Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Truth is not out there in the MSM....

Oddly appropriate considering all of the mis-information and memes being tossed around by the MSM....



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bait and switch again, again....

So, the MSM and the Senate Dems are putting out a bunch of stuff about the Reid plan as an alternative to the Boehner plan in the House.  Problem being, as usual, no one has SEEN the frickin' Reid plan.  It's Obamacare all over again--they are working behind the scenes and keeping it secret until Zero Hour and will then try to force a vote on something that no one outside the select few have read.

As a last resort, they've been very carefully setting the scene for Obama to just circumvent the law and raise the debt ceiling without Congress.  If that happens, he needs to be impeached--we're still a nation of laws that should apply to him as well.  He's not the king, he's not Lincoln, and this debt thing never would have come to this pass at this time without seven years of Dem control of the Congress adding $4.5 trillion to the debt.

It's the spending stupid--even Standard and Poor is trying to say it.

Wu, wu?!?

As Tam mentioned a couple of days ago, everyone, from Congresscritters to the MSM seems to be stuck in euphemism-land on the Wu case.  It seems to me that the definition of 'unwanted sexual encounter' would, in any other context (or if it was a Republican or a Conservative), be called 'rape'.

In an interesting article on Big Government by Charles C. Johnson, it seems that Wu has been accused before of a similar crime (he was accused and punished by Stanford in the mid-1970s on the charge of attempted rape when he was a student). 

At least one bill he sponsored is more interesting in context:  he sponsored H.R. 1724 “The Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act of 2011” which would deny federal funding to hospitals that don’t offer emergency contraceptives to rape victims.  Hmmmm......

Apparently even the crime of rape (or the accusation thereof) is not enough for an alleged feminist, such as Nancy Pelosi, to call for Wu's immediate resignation since she wants to keep him on for his debt ceiling vote.  Then, apparently, he can rot in Hell as far as the DNC (with its head, the perpetual victim Wasserman Schultz) and Pelosi are concerned.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Corrupting the vegetarians.... bacon and steak.....

My sister is on the other side of the pond for a while so Himself and I are watching her dog for her.  My sister is a vegetarian and her dog, being her dog, doesn't get a whole lot of meat trimmings or leftovers, outside of that in her dry and canned foods.  So last night Himself made bacon wrapped sirloins on the grill.  Each critter (and yes, we've got six in the homestead right now) got some.  My sister's dog was so excited about the heretofore unknown substance called 'meat' that she even took on the smallest cat and attempted to steal her portion.  I'm calling it a coincidence that this morning, this very slow-moving 15 year old dog felt good enough to hit warp speed around the corner of the house, headed to points unknown (forcing me through the house, grabbing shoes and out the front).

Oddly enough, my sister had a meal containing ham (she didn't recognize it on the menu) and really enjoyed it.  Next stop bacon and onto brats....  ;-)  It's kind of like eating no-fat cheese.  Once you've had the real thing again, you never go back to the other stuff.

Aaaah, the power of steak (especially with bacon)--it's what's for dinner whenever possible.  Or ham and bacon.  Or any combination thereof.  With cheese.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It just gets better and better... Another CEO calling out Obama's policies

The CEO and founder of Home Depot, in an interview with Investor's Business Daily, concurs with Steve Wynn and takes it a bit further when asked what he would say if he had a chance to sit down with the Community-Organizer-in-Chief and talk about job creation:

Marcus: I'm not sure Obama would understand anything that I'd say, because he's never really worked a day outside the political or legal area. He doesn't know how to make a payroll, he doesn't understand the problems businesses face. I would try to explain that the plight of the busi nessman is very reactive to Washington. As Washington piles on regulations and mandates, the impact is tremendous. I don't think he's a bad guy. I just think he has no knowledge of this.
 Bernie Marcus also echoes Wynn's sentiment that business owners are afraid of retribution from the government if they protest or complain about this Administration's policies:
IBD: Why don't more businesses speak out?

Marcus: They are frightened to death — frightened that they will have the IRS or SEC on them. In my 50 years in business, I have never seen executives of major companies who were more intimidated by an administration.
 And then there's the money quote when talking about Obama and his promises to streamline regulations:
Marcus: His speeches are wonderful. His output is absolutely, incredibly bad. As he speaks about cutting out regulations, they are now producing thousands of pages of new ones. With just ObamaCare by itself, you have a 2,000 page bill that's probably going end up being 150,000 pages of regulations.

