Rip Snorter's Blog
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September 28, 2006, 9:44 amSelective abhorrance of terrorism
Not many years ago, 1987, maybe, the Israeli Defense Forces, moved into Lebanon to intervene in a war between the Christian Phalangists and the Palestine Liberation Front forces.
As they did so, the UN personnel and the PLO combat personnel evacuated by ship, leaving a non-combatant, mostly un-armed population of 1000 Palestinians at the major PLO base at Shatilla, Lebanon.
The Israeli forces moved to surround Shatilla, but didn't enter it. They locked it up so nobody could leave, and brought the Christian Phalangists in to do the dirty work. For 36 hours they lit the sky with flares while the Christians moved in and slaughtered all 1000, every man, woman and child at Shatilla.
A few managed to survive, hiding under the bodies of the dead until the dust settled and the gunfire stopped. Then the Israeli loudspeakers came on. "We are only looking for terrorists. No one else will be harmed. (words to persuade any unlikely survivors to come out with their hands up."
No US president ever became outraged by the slaughter, clearly a military action. Clearly no terrorist act. No wars on THIS terrorism, because the right people were killed by the right people.
We in the US never liked Palestinians. They didn't give up their homes and their land easily enough to suit us when we created the Zionist state of Israel. When they were shoved off into filthy camps in Gaza and elsewhere, they threw rocks at cops and got their ugly pictures in the papers.
The PLO became a leading force among them, dedicated to trying to get the ancestral homeland back by any method. They killed Europeans. Killed some good Americans. Bastards. Their leader dressed the way Jesus must have dressed, dressed the way Matthew, Mark Luke and John probably dressed. Didn't shave often enough.
Let the Christians slaughter them all they want, was the world reaction. They ain't getting their land back. We gave it away, and we wouldn't have done it if we didn't know what was best.
Let the Christians kill them all.
The Lebanese Christian Phalangists did their work at Shatilla, but they ran out of steam. So we had to declare war on terrorists to expand the job.
A holy war with the right people killing the right people.
We've got to do it, because they hate us (gotta wonder why), because of the unprovoked 9/11 attack, because, as luck has it, they're sitting on the oil we need to keep the country running.
And, of course, as everyone knows, they want to destroy us.
(Edited in: I've composed this from memory of the events of the time. Some minor inaccuracies, names of places might be wrong or miss-spelled. But this is a generally accurate description of an actual event as it happened, including the reaction of the world (Europe and the US) during the aftermath.
Last Edited: September 28, 2006, 10:05 am
September 27, 2006, 12:26 pmWhat the numbers didn't do and when they didn't do it
Trying something a bit different just for the heck of it.
Using the Mass 4-minute keno draws for the past few days as a windsock, I'm taking a shot at using them to predict the mid-day pick 5 and UK Daily 7/27 draws for today.
Mass Keno approximately:
- 1PM 09/26/06 is draw number 801633
- 1 PM 09/25/06 Draw number 801333
- 1 PM 09/24/06 draw number 801137
I chose 1 pm because it gets you into the neighborhood of the times of the mid-day pick 5s, roughly.
Once you have the draws for the general time period from the Mass Lottery, it's just a matter of going to the draws and finding matches for the draw you're looking for during that two-hour, say, period.
I've posted more-or-less full wheels for Virginia, Indiana, and Missouri mid-day draws, and for the UK National, for the today draws using combinations derived by this method.
What the numbers do today, and whether they did something similar on the Mass Lottery 4-minute keno games remains to be seen.
But if they did it, and if they do it again, it might be of some use, knowing it.
Unlike knowing what some current-day political hack claims some political hack of the past did or didn't do. Whatever that hack did, he ain't gonna do it again tomorrow and if he could it won't make you any money.
Last Edited: September 27, 2006, 12:28 pm
September 27, 2006, 8:03 amCity-slicker coyotes
Last night one of the cats awakened me from the window, even though that window's now covered with foggy plastic. I don't know how she was able to pick up on what was going on outside, but I glanced at the monitor for the security camera when I saw the security light was on in the yard.
A spring coyote pup was out there wandering around checking things out. That one's going to be a problem before too long, I'm thinking.
Old timey country coyotes were as cunning as a living creature can be, but they could be depended upon to behave in certain ways. They had a healthy respect for the cunning and destructive abilities of humans. Out away from town one of the ways a person could keep down the number of coyotes coming in close bothering what wasn't to be bothered was to urinate around the chicken house daily, and around the perimeter of where you didn't want them.
