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I've been banging away on my keyboard. Here's some new articles. In The Armed Citizen, we have: Soldier, Officer, CitizenAccoutrements for training, and What’s your Tueller Distance? In the book reviews there's Prepared: Surviving Worst Case Scenarios. Enjoy!

Cancel Culture == Bullies

This has got to stop.

Just in case you missed it, last week both Dr. Seuss and Pepe Le Pew were cancelled for some stupid reason or another. In classic and predictable fashion, the spineless appeasers (but I repeat myself) immediately banned said books and cartoons.

If you haven't made the connection, Cancel Culture (and leftists in general) are BULLIES. This means they use (or threaten to use) physical force to get you to comply and to control you. It doesn't matter if they're after your lunch money, getting you to put your fist in the air, disavowing children's books that have been revered by parents and children for over 50 years, or a cartoon that is a parody of 40's and 50's culture. If the bullies can get you to go along, then they control you. After that, it's just a Milgram experiment to see how far you will go.

To be clear, there will be no end if we let them continue. Because these people are (emotionally) children, they are looking for limitations. But because they are physically adults, we think they are emotionally adults as well.

Children want and need to have boundaries if they are to mature into rational and considerate adults. They become terrors when they get to do whatever they want to do and no one tells them "No." Children don't have the capacity for self-discipline. They don't even have the conceptualization of discipline because their still-developing brain functions by default off the amygdala until their 20's Think of a candy store. An adult will go in and buy a measured amount of 1-3 kinds of candy and pay for it with their own earnings. A child will want all of everything, then want the parent to "do their thing" so the child can have it.

To prove my point, look at what these Leftist radicals actually want. Don't listen to the talking heads or the soundbites, listen to what the websites say and what the people themselves say. I mean destruction of the nuclear family, destruction of our system of government, destruction of any police forces, destruction of our economy, destruction of any kind of masculinity, installing a "nanny state" kind of government and so on. If you open your eyes, it is terrifying what these children want.

And there is only two ways a bully will stop. The first (and most unlikely way) is to wait for him to self-mature and realize he's doing a "bad thing." That could take years, and might never happen at all. The best, surest and fastest way to stop stop him is to stand up to him. Yes, your first time (or even the first several times) you will probably get beat. The first time you actually get to kick him in the 'nads, knock him down and then proceed to beat the snot out of him will be the last time you'll have to do it. Once the bully knows it isn't worth it because you're willing to wail on him, he will either leave you alone to pick on others, or stop bullying entirely.

Most people just want to be left alone. And they will only take so much SJW's in their face until people get fed up and punch them in the face. Metaphorically of course, unless they start the waltz.

If you're as sick of this as I am, read Alinsky's Rules for Radicals and do a Trump. For every ration of shit that comes your way, throw three rations back at them.

The case against violence

If you're like me right now, you are angry and scared. You solidly believe that this election was altered to make sure Biden won. You see Leftists and Democrats (but I repeat myself) advancing massive gun control, critical race theory, white supremacy, the altering of the language and more.

All I can say is I don't have all of the answers. Hell, I don't even have all of the questions. But I do know this:

Individual violence is not the answer. If someone gets it in their head that if they assassinate the president, or a cabinet member, or even a group of Congresscritters (or even all of them) to solve their perceived issue, it won't work. Let me explain why.

First of all, a meme I've had for a few years:


The problem lies not with the President (or whoever you want to aim for), but with almost all of us. Things did change somewhat once Trump took office, but what happened? He was met by resistance from not only Congress, but from the bureaucracy as well. Thousands and thousands of bureaucrats, who didn't like him did not carry out his orders. Or they "slow-walked" what Trump told them to do.

Another thing you may not recognize, any figurehead is, to one extent or another, a stalking horse. If there is someone controlling the president (or whomever you decide "to take out"), then if you manage to succeed, the person running the show just puts another pawn out for someone else to take out.

A third thing is, the system is "robust," which means if you could take out the president, vice-president and all 535 members of Congress, our system provides for everyone's replacement. We would have another president, VP and Congress in 90 days or less.

It still doesn't end there. Over 81 million people voted for Biden. But really, it was just about 123,000 votes spread out between in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia that swung the election. It took swinging 0.08% of the total votes from Trump to Biden in order to swing the election. Entirely doable. But that leaves the other 80+ million legitimate votes for Biden that weren't forged.

So my question is, who would you take out? Because you're not going to make a dent in changing anything until you've taken out at least several hundred thousand and probably a couple million people. And you can't miss a single one, because they'll just restart a whole new infection.

When armies meet on the field of battle, they have uniforms to tell each other apart. Not so here. You can't tell which side another person is on by just the bumper stickers on their car, or the words they use.

My bottom line here is, don't start or escalate. You don't have a clear target. When you do have a clear target, do what you need to do. In the words of Malcom Remolds in Firefly, "If someone tries to kill you, you try to kill 'em right back.".


Taking advantage of the situation

I originally had a "Rioting Do's and Don'ts" post here, since I ass-u-med that the rioters in various cities now burning were the protesters. Then the videos at the end of this post came to my attention. Last month in this post I spoke about "bad actors" who didn't start this whole chain of events, but are happy to take advantage of the situation to further their agenda.

In this video, Tim Pool talked about how pallets of bricks are mysteriously showing up when there's nothing under construction nearby. This falls squarely under the category of "Things that make you go hmmm..."

In this video, Tim expands on the prior video by talking about more "pre-staged" palates of bricks, bottles of gasoline and water (rioting can leave you dehydrated, dontchaknow) for use by rioters.

In other news, there is clear evidence the violence around the White House over the weekend was pre-planned and coordinated. There are people in organized groups using the anger and outrage of the lockdown and the death of George Flynn as cover to start riots to try and topple our social structure. These instigators are mixing in with the legitimate and peaceful protesters, then causing property damage and looting. Once the mob mentality takes over, these instigators get away during the ensuing chaos and come back the next night to start it all over again.

Make no mistake about it, there is Evil afoot. There are people who want to bring this country down, and they are willing to build that house on as many dead bodies as they can. These people must be brought to Justice.

Privilege == Percentages

“Privilege” is an act performed by a person upon others. It takes the form of a person doing something for another person, which can include shielding a person from a bad thing. Some classic examples would be two men facing charges and are identical but for their skin color. The Black man receives a harsher penalty than the White man. If enough individuals collectively make similar decisions, than I can understand those who believe there is a societal privilege, but it’s still an individual’s choice.

A friend (I’ll call him “Frank” for brevity) recently related his personal example about his “White Privilege.” Frank was driving his vehicle shortly after having his car broken into by having a back window smashed out. There Frank was, driving from point A to point B, minding his own business when all of a sudden his car was boxed in from all sides and eight officers surrounded his car, guns drawn. Frank froze, kept his hands on the wheel and confirmed with the officers what he was going to do before he did it and was given permission. It was then determined that a wanted felon had the same make, model and color vehicle as Frank, all the way down to the busted out rear window.

After the police determined that Frank was not the wanted felon, the police apologized and Frank was allowed to be on his way. As he drove off, his thought (as was relayed to me, and I am paraphrasing) was, “If I had been a black guy, the police probably would have shot me.”

Let’s look at this encounter from one of the officer’s perspective, we’ll call the officer “Bob.” Bob is a human being, just like Frank. Bob wants to do his job, get paid for his efforts and go home to his family at the end of the day, just like Frank. However Bob, unlike Frank, routinely encounters people who are either a) genuinely bad, or b) having the worst day of their lives. Bob carries a sidearm (and more firepower in his cruiser) not to enforce the law, but to improve his chances to go home at the end of his shift. Bob doesn’t get to shoot people without good reason, which is 99% of the time, the bad guy was going to kill or seriously injure Bob or innocents.