Marcus has found the Job Creators Alliance, based in Dallas, Texas, which is trying to find businessmen who will stand up and fight stifling regulations and iron-fisted government tactics.

It seems that more and more people are starting to call bullshit when they see it coming from the White House.  From Obama's sob story about his mother and insurance, to his assertions that he is going to mandate the streamlining of regulation while creating more and more each day, former rubes are having the wool pulled off their eyes and are realizing that this man and his minions in Congress and the executive branch are trying to destroy the economy of this country.  I just hope it's enough and is in time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Here's your tax dollars at work--for the children

Looking through a regional newspaper online, I found this article which discusses priorities for capital projects for a high school (Portage High School in Indiana).  On the list:

relocating a fence
changing wallpaper in the auditorium
replacing the sound system in the gymnasium and auditorium
installing a new video system at the high school

and the topper:  
Crosswalks:  constructed of asphalt embossed and dyed to look like brick. One would be 25 feet by 37 feet in size and be placed between the student parking lot and PHS East building.

A second, installed between the public/student parking lot and the stadium, would be 45 feet by 37 feet in size and include a 12-foot-by-12-foot embossed logo of the school's mascot, an Indian head.

According to the article, the cost of the crosswalks is $37,700. The mascot would cost an additional $4,400 and white striping would be an additional $107 for a total of $42,207.

"I think it makes a statement," said member Deb Ekdahl, adding the district needs to maintain and improve the looks of the high school grounds. "We need to keep up and be competitive."

Why??  It's a public high school.  Students will go there regardless of white striping in the crosswalks and they'll get there relatively safely without the asphalt being dyed to look like brick (which lasts about a month in high traffic areas).

Priorities people....  remember the children?  It's a smaller version of that $500 million school in Los Angeles.   At the same time this same school district is doing a drive to get school supplies for kids.

It's hard to find the funny in this anymore......

Wynn for the Win--Not for The One!

Steve Wynn, the uber-guru of Las Vegas, pretty much is saying what the rest of the business owners, both large and small have been saying--that the reason(s) that businesses are not expanding, are not hiring, and are holding to their war chests is because they are afraid of increasing government regulation and constant game changing.  With Obamacare raising personnel costs by at least 4%, with barely veiled threats of government coming to take money from businesses that government feels is holding on to 'too much', as Wynn puts it businesses are going to sit on their thumbs until Obama is gone.

Listen to his rant, caught during a quarterly conference call (via The Gateway Pundit):


In a previous rant in April, Wynn also called out the media for its constant protection of Obama (Via Big Journalism):



As Wynn says:   “We’re seeing in the public forum, especially when the President speaks, more baloney being slung at the American people than I can remember in my 69 years of living,”.

When American citizens like Wynn, like John Dollarhite (who is faced with a $4 million fine for selling too many rabbits), and really, like the rest of us who worry about when government regulations are going to affect us or whether we're going to get groped at the airport or whether we're going to be subjected to a SWAT raid (either from the Department of Education or because they got the wrong house), then government is the problem.  We are citizens and we should not be in fear of our government, our elected officials, or those who are supposed to be serving and protecting.

The professional politicians who have abrogated their responsibilities to the executive class are the issue.  The promulgation of regulations by that executive class is the issue.  We have to starve them out.  Cut them back like we would poison ivy so that we can breathe the air of freedom as we are supposed to.  For too long, Americans have let things fly because 'it's for the children' or because 'it's for the good' and this creeping incrementalism has overtaken us quicker than a kudzu vine on a hot summer day in the south.

It needs to stop before this country is thrown into ruin.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Being human and Greek tragedies, or the aversion thereof....

Blogging has been kind of light--part of it is ennui, part of it is data overload, I think.  I was talking with a friend this morning and it got me thinking about tragedies, Greek or otherwise.  It also got me thinking about humor and being human.  Most of my favorite folks are those who find the absurdity in a situation, even a very serious one, and use that as a touchpoint for overall perspective. 

It seems to me that the ones that can't do that; who take themselves and the world around them uber-seriously, are ones that need to not be in positions where they can affect anyone else.  Bureaucrats, community organizers, academics (and there are exceptions to these) all seem to fall into the uber-serious category.  I figure that if you can't laugh at yourself and your foilables, then you are unprepared to handle the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and will crumble at the first volley.