When a person was bothered by with coyote-trouble, it would be a single one, not the entire pack. The person could study him, identify him by a dozen traits, figure out his habits, and take him out without having to go after the whole pack.
Not so, these newfangled city coyotes.
I read in National Geographic magazine, I think it was, or maybe Smithsonian, yeah, I think it was a Smithsonian that Jeanne gave me, that coyotes have done a turnabout during the last 15 years.... nobody understands why.
There's a new kind of coyote moving into the cities and towns, first time anyone knows about, and they're living right there among us. The article focused on the ones in one of the parks in Washington D.C.
I suppose I have more respect for the intellect of country coyotes than perhaps any other wild creature. To be honest, I hate to even contemplate what's going to become of things when a large population of them grows up in cities unfraid of people, watching people, same as they do in the wild, studying them, learning from them.
We haven't heard the last of this.
Last Edited: September 27, 2006, 8:11 am
September 26, 2006, 9:49 pmThis guy's cool!
Costs nothing and doesn't even require that you believe in it before you give it a try, if you are of a mind to:
Willard Fuller website (link)
Doctor Willard Fuller
September 25, 2006
In America, over one thousand people a year since 1960 have received gold, silver, or porcelain in their cavities through the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Willard Fuller. People of many faiths as well as people with no religious affiliations, have witnessed these special healings and many of them have received healings of their own.
Over the past several years many spiritual healers have visited Evangelist Fuller to talk with him about many unusual phenomenon which occurs through his prayers. When this man, Willard Fuller, prays for people, these things do occur!
God fills teeth!
(from the website)
It's a miracle!
"While you watch, you'll witness amalgam fillings turning to gold, while crooked teeth are straightened and, even quite often, new teeth can be seen growing in!"
Testimonials: After two oral surgeons and a dentist told her she needed a root canal, which would cost around $1,000, retired nursing assistant, Audrey Rowley, of Clearwater, Florida, said of her new gold filling: "I spent nearly 30 years in the medical profession...I know how crazy this sounds...I'm still in awe of the whole thing. Now I have the insight that the Lord can do anything."
"My glaucoma and high blood pressure were both healed." -Louise Metzger, Garden Grove, CA
"My skin cancer healing was confirmed by the dermatologist." -Linda Gunst, Richmond, VA
"After a year of excruciating pain, the hernia is completely healed." -Faye Channing, Ojai, CA
"You have truly saved my life- and changed my life forever." -Colleen Adams, Cheyney, PA
Willard Fuller: Minister of Healing to the whole person.
For the past 43 years, this man of faith has traveled throughout all of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Russia, Australia, and both the British& French West Indies, ministering to the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of those who are seeking truth. Over 160,000healings, 40,000dental, have manifested, as a result of his ministry.
Willard Fuller, who has academic degrees in Business Administration, Electrical Engineering, and Theology, has had extensive academic training in psychiatry and psychology, which together with the experience of counseling thousands of people, make him a much sought-after individual counselor. His work can be described as sacred psychology, a psycho-spriritual approach.
Founded in 1968, based on the teachings of Jesus, the Lively Stones Fellowship, Inc.(I Peter 2:5) is an international ministry with an interfaith perspective.
Sponsors have all said: "What Willard promised, came true. Cavities were filled; amalgam fillings were transformed to gold; beautiful shiny crowns appeared, where before there were none; and many other bodily healings were manifested. It was truly a faith-building experience." Larry Swartz, Minister, Unity of Tuscon, AZ
"During Rev. Fuller's hands on healing services, I have personally seen teeth move, silver fillings turn to gold, facial bone structure of the jaw move and shift into alignment, silver fillings appear, gold crowns appear and existing fillings disappear. This healing experience comes with my highest recommendation." -Barbara Waterhouse, Minister, Center for Creative Living, Ashville, NC
"We watched as cavities filled, old fillings turned to gold, crooked teeth became straight, and gums healed, right before our very eyes. Some of our congregation reported they experienced deep healings of one kind or another in physical, mental, emotional and circumstantial areas." - Michael Beckwith, Minister, Agape Church of Religious Science, Santa Monica, CA
What the media have to say: "God does, indeed fill teeth" -The New Times (Seattle)
"This man is a veritable traveling tooth fairy." -The Toronto Star (Canada)
"Impossible n'est pas divin! Nothing is impossible for God. Proven by Willard Fuller." - Journal De Bienne (Switzerland)
"Doctor's blackened fillings became shining precious metal." -Psychic News (London)
"Loads of People left the Atwood Center with 20 carat grins." -The Anchorage Times (Alaska)
"Holy Molars! A faith-healing dentist that, with old-fashioned prayer, brings help to thousands." - Baltimore Sun (Maryland)
"He leaves behind him, in Brisbane, people with gold fillings, plus other kinds of healing." The Australian (Australia)
"Cavities filled, broken teeth crowned, gum diseases healed along with many other kinds of healing." Omni Magazine
Also featured in articles in Cosmopolitan, Rolling Stone, Women's Day, The Time Life Books, and Woman's World.
