Sunday, July 04, 2010
Today I reminded myself of a particular July 4th, 1951 I think it was, in which I really enjoyed the holiday for the first time--even though I had no idea of the political or historical issues implied by the day.
We had a picnic at the park in Larimore, where we lived at the time, after which we all went home to wait for dark, and fireworks. Uncle Jim brought a long trough, made of two 1x4 boards nailed together in a 10-ft long V. He leaned it against his truck, at a steep angle and tied it off to part of the bed.
He brought out the rocket. It was a foot or so long with a two-ft stick trailing behind. "This better work" he said. I could only afford one," he said as he lay it into the trough.
Some of the neighbors came over and brought their fireworks with them. Then, we fired bottle rockets, burned sparklers, fired off firecrackers and Roman Candles. We had a few fountains and some of those little helicopter fliers. Being not quite seven at the time, I had to content myself running around with sparklers--kind of a thrill at the time--and watching the other stuff.
Finally, we started seeing the high-flying rockets going up all around town. Uncle Jim shouted, "Ok! Here we go!" As we all gathered around, "not too close," as my Dad and other parents kept saying, Uncle Jim lit the fuse of the big rocket. The fuse burned for what seemed like minutes, but was really just a few seconds. Suddenly, there was a whoosh of sparks blowing out the bottom of the rocket, which quickly turned into a roar as the rocket flashed up the trough and into the sky. We followed the lengthening trail of burning powder until it looked like it was higher than the moon. Then the rocket exploded with a slightly delayed boom into a vast, multicolored umbrella of fire. Oohs and aahs escaped the lips of everyone there.
Well, it only lasted a few seconds--well under a minute. I watched the trail of smoke, in the light of the moon, until it drifted away and dissipated.
We stayed outside for a while longer, watching fireworks of neighbors, and other high-flying ones still going off around town.
That particular Independence Day sticks with me to this day, I guess because it was the first, very exciting fireworks of my young life. I feel for the kids born in other places, and more recent times, who miss the joy of the family/neighborhood Independence Day celebration with the picnics, softball games, followed by a fireworks show of which the kids are really a part.
How many of today's kids get to use ordinary firecrackers to "shoot the anvil," the anvil in this case being just a plain inverted empty tin can?
Those times are gone in this part of the country, for a number of reasons: Perversely over-protective parents. A government that wants us to forget our heritage. Lazy and authoritarian police and fire departments (they could teach kids how to use fireworks safely, not just ban them). Those times are forgotten by many, and never known by the young.
As adults work ever more toward the attempted creation of a nerf-world to keep the kids safe until they (the adults) die, many of the kids will grow up utterly unable to face the dangers--great and small--of value-seeking. The attainment of anything of value requires risk, and kids are learning to avoid risk at all costs, of they are simply not learning to deal.
The adventure of risk taking to attain goals is what built America, and it will slip away--it is slipping away--as America's parents produce more geldings in lieu of stallions.
Those who beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those who don't.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
A writer on facebook suggests that Republican pundits are assuming a grand salvation will happen as more Republicans are elected in this coming election. Of course, the lady is quite right. Gains will be modest at best. An end to the Democrats' super majority is about the best we can expect.
This though, is only part of the story. I hold my nose and vote for mostly Republicans at each election, knowing that there is no coherent philosophical base behind their alleged convictions and that they betray America with astonishing regularity. Democrats are only slightly worse.
No Republican candidate or officeholder I know has announced opposition to taxes in principle, as a gross violation of individuals' right to property, nor has any of them committed to the notion that the task America's military is limited to protecting America from foreign attack. Wars of adventure and attempted nation building (never successful) seem to be the order of the day in Republican circles.
In order to avoid actually doing the simple things the US Constitution and reason requires of it, power hungry (yet unbelievably incompetent) elected officials try and invariable fail to control every aspect of the lives of Americans, and by the inconsistent use of force and fear, cause chaos and destruction every step of the way.
Actually, I'm not at all looking for leadership from government. Many decades longer that my lifetime have shown that government's only leadership is leadership in the areas of theft and murder (aka taxation and war).
