h1

Why do they DO that…?

November 25, 2016

You know that kind of folksy joke about why the family dog always picks the day you have visitors, like the minister, or the Ladies’ Auxiliary, to wander into the room, turn around three times, lie down, and BEGINS TO VIGOROUSLY LICK….well, you know how it goes….

dog-because-he-can_01c

People apparently do things for the same reason…

People are diverse by default, not necessarily because some movement decided it should be so, and it is normal for people to associate with others most similar to themselves, That doesn’t mean they hate the folks down the road.  Nevertheless, the self anointed Interior Decorators of the culture pound the podiums and preach their version of diversity, and woe unto he who dares to diversify outside of the prescribed lines!  I had a drill instructor that could lean at a 45 degree angle, bark like a seal, and spit red hot nails, but I’d wager he couldn’t even chew butter in the moral shock wave of an irate Liberal.  Don’t make an issue of my picking on “Liberals.”  I spew ridicule spherically, not just left or right.

Thus, it is not really surprising to access an alleged source of “news” only to be informed of some newly discovered social sin, verbal transgression, thought pattern, or the latest intellectual dingle-berry to drop from the stern-sheets of the PC Beast that humanity is mandated to adopt.

Why do people do this stuff, boss each other around, vie for control, and for some irrational reason other than fear actually endorse the Gods of Glib?

That’s easy.

Because they can.

So, the latest offering is just another chapter in the continuous game of enforcing the rules against government making any law “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” by making rules that nip at the heels of the First Amendment like a Narcissistic Chihuahua on amphetamines.

While, in the name of “defending our freedom”,  we send weapons and warriors half way around the globe to vanquish some folks who have the audacity to destroy the symbols and sacred doo-hickies of Middle Eastern populations who don’t practice the “only religion the only way”, things are getting dicey here at home, too.  We have our own version of the Taliban going around deciding which National Monuments displaying crosses violate the First Amendment and demanding that they be removed (polite for “destroyed”).

As with virtually any action perpetrated in the name of achieving or enforcing some “good”, these things can only be done at the cost of someone else who happens to be on the wrong wavelength, go to the wrong church, belong to the wrong political party, speak with the wrong accent, or in some other way qualify to be redefined as irrelevant.

Why do they do that?

Because they can.

…and why can they…?

…because, basically, nobody tells them they can’t.

Well, I’m here to tell ‘em they can’t.   I’m all for helping those in need, but I’m not at all for making that mission into a Cabinet position and turning it into some massive industry that consumes an immense quantity of raw materials and produces absolutely nothing.

I’m all for “defending our freedom”, but I think it’s long past the time to learn the difference between shit and shinola.  When German U-boats cruised our eastern seaboard, and Japanese aviators barbequed Pearl Harbor, we wasted no time juggling smoke and mirrors.  We defended our freedom, and we did it definitively, and we did it well.

When our nation was again attacked on September 11, 2001, “defending our freedom” once again became the priority.

What we need to do, however, is figure out where the real line is that separates genuinely “defending our freedom” and just acting as District Sales Representatives for the munitions industries, their foot-warmers in Congress, and others who keep our economy afloat by promoting and feeding global conflicts.

And for those who are still capitalizing on stage time from the recent election, I would suggest they stop projecting gloom and doom because Donald Trump seems to have grabbed the brass ring.  Get over it.  We don’t put kings in the White House, though some of them seem to think that was the deal.  No one man or woman is going to fix everything and make America great again and no one man or woman is going to flip a switch and turn the USA into a 3rd world country or a glassy spot on the globe.  Either of those two roads can only be chosen and followed by The People.  I trust our system of governance as it was devised.  I don’t necessarily trust many of my fellow citizens to understand it and follow its wisdom.  A culture of entitlement has been fostered and developed over the past few decades.  Oddly, it isn’t the recipients of “free lunch” that benefit from this atmosphere, it is those who manage the game and dole out the goodies.  And, I’m not saying they are bad people.  They aren’t.  I blame a damaged system and each and every one of us who has spent our time finger pointing instead of rolling up our sleeves and doing something productive.

It can’t be fixed all at once, but we need to start somewhere.  The ultimate goal, of course, is to have government get the hell out of the way so the American people can do what they have always proven they can do best.  Produce.  Create.  Protect our freedom.

So, I’m saying to those who think otherwise, it’s time for you to move on.  Government doesn’t make things, doesn’t fix things, doesn’t produce anything.  The people do.  You have graced the living room floor of America and done your “ablutions” long enough.  Get out.

~-~* * *~-~

h1

Brat politics…

November 14, 2016

practice-preachc-mounted_001_zpssdaztmrz

h1

the big IF….

November 12, 2016

sam20amp20sam203_zpselzt0syi

h1

In case of ennui….or…

November 7, 2016

first-thing_1_1-finish

h1

Septuagenerianism…

November 4, 2016

and socio-political smoothies….

