The Gross National Debt

Friday, May 29, 2015

Your right to be obnoxious

To my thinking, the Second Amendment is the most important part of the entire Constitution.

 "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." 

The second most important Amendment is the First.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

A subsequent Amendment makes these Amendments apply to state governments as well.

Some will argue the First Amendment is more valuable. I direct your attention to China. Words sparked the revolution there. Tanks flattened it. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but unless you use that pen and slam it into the eye and into the brain of someone, it's not much of a physical weapon. History proves, over and over, might may not make right, but it sure as hell wins.
With the stage set, I bring you this news. From the organizers: People are also encouraged to utilize there [sic] second amendment right at this event just incase [sic] our first amendment comes under the much anticipated [sic] attack.

These bikers are planning to give the First Amendment a vigorous workout. They are also prepared to protect that exercise with an application of the Second Amendment. I support the bikers. I say any time a person's right to life and liberty are compromised, he is being oppressed.

My bud Greg Millette asked: So, Ben, just exactly how are these protestors being oppressed by the worshipers attending Friday evening prayer services at this Arizona mosque? Or by Islam in general?

To which I replied: Any time a person's life and liberty are threatened, this is oppression. 

Any time a person does something that brings no harm to anyone and the result of that action is an attack on life and liberty, this is oppression.

You also make an assumption, i.e. that the men here are not oppressed by the worshippers at this mosque. We do have evidence that two Islamist radicals bent on death to others attended that mosque. This says oppression can be found at this mosque.

Islamist adherents are busy all over the world killing people who do not agree with their weltanschauung. This is oppression.

These bikers' actions bring harm to no one. Their actions may draw out those who seek to oppress others.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

You are certainly within your rights to call these bikers idiots, morons, etc etc etc. I tell you: Offensive speech needs the protection of the First Amendment backed by the Second Amendment. If your speech offends no one, it needs no protection.
You may, rightly, accuse them of provoking a reaction. I tell you people who intend to shut you down need an excuse and will find one, now or later. They are coming. You can draw them out and deal with them now or wait and let them stage a sneak attack.

As I told Greg, perspective matters. I have a view of this matter I hope none of you ever have to experience. Charlie Hebdo is me.

My right to free speech was attacked, with violence and malice aforethought. Looking over the aftermath of the shooting (yes, same shooter in both cases), I am equally convinced that my personal application of the Second Amendment is what kept myself and my family alive. In short, the attacker ran like a bat out of hell from my yard because he knew I was on the way with a loaded gun to reply to his message in kind.

Few people can be the next Thomas Paine. Few can be Chris Kyle. Anyone can, and should, have an opinion. Everyone can, and should, have the ability to defend themselves against people who take offense to that opinion.

Offensive statements must be said. Must be. Freedom of the mind must be preserved. This is where liberty begins. That liberty has to be protected with the freedom to bear arms because a pen cannot kill an attacker at 100 yards.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Gettin' prezackly what you asked for and daffodils

Anyone remember "Farm Aid?" I don't know what happened to the money, nor do I intend to research. No farmer I know ever benefited from it.

Remember "We Are The World?"

Remember the housing market bust? Remember the incredible foreclosure explosion?

Remember the base jumper who went splat last week? Remember when people demanded they not be held accountable for their own actions?

"Waitaminnet Baker. That's a non sequitor even for you."

Indeed not. Dean Walker lived dangerously, knew it and paid the price. Whether or not the price was worth the life he lived is something we're not likely to find out in this reality. I admit it would be incredibly amazing to have interviewed him a few seconds before impact. I wonder if he still felt it was worth it.

The point is, everything you do carries risk. You can go blindly, with as much information and safety nets as you can or somewhere in between. The more safety you have, the less freedom you have. The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.

As John Lee, my erstwhile boss told me about building on a eroding beach line, "You pays your money, you takes your chances." Everything in life involves risk.  Everything. Inhaling invites all manner of microbes, natural and man-made chemicals into your lungs. Get the wrong mixture and you get to interview Dean Walker, post-splat.

Unfortunately, most people want the big reward, but won't take the big risk.