Every encounter Bob has with people while he’s in uniform has a significant chance of ending with Bob dead on the ground. Bob has to have the base mindset that any traffic stop or any on the street encounter will be his last if Bob doesn’t act like the people in the encounter won’t kill him the first chance they get. If he loses that mindset, that’s when he really will end up dead on the roadside. Bob had a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for a “Gold 1979 Cadillac with missing drivers-side rear window, Felony warrant out for owner of car matching this description.” Bob sees a vehicle matching that description, calls it in and coordinates his fellow officers to surround and immobilize the vehicle and see who’s driving.

Bob, a survivor of a thousand traffic stops, of which fifty went bad for whatever reason, is now downloading his personal experience into his reflexes. Out of those fifty “bad stops,” 60% were Whites, 40% Blacks. Ten of those stops had armed people actively resist and tried to shoot Bob. Seven Black people, 3 White people.

Suspecting the driver of this vehicle has a felony warrant out for them, Bob already knows that this stop has a high probability to “go bad” very quickly. He sees a white guy behind the wheel. Does Bob stop pointing his weapon at the driver? No. Does he lower his “shoot first” state of alertness? Maybe a little, because in his mind, White guys are (slightly) less dangerous to him.

The driver can feed into this situation as well. A driver who sits still, hands on the wheel and says, “Tell me what to do officer” has a lower percentage chance of getting shot than a driver who responds, “Yo pig! What the f**k is it this time?!” A driver who moves around in the vehicle after stopping, reaching under the seats, reaching for the glove box and such significantly increases that driver’s chance of being shot.

Can the chance of being shot be lowered to zero? No, it can’t. During any police encounter, there is always a chance of the civilian being shot by the officer. A bad confluence of events can always happen to leave an otherwise civilian in the encounter injured or dead.

There are at least 15-20 factors that can feed into the chance a police officer shoots the civilian. From dinner last night giving Bob “intestinal distress,” to his sergeant chewing him out at roll call on the low end, to something in the hands of the civilian and the civilian not doing what he’s told on the high end.

The biggest determining factor is more Blacks give police problems than Whites. I personally think this issue come from both sides of the encounter. I will not deny “Driving while Black” exists, I will not deny confirmation bias, or perception, or any sociological and racial tendencies that escalate such encounters. There are no innocent parties in this.

Frank and I are going to disagree with my assessment. He thinks he didn’t get shot because he is White. I firmly believe it was because he didn’t move until he was told to and he did exactly what he was told.
We do hear about police killing civilians. We should hear about it and those events should be investigated. I also believe that 6 months of analyzing the dash cam footage frame-by-frame and a couple hundred hours of research should be used be used to find the truth, not to see if the officer was to blame. The officer has to make an assessment of what the person is doing, determine if they are a threat (all information is incomplete BTW) and make a life-or-death decision, me or him, in 0.6 seconds.

I am reminded about a 12-year-old Black teenager. He had a toy/pellet gun that was painted black all over, covering the orange muzzle and other parts that would easily identify it as a toy and not a real firearm. The officer yelled “halt,” the teenager turned toward the officer, weapon in hand and got shot for his efforts. For a time I recall, gangsters would spray paint their real firearms orange to look like toy guns, with the intent of having that officer hesitate just long enough for the gangster to shoot and kill the officer.

You know what we don’t hear about? The 125,000+ daily police encounters where no one gets hurt and most everyone goes home.

I am willing to stipulate for the sake of argument that the base data in this article, Police kill about 3 men per day in the US, according to new study, is accurate. But there’s no context about this. I can think of three different ways someone can end up dead from a police encounter:

  • Violently resisting arrest
  • Suicide-by-cop
  • Error by police or civilian

Once we know the numbers of each of these categories, then we can start asking intelligent questions and really get a handle on this problem. I’m sorry to say the article doesn’t answer those important and pertinent questions.

Just to put things into perspective, every day in the US, 9 die from drowning, 16 die from getting run over while they were a pedestrian, 36 die from falling and 40 people die as the passenger in a motor vehicle.

In any given year, your chances of being killed in a police encounter are around 1 in 277,500. The chance of that happening over your lifetime is 1 in 3,840. Now, to be killed in a police encounter, you must first have a police encounter. If you don’t engage in criminal activity (and thus earn major attention of the police), I’m moderately sure those chances will get significantly better.

In the end, as I started this, there is no “societal” privilege, only the choices of individuals. We have very little control over the decisions of others whom we haven’t met yet.

COVID-19 observations

I have seen many things over the past two weeks, let me detail them to you.

The good things I have seen:

  • Politeness in the midst of the frenzy.
  • People "coming together alone" to try and interrupt the spread of this virus.
  • People realizing that medical personnel, first responders and truckers are more important to them than celebrities.
  • A unity of national purpose I have not seen since 9/11.
  • People realizing that local and state governments can help them faster and better than the federal government could ever do so.
  • School systems at the local level pivoting literally overnight to deliver schooling to kids remotely.
  • Kindness, care and respect freely given to the elderly.
  • A collective awareness that everyone should be a "prepper" to keep their household fed in a crisis like this.

The bad things I have seen:

  • The mainstream media engaging in a level of panic-inducing and fear-mongering that I have never seen before, and they are doing their damnedest to lay the blame on Trump to try and make him defeatable him in November.
  • Leftists clamoring for Trump to take Dictatorial power to "save them," the same powers they have accused him over the last three years of already taking.
  • Politicians engaging in insider trading by using non-public knowledge to protect their own interests.
  • Empty shelves from panic buying, which is unwarranted at this point because the supply chain is intact and will continue to supply everything for another 2-4 months minimum.

The one funny thing I saw was beside the empty supermarket shelves, the gluten-free and vegan sections are untouched.

Through all of this, PLEASE be of good cheer and help others as best as you can. We are all in this together.

The hypocrisy of #BLM

I wholeheartedly suggest you watch this video first, all 12 minutes and 37 seconds of it. My comments will be below the video.

This young man explains very clearly a deep and glaring hole in the Black society. Kudos to him. If you didn't watch the video, let me summarize:

A child is killed in a drive-by shooting. Grieving Mother points out "White man with blue eyes" as the shooter. The community marches, demanding justice. Famous People Get Involved. The Young Turks and other Leftist talking heads lament about "hate crimes" and "racism."

Then the police investigate and arrest two YBM's (Young Black Males), one for driving the car and one for pulling the trigger. Further investigation shows the mother and the shooter are connected through Facebook and the event that caused the shooting might have been drug related.

That's when the marches and calls for justice die away. The Young Turks delete parts of their show related to this incident. Because "Black people don't snitch on Black people."

Let me get this straight. If a Black child is killed by a White person, the Black community marches and demands for justice are made. When a Black child is killed by a Black person, the Black community closes around the killer with a ring of silence. Not snitching on a YBM is obviously more important than making sure another child doesn't die in the crossfire of people who can't resolve disputes without gunfire. Matthew 7:3-5 and all that. For those of you who don't study the Bible, that's the parable of "Why do you want to remove the speck of sawdust in your brothers' eye but ignore the plank in your own eye?"

And people actually wonder why thousands of YBM's are killed by other YBM's every year. Get a grip people. Unless and until the killer YBM's are taught violence is not an acceptable first response and expelled from the Black community, and society as a whole, the mounting pile of bodies will not stop growing.


Some years ago, when the blogging thing was first taking off, here in Memphis we had blogger meets. We would get together at a restaurant and bloggers, left, right and center would discuss our politics, our struggles on the back end and all that stuff. I am kind of sad that those meets petered out.