Septuagenerianism, I have heard it said, is the state of looking around oneself and muttering some half century old version of “WTF!?” Personal experience would tend to bear that out.

Or, perhaps it’s a function of being retired, with a capital “R,” and basically not giving much of a fig about much of anything, unless it is an unwelcome mystery-noise emanating from the most inaccessible regions of the car, the furnace, or myself.

Or, perhaps I am absolutely right, thus vindicating my parents, and my grandparents. Ergo, the car, the furnace, and those regions of my person capable of making noises aren’t, and the world really is terribly screwed up, and I have license to hobble around in a sort-of-circle croaking “Told ya so, told ya so …”

Truth be told, it most likely is a combination of the above, in no particularly geometric proportions. I like to think the furnace is just fine. It is. I had it put in when we bought the place ten years ago. We engaged in a couple of mandatory projects when we came here, which is what you do when you buy hundred year old houses, and we have a habit of doing that. The last one was even a bit older, I think. It was right on the river, which liked to visit our cellar each spring at ice-out. Used to be a blacksmith’s shop, and we spent fifteen years hauling interesting old bottles, pottery shards, parts of an old toilet, the front end of a Model-T, and a number of bass, out of that river.

Anyway, about the “WTF!?” stuff. I was scanning the alleged “news” on the computer this morning in search of something to chew on besides Donald or Hillary’s naughty lists and toilet training logs and I came across an article that looked like it might have some interesting if not particularly scholarly predictions about things the younger crowd might see in the future. It was amusing and predictably bland, but what caught my attention was the suggestion on a couple or more items that the predicted circumstance would only occur if “the world” was all on the same page, which was presented as a “desirable” turn of events.

Whoa! Or, more appropriately, “WTF!?

I thought all of this “One World” stuff was just a Right-wing conspiracy theory or something! You mean there actually are people who like the idea of a global North Korea? Is there anybody over twenty five and not looking for free college and tickets to ride the rich ‘til they squeal lak peegs writing these “pajama journalism” pieces? I know I’m an oldie, but like that insurance company commercial, we of the white or absent hair “know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two…”

Remember high school when nobody would sit with you at lunch because of some totally inane but excruciatingly significant social faux pas a million years earlier? Or, maybe you witnessed that happening to someone else. Or maybe you were one of the ones executing the cultural disembowelment. In any event, that’s what it would be like if one person or only members of an elite and privileged group got to make the rules and disembowel those who wouldn’t march in step. Of course, on the geopolitical level, disembowelments are not metaphorical.

I even read the article twice just in case it had been satire and I’d missed it somehow. Nope, I think the writer was “Sanders-Serious”. I’ve seen other articles along the same vein. Somehow, we’ve bred a population of future “leaders” whose idea of how to combine Success with Warm and Cuddly is to stuff the human species into a huge blender and make a smoothie. Naturally, that would exclude the one’s doing the blending. Somebody’s got to stay behind to take care of business, and of course those so sacrificing their “member of the Everybody” standing to be a loner and do all of the hard work would be entitled to lucrative compensation and benefits. The only way to stay out of the blender would be to join the Goose-Steppers and Blender-Operators.

I hope they change their minds before they make too big a mess for somebody else to clean up later. Odd. Seems to me, my parents and grandparents made similar comments.

 

~-~* * *~-~

 

h1

When opinions become plagues…

October 26, 2016

the real problem is diagnostics…

Sometimes I shake my head so hard and roll my eyes so vigorously when reading the morning “news” that it takes awhile for things to achieve enough equilibrium for me to scratch out some kind of response. This being the onset of the crescendo stage of an historically nasty election year, among other things, the fodder can be overwhelming at times.

Issues concerning intercultural conflicts within our society, particularly those involving persons of African heritage, have been nearly as prolific as those of a more purely political nature, though the two are certainly enmeshed. An article earlier this month about official reactions to remarks posted on a social media site by a University of Virginia adjunct professor is s case in point.

The most stunning aspect of the statement by University of Virginia adjunct professor Douglas Muir that the Black Lives Matter movement is racist like the Klu Klux Klan (sic) was not that he said it. What should be of concern is the official response to the statement. The college powers-that-be were quick to pull a “Professor WHO?” maneuver, while local politicians didn’t waste any time letting the PC Police know where they stood, or more accurately, where they knelt.

Charlottesville Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy was quoted as puffing that the professor’s comments were “…not only incredibly misguided, but goes to show the lack of cultural awareness that still plagues many professors at our Universities across the country .”

What? A college professor disagreeing with the mainstream is indicative of a “lack of cultural awareness ,” and this condition is now a plague ? And whose approval is now required before those who are tasked with providing our future leaders with critical thinking skills and the courage to think outside of the box can practice those skills themselves? Or is thinking outside of the officially endorsed box now considered a crime? If so, by whom, and by what authority? More importantly, perhaps, would be the ultimate level of force planned to keep this idiotic idea on track, and what potential consequences are being considered for those who have the courage and personal integrity to laugh in its face.

