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You Can’t Go Home Again

At least, I cannot…

I happened to be visiting a medical specialist near my old stomping grounds Friday last – where I  owned a home for eighteen years.

No, I didn’t drive by the old house.  Too many memories, besides, they completely fixed it up and changed it (I have been by before).

When I left the doctor’s office, I headed South to the next major artery.  This happened to be near John’s Uniforms and Police Equipment, previously recounted in these pages.  I worked there many moons ago as the de facto holster guy.

And it wasn’t there!

Rather something was there – Skaggs Public Safety Equipment and Uniforms.  I knew Johnny retired some years back, but had not known he sold the place!

An era has passed.  The ‘Green Machine’, used by John, Senior to manufacture western shirts and class A wool police uniforms (with sap pockets) for over forty years is obviously no longer in use.

And seeing this made me a little sad…

I didn’t drive West to observe Martin’s Uniforms (Johnny’s friendly enemy with whom they exchanged stock for many years) because I’d been by there a while back and saw it was now Ace Uniforms.  I don’t know (or particularly care) if Ace is still there.

Back when it was John’s versus Martin’s was the pre-Internet world.  And most other uniform emporia across the country were closed shops by the local police departments.

I have many fond memories of helping newly-minted cops in various varieties obtain uniforms, gear and holsters.  And listening to their ‘war stories’ around the communal store coffee pot.

But no longer.

The times.  They are a changin’.

George Romero & Martin Landau RIP 

It’s sad when a purveyor of a childhood memory is taken.

Sadder still when two are.

I’ve never been a big horror movie fan, falling for the less obvious thriller genre. But I recognize talent when I see it.

1968’s Night of the Living Dead began resurgence of horror films, many of whom were directed yet again by Mr. Romero.

The man had talent and style.

Martin Landau was a character acting fixture in my childhood, even when I didn’t know him by name. 

The Untouchables, Bonanza, The Twilight Zone, I Spy, Mission Impossible (on television) and North By Northwest and Ed Wood (in the movies).

And many other works…

I was never a Space 1999 fan, though…

He could play both charming and lethal.

I shall miss him

RIP Gentlemen 

I Miss Our ‘Founding Brothers’!

(from Peter-Bayou Renaissance Man)

“Every house divided against itself will not stand.” That goes for America, too.

In watching the brouhaha over alleged links between President Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, and allegations of who said what, when, to whom, and why, and what the words mean, I’m driven to a conclusion already reached by many.This nation is irreparably, irreconcilably divided against itself.

That became clear during the Presidential elections last year.  Even before the vote, researchers identified several key areas in which the two sides of our political divide have become more and more divided.  What’s more, that divide has come to dominate different areas and groups in our body politic.  To name just one example, since President Trump’s election, the mainstream news media (dominated to an extraordinary extent by the left, progressive wing of US politics) have unleashed a barrage of insults, disdain and attacks that is almost unprecedented in its uniformity.  Sure, past Presidents have faced similar attacks from a segment of US media;  but there were always almost equal and opposing resources to respond in kind.  That’s no longer the case, thanks to the domination of the media by left-wing money and groups and individuals.  Alternative views are all but drowned out by the hubbub.

What’s more, the mainstream media no longer care about non-partisanship.  They openly advocate for one side or the other.  A classic example is an article in the Washington Post last Sunday titled ‘Is media coverage of Trump too negative? You’re asking the wrong question.‘  A key quote:

The president’s supporters often say his accomplishments get short shrift. But let’s face it: Politicians have no right to expect equally balanced positive and negative coverage, or anything close to it. If a president is doing a rotten job, it’s the duty of the press to report how and why he’s doing a rotten job.

There’s more at the link.

I happen to believe, unlike the author, that the question in the title of the article is the right question, and needs answering:  and I believe that her cavalier dismissal of the president as ‘doing a rotten job’ is her own partisan perspective, rather than based on fact.  Therein lies the problem.  She would probably dismiss me as a ‘right-wing nut job’, rather than take my views seriously.  (I tried very hard to read her article with an open mind, but the partisanship of which it reeked made that very difficult indeed.)  Of course, the same bias and partisanship can be found in articles on the other side of the political divide, as well.  The problem cuts both ways.