Some of the books I am currently reading include Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals and the Communist Manifesto (Keynes, among others, are also in my queue). When Air America was broadcasting in Memphis, I would listen to it. I do these things to understand "that side" of things. I do not listen to and read things that confirm what I think, I include viewpoints that are different than mine because I want them to challenge me. I am not afraid to change my position on something when I learn something I did not know before.

And because I like quoting our Founding Fathers, let me quote Jefferson here:

jefferson opinionMany of my friends and acquaintances "lean Left," shall we say. There are several I love to have the deep, philosophical discussions on the issues of the day. There are several I want to take a mallet to in those kind of discussions and the rest we quietly agree to disagree and don't discuss politics at all. But as Tom says, I will never end a friendship over a difference of opinion. They might, I won't.

I bring this up because on one of the podcasts I listen to while driving from job to job, Dylan Marron and his podcast, Conversations With People Who Hate Me came up. His TED talk on the subject is here:

I want to sit down and have 4+ hour discussions with those who deeply disagree with me, to dig into their thoughts and beliefs, to challenge them to stand up to those beliefs. I also want them to return the favor. This is how we communicate with each other. I talk about communication in my earlier post At, To and With.

Too polite of a society

When I was going to High School in the 70's fights were a rare thing. If you came to blows with another student, it was not over a trivial matter. Generally, a couple of punches were thrown, then you got into wrestling scrum until a teacher broke it up. After that (and we were appropriately "cracked" or paddled), the matter was settled. We did not carry weapons in school, although some might have come to school from hunting with a shotgun still in their truck. The thought to escalate a fight to that level and use a firearm was nonsensical, it just didn't happen, you never considered it. "Bad form" I guess is how the British would describe it.

Adults (in certain lower socioeconomic circles) almost fought for fun. But when things came to blows, it was almost Marquess of Queensberry rules. There were certain things you did not do, certain lines you did not cross unless the "disagreement" was very personal. I guess you could say, in its own way, this kind of fighting was "polite."

Society was also to a large degree polite. I don't know if it was causation or correlation between this polite society and "polite fighting"  that if you got into another mans face without good reason his fist got in your face.

But of course, society changes. Today we are by and large cowed into submission because we have been taught "violence never solves anything." All we have to do is look into Starship Troopers and see this exchange:

One girl told him [Mr. DuBois] bluntly: “My mother says that violence never settles anything.”

“So?” Mr. Dubois looked at her bleakly. “I’'m sure the city fathers of Carthage would be glad to know that. Why doesn'’t your mother tell them so? Or why don’t you?”

They had tangled before — since you couldn’'t flunk the course, it wasn'’t necessary to keep Mr. Dubois buttered up. She said shrilly, “You’re making fun of me! Everybody knows that Carthage was destroyed!”

“You seemed to be unaware of it,” he said grimly. “Since you do know it, wouldn'’t you say that violence had settled their destinies rather thoroughly?"

Do I think we should "be more violent?" No. Violence should never be the first option. It shouldn't be a second or third option either. But it should always be an option. Of course, today maximum violence is the first option. People are shot and killed routinely for insignificant issues.

Think of it this way: every interaction we have with other people has a cost and a price. While those words are used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing. In economic terms, the price of something is what we pay in currency to obtain a service or product. the cost is what we have to go through to obtain enough currency to perform that transaction.

In a societal sense, transactions with other people cost us only our time and the price is very low, even in the case of a contentious interaction. Case in point, this woman (I won't call her a lady) gets up in a couples face for "spewing pollution." Both parties are where they are for their own innocent reasons. I highly doubt either party was there to aggravate the other. But this woman had her reasons to confront these people.

Now for a thought exercise. DISCLAIMER: Would this happen in real life? I highly doubt so. This is a "WHAT IF..." type of scenario.

Let's say that about the 1:00 point of that video, they guy gets fed up with Prius Woman and punches her lights out. One solid good punch which knocks the woman on her ass. The guy then says, "I can do that again if you press the issue." So Prius Woman runs back to her car, calls 911 and the police show up. The officer speaks with both sides, then pulls Prius Woman aside.

"Ma'am," the officer says, "let me get this straight. You were both sitting here and you decided to go to them and yell at them for parking near you and having a bad smelling truck. At that point he punched you."

"Yes , officer!" Prius woman yells. "I want you to arrest them! I want to file charges for assault!"

"Ma'am," the officer says, "If anyone is getting arrested, it would be you for assaulting them, because you instigated and escalated the encounter. You are very lucky that he only hit you once. You could have been beaten to a pulp, or shot and killed. This gentleman exercised extraordinary restraint. You are not hurt except for your pride. Please take this as a learning opportunity to not get into other peoples faces for trivial matters. Good day."

My end point is this: if Prius Woman knew up front, before she got into their faces that by her actions she would have a 100% chance of getting her lights punched out, do you think she would have started the encounter in the first place? Hopefully she would be smart enough to not start the encounter. I am under no illusions here. In our current society, if my thought exercise was anywhere close to reality, Prius Woman would have walked up and without a word doused the couple with pepper spray at a minimum.

Is this approach going to work in all places and circumstances? Of course not, and if you try to infer so, I must in response infer you have a brick for a brain. As a rational being, you need to weigh the pros and cons of an interaction before you get into it and if you can get out of it.


Commandments and Beatitudes

Like many of my articles here, they take on a life of their own as I am writing them. The twist at the end came about the other day while doing the outline for this in my head.

I saw this meme a while back and while I agree somewhat, I also disagree to a certain degree.

bibles in prison

So this meme to me implies that we should be teaching our children the morals inculcated in the Holy Bible, specifically the Ten Commandments. I would like to say that if I could get one moral lesson into our schools, my first choice would be the Beatitudes. Unless you have studied the Bible, or are Catholic, you probably don't know what the Beatitudes are. Or, you might have heard some of them but you don't know them by that name or their context.

When we talk about the Books of the Bible, remember that these were written by men whom we believe that were inspired by God. Second, this history started out as an oral tradition before being written down in Aramaic. Then you have translations over the centuries through several languages, filtered through the perceptions and agendas of the translators in order to get to the Bible we have today. Of course, there are also several “lost books” that were excluded as well, but that is something I am not qualified to speak about.

Just to give you an ear worm, when I get to talking about the Ten Commandments, I will be specifically referring to the Fifth through Tenth Commandments. The first four relate to the relationship between God and man. The last six are for how man is to treat his fellow man.

Back to the Beatitudes. The Sermon on the Mount is related in Matthew 5:3-12

Matthew 5:3-12
[3] Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[4] Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
[5] Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
[6] Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
[7] Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
[8] Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
[9] Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
[10] Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
[11] Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
[12] Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

So there you have it. But wait, there's more!

You might want to read the rest of Matthew 5, because it expounds on the above. The caveat is, Jesus often spoke in parables. I certainly hope he did not literally mean to pluck out your eye or cut off your hand if you stumble (i.e., fall into temptation). Two mistakes and you're done!

Looking at Matthew 5 as a whole, it all has a simple message. “Be excellent to each other.” This message is reinforced in Matthew 22:37-40 where Jesus gave us the Commandments we should be following today.

When Jesus spoke of the meek and those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness,” does this mean that we should be totally passive in the face of those against us? I don’t think so, because in Luke 22:36, Jesus tells his disciples to sell their cloak to buy a sword if they don’t have one to defend themselves. Also, those who had not studied the Bible during the “WWJD?” craze were surprised and/or offended when someone said, “Chasing people around with a whip and overturning tables is one of the things Jesus did” as related in Matthew 21:12-13. So, maybe, the deepest message of the Son of Man was, “Do no harm, help others when you can, but take no shit.”

