July 4

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No, today isn’t July 4. Sorry if that threw you off for a moment. Hopefully you don’t tell time by the calendar of my blogging.

It was an interesting holiday, wasn’t it?

People can’t even celebrate with fireworks anymore. Governments are trying to kill that tradition with regulations (though the people in my community have done their best to try and do it anyway).

People locked down. People being mandated to wear masks. People being told they can’t gather. Celebrations cancelled. People not able to do the things they have done in the past because of fear generated by a pandemic.

People aren’t feeling so free these days. Freedom didn’t seem to ring quite as loudly this year. Freedom has had quite the damper on it from the government…kind of like back in the day, when July 4 was the culmination of people having it up their eyeballs with government interference on their daily lives. Weird.

Oh, and then there is the “woke” crowd and their “cancel culture” who need a bit of a history lesson.

Colin Kaepernick apparently needs a history lesson or three. He said he (and apparently other “woke” people) wasn’t going to celebrate the 4th of July holiday because it was a “celebration of white supremacy.” You apparently can catch that twit/tweet/whatever you call it on Twitter.

Hey, Colin, Independence Day isn’t about celebrating a race of any kind. It’s about celebrating the separation of the colonies (eventually the United States) from England. It’s about a national celebration, not a racial celebration. To add to your history lesson, there was a time when an African-American, or Black, did have a gripe about celebrating freedom because not all in the United States were free. Frederick Douglass, when he wrote and delivered “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”, was protesting slavery and the lack of political freedom for Blacks. It seems those two issues have been solved.

Is America perfect? Nope. Have people made mistakes? Yep. But to say that Independence Day is a holiday about white supremacy is just plain stupid. Should celebrating the holiday negate ALL progress made since that day? Nope. Again, plain stupidity.

America is still the best place to live and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, but I am not going to stop you if you would like to go somewhere else. Feel free to explore other places in the world.

That’s the thing about freedom, you can move anywhere you like.

Ain’t no one stopping you…well, except governments (and media) who have everyone locked down in fear.

God Bless America!

Take down

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I did something yesterday I thought I would never do, and I don’t know how I feel about it. It seemed necessary but I still question whether it was the right thing to do. I suppose it can be undone, but I am not sure how to do it so the same thing doesn’t happen.

I took down (as in deleted) a post I wrote on my other blog.

It was a pretty good post, at least I thought it was.

Apparently, other people thought so too, except for the wrong reasons.

It got some traffic after I wrote it two years ago, but not much. But I started noticing a lot of traffic to this particular post late last year. It was getting between 15-30 hits per month. I thought maybe it was because of the image. I could have been. I thought maybe it was because people were starting to make some logical sense of the topic, or maybe they just appreciated my take on the topic.

The last two months have had over a 100 and over 150 respectively. Hmmmm….

So, I Googled the title. It was third on the list of search results. Usually this would be a great thing and most of the time we would be flattered to be ranked so highly in a Google search because it means our writing is getting exposure. But…

That’s when I discovered that maybe the increase in traffic was because it had suddenly become the flash point, rallying cry, support, ammunition, (whatever you want to call it) for a group I have no association with, nor do I want to have. I don’t want to have something I have written be co-opted and used as propaganda to their “cause.”

I debated what I should do. How do I get it to NOT show up as part of the search for this group? Do I change the title? Would that help? Do I rewrite it so the phraseology changes the search algorithm? Do I remove the image or change it? Do I just put a disclaimer on it saying that I am in no way associated with or want to be associated with the group in the search results?

I finally decided to change the title first, but couldn’t come up with an equally good title. But, I did it anyway. I then updated and published it. Yeah, that didn’t/doesn’t seem to make a difference. It still shows up in the search results with the old title. It’s just when you click on the link that it takes you to the newly edited post. Doesn’t appear as though that would work.

So, I deleted it.

I searched again. Still there in the search results. Only now when you click on the title, it gives you a 404 error message…but if you click on the cached link, it still takes you to the post. UGH. Now what? I am not sure how long it will be there (or if it will ever go away).

I hate censoring myself in this manner, but I also don’t want something I wrote about historical matters to be used in the wrong way or by a group I don’t want to be associated with. Know what I mean?

Anyone have advice on this?

Loud and clear

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You ever feel like you are under-appreciated?

We just passed a holiday of sorts – Father’s Day.

I remembered my dads. I have three (dad and two FILs). It’s an easy thing to do, right? Talk to one, remember the others. Acknowledge them, appreciate them, take time out of your day to help them feel special for a moment. Doesn’t take a long time, but it is important.

Now, background here…I married into a lot of kids the second time around. Most of them adults by the time they came into my life. So now, including spouses of the kids who are married, there are eight.

Could of days ago, I heard from three.

That’s it. Three.