On radio & TV on P.M. Magazine, Good Morning America, Larry King Show, Primetime CBS, and The Geraldo Show.
September 26, 2006, 8:34 pmWhat's wrong with zealotry?
Probably no human trait has caused more misery, bloodshed, pain and general deviltry in history than political, or religious zealotry.
Political, or religious zealotry. The deadly twins. They aren't two separate traits. Political, or religious zealotry are just one trait following two different paths to create ugly.
Think about it. One of the reasons political and religious zealots tend to be found in the same human being lies in the fact that religious zealots have already graduated with honors from the school of blind faith.
Communism? 3/4 century of human misery caused by political zealotry. Cambodia? The Inquisition? The Mormons having to flee to Utah? The 3rd Reich? Jim Jones? Wossname Christian/Patriot bossman wanting to assassinate wossnamisimo prez of Venezuela? The Kennedy bros. ordering the assassination of Prez Diem, was it, of our ally, South Vietnam? The Kennedy bros., themselves getting assassinated?
Political, or religious zealotry.
Today it isn't getting better, as a person might have expected, because of the collapse of Communsim world-wide. It's gotten a lot worse. We've got Moslem zealots, Christian zealots, and ex-prez BJ wives all in the game of zealous one-upsmanship.
This ain't cutting it. It's not making your lives happier, and it's sure as hell not making them better.
One of the things I like best about the teachings of the Buddha is the emphasis on moderation, the cautions against zealotry.
Religious moderates have never burned one another at the stake. Political moderates have never dragged out the guillotine to punish the opposition. They never built any gas chambers and ovens. No political or religious moderate ever pulled the trigger on anyone, ever dropped a bomb on anyone except in self-defense.
Political, or religious zealotry. Human traits worth hating, but they usually only hate one another. Moderates never bother to hate anyone.
Moderates. Nice, easy living sort of term.
September 26, 2006, 8:13 pmQuick Pick Candidates
Jeanne (luckierlady) told me the other night on the phone that Ann Richards is dead.
I had a flash of memory of a movie I saw a long time ago, first scene of which was a funeral. Everyone there went up for a close, squinting look at the corpse. Someone even poked it with a needle, just to make sure the corpse was really a corpse.I never set high store by Ann Richards, though I don’t suppose she was any worse than most of the career politicians. But it’s comforting to know that if she’s ever going to be in the White House, it won’t be this lifetime.
Fifteen, seventeen years ago I was standing in a poll-booth looking at a ballot. It suddenly dawned on me there was nobody on the ballot I would prefer to see in office over some name picked randomly out of the phone book.
That’s when I quit bothering to vote. That’s also why I quit bothering to vote.
Selecting from a set of names, none of whom you can endorse without being overcome with guilt and a feeling you’ve betrayed the country you love isn’t my idea of fulfilling a civic duty.
- I believe everything the Republicans say about Bill and Hillary Clinton.
- I believe everything the Democrats say about this guy now, step 2 of the 3-step Bush Dynasty.
- I believe everything Todd and Konane say about the rad-lib Demos in Congress and the Senate.
- And I feel an absolute certainty I believe whatever it is the Demos in Congress and the Senate are saying about the Republicans.
The only time those folks can be depended upon to tell the truth is when they're talking about one-another.
I don’t want any of them in office.I think it’s time for a set of Quick Pick candidates on every ballot.
Guys in black helicopters swoop down and snag a pedestrian:
“Mr. President, would you come with us, please. You won’t need that wig and lipstick where you’re going.”
“Excuse me, Madam Congressman. Would you mind leaving that brat with the woman beside you and come with us?”
“Take off that bib full of nails and put down that hammer, Senator. You have a job to do.”
“No. We’s not looking for a good time, Congresswoman. And you are not under arrest. Please put on something longer and less shiny and get into the helicopter.”
