July 31, 2013

And so it goes

I appreciate each of my readers. I just don't have many of them anymore. If you are one of them, thank you.

It has gotten so bad, I don't even get much spam any more. I usually find a half-dozen at most in my filter each morning.  I am not sure where to get my on-line Prozac or Viagra now.

If  I was of the liberal persuasion I would be certain my declining readership was someone else's fault. Since I believe in personal responsibility I will accept that miserable content is to blame.

July 30, 2013

Heart and brains

My youngest son leaves at the end of the week to move into his off-campus apartment a week or so before his fall semester. He will be a sophomore at Indiana University. It has been great having here this summer, even though our schedules have not crossed as much as I would like. He has worked a lot of hours and spends the evenings and late nights he is not working with his friends, while I tend to rise early and go to bed at an hour that would be early to him.  That is exactly the way it should be.

During the course of the summer we have had some great discussions on the events of the day. It is interesting to see his intellectual struggles to make sense of the greater world around him. His debate positions have a distinct liberal positioning, but his conservative upbringing wars mightily in his head. The result is a very Libertarian point of view in most cases.

His usual opening position on a given topic is from a more progressive point of view, but he has developed a deep mistrust of government in general, so often he ends at the right conclusion, just by a different mental path than I would take.  Time will tell if three more years of professorial brainwashing will overcome the nearly twenty years of good sense instilled by his mother and I.

As I mentally and verbally spar with him, Churchill's legendary comment regarding liberals and conservatives often comes to mind.

July 29, 2013

Rigid, unbending

Distilling a thought I left in a comment elsewhere, I have finally realized that the essence of liberalism is diversity of thought and action.

That is to say as long as your thoughts and actions meet the politically correct criteria as established by the liberal elite.

For instance, we need an open mind regarding gay marriage -- as long as you support it. We need a dialogue on race, as long as you are willing to shoulder the white man's burden -- which in modern times is collective guilt if you are white.

All hail diversity! Now get in line. The last century is historical proof that the natural result of progressive liberalism ideology is totalitarianism.

July 28, 2013

If you only read one blog post today

This post is one of the most brilliant and cognizant positions on modern society I have read in a long time. It makes everything I have electronically penned over the past three hundred and nine years trite by comparison.

Read it.

Here is a scientific "Consensus" you can shove up your bleep

It is Sunday. It is 6:41 in the morning. It is freaking 52 degrees F outside. It is July for goodness sake. Is this the catastrophic global warming AlGore warned me about?

At least I don't live in Detroit.

July 27, 2013

This is what passes for content around here

It is raining.  The sunrise was a shift from a dark gray to a light gray. The Japanese maple outside my office window is a dusky hulk of drooping leaves. It looks like it is trying to huddle up against the chilly summer rain. I need to mow the lawn.  I planned on doing it Thursday evening, but I had to make an emergency customer visit. Maybe it will dry out tomorrow.

I have been up since around 4:30. I don't know why. The day finds me in a melancholy mood.  I am not sure if it is the rain, lack of sleep, or the weight and burden of worries over life and work.  I forgot to take my medicine last night, and typing that line reminds me I failed to take them this morning too. WTF is going on? Honestly, I had to move the pill bottles to make my coffee.

I know a lady named Jan. Her name is not short for Janet. It is also not short for January. Her name is just Jan. I have known an April, a May (not Mae) and a June. I knew a guy with the last name of March. The rest of the months have failed to lend their name to people I have met.

This is a riveting post. Seriously, I am not sure why either of us bother any more.

Have a great Saturday.

July 26, 2013

Friday Music

My iPod is on "shuffle". The next song that plays will be this week's Friday Music selection -- providing there is a video.

The one ofter this was "Nights in White Satin". Your measure of luck depends on your music tatse, I suppose.