All I want from government is protection for my absolute right to my life, rights and property--and that only until I can find a private organization that will do it better and cheaper!
People should not be afraid of their government; government should be afraid of the people.
Monday, May 10, 2010
I've been thinking about Arizona's new law regarding illegal aliens for several days--since it was passed. At first, it seemed like competing principles--in order to uphold one, I'd have to betray the other.
Normally, I'd have no qualms about inviting any Mexican, Canadian, Englishman, Asian, African or South American to come to any one of the United States to work. In the capitalist society we once were, there was always too much work to do and too few minds and hands to do it. Despite the excesses of some few government subsidized industries and the excesses that attend them, there was plenty of work for immigrants from all parts of the world, and room for them to advance their lives by the use of their own minds and skills.
Today, the once great States have been cruelly smeared into a slimy mess that is becoming more and more like an European fascist dictatorship. Skilled technicians, professionals and scientists are finding it ever harder to enter the country to seek to better their lives, while unskilled laborers are allowed to sneak in, and once here are never to be questioned or challenged.
Many find work, and that's fine. They also are invited to avail themselves of all the largess of a bloated government without having to pay the dues. Free medical care (which most citizens don't get), free government schools (such as they are) many of which offer classes in the student's first language (eliminating the need to learn ours), and the ability to drive the public streets unlicensed and uninsured with impunity (which citizens cannot), to name three.
Many have called for the closing of the borders, to stem the flow of illegal aliens, though I have not. A far better solution would be to disassemble the welfare state, to detax and deregulate business and return to the capitalist origins that made the States great. The services that the illegal aliens get gratis and that the rest of us pay confiscatory taxes for could be provided for far lower cost, far more efficiently and with no strings attached by the free market--in which everyone buys and pays for what he desires--and gets it!
Arizona is a sovereign State. Under the Tenth Amendment, an admonition which the rogue federal government chooses to ignore almost completely, Arizona can control its own affairs independently of the federal government. True, the Constitution reserves to the feds the task of controlling the borders, but the federal government is criminally derelict in this duty.
Further, the federal government unConstitutionally forbids Arizona to withhold welfare state services from illegal foreigners. Arizona is challenging the federal government to "do you job, or we'll do it."
I can't blame them, and I think it'd be good if other States follow Arizona's example.
Or, better still, do away with the welfare state, embrace laissez faire capitalism, and let us pursue our careers in freedom.
Remember, VOTE FOR NO INCUMBENT!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Time to Break Out the Tar & Feathers
Right wing pundits are fond of saying that B Hussein means no harm, but is simply mistaken in his economics and his ability to govern.
Obama has no moral compass--or at least his moral compass' magnetism has gone away by means of his having mentors who have no regard for individual rights and property. He has assumed the posture of a sort of demigod-king who believes that the Constitution is a pain in the ass he has to sidestep, Congress is his tool, and the people of the united States and the world are serfs who must be controlled and protected. Mostly controlled.
The conservatives, having very shaky moral compasses themselves, are wrong. Most of them don't want to be too severe in their criticism because any one of them might find himself in the driver's seat himself, one day. Also, conservatives in office are mostly spineless oafs being led by the rings in their noses by the leftists.
B Hussein Obama is systematically and deliberately trying to destroy America.
B Hussein Obama is taking the (admittedly very flawed) American capitalist system apart. He's destroying individuals' ability to be productive with ever higher taxes, ever increasing regulation and by placing industry deeply in debt to government in order to be able to exert even more control over it. When it happened in Germany, we called it Nazism. We can't call it that though, because Obama isn't killing people. Yet.
He is, though, beginning to scapegoat. Scapegoating is the act of demonizing a segment of society by way of blaming that group for the nation's ills. By referring to the Tea Party demonstrators as racists and potential terrorists, he's beginning to set up the machinery. By sending up trial balloons, using university stooges to abridge free speech, he's undermining the 1st Amendment. By borrowing and spending (wasting) trillions of dollars he's deliberately placing the country in the position of being in a financial hole from which it can never escape. These are steps toward a goal that bodes nothing but ill for us all.
Obama's policies will reduce the united States to the level of a second-rate or a third-rate country, financially, and they will reduce Americans to the level of wards of the state.