I won’t enter the back and forth about “Black Lives Matter” or any of the other current assembly line issues and their prescribed emoticons. There is already a surplus of Pig Beauticians and their polar opposites in that arena, dressing things up and dressing things down. My interest is in the herd behavior so evident in our society today. This obsession with hyper-unity is reminiscent of other times in human history when the tides of liberty have retreated to extraordinary levels in preparation for an ensuing tsunami of oppression. The scary part is that such a tsunami is coming. The scarier part is that the tide went out, way out, a long time ago.

Cartoon character Pogo famously observed decades ago that “ we have met the enemy and he is us .” Perhaps the current manifestation of this poignant folk wisdom would be “ we have predicted the future, and it is now .”

Bellamy, of course, is entitled to his opinion, but those in positions of political authority and power are not entitled to suppress the opinions of others, though it would seem he might believe otherwise.

It would be appropriate, on the other hand, for him to disagree while at the same time defending the professor’s constitutional right to opine as he sees fit.

Similarly, the college should be defending the right….or better yet, the duty… to disagree. After all, if it wasn’t for the right to disagree under protection of the First Amendment, “Black Lives Matter” would not exist in the first place.

Tom Katsouleas, University of Virginia executive VP and Provost remarked, officially, that “ The University of Virginia stands firmly against racism and social injustice of any kind….Statements such as Mr. Muir’s do not foster intellectual exploration, nor do they encourage the voices of others.”

And just what, sir, does your condemnation of free speech foster?

“Racism” is the Hackneyed Term of the Day , and for Katsouleas to censure Muir’s disharmonic observation in defense of “intellectual exploration” would be hilariously ridiculous if it hadn’t been issued authoritatively and with a straight face.

The concept of racism is one of a behavioral nature. It makes no anthropological distinction as to who is qualified to be a perpetrator and who might be considered a victim. Yet somehow, in order to be “politically correct”, or in other words, to be deemed morally acceptable , one must apply such arbitrary standards as though they were indisputable. The irony of such hypocrisy is both endemic to the self-anointed Priests of Political Correctness , and completely lost upon them.

Another aspect of the incident that is characteristic of the New Social Ethic is the fact that Professor Muir made his comment on a Social Media posting and not in his capacity as an instructor on University time. That no longer matters, apparently. Employers routinely haunt the social media, right along with the NSA, et al, to make their lists of who is naughty and who is nice. If they had pawed through your trash, tapped your phone, and read your mail in pre-internet times just to see who you hung out with, your tastes in literature, underwear size, and so forth they’d be in jail, or at least on “that” undesirable list.

It troubles me to read about the constriction of academia. I remember the University as a place where bizarre and even rebellious ideas were usually tolerated. When people disagreed or sang out of tune beyond certain limits, the government sent soldiers and tanks, but the institutions of higher learning stayed out of it as long as general school policies weren’t violated. Tanks and soldiers were certainly inappropriate, even “un-American” in many views, but for the traditional guardians of creativity, out of the box thinking, and intellectual liberty to mechanically attempt to spew shame on those who decline to think and speak according to PC guidelines is just as objectionable.

Some of my most effective instructors were those who weren’t afraid to offer their own views on things and to encourage the same from their students. They were about teaching, and doing it in their own unique ways.

I was fortunate to have been taught and invited to think by some pretty engaging academicians who weren’t distracted by transient social issues unless they were material to the subject being taught. They were about knowledge and creativity , and were more likely to study discord and unrest than to judge them.

Teaching by rote and according to narrow, prescribed viewpoints may facilitate the amassing of large amounts of data, perhaps, but “wisdom” cannot be taught. Students must be exposed to situations where they can acquire it. Disallowing thought and expression outside of the parameters of the “Politically Correct” lines disallows the acquisition of wisdom.

As is not infrequently the case, the rebels of yesterday seem to have become the cultural tyrants of today. I hope the young adults who will soon be the decision makers and leaders demonstrate more wisdom than some are so vigorously working to deny them.

 

~-~* * *~-~

 

h1

Out-spooking the national spooks…

October 20, 2016

Somebody picked the dip’s pocket…….

Okay, so I can’t help but see the “black humor” in this one…

The story is about the investigation of how a bunch of stuff, including some top-secret hacking tools belonging to the National Security Agency, ended up being offered for sale on the internet by a group calling themselves….wait for it…The Shadow Brokers. This exquisite woo-woo is right out of the Nixon era playbook. Compounding the irony is that the media got the skinny on the item from inside sources who talked off the record because they weren’t authorized to…you know the drill. I couldn’t make this up. Well, I could, I suppose, but I don’t drink anymore….

 

~-~* * *~-~