July 25, 2013

Just like that

What seemed a nice typical office work day turned to crap in just seconds yesterday afternoon. Then, with one customer phone call, the afternoon went to hell in an instant. Dozens of emails, several phone calls, and now a customer visit today are the result.

Funny, customers like their purchased parts to arrive in one piece, especially when they are buying them by the truckload.

July 24, 2013

Dear President Obama

If you really want to help the Average Joe and Cheryl Citizen I suggest you invoke an executive order. Gather up your FBI, and Red Cell teams and employ some of that sooper-secrit NSA computer power. Take that ability to monitor every phone call and find those sleazy motherfucking scumbags who call my phones every damn day offering to reduce my credit card interest rates and to refinance my home with no cost.

Mr. Obama, if you are tired of people complaining the Government is worthless and does not meet the needs of the citizens, then the failure of the "No Call Lists" is example numero uno of your typical law of good intentions that accomplishes nothing. For goodness sake, we can read a license plate number from space. We can track a terrorist within feet of his location. We can monitor phone calls from any cell phone. I suspect you record every keystroke on this computer. Covert security cameras watch our every move in the cities. Technology exists to evaluate and measure my driving speed, distance and frequency. You know what I watch, and how much money I make. The Government will know my most intimate details of my medical records, from the broken fingers in elementary school to the crabs I got in college.

But for some reason we cannot find the owners of  automatic dialing machines that call a large percentage of the nation every freakin' day.

Find those telemarketing bastards, lock 'em up in Gitmo, or some other dank cell and have a phone ring every two minutes in their ear for the rest of their lives.  For good measure have a Navy Seal administer a severe and accurately aimed kick to the nuts every day or two. If we still have one of those waterboarding experts on staff from the Bush years, he can practice his art as well.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Baa Baaa

I understand our Socialist-in-Chief is about to embark on an "Its the Economy Stupid" tour, touting a share the wealth policy. Even without a secret glimpse of the teleprompter,  I can tell you  Obama will blame the rich and the Republicans and businesses for the anemic economy.

I have a question for all of you Democrats who will join in praise like a Greek chorus. If the middle class and the working poor are so important to Obama, why did he spare big business from the devastating effects of the ObamaCare implementation but turn a deaf ear the the real complaints of us common folks who are being hit hard by premium increases and pay reductions?  I'd argue that Obama cares a lot more for the rich guys and corporations and unions who donate to the Democrat Party. But on the other hand if you are dumb enough to believe in Obama's demonstrably failed economic policies, you are too stupid to draw a reasoned conclusion anyway.

But, if Obama is out talking about the economy -- finally -- then the sycophant press will drop articles about the IRS, Benghazi, the NSA spying, amnesty for illegals, skyrocketing gas and energy prices, and the other scandals. That is no accident.

July 23, 2013

Isn't time for John McCain to retire?

I read where John McCain (RINO ARZ) is pushing to replace the dollar bill with a coin. Only the government can take an unpopular idea, spend millions implementing it, only to see it fail.  Then they rinse and repeat.  Then they do it again. Once a bad idea permeates the air of the reclaimed swamps of Washington DC, it lives forever in a zombie-like existence.

In my lifetime we have been subjected to the Eisenhower Dollar (and the Kennedy half dollar), The Susan B Anthony, and the Sacajawea dollar. Each costs millions to produce and all are out of general circulation. People do not want to carry around a bunch of coins. This time the dollar coin proponents are invoking the change in the name of the Holy Environment.

If we want to save some money at the mint, get rid of the penny. It has virtually no purchasing power.  One court in Indianapolis will find you in contempt of court if you try to use pennies to pay your traffic ticket. Plus no one likes that penny smell on their hands.

Vicarious Adventures

Saturday afternoon the wife and I were perched in our respective recliners. It was raining, not a downpour, but rather a typical summer shower. I was watching a cooking show, she was doing whatever she does on her iPad. Suddenly, in rapid succession, the air was ripped by a tremendous cracking sound, the sky was lit by a flash of light, and then there was the loudest boom of thunder i have ever heard.  It shook the house and rattled the knickknacks and glasses in the cabinets like an earthquake.

