The Gross National Debt

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A more-random than usual observation

Lemme bore you for one second (or several) before I get around to making a lot of people mad.

SCIENCE! (if you follow my FB postings you'll get that) says disease is: "an impairment of the normal state of the living animal or plant body or one of its parts that interrupts or modifies the performance of the vital functions, is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms, and is a response to environmental factors (as malnutrition, industrial hazards, or climate), to specific infective agents (as worms, bacteria, or viruses), to inherent defects of the organism (as genetic anomalies), or to combinations of these factors" Merriam-Webster

According to SCIENCE! and this definition, a broken arm is a disease. A hangnail is a disease. Freezing to death is a disease, "a response to environmental factors ... climate." 

Yep. Those of us in the South who've suffered heat stroke or heat prostration, "bear-caught" in my neck of the woods, will absolutely agree that environmental factors can cause disease.

But, my issue is with addiction being a disease. The above definition says it is. I do not agree. Addiction is no more a disease than being fat, less. SCIENCE! also agrees with me and disagrees with me. Which side are you gonna believe?

Addiction can't be a disease. Disease is caused by something outside the control of the person so ailing. Lemme interject here I've beaten three addictions, four, depending on how you tally 'em. None were, are or will be disease.

Consider alcohol.

Alcoholism isn't a disease. It's a condition. Alcoholism requires a person to continue detrimental behavior for the addiction to progress. Stop drinking and the problem stops.

Alcoholism can lead to disease like cirrhosis of the liver. Many addictions can lead to disease.

Alcoholism is not a disease. It's a choice. A choice can't be a disease.

If addiction is a disease, then so is the pursuit of any other destructive behavior. Smoking is a disease. Diabetics eating doughnuts every day and driving their sugar to stratospheric levels is disease, not the diabetes itself.

Decisions should not be categorized as disease.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Faith in humanity restored

Now that is class. Citizens lining up to protect the police on W. North Ave. in Baltimore.
This image is from the Black Flag Tactical page on FB.

It clearly shows men standing in front of police officers in Baltimore to protect the officers from rioters.

Images like this and the video purported to be of a momma clobbered her son for being one of the rioters remind me that the world does have good people.

This morning on NPR aired an interview with a young man who looted stores. He was speaking the morning after his rampage and was aghast at what he'd done. He pointed out his community no longer had a place to shop, nowhere to buy groceries, shoes and so forth.

Remorse is good.

Standing up to those who do wrong is better.

Black Flag has plenty of comments on the above picture, including this one from Zach Colton: "Haha i keep seeing words like "real men" "leadership" and "community"....all things that pigs know nothing about."

I'll just let that comment rest there.

Far more common are comments like this from William John. "Mad respect for all those gentleman assisting the police to take back their streets. Even prouder to see the gentleman with the American flag on his shirt and American flag Bandana. Time for American's to come together as 1 UNITED, instead of the scum trying to rip us all apart."

When I linked the image to my page, me bud Jeff Wilson had this to say: "Actually, showing the bad is all its perverse glory is critically important. Why would good rise up if we remain ignorant of what we are facing? Just showing the response to evil will lead to questions about imbalance and inappropriateness of response- like showing a criminal being taken down by police, without having knowledge of the gunfight and 45 minute car chase that preceded it."


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

So do it again

If you are an adult, annoying teenagers is pathetically easy.

Annoying them while teaching them a life lesson is also pretty easy.

Annoying them, teaching them a life lesson and making a point all the same time, not so easy.

Here's what you do.

Wait until a teenager does something painful or complains about doing something that was painful. Doesn't matter what it is. Pain must be involved. Bee sting. Stubbed toe. Banged head. Dropped cell phone and cracked screen. Whatever. Emotional, mental or physical pain, it's all good.

When the teen is done ranting, ask question 1:

Did you enjoy it?

The teenager is going to say "No" and probably say it a bit sullenly. Teenagers do a lot of things with a sullen attitude. We did. If the answer is No, proceed to question 2.

If the answer is yes, then reply "Well good. Do it again."

As I've never received a legitimate "Yes" to question 1, I don't know what kind of reaction to expect.

Question 2: Did you learn anything?

This answer will vary. But, the most common reply is "No."

If the answer is no, you say, "Well, do it again."