A blogger writing under the name of Didact summed up the divide in an article last January.

On the one side, we have always had the small-government libertarian types. Back in the days of Jefferson and Adams, they were the Southern Democrats. They were primarily advocates of an agrarian-focused, decentralised, minimalist, small-government philosophy that generally left people the hell alone to get on with their own business.

On the other side, we have also always had the mercantilists, the industrialists, the big-government centralists. They believed that a strong central government was absolutely required to prevent the new nation from being overwhelmed by its competitors and sinking into irrelevance or slavery under a foreign power.

That ideological difference has persisted, in various forms and espoused by various parties, all the way through to the modern day. That is of course well known. Eventually, the divide became so deep and so bitter that it resulted in the War Between the States, which Northerners rather oxymoronically refer to as the Civil War, and Southerners somewhat more accurately refer to as the War of Northern Aggression.

That divide was eventually papered over, at least somewhat, by the North’s crushing victory over the South. To this day, the South still hasn’t fully recovered from that defeat and the years of the Reconstruction Era that followed- and the wounds and scars inflicted by that defeat still linger on.

But- and here is the key difference between then and now- even throughout those times of bitterest division and discord, the two sides were able to talk to each other, right up until the time for talking was over and there was nothing left to do but start shooting.

And that is precisely what America has now lost.

You will not find finer exemplars of the two spirits of America than Presidents Adams and Jefferson. One believed completely in a strong central government; the other believed equally completely in a weak one. The two argued, often contentiously and always with eloquence and conviction, in favour of their respective positions.

Yet the two of them were also closer than brothers. Their respect for each other transcended their political differences and united them in their love for their new country, and their desire to see it succeed. Not for nothing have they been called “Founding Brothers“.

This is what America has lost today. The two sides of the debate no longer talk to each other. They talk past each other.

Again, more at the link.

Many people recognize the existence of this divide in America;  but not many have thought about its implications for our nation as a whole.  Well, I’m a pastor, albeit a retired one.  I try to look at and think about this country from the perspective of my faith, just as others will see it through the filters of their own biases and perceptions and bedrock perspectives.  That faith makes me ask:  have things gone too far?  Have we reached a tipping point?

Jesus warned us:  “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”  Right now, our ‘kingdom’ (or country) is divided against itself.  Right now, our cities – overwhelmingly left-of-center in their political orientation – are divided against the heartland that feeds and sustains them.  Right now, our houses – our families – are often divided on political, social and economic issues.

Can this nation, in its present form, survive a divide so deep, so bitter, and so vitriolic?  I don’t know . . . but I have real and very serious doubts.  What say you, readers?

Peter

I remember stories of the politicians of old (the Sixties), who would yell at each other on the Senate or House floor, then meet afterward to share a beverage or two.
We have lost that civility, both in the legislature and the general population.
We already have discord, violence and riots in the streets.  And on the Internet.
What’s next – A shooting war?
😦

Powers Boothe, RIP

You guys know how much I love character actors.

Sadly, another one has passed on – Powers Boothe.  Yesterday, of natural causes.

He’s one of those guys whom I had difficulty remembering his name, but loved his work.

Most of you probably remember him as ‘Curly’ Bill Brocius from the epic film Tombstone.

But he was so much more.

Jim Jones, Sin City, The Avengers, Deadwood, Agents of Shield, Nashville, Red Dawn, and 24 among many others.  He did the voice-over for Con Air.

I’ll always have a fondness for Philip Marlowe-Private Eye and Rapid Fire (wherein he played opposite Brandon Lee).

You will indeed be missed.

 

On Mother’s Day

Long-time readers of my humble blog might notice I don’t usually make mention of the above ‘Hallmark holiday’.

Because reasons.

First, my real Mother, the woman who bore me, passed away when I was in the Second Grade, directly because of her addictive personality.  She was ill my entire life with emphysema.  I barely knew her – certainly not enough to bond, or to have fond memories.

My Father loved her immensely.  Her death about killed him.

Subsequently, he met, dated and married the woman who became my stepmother.  She obviously wanted to be with him, but soon after the marriage, it became apparent she had no patience to raise yet another child.  She already had two grown of her own.  And deeply resented my Father’s traveling for business, and being absent because of his addiction to sports – watching, officiating, refereeing, umpiring, baseball, softball, basketball, football and hockey.