Didn’t hear a peep from 5 of the 8. There haven’t even been any “after the fact” acknowledgements either.

So, now full disclosure, you know the source of a LOT of the Piss and Moan material.

I try to deny the fact and ignore it, but there just isn’t any denying it.

Look, I realize they have another dad. I haven’t ever expected to be the top of the list. But at the very least acknowledged? Yes.

I am not looking for anything fancy, lord knows that most of them can’t afford crap (see other, numerous, posts about adult children living in our house or on our property). But it doesn’t take much to make someone feel appreciated, right?

Is it wrong for me to feel this way?

 

Disarm, defund, abolish?

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This isn’t even close to the answer.

Not sure what kind of fantasy land people are living in, but most people know this isn’t even the practical, let alone realistic. But, there are a whole bunch of progressive and liberal people in power who are going to placate and pander to the loudest voices even if they make no logical sense.

I hate to tell ya this, but people ain’t gonna suddenly decide to live in a Utopian world just because the police go away. It will, in fact, go exactly the opposite as people and groups clamor for power over others.

Disarm?

I can accept that some equipment might be overkill. Maybe, just maybe, the budget could be better spent on training and non-lethal tactics/equipment. Arming the police like the military might not be the answer. But taking away their weapons won’t work and we all know it. Remember those instances where even the LA police were outgunned by bank robbers? What about gangs and drug cartels? How would that work?

I can see some concessions here but, as we have seen with protests all over the nation over the last decade or more, when you take away ability of the police to maintain order in communities you get crime on a  massive scale. As such, our expectation of what law enforcement can and can’t do is going to have to change. We won’t be able to expect that they are going to respond to crimes during protests, large gathers, sports celebrations, etc.

Every massive protest or celebration in the US these days leads to looting, property damage, and usually other crimes as a byproduct of such behavior. The police have basically had to stand back and let it happen because they are overwhelmed, either by the sheer numbers of people or by the fact that they lack the ability to respond.

Seattle’s police chief said that things are going to have to change. That’s not only the way the police do their business but it’s also the acceptance from the public that you aren’t going to be safe or protected at all times.

Crime won’t get better if you take away their ability to handle it or prevent it.

Defund?

This option is bad at best, besides a veiled effort to push more socialism. You all know that a budget means, right?

What exactly are you going to defund in a police department?

Cut money from buying weapons? OK, again, maybe this might work. But again, what happens when the police are outgunned?

Cut money from training? Yeah, that doesn’t seem like a good idea either. If anything, funds could be diverted from arming to training. Taking money isn’t the answer.

Cut money from payroll? Also not real bright. Money means staff. Staff means there is someone to respond to a crime, to investigate, to rescue, to protect, to arrest those who need and deserve it. Are you really prepared to be told when you call 911 that an officer will be there in 30 minutes to 2 hours, if at all? It also means that paying (for all intents and purposes) them a quality wage. They are supposed to stand in harm’s way, right? So are we asking them to take less pay to do the same job, while being under armed and understaffed?

Do more with less? We have been doing that to teachers for years and that is clearly working (that’s sarcasm if you can’t read between the lines), so what makes you think law enforcement can do it?

Starting to get worried yet?

Disband?

Asinine.

Sure, let’s just get rid of the police department altogether. That won’t create a whole other set of issues that will have to be dealt with.

Crime will just magically disappear! Humans are naturally good by nature so there will be no problems and we’ll all live peacefully together in one big happy family…gather ’round the fire folks! We’re about to sing Kumbaya and hug and stuff.

The fact is, this won’t work either. The human heart hasn’t been fixed yet. Evil will always rear it’s ugly head and the vacuum left by an absence of law enforcement would quickly be filled by people who have no intent on sharing power, safety, or resources.

I am just not that optimistic of my fellow man. As such, I’ll be buying more guns to protect my family, friends, and property.

That is the natural assumption, right? If someone else who is armed to protect me and others is removed from my community, then I will have to fill that void myself. You can’t have it both ways – no police force AND an unarmed populace.

Can no one see how stupid this is? (That’s rhetorical, as I know there are lots of people who see this as completely stupid).

So what then?

I’ll be over here building my arsenal and fortress.

If you need me or want to visit, text me. I’ll unlock the gate, lower the bridge, pull the gators outta the moat, and tie up the attack dogs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musically debatable

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The music industry is rather strange when it comes to censorship, or self-censorship.

One country group, Lady Antebellum, has decided that it’s name needs to be changed because of the offense it may cause. So they have now officially decided to go by Lady A instead their original name.

OK, I get it. That is their right and they are certainly being sensitive to the times and their fans (or potential fans). For them, it makes sense and I certainly won’t stop listening to them when they come on the radio because they decided to change their name.

The interesting thing about the music industry is that they seem to have a double standard when it comes to language. Musicians are now using explicit language in their music a lot more often than they used to.

