The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Some things is just too painful

In my line of work, I read a lot.

I get to read some really good stuff. Cody, I hope, will be sending some of the things he painstakingly types out. Cody has CP and typing takes him a while.

Then, some others.

First, there is bad writing. It may be grammatically flawless, but it is as comprehensible as some of the stuff I write. In other words, no one can understand it, but the person who wrote it. It's either written like a sociology textbook, poorly worded and stilted or runs a stream of consciousness that is bigger than the Amazon.

Second, there is bad grammar and punctuation.

Before I go any further, yes, I am a grammar nazi. When I start seeing misspellings, misuse and twisted syntax the writer believes is correct, I just can't take it. I quit reading. In some cases, I've taken to posting the following reply.

"No matter wear you go, their your."

I also add here that as a wordsmith of journeyman class, I feel free to twist, warp, fold, spindle and staple the language to my own devisings. I understand this causes some other grammar nazis to have a coronary. However, I know what I am doing and it is done for effect.

The bad grammar and punctuation ... When it is pervasive, constant, regular, I can't even. For that matter, I can't odd either.

Sitting on my desk is a book written by a friend.

I can't read it. I tried. Three times. The third time, I grabbed a pencil and started editing. Just editing for grammar, punctuation, verb-noun agreement. Did not go into the continuity,

15 errors page 1. 1st paragraph on the next page, 10 errors.

Just. Cannot. Do. It.

I will interview the writer since the writer is a local person. Inevitably, the question will come: "What do you think of my book?"

I ain't a diplomat. Folks who know me also know I say what I think. But in this case, I gotta be diplomatic. I'm working on this reply.

"You wrote a book. Few people ever manage to do this. Be proud of what you have here and I hope you sell many copies."

Whattaya think?

Friday, November 15, 2019

It ain't a laser

Recently watched a video of a guy shooting an elephant.

Your opinion of shooting elephants, unless you understand their biology, is irrelevant.

Anyway, the hunter was saying that people can and do kill the world's largest land mammal with a .375 H&H. In some parts of Africa, this the minimum gun needed to hunt dangerous game. One of my reloading manuals describes the King of the Midbores as ideal for most everything big & deadly, "but marginal on a bull elephant with attitude problems."

The same manual goes on to describe the 500 NE as the "ultimate in life insurance."

The tusker hunt vid did point out shot placement is very important, critical even.

He then added, every shot is not gonna be ideal. Every shot is not gonna be perfect. Every animal will not present a perfect broadside or a perfect head-on shot opportunity.

What he did not say is: Not every shot is gonna slam the X out of the bullseye either. Fliers happen. Flinch happens. Wind happens. Lots of things happen that can turn an otherwise perfect shot into just a little bit off.

A projectile firearm ain't a laser. A good gun with good ammo in the hands of a good shooter can be expected to deliver a payload in the expected every nearly all the time.

Nearly all the time ain't every time.

KNOCKDOWN POWER

Lots of gun experts say there is no such thing as knockdown power.

High grade fertilizer.

Knockdown power exists. Call it by another name, cool, but it exists. The pachyderm vid said hunters must chase Jumbo with solids, non-expanding bullets. Expanding bullets do not penetrate enough to deliver a quick kill. Gotta have a bullet that punches through lots of bone.

Where I come from, South Georgia, delivering a quick kill is the very definition of knockdown power.

Further, if you do not believe in knockdown power, I invite you to watch this video. If you start to argue and must use the words "yeah, well" or "yeah, but" then you have no valid point to dispute my claim.

ENOUGH GUN

The hunter said it is foolish to chase any animal with the minimum round needed to kill the critter. Use enough gun.

Amen,

Use enough gun to overcome that slightly off shot. Use enough gun to cover a flier. Use enough gun to deliver a quick kill with less-than-ideal placement.

Get you some knockdown power. A .22 long rifle is perfect on grey squirrels, the minimum needed for foxes and irresponsible on anything larger. A .223 has and will kill deer. It is right on the threshold of minimum. I will not let anyone hunt deer on my properties with a .223. I ain't real happy about using .243 or the 6mm family either. Get enough gun and come back.

Use enough gun.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Trophies

This may not make sense to anyone but me.

It's something I have to do. Only a few Writers have ever managed to put It down and walk away while still among the living. I ain't one, yet anyway. Either a Writer or one capable of putting It down. G'head and pick which best fits. Regardless, I have to do this.

I ain't looking for sympathy (albeit it is appreciated), empathy (likewise) or other expressions (and thank you if you do). I'm just putting down on electronic paper a thought, a blog, a column, a missive that's been running through my grey matter for the past few weeks.

Pain.

It changes people. The pancreatic cancer that eventually killed my Dad changed him and not for the better. I'm watching pain change my Mom. Dad's way is not her way. Not saying Mom is changing for the better, but she is changing. How, you ask? I don't feel the need to explain that here. Dad changed. She's changing. Nuf said, s'far as I'm concerned.

Past few weeks, the pain in my life started affecting me. Ah poot. Correction. The pain in my life has affected me for about as long as I've been able to react to it. You too. We cannot remember our earliest days. But pain was there as a teacher. We learned to avoid things that caused pain.

Some of us have also learned that certain pains are stimulating. We chase that sensation. Pepperheads know of what I write. A few years ago I sat down with Lori at Buffalo Wings and had mango-habanero coated chicken chunks. I ate and actually applauded there in the restaurant. In short, I was wired on natural endorphins, stoned of my own making. Others pursue different pains for different reasons.