Lest we forget that laughter is key and before we take our human condition too seriously...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Stewards....

There are some times when we're called upon to be sheepdogs or stewards.  It might be for a few days, a few hours, or a few weeks.    It might be for years.  Stepping up is not a quality that all homo sapiens have, but I like to think that all humans do. 

One of the hardest parts is recognizing the ephemeral nature of the relationship between the steward and those being safeguarded.  Knowing that, as the person, we have to be above self and have to look at the larger picture and the ultimate well being of those that came to be in our charge.  It's not easy, but then Right never is the easy road or everyone would do it all the time.

Still leaves a place in your heart that hurts, even with the certainty and calm that go with doing the right thing, that go with being a steward and a human.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

If you don't know the connotations of a word, it's best not to use it....

It's been bandied about the internet that when Obama stalked out of his meeting on the budget yesterday that he told Eric Cantor to 'not call my bluff'. 

 
 
Allow me to explain.  From The Free Dictionary:
bluff 1  (blf)
v. bluffed, bluff·ing, bluffs
v.tr.
1. To mislead or deceive.
2. To impress, deter, or intimidate by a false display of confidence.
3. Games To try to mislead (opponents) in a card game by heavy betting on a poor hand or by little or no betting on a good one.
v.intr.
To engage in a false display of strength or confidence.
n.
1. The act or practice of bluffing.
2. One that bluffs.
 
Basically, he just said that he has a crap hand and is trying intimidation as a tactic to get his way.
To quote Lauren Holly from that classic movie "Down Periscope":  'Balls to the wall, boys!' and follow Mark Levin's advice (via Og, via Pascal)

Every day you're going in there and you're talking to him. So go in one more time. Go in tomorrow and tell the president this: Mr. President, here's what we're going to do. We're gonna pass a spending bill in the House. We're gonna cover the $29 billion of the interest on the debt. So nothing is going to collapse. Then in that bill we're gonna cover the social security payments, medicare/medicaid payments.

You said on CBS you don't know if those checks will be paid. Now we know they will be. We're gonna take care of the active duty military. We know how much you love them . We're going to take care of veterans affairs programs. We're gonna take care of the border, intelligence, Federal law enforcement, and other areas we consider crucial and legitimate functions of our current government.

We're also going to put into this bill things we think we need to cut. You may not like them, but we don't much care. We have been sitting here with you now for two weeks and you won't budge. So we're going to have our own bill. We're going to pass it in the House. We're going to send it to the Senate. If those checks don't go out to the seniors, if those bills aren't paid for medical care for the seniors and the poor, if you undermine our military, if you undermine those who have already served: All. Fingers. Point. To. You.

Now we're done with our meeting Mr. President. We're going to go outside and talk to the media. We're going to tell them exactly what we're doing. And don't call us until you're ready to sign the bill.

Oh. If that bill doesn't get to your desk? And Harry Reid holds it up? Those social security checks don't go out? Yes -- that's on you and Harry Reid. That's it! Case closed!

And Mr. Obama, if you are clueless about a term, don't use it.  We all now know one of your tells.

Wah frickin wah..... Flotilla whiners...

Apparently the poor, elderly, and put-upon morons on the "Audacity of Hope" that hoped to ride on a wave of unicorn-farted rainbows and Code Pink-colored sails to Gaza has been effectively stopped in Greece (please note that I am linking to the Gateway Pundit post which contains a direct link to the Moron-blog--I won't send them any blog traffic directly).

And oh, the torture they must face in 100 degree heat (they had the power to their boat cut off) and oh, the humanity, commerce is continuing to go on around them as the Russians deign to go ahead and engage in unloading their cargo resulting in:

spewing grain and dust over the entire area as it unloads grain. In addition, the off-loading noise the ship is making is above environmentally acceptable limits, sounding like a bad rock concert playing at the back of our boat!
 Gee, with the trials and tribulations that they are facing by BREAKING THE LAW, just tug at my heartstrings.  Perhaps their grandchildren can find good homes in which to place them since, according to their own ramblings, four of them are over 60.  They clearly need to be protected from blowing grain and loud noises because they didn't think that maybe the entire world would just sit by and let them do whatever the hell they wanted, legal or not and are not going out of their way to make their them comfortable in the midst of their sea-going self-righteous temper tantrum.

