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Survivalism Is Not Necessarily Ludditism

Joel writes:

Things that aren’t necessities but may as well be

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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…
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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.

Having ‘The Talk’

No, not the birds and bees with your children, or the inane TV show.

(from the USCCA and Kevin Michalowski)

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Sooner or later you will have to talk to your non-gun-owning friends about why you carry. You might be asked not to carry at someone’s house. Or you might be grilled on gun safety at your house when people come to visit. I can’t give you the exact words; they are your friends, not mine. But understand that…

Read More

SO…it’s NOT just about Safety.

It’s about rights, and protection, and so much more.

There have been a few places I’ve chosen to not carry, and not by government edict, either.  It’s been about respect, perceived security, and sometimes plain ol’ convenience.

But sometimes having a civil Talk is just what seems appropriate.

Let’s Rename New Orleans!

( Stolen in full from Brock Townsend)

LET’S RENAME NEW ORLEANS!

Via Anthony “Good evening friends, I think this blog, sent to me by a dear friend, sums up my feelings exactly. It’s also a great history lesson. Enjoy. Take care, Anthony”

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I strongly approve of renaming the racist Lee Circle and tearing down the Robert E. Lee statue. I have complied a brief list of other streets, statues, institutions and buildings that also need to go.

First off, let’s rename the city New Orleans! Since the city was named after the Duke of Orleans, who had numerous affairs, rumors of murder and incestuous relations with his daughter… He also won the family farting contest and could fart “like a flute,” but to be fair that could be viewed as a positive… But I am most certain that he was probably an elitist and a racist. The name has got to go.

Let’s tear down the Margaret Haughery statue, honoring the woman who worked tirelessly for the city’s orphans and donated thousands to them, because she owned slaves.

Let’s deem any business that uses Marie Laveau’s name as racist because she owned slaves.

Let’s rename the historic Faubourg Treme, the first U.S. residential neighborhood for free blacks (and listed on the National Register of Historic Places) because it was named after Claude Treme, who shot and killed a slave.

Let’s rename Faubourg Marigny because it was named after Bernard Marigny, who despite offering low interest rates to free people of color, owned slaves. And rumor has it his first wife has an absolute “beast” to her slaves. Let’s also eliminate all of the streets he named to be on the safe side.

Let’s rename Wilkinson Street because it was named after James Wilkinson, a traitor and a spy for Spain.

Let’s rename Milneburg (as well as the streets named after Milne) because Alexander Milne, who also gave hundreds of thousands to orphanages, also owned slaves (although he emancipated some and even bought them houses). But he owned slaves – so he’s got to go.

Let’s rename Poydras Street because Julien Poydras owned slaves (although he bequeathed freedom to over 700 slaves and donated heavily to Charity Hospital, asylums, and orphanages) – sorry, he’s out.

Let’s rename General Ogden – he was involved in the White League.

Let’s also eliminate all streets named after plantation owners and their families – the list is huge but a good place to start is Bartholomew, Caffin (who also briefly owned the LaLaurie Mansion – before the atrocities, but nevertheless), Delachaise, Foucher, Burthe, Antonine, Dufossat, Valmont, Bellecastle, Robert, Soniat, Avart, Egania, Lizardi, Hurst, Roman, Eleanore, Joseph, Millaudon, Peniston, Poeyfarre, Villere, Clark, Toledano…

For obvious reasons, let’s also get rid of the street names Jefferson (after Thomas Jefferson), Jefferson Davis, and Jackson Avenue (as well as Jackson Square).

The Ursuline nuns owned slaves – let’s tear down their convent and wipe them from the history books as well. Those women have got to go.

Let’s rename Lafitte Street after the pirate Jean Lafitte– come on, who knows how many men he killed, women he raped, and slaves he traded. Let’s also boycott the bar.

Let’s rename Hennessey Street after Police Chief David C. Hennessy, this guy obviously hated Italians.

I am not sure if Isaac Delgado or Judah Touro owned slaves, but probably. They were wealthy merchants and landowners during their time. To be on the safe side let’s rename Delgado Street as well as the community college and rename Touro Hospital and the street. Touro gave thousands of dollars to the New Orleans Public Library but it is not named after him. Phew. But best to get rid of everything their name is attached to, besides, they were Jewish.

Let’s rename Howard Street after Charles T. Howard– he brought gambling to Louisiana and was totally corrupt.

Let’s rename Camp Street – it was originally called “Campo de Negro” where slaves were bought to be sold.

We should probably rename Race Street because even though it was named after a planned racetrack – way too controversial.