Advocates of freedom vary as to what might stop this treason. Some would like their own state to secede and return to being an independent State. This would be wonderful if the new State doesn't become a little dictatorship of its own. The citizens of this state will need to guard against making the same mistakes made by the US federal government. They'll have to commit themselves to laissez-faire capitalism and an absolute right to life, liberty and property, and strict adherence to the Non Aggression Principle by government as well as by each individual.
Meanwhile, many individuals are retiring early or just quitting (shrugging) to avoid feeding the monster in Mordor DC. I find this appealing, and happen to be setting myself up for retirement very soon--this in spite of the fact that I love productive work. It's hard to quit, but perhaps a small sandwich shop in Carson City isn't the worst way to retire.
While we all can agree that paying taxes is just an enabling mechanism, and should be avoided, no one wants to spend their valuable time in government shackles.
Whatever is to your taste, and whatever your genius can devise, find a way to stop feeding the monster, and simultaneously stay out of the line of fire. Best of luck!
Remember: VOTE FOR NO INCUMBENT!
Thursday, March 04, 2010
I didn't go to kindergarten as a child. It wasn't offered. I don't think I've suffered for the lack of it, and I regard it as just another step by government to get children away from their parents as early, and for as much of the day as possible.
One of the reasons I think this is that some statist "educators" are pushing to start kindergarten even earlier, at the age of four or even three. They've also begun "free" breakfast and lunch programs at some districts so that the kids come earlier in the morning and don't leave to go home for lunch.
Parents can do what they want, as far as handing over their children to strangers to raise and indoctrinate, my only issue, other than a general sense of wonderment as to why they went to all the trouble of having kids if they don't want them, is that they're gleefully forcing me and other dissenters to pay for it.
A couple who are dear friends of mine send their kids to a government children's prison, then spend untold hours trying to undo the damage caused by the (large amount of) pro-government propaganda when they come home. Commendable. They say that the government school their kids attend is of very high quality and has an excellent academic standing.
Let's consider this.
Government "education" is so all-encompassing that it effectively eliminates any attempts at innovation. Even if a private school or a religious school sets its own curricula, it has to follow government approved methods, restrictions and even lesson plans. No one can legally attempt any serious innovation in education without running afoul of government regulations.
So, how can we possibly say that even the best schools are really anywhere near as good as they could be? The top-drawer institutions in the country are held to standards enforced by the ultra-mediocre members of teachers' unions and government drones. How can any critic possibly consider any school high quality if the best that exists is mediocrity?
We've all heard the stories of super successful individuals, a large number of whom dropped out of school early to improve their education. Or, as it's more often phrased, school is too boring. I hate to hold myself up as an example; I doubt that anything I've done or will do is going to change the world for better or worse, but I emerged from high school with no knowledge of mathematics beyond being none-too-adept at the four functions. After my hitch in the Navy, I took a private course in which I learned math through basic algebra, analytic geometry and trigonometry, including principles of surveying, in a little over a year, studying on evenings and weekends.
Standards in education have been slipping downward for decades. I recall looking at some of my dad's high school homework. It scared the crap out of me. My son went to high school in the early 1980's. After a teacher-caused hard disappointment in the prep program, he got disgusted and floated through in the general ed program, which seemed like an eighth- or ninth-grade education by the standards of the high school I attended.
I really hope that parents will withdraw their sanction from government children's prisons, "keep their kids off-book," and teach them at home. Today's computers being what they are, parents can find everything they need to educate kids to college level and beyond--and perhaps learn a little themselves in the bargain!
Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone!
Monday, February 08, 2010
Ok, so we're all really happy that the Saints won the Hype-er Bowl this year. Everyone, that is, except the folks from Indianapolis. I really was hoping thay'd win inspite of the fact that foopbaw rates a very poor third behind a couple of other games that can be played 'pon a carpet.
I just have one little niggling problem: why is it that every--literally EVERY news or sports story about this game and this team never failed to mention how a win for the Saints would do wonders for the folks in N'Awlins trying to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
Hurricane Katrina, for those with memories de-enhanced by children's prisons, happened almost four-and-a-half years ago. Four-and-a-half years! Get over it!