Pain, for whatever reason.

Yesterday, I ordered a half plastic pipe with ropes attached to help me put on socks. I cannot put on socks when I get up in the morning. Spend a while moving around, stretching joints and muscles, then I can. But first thing, nope. The pain in my hips and legs is too great to overcome first thing for something as mundane as socks. That's one way this has changed me.

As the day goes on and I move, the pain lessens. I can move more freely. I can put on my own socks. Arthritis is insidious that way. It hurts to move, but moving makes the pain less.

I have back pains. Shoulder pains. Knee pains, Occasionally ankle pains, but those pass quickly. Some days my hips hurt too.

I ain't complaining, for reasons I shall explain in a moment and I am complaining because this stuff hurts. It affects how I can do things. It stops me from doing stuff and forces me to do other stuff. I do not like it. Ain't much I can do except move until the joints stop hurting. CBD does help, but only to a point. I'm certain pain pills would help too, but that's a road I'm not yet willing to travel.

As I just said I ain't complaining (and yet I am too). I am not complaining because each twinge, each ache, each pop in the joint is a trophy.

I have not lost my mind ... probably.

I say these are trophies. Some are the much-maligned participation trophies. Some are winner, championship trophies.

Regardless, each pain is a signal honor. It says I was there, did that and came out the other side. It that respect it is a participation trophy.

In another way, it is a trophy showing actual accomplishment. I was there. I did things. I was out and moving. I got up and invested myself.

I lived.

These pains I have, they are reminders of the things I did. I did things others may dream of. I did things other people cringe to think about. I did things that hurt then, took a few decades off and now hurt again. I hiked mountains. I swam in water that has flesh-eating bacteria in it. I swam next to sharks, stingrays and was attacked by jellyfish. I've hunted across this great nation and fed I don't know how many people with the meat I brought back. I farmed, feeding thousands of people and farmed to provide lumber and paper. I've dug in archeological sites. I've saved, literally saved, the lives of at least two people. I've preached funerals and weddings. I've carried world-class weightlifters because they got bear-caught and I've been bear-caught. I've been bitten by snakes. I've outrun sheriff's department deputies and been caught by them. I've been shot, three times.

Lots and lots more. Some of which I'm trying to get into a book. Maybe I'll finish it.


In short, I experienced.


I lived.

These pains I carry, they are reminders that I got up and lived. I went out and tested myself. Pain is a reminder that I lived and am still alive.
I look at other people my age and older and I envy them when they do not have pains. I envy their lack of arthritis. I hope they never get it.

Then, I wonder if they lived. Did they get out of their comfort zone and step into a world that promises and delivers a life that can't be described in words? Will they some day slide quietly into the next realm, whatever that may be? Or will they, like me, go crashing through that barrier shouting "WHAT A RIDE!"

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Done told you it is a legal fiction & some other points

Point 1 -

Lawyers get mad when I say stare decisis is a legal fiction.

Stare D., for those who do not know, is Latin. Translated into English with complete meaning, it means: The law is settled. The matter is decided. It is over, done and finished. This is the way it is. Now go away with your idle prattle about changing it or I shall taunt you again.

It's also high-grade fertilizer.

A lie, in other words.

Since its creation, the Supreme Court has reversed itself more than 200 times. https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/29/politics/supreme-court-cases-overturned-history-constitution-trnd/index.html

The latest was this week. https://www.npr.org/2019/06/27/732852170/supreme-court-affirms-police-can-draw-blood-from-unconscious-drivers

This is empirical evidence. Proof. Fact as solid as a collapsed star.

Stare decisis is a lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, lie.

This painful truth has abortion rights activists panicking. We gun advocates are over here like-



Point 2 -

This case revolved around a DUI. Unlike some other crimes - yes, DUI is a crime in my view - evidence for this one literally disappears. Over time, a human body processes alcohol and it leaves the system.

DUI is a crime because it impairs a person's ability to drive. It's all fine & dandy to say a drunk driver committed no crime if he made it to his destination safely. Folks who believe that will not say the same thing when they are crippled by a drunk driver. They won't say it when one of their children is killed by a drunk driver.

Got no problem with someone getting drunk and staying where they are, walking or getting a ride with someone.

Point 3 - 


The driver had a state-issued driver's license. By getting this official recognition from the state and maintaining that permit, he literally signed a contract with the state. This contract held him to certain standards and put accountability requirements on him and on the state.


On this, Neil Gorsuch and I agree, I think. "We took this case to decide whether Wisconsin drivers impliedly consent to blood alcohol tests thanks to a state statute," Gorsuch wrote. "That law says that anyone driving in Wisconsin agrees — by the very act of driving — to testing under certain circumstances. But the Court today declines to answer the question presented. Instead, it upholds Wisconsin's law on an entirely different ground—citing the exigent circumstances doctrine."  Mebbe we disagree and he rejects the idea of the contract. Eh. The whole decision is in the NPR report.


Ya don't agree with the terms of the contract, ya don't sign the contract. Simple enough.

Point 4 -

The dude's BAC was .222%. He was unconscious when he got to the ER. A blood draw, under the circumstances, is usual, needed, expected and standard. Docs needed to know what they were dealing with. Was he just drunk? Was he OD'ing on some other drugs?

Thursday, June 20, 2019

This one is for the gun nuts amongst us

Just got through reading an extended thread on using the .45-70 Government for the Big 5 in Africa.

Opinions, as you will expect, are hot, sharp and divided into the two usual categories:

Shot placement


Knockdown & stopping power

Get this. Stopping power, knockdown power are relative terms. Afore you jump my case about my use of said terms, make sure we are talking the same thing. You'll get my definition as you read through this.