“If you’ll turn down that boombox, Mr. Vice President, you’ll hear us better…..Thanks. We need you to turn your hat around and come with us.”“Interesting piercings and tattoos, Governor. If you’re hmmm carrying anything you want to get rid of you might step into that restroom over there for a moment. We’ll wait. We’ll all be going through some metal detectors and past a lot of sniffer dogs. ….. Come back here! Get him!”
Heck of an improvement over what we have now.Jack
Last Edited: September 26, 2006, 8:16 pm
September 25, 2006, 5:26 pmNone of the Above Foundation
I've been thinking for a while about what a person might do with a jackpot win to bring about some changes in the political zealotry in the US. It's something gone rabid, Democrats and Republicans going at one another with their wolf-teeth.
In the past I'd thought when, yeah, when I win a large jackpot, I'd put up a Zen Monastary with some refinements into other avenues of metaphysical and spiritual pursuit.
But the last couple of days have convinced me that Zen Monastary cum Spiritual Healing Center will have to wait for the second major jackpot win.
The first one's going to create the None of the Above Foundation. That foundation is going to do everything legally and monitarily possible to make certain no incumbent will ever serve a second term in office.
Somewhere down at the roots of everything that's gone wrong with America is the career politician, the power, the retirement and health benefits, the near-thing bribes and special interest supports giving them motives to stay in office.
A hundred million or so going to make sure they don't get re-elected might just help a lot. In fact, it might just spawn a None of the Above political party.
We need people in national elected offices who get out and live in the land. We need folks such as, say, fjxsterling up there in the Senate, or the House. People who've felt the pain of the problems everywhere at street level. People who aren't going to sit still for any air-castle election time feeding frenzy illusions to deal with real problems.
I can see it all now.
Vote for FJX Sterling
Rush Hates Him
Heck, I'd register to vote.
Last Edited: September 25, 2006, 5:28 pm
September 24, 2006, 8:26 pmLittle man
During the early 1990s I had a lady friend with whom I was close enough to exclusively share a few years of my life. Interior decorator lady who grew up in the same town and entirely different social strata than I did. I first remember noticing her in the fifth grade, and from then until the time I left that berg as a high schooler, I don't believe she ever spoke to me. She was upper crust and I was somewhere down there below the lower crust.
Anyway, 30-35 years later we spent a few years together seeing one another every day and night. She had a lot of strong points, beautiful woman, smart, and good intentioned. I'd mentioned to her once that it used to really hurt my feelings in school on Valentine Day. I hated it, all those kids getting valentines from one another and I didn't get any.
Valentine Day, maybe 1993, '94, I headed down to her house after work. Came in the door and fell over. She'd decorated the house with valentines, fed me a piece of cake shaped like a valentine, and handed me a box shaped like a valentine wrapped.
Made me open it. Crazy woman had filled that box with old timey valentines like were around when we were kids...... full, chock full that box was, with valentines claiming to be from we went to school with, all addressed to Doyce...... that was me in them days.
Crazy stuff. I've cried maybe twice during my adulthood, but for some reason I was having to hold back tears on that one.
But that isn't why I'm writing this blog. I just wanted to preface the next thing with that one, so you'd understand she wasn't a bad person underneath everything.
Anyway, she had two habits I found particularly irritating, aside from being miserable and liking to spread it around, toward the end of our relationship.
She pronounced the "G" in guacamole. Drove me nuts. Knew better, but maybe couldn't remember, maybe didn't care.
Secondly, she had this thing I figure came from being upper-crust as a kid. "You find someone to work on the roof?" I might ask.
"Oh yes," she might warble. " Hired this little Mexican man."
When I see the guy, he ain't little. He's 240 pounds. But he is Hispanic.
"Oh!" she might say. "I hired this little Indian woman to do some beadwork for me."
Turned out the little Indian woman was taller than her and weighed in heavier than the roof repair man.
You get the picture. Non-Anglo-Saxons were little, particularly if they were hired to do something.
Anyway, when we parted company she decided she hated my bloody guts for being the only man to ever be the one to do the breaking up in her life.
But if I could, I'd like to send her over to LuckierLady's (link) blog. I'd like her to see a white guy who really was little. Since I can't do that, I'm telling you, instead. If you follow the links there's a pretty good story.