Now we can turn to the Commandments. The “man-to-man” commandments as handed down to Moses by God amidst the thunder and flashes of Sinai were,

Honor your parents (and by extension, your elders)
Do not murder
Do not commit adultery
Do not steal
Do not lie
Do not covet the possessions of another.

Six through Ten became the foundation of our legal system today. It was God’s way of saying, “Be excellent to each other.” I can agree wholeheartedly that these concepts should be taught and reinforced in our schools today, along with the Beatitudes above.

Our Colonial Ancestors were raised with a strong moral foundation. This foundation was taught to them in the home, school and church. Our departure from these ways and methods has likely been a major contributor to our current moral turpitude and by extension our enormous prison population.

Ready for the twist? That last-minute thunderbolt of realization? Because here it is.

I have heard atheists argue that we don’t need God to scare us into treating each other right and giving us rules on how to do that. They argue that “we would have come up with these morals on our own.” I have to disagree with that for this simple reason. Atheists in Western civilization have lived under this moral and societal framework for thousands of years because the majority of people who comprise Western civilization are inspired by the words of God and Jesus. Simply put, the way things are around you when you grow up will be “normal” to you, 99% of the time. Growing up around people who discuss and debate certain ideas will of course seem to be natural ideas when you’re on the inside of that structure.

God shows us the Glory we can attain by following His path and the consequences if we don’t. He gave us the free will and the choice to choose our own path. It is the religious institutions Man who tries to scare us into following God through the threat of fire, brimstone and damnation.

To see if man could have developed these morals independently of God we have only to look as far as the cultures “discovered” by Missionaries and conquerors in our past. Did any of those cultures have this same set of values? Maybe some of those cultures had a “social contract” that is incomplete or watered-down compared to the Commandments in question. I admit, I am no sociologist or anthropologist, but I cannot recall in all of my reading and research in a variety of subjects that there has been a society that had developed independently from the Western world and had a similar set of moral laws, developed by themselves or their Deity.

My point is, as children we are taught by our parents on how to talk, interact and treat with others with kindness and respect when we meet them. Without this structure, it’s a “Lord of the Flies” world. I make the case that God, our Almighty Parent, is preparing us for that moment when we meet Him or possible extraterrestrial cultures so that we can do it with kindness and respect.


Protesting Properly

So I get into a "discussion" on Facebook the other day about peaceful protests, because the United Nations, that bulwark of integrity, is warning the GOP about infringing on the right to peaceably assemble. Republicans are criminalising peaceful protests across America, UN experts warn. Tennessee is one of the states called out in the last paragraph of that article.

I will say up front that my understandings of Tennessee SB0944 and HB668 were incorrect. I found them (the links should be proof of that) and I have read them. I will cover them in the appropriate part later on.

Let's set this table. This is going to be one of my "converging" articles, where I start with several different concepts and tie them all together.

1) Always remember, the First Amendment restricts the federal government and them alone from placing limitations on what you say and how you say it. Your employer can freely set restrictions on what and how you express yourself publicly or attach consequences after-the-fact. An organization you belong to can make your continued membership conditional on your public thoughts as well. If you don't like those restrictions, you are free to leave that employment/organization.

1a) If you do speak your mind publicly, no one has to listen to what you have to say. Nor can you compel them to listen. You might compel their presence (job/membership requirement) but they don't have to listen.

2) There is no right any person has that allows them to interfere with or abridge the rights of another.

3) In any protest/demonstration, be it peaceful or violent, there are three basic groups. The protesters, the protested and everyone else (which I will refer to as "the third group" for lack of a better and less awkward term). The objectives of a protest should be to a) generate support from the third group to b) cause a desired change in the actions of the protested. The larger the protest (because you have generated lots of supporters), the more political power the protesters have and the more pressure the protesters can bring to bear on the protested.

Any group of protesters that disrupts/angers the third group by their own actions will ultimately fail in their objective because they will not generate the positive public opinion for them and against the protested. Instead, the protesters will harden the hearts of the third group against themselves and destroy any chance for them to affect the change they want. Now, if the protesters do things that angers the protested who then does things to the third group to stop the protesters and their protesting, that's another matter.

The one universal rule to building support for a successful protest/coalition is to invoke the self-interest of the third group. Showing them how their lives are negatively affected now/in the future by the protested, versus how their lives would be positively affected if the protesters win, that's how you build support (and membership).

A great example of an effective non-violent protest is the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which the seminal event happened in March 1955 with the arrest of Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old Black teenager, not Rosa Parks in December of 1955. Claudette's arrest and conviction led to the SCOTUS case Browder v. Gayle (1956) where the SCOTUS decided that segregation of public transportation is unconstitutional. Rosa Parks is associated with the boycott because she was arrested December 1st and the boycott started December 4th. Claudette was the foundation and Rosa was the last straw. That time between Claudette's and Rosa's arrests was spent building the concept, planning and execution of the boycott. The boycott lasted 381 days and hurt the bus authority, because at the time 75% of the riders were Black.

The important part about this is that no buses were burned, no property was destroyed or defaced. No one stopped the buses from their schedules. I commend these people because many were beaten and/or arrested as the Blacks of Montgomery attempted to get where they needed to go without the bus system. Violence was visited upon them and they did not respond in kind.

The people with whom I was discussing this subject were disgusted and appalled at my views. I was called violent and a sociopath for "wanting to run people down." They never read what I said, didn't hear my qualifiers. They had it firmly stuck in their heads that I would barrel through the protesters at full speed. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

They also held the erroneous belief that intentionally blocking a road is "a peaceful protest." "Peaceful" and "force" are two mutually exclusive things. Because force means violence. Violence does not have to include physical damage to anybody or anything. If one person prevents another person form carrying out an action, force must be applied to cause that. The force can be mental/emotional ("I'll hurt myself if you do that!"), social/economic ("You're fired/expelled if you do that!") or physical (blocking access or physically holding onto the other person).

T.C.A., § 39-13-303 is titled "False imprisonment" and Section (a) reads:

"A person commits the offense of false imprisonment who knowingly removes or confines another unlawfully so as to interfere substantially with the other's liberty."

Section (b) classifies this as a Class A Misdemeanor.

Think about this for a moment. The protesters could step into the road, yet yield to vehicles who wish to pass. I would consider that peaceful. The second option for the protesters is to refuse anyone to pass, at which time they would all be guilty of T.C.A., § 39-13-303 because they are interfering substantially with my liberty, which in this case entails me traveling down the road they are blocking.

Just to make it clear to my Liberal friends and readers, if a group blocks a roadway with the intent of disrupting the lives of those trying to move down that road, you are angering the third group. Your problem is, you're angering them against you, not the protested. You might want to re-read my universal rule above. Sure, the 1% of those "feel good first" people might join with you, but the other 99% would probably knock over that a bucket of water next to them if you were on fire.

Before I get into my "violent and sociopathic" response to having my path blocked, let's go over SB0944/HB0668:

Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 29, Chapter 34, Part 2, is amended by adding the following as a new section:

(a) A person driving an automobile who is exercising due care and injures another person who is participating in a protest or demonstration and is blocking traffic in a public right-of-way is immune from civil liability for such injury.

(b) A person shall not be immune from civil liability if the actions leading to the injury were willful or wanton. [links to definitions are mine]

So, this law does not absolve the driver from any criminal liability. It protects the driver solely from being sued for damages from those who won't get out of the way. I think my prospective actions detailed below would fall within the standards as set forth in the above legalese.

I drive an 8 foot tall panel work truck, so the "law of gross tonnage" is in my favor. The right of the protesters to protest stops before they interfere with my right of free passage on public right-of-ways.

