• Category Archives World
  • We don’t need no stinking mattresses!

    Complaints.comOn Thursday before my last drill weekend my wife started looking for a couple of twin mattresses and box springs for my two boys. We’re changing their sleeping arrangements. She found two for sale on KSL.com. A deal was struck. She and her mother showed up at the seller’s house with her dad’s pickup truck.

    The seller rolled up his garage door to reveal a plethora of mattresses in heaps and rows filling his garage. There were the two twins on the front row.

    But, lo and behold, a Certa  King mattress presided over one corner of the stack.

    “How much for that one?” my wife asked.

    Because it had fallen on the ground at some point it was slightly smudged. For this reason, the seller said he would let it go for $95. An excellent price.

    “I’d like to buy that one too,” says wife.

    “Excellent,” says the seller.

    “I only have the $100 dollars for the two twins but I can get you the other $95 later today.”

    “Excellent,” again. Money was offered and received.

    The two twins and the King, sadly, would not all fit in the pickup my wife and her mother had brought.

    “Not to worry,” says the seller. “I will deliver all three tomorrow and you can give me the $95 for the king then.”

    “Wonderful,” says my wife. “Thank you so much.”

    “No problem,” says the seller.

    The next day, Friday, comes and goes with many phone calls between wife and seller but no delivery.  Wife starts to get a little nervous because she has paid $100 but has no mattresses.

    Continue reading  Post ID 806


  • Racism as a Disease

    smallpox victimAt one time, small pox was a big thing. It was horribly contagious and it was usually fatal. It needed to be stamped out. Vigorously.

    As a culture we did that. We campaigned against it, vaccinated everyone we could and were ruthlessly efficient about it. As it’s prevalence began to fade we pursued it into the dark corners and vaccinated it out of existence. We never rested until it was gone gone gone.

    We wiped it out. Not only did we wipe it out, we still have the vaccines and occasionally groups of people still get vaccinated against it. I, for one, have been inoculated and I bore the third eye for two weeks as proof. We have not forgotten.

    I see racism following a very similar path.

    Racism is by no means stamped out. We are not at the end of that struggle and since racism is an idea instead of a physical organism we may never see the end as we did with small pox.

    But it is in the later stages of the stamping out process. I think we’re over the hump. Racism is retreating to the dark corners and we are pursuing it, ruthless as ever. I fervently believe that someday we’ll get it all.

    Unfortunately we’re seeing a phenomena with the struggle against racism that we did not see with the one against smallpox. There are people who make a profit from the struggle rather than the cure.

    Some folks take donations to help further their cause in the political fight against racism.

    Some people sell things that purport to further the cause. Things that promote diversity and expand other people’s minds. Books, Music, Magazines, etc…

    Some people simply enjoy a bit of positive notoriety and media buzz because of their penchant for speaking loudly and voluminously about the evils of racism.

    All of these people, as truly angelic as some of their intentions may be, have a vested interest in racism as a going concern. They make money as long as racism is something that must be trumpeted from the rooftops and rabbleroused against.

    Such people tend to see racism, or at least say they see racism, where there is none.

    This is as damaging to the struggle against racism as it would have been had the pharmaceutical companies attempted to turn every cold, every flu, and every sniffle into a smallpox outbreak.

    People would have stopped listening. They would have started to doubt the dangers of smallpox. Let’s not go there folks.

    Racism is real. Let’s keep it that way.


  • A Way to Look at National Debt

    “You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
    What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
    The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
    When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation.
    You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.” – Adrian Rogers, 1931

    So, the paragraph below is what I first posted after that quote. I, frankly, hadn’t had enough time to do more than peruse the headlines on the matter. My mother shortly reached down my gullet and yanked out the liberal talking points I had swallowed. It honestly never occurred to me, even after all these years, that the left and their puppets in the media would lie so blatantly. Fool me a hundred times I guess.

    The Tea Party and its fellow travelers may have picked a poor time and place to make a stand on taxes and the debt limit. By my understanding the obligations which the debt limit had to be raised to meet were already extant, already on the books, already spent. People were owed money and had to be paid. Paying our debts was the right thing to do, as it always is.

    In point of fact the government  (read presidential administration) could have started cutting programs and firing people, or, more pragmatically, directed their underlings to do so all the way down the chain, and crested under the debt ceiling. They chose not to do this and instead excoriated with vast sprays of scorn those who suggested that perhaps we ought not to be spending so much money.

    Bloody ridiculous. When you’re spending so much you’re approaching your credit limit you stop the spending. You cancel the cable. You tell little Susie she’s going to have to practice the violin at home for awhile as lessons are out of reach. Maybe you sell the violin. You don’t simply raise your credit limit. Unless you’re stupid.