Let’s rename Sophie Wright – she was a cripple and probably a virgin since she never married and you know what that means (LESBIAN)!

Let’s rename all of the Muses Streets and anything after Greek mythology – PAGANS!

Let’s rename Magazine Street because many historians believe it was named for magasin a poudre (ammunition warehouse) and I am totally against guns.

How about renaming everything after numbers? Of course, forsaking number 13 and 69 for obvious reasons.

I would suggest naming a street after black Creole Alexander Aristide Mary, who fought against the Separate Car Act and for the rights of blacks during Reconstruction, but… he killed himself and is obviously going to hell.

This is just a small and modest list. I know there are hundreds of others that need to be renamed, changed, torn down, but if anything comes out of this for God’s sake – LET’S RENAME NEW ORLEANS!

Yes, it’s reductio ad absurdum.
Not to mention, any who proudly served  in the Confederate military are considered Americans, by an act of Congress!  And any monuments erected for them may not be legally removed – by Law!
But it point’s out the flaws in ubiquitous political correctness and a dearth in historical knowledge on the part of the politically-correct mob.
Ignorant fools!

In Remembrance

I wasn’t born for another eleven years when this happened, but as a student of history and an American it gets to me.  Much as the JFK assassination, The Marine Barracks, Khobar Towers, The U.S.S Cole and The Twin Towers attacks did during my life.

Meeting that Navy veteran who had served on the Arizona on Veteran’s Day this year did as well.

Please take a moment of silence today.

Because.

Happy Birthday, Dad, Belatedly

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Yesterday, November 16, would have been my Father’s 100th birthday. Instead, he passed at age 61.

There were so many life lessons he was unable to impart to me.

Calm reflection (he was an angry rage kind of guy); Moderation (he was an alcoholic and a compulsive overeater); Mechanical ability (I once saw him attempt to repair a leaky radiator hose with Scotch tape(!)  I was a kid, and even I knew that wouldn’t work).

But I knew he loved me.

After all, when I was born prematurely (and my twin brother didn’t make it) he hurriedly ran to the nearest church to pray for my survival.

He tried to make me an athlete, as he had been.  Alas, my developing a physical disability @ age 12 stopped those attempts in it’s tracks.  And from that point forward, he was unclear how to relate to me.

I only saw him cry once.  When he told me how proud he was of my graduating the Eighth Grade, and that I never asked him for money.  To be fair, I didn’t know I was allowed to!  When my Mother passed, he kept his grief private.

I’m certain his childhood was horrific.  A stern father who had been a Marine and railroad policeman, and his having grown up poor during the Depression.

He had not been raised to be a hugger.  I don’t remember him ever hugging me.  A firm handshake was the order-of-the-day.

But, he did teach me a few important things.  Loyalty (be true to your friends – he was to his); Honesty (your word IS your bond); and yes, Love.

He loved his wife (my mother) with all his heart.  Watching her die @ age 41 of emphysema must have been horrible. (I was in the Second Grade, what did I know?)  And in spite of the fact they were estranged, my (half)sister was his jewel.  He was very protective of her, which probably in-part caused the estrangement.  But she was another connection to his wife, which I don’t think she ever saw.

And he kept his heart disease hidden from me until it was too late.

He was flawed – he was human.

I love you and miss you, Dad.  Happy Birthday!

Missouri: Taking the National Temperature

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By Fred Reed, in part…

It warms the heart of a curmudgeon: As I suppose we all have heard by now,  black semi-pro football players at the University (sic) of Missouri have forced white officials to resign because of “White Privilege.” This Privilege is a great upsettance to them.

White Privilege is real, of course. It is a combination of high genetic intelligence, studiousness, a tendency toward intellectual exploration, the capacity to organize, sustained hard work, and conscientiousness. There is a reason why whites design Mars landers and black athletes do not.

To make this point clearly (See? It is my tendency toward intellectual exploration), let us consider the following questions:

(potentially racially-charged queries follow…Guffaw)

How many of the black athletes, or black radicals at Missouri, or anywhere, have any business being at a university? How many have IQs below ninety? How many are way below? How many are studying real subjects, such as chemistry, languages, philosophy, literature, or history—as distinct from subjects for the enfeebled, Black Studies, Sociology, Education, and Breathing for Credit?

How many of the jocks can read? In many universities the black athletes are kept in special dorms and get high grades for courses they never attend and can’t spell. Is that happening in Missouri? Can we see their SATs? No one, I promise, will want to check.