It’s a strange trend, really, with the rise of streaming services and ways to get music delivered to you without having to purchase something the entire general public might listen to.

Regular old radio broadcasts never had such language or it was “bleeped” out. CDs eventually had the “explicit” label on the cover so people knew what they were buying. Streaming services today even let you filter your music so that you don’t have to play explicit songs on the stations you are listening to. All perfect examples of ways to make sure the public gets the music they want without having to listen to things they don’t want.

WHAT I DON’T GET

What I don’t get is how the music industry continues to allow artists to publish and distribute music with the N-WORD in it.

How is this still a thing if there is such a debate about the use of the word?

If nearly everyone finds it offensive and people are being publicly tarred and feathered on social media if they have ever uttered the word at some point in their past, then how are current artists still allowed to use it?

Certain genres even seem to thrive on the use of the N-WORD.

I’m not talking about artists from last decade or several decades ago (though they still seem to use it also). I am talking about current household names, modern, up-to-date, people who in certain settings object to the use of the word and then turn around and use it in their own music. Double standard much?

Why aren’t music studios taking a stand on this? Why aren’t streaming services taking a stand on this? Why aren’t artists calling out other artists for the use of the N-WORD? Why does the music industry continue to perpetuate the use of the word by continuing to allow it? Is it offensive or not?

Don’t even get into the whole “freedom of expression” or “artist’s voice” arguments. We all know of instances where freedom of expression has been suppressed and publicly shamed for a myriad of circumstances, so that doesn’t really apply. Right? Or is there a double standard in the music industry?

This is a subject I guess I’ll never understand.

 

 

Redefined #1

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It’s interesting how those who don’t like something are always trying to redefine it. If it doesn’t fit your agenda, redefine it so it will by turning the meaning around so it fits your message.

Here is current examples I’ve seen recently:

Looting

The definition we all understand and have used in the past is NOT a tough one to remember. It is basically stealing or taking something that isn’t yours by force. If you need a reminder of what the definition is you can look at Dictionary.com (here) and Mirriam-Webster.com (here).

My guess is that you really don’t need a reminder.

Bernie Sanders and his Socialist friends are trying to create a class war (this is a Communist tactic) by specifically trying to redefine the word during the present crisis. Maybe you have seen some of this flying around social media.

The looting of America has been going on for over 40 years – and the culprits are the ultra-rich.  ~ Bernie Sanders

American billionaires got $434 billion richer during pandemic. (widely reported by news media)

So, people who spent their lives building a business and positioning themselves in a place to prosper are going to be faulted for consumers going to their place of business to buy supplies?

Example: Amazon (I mean, because it is so obvious). It was literally set up so that you could order anything, any time, from anywhere, and have it delivered to your doorstep. It was set up to make it as convenient for you as possible. And you love it.

So consumers were forced, or they willingly complied, to stay home and order things online. This is exactly why the business was created or has adapted to the changing retail landscape. They didn’t do anything wrong and is perfectly acceptable for them to do. That would make them pioneers and visionaries in retail, right? As such, it’s perfect for those who have had the foresight to establish, or adjust, a business that has this capability.

Why then would you fault Jeff Bezos or any other person for making money during the pandemic? This is what a business is for. To make money. By ordering online. As far as I can tell, he wasn’t price gauging people for the goods he was selling. Prices didn’t suddenly and ridiculously increase because of the situation. He wasn’t taking advantage of the situation. He literally continued to do what he set up his business to do.

Sure, there were probably some 3rd party sellers who may have taken advantage of the platform and increased prices. Sure, that will always happen. That isn’t new to any crisis. But was it a systemic, company wide policy/effort to defraud the population? No. Amazon and others worked to correct the issue as it was discovered and reported.

Look, I think it is clear that the work of a political party is trying engender bitterness, anger, and dissatisfaction with people who make money in legitimate ways. They are trying to pit the poor, and even the middle class, against those who are rich. For them, they can’t gain ground politically any other way so redefining words and making the word to encompass a broader meaning means that they stimulate mistrust and hatred.

This word being redefined is nonsensical. Let’s keep it a crime and not turn it into something it isn’t.

 

 

Fraud

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Confirmation.

Only it isn’t the kind our state needed or wanted. Yet, we now know without a doubt that the governor and the health department had an alternative agenda. Revelations like this have a pretty serious implication on the state’s economy, but literally on lives of people who never had the virus, won’t ever have the virus, but are struggling with the isolation or unemployment.

Not only is our state the victim of a massive fraud in unemployment claims, but the governor seems unwilling or unable to deal with it. Instead, he cancels his usual briefing and sends an underling to take the heat. Leadership, eh?