South Florida had a class three or four hurricane every two or threee years. Typically, they're rebuilt in a few months, and saying it's worth the nuisance to live in such a wonderful place.
Folks equally devastated in coastal areas along the gulf coast of Mississippi and Alabama got relatively little news coverage, very little disaster aid (by comparison) and rebuilt and resumed their lives within a few months.
Four-and-a-half years after N'Awlins' first bad hurricane in recent decades, and there, it seems, has been little or no recovery yet.
To be fair, N'Awlins had a really bad break in the criminal mismanagement of disaster aid by local, state and federal relief agancies, for which literally dozens, maybe hundreds of local, state and federal officials should be taken out to the nearest concrete wall and shot. Literally.
Also, to be fair, a majority of the voters in N'Awlins deserve the hard times they managed to survive for having the suicidal stupidity to re-elect that profoundly inept thievin' idiot they have the incredibly poor judgement to have called Mayor. But for the few thousand remaining productive individuals in that fair city, who certainly voted to give the dunderhead Mayor Nagin a lift from the pointy tip of their boot, not only out of N'Awlins, but out of existence.
The hurricane was only the bare beginning of their problems.
Government defines incompetence.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
This looks like a very effective way to counter the moronic antics of the peta idiots. A counterpoint to the throwing of fake blood on furs and leather clothing.
Johnstown, PA (GlossyNews) – Local and state police scoured the hills outside rural Johnstown, Pennsylvania, after reports of three animal rights activists going missing after attempting to protest the wearing of leather at a large motorcycle gang rally this weekend. Two others, previously reported missing, were discovered by fast food workers “duct taped inside several fast food restaurant dumpsters,” according to police officials.
“Something just went wrong,” said a still visibly shaken organizer of the protest. “Something just went horribly, horribly, wrong.”
The organizer said a group of concerned animal rights activist groups, “growing tired of throwing fake blood and shouting profanities at older women wearing leather or fur coats,” decided to protest the annual motorcycle club event “in a hope to show them our outrage at their wanton use of leather in their clothing and motor bike seats.” “In fact,” said the organizer, “motorcycle gangs are one of the biggest abusers of wearing leather, and we decided it was high time that we let them know that we disagree with them using it…ergo, they should stop.”
According to witnesses, protesters arrived at the event in a vintage 1960’s era Volkswagen van and began to pelt the gang members with balloons filled with red colored water, simulating blood, and shouting “you’re murderers” to passers by. This, evidently, is when the brouhaha began.
“They peed on me!!!” charged one activist. “They grabbed me, said I looked like I was French, started calling me ‘La Trene’, and duct taped me to a tree so they could pee on me all day!”
“I…I was trying to show my outrage at a man with a heavy leather jacket, and he…he didn’t even care. I called him a murderer, and all he said was, ‘You can’t prove that.’ Next thing I know he forced me to ride on the back of his motorcycle all day, and would not let me off, because his girl friend was out of town and I was almost a woman.”
Still others claimed they were forced to eat hamburgers and hot dogs under duress. Those who resisted were allegedly held down while several bikers “farted on their heads.”
Police officials declined comments on any leads or arrests due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, however, organizers for the motorcycle club rally expressed “surprise” at the allegations.
“That’s preposterous,” said one high-ranking member of the biker organizing committee. “We were having a party, and these people showed up and were very rude to us. They threw things at us, called us names, and tried to ruin the entire event. So, what did we do? We invited them to the party! What could be more friendly than that? You know, just because we are all members of motorcycle clubs does not mean we do not care about inclusiveness. Personally, I think it shows a lack of character for them to be saying such nasty things about us after we bent over backwards to make them feel welcome.”
When confronted with the allegations of force-feeding the activists meat, using them as ad hoc latrines, leaving them incapacitated in fast food restaurant dumpsters, and ‘farting on their heads,’ the organizer declined to comment in detail. “That’s just our secret handshake,” assured the organizer.
For more on this story, check with the ultimate hoax busting site to track late-breaking developments.
Warm regards,Col. Hogan