This only entails a small group of protesters who have the intent to impede others. If there are hundreds/thousands of protesters, I will not try to push through them, because the "law of gross tonnage" is not in my favor. If they are using the road to move a mass of people, such as across a bridge, I will wait because they have the right to travel that road as well, just not block it.

1) If a group of protestors do not block traffic, I have no problem with that. They could be the Hillsboro Baptist Church and I would not jump the curb for them or anybody else. The protesters (not the HBC) might even get a "support honk" from me.

2) If I know that a group is blocking a given road, I would avoid the area. As I drive around the Tri-State Memphis Metroplex fixing the equipment in my charge, I always have at least two alternate routes to get from point A to point B.

3) If I didn't know they were there and I can't get around them, everything from this point on is on them. Because if they do not let me pass, they lost the "peaceful protesters" label at this point.

3a) I would stop short of them, loudly asking for them to part so I can pass.

3b) If they do not part, I will let them know I am coming through.

3c) I will advance up to and through them, one inch at a time until I am clear. For people with common sense, this would be the time they would part and let me go on my way unmolested.

4) At the first brick/rock/gunshot, all bets are off. I refuse to be the next Reginald Denny or one of the dead from a riot.

As a final thought, I had to be well aware of the phrase "innocence in the eyes of the law" when I carried a weapon. It meant that if, on the horrid occasion I would have had to draw my weapon and possibly end the life of another, I had 47 things (slight exaggeration) that I had to do exactly right to avoid being prosecuted for the crime of defending myself. I had to not escalate the situation, attempt to disengage from the situation, "Shoot to stop the threat," not tamper with evidence and a whole lot more. When protesters actively interfere with the rights of others, they lose that "innocence."


At, To and With

WARNING: Terms may be used in this article which may make some people uncomfortable. You have been warned.

I first voiced this concept several years ago. I have never seemed to put pen to paper to write this before though, which is kind of sad. The 2016 Presidential campaign and its aftermath has cemented in me the glaring obviousness of these three different kinds of communication we use.

When one person talks AT another person, it is either out of anger, frustration, stubbornness or blindly-held political beliefs. When you talk AT another person, you spurt what you want to say upon your target without regard for the results or consequences of your words. It is in essence a verbal masturbation, leading to a bukkake of words upon your intended target. It leaves the speaker/writer feeling better in the cathartic sense, however that’s the only person feeling good afterwards. While this can be considered “communication,” it is that only in the broadest sense. This method actually borders on a forced act.

When one person talks TO a single person or group of persons, this is usually out of anger. When someone makes you mad, don’t you want to “give them a good talking to”? This is a minimalist (at best) two-way conversation, consisting of lengthy passages of yelling by the angry person, punctuated by the occasional “Yes, Sir/Ma’am,” “No Sir, Ma’am,” “I’m sorry, Sir/Ma’am” from the recipient(s). Worse yet, it can lead to anger in the recipient and yelling back at the first person. This then becomes a “two-way ‘AT’ “ “conversation” where everyone is yelling but no one is listening.

When you deliver that “talking to,” you are venting your anger at what they did to you and making it clear about “what will happen the next time.” The term “Reading the Riot Act” comes from the British Riot Act of 1714, where the local constabulary would read the proclamation part of said Act aloud to the crowd and give them one hour to disperse before arresting them. By the way, back then, the penalty for rioting was death.

Notice the emotions I described for when someone talks AT or TO another. Anger, frustration, stubbornness or the foolish belief that “My way of doing things is the right way 100% of the time.” These are all negative emotions.

When you have two (or more) people exchanging ideas, beliefs and feelings, the type of emotion we speak from will be absorbed by the recipient and reflected back to the sender, magnified. Back and forth the negative emotions go in what is called a "positive feedback loop", growing from ripples to Tsunamis, destroying the relationship and preventing true communication.

What would happen if we spoke from positive emotions, rather than negative? The same thing, starting with ripples and ending in Tsunamis, in this case Tsunamis of good.

Because when we talk WITH other people, we give our thoughts, which are received, considered and returned respectfully. The other then gives their thoughts, which you in turn should receive, consider and return respectfully. Who knows, we might actually learn something we didn't know that we agree with.

To do this, to listen with the intent to understand and not the intent to reply, we might actually learn something new. We find common ground to share, not a verbal no-man’s-land where thoughts and ideas die horrible deaths.

This does not mean we have to end up agreeing. We can “agree to disagree” and continue to respect the other person while not agreeing with their position on that issue.

I have a friend and mentor whom I routinely get into discussions with on Facebook. He constantly posts a plethora of Liberal memes. On the few I respond to, I disagree, giving my position and with the facts and my reasoning behind my stand. We then respectfully discuss our differences. He has accused my positions of “being rather Liberal” multiple times, to which my response is some variation of “You’re more Conservative than you realize.” We continue to interact on common interests and challenge each other where we disagree.

Because disagreement on first glance often becomes “congruential differences” once we get into it. We agree on the overall principle, having our differences on the exact path or method used to achieve the principle.

Every conversation we have with other people can be like this. We are dependent on ourselves to listen, comprehend and give at least a passing consideration to the position, before politely handing it back with your thoughts attached, rather than throwing your position in their face. The conversation goes from WITH to AT every time we stop listening.

Take this to heart in your next discussion. Please.


Everyone is (not) an expert

I will be the first to tell you that I am not an expert in anything. I am knowledgeable in several areas, however I am not an expert.

I found this article, The Death of Expertise and found it to be simultaneously interesting and frightening. I found it interesting in that he is correct on multiple points. I found it frightening because of the same thing. The term "expert" implies you know most, if not all of the knowledge that is applicable to any particular field. I continue to learn new things every day. I know that I do not have the corner on knowledge, nor possess some special insight or skill no one else has. I consider myself knowledgeable on the Second Amendment and the RKBA (Right to Keep and Bear Arms), politics and military tactics and strategy in wargaming.

I am learning about Project Management and Masonry. I used to be knowledgeable in model and high power rocketry as well as scuba diving and practical shooting. For one reason or another, those last three have fallen by the wayside. For example, I became involved with firearms and the Second Amendment when I purchased my first firearm in 1990. At that point, I began reading and asking questions of the people I saw at the range. I asked a question, then kept my mouth shut and listened with the intent to learn, not the intent to reply. I read more (a lot more) and thought critically about my positions and why they were what they were, and the facts I used to arrive at that position.

It took about seven years between the time I purchased my first firearm and I started voicing my opinion publicly on this subject. So, when someone says something like, "Citizens don't need to own firearms, let the Police handle the criminals" I can quote SCOTUS case law (like South V. Maryland, 1856) that says the Police have no responsibility to protect individual citizens. I quote facts, like the average police response time is 15 minutes and that you can be dead long before the Police can get there. I then point to societies across the world, in current events and in history where when only the police have guns, the people are oppressed and quite often slaughtered.

Today, everyone has an opinion, and society demands that everyone must be heard. It does not matter how knowledgeable they are on that particular subject, their voice must be heard and given the same weight as all others, even those who have spent years studying this subject. Someone who once heard Barack Obama speak about government must suddenly be considered an equal to Henry Kissinger. I have one word to say about that. Bullshit.

If someone declares that explosives were used to demolish the Twin Towers on 9/11, I will ask them how much they know about building construction and demolition, as well as all of the engineering and work to accomplish those tasks. If all they know is derived from YouTube CT videos, They get ignored, unless they want to learn. There is even a psychological term for it, the Dunning-Kruger Effect. I especially like this passage:

The Dunning-Kruger effect describes a cognitive bias in which people perform poorly on a task, but lack the meta-cognitive capacity to properly evaluate their performance. As a result, such people remain unaware of their incompetence and accordingly fail to take any self-improvement measures that might rid them of their incompetence.