But wait, there’s more (visit the link, below)

SO?  Does this guy have a point?  Or is he perpetuating a stereotype?
I do remember attending a Public Speaking class at the local university many years ago. (1971?)  There was a cadre of Black college athletes who insisted on sitting at the rear of the classroom and not participating in any activities, discussions or assignments.  They did show up for class – sometimes.
And I remember being a bit miffed that I and others had to do the work past a certain standard to obtain a passing (or better) grade, and these cats were skating!  It was obvious they expected to pass, so that they could remain on the team and continue to throw a ball around, and get the company of buxom, dumb blondes who seemed to follow them around like so many puppies.
I wasn’t thrilled they got the girls, either…
Guess I’m racist and have White privilege by the very nature of my skin color.
You remember?  That by which Dr. King said we should not be judged?
PS – I think I got a B.
h/t Brock Townsend

When Veterans Day Became Real

As I’ve aged, I’ve developed more of an appreciation for our military veterans.

I don’t know why, exactly?

Maybe it’s because, with my childhood Life plans having failed, due to my leg disability, I was unable to join the largest, least-exclusive club in the World (Service Veterans).  And I’ve been able to observe, albeit from a distance, the brotherhood, camaraderie and sacrifice imbued in those men and women.

ValorAnd with the addition of the instant news cycle, see some of the physical damage caused to them.

On previous Veterans Days (when I was employed) I made it a point to walk around on break and shake hands of those I knew had served and say “Thank You!”  I know it’s not much, especially for persons my age who returned from Vietnam and were denounced as war criminals and spat-upon.  And the Korean War Vets who were (and are) pretty much largely ignored by the media.

I was accompanying my roommate to another of her doctor’s appointments on November 11 this year, and there was an older guy (my age?) with the jacket and cap, embroidered with his service particulars.  I didn’t see what they were.  I made a point to walk over to him and shake his hand.  It was the very least I could do.

After her appointment, J. wanted to get a bite-to-eat, so we stopped at a restaurant we sometimes frequent. And before our meal arrived, in walked another veteran.  Also with an embroidered cap and patched jacket. Significantly older.  A larger man, with silver hair.  With his wife.

After they were seated and had placed their orders, I got up and walked over to them.  I excused myself, apologized for interrupting, and explained I just wanted to thank him for his service.  He smiled, shook my hand vigorously, and his wife beamed.

Then I saw the identifying patch on his sleeve.

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I left hurriedly back to our table, so he wouldn’t see me cry.

Remember The Living

vetToday is Veteran’s Day.

A day set aside to remember those who fought in service to this country. many of whom still remain with us, many still fighting demons, bureaucracies and political enemies.  And those who are not.

The Living Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Seamen and Marines.  Some remaining in service; some who left it, but all who have not forsworn their oaths.

As we take time to remember those who have passed in service on Memorial Day, please take a moment today to remember The Living.

Call, visit, and if possible shake the hands of those with us, and say, “Thank you for your service!”

Rob, Lonnie, Glenn, Glenn, Mark, John, Stan, Jim, Jodie, Ardith, John, and Gloria.

THANK YOU!

“People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”  –  George Orwell

100 Skills Every Man Should Know

(from one of my favorite sites for such things Art of Manliness!)

manliness

Click for the Link

Everything from tying a tie and shining shoes, to surviving a bear attack!

What every man should know (women, as well!)

(mustache wax not included)

In The News

No, not the story you thought…

(Although my thoughts and prayers are with the dead, wounded and their families and friends in Oregon.)

Brian Terry

Associated Press

A jury has found two men guilty of murder in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent whose death exposed the botched federal operation known as Fast and Furious.

The jury found Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza and Ivan Soto-Barraza guilty of all counts. Jurors had begun deliberations Wednesday afternoon, a week after the trial began in federal court in Tucson.

Sanchez-Meza, also known as Lionel Portillo-Meza, and Soto-Barraza were part of a five-man crew that planned on robbing drug smugglers when they encountered Agent Brian Terry and three others on Dec. 14, 2010.

(Reports are they will receive life in prison…)

additionally, from Fox News

The killing led to intense political rhetoric as Republicans sought to hold the Obama administration accountable over the Fast and Furious operation. They conducted a series of inquiries into how the Justice Department allowed guns to end up in the hands of criminals.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt after he refused to divulge documents for a congressional investigation into the matter. Since then, the Justice Department has focused on arresting and trying all suspects involved.

About f’n time!
Now, what about the charges against Holder et al for complicity, conspiracy and obstruction?I’m not holding my breath…

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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