The teenager will be surprised, shocked and possibly aghast. Certainly the teen will think you have lost your mind. Correction. This will be further evidence that you, as an adult, have no mind and the world should be run by teenagers because they know everything and just need the chance to put their knowledge to work, just as soon as they get done sending a few more gazillion text messages.

If the answer is yes, you reply: "Well good. It wasn't a wasted experience."

More shock, amazement, aghast-ment and etc. Further proof to the teen that they should be in charge of everything and everyone over the age of 30 needs to be confined to a nursing home.

It is, of course, entertaining to annoy teenagers. But there's a much deeper meaning to this. I've yet to meet a teenager who understood it and I've met few adults who got it.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Bad would be an improvement

The writing on the side of the bottle has to read "HAHA! Stupid American idiots. They drink our brake fluid!"
Hovey provided this reminder, a picture of hell in a box.

This is not a case of Engrish because the writing was not in any form of English from either side of the Atlantic. For that matter, it might not be Chinese hieroglyphics. It could be random slashes of ink on the carton and the bottle.

If whoever designed the containers had drank much of that crap, it probably was random slashes in an attempt to spell out "I'VE BEEN POISONED TO DEATH! HELP ME!"

"That crap" was a box, bottle and liquid contents which Hovey Smith swears he got in China on a business trip a day or so before he came back to Georgia to attend the Georgia Outdoor Writers 2015 conference in St Marys.

I believe Hovey as he's never lied to me, nor given me reason to doubt him. After that ... stuff ... I have reasons for other opinions about Hovey, none of which I can go into here because he can shoot just as well as I can.

 Hovey said the Chinese call it "white liquor" as he sat down at the table with me and handed over a barest sip of the stuff in a plastic cup. I immediately thought of the "white" bourbon Jim Beam sometimes sells. It's the raw bourbon, before aging in the barrels.

"It has bamboo with a hint of machine oil. They like to get foreigners drunk on it," he said.

Hah. A challenge! Not that I intended to get smashed on the stuff, but I certainly had to sample this stuff which the Chinese like to foist on unsuspecting Westerners. I immediately thought of sheep's eyeballs and other "delicacies" foisted off on us Western types much to the amusement of the Eastern hosts.

I sipped. Being Southern Born, Southern Bred and determined to stand tall in the face of adversity, I put on my best poker face as it burned its way down. The burn wasn't that rough.

The taste. Well now.

That stuff would have to go a LONG way to be called bad. I'm thinking a 20-year soak in burnt oak casks might bring it to the level of moderately effective paint thinner.

Vile. Demonically vile. UnConstitutional punishment vile even during the days witches were burned at the stake. In the Sandman Slim novels, the main character drinks something brewed in Hell. Richard Kadrey got the idea for that whisky from the stuff Hovey had. Machine oil, you bet. Bamboo, yep. A complex host of other tastes found in the world's biggest metal foundries that set up shop next to outdoor commercial tanneries and piped the combined effluent out into a fermenting vat into which semi-rotted carp scales were dumped for flavor.

I felt my genes mutating.

Except worse. No. You can't imagine. Be more thankful than you can imagine that you haven't found out and pour on greater hope that you will never try it.

"They love it," Hovey said.

While Hovey did not lie to me, I feel certain the Chinese lied to him.

I told Hovey alcoholics who shoot hair spray into water to remove the alcohol for drinking would sip that stuff and become stone cold sober and never, ever drink again.

He laughed.

Polly tried it a second time because she could not believe her first taste. Words fail me.

I was certain the last bit of the stuff was going to dissolve the cup. Even the scent was enough to cross my eyes and people who know me tell you I have no sense of smell. (That, thanks to a walk through a cloud of anhydrous ammonia when I was 5).

It took four good bourbon and sodas to erase the taste. It took that much to straighten my insides out.

Intrinsically vile. You'd serve this to people whom you hate so badly you want them to keep living.

Even now I can remember it and the memory is causing my stomach to cramp.

I'll see if I can get a bottle to share with y'all next time you come around.

I ain't a racist ... or am I?

Crost my FB thread this morning comes a link to a crowdfunding site raising money for the gent behind the VSU flag flap. Yer not getting a link to it from me.

I admit to not having a clue how other people think unless they tell me. The gal behind this campaign tells me exactly how she thinks in her rants on the fundraising page. For that matter, so did that the guy behind the flag protest, if I am to believe the media reports.