In other words, they don't know, they don't know they don't know, and they don't want to know that they don't know. There are several stages one must go through to become knowledgeable.

First, learn by observation and asking questions. Things work the way they do and in the order they do for a particular reason. Learn why this is before you try to change it.

Second, form opinions and positions based on verifiable facts. Check and research your facts before you quote them. Double-check these facts, opinions and positions with those who are respected in that knowledge area. Don't ask a Psychologist an accounting question.

Third, now you can put your opinion out and check it against a broader group to see how well you are received. Stand ready to be criticized and have your facts lined up and ready. Refute those who assail you with facts. If you get into a discussion with others, watch their method of interacting. You know you're winning when you can quote facts and their response is to personally attack you and they start shouting to drown you out.

I can agree to disagree with a reasonable person. I can respect your opinion even if I disagree with it, as long as you do the same to me. I do not hate someone just because their opinion differs from mine. If you call me a Nazi fuckwad just because I call myself Conservative, then we have nothing to discuss. If you ban me from the discussion, or delete the exchange entirely, I win and you know I won because you know you can't refute me.

There is a difference between stupid and uninformed. If you are uninformed, you know you lack knowledge on a subject, and you want to learn more. If you are stupid, you think you know something, however upon critical examination, you know only the talking points of someone else. You also refuse to expand your pool of knowledge.

One final thought: This is inscribed outside my local library:

If a man knows not, and knows not that he knows not, shun him.
If a man knows not, and knows that he knows not, teach him.
If a man knows, and knows that he knows, follow him.

On the Internet, you can appear to be anyone you want. Why so many choose to be stupid is beyond me.


Forgive and Forget? Not Quite

I just saw a friend and brother post about his struggles to forgive himself and others.

Let me share this with him (and you):

The phrase "forgive and forget" is bullshit. It only sets you up for future hurt at the hands of that same person. Just to be clear, there are two ways another person can hurt you. intentionally and unintentionally. These two types should be differentiated from each other and handled differently.

An unintentional hurt is just that, the other person did not realize that they crossed a line with you.

Forgiving has to start with yourself. Because if you don't forgive yourself, you willfully carry the emotional baggage of that hurt with you, wherever you may go. Carrying all of that baggage slows you down and wears you out when you try to move forward. People sometimes hold on to this pain, hurt and regret so long that it becomes like a beloved pet, impossible to part with.

It is not easy to forgive yourself. When you do forgive yourself, you let go of that baggage that is weighing you down and holding you back. When you forgive yourself, it is exactly like a weight has been lifted from you.

When it comes to the other person, forgiving them for hurting you recognizes that you are taking control of the power you gave to them that allowed them to hurt you. That helps you to release more of that baggage you are hauling around.

While you should try to forgive those who have hurt you, do not forget. It is important to dispassionately remember those who have hurt you so that you make take the necessary steps to


The death of common sense

The Internet and social media is currently ablaze over the massive case of CRI (Cranial-Rectal Inversion, a nice way of saying head-up-the-ass syndrome) suffered by United Airlines over forcibly ejecting seated passengers to make room for other people. The particulars of both cases are not germane to the point. Suffice it to say that in both cases, a United representative told a paying customer they will get off the aircraft, under their own power is at their option.

I will say that United has the right to remove anyone they want for any reason at any point from their aircraft or property. Seated or not, full-fare or discount, half-way through the flight because they furrowed their brow in a way that worried the flight attendant. It doesn't matter. The customer also needs to realize that if they force the issue, it will not end well for them.

I will also repeat (to both sides) what the battle-hardened sergeant in war movies says to his young full-of-piss-and-vinegar soldiers to try and keep them from getting killed.

"Son, is this the hill you want to die on?"

Someone made the decision to allow a situation to escalate past the point of reason. Someone also made the decision to use force so United got what they wanted at the expense of passengers. With the potential for situations like this to explode and cause a mess (United lost almost a Billion dollars in market capitalization for a few hours over this), the people there in the situation (both sides) need to make a decision to push to the end, or decide "the cost of pushing isn't worth the outcome."

I can see the customers side in this, I can also see United's. I do not condone or condemn either side. That being said, the United representative who made the decision was the crux. In the interests of good customer service, if someone is seated, that should be that and the transferring workers or other passengers need to find an alternate route. The situation could have been averted if it was addressed before the customer was seated.

This situation falls squarely into the "Zero Tolerance" policies that surround us at schools, the airports, government buildings and many more places. Examples include the child who has his GI Joe taken away from him because of the "no weapons" policy and Joe has a 2" long plastic rifle. Or someone has aspirin that is easily identified as aspirin confiscated. I could go on, but you get my point.

Zero Tolerance policies came about because companies and agencies could not or would not trust the person in the situation to make the right choice. Sometimes, there is no "right choice," only two bad ones, equally as bad for someone. Using ZT's just said "no" to everybody, all the time. The ZT policies need to be abolished. A Company who puts people in positions of authority needs to let them make the on-the-spot decision, because no written policy can cover every possibility. That same Company needs to back the employee, publicly and privately, right or wrong.

There will be times when there are no good outcomes in a situation. When that happens, all you can do is say "Our representative was in a tough situation and he made a tough decision with the intent for the best possible outcome for everyone involved." Don't talk about new policies, retraining employees or any of that other bullshit. Make it clear to your employees at the outset what the objective needs to be and support the decision maker, even if they tell the boss to screw off, the customers are going, not the employees.

Change your thoughts, change your world

I have been listening to a lot of podcasts that talk about changing what goes on inside of you to change what goes on outside of you. As a consequence of this, I am changing my "stock answers" To reflect a more positive life view.

The first one was when someone asked, "How are you doing?" I used to respond, "Still above ground, despite my own best efforts." This was to reflect my personal history of struggling with my suicide attempts.

I now respond to that question with, "I'm blessed." This simple phrase allows me to celebrate that I am a survivor. I am thankful for my life, my family, my friends and all of the good things in my life.

When a salesperson asks me, "Can I help you," I used to respond with, "No thanks, I'm beyond help." The fast-on-their-feet sales staff would then ask, "What are you looking for?" To which I would respond with my hands shoulder length apart and say, "I'm looking for a bag of $20 this big."

Now I thank them and tell them I will find them if I need help.

I still have to fight to say "I'm blessed." But a calm, warmth and a subtle happiness comes over me when I say that.

Try it. It might change your life.

A true definition of leader

I found this video last night and I was really impressed, because Simon Sinek gets it. He understands and clearly conveys what a leader truly is. From an A-10 over Afghanistan, to the chemicals our body produces and why, Simon talks about why we get addicted, or feel good when he help others, or are helped, or even watches one person helping another.

He talks about endorphins, dopamine, seritonins, oxytocin and cortisols, and why they are produced and what they do for us.

The most important thing he talks about is being a leader. Again, he gets it. Alphas eat first, because they are the biggest and strongest of us. Out of those Alphas, the ones who make sure everybody eats and feels safe in the group are leaders. CEOs who unflinchingly sacrifice hundreds of jobs to preserve quarterly earnings (and his annual performance bonus) are not leaders. A cleaning supervisor (head janitor) at such a company, if he truly looks after safety and well being of the people he is responsible for is more of a leader than the CEO.

Leader is a title that cannot be given you by your job or position. It can only be earned by your actions of selflessness and concern for the entire group you belong to, be it your family, the company you work for, the society where you live, your country.