"That hit something close", I said as I stood up to head toward the window. I saw the neighbors from the west end of our cul-de-sac running east. The wife ran out the door and I grabbed my shoes. I took a second to unplug my laptop and told my son to do the same. There is nothing like knowing you just shut the barn door seconds after the horse has fled.

Lightening had hit the the phone box of the house across the street blowing pieces of it twenty feet away. The charge ran along the underground wires, literally blowing apart the phone junction boxes behind his house. Along the way it exploded through some electric cords around his deck.  These cords were blown in half and split apart exposing the wires inside as if God was stripping the plastic casing. The ends were smoking. There was a burnt smell in the air.

I suggested the neighbor shut down his power. Someone was already on the phone to the fire department. It was the general consensus it was better safe than sorry. After an inspection there was no lingering electric fire hiding in the attic or walls. The house damage was confined to the telephone junction box outside the neighbor's garage -- and the outdoor lighting around his backyard.

Everyone across the street lost their telephone land lines, and cable. Mine worked fine. The phone company was out in force yesterday. Comcast came on Sunday.

It was a lively few minutes on an otherwise boring Saturday afternoon.

July 22, 2013

Kate Middleton naked!

I had to ask my wife who Kate Middleton was. I suppose it is a defect in personality that I have no interest in the British Royal family. None. Zero. Zip. I could not identify Kate Middleton from a line-up of two people. That lack of knowledge does not bother me a bit.  Apparently, Kate Middleton is having a baby. 

Why would anyone care if she is having a baby? These people are just members of the lucky sperm club. If the "occupy" types want to complain about the super-rich and successful people of the world, they should focus on people like Mr. and Mrs. Kate Middleton (I know, relax) instead of hard-working businessmen. Royalty is one group who became rich from the labors of the common folk. Everything they have was taken from someone else.

This is my first and last post about the Royal Baby. I have more interest in my neighbor's azalea bushes, and I don't care about them at all.

Yet another post

What happened was a young Hispanic man shot a black man in self defense, was tried by a jury of women and somehow...it’s a white man’s fault.  Steve King

When it comes to the Zimmerman affair, can we at least dispense with the fairy tale Martin was a frightened, innocent, young teenager just walking down the street eating Skittles?  This was no little boy, he was 6'2" and bigger than Zimmerman.  He attacked Zimmerman primarily because he thought Zimmerman was a sexual predator. This is according to the prosecution and their star witness.

Scared people hide, call the cops, or seek help, they do not attack their stalker.

Was Zimmerman guilty of being an ass? Was he stupid?  Did he deserve to get his ass beat?  Yes. Yes. And yes. But if being a stupid asshole was a crime, most registered Democrats would be in jail.

I guess the only alternative outcome that would please the some of you is that Zimmerman got his head banged on the ground until he passed out, or got brain damage, or died. 

July 21, 2013

Friday Music on a Sunday

Here is my favorite band recorded live a few months ago. maybe this music can erase the stain of my Friday Music post.

You can get their new album at iTunes, Amazon, or cdbaby. Why not spend a few bucks and help out some struggling musicians?  Do it for the little puppies. Do it for the starving children on Tristan da Cunh. If you buy the album Global Warming will cease. Buying a copy of this album will ensure World Peace, stop illegal immigration and solve the New Chinese Yaun/Dollar exchange rate dilemma.  Buying and listening to this album will bring people of the world together as one -- Muslims will hug Jews, Irish Catholics will tip a beer with their Protestant cousins. The two Koreas will challenge the two Chinas to a game of cornhole. Purchasing this album will be better than buying the World a Coke in bringing about perfect harmony. As an added bonus your purchase will help the boys get this month's rent money.