They sure didn't think ahead about bringing ear protection either--maybe they can start a chant or a kubaya-ya or something to drown out the noise from the grain barge....  Probably the folks around them are trying desperately to drown out the self-serving whines emanating from their ship....

Suck it up, buttercups.....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

And yet another save by the passengers and crew of an airplane

So a Saudi student from Akron, OH with a boarding pass (but who was not on the passenger list) wafts past the TSA in Chicago and somehow gets past the double-check of boarding pass to passenger list at the gate and gets so unruly on a flight that the flight crew, assisted by a passenger, were forced to hog-tie him and secure a surgical mask (replacing the original duct tape) over his mouth to keep him from spitting on people.

In this case, I can't say that the blame would fall on the TSA, but definitely someone dropped the ball on cross-checking boarding pass vs. passenger list a la Noibi a couple of weeks ago.  All that said, it was the flight crew and passengers that stepped up and took action.  Everything else is theater.

People have got to step up and realize that life is risk.  Driving to work is risk, flying is a risk.  Hell's bells, even taking a shower is a risk.  If you don't take responsibility for your own safety as much as you can, you might as well wrap yourself in bubble wrap and sit on your couch sucking your thumb like a small child.  Anyone who says 'well I'll allow my six year old to be groped in their private parts because it makes us all safer' should be slapped and told to grow a pair (whether it be balls or ovaries).

Compare and contrast....

Federalist 52:

First. As it is essential to liberty that the government in general should have a common interest with the people, so it is particularly essential that the branch of it under consideration should have an immediate dependence on, and an intimate sympathy with, the people. 

Jan Schakowsky upon learning on July 13 from Don Wade on WLS that over 800,000 of her constituents lost power on July 11 and that 200,000 people are still without power.  "Their power is out?"

Enough said......

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seriously?!? Professional politicians know better?? Bite me.

Obama is so devoid of values and full of himself that he repeatedly infantilizes the American public and downright insults us.  It used to be behind semi-closed doors as with his 'bitter clingers' comments (which are increasingly ironic) and somewhat veiled as in his multiple speeches where he claims that if he could just explain things better to the American people that we would surely understand the greatness and vision of having our freedoms eroded.  But now he's just come out and said we're plain stupid and that we should just let the 'professional politicians' deal with the big issues of the day since we peasants are obviously trapped in the minutiae of survival in our little lives.

Now, aside from the fact that a statement like that is as insulting as patting someone on the head and telling them not to worry their pretty little heads about math, there have been studies coming out which show that our 'professional politicians' are indeed less knowledgeable about issues than the general public in most areas, including the definition of a progressive tax, and, most importantly taxes and government spending.

Additionally, in a 1991 CATO institute publication, it is pointed out that:
Put simply, the professionalization of politics is incompatible with the essence of representative government. At its most basic, the exercise of a profession entails a set of role relationships between "experts" and "clients" in which the"professional" is an expert who offers knowledge and judgment to clients. In pursuit of a career, the professional moves "up and away," as Berkeley sociologist Robert N. Bellah puts it, from the face-to-face community that once oriented those persons pursuing a "calling." The culture of professionalism disconnects and distances the professional--whether journalist, doctor, attorney, social scientist, or politician--from those whom he or she intends to serve.(26) A form of trusteeship is one of the most salient characteristics of professionalism.(27) Professionals are detached from their clients by expertise, education, and culture. Although there are many different approaches to the analysis of professions and professionalism, the themes of authority, autonomy, and hierarchy are recurrent in the dominant sociological literature.(28) Each of those reveals the "space" that exists, by definition, between professionals and their clients.
 I submit that one of the most important things forgotten by our 'professional politicians' is that the United States is a Republic, not a democracy.  As Madison said in Federalist 10:

From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.

Hamilton writes in Federalist 35:
There is no part of the administration of government that requires extensive information and a thorough knowledge of the principles of political economy, so much as the business of taxation. The man who understands those principles best will be least likely to resort to oppressive expedients, or sacrifice any particular class of citizens to the procurement of revenue. It might be demonstrated that the most productive system of finance will always be the least burdensome. There can be no doubt that in order to a judicious exercise of the power of taxation, it is necessary that the person in whose hands it should be acquainted with the general genius, habits, and modes of thinking of the people at large, and with the resources of the country. And this is all that can be reasonably meant by a knowledge of the interests and feelings of the people. In any other sense the proposition has either no meaning, or an absurd one. And in that sense let every considerate citizen judge for himself where the requisite qualification is most likely to be found.