Now, we have confirmation on how the governor’s agenda has played out. Many people, in states all over the US, have suspected for a long time that deaths in their states were being reported as “covid deaths” even though the person died of other causes. Pad the numbers. Make it look worse than it is. Justify lockdowns and killing jobs/the economy by making a totally survivable illness more dangerous than it is. Inflate the numbers for an agenda.

Are you people paying attention to what is going on in your state? Your country? Are you taking the government at its word or are you just hunkered down in fear, waiting for when they tell you “it is safe to come out”?

Conspiracy? No. But there are definitely some who are taking advantage of you while you are living in fear and being distracted by infectious chaos. Do you still believe that all who are in government are looking out for your best interest? If you do, no matter what side of the aisle you are one, then you’re naive at best…but I fear that maybe, if you are one of those who takes everything the government and media tells you without skepticism and cynicism, that you are something worse than naive.

And that is something to fear.

 

 

 

 

Free?

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…O’re the land of the free and home of the brave.

That’s the last line of the national anthem. You know, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The one that apparently some find offensive, but that’s a topic for another day.

Anyway, I think we have seen rather clearly that “home of the brave” is not really the country we live in any longer. That is likely a subjective statement. I mean, there are lots of brave people out there still, but there seems to be far more people who would rather not rise to a challenge and would rather make things easy and comfortable.

With that ease, comes the previous line.

“Land of the free.”

That line refers to the rights and freedoms we have as citizens of the United States. Freedom from government control and abuse. That is something to be celebrated and protected.

BUT, the land of the free apparently has taken on a different meaning to an astoundingly large group of people (yes, Dems, I am looking at you…).

Now, it seems, land of the free means giving stuff away to those who don’t deserve it. Moreover, giving it away to people who aren’t even citizens of the country. We have already seen in California that the governor & legislature wants to give away $75 million in stimulus money to illegal immigrants in the state, not to mention health services and education and other benefits they already have been giving away. Lawsuits over this giveaway are in the process, but in the meantime those who don’t deserve taxpayer money are getting it for free.

Washington now wants to follow the same path, only Seattle wants $100 million. Not only does the state turn a blind eye to those who are here illegally, but now it wants to reward them too.

It makes no sense.

There are lots of things that I am willing to pay taxes for, even with the fact that there is a huge amount of waste and inefficiency in government. But what I am not willing to do is to pay taxes to give to people who aren’t supposed to be here in the first place. I wouldn’t go to another country and expect that I get a handout, regardless of whether I am working or not. I’ll earn my money, thanks. I certainly wouldn’t expect to get money after breaking the law to get there and stay there. How does that make sense?

Government should be small and responsive. When it isn’t, there is a problem. There’s been a problem here for a long time and the prospects for it getting worse are frightening.

 

Red line

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Remember the “red line”?

You know, the one about Syria. Where a former President said that if the government of that country took certain actions then that would cross a red line and then action against said government would be taken in a direct and forceful manner? I know you can recall it. Remember how the red line kept moving? How conditions were met, but the red line just kept getting farther away and the requirements kept changing?

Let me submit for your consideration another red line instance.

A red line that keeps moving but for different reasons. This time, it can be seen at some national department levels, but mostly at the state & county & even the city level with certain government officials and this whole pandemic thing.

Remember how we were told the pandemic was coming and there was a red line that couldn’t be crossed or we would be in big trouble?

You know, “flatten the curve” and all that jazz? Let’s “stay home, stay safe” so we can keep our hospitals from being overrun with the sick? So there wasn’t a major lack of supplies and all?

Well, it seems the curve has been flattened and we never actually got to the red line, but for some reason the red line keeps getting pushed farther and farther out.

The first message was, “We need to do this to keep people safe and to keep the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.” Red line 1.

Okay. This is unknown, and temporary, so sure why not? We can do this so we can get more info.

Then the message was, “OK, this seems to be working, so let’s do it for just a little bit longer so testing can catch up.” Red line 2.

Seems reasonable, but this might actually not be needed. I am a reasonable adult and can make smart choices and be cautious without being told what I can’t and can’t do.

Now the message is, “We’re going to extend the ‘stay home, stay safe’ order because it worked and there isn’t a vaccine or a cure yet and we think everyone should continue to be isolated while we pick the winners and losers in the economy. Schools, businesses, and public areas may or may not open based on a plan that will take weeks, if not months, maybe years, to implement. Please heed the warnings of forecasts that are about as good as weather reports and trust us that we’re doing this because we know best.”

Red line 3.

So, we are being forced to obey the will of the government, by force in some cases, Constitution and rights be damned. Um, is the government working FOR us or AGAINST us here?

I get the red line. The first one was necessary. The second, questionable. But the third? Not so much.

There are few things more irritating than changing expectations or goals that can’t be met because the goal line keeps changing.

As citizens, I think it is time to step up and let the government know, again, who draws the lines and what we are willing and not willing to do, and when we are willing to do it.