The people in Spain, in the link above, elected a mayor of Barcelona who apparently campaigned on the evils for foreclosure, etc etc.

Two years ago, she testified before parliament at a hearing about Spain's foreclosures crisis. On the panel, Colau spoke right after a representative of Spain's banking industry. "This man is a criminal and he should be treated like one," she said at the time, her voice shaking with rage.
I'm quite certain she could find lots of support in the United States as well. Plenty of people think banks are evil creations and need to be reigned in.

I'm good with that. Let's reign 'em in. Let's demand reform.

Let's force banks to let us break our word, violation signed contracts, lie and cheat and not be held accountable.

"HEY! Baker, that's not what we mean!"

Do tell. What do you call it when you demand that you be allowed to break a signed contract and not pay any penalty? What do you call it when you give your word and back out? What do you call it when you make a promise and walk away?

"But people really don't understand what they are signing."

Agreed. But is this government's fault? My fault? Your fault? If people refuse to educate themselves, who is at fault? You can lead a human to this blog, but you can't make 'em think.

I've never met a person forced to sign a mortgage.

I've an idea. Let's reform the mortgage industry. Let's go back to the way it used to be before foreclosures became a routine. "In 1949, mortgage debt was equal to 20 percent of total household income; by 1979, it had risen to 46 percent of income; by 2001, 73 percent of income."  Go back before 1949 and it was even better, from this perspective. Everybody like that? Cool.

"The U.S. mortgage before the 1930s would be nearly unrecognizable today: it featured variable interest rates, high down payments and short maturities. Before the Great Depression, homeowners typically renegotiated their loans every year." Read more. High downpayment? How about 50 percent of the home value and a loan of 5 years or less. How about a housing market where less than 40 percent of the people owned their home and most people could never afford a home at any time.

If you want banking reform and elimination or drastic reduction of foreclosures, then you are also asking for a much tighter mortgage market. Fewer people buying houses means fewer foreclosures. That's what yer gonna get.

Banks are NOT going to take risks without commensurate guarantees of reward. You may say regulate banks more, but how many of you know how much banks are already regulated?

"Not enough."

Really? So you know how much liquid assets (cash) a bank has to have to make a loan? You understand how much it costs to run a bank?

Never mind.

Better idea. YOU make the loans to people who  want to buy a house. Yes, you. No whining that you can't afford it. Nope. If you demand the banks do more to make loans, lousy loans that won't be paid off and then demand the banks can't try to get their money back, then you make the loans.

It's daffodils. Daffodils being a concept the English language doesn't otherwise encompass. It's a way of thinking and doing that puts the restrictions and freedoms your demand on others also on yourself. For example, if you demand reform of the financial system, then the financial system gets to demand the same reforms in your finances. Quid pro quo comes close, but it's not exact. Daffodils carries with it the same amount of force you apply to others applied to you.

Most people, when they're shoved in the same box they put others in don't like it. Actions have consequences. Daffodils makes sure you get the full experience of those consequences.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


While there is much about Ted Nugent to dislike, there is also much about him to like. He has hunts that raise money for kids charities.

This, of course, draws the ire of animal rights activities.

His epic response: Whenever I donate a hunting trip for the Children's Leukemia Foundation, Ronald McDonald Cancer House, all these children's charities, I offer the anti-hunters an opportunity: if you donate more to the children's charity than the hunters donate we won't go hunting.

So far, he's never canceled a hunting trip.

Now comes the story of a Texas hunter who ponied up $350K to shoot a rhino in Africa.

If you object to this, how much have you spent on rhino conservation in Africa? This $350K goes toward research, conservation, supporting the autochthons whose crops are ruined by rhinos and the meat went to feed them. How much money have you contributed?



A lot of people say this is not conservation. A lot of people won't bother to read, much less understand the science behind this hunt.

From the story:

The removal of limited numbers of males has been shown to stimulate population growth in some areas. Removing specific individuals from a population can result in reduced male fighting, shorter calving intervals, and reduced juvenile mortality.

Black rhinos have "the highest combat mortality rates of any mammal," Namibia'sOshili 24 reports. "Approximately 50 percent of males and 30 percent of females die from combat-related injuries."