July 20, 2013


Just what did Billy Joe McAllister and that chick throw off the bridge anyway?

July 19, 2013

Friday Music

Otter complained in the comments about last week's Friday Music selection.  Perhaps this is more your speed, Big Brother.

For the rest of you, my apologies.

Putting the Treyvon affair into perspective

read this

What he said.
Link is fixed.
Comment to your heart's content. 

July 18, 2013

Thank you F-ing Democrats

Good news for me, all thanks to the Democrat Party!

I will see my health insurance premiums increase 13.8% starting August first, primarily due to the costs of ObamaCare. This horrible legislation has cost my family plenty already. My premiums are going up, my wife has had her hours cut (Yes, Jay Carney it has happened).

Only a stupid fucking economically illiterate Democrat could believe you can give benefits to more people and not have costs go up. Every Democrat in these United States can line up and kiss my hairy ass. I will make sure to fart when Blinky is back there, lips pursed.

This is one sure way to ruin a good mood on a beautiful day.

Secrets to a perfect boiled egg

I had a post all written in my head, but the hell with it.  The abuses and lies coming out of the White House and Justice Department will not change based on my indignant outrage. You either agree with me or you are wrong, so what is the point in bitching about it?

It is going to be a fantastic summer day. Enjoy it.

July 17, 2013

July 16, 2013

This sucks like a centrifugal pump

I had to embiggen my screen display on my laptop. The desktop icons are bigger, these words display larger. It was to the point where I was scrunched up and squinting like a two-eyed sea pirate just to see the screen. It is hard to use a computer when you are holding a magnifying glass to see the graphics. I do not need any distractions to increase my risk of offering up yet another typo.

Disease, genetics, age, too many sessions flying solo as a youth -- who knows why my nearsightedness is getting worse. I am 51. Some days I feel like I am 81.

July 15, 2013

Post-Racial Lynch Mobs

I have never been shy about expressing my opinion. I will readily admit when it comes to race I have no idea what it feels like to be a minority. My life has been insulated by geography and economics. I grew up in a small farm town not far from Nowhere, Indiana.  During the entirety of my public school years there lived exactly one black family in the entire county. They were only there for a few years. I can't say I ever had a conversation with the girl in my grade. Not because she was a person of color, I do not remember her being in any of my classes. There was a significant Hispanic population, especially in my elementary school years. They were just the kids with accents. Skin color was of no matter. My parents established that training early.

I can honestly say my first conversation with an African-American occurred at Boy Scout camp. The occupants of the next campsite down were from Indianapolis and the troop was entirely black. We hung out just like we would have with any kids the next campsite over. One boy tried in vain to put cornrows into my thick wavy hair.

There were a few African-Americans in my college fraternity. But as one of them explained to me once, they were all Oreos (think on it). I am not sure the sons of doctors and lawyers could relate the the plight of the inner-city gang-banger any better than my rural cracker ass.

With that long preamble, I am not sure how anyone who watched or read about the Zimmerman trial could think the facts were there for a conviction. It is true Zimmerman should have never left his vehicle. After that, it is all a terrible tragedy. Trying to pinpoint the exact moment the two men's fate intertwined is like trying to know just which Twinkie caused my diabetes. I believe that is called an exercise in futility.

I have seen no evidence to support Zimmerman followed or targeted Martin because he was black. There is no Federal Civil Rights case here. Sometimes juries fail to reach conclusions we desire. Casey Anthony walked, after all. We can bitch and moan about the OJ trial, but when the jury saw things differently it was not an excuse to riot, burn or take to the airwaves in outrage and demand extra charges from the Feds.

Justice should be blind. Skin color, or economics, or social standing are not relevant. Is it always so?  I do not think so, but that is no reason to argue the system is broken. Six citizens made a decision based on the facts as they heard them. Our system is designed for justice to be deliberative. A lynch mob works through emotion, not fact. We should not want it any other way. The entire situation is tragic and the families involved will never be the same.