    “But where do you cut? Which children do you send away hungry?” Excellent question. Better start figuring it out now ’cause things are not going to get better with more government spending. See the above quote.

    The root problem is still the same, the government spending far far more than it takes in. (Notice I did not say ‘makes.’ The government does not make money.) And that problem has not even been touched. The current administration is spending more, faster, than any administration previous and they make the argument everyday that the only answer to the economic problems of the country is to spend yet more. I don’t buy it.

    In spite of all the obfuscation streaming from the left and the right alike, spending more than you make is unsustainable. The solution to approaching the credit limit on your credit card is to stop spending so much bloody money, not raise the limit. If you have to raise the limit to make your mortgage, do so, and then put your house up for sale and start looking for apartments that you can actually afford. If you start badgering your employer for a raise because you can’t afford your lifestyle, he’s likely to laugh in your face and tell you the same thing. Stop spending so much money. Unfortunately, our government does its badgering of its employer, us, from behind a gun, and they want their money.

    The cold heart of the matter is that we are looking at the approaching end of our way of life and government because that government won’t stop spending too much  money, much of it on ridiculous bullshit programs.

    I’ve had friends yell at me and accuse me of killing innocents over this issue. The first place the left reaches to cut the budget is always defense, one of the most clearly appropriate venues for the spending of taxes. I suspect they do this because they know the military doesn’t vote for them and largely places the welfare of the country over their own personal convenience. And the other folks on the payroll?: GS drones, welfare recipients, academia, etc…overwhelmingly vote democrat. When you must pay for votes to stay in power, cutting spending is unlikely at best. See the quote above.

    Currently I’m suckling from the government teat. I’m in the National Guard on full time orders. I’ve deployed to combat three times. My full time job with the guard also involves me risking my life for this country. I’ll volunteer again. Cut my job. Do it. I dare you. If it’s part of reigning in the insanely out of control spending we’re perpetrating right now I’ll welcome it with open arms.

    And you know what? I’ll land on my feet with another job, probably making more bloody money, and I’ll still vote republican because as ridiculous as they are lately they’re still better than the left.

    A MODEST PROPOSAL

    Stop all foreign aid. All of it. Every dime. Our house is not in order and we, frankly, need to put that first. Take all the foreign aid money and start shoveling it against the debt. Anybody know how much we spend in foreign aid every year? I don’t. I don’t have time to figure it out either. I’ve got a bloody job.

     


  • William Waddoups Jacobsen Jr.

    Sorry folks, this is going to be a long one.

    When I was in college ROTC I met a guy with the unlikely name of William Waddoups Jacobsen Jr. He didn’t tell me about the Waddoups right away, he was just Bill.

    Bill was older than the rest of us. At least he felt that way to me. He was only one year ahead of me in school but he was a mentor, a steadying influence, and a friend through all the strange disquieting times that come upon a freshman in college away from home for the first time. He lifted me up and pushed me down in turn, as I needed it.

    Continue reading  Post ID 806


  • Back From Montana

    And a good time was had by all.

    We actually got back a couple of weeks ago but life  has been too busy to post here.

    So, apparently there’s a push coming down from on high that units in the Utah NG and elsewhere provide ‘proof of training’ beyond the word of their officers and NCOs. As a result the command had a photographer/videographer along on our AT in Montana. Thousands of pictures and videos are promised to the men of the unit but so far all we’ve gotten is this teaser video.

    Note that the guy twisting in the wind at 1:30 is our company commander. He may not know how to exit an aircraft but he sure knows how to put on good training.


  • Teachers Unite!

    Or not. Do what you think is best. It’s a free country after all.

    CreatingLiteracy-RichShoolsforAdolescentsJust read a very interesting rant by one Gayle Forman.  I have opinions on the same subject, Public Education in the United States, but I don’t pretend to be particularly well-informed.

    My children are currently being homeschooled by my wife, which situation I am very happy with. They have attended public schools and charter schools in the past. So we are familiar with at least a narrow cross-section of education in our very tiny portion of the world. We chose home school for a variety of reasons.

    I myself am a product of public education, as is my wife. I too had some good teachers and some bad. I would go so far as to say very bad and very good. It’s a mixed bag out there, which Ms. Forman is careful to point out.

    One of the points that Ms. Forman makes so entertainingly is that standardized testing is bad and that No Child Left Behind is awful. Standardized testing stifles creative teachers by forcing them to ‘teach to the test,’ she says.  And frankly, I agree that teaching to a test is a bad idea. Mostly because it’s cheating if you’re teaching children to pass a test rather than master the skills that are tested therein. Such a teacher is lazily missing the point of their profession.