Take heed about why you should talk with someone face-to-face (or over the phone if you can't see them) after they send you an email asking your opinion about something. If we all did things like this, the world would be a better place.

Watch it, you must. Learn and enjoy.


The religion of hate

The religions of man are many. The various methods of expressing worship of the Deity are almost too many to count. As with all religions, there are two basic methods all religions use to recruit their members: coercion and inspiration.

Coercion takes many forms and methods and are all based on the lack of choice. Instilling the moral teachings of a religion in a child is not a bad thing and can be considered a mild form of coercion. That being said, a child does not have the learning or reasoning capacity to make such choices. A more intense form is to browbeat one emotionally and/or intellectually into believing as another. The worst method is the choice of either convert or die.

Inspiration by example is a much better way to obtain believers. But who is counting? Just because one method of worship has a billion followers and another having only ten followers does not put one of those religions over the other.

Once a person becomes truly self-aware, their spiritual quest may lead them to stay with what they know, or lead them through many different religions before they find their spiritual peace. The most important point is each person be allowed to make this journey for their own benefit.

This has been said many times before in many ways, "If your religion leads to hate others, you're in the wrong religion." Those who forcefully exclude others who do not believe in the same way actually hurt themselves, because it is by exposure to other beliefs and pools of knowledge we might come to a better understanding or modification of our own beliefs.

And just so I am perfectly clear, I see coercion of others in Christian, Muslim and most other religions as well. I am disgusted with people who use religion as a weapon. Religion and the love of Deity is supposed to be a unification of Mankind, not a violent separator. I am not naive, I know more people have died in the enforcement of one religion upon another than from any other cause. This enforcement of religion gave us that wonderful phrase, Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius. "Kill them. For the Lord knows those that are His own."

When I mean "unification," I mean that all should worship the Deity as they see Him, or Her, or Them. That they worship is much more important as how they do so.

Forcing all of Mankind into one religion would be like everyone having the same make and model of automobile. Imagine how well things would work if every person of legal driving age was given a Smart Car and only a Smart Car. You know, the two-seat car that's not too much bigger than a roller skate? While this would work fine for young, single people, or those who only transport themselves inside the city where they live, what about the couple that has five children? Or those who haul cargo long distances? Or the traveling workman who must carry his tools and materials long distances? This variety of transportation needs is why we have Smart Cars, Minivans, Tractor-Trailers and vans of all shapes and sizes. One type of car is not good for most people throughout the span of their life. Why should a much more important aspect of a persons life, their religion, be any less flexible? Would it not be better for a person to visit, observe, learn about and try other ways of worshiping Deity so they find what suits them?

I have many people in my life who do not worship as I do. And you know what? I am glad they worship as they see fit. My personal agreement for or against their religion is totally irrelevant. If I see friend A try to force their religious beliefs on friend B, who believes differently, I will step in and protect B from A. That goes equally as well of B were trying for force A, I would protect A from B.

Think about that. Think about what I have said before you start saying, "My God, the God of Love and Peace tells me to hate and destroy those who do not believe as I do!"

Pranks are not nice

People who prank others are bullies that are in denial about being bullies. I understand that there are shades to this. My standard to this is, if you are actively interfering with the actions of another as they go through their life, even if you are just "having fun," you are bullying others.

This is a case in point. The audio is NSFW.

This bully decided to modify his R/C car with the intent of moving golf balls on the nearby green. This guy actively planned and worked to negatively impact other peoples day.

One of the golfers that was bullied decided to do something about it. He took his golf club and gave a whack to said R/C car, seriously damaging it. At this point the bully rushes out to save his car and is genuinely angry about his victim not acting like a victim and destroying the R/C car. The bully and his cameraman also almost get their ass kicked by the golfers.

I see this as a simple situation. If the bully didn't send his car to bother those golfers, I am 100% sure his R/C car wouldn't have been destroyed by the golfers.

We are never going to get rid of bullies. That personality type is part of the human condition. There will always be people who are insecure about an aspect of their life and use bullying others they think are inferior to them to improve their internal self-worth. When I grew up, bullies were eventually taught that their actions became personally expensive. Either by a destruction of their things, or they were beat down. Once the bully received the "training" that being a bully had short-term emotional gains that led to a more expensive results from the people who grew tired from being picked on, they generally stopped being bullies.

All it took is them realizing that the "expenses" of being a bully is more than the "income" from being said bully.


Wisdoms Posted

As I like to say, "Some people collect cars, some like to collect stamps, I like to collect wisdoms."

I have finally managed to get all 1,100+ posted here. I had to take them from Excel to word, then to Notepad to add the HTML formatting, then copy-and-paste about 200 at a time, otherwise I choked the Joomla word processor.


The latest attacks

WARINING: The following post is filled with profanity, brutality, violence and TRUTH. Read it at your own peril.

So, Paris was attacked, and 145 are dead. Did you hear about the 41 dead and 181 wounded in Lebanon the day before the Paris attacks? How many heard about the 2,000 killed by Boko Haram a couple of months ago? Are Lebanese or African lives somehow worth less than French lives? It should not matter where or how people are killed by radical Islamists, apparently the Liberal media which buried said stories, it does.

The French brought this upon themselves. They welcomed Muslim refugees with open arms. Who remembers when the Paris suburbs were in flames because of riots by Muslim immigrants back in 2005?

I do not blame the Muslim faith. I blame the culture of that part of the world. I blame how they literally interpret the Qu'ran, which is like the Bible and Torah. They are written in parables. Trouble always results when you take parables literally. The Qu'ran speaks respectfully of the "Children of the Book" which means Jews and Christians. The God of Mohammed is the God of Abraham and Mohammed clearly says so.

The Muslim faith states that women must "dress modestly." In Saudi Arabia women and girls starting from their first menstruation are forced to wear an abaya, or head to toe veil to hide themselves. Women cannot leave the house without a male member of the family to accompany them and they must walk behind said male family member, this is not in the Qu'ran. Years ago when a school for girls caught fire, the "religious police" forced them to stay inside and die because they were not wearing their abayas. How they do things over there is how they do things over there and how they do things should stay over there. That is their business and if I were to travel over there as a guest of their country I would do my best to conform to their societal norms while I was there. I expect them to return the courtesy if they travel over here. Instead, we are seeing case after case where they travel here and expect us to adhere to their societal norms. Ain't gonna happen.

The bottom line is, I am growing weary of this. We have been dancing around the issue and solution for years. I am tired of sending our troops to die in foreign lands and we don't finish the job because our "leaders" don't have the testicles to go all the way.

I want this to end. I want the "moderate" Muslims to solve the problem of their radicalized brethren by themselves.

We seal the borders around Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and wherever else there are radical Islamists. That means no one in, no one out. Every time a goatfucker jumps up and yells "DEATH TO AMERICA!" or some other garbage, we erase the village, town or city where he was. Biblically erase, as in "no stone shall stand upon another." Sterilize the place of all life, all the way down to the bacteria. As an incentive to the moderate Muslims, repeat the process for the five nearest towns. Either the moderates will get the message and start controlling the radical elements of their religion, or we run out of those kind of Muslims.

Our Liberal overlords are teaching our children that guns are bad and we should show compassion and respect for all societies and religions (except Christianity). Their children are being taught how to shoot AK-47's and how to kill our children. Just how do you think this will end?

Shower Thoughts

Okay, I found one of those memes what had "21 thoughts you get in the shower." These are the only ones that really spoke to me:

  • "Go to bed, you'll feel better in the morning" is the human version of "Did you turn it off and turn it back on again?"
  • Since smart watches can now read your pulse, there should be a feature that erases your browser history if your heart stops beating.
  • Waterboarding at Guantanamo Bay sounds super rad if you don’t know what either of those things are.
  • The person who would proof read Hitler's speeches was literally a grammar Nazi.