The Sharptons and Jacksons and outraged leaders of the black community should look at the tragedy in the nation; the unfathomable rate of black-on-black crime, the astonishing rates of teen aged pregnancy and high unemployment right down the street in the black neighborhoods of our cities. One case in Florida is not a symbol of race relations. Throwing Zimmerman in jail will not solve that massive problem.
 The grievance theater is never really about the specific case, the specific shooting, it's about the links between the social problems of the black community, the compromises of civil liberties necessary to keep entire cities from turning into Detroit and the inability of the media to address the sources of crime as anything but the phantoms of white racism. It's about a black leadership that is more interested in posturing as angry activists and shaking loose some money than in healing the problems of their own communities. source
Let us stop blaming our great-great grandfathers for the ills of today's inner cities.

It is well past time we heed the words of MLK and start judging each other by the content of our character instead of the color of our skin. I am pretty sure Mr. King would agree that sentiment should be a two-way street.

July 12, 2013

Friday Music

Awesome, right?

How about a bonus, since the sun is shining and I am in a good mood?

You are welcome.

Catching up

As is often the case some of my posts this week were canned. You know that ocasionally happens. But I use a combination of salt, Fruit Fresh, Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA),  butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and my own secret preservative recipe to make my words, thoughts, opinions, and overall wisdom seem freshly produced from the field and factory.

Sometimes not having convenient access to the interwebz during my travels means I cannot keep you updated on the latest adventures in my fun-filled life.  For instance I was on this flight. I can only compliment the captain and crew for their professionalism and care for their passengers. The ground personnel at the Indianapolis Airport and bus drivers were wonderful. Once in the terminal the airline sent 1 (ONE!) customer service rep to reschedule and rebook the 78 passengers. That was not so wonderful.  I was told by some of my fellow travelers the next day the hotel accommodations arranged by the airline were beyond dismal.  As one lady put it, "crack whores and hookers would even refuse to stay there".  A couple of people looked at the rooms and went back to the airport to sleep on the floor.

It was almost 8 PM by the time I left the parking garage. My working Wednesday was almost 14 hours. Such is my life .

The next morning my rebooked flight left shortly after 5 AM. That means I had to leave home around 3 AM. I did my business and got home last night just a few minutes short of 9 PM. That equates to an 18 hour day, if my history major math holds up. I gave my employer 32 hours over two days.

I think of weeks like this when people tell me "I wish I had your job."

My boss was complaining on Wednesday morning in a conference call he had worked 9 hours on Tuesday. 

July 10, 2013

On the other hand, consider OJ

My local fishwrap carries a column by Gene Lyons, an unabashed liberal's liberal.  He never met a Republican he did not hate, and often crows the Fox News/George Bush/ Dick Cheney mantra of liberal disdain.

But this week's effort is spot on. Lyons calls out MSNBC for shoddy reporting and gives an honest take on the Zimmerman trial.

However, to convict George Zimmerman of second-degree murder, a jury must imagine this scenario: Determined to kill an innocent stranger, a man first dials 911, stays on the phone while stalking his victim, remains at the crime scene rather than fleeing, surrenders peacefully, waives his Miranda rights and voluntarily answers hundreds of police questions.
Hard to believe, no?source
In a clear case of I really, really hope I am wrong, I think the race baiters and professional victims and even the current occupant of the White House are waiting to unleash a dose of outrage if the verdict goes not according to justice, but according to race.  There are people looking to cause violence for real and imagined slights; that believe WE, as a society, owe them for 500 years of real and imagined oppression.

I think there are some who welcome a crisis as an excuse to increase their power.  What better way to get a civilian "army" than to quell 1967-type rioting across the nation?

Am I cynical beyond reason? Probably. I would sure like to admit I am wrong. In this case it would be a pleasure.

What he said part 1

Here is a post that sums up today's world in 9 words.

There is really nothing to add.