The old males, targeted for death, can't breed any more, but are capable of killing breeding-age males and females.

If you are one who objects to this kind of hunt, how would you deal with these old males who kill other rhinos instead of breeding females? They're already effectively sterile.

You'd remove them from the population? How? Put them in a fenced enclosure? Really? You're going to take this majestic animal that has run free all his life and put him in a prison simply for doing what comes naturally.

If that's your opinion, I suggest you need to redefine cruelty.

You'd let him run free and kill other rhinos, further reducing the already endangered population? What's the real difference in rhinos killing each other and a hunter killing an old, non-breeding rhino? You'd let him be gored and spend days to more than week slowly dying from an infection v. being dispatched in a matter of seconds by a bullet?

Which is the real cruelty?


This hunter has received plenty of death threats, as have other hunters who visited Africa.

I am no stranger to death threats from the anti hunter crowd. It's been a while since one threatened to take me out and I don't mean to lunch. My response has been, to each one of these individuals, "Let's rock."

It takes a seriously special brand of stupid to send a death threat to a person who's been directly responsible for the death of hundreds to possibly more than 1,000 animals. It takes a special brand of blithering idiot to threaten a person who can bust a 4" bull's eye all day at any distance up to 300 yards, ESPECIALLY when the person making the threat is afraid of a gun. It takes a real Class A moron to threat to kill a person who's stood down animals that will kill the hunter.


I hunt. Hunting is natural, even for human beings. You are descended from a long line of hunters. As am I.  Your digestive tract evolved to digest meat.

If you in ANY way use a product that comes from an animal, associate with people who use animal products, live in a house, drive, own any mode of transportation other than your feet, shop in stores or do anything except run around the woods naked and sleep in the open eating only roots, fruits, nuts and leaves, you are almost directly and indirectly responsible for the death of animals. If you own a vehicle and drive it, then you are directly responsible for the death of animals.

That you are reading this means you contributed to the death of many animals. The infrastructure that allows you to get online meant the death of thousands of animals and destruction of their homes.

You are a hunter, whether you accept this or not. If you don't accept it, then you are a hypocrite at best.

Certainly, if you consume meat, you are a hunter, just a step removed from the process.

I hunt. I am proud of this. If I ever get the opportunity to shoot a rhino, an elephant, a lion or some other creature like that, I'm going to do it and I will brag about it. I'm not going to be a hypocrite. I'm going to own up to what I did and not hide behind excuses, insults, empty threats and cognitive dissonance.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Some differences to point out

Before hitting the meat of this one, a couple of things to state up front.

I am a biker. Got the loudest motorcycle in my county.

I am a journalist and have been one for 30 years.

Been physically attacked, once with lethal force, for my work as a journalist.

So, to the Topic du Jour. A lot of people are quite upset about the way the Waco biker shooting has been handled by the police and how the media has covered it.

Here's a good snapshot from NPR about the complaints. For a slightly different take, HuffPo has several articles up.

Some facts a lot of people are overlooking:

1) These are One Percenter bikers, well known as the kind of people who pick violence as a first resort.

2) Their meeting was announced ahead of time. The meeting was to discuss carving up turf.

3) Police had a SWAT presence outside the restaurant.

4) The restaurant owners REFUSED to allow a police presence INSIDE the restaurant during the meeting.

5) This was a confined event. One place. One locale.

6) It was, essentially, a gang war not a riot that devastated entire city blocks.

7) Media, responsible media, interviews and quotes people relevant to the story. Ergo, calling someone a "thug" is something a person being interviewed does. It's not the media's place in s straight news story to categorize someone by their criminal behavior.

8) If you call a One Percenter a "thug," you apparently don't understand exactly whom you are dealing with. Better hope the biker doesn't find out where you live.

9) Jesse Jerkson, Al Sharpie et al have yet to show up to start complaining about police violence and screaming "MC MEMBER LIVES MATTER!"

Not that people are going to care about these facts. Folks are going to center on the idea this eruption of violence has not generated the same kind of media attention as the riots in other places. These very people will point to the massive media coverage of the shootout in Waco as evidence it's not being covered properly.

Cognitive dissonance much?