University vs. Trade School

Some time ago, a friend on Facebook proclaimed his frustration about his Job status and prospective employment chances. I say “some time ago” because I have been doing some research in my copious free time.

He is currently making in the $8/hour range as an unarmed security guard. He is frustrated because he can barely survive on that, and saving for college is a dream at that income.

This got me to thinking about how our work habits and expectations have been distorted. The big push from our local school system in recent years have been for "Every Child. Every Day. College Bound." I really don’t see how they can achieve this goal with a 30+% dropout rate.

I have also read story after story about the crushing amount of student loan debt people going for higher education take on.

I do not agree that you need a college education to “get ahead.” There is an alternative distained by Liberals that is very viable. That alternative is trade school, where you learn to be a plumber, electrician, welder, carpenter and so on. Now, trade schools are looked at with contempt by “intellectuals” because you don’t sit all day, thinking and doing paperwork. Having such a trade means you’re usually grimy and dirty at the end of the day, but you can look back and say, “I helped create that.”

Just because you haven’t done a dissertation comparing the prose styles of Shakespeare vs. Keats does not mean you are “uneducated” or “dumb.” It takes a lot of mental as well as physical effort to build things, a concept that seems to constantly escape Liberals.

So, I decided to wash a few numbers through a spreadsheet and see what came out. Here are my sources, US Inflation Calculator, to obtain snapshots of the rate of inflation and this graphic, derived from the information contained in U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, higher education general information survey, Aug 2009.

DISCLAIMER: These numbers are averages, and thus exactly inaccurate. These numbers also under the premise of a 4 year degree, where in real life it could take an extra year or two, due to switching majors, retaking a few courses and the like. The premise is also there that all costs are drawn on Student Loan funds and not being employed to offset some/all of these funds. As far as income, they are again averages. Yes, they start low and end high.

What I see is that from 1978-2008, inflation rose a total of 230.2%. What cost $1.00 in 1978 cost $3.30 in 2008.

I am going on the assertion that the costs in the table are per year, so in 1978, a 4 year degree cost $11,672. In 2008, that 4 year degree, indexed for inflation, would have cost $38,544. In real life, it costs $81,744. In raw dollars (not taking into account inflation), since 1978, the price of college has gone up 700%. If we were to factor in the rate of inflation, this tops out at a staggering (approximate) 1,600% growth rate!

Having worked in the mental health field, I know of two degrees that a lot of my (former) co-workers had, a BSW (Bachelors of Social Work) and an MSW (Masters of Social Work). A BSW degree takes about 4 years and $81,744. The Masters takes 6 years and $122,616. The average annual income for a BSW is $50k and an MSW can average $58.7k annually. That is a national average and a lifetime average. Most of the MSW’s I knew were making less than $35k a year, with the same level of student loan debt.

A trade school (electrician) costs about $33,000 to complete. An average of an average between Electrician I and Electrician II is 44.7k annually.

Now, all of those “debt experts” say that your consumer debt (non-house debt) should not exceed 20% of your take-home pay, otherwise known as net income. Using a 4% interest rate on student loans, these are what each of these would pay for 10, 15 and 20 years:

Position Payment % of Take Home Total Paid
10 years
BSW $546.72 19% $65,606
MSW 901.08 26% 108,129
Electrician 334.11 13% 40,093
15 years
BSW $399.43 14% $71,897
MSW 658.32 19% 118,498
Electrician 244.10 9% 43,937
20 years
BSW $327.23 11% $78,535
MSW 539.32 16% 129,437
Electrician 199.97 8% 47,993

As you can see, the debt load is a lot easier on the Electrician than the BSW or MSW, because the Electricians pay is almost the same but a lot less starting debt. The MSW’s debt load is almost unmanageable at 10 years, barely manageable at 15 years and okay manageable at 20 years. The Electrician can get rid of his debt easier and in half the time.

I personally don’t have a college degree. I learned my basics in the Navy working on radios, radars and other communications equipment. My computer skills (programming, networking and so on) are all self-taught. I also have a voracious appetite for knowledge. Most people never pick up a non-fiction book after they leave High School/College. The bottom line is, consider a trade school to learn a skill.


When I was growing up in the 70's, my local newspaper had a one panel comic in the opinion section called, "There Oughta Be A Law," or TOBAL for short.

I was picking up *two* items at the local store tonight, and I was standing in the "10 items or less" line. One of the shoppers ahead of me had about 30 items in their basket. When I got up to the cashier, she asked me, "Does that sign say 10 or 20 items?" So while watching this other customer who either didn't care and/or was illiterate, I came up with my own TOBAL: If you have more than the proscribed number of items, you will be charged a progressive $1 fee per item. So, if the limit is 10 items and you have 15, you are charged an additional $15 ($1+2+3+4+5=15). Instead of the company getting that money however, that "inconvenience fee" is applied like a gift card to the customers behind you who have 10 items or less. Just a thought....


Integrity is important

In the end, everything boils down to your word.

Did you speak the truth? Did you do what you said you were going to do? If you failed in those, what did you do? Self-disclose and do the right thing, or had it discovered by someone else, where you denied even more?

Your integrity is the record of your word. One who constantly deceives has no integrity. He cannot be trusted. You don't have to be 100% perfect, no one is. However, if you are wrong and you don't address it and make it right, I want nothing to do with you. This is why I do not believe in "GLOBAL WARMING/COOLING." I remember in the 70's when scientists were begging the President to sprinkle coal dust over the entire Arctic ice cap to stop "GLOBAL COOLING."

Considering the screaming over "GLOBAL WARMING" we have today, imagine how much worse it would have been if we had covered the Arctic in coal dust. I am intelligent enough to know the planet has cycles where things heat up and cool off. These cycles are thousands of years in length and the power to significantly affect them is way beyond our moral abilities. Humans trying to "stabilize" the climate is like an ant trying to stop an elephant.

Then we have this: The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever. The data has been "fudged." Changed. Altered. Modified to show something that is not happening, in order to say that what is not happening really is happening. This lie, and there is no other word for it, ruins and forever taints the word and integrity of every scientist involved in the study of the climate. When the very data that is used is untrustworthy, because of mis-collection or outright manipulation, those who did this will never convince me that they are correct. Any chance that existed went right out the window, and we're on the 87th floor. If I can't trust you, I will have nothing to do with you.


Happy 2015???

While I understand the concept of "Happy New Year!" and all of the "changes" it entails, I am a bit perturbed that we must "wait" until New Years to change our lives.

Never mind how most of those resolutions don't make it to Valentine's Day, but I digress. The passage of time is part of the Universe. It is said we live in four dimensions, the three dimensions of the physical world (left and right, back and forth, up and down) and the dimension of duration. While we can revisit physical coordinates again and again, we can never have the exact components that were there before.

The measurement of time is a Human construct. In our efforts to quantify everything, we clip off duration's and give names to them, so that we may accurately communicate with each other coordinates and duration's.

In my personal travels, I have learned that each day, each minute, each second is a new beginning for one's self. To make a significant life change (better or worse) you do not need to "wait" until a particular "time" to make that change. Some say, "each dawn brings forth a new day to start over." I think 3:43:17.2 this afternoon is just as good, if not better, than sunrise tomorrow.

While we all have to get used to writing "2015" for the year (for another 364 days) on our documents, please remember, it is always "now," and "now" is the proper time for positive change. I do not wish "good things" to happen to you for 2015. I wish for them to happen to you for your entire duration on this plane of existence, and every subsequent plane of existence that follows, until the end of time.

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