Food Pic Haters Rejoice

Yesterday I fired up my decrepit gas grill and threw on a couple of brats. I heated a can of Bavarian sauerkraut* and enjoyed a lunch fit for a Frankish King, or at least a prosperous Burgermeister. Unfortunately, I gobbled down the feast before I remembered to take a picture to excite your jealousy.
Lunch reminded me of a trip through Bavaria on my way to Austria several years ago.  We stopped at a city along the Donau (Danube).  There was an open air restaurant beside the river.  A fat waiter in a white apron spoke to my German friend. My buddy laughed and said "Only in Bavaria.  You can only have bratwurst and kraut, but what kind of beer do you want?" Unfortunately, I did not have a beer with my lunch yesterday. 

* I do not know the difference between the Bavarian style and regular sauerkraut other than perhaps the inclusion of a few scattered caraway seeds.

July 9, 2013

Mud and guns

Last week there was some discussion around here about the Siege of Vicksburg. As I mentioned, the newspapers of the time touted Grant's victory as far more impressive than the three day slaughter at Gettysburg. That was an amazing fact given the incredible Eastern theater-centric reporting of the day. In that sense, nothing has changed, the big, but infrequent battles of the East are far more famous than the bloody war west of the Appalachians.

Anyway, I was walking through the bookstore at the mall last evening when I noticed Jeff Shaara has just published his second novel about the western front of the Civil War. A Chain of Thunder  is about the siege of Vicksburg. By coincidence my wife had gifted me a gift card from Amazon, so I had the funds to score a Kindle copy when I got home.

Like all of the books by the Shaara family,  I expect this book to be well researched and fairly accurate to the historical record. Jeff's novel of the battle of Shiloh, A Blaze of Glory, is a novel nearly equal to his father's Killer Angels, which is arguably the best novel of the Civil War ever written.  If you want to argue that point in the comments,  I will listen to reason as long as your choice is not that romantic tripe Gone With the Wind.

July 8, 2013

An appropriate title goes here

Here we are on a Monday, fresh off a four day weekend and I have nothing of interest to report. I could tell you about mowing my yard, trimming my bushes but even my eyes glaze over in sheer boredom thinking about it.  The best writer in history could not make my weekend interesting to you.

Perhaps Clio or Thalia will inspire me to write a worthwhile post later this morning. Since I do not believe in the Greek gods and goddesses, it is unlikely the muses will cooperate.

July 7, 2013

Deep Thoughts for a Sunday Morning inJuly

Peanut M&Ms and hot black coffee -- the breakfast of champions (with apologies to the fine folks at General Mills and their Wheaties TM Brand.

July 6, 2013

New boss, same as the old boss

 I found myself awake and quietly treading the floors of my tiny house at o'middle of the night on Independence Day. After a time I sat down and surfed the interwebz. I took the time to reread the DoI on my July 4th post and I was struck by the list of abuses perpetrated by King George and how many our current Government has copied.

I spent some detailing those similarities for a post to be published today.. I should have just read Ed's blog -- he did the work for me. I guess it is true that great minds think alike.

See what I get for not supplying you with the very freshest of content?  See my reward for writing the old blog a few days in advance? Not only does Ed write better, he scoops me too!

I could whine and complain (I am) I could vow to get even for the imagined slight (that would take years, millions of dollars, an cost countless lives).

I would like to say I could learn from this situation.

I cannot, since I am writing this on Friday morning to publish on Saturday.

July 5, 2013

Oh, the Wells Fargo (actually UPS) Wagon is a-coming down the street...

In other news, the DVD copy of Five Masters of Death I ordered for less than $5 from Amazon is due to arrive sometime today. Also called the Five Shaolin Masters, this was one of my favorite Martial Arts flicks back in the day.