"As many as 3,172 white people were killed in 2011 -- and 2,630 of them lost their lives at the hands of another white person. This is compared to 2,695 black people, 2,447 of whom were killed by another black person," states the HuffPo article I link to above.

The percent of "black" people killing "black" people is many times higher than the percent of "white" people killing "white" people. Therefore, it does merit more attention.

Some people simply say "Lives matter." Yes, they do. However, there are people in this world (see yesterday's post) who think you must believe as they do, or you need to die. These bikers are not quite like that, but they obviously are willing to convert fellow human beings into compost.

Rebel decried the violence in a post, as did a lot of other people. He said, "Folks whether you want to admit it or not, a bunch of armed and very dangerous people deciding they wanted to have a shootout in a public space is a very bad thing. Hells, its a bad thing if they did it in a rock quarrry where no one else is around." Typos his. (Feel the burn. I'll pay for this one you can bet.)

On the first part, this deceased equine has been reduced to subatomic particles in the media. Further, I agree with his first statement. But as noted above, when people refuse to let Law Enforcement do their job...

I do not agree with Rebel's second observation. If these folks feel the need to resort to high speed injections of lead to solve their differences, I am fully in favor of this. I will supply ammo and some firearms to expedite this process. Do not send in emergency crews either until all the wounded are dead. Then, go in, get the survivors and let them go. If they feel the need to engage in this behavior again, find a quarry and dump 'em in there and wait for the shooting and screams to stop.

Anyway, lest I be accused of taking stuff outta context and distortion, here's his whole post:

I think the thing I find most amusing about the two gangs of thugs who decided it would be fun to shoot each other in Waco (Whacko?) is the amount of White Justification I am seeing in comments sections. The way people are trying to play this out as not so bad is funny. The basic theme seems to be a "Well since it was just a bunch of guys shooting at each other and not the innocent bystanders all around them, it was okay." Folks whether you want to admit it or not, a bunch of armed and very dangerous people deciding they wanted to have a shootout in a public space is a very bad thing. Hells, its a bad thing if they did it in a rock quarrry where no one else is around. Here is a simple fact, if the Crips and Bloods had opened fire on each other outside a Denny's (Yeah I know, I doubt they go there either but work with me here) in Waco or anywhere else in Texas, people would be raging for blood and justice no matter if no innocent bystanders were injured. Lets shave off the hypocrisy and call a spade a spade. (I am so sorry I couldn't resist) If any group of any race of any culture decides to shoot it out and kill each other, it is bad. Quit making yourselves look racist by saying otherwise.

Keep up with Rebel's rambling here.

Monday, May 18, 2015

I'd like to resign, please

Can someone direct me to where I can resign my membership in human.

Disclaimer. I am a biker, trying to be a Christian, a better Dad, a halfway decent newspaper editor & reporter, etc etc etc ad naseum infinitum.

Not die. Just let me out of this thing called human. Any way we can get a functioning star ship up & running soon? Something to cruise the Universe.


Religion (and I consider atheism to be a religion). Politics. Cults. Gangs. Racists. Government. Civic and professional clubs. Anywhere two or more people gather together with a like mind, common goal and intention.

They all have two things in common - Organization and Humans.

This leads to another thing they all have in common - Exclusion and a way to prevent others from being accepted.

Every. Single. One.

Think not? Show me any group of people which has NO requirements for full acceptance other than being human.

You can't do it.

Church? All are welcome? Then why are there empty pews every time the door opens.

"Well, Baker, the people just don't—"

Stop there. Any time you stick a "do" or a "do not" you're putting qualifiers on it.

No. Qualifiers.


Yassee, this kind of thing makes me want to withdraw my membership in human.  C'mon guys! We have enough problems with cages, biker-hatin' laws and ... yeah. There I go doing the VERY thing I'm exhorting against. I wish I could share more of the things that have recently brought me down. Not going to tell you for reasons I will explain in a moment.

I want to stop human. Not necessarily being human. Not quitting the  human race, as this implies a challenge, but human. Disassociate myself with people who have the same DNA structure. Kind of like a weird relative someone asks you about.