SO WRONG


The shot placement crowd is wrong, so wrong. In the case of the Big 5 and other dangerous game, possibly dead wrong. As in the critter they try to kill turns and kills them.

Shot placement is important, yes indeedy! But shot placement is not even in the same league as knockdown or stopping power depending on how you wanna phrase it.

The "shot placement" crowd will eventually admit as much if you back 'em into a corner. Immediately upon admitting this and realizing what they said, they will start making excuses.

Har.

In case you didn't get the idea, I am firmly, absolutely and without question on the side of knockdown and stopping power.

As the late Col. Jeff Cooper said, "Use enough gun."

STOPPING MATTERS



Stopping and knockdown power matter. How hard you hit something matters. How much force you bring down with that hit matters.
Disagree?

Drive a rail spike through a trestle with 12-ounce hammer and get back to me.

You can hit that spike dead square on the sweet spot repeatedly. How far is the spike going into the wood?

Take that same spike, same trestle and get an off-center hit with a 10-pound sledge, Now tell me how far that spike penetrates.


"Baker, yer being ridiculous now."

No, I'm being realistic.



SIZE MATTERS


Elephants and other big game are poached in Africa with the 7.62x39. Successfully poached, as in the critters die. From videos I've seen of elephant culls using the AK platform, the elephants can die pretty quickly too. The "however" in this one is, the shooter, more accurately shooters, dump a banana mag into the elephant. Two shooters, two mags.

This is the rough equivalent of using a framing hammer to drive a rail spike. It's doable, but you need a LOT of hits.


I have personally dropped a 1,500 pound animal dead in its tracks with a .22 rimfire. Yup. Got witnesses.

Does that mean I'm going to hunt half-ton animals with a bullet that has the approximate knockdown power of a framing hammer in the hands of an experienced carpenter? Rhetorical question.


Professional hunters and professional DG guides pack big rifles with big bullets. These are the experts. They are in the field, not armchair quarterbacking. Listen to them.

KNOCKIN' EM DOWN


Lemme put this another way.


You can hunt prairie dogs with a .50 BMG. You can also hunt 'em with a .17 HMR. By far the most popular doggin' rounds are in the .22 centerfire group, .223, .222, .22-250, .222 Swift, etc. A body shot ANYWHERE on a p-dog with one of these rounds at under 500 yards and you get the Red Mist. Shot placement is simply not the vital part of this equation.

Nor is shot placement the most important part of any hunting equation.

Knockdown power or stopping power is the most important part. See Col. Cooper quote above.

You need to use enough bullet to cleanly and humanely dispatch the critter you hunt.



ENOUGH GUN


Yanno WHY law enforcement does not pack .22s as their primary firearm? A .22 is just as lethal as a 9mm, .40, .45 acp. Yes, it is, if you believe shot placement is the most important part of the equation.

Law enforcement believes stopping power is critical because in the heat of a shootout, taking time to drop a pill into the dead center of a perp's forehead is not going to happen. LE is taught to shoot center mass, the largest part of the target. LE knows it needs ENOUGH bullet, ENOUGH knockdown power, ENOUGH stopping power to get the perp off his feet as fast as possible.

A .22 in the torso is lethal, given time. A .45 in the torso is lethal a whole lot faster.

Stopping power. Knockdown power.

ONE MORE TIME



Aaight, let's put this another way One. More. Time.

Two elephants were killed with a .22 rimfire (look it up). So the venerable .22 is certainly capable of taking down Jumbo. If you get the shot EXACTLY right.


Take that same elephant. Shoot it with a 20mm Lahti. Shot placement is suddenly not nearly as critical. A lower leg shot will cripple the critter, probably not deliver an instant kill. Any body shot, death in minutes.

Go a step further. Shoot said pachyderm with a Sidewinder missile. Now you have elephant parts scattered across the landscape no matter the impact site.

That is knockdown power. That is stopping power.

It matters more than shot placement.

If shot placement is the most critical part of the equation, we'd hunt everything with a .22.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/10150193181531156/

Monday, June 17, 2019

Making the money matter

The SF novel, I forget which, was a utopian setting. (Aside - I realize "utopia" should have the "an" declarative instead of "a" but it reads better to me the way I have it. If you object, then do so and get yer own blog.)

In this mythical place, people earned credits for doing work. Credits were then swapped for stuff. Think cash, but you never got to hold any of it.

One of the things that made this a utopia was the pay scale. Pay was based on need. How important was the job? The more important job, the more it paid. In this fictional reality, being a garbageman was a pretty high-payin' job. Tending the roses paid next to nothing.

Think about that.

Now apply some mental molars to this idea –

Any and every job should pay what you are willing to accept for doing the job.

Hrm. Confusing. Lemme try again.

What is the minimum amount you'd take to do the job? That is the pay.

Mo betta.

The "you" part of that is critical. You. As in the singular person. As in the individual. NOT the government handing down an edict. NOT a forced decision. NOT a kinder, gentler machine gun in hand to make sure you do it.

You decide.

Shades of Ayn Rand someone will say. Could be, could be.

Shades of Karl Marx someone else will say,  Could be, could be.

Certainly, there are smatterings of many economic systems there.

YOU PICK YOU PAY


So what would you accept as the minimum salary for a job?

Under my idea, you pay whatever you'd take to do the same work. I cannot think of anything more fair than that. That's my utopian idea anyway.