By "back in the day" I am referencing my semi-drunken college days in the early 1980's when HBO (or Showtime --whatever) had Kung Fu flicks on the schedule. We sat down in the basement of the fraternity* and watched this one repeatedly, bad dubbing and all.  It is a true classic, at least in my faded reflection.

I hope the movie lives up to my memories. If not, it was less than $5 and that is cheap entertainment in today's world.

If we can only get the great flick Waterloo re-released on DVD, my life would be nearly complete.I have a VHS copy, but it is worn out.

* I will give a silent nod to my late fraternity brother Ernie who dug Kung Fu flicks immensely.  RIP my friend. .

The other big battle

There has been a lot of press over the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. From July 1-3, 1863 Union and Confederate forces joined in a mighty battle near a small hamlet in southern Pennsylvania. Casualties topped 50,000. Pickett's Charge on the last day over the bare fields and near breakthrough of the Union center is often described as the "high water mark of the Confederacy". Only the hindsight of time can give us that perspective.

In point of fact, historians and contemporary pundits view Lee's foray into Pennsylvania as a disaster.  The campaign did little to relieve the Union pressure in the Shenandoah Valley. The battle can only be described as Confederate loss, and Lee could ill-afford the resulting 20,000-plus casualties. Mead, the Union commander, was heavily criticized for not following up the defeated Confederates, but in reality the army was exhausted and in no position to chase Lee.

Can we truly look upon Gettysburg as the "high water mark"? Nothing was accomplished by the invasion of Pennsylvania. Nothing was gained by the Union in victory. In fact, it was a battle that concluded the very next day that garnered the headlines of the times. That battle was also a Union victory, but it was won not in Pennsylvania, but 1,047 miles away at Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Grant's victory at Vicksburg put the entire Mississippi River under Union control. The Confederacy was effectively cut in half. The rich agricultural lands of Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri now could no longer support the Rebel army. The fall of Vicksburg was the proverbial straw that broke the Confederacy's back. Not Gettysburg.

New Orleans and Memphis were in Federal Control. The important rail center at Nashville was captured previously. That fall Union troops would move across Tennessee to cut the Confederacy again, and  bloody Chicamauga would result. The following year the Confederate States would see Atlanta fall and at that point the end result was never in doubt.

Gettysburg may be the popular winner of the most famous of Civil War battles, but it was the lessor and far more important fall of Vicksburg that was the crown in Union victories. One further point to prove my theory: It was Grant who was picked by Lincoln to head up the United States Army, not George Mead, after their respective July 1863 victories.

July 4, 2013

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Column 1
   Button Gwinnett
   Lyman Hall
   George Walton
Column 2
North Carolina:
   William Hooper
   Joseph Hewes
   John Penn
South Carolina:
   Edward Rutledge
   Thomas Heyward, Jr.
   Thomas Lynch, Jr.
   Arthur Middleton
Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Column 4
   Robert Morris
   Benjamin Rush
   Benjamin Franklin
   John Morton
   George Clymer
   James Smith
   George Taylor
   James Wilson
   George Ross
   Caesar Rodney
   George Read
   Thomas McKean
Column 5
New York:
   William Floyd
   Philip Livingston
   Francis Lewis
   Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
   Richard Stockton
   John Witherspoon
   Francis Hopkinson
   John Hart
   Abraham Clark
Column 6
New Hampshire:
   Josiah Bartlett
   William Whipple
   Samuel Adams
   John Adams
   Robert Treat Paine
   Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
   Stephen Hopkins
   William Ellery
   Roger Sherman
   Samuel Huntington
   William Williams
   Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
   Matthew Thornton

July 3, 2013

How about some tunes to move us into the weekend?

Sometime in the mid-1970s I was at Boy Scout camp. At one of the evening campfires one of the staff members sat down in front of the dying flames with a 12 string guitar and performed this song. It was beautiful.

July 2, 2013

When you can snatch the pebble from my hand...