"Him? Oh, uh, yeah. That's uh... Yeah." and then you change the subject partly from embarassment, partly from disgust, partly from annoyance and so on.

People have an innate need to be accepted. To belong is a slightly different track.

The problem with the need to be accepted is it perverts us. Humans go to great lengths to fill this need. We'll abandon everything we claim to hold dear.  We all look for a rallying point. Even this column, this demand to resign from human is a cry for acceptance and an invitation to join me.

If we're frustrated in these efforts to find our tribe, we can turn mean. "If I'm not going to fit, neither are you." And this is why I'm not telling you about the other things that brought me down. I can't do it without turning mean. If I share those instances, I'm going to get petty and bitch-slap those people. Which is one of the things I am railing against.


Mike, Buddhist Boot Camp ain't providing a solution to this one. Maybe I need to read it again.

Maybe I just need a long fishing trip.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Choose wisely

Solomon is credited, by some people, as being the wisest man in existence, the second wisest or just among the wise.

In case yer not wondering, I peg him as No. 2.

A point is coming. As I write this, the radio show "This American Life" is airing on Georgia Public Radio. It's the Superhero show.

Episode one posed the question: If you had the choice between being able to fly or being invisible, which would you choose?

Based strictly on the parameters of this question, you can already do both.

You ride a planet hurtling through the universe.

You cannot be seen in certain wavelengths.

"Baker, stop being technical."

The details are what can kill you to death faster than you can imagine it.

So think again, which would you choose.

Here's another parameter for each:

You can fly on earth under your own power.

You can be invisible to the human eye.


As to being invisible, any deer hunter worth his venison can make this happen. If you need help, try here or here



"That ain't what it means."

Au contraire, that is exactly what it means. You are putting your personal spin on it. You are reading things into it. You are overlaying your experiences on top of this. You are wrong. You are right.

I ask again, which would you choose?

OK, fly under your own power with no mechanic equipment and fly for as long as you want to and land safely.

Be invisible in the wavelengths which can be seen by the human eye.

OK. You fly at a speed of 1 foot per hour.

As for being invisible in the wavelengths people can see, are you ready for that much ostracization?

"Why are you making things difficult?"

Just asking questions. Just trying to make you think. Just trying to get you out of your comfort zone and find wisdom.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Even Sisyphus would balk

It is impossible to remove all religious icons from public property.

Wanna bet?

Human beings have such an ability to create religion that some people are stunned.

Death is now a religion (again). How will you remove death from public property? Microbes are living and dying every instant all over public property.

"Baker, yer logical extension broke off. Try again."

Ever dine out? Like pasta? That plate of spaghetti is a religious icon.

That turf, the nice green grass?

Plain old dirt?

Render it to absolutely nothing (which is itself impossible short of eliminating the entire planet)?

"Baker, that stuff is just idiotic. Buncha fools."

Regardless of your opinion, or mine, the fact is the religions have gained acceptance by the very governments which oversee public property.

Religious icons on public property are going to exist. If this offends you, please send your name to me so I can mark you off my list. While I personally didn't offend you, bringing this to your attention qualifies.

We hates math, yes we does My Precious, we hates it

Most of my freelance work these days is done through outfits that charge a commission somewhere along the line.

The sound you just heard is the collective gasp of horror by my mercenary comrades (or as Rebel calls us, prostitutes).

The horror is that I'm willing to give up part of my pay for what they see as no reason at all.

Not at all. In exchange for these commissions, I get math services. Immediately prior to writing today's ramble, I totaled up the April bill for one of my clients. Had to do it twice and I'm STILL not sure it's correct.

We hates math. Yes we does My Precious. We hates it.

Dad was a Georgia Tech engineer grad. Imagine his horror when he discovered his oldest son, while a junior in high school, had the math skills of a 6th grader. The test was rigged. My math ability is actually lower than that.

This is why I don't have complaints about those commissions. In exchange:

• They bill the client

• I don't do the math

• I get to write

• They worry about the client not paying

• I don't do the math

• I get to write

• I get my money

• I don't do the math

• I get to write

• They take care of totaling my earnings and send me a 1099

• They have to do the math

• I don't do the math

• I get to write

• They handle a LOT of the marketing end

• I get to write and write and write and they do the math

Get the idea?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Nostradamus would be proud

The sacrifices I make for you, my readers. You do not appreciate what it takes to produce this non-award-winning commentary on a highly irregular basis.