Let's continue to run this You Pick You Pay thought experiment. Whether or not you can do the jobs below is irrelevant. I wanna know what you require as the pay to do 'em. Saying "There ain't enough money in the world" is an acceptable answer.

How much pay do you need to be a:

Garbage man?

A waiter/waitress?

Truck driver?

Farmer?

Police officer?

Member of Congress?

Convenience store clerk?

Butcher?

Mechanic?

That's a good place to start. I'm sure you can come up hundreds of other jobs. The question remains, what is the minimum you'd take to do the jobs?

Bout dat "ain't enough money" comment. If you said that about any job, then in my utopia, you never get to have those services. Not enough money to a police officer? Then you never get to call law enforcement for help. Not enough money to be an elected official? Then you lose access, privileges and protections created by the law. Yes, you anarchist, you are also freed from being under the law. That sounds like a good idea to many until someone bigger, meaner, tougher and better armed comes up, takes everything you have and turns you a bone-broken heap. On yer own, you are.

THE CLUE-X-FOUR

So now lemme come upside yo haid with a Clue-X-Four.

Why ain't you paying these people what YOU require to do the job?

"I don't control how much they get paid."

Now there is the cop-out. There is the lie. There is the rejection of reality. Don't think so, Cleopatra? (Cause you is the Queen of De Nile.) Lemme prove it to you.

S'called tips. Who do you tip and how much?

Oooooooo.

"But I –"

Shup.

"But not tip –"

Shup.

"–"

Done said shup three times. Do it.

You can tip anyone. You CHOOSE not to. You CHOOSE to underpay those folks? You can tip and bring the pay up to the level you'd accept. You CHOOSE not to.

Why? Are those people less than you? Are you more important than them? Is your value to this world greater than theirs?

"But I can't –"

Don't make me get out the duct tape.

YES YOU CAN


Yes, Little Engine That Could, you can. You can tip. I am not aware of any law in any state that prevents you from tipping anyone.

You choose not to. Why?

I tip all kindsa folks, if I can get to 'em. It's not always cash either. I've delivered water to linemen. Beer to the guys on the garbage truck. If I can catch the cook in a restaurant, I slip some George Ws his way.

The difference it makes is AMAZING.

I tip folks when I believe their service to me is greater than what they are paid to do the job.

I do understand that some businesses have signs that say "No tipping allowed." I give those signs and policies all the attention they deserve. None. I have yet to be called out for tipping someone.

The contrarian in me does HOPE someone tries to tell me I cannot tip. That's gonna be interesting.

In the meantime, you do control how much people make. The question is, will you own up to it or not?

Thursday, June 6, 2019

No, you don't have the right

This is not a discussion on abortion. Promise. It is a discussion about a flawed argument the abortion rights crowd uses.

Body autonomy.

The argument says, "It is my body. I can do what I want to with it." This argument is then backed up by several Supreme Court cases like Roe v. Wade.

It's also wrong.

Local, state and federal law and the United States Supreme Court say you do not have body autonomy. These laws and court cases say, explicitly and implicitly, that the government has the right to regulate your body.

"Nuh uh!"

Yes.

Jacobson v. Massachusetts. "The Court held that the law (mandatory vaccination) was a legitimate exercise of the state's police power to protect the public health and safety of its citizens. Local boards of health determined when mandatory vaccinations were needed, thus making the requirement neither unreasonable nor arbitrarily imposed."

"Um. But that decision was made in 1905."

So? It is still the "law of the land" as people like to tell me when citing SCOTUS cases to back up their (often incorrect) opinions.

The next argument is that the Jacobson decision needs to be revisited. In other words, the High Court needs to discuss this again. The unsaid words are "The Supreme Court needs to change that ruling."

At this point, I generally dissolve into hysterical giggles. Yes! Let the High Court revisit a decision I disagree with! But any decision I agree with has to be left alone. Stare decisis

Canya feel the sarcasm?

Want more?

Suicide. About half the gun deaths in the United States each year are suicides. The left loves to scream "BODY AUTONOMY!" and scream "GUN CONTROL!" at the same time. Pick one. Suicide is body autonomy. When we eliminate those deaths from firearms deaths, then the death rate is halved. When you eliminate gang murders, the death rate is halved again. Remove cops shooting people ... you get the idea.

Income tax.

"What does economics have to do with body autonomy?"

People are arrested and jailed regularly for not paying income taxes.

"But they broke the law."

Body autonomy.

"Grrrrrrrr."

Prostitution. This is the one that makes the right have splodey heads. We have no federal law on prostitution, but only some counties in Nevada make it legal.

Bigamy. Another right-wing splodey header. Personally, I think the punishment for bigamy is inherent in the action. 2 or more mothers-in-law. (shudder) "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1878 that plurality of wives (polygamy), as originally permitted by the Mormon religion, violated criminal law and was not defensible as an exercise of religious liberty. "


I'm not gonna get deep into taxes and economics, but as long as the government can lock you up for breaking a "law" because you want to keep what you earned using your body, then you ain't got body autonomy.

So, please stop using that as a reason for anything based on the law because it is legally false.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Of gander, geese and mindin' yer own $^&#^$^*&!)#^ business thankyouverymuchforasking

Bear with me as I must use a fusion-hot topic to start today's rant. I switch off that very quickly. Promise.

I keep hearing people saying men have no right to make a decision (abortion) for women 'cause men cannot have children.

M'kay.

Jes f'r the purpose of today's rant, I accept that logic. As I understand the logic it is -

If you do not understand, you cannot be part of the decision making process.