We had a couple of guys sort of like that where I grew up. One was a vet didn't seem to have anything below his bellybutton except a platform with skate wheels. Sold pencils on one corner. I don't know what was wrong with the other one. Drove to the square in a tiny car he'd made himself from a kit, called a King Midget. Sold pencils the other side of the square.
I ain't feeling so chipper today. Haven't been able to work on the numbers atol. Got me thinking, with all this winterizing I'm doing on the house, that I need to rig some kind of escape door for the cats. If I go cold and exit the vehicle I don't want them stuck in here with my corpse until someone finds it.
Last Edited: September 24, 2006, 8:33 pm
September 24, 2006, 9:24 amLaptop Suicide Bombers Strike
Looks as though laptop computers have joined the scary, non-English-speaking darker-skinned people of the world in a plot to destroy America. Laptops are evidently able to recognize we're better than them and hate us for it, same as all those others. I haven't established whether these came from countries with large oil reserves they're selfishly hoarding:
Fire in the hull!9/21/2006
For the last several months, there have been numerous reports of laptops catching fire. The problem is that the battery overheats. Yikes!
Now, there is an e-mail making the rounds. It mentions that a Dell laptop was just sitting closed on a desk. It caught fire at Yahoo! headquarters.
The fire department was called. People had to vacate the building for some 45 minutes. It's a very scary picture.
Is it true? Yes, it happened this past week.
Imagine if this happened in your home or office and no one was around. Or worse, you were sleeping.
So, check your laptop maker's site for recall notices. But frankly, that may not be good enough.
A few weeks ago, an IBM Thinkpad went up in flames at the Los Angeles International Airport. A witness said, "The thing immediately flared up like a giant firework for about 15 seconds, then caught fire." Lenova, maker the Thinkpad, is investigating the matter. Thinkpads are not on the recall list.
I think we need to take some extra steps here.
I told everyone here in the studio who is using a laptop to take the battery out of their laptops and use the power supply only. And be sure to tell your family and friends too! They may not even be aware of the problems with the laptop batteries.
I recently received an email from Laura in Florida thanking me for mentioning it on my show. She was listening to the show on her way to take her iBook to the Apple store for a repair. She mentioned the Apple recall to the reps. They had not heard about it yet.
An ounce of prevention so they say...
September 23, 2006, 1:53 pmWaving the bloody flag at illegal aliens
Come on now! Let's get serious with one another about this illegal alien thing.
I don't see illegal aliens as enough of a problem to worry about. But if I did, and if my favorite politicians started talking 700 mile fences, I'd offer to set fire to their houses.
You want to stop illegal aliens? You don't have to do it at the border.
- When an illegal alien applies for a license to drive, let the MVD call the US Immigration service. They aren't allowed to do so, now.
- When an illegal alien checks into a hospital, force them under threat of criminal penalties to call the US Immigration Service. They don't do so now.
- When a policeman stops an illegal alien for running a red light, burned out tail-light, require that he call the US Immigration Service. They don't do so now.
- When an illegal alien is found to be working somewhere, send the person who hired him to prison and send the illegal alien home.
- When an illegal alien is found to be renting a house or an apartment, send the person who rented it to him to prison and send the illegal alien home. It doesn't happen now.
You aren't worried about illegal aliens.
You merely like to hear your own whines and complaints.
If you were worried about illegal aliens you'd be on the phone telling your elected representatives, your police, your hospitals, your mayors to get serious or get the hell out of the way.
Makes me glad I don't think it's a problem. And damned confident that neither do you.
September 23, 2006, 9:50 amA few subtle ways to become a good American (and a good human being)
Being a good American and a good human being isn't about waving a flag, hating Democrats or republicans, Muslims, or people who say ugly words about political leaders. It ain't about fear, hysterical dialect, consumerism and waste.
Being a good American and a good human being is about personal responsibility. About having enough confidence and courage not to feel threatened by every little thing. About assuming the responsibility of not being part of the problem any more than is absolutely necessary. About self-reliance.
Sometimes it's not obvious how a person might accomplish those things.
- On a personal level your life will find itself a lot better place if you can recognize the fact you are going to die as a means of exiting it. Maybe disease, a car wreck, any of a thousand common ways that don't have a damned thing to do with any foreign country, foreign leader, foreign war. You are going to die. No point in going into frenzies of terror and hate because the death you get stands a billion-to-one shot at being the act of a terrorist. Trust me on that. You are going to die, and I'll only be the tiniest, most microscopic bit of a liar when I tell you it won't be from anything any foreigner does to cause it.