Like this email I got from Steve:
Please read this message below from our sponsor, Delcroft Investments.

Alan Morris, Editor
This short documentary has been banned in all Catholic European countries.
And Extremists have hacked Youtube servers trying to take it down
Click here to watch what has united the Catholic Church and extremists for one sinister purpose...
Just make sure you watch it with the door locked and with the sound turned down...
Normally I just dump these emails unread into the spam folder. But noooooo. I sacrificed today and pulled the email out of the trash, opened it and clicked through the link to get to THIS video.

I did not watch the video. I'm only willing to go so far. After all, I hardly know most of you (waves to N. Korea, the NSA and Dept. of Homeland Insecurity) and I'm really not that kind of writer. So, let's do lunch. If you buy, we can talk about second base. But you better call me in the morning if we do.

Anyway, this is just another mondo misfire in a massive line of conspiracy theories that have been going on just about since JFK was shot by 800 of Emperor Palpatine's Stormtrooper snipers.

The Cantservative Nattering Nutjobs (CNN) lost their minds when Bill Clinton was elected. They insisted he was going to declare martial law, take everyone's guns and quarter soldiers in our houses.

Didn't happen.

The liarberal Foolish Oxymoronic Xenophiles (FOX) went ballistic when Dubya was elected. They insisted he was going to rape the environment – without using any protection whatsoever! – bring slavery back and turn women into the kind of females the Kzinti warriors demand.

(Tell me, what other blog can you find that links classic S.F., politics, Dilbert, weird French guys, satire and today's leading edge conspiracy theorists? There is none. Dammit, I deserve an award for this stuff.)

Didn't happen.

The current POTUS (Poophead Of Tremendous & Unusual Stupidity) got elected and the CNN crowd fired right back up with the same tired line of doom, gloom and tyranny. The FOX affiliates are already trashing the potential CNN candidates for POTUS. The CNN affiliates are full monkey-style-poop-throwing ahead on the FOX candidates.

Hasn't happened.

In ALL cases the most severe whackjobs out there stockpiled food, ammunition, built underground bunkers, declared themselves to be an independent nation, not subject to the laws of the United States and generally acted like Kim Jong Flattop over in N. Korea, except they spoke English and when they got into an argument with law enforcement, they got arrested.

If you clicked that last link, you went to John Hogue's website. Hogue has re-written several times a book on the prophecies of Nostradamus. With each revision, he's cast a world evildoer as the anti-Christ Nostry spoke of. It started with the Grand Idioteller in Iran. When he died and failed to take over the world, Hogue rewrote, recasting another right SOB as the AC. Saddam Hussein was once the AC. He became extremely intimate with a rope and didn't ascend to the AC throne. Hogue rewrote. Osama bin Laden is (was) the AC. OBL was introduced to some of Uncle Sam's Special Forces in a terminal way. Dunno who Hogue has pegged as the next AC.

But plenty of people have ID'd POTUS as the next AC. They also ID'd Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Dubya as such.

Ain't happened. Won't happen. People like Steve et al who send me stupid crap like this are deserving of all the ridicule I can heap on their pointy heads. Since they have pointy heads, it just rolls off and they forget about it, just as they conveniently forget their past predictions failed to come true.

Whether you agree in with the Bible or not, this is absolutely true, "...because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A sufficient application of force

This, for those who don't understand SCIENCE! or MATH!, is the equation for force.

It applies to any and all uses of force.

Government is force. Period.

People who keep screaming for government to do something are only asking for more force. They deny this, but it is true. Government works by making threats and then dealing out punishment.

"Baker, you are an idiot," someone will say.

OK, show me an instance where government functions without having the ability to resort to punishment, whether just or unjust.

You can't.

Someone is going to say, "Baker, you have again proven that you are an idiot. Government is not force."

M'kay. Show me an example. Any example. One example. Give me one single example where government is not force and I'll admit to being wrong. Punishment = force.

You can't do it.