If you do not participate, you cannot be part of the decision making process.

If you are not a part of, you cannot be part of the decision making process.

If you are not directly affected, effected or impacted, you cannot be part of the decision making process.

If it cannot directly affect, impact, effect or otherwise actually matter to your life in a way that can be empirically measured, you cannot be part of the decision making process.

If you did not participate in the series of decisions that led to the need for a decision, you cannot be part of the decision making process.

Even if you did participate in the decisions, unless the situation has an empirical affect, impact, effect on you, you cannot be part of the decision making process.

Did I miss anything? Did I get something wrong here? Did I misunderstand? If so, I sincerely ask you to correct me in the comment section. I will update and revise. (Rene Alsept, if yer reading this, I welcome a rational comment.)

LOGICAL APPLICATION



By accepting that logic, I agree to its application in other matters. If you agree my summation above is correct, then you also agree to its application elsewhere

Do you live in Africa and live next to big game animals like elephants, rhino and lions? Do you understand the life cycle of these megafauna? Is your life directly affected by attacks by these land tanks? Are you willing to pony up the bucks needed to provide proper habitat, food, water and etc for these walking modes of destruction?

Are you gonna support the people whose crops were destroyed by elephants & rhinos?
https://allafrica.com/stories/201905130538.html

What about the people the big animals kill? Will you bring them back to life?
https://people.com/human-interest/lion-rips-off-4-year-old-girls-scalp-south-africa-big-cat-farm/

No? Then please excuse yourself from any discussion regarding the hunting and preservation of these critters.
https://www.timeslive.co.za/tshisa-live/tshisa-live/2019-05-24-thula-sindi-weighs-in-on-botswana-vs-ellen-degeneres-fight-over-elephants/

Being less polite, shut up and go away. You don't get to make a decision on this.

https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/22/botswana-lifts-ban-elephant-hunting-plan-manage-population-9655006/

A CLUE X 4


While I'm giggling insanely swinging my cluex4 upside some haids, lemme slap more information on you.

"TROPHY HUNTING CAN play an essential role in the conservation of African wildlife, according to a growing number of biologists. Now some experts are calling for a program to regulate Africa's sport-hunting industry to ensure its conservation benefits."

So says National Geographic, which of the past 15 years or so has turned more liberal than Rolling Stone and New York Magazine. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2007/03/trophy-hunting-africa-save-animals-conservation-news/


A SIMPLE SOLUTION



Of course, there is a simple solution to all this. I can take no credit for the idea as Jonathan Swift was the first to popularize the idea.

As Botswana, according to the folks living there who DO get to make the decision (your logic, your rules, I just apply them across the board) cannot support the growing people population and elephant population, we have a choice. Well, some have a choice to make.

As some folks can't bear the thought of an elephant being killed, then they need to journey their unhappy butt down to Botswana and start thinning out the second most dangerous animal on the planet. This thinning can be done however the person wants. Bring #2 back home and care for 'em out their own pocket. Go Soylent Green. Declare war. Get Genocidal. Start a holocaust.

Or, adopt an elephant, rhino, lion, etc. Bring it home, feed and care for it. That is if you can stomach the thought of caging a wild animal for the rest of its life.

Something has to be done. Lives will end, one way or another, unless other people step in with massive amounts of regular, constant and consistent aid in the form of cash, food and other necessary supplies.

Donating 10 bucks here & there as a salve for the conscience makes things worse. It creates an expectation that more is coming. When it does not come, the result is crushing. People literally die. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2009/feb/19/dambisa-moyo-dead-aid-africa

NO HELP HERE


Ms. DeGeneres, a mega multi-millionaire, can complain loudly. Will she do anything to actually help? Nah. Will people like her do anything to actually help? Nah. Air-conditioned ivory towers are too comfortable.

Who is helping? People who preserve the animals for hunters. Who is helping? The hunters who drop the bucks to go to Africa to hunt. Again, National Geographic - "As big game populations dwindle further under pressure from human encroachment, shifting climate norms, and widespread criminal poaching,.."- https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/10/trophy-hunting-killing-saving-animals/ - Not licensed hunts, in other words.

As PH in the NG story asks, "Who’s going to pay for the party?"

SPEAKING FOR THE SPEECHLESS


Just 'cause someone is gonna throw this at me, yes, animals cannot speak in their own defense.

Ahem.

That's all I'm saying on that subject.

BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!


Yes! Act now and you get a whole lot more than you bargained for!

You get the "social contract" that allows you to bully other people at will while loudly complaining about being bullied yourself. You get to be part of a group that can ruin the lives of individuals and you don't have to care, at least until it happens to you.

You get to hire people to kill other people and be completely immune from prosecution. You get to hide behind voting, or not voting, as a way to excuse yourself from trampling the rights of other people because your elected reps made the decision.

Our elected reps are supposed to work for us. They are supposed to do what WE ask them to. Public servant. We give orders. They carry 'em out.

As the boss, you are accountable.

When the truth hurts, yer living wrong.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Be kind and help others or we'll arrest you; no, that's IF you help ... hang on



To this I add, the left also seeks to make voluntarily helping the less fortunate illegal.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicksibilla/2018/08/27/federal-court-first-amendment-protects-sharing-food-with-homeless-people/

Someone, as happened on Facebook, is going to say these local ordinances were enacted by Reboobicans.

I do not say which side of the oligarchy coin passed these local laws. I do say these laws are done in leftist communities.