- On a personal level you'll find it's a hell of a lot better place if you can learn what is your own business, and what isn't. If you can change it, it's your business. If you can't, it ain't worth concerning yourself with, getting all worked up about.
- On a personal level you'll find your life's a lot better place if you spend considerable energies looking at it, instead of other places, looking at what you like about it, and what you don't like about it, and changing what you can. Looking in a metaphorical mirror at the sort of person you are and asking yourself if that is the sort of person you want to be. You can't change the kind of person the prez of bongobongoland is, but you can change the kind of person you are into someone you have more respect for. No one respects a dishonest, hysterical coward, including you when you see it in others.
If all of us could pull that off our own lives would be a lot better, and America would be a better place for it. But insofar as personal responsibility and being a good American, we can expand on that a bit. Here are a few things a good American might do without having to shout from the rooftops about what an admirable person he/she is:
Dependence on hydrocarbons is the ultimate problem of this nation you say you love.
- Be conscious of your own energy use.
- Every plastic grocery or garbage bag, every foam-plastic hamburger box, no matter where it was produced, drives up the price of oil.
- Every time you fire up that hair-dryer you drive up the world-wide price of hydrocarbons.
- Every made-in-China yellow ribbon you buy to stick on your car drives up the price of hydrocarbons world-wide, increases the demand.
- Every made-in-China flag made of nylon you wave drives up the price of oil and increases worldwide demand.
- Every new plastic radio, CD player, computer monitor. Every plastic wrapper from that frozen pizza pie. Every celophane cover and foam plastic bottom covering the piece of animal you're having for supper and sending to the landfill afterward is driving up the world-wide competition for oil.
- Sure, there's the other obvious things. The things Jimmy Carter used to beg you to do when he was prez, to help you quit relying on foreign petroleum products. Turn down the heater. Turn up the thermostat on the AC. Don't drive anymore than you have to. Which, of course, you didn't care for then and immediately forgot when he left office (which is part of the reason you're in the fix you are in now.)
But there's a lot more to being a good American, as opposed to a good human being. Here are a few more ways you could try to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem:
Quit buying ANY foreign product if you can avoid it. Even if it saves you a few cents. Just say no. Refuse and make it clear why you're refusing.
If this country is going to survive another century the population is going to have to begin manufacturing what it consumes, energy-wise and every other wise. Building hamburgers to sell back and forth to one another isn't enough to keep a country sound.
Americans are going to have to produce products, and the other Americans are going to have to buy them. We can't continue indefinitely sending our chunks of our trade deficit off to bongo-bongoland for petroleum, to China for plastic bags, television sets, seat covers and rubber monster toys. We can't starve out our farmers by buying agricultural products from Mexico and Argentina.
Being a good American involves a hell of a lot more than getting angry when some foreigner says something ugly about it. Loyalty to America and Americans is about keeping America alive, productive, self-reliant, healthy economically.
If we can do those things we'll find we're spending a lot less time hurling empty rhetoric back and forth, hating the owners of bongo-bongoland oil, a lot less time bombing the hell out of foreign lands, a lot less angry and full of fear and hatred.
And we wouldn't need to wave flags to prove we were good Americans.
September 23, 2006, 8:20 amA delicate balance
- We want the rest of the world to be like us.
- We want the rest of the world to want to be like us.
Time was not so long ago when the US cared so little about whether the rest of the world wanted to be like us, or not, the thought would have never entered their heads yea or nay.
What the rest of the world did was the business of the rest of the world.
The leaders of this country at the same time never wondered what the leaders of the rest of the world thought about them, or this country, nor cared.
During the Civil War, when the UK was trying to decide whether to join the French in the invasion of Mexico, the Prime Minister was saying a lot of things to Queen Liz about the leadership of the country (Abraham Lincoln), the reasons for the war, the conduct of the war, that Americans would have found painful to hear if they hadn't been too busy killing one another to pay attention.
But they'd have found those remarks between the PM and the Queen painful because they contained so much truth. Not because they cared a damn what the leaders of the UK thought about the US.
We've spent the last half-century trying to make the rest of the world want to emulate us, politically. Most of the world wasn't interested.
But we did succeed in a lot of ways nobody anticipated.
We shipped all our industry off to the countries we spent a lot of lives and treasure whupping the socks off of, trying to help them be like us.
We shipped all our industry off to third world countries because of the cheap labor trying to help them to be like us.
When we were minding our own business we had thriving industry, plenty of jobs, affluence. Anyone who wanted a job could find one.