Government is force. Government is imposed on others. The verb "imposed" requires force. It implies resistance to that force and implies the ones being imposed upon resent it.

Mass and Acceleration make up the other side of the equation: Law is mass. The ability to make people follow the law, punishment, is acceleration.

Government creates law and then uses various means to enforce (see, the word force again) that law.

Whom the force belongs to is the only issue that can be debated. In a dictatorship, the tyrant has the force. In a true and classically defined democracy, the force belongs to a majority of the people.

Aside: The United States is not nor has it ever been a true democracy. The meaning of democracy has changed over time, so the US does semi-fit the modern definition. The US is a republic with strong oligarchy leanings.

In a republic, a majority of the voters (not a majority of the people), invest mass and acceleration into elected representatives. They combine to create force. Vigilante is another form of government

Government has to be force. There's just no way around it.

If government is not force, then there can be no law. Without law, there's no need for an enforcement mechanism. If there's an enforcement mechanism but nothing to enforce, then it is nothing.

Force is necessary. Absolutely necessary. The problem is when to reign in that force before it gets out of control.

Monday, May 4, 2015

What part of "No" is beyond your comprehension

The more I think about this, the more aggravated I get.

To 'splain - This time of year, I spend a LOT of time taking pictures after hours and on the weekend. Comes with the job. End of school stuff happens and it needs to be covered.

I really enjoy doing this. Truly. Putting pictures of the kids in the paper makes me happy.


Some people apparently believe time is a flexible commodity. Some people believe that their time is the most important thing in the entire world. Some people believe that the world should go into suspended animation to wait for them to catch up.

You may say they don't believe this. I tell you actions speak louder than words and their actions say just that.

This does not JUST apply to kids and end of the year activities. Adults are just as bad. I have come to learn that any time a large group of people asks to have pictures made, someone is going to be late.

At these events, invariably, someone is going to show up late.

"Well __________ is not here. We need to wait."


"But __________ is not here."




Pictures are taken. Moved on to the next subjects.

"Can you retake..."


"But ________ was not here."


The time was announced. Everyone knew when they were supposed to be there.

Here's an old proverb-type saying: "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

In this, my sister and I are of one accord.

People who are late - nope, not going there.

People who are late are inconsiderate - nope, not going there.

Where adults are concerned, oh well. Where kids are concerned, it torques me because the young'un won't get all the recognition he deserves. However, kids also have to learn life lessons. Learning to be on time or suffer the consequences of being late is one of those lessons.

As previously noted, I can sometimes crop images together. Someone who was not present, I can sometimes put 'em into the picture. In the case of a genuine mistake, happy to do it. If an emergency kept the person away, happy to do it. If the person had a conflict and couldn't be there, happy to do it. At least happy to try to do it. No guarantees.

But because the person was late?


"But you can do it."


"Why won't you do it?"


"Well, you're a right %*(&^($%"


And, I was also on time. I didn't hold up everyone else in the group. So,

Sunday, May 3, 2015

A mild rant on the freelance world

The freelance writing world has seen three major changes in my life, all of which have made it so much easier to be a writer and even harder to make a living as a writer.

1) Word processors and then the computers which followed them. One of my journalism professors, Mawk Arnold, brought a KayPRO to school. Tiny screen, think original Mac computer for those who might be more familiar with that, a tiny amount of RAM and it ran on two 5.25 floppies. At the time the journalism department was running a MicroTEK system that ran off a central unit with a dozen VDTs. We also had the only and I do mean the only laser printer on campus.

Typewriters were a thing of the past. Revisions were simple. More writers saw the light. More writers joined the field.

Jim Joseph, another favorite prof of mine, said he was contacted by B.A.S.S. in Montgomery to work for them as an editor. He told us manuscripts were sometimes sent to the magazine written in pencil.

2) Email. Not the Internet, but email. All of a sudden people who only dreamed of freelance writing were suddenly connected to editors around the world like never before. Submissions to outlets that bought freelance material exploded. Prior to email, newspapers had a hard time find columnists. Really. I am not kidding. With email, the available pool of wanna-be columnists exploded.

Even more writers signed up. Many offered to write for free just to get published.