Dunno what your definition of racism happens to be, but the sewer system these two are spouting is my definition of it.

I ain't racist. I hate everybody equally. AR HAR HAR!

I don't hate people because of their tan lines. That'd be like hating someone because of their hair color. Why? What's the point? There are plenty of reasons to dislike someone, reasons that have everything to do with how that person acts, thinks and talks.

That kind of stuff can be controlled. You can control what you say. You can control what you think. You can control what you do.

Aside from serious medical intervention, you cannot control how tall you are.

You absolutely cannot control who your ancestors from 100 years ago happen to be.

Control what you can. Let the rest slide.

When it comes to the stuff you CAN control, yeah.

I ain't a racist, but (yeah yeah, I know, nothing good ever comes next) I'll bet you the gal behind that fundraising campaign and the guy behind the flag protest will tell you I'm racist.  I'd like to see their criteria for defining a racist.

Ah so.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Yeah, I'll trash the flag too!

Thinking about this kept me up last night. Literally.
The Flag Flap at Valdosta State University is causing heads to go all splodey.

While I'm all in favor of exploding heads, especially in certain people, I am extremely in favor of exploding heads of the majority of people who are up in arms about the flag-walking incident.

Lemme state right here, right now in front of God, you, my readers in South America and whatever terrorists and federal officials are reading this blog: I'm ready to trash the United States Flag in the most vile and foul manner I can think of.

Now that I have exploded some more heads, here's the usual verbose explanation.

Following the incident when a few college students with more anger than sense decided to walk on an American flag and a former Playboy model and veteran snatched the flag up to prevent 'em from continuing to do so, a massive rally was held at VSU with "patriots" flying the flag everywhere.

"Patriots" around the nation have rallied to the gal who thought nothing of showing off her boobs, butt and shaved crotch while wrapped in an American flag and sometimes wearing part of a uniform.

I am trying VERY hard to avoid profanity here. It ain't easy.

The majority of these flag wavers piss me off.

The majority of these flag wavers make me want to paint a giant US flag on the middle of I-75.

The majority of these flag wavers make me want to grab their flags and do despicable things with 'em.

Yeah. I'll trash the flag too.


Because these people have turned a symbol into something MORE important than what the symbol represents. I am reminded of religious people who venerate objects rather than try to live the lessons taught by their faith.

Yeah. I'll trash the flag too.

I won't be happy about trashing the flag. It will make me angry. But I'll do it. I won't like it. I will not be fit company for other human beings (which assumes I am fit for human company at other times) for a while afterward. But I'll do it.


To make a point.

Where in the whole multiverse are all these protestors when it comes to supporting our veterans? Where are they when it's time to put up or shut up when it's time to back those men and women to died to support what the flag stands for?

Lemme make this personal. WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?

Where are you when a veteran commits suicide?

Where are you when a veteran needs a place to live?

Where are you when a veteran dies because of a POS VA Health Care system?

Where are you when a veteran needs a job?

Where are you when Congress sticks its collective thumb up its rear end and refuses to do what's right by our veterans?

Rally in the street did you? Tote your flags demanding justice did you? Scream for reform as loudly as you could, did you?

Some of you did. Some of you have backed our veterans with everything you could do.\




You folks, yeah. You are part of reason trashing the flag makes me angry. Our veterans are another part.

But as for the rest of you flag-waving - nope. Not going there.

As for the rest of you who can only be stirred from your apathy only when your personal sensibilities are affronted ...

As for the rest of you who are so massively offended by someone walking on the flag that you rushed out and bought Made in China flags of your own ...

As for the rest of you - nope. Still not going there.

If flag desecration is what it takes to get you off your - dammit this is harder than I expected - to get you up and moving to do something, then yeah, I'll trash the flag too. And I'm gonna revile you every instance I'm trashing the flag.

Our veterans are so much more important than a piece of material with red, white and blue coloring. Our veterans deserve so much more than what you are giving them. They deserve so much more than what you're even willing to give them.

If flag desecration is what it takes to motivate you to FINALLY do the right thing, yeah, I'll trash the flag too.

If this what it takes to get you up and moving to demand more for our veterans, then hand me a flag. I need to go to the bathroom.