (Ah, diplomacy!)
The professor’s course was (ironically) in Ethics, and he said he would be violating all he stood for by giving this bribe so the spy’s life would be spared.
The Secretary of State (who was trying to manipulate the Pakistanis, the Russians and her husband) finally convinced her husband he would not violating his ethics if he allowed the Russian’s daughter to take an incomplete (after the approved time for grades), thus her grade point would not be affected, and she could retake the course.
And ultimately, the American would be freed. And he was.
Now, I recognize this is only a television show. And I recognize in the real world, many times things are shades of grey, rather than black and white.
But, this is being sold as okay? Ethical?
At least we know where the ‘real’ Madam Secretary’s ethics stood. She was fired as an attorney on the Watergate Committee for “lying and unethical behavior”.
And the second episode of the TV show was entitled “Another Benghazi”.
Hardly a stalking horse!
(It’s that horrible anniversary, again. I’d no idea what to write – thank goodness others did! – Guffaw)
By Alan Caruba
As we close in on the 13th anniversary of the infamous 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the media is full of predictions about attacks that will occur.
A September 2nd Debka File, an Israeli news agency, reported “Credible information has reached Saudi, British and Australian agencies that two al Qaeda branches—ISIS in Iraq and Syria and AQAP at its base in Yemen—have wrapped up plans to roll out coordinated terrorist spectaculars around the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. According to Debka File’s counterterrorism sources, they are preparing to strike simultaneously in the Middle East and a West European city. Next, they will go for U.S. targets in the Middle East and Europe.”
This report and other factors incline me to believe there will not be a major attack somewhere in the U.S. on what is now officially called “Patriot Day.” There could be a lone wolf attack along the lines of Major Hassan’s 2009 “workplace violence” at Fort Hood or the Boston Marathon bombing, but the threats being made by the Islamic State and other elements of al Qaeda, while intended to raise fears in America, are likely to be manifested in the Middle East. American outlets there will be on full alert for sure.
The Islamic State, while now wealthy, well equipped militarily, and attracting every lunatic Islamist and wannabe terrorist, is facing an increasingly united group of Middle East nations that have put old enemies like Iran and Saudi Arabia on the same page together. Iran has dispatched troops to Iraq to support the Kurds. When other Middle Eastern nations finally screw up enough courage to actually do something they will wage a war on ISIS in the interest of self-defense, a powerful motive.
As for al Qaeda’s war on America, it was declared in 1996 by the late, unlamented Osama bin Laden and, other than 9/11, it has done little to follow up on that dramatic sneak attack except for a few failed efforts. The U.S. responded by bombing the hell out of Afghanistan and our troops there have been attacking the Taliban ever since. Obama says he will pull them out in 2015. Given events in Iraq, that is a very bad idea.
The Department of Homeland Security has been on alert ever since it was created shortly after 9/11. This is not to say that the U.S. doesn’t need more on-the-ground intelligence penetration of al Qaeda and its affiliates. Indeed, DHS and other government agencies don’t know the whereabouts of several thousand foreign students who are supposed to be at our colleges and universities. They likely do not know who else among those with easy access to the nation is a potential terrorist.
So, yes, that could mean I am very wrong and that 9/11 would be a day for a whole series of attacks for much the same reason our consulate in Libya was attacked that day in 2012. The Benghazi cover-up has been falling apart ever since. The lie that it was caused by a video grows more absurd and obscene very day.
The Israelis have made a far greater and more successful effort than us to infiltrate their enemy’s organizations. Hamas was so rattled by the effectiveness of the Israeli bombing of sites where its rockets were stored and fired from, as well as the killing of a number of its leaders, that they made a public display of executing a number of people they accused of being Israeli spies, whether they were or not. The likelihood was that they were Gazans who had spoken out against Hamas.
After breaking a number of ceasefires, Hamas, running out of any support, accepted the most recent one and Israel thereafter announced the annexation of more West Bank territory for its settlements and, no doubt, for militarization to protect against further attacks. The Israelis know how to deal with their enemies, to prepare, and to take action rather than issue empty threats.
There have even been a number of small events by American Muslims speaking out against barbarity of the Islamic State and the threats leveled at the U.S. That is a hopeful sign, but it needs to increase in numbers and volume. The vast silence of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world is an offense to humanity.
The Arabs of the Middle East are forever making dramatic threats, but they have a record of doing little. When Saddam Hussein controlled Iraq, he waged a war against Iran that ended inconclusively and then invaded Kuwait and was defeated by a U.S. coalition. When he continued to make threats the U.S. invaded again and deposed him.
What followed was an effort in several Middle Eastern nations to rid themselves of their despots. This occurred in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. Only Egypt, after a brief encounter with a Muslim Brotherhood government, rallied again with a military coup that led to the election of a new military leader. The Brotherhood has been banned! Libya is a failed state that has been taken over by Islamic militants. Tunisia has a new constitution as of January and numerous political parties. Its government is battling local militias.
Iraq is in near failure as it tries to unite its Shiite and Sunni factions in a functioning government. Much of the nation has been taken over by the Islamic State in the same fashion as northern Syria whose civil war has killed 190,000 and driven over a million out as refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and anywhere else they could flee. Who has put troops into Iraq to resist the Islamic State? The Iranians!
One threat the President of the United States does not appear to have taken seriously is an Iran with a nuclear weapon and the intercontinental missiles to deliver it. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia are far more aware of the danger this poses and in all likelihood Israel will conclude it must destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities and military installations.
The United States has lost virtually all the influence it once had in the Middle East, even if it came from the barrel of a gun. Our Secretary of State, John Kerry, is held in low regard by both the Israelis and Arabs. The President, Kerry, and Hillary Clinton keep insisting that “climate change” is the greatest threat to mankind.
If President Obama does not engage in the destruction—not “containment”—of the Islamic State, its oil wealth will enable it to become a major threat in the Middle East and beyond, including us. They have demonstrated no restraint on their use of violence and pose a threat comparable or even greater than the Nazi regime of the last century.
Will there be attack or attacks in the U.S. on 9/11? We all wish we know the answer, but we don’t.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
My only responds to Alan is how do we separate the wheat from the chaff? The normal from the radical Islamic folks?
Those held hostage by radical elements of their own religion?
Regardless – please take a moment to remember the innocents lost thirteen years ago.
As they said on Flight 93 – “Let’s roll!”
h/t Theo Spark
This just in…
Of course, in my circles he’s most remembered as Jim Rockford, the reluctant private-eye who never made much money in The Rockford Files. But there’s so much more.
Maverick – TV
The Americanization of Emily
The Great Escape
Eight Simple Rules
and one of my favorites…
Rest-in-Peace Jim. You were loved by millions, and one of the few pretty boys who progressed from leading man to character actor with aplomb!
You will be missed.
My friend North advises us that his good friend – and a friend to us all – MAURA – passed away this morning.
I only knew her from the Internet, but was introduced to her via North. She authored a blog for a while about clean, healthy eating. We exchanged emails for a short time, as my niece was doing a vegan blog then. I missed her when she stopped blogging, but was unaware of her having health issues. This now makes sense.
RIP Maura. You touched more people than you know!