And, not to put to fine a point on it – she took her resentment out on me.

So, my relationship with my mothers was lacking at best.  Certainly it colored my future relationships with other women.

But, I am learning.

My ex-wife receives a bouquet of roses every Mother’s Day.  And has for the past twenty-two years.  Not because I wish to rekindle the relationship (we remain friends), but because our daughter Molly is unable to get them for her.

It’s the least I can do.

To all of you who had good moms out there, Good For You!

I wish I had…

Bob Owens R.I.P.

We (both the firearms rights community and humanity) have lost yet another.

Bob Owens.

I knew him through the Internet and other bloggers.  He was both personable and knowledgeable.

BearingArms.com reports that Owens was “a graduate of roughly 400 hours of professional firearms training classes, including square range and force-on force work with handguns and carbines.”

The site added that he was “a past volunteer instructor with Project Appleseed. He most recently received his Vehicle Close Quarters Combat Instructor certification from Centrifuge Training.”

According to Young Conservatives, “Bob was well-respected among conservatives and Second Amendment advocates. He would frequently take on gun control advocates in social media with his classic brand of intelligence and sharp wit, often leaving them in the dust.”

As news of Owens’ death spread on social media, many people expressed sadness. Others hit back at pro gun control supporters who made political statements about Owens’ death.  (Heavy.com)

Of course, there was so much more to Bob than just a couple of dry paragraphs.

From Bob, himself:

About the Author

Written By: Bob

Bob Owens is native of North Carolina who began blogging at the politics-focused Confederate Yankee in November 2004 before transitioning to this site in 2011.

In August of 2013 he has been the editor of Townhall’s Second Amendment web site, BearingArms.com, where he now does most of his writing.

Prior to Bearing Arms, Bob was a contributing writer at Pajamas Media and Shooting Illustrated,

He also does Twitter.

He is currently working on his first novel, The Long Way Home, and has published a short Kindle e-book for people interested in purchasing their first firearm, entitled So You Want to Own a Gun. He is a Rifleman and volunteer instructor in the Appleseed Project, where he shares stories of our history and heritage and teaches rifle marksmanship, but mainly likes to play Line Boss.

He is married to the girl of his dreams, and they have two children.

I was told during an extremely low time in my life that being a father meant suicide was no longer an option.  In spite of this, I’m not judging Bob – who knows what demons resided in his psyche?

Godspeed, Bob – Requiescat in pacem

(PLEASE – If you are distraught, or worse, ask for help!  Everyone, whether they realize it or not, has friends and family who care about them.  Don’t take this path! – Guffaw)

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255

The Reverend Has Left The Building! 

My dear friend, and blog brother, after having been squelched by WordPress, returned this week to his earlier Blogger software.

But to no avail.

He advised us Friday as his numbers have dropped significantly, he would no longer be posting his blog from Alaska, Way Up North!

This is a damn shame. 

He has been an inspiration for Christians and non-Christians alike. And has been a good friend to me on and off the Internet.

And to all of us who believe in The United States and Freedom!

It has been said that blogging is dying. Between people choosing to leave, and others actually passing away, this may be true.

Paul was one of my earliest followers and cheerleaders.  Thank you!

Godspeed, Rev. Paul! 

BREAKING: YouTube Gun Channels In Danger Of Disappearing Forever

(from TFB)

 

In an unannounced move, it appears that YouTube has pulled all ads from gun related videos. You might be thinking that is is a good thing and are happy about the decision, but you would be wrong. Thanks to the removal of any revenue that creators use to cover costs and even make a living, YouTube gun channels are in danger of disappearing forever.

Even our own channel, TFB TV, is in grave danger if the new change sticks.

While some gun channels will be able to sustain themselves through services like Patreon, channels like ours that have a small Patreon support base will suffer greatly. This means content could be reduced quite a lot, creators will move on and no longer devote the time to making videos for you to enjoy, and the big YouTube gun guys that rely on it for a living will either have to find another way to create the income to pay their bills or even cover the costs associated with filming.

What can we do about it? Nothing really. Sadly Google makes their decisions and sticks to it. What you can do is support your favorite content creators through whatever donation site they are a member of.