 So when 69% of the American public have come out against raising the debt ceiling, saying that we should leave the issues to the 'professional politicians' goes against the grain of issues raised in the Federalist Papers.  When Obama wants to put an extra tax on a certain group of people, he is acting in complete contrast to the values of the founding fathers.

As a timely reminder also, in Federalist 57:

I will add, as a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny. 

So all laws must apply to all equally.  So what about all of those Obamacare waivers........

And he thinks WE'RE ignorant.....

Friday, July 8, 2011

When life imitates art....

Or at least when some self-important person decides to imitate a movie....

The story: Rebecca Watson whose online handle is "Skepchick" who bills herself as a skeptic, atheist, and feminist (apparently she misses the billing of perpetual victim) attends a conference on atheism and skepticism.   After staying at the bar until 4:00 am and then heading for the elevator, one of the men with whom she had been talking at the bar, goes with her to the elevator and then asks if she would like to continue the conversation over coffee in his room.

Her comments on the incident:
Just a word to the wise here, guys. Don't do that. I don't know how else to explain how this makes me very uncomfortable, but I'll just sort of lay it out: I was a single women in foreign country in a hotel elevator with you, just you, and I--don't invite me back to your hotel room right after I finish talking about how it creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable when men sexualize me in that manner.
 Okay, wait...  

I couldn't find a video link, but here's some quotes from a scene in the movie P.C.U.:
Jock: Hey, what's up, babes?
Womynist #1: Pack up your rape culture and take a hike!
Jock: You want a brewdog?
Womynist #1: We're not interested in your penis!
Womynist #2: Wait. I think he's offering us a beer.
Womynist #2: Um, yes, we would like... a... beer.
Womynist #1: It's, like, if you're nice to them, they bring you things?
Womynist #2: Exactly.

Apparently when Richard Dawkins weighed in, there was much consternation, wailing and gnashing of teeth.  I'm totally with Amy Alkon, the Advice Goddess on this one:

Four words: Grow. The. Fuck. Up.
Here's how this plays out for a woman whose entire existence doesn't revolve around being a victim, women as victims, and seeing men as victimizers of women every time they open their mouths or so much as salt their food:
A guy asks you out. You're not interested. Say, "Thanks, think I'm going to turn in." Forget it happened.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rest in Peace Scooter!

One of my dearest friends and my sister-by-choice and her son had to make the hardest decision for one of her furry companions this week.  After Scooter was diagnosed, my friend did everything she could to maintain her quality of life and finally it was no longer possible to do that.  One of the hardest part about being the human in these relationships is that we have to make the selfless, difficult choice to keep a being who shows us such grace and love from suffering.  And it sucks.  But they make it worth it, every day that they are in our lives.

So Rest in Peace Scooter.  You were a good companion and I know you'll wait for your people at the Rainbow Bridge.

Forcing square pegs into round holes or trying to make round holes square...

The more I've been thinking about it, the more I've come to the conclusion that having Federal or even State intervention into school systems and curriculae is just plain wrong.  And here's a few reasons why (YMMV and I'm glad to hear alternate thoughts):

1.)  No Child Left Behind and standardized testing lead to cheating, lying, and covering up inadequacies in the Atlanta school system.  And I would bet money that this district is the tip of the iceberg.  This matches the anecdotal information I've received over time regarding 'teaching the test' rather than actually teaching the material necessary to pass a test.  Read more here  (DC schools) and here and here (a roundup) and here (Canada).

2.)  California law makers just passed a law where gay history has to be taught in schools.  Now I've got gay friends and black friends and naturalized friends, but I think that this amounts to indoctrination and elevates one group of people over the other.  There is already a federal Gay History month, which began in 1994 among whose early supporters were Kevin Jennings, Obama's "Safe School Czar" who as the leader of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, deciminated 'literature' which would, in any other setting, be considered to be kiddy porn.

3.)  The Kansas kerfluffle--first evolution was bad and then it wasn't.  In the intervening years, students received two very different messages.