So. Wrong.

3) Freelance collator sites. Again, not the Internet, but this came about because of the Internet. These sites, and there are a lot, give people looking to hire freelancers a ginormous pool of talent to choose from. I have profiles on the top sites, except one which banned me (really, banned, not kidding) and get regular emails about job offers.

Now, the entire world appears to be an expert writer. Because the pool of writers is so large, it's a buyer's market. I see job offers where the buyer wants 1,000 words for $1. Lemme tell you, I write fast. I can crank more than 1,000 words an hour on topics I know about.

There are writers out there getting less than $1 an hour for writing. Some of these writers are, of course, in third world countries. The Phillipines and India also have a lot of these writers.

This is worse than writing for free. The authors of these $1 projects never get credit for writing. The work appears under someone else's name.

Some caveats: I ghost write a lot. That means someone else takes credit for my writing. I also get decent pay for that and it's stuff I don't care about. As noted, I have profiles on the top sites, except one. I also get frequent emails from collator sites announcing jobs to bid on. I do bid on jobs offered on those sites. I rarely get a job probably because of my pay demands.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

SCIENCE! and why absolutes bother me

I support SCIENCE! I really do.

Let's drop the annoying all caps and emphasis from here on. Just assume it's there.

Science has allowed me to live this long. Were I born 200 years ago, I'd have never made it to 5 years old. Various infections would have laid me out cold. Advances in science gave humans the ability to fight diseases, heal illness and so forth.

Science is behind your ability to read this. Science led to the clothes you wear (assuming you are wearing clothes). Science, science, science, science.


Science has never actually created anything. By create I mean generate something entirely new, something never seen before, created from nothing.

Science has recombined things.

Someone is gonna point to the nano-second-lived radioactive particles like Einsteinium and others. Those are made by smashing other things together in particle accelerators. The sun, that ball of gas which supports most of the life on earth, is a particle accelerator. If we're to believe science, supernovas have been smashing stuff together for eons, probably even creating particles like Einsteinium. We have no idea what's created beyond the event horizon of a black hole.

No objections to the re-combination of things. Just saying that's what happened.

My next point is science has never explained anything. Science describes things.

2+2=4. This is science. However, no one has yet managed to explain exactly WHY a deuce and a deuce combines to form a quartet. It does. For the vast majority people, that's enough. For a real scientist, it's not. The search for why continues.

Science is also hampered, mmmm, make that severely handicapped by its limited ability to perceive things. By that I mean science can't see, feel, grasp, smell, touch, etc etc etc the world around us. Again, someone is going to object.

Dark matter.

Dark energy.

What about dark life? I don't mean the things that live deep in the earth or at the bottom of the ocean. I mean things that live within the dark matter and dark energy spheres. 

So I bring you this story of the late charlatan Sylvia Browne. I say charlatan and I mean it. Browne and the scum like her need to put in jail.

Science has so far not found firm evidence of the "paranormal" but that doesn't mean it does not exist. Means science hasn't found it. From a link above, "A few years back, scientists discovered that the ocean crust, previously considered a thick layer of lifeless rock that covers 60% of the Earth’s surface, actually contained some microbes. But the extent of the microbial ecosystem in the crust was unclear until a study published recently revealed that the 'dark biosphere' in the ocean crust might be one of the biggest ecosystems on the planet."


So, just because Browne and the rest of the famous ones are frauds doesn't mean the abilities they don't have cannot exist. It is possible someone out there can do what the fakes claim. The fact that it hasn't been proven in controlled (i.e. lab) settings does not mean it doesn't exist. Just means we've not found sufficient evidence yet.
I also point you to the following science:

• The sun revolves around the earth

• It is impossible to operate on a living human's heart and that person survive

• A human cannot run a mile under four minutes

• Spontaneous generation

• Unicorns (of the magical horn variety)

• Phrenology

All now discredited. For now. As for what the future holds?

True science is not absolutes. It can't be.  Real science, the kind I like, says as much. It says "Well, based on what we know right now." That works for me.

Those who stand on absolute certainty, no matter the subject, no matter the topic, no matter the issue, well, they must be riding unicorns.