Proof you say?

http://nationalhomeless.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Food-Sharing2014.pdf

See Page 5. If you look at the cities, most listed there are considered Damnocrat strongholds. Leftist communities. These are same people who believe it is entirely fine to send armed law enforcement to someone's house and take what that person has and give whatever is taken to other people who did nothing to earn it,

Of course, Reboobicans do exactly the same thing. They send armed law enforcement to take what is yours and give it to someone who did not work for it.

My sole point above is these anti-homeless-feeding communities are aligned with the D side of the oligarchy, that group that publicly professes to want to help the less fortunate, Obviously, as proven by their actions, they only want that help forcibly taken from others. Voluntary help is not allowed. Volunteering to help the less fortunate puts you in front of the same gun that comes to take what you have and give to the less fortunate.

In case you don't wonder, I've been there. A local effort was launched a few years ago to shut down the local food bank where I am a director. Why? We give away raw meat, meat that comes from the Second Harvest warehouses I add. Same meat you can buy in a grocery store. Why? I, not the food bank, give away raw deer and raw wild hog. Apparently spending my own time, money and other resources helping people in need is wrong, at least according to the people who tried to shut the program down.

This was done by leftists.

Lemme share you a story.

A band of guerrilla fights swept through the small village. As they went through they shouted "Liberation! Freedom! Power to the people."

One of the fighters stopped at an old man's hut and grabbed two chickens.

With rheumy eyes, the old man looked at the young revolutionary. "The government, they took my chickens too,"

The idealist looked down at the sad and broken man and said, "The liberation fighters, we fight for you. We must have food to carry the fight to the oppressors to free you!"

The old man cast his eyes to the ground. "My chickens," he said. "my chickens, they do not know the difference."

Friday, May 17, 2019

Demanding inequality and unequal rights

As the nation again loses its collective mind over the issue of pregnancy, I have a few things to point out.

1) The Alabama bill was signed by a woman.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/15/politics/alabama-governor-signs-bill/index.html . Yes, the law was passed by the state legislature, mostly men.

The Alabama governor could have vetoed the bill.

2) It takes 2 to tango. Yet, the law does not see it that way.


Yes, a man can decide to NOT have anything to do with the child. This requires going to court, hiring a lawyer, getting a judge to rule, signing paperwork, etc etc etc. A man must get permission from a bunch of other people to not be the father/dad. This is not cheap.

A woman makes an appointment, pays some fees and gets an abortion. No lawyer, no judge, no hearing.

Men should NOT be forced to support a child they do not want if a woman can abort the fetus at will.

Men should have an equal right to decide to NOT be a parent.

S'called parity.

It doesn't happen that way. The article linked just below reads like something from a sociology textbook, but it definitely points out how the legal system is heavily slanted toward mothers and against fathers, despite what is said.
https://elibrary.law.psu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1268&context=fac_works

3) In divorce, women get custody the vast majority of the time.

"As a general rule, most states require that the mother automatically be awarded full custody of her child if she is unmarried -- unless the father makes an effort to receive custody as well." https://family.findlaw.com/child-custody/who-gets-custody.html

"There was once a presumption that children should always stay with their mother following a divorce. Most states no longer honor that presumption, however. (In fact, some states have passed laws stating that there is no custody preference for women over men.) Despite this change, mothers are still more likely to get custody when parents divorce."
https://www.divorcenet.com/resources/divorce/for-men/divorce-for-men-why-women-get-child-custody-over-80-time

"Women are typically awarded custody of the children. Because our predominant social values suggest that children are best situated with their mothers, women often do the lion's share of child rearing in divorced families, even in shared custody cases." https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/men-v-women-who-does-better-in-a-divorce

My considered opinion is - A parent who uses their children as a tool of revenge against the other parent does not deserve custody at all.

4) 'Cause someone will bring THIS up, yes, women usually get the short end of the financial stick in a divorce. "Women who worked before, during, or after their marriages see a 20 percent decline in income when their marriages end, according to Stephen Jenkins, a professor at the London School of Economics." https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/the-divorce-gap/480333/ This is not the point of this morning's diatribe, but again, someone will bring it up.

5)

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Tons of crap

Mom's best friend died and owing to peculiarities in Florida law, an attorney had to step in (had to. State law) to help settle stuff despite Mom being the estate executor.

Let's run this to the heart of the matter.

Tons. Of. Crap.

Honestly. Literally. Without question.

Tons. Of. Crap.

The deceased lady (we shall call her JS) left behind a doublewide trailer packed with Tons. Of. Crap.

After three trips down, we've dented the pile.

Example - JS had, and I am not kidding, 10+ pounds of mailing labels from places like the Humane Society, Easter Seals, Veterans and etc. If your name was JS and you lived there AND YOU ARE STILL IN THE WOMB, you'd have enough labels to last the rest of your life, once you were born.

One room we could barely open the door. Stuff was stacked in boxes to the ceiling. Other rooms had stuff shoved, stacked and piled in every available space. Open bags of trash were common.

We threw out receipts and bills 15 years old. We threw away catalogs, random pieces of paper, pens that probably quit working 10 years ago. We found staples, staplers and scissors everywhere. Apparently, when JS needed something and could not immediately find it, she went out and bought another. We expect to find many more duplicate items.

JS' mom was a quilter and seamstress. JS was not. We found busted sewing machines, quilt frames, boxes and boxes of material just shoved in boxes and pushed into a room. Part of the cleanup crew includes an expert quilter so what is useful is being taken to a local quilter's group.

Yes. We found finished quilts. These are no trash, but very real treasures. Oh yeah.

We found broken and busted appliances and equipment. Why?