When we succeeded in making the rest of the world in our own image in some unanticipated ways, our industry became a dead shell. All our jobs became government related, or pure government.
And in the process, the world we made in our own image wanted to be like us. They wanted cars, television sets, air conditioners, microwave ovens.
They became super-consumers. They began needing petroleum products for energy, for plastic rubber monster toys for the kids. Petroleum to run their powerplants to refrigerate. Petroleum to run their hair dryers. Petroleum to run their industries.
They became like us.
The dead hull of US industry didn't demand so much energy, but our automobiles, air conditioners and plastics requirements continued to do so.
But the rest of the world wanted it, too.
They became like us. Prices skyrocketed.
So, now we don't have any industry, don't produce anything, but still need the energy to run.
And so, also, does the rest of the world because they've done as we hoped. They became like us.
Now maybe we need to find some other ways to make them want to be like us, before they decide to be like us in some other unanticipated ways we'll like a lot less.
September 22, 2006, 11:27 pmFour Preludes to Playthings in the Wind
By Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)
"The past is a bucket of ashes."
The woman named Tomorrow
sits with a hairpin in her teeth
and takes her time
and does her hair the way she wants it
and fastens at last the last braid and coil
and puts the hairpin where it belongs
and turns and drawls: Well, what of it?
My grandmother, Yesterday, is gone.
What of it? Let the dead be dead.
The doors were cedar
and the panels strips of gold
and the girls were golden girls
and the panels read and the girls chanted:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation:
nothing like us ever was.
The doors are twisted on broken hinges.
Sheets of rain swish through on the wind
where the golden girls ran and the panels read:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation,
nothing like us ever was.
It has happened before.
Strong men put up a city and got
a nation together,
and paid singers to sing and women
to warble: We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation,
nothing like us ever was.
And while the singers sang
and the strong men listened
and paid the singers well
and felt good about it all,
there were rats and lizards who listened
...and the only listeners left now
...are...the rats...and the lizards.
And there are black crows
crying, "Caw, caw,"
bringing mud and sticks
building a nest
over the words carved
on the doors where the panels were cedar
and the strips on the panels were gold
and the golden girls came singing:
We are the greatest city,
the greatest nation,
nothing like us ever was.
The only singers now are crows crying, "Caw, caw,"
And the sheets of rain whine in the wind and doorways.
And the only listeners now are...the rats...and the lizards.
The feet of the rats
scribble on the doorsills;
the hieroglyphs of the rat footprints
chatter the pedigrees of the rats
and babble of the blood
and gabble of the breed
of the grandfathers and the great-grandfathers
of the rats.
And the wind shifts
and the dust on a doorsill shifts
and even the writing of the rat footprints
tells us nothing, nothing at all
about the greatest city, the greatest nation
where the strong men listened
and the women warbled: Nothing like us ever was.
September 22, 2006, 10:11 pmWinterizing
Today I was finishing up battening down the hatches on the old adobe for winter. The last week or so it's been into the low 40s a couple of times, nights, so I've been pecking away at putting up plastic over the insides of most of the windows to cut down on the amount of wind blowing through the house. I came across some car-covers free a while back when the lady was wrapping up at the flea market and was going to haul them to the dump because they didn't sell.
I'm cutting up those to staple over the plastic in hopes it will provide insulation. Last year it got cold enough in here to impress me with my pansyish non-pioneer spirit, even with Mexican blankets hung over all the windows and the front door on the inside.
Anyway, I ran spang out of staples and plastic, mid-job, so I toodled down to Rio Rancho Home Depot to buy more. The clerk asked me in passing, "Does it look like snow out there to you?"
I'd been asking myself the same question almost from daybreak onward. "Pretty early for it. Almost never get snow before the first of October. But it's happened."
Clerk laughed, handed me my bag, and I headed back through Bernalillo toward the mountains.
As I passed the Dollar General I was reminded I was running short of tortillas and a couple of other incidentals, so I swung in. I always take a look at their half-price clearance items, which are dirt-cheap and sometimes something a man could use.
There on the half-price clearance table was a plastic package with a hand-crank flashlight and a handcrank AMFM Weather radio. $12 regular price. Hmmm.
Some little voice in my mind says, "Jack, old man, batteries are dead on your flashlight, and likely are dead on your radio. You need to buy that $6 package of flashlight and battery just in case the power goes out for a few days."