    Ms. Forman cites a wonderful example of teachers who threw such practices into the trash and instead used their creativity and ingenuity to try and teach the actual skills their students needed in innovative and interesting ways. They even wrote a book about it: Creating Literacy-Rich Schools for Adolescents.

    Of course, saying that such methods work better than whatever the other teachers are doing is one thing, proving it is quite another. Ms. Forman rose to the task, however, when she crowed about the success of this program.

    She proved it by citing standardized test scores which rose in response to the innovative teacher’s methods.

    Now why would she do that after castigating standardized testing as harshly as she does? I think it’s because she arrived at the same conclusion the politicians did. If you want to know how well education is being accomplished you must test the recipients. And those tests must be comparable from student to student, so they must be standardized. How else would one do it?

    She actually, perhaps inadvertently, illustrates an argument against her position that, generally, teachers are not at fault for the sad state of our public education. As her example so clearly illustrates, teachers with drive passion and creativity can produce students who blow those heinous standardized tests out of the water.

    So why don’t they then?

     

     


  • Nope, I’m Not Sad He’s Dead

    Things like this interest me.

    CelebratingOsama'sDeath-LOLObviously the author is comparing this crowd, cheering outside the Whitehouse after the announcement of OBL’s death, to the crowds of middle-easterners cheering in the street after 9/11.

    And yes, one crowd of people celebrating looks very much like another.  But there the similarity ends. Crowds of middle-easterners behaving thus over the death of 3000 innocent civilians is not, in fact, “like” this crowd celebrating the death of a mass-murdering sociopath who killed 3000 of their fellow-citizens.

    Continue reading  Post ID 806


  • Good Old Bin Laden

    binladen-xGlad to finally be able to put UBL into the ‘good’ category.

    As wigg1es so aptly put it on Boing Boing, “If only this actually meant anything……”

    What does it mean?

    That the vast majority of Americans will now be able to tell themselves that all is right with the world, the boogey man is no more, and that this actually does change something.

    I hope and I pray that they are right, that it will change something. I doubt that UBL’s fellow travelers will now shrug their shoulders and walk away into obscurity, but I hope they do.

    I also hope and pray that the believers in Democracy and the Rule of Law around the world who depend on American might will not now be abandoned in an orgy of political expediency among our politicians.

    Edit: Buried at sea? Really?  – No pictures yet? Really? – Is our government TRYING to minimize the positive effects of this action?

    Edit 2: So we’ve had two years of the left telling birthers that insisting on proof, documentation, of an event is stupid, in order to defend Obama’s failure to produce an official birth certificate. This thought pattern is so ingrained that now we must laugh to scorn those who ask for proof, like a high-res photo, of UBL’s dead body? Folks, as a friend of mine said, “There are people who still believe Elvis is alive, and we’re not producing a picture of UBL dead? WTF?”

    Bonus links:

    Fareed Zakaria on the death of Bin Laden


  • Birthers, Birth Certificates, and Trickiness

    President Obama’s birth certificate, or lack thereof, occupied the rightwing for 2 and 1/2 years. It’s occupying some of them even still.

    My personal thoughts on the president’s birth certificate were of two strains.

    First, asking to see the president’s actual birth certificate, the long form, was a perfectly reasonable request that could have been granted with minimal effort on the part of some aide within days of being made. The short form they provided on the internet was not, in fact, good enough.

    Second, I was sick of hearing about it after, possibly, a week.

    Let’s say the man was not, in fact, born in Hawaii, but simply to an American citizen in Kenya or where the hell ever. Still an American citizen at birth because his mother was a citizen and he was, therefore, subject to US jurisdiction. Arguing that ‘natural born’ must mean born within the borders of the geographic US, rather than to an American mother or father, seems a bit much to me. At the end of the relevant clause in the constitution it even stipulates how long a citizen must reside in the country to be eligible. President Obama fits both bills, birth certificate from Hawaii or not.

    So, why did he hide the long form for so long? And I think it’s pretty obvious he was hiding it because it would have been so easy to obtain when the request was made.

    I think he was watching the far right eat itself up over the issue and decided to just let them, to see how long they’d stay at it, distracted. They could have been up to other mischief for these last two and a half years. Instead they’ve been obsessing over the birth certificate, which he knew he could provide at any time to make them look stupid. Pretty canny, Mr. President.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think the constitution is an amazing document with laws that should be followed as close to the letter as possible. I swore an oath to defend it. If Obama had been flouting the law, tricky dicking his way around it, breaking it, action needed to be taken. But unless you’re going to argue that his natural birth mother was not a citizen, the man is eligible and has been since the beginning.