This has given me severe cause for pause.

What about the stuff I have?

Uh, yeah.

Tools. Lots of tools (and now more thanks to JS' estate). 300 pounds of nail gun nails and decking screws, again TY JS estate. Well, when I'm gone finding a home for the tools will be easy enough.

Fishing gear. How many more fishing rods do I need anyway? One more.

Oy. Still, finding a home for that when I am gone, way easy. Susan & Jesse have one giant yard sale, it's with a new owner.

Books.

Someone say books?

Gad. I have got books. Mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy. I gottem. Rehoming these will be more of an issue. I've tried to give some away (ahem, James?) but no takers.

Vinyl records. I have a 10-foot high stack of classic rock vinyl. (YOU! NO! Hands off Bubba!) But these too, easy enough to get rid of. The 75 or so CDs, no so much. Also have a stack of 78 vinyls from the Big Band era. No one wants those. (Want 'em? Lemme know.)

Some things I wonder why I have 'em at all. Why do I need 2 retired breathing apparatus tanks? Damfino. Same with the camera collection. Who uses film these days anyway? Gonna be useless junk when I'm gone, but they do remind me of the days when we had to work to be a photographer.

The keychain collection. I hear you saying WTH? I have a few hundred keychains, a few pounds worth. They take up almost no space, but der yaggo.

Some will call me a hoarder. Will not argue. But I'm nowhere near JS's league.

Still, I need to start winnowing.

The screws and nails, keeping those. Need to repair my own back deck as well as build for handicapped folks in need. (Have a crew that builds handicapped ramps. All you gotta do is buy the wood.) Other stuff, well, may have to go,

Anyone want a bushel of SF novels? The good ones from the 60s, 70s and early 80s?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

About that college entrance exam scam

Cheaters prosper. Cheaters win. Some do get caught and are held accountable. Some never are, in this life at least.

This is the way of things.

This story amuses me immensely.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-accuses-wealthy-parents-including-celebrities-in-college-entrance-bribery-scheme/2019/03/12/d91c9942-44d1-11e9-8aab-95b8d80a1e4f_story.html

I have ZERO issue with cheating on college entrance exams. None. College will weed out the vast majority of the ones who can't hack it.

I think college entrance exams are pretty stupid anyway. For one thing, some people simply don't do well on standardized tests. For another, standardized tests are also stupid. And yet one more thing, college is not mandatory. If you really want to go to college, you will make it happen. Guaranteed.

A very select few will manage to scrape through, thanks to parents with wallets bigger'n that gator killed on Lake Blackshear.

A MINOR PROBLEM


I only have a slight problem with the people who manage to graduate from college by underhanded means.

In the real world, most of the people who cheat their way through college will seriously crash&burn when they get a job. Darwin at work. Those who do continue to roll their way up the corporate ladder through cheating, obfuscation, misdirection and slight-of-hand have to be smart enough to be there anyway.

I am not excusing their malfeasance. I am saying if they can get away with it, then they are good enough to be there anyway.

My small problem with those who make it through runs right back to academia. Those who do work their way through but cannot get a real job fall back into academia. I ain't saying those who can, do and those who can't teach. I know many teachers at all levels who are thoroughly capable of making a living in the private sector. Some of them taught me and they were the best teachers I had.

I also know too many teachers who are in education because they cannot hold down a job outside of academia. Inside those hollow (no typo) halls of learning, they are insulated and protected. They need not be able to do. They just need a sufficiently advanced degree, which is laughably easy to obtain. Google this phrase - easy to get PhD .

Had plenty of those teachers too. They are not worthless. They are a great bad example.

Proof? Real world experience is not necessary to get a job as a professional instructor. All ya need is a degree. Show me any job qualification list for a professional educator that requires real-world experience in that field. I'll show you a dozen that only demand teaching experience and a degree.

Which is harder? Getting into college or getting a PhD? Depends on how good you are or how much money you have. The more money you have, the less your ability matters.


MONEY TALKS


People have bought their way into college for as long as college has been a thing. Lemme tell you right now that if I won a giant lottery, I'd buy admission for my kids, nieces and nephews to the college of their choice. No college will turn down a few million dollars and "oh yeah, make sure my nephew's application to attend school here is accepted or I find another college that wants the money." Proof follows.

People also get into college strictly on physical ability. Academics are irrelevant.

https://www.cnn.com/2014/01/07/us/ncaa-athletes-reading-scores/index.html

http://time.com/3827196/why-student-athletes-fail/

https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/yp8bvj/north-carolina-scandal-continues-to-show-how-ncaa-incentivizes-eligibility-over-education

https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/heres-two-more-times-the-ncaa-is-failing-to-rule-sensibly-on-players-academic-issues/

Plenty more where that came from.

DOUBLE DOUBLE DOUBLE STANDARDS



Boston’s U.S. attorney, Andrew Lelling told reporters, "These parents are a catalogue of wealth and privilege. This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud. There can be no separate college admission system for the wealthy, and I’ll add there will not be a separate criminal justice system, either.”

I do not like calling someone a liar, but yeah, he's a liar.

His statement is a direct contradiction to reality. He make not like reality. Reality is under no obligation to conform itself to the expectations of him, you, me or that guy stalking you who just ducked around the corner so you wouldn't catch him.

If the truth hurts, yer living wrong.

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article174707216.html

Again, how much more proof do you need?

Cheating to get into college? Hilarious. Knock yo'self out and make it happen. Eventually, you must have the ability to make it. Otherwise, you will have to get a PhD and teach in a college.