4.)  Texas textbooks--every ten years the state looks at textbooks and revises them and in many cases, like in Kansas, the changes are based on social mores at the time.  Unfortunately because teachers are not taught material either, they can't weed out erroneous information on their own, but that's a post for a different day.

5.)  New Math.  Enough said, except for the lyrics of this Tom Lehrer song...

6.)  ETA:  Civics, or more specifically, the failure to teach civics.   Read here and here and here.

Ever since the Scopes Monkey trial, where a teacher was brought to court for breaking the law by teaching the Theory of Evolution in Tennessee, states and the federal government still have not caught the clue that they should not be meddling in local school districts and what they teach.  Just like the recent decision in Indiana to no longer teach cursive writing (but leaving it optional), there should be VERY loose guidelines and I would say to even bag those.

It is not government's place to control the educational process.  School districts will stand or fall on their merits.  If they are teaching their students a curriculum that will get them to college and beyond and that's what the parents want, yippee!  If they choose to not, then over the course of time, either they will, if that's what the locals want, or they will become ghost systems as people either move, homeschool, or start their own schools that will teach their children what the local populace feels is necessary.  If students go into the wide world and find out they've not been given a proper education, they will learn on their own.

When governments become involved in this process, they can't help but include indoctrination into certain mindsets--be they Christian, atheist, gay-friendly, gay-bashing, whatever.  And it's the children that ultimately lose, just like those kids in Atlanta.

And when I say government, I also say unions and, by proxy, institutions of higher education who teach the methods of teaching, but do not teach the material so that teachers do not have the knowledge and critical skills necessary to parse information in textbooks.

As I said, YMMV....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This is what the MSM really thinks of us...

Katie Couric referring to middle America as the 'great unwashed' was just the tip of the iceberg.   David Carr, a columnist for the New York Times apparently thinks of those of us who live in that vast area between New York City and California have 'low-sloped foreheads'.  ABC now obviously feels that the viewers of Christiane Amanpour's 'This Week' are so ignorant that they feel that they have to throw a graphic on the screen with the definition of perspicacious when she used it during the show.

And we are supposed to trust these people??  They obviously feel that they are both so much better educated and  smarter than we unwashed heathens that I'm surprised they just don't use cartoons to communicate with us.  Their contempt for middle America used to be somewhat veiled but in the last two years, it seems that they have stopped even bothering to hide their delusions of superiority.  And then they wonder why they are losing their market shares....  Biting the hand that feeds you is dumb, but they are too 'smart' to figure that out.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July....

Today, 235 year ago, a small bunch of Americans got together and declared their Independence from a regime that they felt was oppressive and stifling to the freedoms and inalienable rights that they had come to enjoy and that they felt were more important than their lives and fortunes.

Here is a part of the Declaration of Independence that I find to be extremely relevant to the America of today listed in the grievances they described against the King of England.  You may find some of them familiar to the issue of today.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
......
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
 ......
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
.....
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
.....
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

That said, Happy Birthday to the our Country!  Let freedom reign!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Learning something new....

I started to learn how to weld today.  I've blacksmithed before so hot metal is not really an issue but I did find out the difference in male skin vs. female skin.  Himself (who is a great teacher, BTW) welds without gloves.  I had on gloves and still got a spark down them so now I have my first welding scar.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Oddly appropriate...

My sitemeter graphic looks like I'm giving someone the finger.  Had a big boost thanks to KurtP and Brigid earlier this week....

And yes I know I'm being grade school about it.  Sue me, I laugh at farts too.

Hello, my name is X?!?

Beginning this fall, students in Indiana will no longer have to learn how to write in cursive.  Indiana state 'education' officials have decided that cursive is now passe and that "computers and web books have made cursive a relic of the past".  Local districts can still be oh so ten minutes ago and teach cursive writing, along with how to make cave pictures as far as the state is concerned.  Then they can teach students how to sign their names with an 'X' since all they'll know is how to print.  Soon audio books will make reading unnecessary so they won't have to teach two of the 'R's'.   Since arithmetic never began with an R anyway, federal and state education officials will have killed all three education basics in the near future.

It totally boggles my mind that (okay unfortunately I can believe it) that educators would be so short-sighted.  It'll be interesting to see how many school districts decide to go ahead and teach this archaic form of written communication regardless of what the state says.