Here is another view of the building from this post

Good morning


I often write posts and publish them hours or days and sometimes weeks in advance.  I make up the time stamps to fit the whim of the moment. This post is live, fresh not frozen. I am using my stubby fingers to hunt and peck away at the keyboard in real time. Locally it is 4:43. That would be in the morning. My buddy insomnia popped by  just before three and we have been hanging out since. We watched some TV. Then we decided to pay some bills and send out some work-related emails. I think we will work on our expense reports after bit.

I have always been very good at compartmentalizing. I developed the habit in college and honed it to a fine craft when I was a Customer Service Manager. It was not unusual to have a dozen problems in process on my desk at once in those busy days. The phone did not stop ringing just because I was in the middle of tracking down parts or expediting a production run. This skill allowed me to focus on the issue at hand.

In a like matter, compartmentalization allows me to relax and forget about the daily tumult and problems life and work throw at me. Until lately.

I have always been subjected to occasional bouts of insomnia. Lately it has been almost every night.   I cannot find the inner switch that allows me to shut of my brain. I thought about taking an over the counter sleep aid or even asking doctor for a script. I have always had an aversion to sleep aids and I am reluctant to take them still. In my youth I often managed to function on four hours of sleep.  At 51 I think it is a little more difficult.

July 1, 2013

Imagine my surprise

I was sitting in a comfy chair at the mall while the wife did whatever she does for what seems like hours in the stores. I was playing with my phone, checking emails, ball scores, the old blog. I played a few games of Euchre with computer opponents and partner. Bored, I clicked on my Kindle app to read a bit. On my China trip I had started a collection of Hemingway short stories. I joined the program already in progress and ran across this passage:
They came to Paris and most of their friends from the boat came back too. They were tired of Dijon and anyway would now be able to say that after leaving Harvard or Columbia or Wabash they had studied at the University of Dijon down in the Cote d'Or. *
Harvard, Columbia and Wabash. Really?  Little Wabash College is an all-male liberal arts college located in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Its total enrollment is about 900. When Hemingway penned this story it was even smaller.  How did a good, but insignificant little college located in the vast hinterlands make it into a story by Ernest Hemingway published in 1925? 

Here is a hint. Look up Ezra Pound. Click the link, I did the research for you.  All you have to do is connect the dots.

What do I know of Wabash College?  That is easy, I graduated from there in 1984.

*Mr. and Mrs. Elliott from The Complete Stories of Ernest Hemingway The Finca Vigia edition 1987

A stumbling and bumbling start to my Monday

I am not sure how this day is starting. I had a glass of milk with my donut for breakfast. As I neared the last drink I noticed there was a dried chocolate ring on the bottom of the glass the dishwasher failed to clean. This is a result of the boy leaving dirty glasses in his room for days at a time.  I dumped the last of the glass into the sink and scrubbed the glass. I felt half sick.

When  I went to sign into the old blog, my password was rejected three straight times. My first thought was I had been hacked, but then I remembered I had entered a gift card on to my Amazon account and had the caps lock on. My second thought is that a hack job would be an excuse to quit this silly hobby. Fortunately/unfortunately (depending upon your POV) you guys are my cowboy high atop Brokeback Mountain -- I cain't quit you.

It seems almost everyone in my company is on vacation this week. Not me though.   I am here at my desk early; toiling away. That is when I am not wasting time at this piece o'crap. But my workday does not officially start until 8:30, so the few minutes I waste here is OK,  especially since I logged on and started through my emails at 6:30.

It looks like we can expect another few days of rain.  I hope it dries out by the end of the week.  My oldest boy is scheduled to play a show the next town over on Friday as part of the July 4th festivities. I have not seen his band live for a few months and I am looking forward to hearing them live once again.

Don't tell my doctor, I made some homemade ice cream last night.  Sorry, no pictures.  It did not last long enough. And yes,  I did cover my portion in cashews, caramel and chocolate syrup. If I am going to spike my blood sugar, I might as well go all out!
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