Friday, February 8, 2019

What we have here is a failure to tell the whole story

I have an issue with this story, but on the main point, what happens is wrong.


My issue is found in this quote:

“It just sort of reinforces an understanding we already knew — that black residents disproportionately come in contact with law enforcement given the way criminal justice policy is oriented in this country,” said Nicole Porter, spokeswoman at The Sentencing Project, a reform advocacy group.

TELL IT ALL


That is a correct statement, but it does not tell everything. The journalists writing this story did not tell it all.

Some years ago I did a study of calls to 911 for police assistance in the City of Ashburn. I split the City down Highway 41 and Highway 112 - quadrants.

Over six months the NE quadrant hand 1 call for law enforcement, a fight at the then-alternate school.

The SW quadrant accounted for nearly 75 percent of the calls for law enforcement. The SE and NE quadrants had the remainder.

I'm willing to bet you that LEAs are called to certain neighborhoods far more often in any given community than in other neighborhoods.

THEY ARE CALLED


The greater point which is not discussed is: Police go where they are called. They meet with people who call them. This is results in massively disproportionate contacts with law enforcement. This is NOT discrimination. This is law enforcement simply responding to calls.

It also follows that LEAs will make more arrests where they spend the most amount of time. They will make the most arrests from the pool of people they deal with the most.

That is not complicated.

Complaining and trying to draw racial inferences from this is like complaining nursing homes have most elderly and ill people as residents. It is true, but the base reason for this is not discrimination.

MORE TO IT

Not saying some people are profiled and targeted. This does happen. As the report points out, a certain group of people is stopped for traffic violations more often than others. This definitely smacks of being wrong. I wonder if there is more to it.

I've done ride-alongs with police officers. I cover law enforcement regularly. I know profiling happens. At the same time where the traffic stops are discussed, I just wonder what the whole picture has to show. I am reminded of the story of three blind men and the elephant. One described the elephant as long, muscular and strong. He had the trunk. Another said no, an elephant is round, solid and thick like a tree. He had a leg. The third said no, the elephant is short and somewhat stiff with coarse hair like a heavy hemp rope. He had the tail. Certainly, the court system is harsher to a segment of the population compared to other segments. That is flat wrong. Rich people get off much lighter than poor people when hauled into court.

REPORTING

The story does make a backhanded attempt at addressing the whole situation at the end of the report. It's pretty pathetic reporting too. "One police official said..."

One officer. One department. Stacked against in-depth research covering the entire state.

Is there more to this story? Betcha. Will the reporters cover it? Probably not. The resources and effort that went into this story were massive and I seriously doubt there was a return on investment. S. Carolina media simply does not have the money to invest in this kind of reporting on a regular basis, so we are stuck with a partial story.

IT IS WRONG

On the whole, the asset forfeiture as discussed in this story is flat wrong. It is nothing more than theft by government. Exactly the same as taxes. I really see no difference between the two. If you do, please explain.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Some help for the journalist

The Society for Professional Journalists is actually doing something useful.
For once. 
This is like using a belt-fed machine gun to hit a pie plate target at 1,000 yards. Sling enough lead and you're bound to hit the target, eventually.
Anyway, the SPJ is hosting a conference on stress and journalism March 9 in Savannah.
Some topics on the agenda:
• Are you having a hard time handling the stress of burnout?
• Do you need resources to help a colleague that is having a difficult time?
• Did you have a hard time processing the trauma of a crime scene or disaster?
• Are you afraid of the stigma of asking for help, to share your emotions?
• Do you need to know that you are not alone in how you are feeling and it's okay?
• How can we support ourselves as journalists?
In case you don't wonder, I answer:
Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes #1 thing - quit being flaming infected hemorrhoids toward each other.

IT'S A ROUGH JOB

Coming up through the ranks many years ago I was told journalists suffer an unusually high level of alcoholism compared to other industries. I no longer believe that to be as true. https://www.businessinsider.com/most-alcoholic-jobs-2011-10
Journalism is rough though. As I remember, France dictates a month of vacation for professional working journalists because of the stress. But France does a lot of things that make me wonder.
I don't know of any other career that has the same kinds of stress-inducers. Certainly, other professions have their share and many overlap. ER workers, law enforcement, and fire, EMS, dispatchers come to immediate mind. Some less-expected professions that have some of the same major stresses are minister or preacher, politician, human resources. You can probably add many more to this.
But journalism stands unique. Only journalists are called on to be in any profession at any time. We can spend one day being a police officer, another day as a commercial fisherman and yet another day as a funeral director. Good journalists try to understand the people we write about and that means learning what they do and how they do it. Sometimes it means hands on. It always means observation.
At the same time, journalism is unique because at the end of the day, we get to walk away from that job and move on to something which may be a polar opposite. Whether we can actually leave that temp job is another matter entirely. The rough stuff stays with us. The good stuff stays too, but the bad parts are more durable.
On any given day a journalist can see the very worst humans can do to each other and then all the way to the very best. Then, we have to process that and present it to our audience. That kinda stuff sticks with a person.
Journalists also don't have a lot in the way of stress support. Example: Journalists can get PTSD. I have it. Unlike soldiers who have a support network, whether it is effective or not is beside the point, journalists do not have that (however effective) safety net. Soldiers have thousands of comrades who went through the same thing. Journalists may have a handful.
So thanks to the SPJ for finally doing something worthwhile. I seriously wish I could attend the conference, but it is not gonna happen. Y'all who do attend, I hope you are able to find a way to beat down those demons that haunt us all.