You can find the TFB TV Patreon page here: http://www.patreon.com/tfbtv

Please consider visiting our Patreon page and pitching in a buck or two a month so that James, myself, and the rest of the TFB TV crew can keep the videos coming like you have become accustomed to regardless of what Youtube decides.

You Tube was founded by three guys who had started PayPal (an anti-gun entity).  Personally, I’ve no funds lying around to contribute to Patreon or anyone else.  A while back You Tube was purchased bu GOOGLE, also infamous for it’s anti-gun politics.

See a trend here?

They have their own political agenda, and enforce the same.  Hell, it’s their company!  Many folks have voted with their virtual feet away from Pay Pal.  I presume they will do the same away from You Tube. 

As for Guffaw in AZ, I’ve a Pay Pal link, because I need funding.  And I’ve a You Tube link, because I like movies and videos.  I also post pictures of many ‘famous’ female celebrities, some of whom are openly anti-civil rights folks.  But, they are there, because they are pretty.  (that infamous traitorous bitch is not among my collection of photos, and never will be!  I have some standards.)

😛

Hooray For Socialism!

(joke, or sarcasm, depending on your mood)

(from my friend Joel @ TUAK)

And the sign over the bread line read, “Honk if you love Socialism…”

…but there were no cars, because there was no fuel.

Venezuela has a bread shortage. The government has decided bakers are the problem.

In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights[*] said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.

Yup. The honchos in the Venezuelan government were embarrassed by bread lines. So, in a brilliant example of historical illiteracy – dovetailing nice with their economic illiteracy – they arrested a bunch of bakers.

Yeah. We need more government controls here.

Also I’m reminded I need to buy more flour when I’m in the big town next week…
100_1645


*Dig this: The National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights is apparently responsible for arresting people who get caught exercising what, in a sane society, would be their socioeconomic rights. Must be socialism.

AH!  Government at it’s best!  I would have said ‘at HER best’, but that would be insulting all femininity.

The Best Laid Schemes Of Mice And Men

aft gang agley* (oft go awry – Robert Burns, the poet laureate of Scotland)

I’d plans to ‘improve’ and edit my blog, prior to the Sixth Blogoversary (March 5).  I definitely need to edit out of The Usual Suspects (my blogroll) those who are no longer blogging, or have left the grid.

I have not yet done that. 😦

A general observation of my blogging world – It saddens my to two of the finest bloggers out there (Brigid and Tamara) have had to change their blogging formats to by invitation only (in Brigid’s case) and no comments allowed (in Tam’s), both allowing for responses in other venues (FB and Borepatch guest blogging status (in Brigid’s case).

Because of attacks in print by certain blog readers!

I’ve had a few spammers in my six years, but considering the difference in volume and quality of Brigid and Tamara vs. Guffaw, it’s completely understandable I’ve had many fewer.

I will continue my lowly blog, until it no longer is physically possible, or I lose the need for morning discipline and structure.

We come now to one of my first Internet-blogging friends.  Rev. Paul.  Paul lives in Alaska with his family, and has been a virulent supporter of both this blog and this blogger!  His blog Way Up North is rife with tales of the weather, local crime, politics, and moose pictures(!)  And often religiously-themed (he IS a Rev., after all) messages of hope for all, whether religious or not.

He announced recently he will be cutting back from almost daily posting to occasionally.  Because reasons.

And, this too, makes me sad.

All three of these fine folks have been anchors for me, have given me much which to aspire, and have supported me to a degree they will never know.

It was said a few years back that blogging is going the way of the dinosaur, what with FB, Snapchat, Flickr, Google+, Twitter, and numerous other avenues almost daily being added to the list of social networking.

To all fellow bloggers and friends out there, please keep blogging, reading and commenting.

I’m to old to change formats!  😛

*”Tae a Moose, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough[1] (English: “To a Mouse“)(Wikipedia)

From a name-long-forgotten children’s joke book:  “Robert Burns wrote ‘To A Field Mouse’.

“I bet he didn’t get an answer!”

(The fact this was a joke book for grade school children further shows how the American public education system has failed.  Ask any grade school (or junior high, or even high school) student who Robert Burns was, or what ‘To A Field Mouse’ is.)

I’ll bet you won’t get an answer!

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…