So I put it in the plastic box hanging off my arm, picked up a few extra cans of canned fruit and fruit c*cktail, and headed for the checkout. Clerk knows me by sight and we're amiable. "You think it looks like snow out there?"
"You been talking to the guy down at Home Depot?"
"Guy down there just said the same thing. I think you might be right. That's the reason I've picked that half-price radio and flashlight off your clearance table."
Another blank look, then he squints at the plastic thingee with all that in it. "Was this on the clearance table?"
He calls the manager over. "Is this half price?"
"No. The half-price stuff was all the summer stock... barbeque things and that."
I scowl. "Okay. I'm not paying $12 for it. Don't ring it up."
"You'll buy it for $6?" She grins at me. We clown around some when I'm in there.
"Five and a half."
"Sold. Ring it up."
Sooooo. I ended up with a hand-crank charging flashlight and radio.
The hosses are getting thick coats of hair. I'm thinking it's going to be an early, bull-goose of a winter.
Mainly the radio and flashlight thing. I confess I haven't gotten a good look at what the hosses are doing, hair-wise.
As I re-read this entry I noticed the censor had edited out the nasty part of the word c*cktail. So here I was claiming I'd bought some fruit tail, which I might if I ever come across any, but this wasn't the day for it. That old censor's always catching me out when I try to use that nasty word, full-c*cked pistol, c*ck fights, and now fruit c*cktail. Lucky thing for me that old censor's on the job. Otherwise I'd be saying just awful stuff.
Last Edited: September 22, 2006, 10:24 pm
September 22, 2006, 9:20 amSailing under the Jolly Roger
One of the blessings of not knowing much about history, which most Americans carefully do not, is the blessing of not having to trouble one's self with knowing how current affairs bear a lot of similarity to past events.
"Remember the Maine" was the cry that stirred up public sentiment for the Spanish American War. The USS Maine was sunk in harbor by sabatage, which was the stated cause for that war, giving the US ownership of Cuba and the Phillipines Islands.
A couple of generations afterward, historians quietly discovered the incident was almost certainly perpetrated by the US Government.
"Remember the Lusitania" was the cry, along with the interception of the Zimmerman Telegram, that stirred up the US population against Germany and got the US into WWI. Until those two events, the US was unsure even which side it would fight on, assuming it fought. To this day, noone understands what WWI was all about. It's still a mystery to historians all over the world, except that it was clearly a doorway into WWII and the Cold War.
But by the 1980s, one fact was being quietly discovered by historians thanks to the US Supreme Court rulings involving the release of US Security Archives documents when security issues were no longer involved. The sinking of the Lusitania, and the Zimmerman Telegram were not as they were represented to the American people at the time. The Zimmerman Telegram was a complete fabrication, created and released for the sole purpose of angering Americans and provoking them to enter the war in Europe. The Lusitania was not merely an unarmed passenger ship attacked by the German navy.
"Remember Pearl Harbor" was the cry that got us into WWII. Franklin Roosevelt's famous, "Day that will live in infamy" speech was almost certainly written months earlier. There's absolutely no question among historians that Roosevelt and Churchill, in agreeing to cut off the Japanese Empire oil supply at Singapore, during a meeting in August, 1941, deliberately created a situation that left the Japanese no alternative other than an attack on the US. The intent was to force a 'surprise' attack on US territory to stir up American opinion in favor of entering WWII.
One of the reasons I consider Roosevelt the worst prez in US history is the fact he miscalculated, almost losing us WWII before we got into it. He intended the attack to come in Manila Harbor and warned the US Navy to prepare during September, October, and November, 1941. Pearl Harbor was the surprise. Sometimes people just don't behave the way we want them to.
The Spanish American War didn't need to happen, and the US didn't need to be involved in WWI. Neither would have happened without sleight-of-hand, trickery, and deliberate manipulation of public opinion.
The Japanese Empire did need stopping in 1941. So did the 3rd Reich. But the smart-alec rulers of this country couldn't trust the US population to do what was right, they believed, without trickery and lies.
One out of three ain't bad, I suppose.
Today, with the Internet and modern communications and investigative and forensics techniques, secrets are a lot more difficult to keep.
There's a growing body of evidence world-wide, that 9/11 was planned and executed by persons inside the US Government. If true, one can assume the motives for this atrocity involved stirring up public opinion to support a war.
One of the blessings of knowing much about history, which I do, is the blessing of not having to trouble one's self about what's going on in the world today. It all rhymes with the past.
Last Edited: September 22, 2006, 9:26 am