Independence Day

Independence is defined as “the fact of being independent”. The definition of independent is someone or something that is free from the influence or control of another. An example of independent is someone who lives on their own and supports them self.

Of course Independence Day was the name we gave the day we fought for and won our independence from British Rule. Starting in 1773 with the Boston Tea Party, America’s first major act of defiance against the all powerful British King George III, the Thirteen Colonies began their ten year battle for self rule, ending in the Treaty of Paris, on September 3, 1883. The story of that ten year period defines who we are as Americans. Thirteen individual Colonies, with their individual alliances and allegiances, had to first come together, then fight a unified war for American soil, and then finish off all ties fighting battles on the high seas before independence was finally achieved.

Some 6,800 Americans were killed in action, 6,100 wounded, and upwards of 20,000 were taken prisoner. It is believed that at least an additional 17,000 deaths were as the result of disease, including about 8,000–12,000 who died while prisoners of war. There was a definite price paid for Independence.

Since  that time many Americans have fought and died to insure that we maintain our independence from all tyranny. Any threat to independence is a threat to the United States, because we stand for independence, we are the poster child for freedom from tyranny. The American flag is the symbol for that awesome, world wide responsibility, and as Americans we strongheartedly and willingly shoulder that responsibility.

Cherish your freedom and independence, revere the Flag, and all it stands for, and remember those who paid the price.

Now you see it… Now you don’t. What are we……the Taliban?

The Budda of Bayan

The Buddas of Bayan in Afghanistan were crafted between 507 and 554 AD. The smaller was Shamama (“Queen Mother”) and stood 35 meters (115 Feet) tall; and the larger, Salsal (“light that shines through the universe”) stood 53 meters (174 Feet) high. These were magnificent examples of  the Gandhara style of statue construction. In 2001 the Taliban blew them to smithereens. They first used aircraft and tanks, to no avail, and finally a truck load of TNT did the job. POOF! Priceless history gone to mankind for eternity, all because one dumb-ass Mullah decided to do it. Mullah Omar spread his hatred through Islam.

We are tearing down statues all across the United States for reasons no wiser or convincing than dumb-ass Mullah Omar used. Today I read that the indigenous community is very upset with President Trump for wanting to hold a rally at Mount Rushmore, where similar edifices to the Buddas of Bayan reside. Rushmore eulogizes four great Presidents. One of those Presidents fought to free us from British Rule. One of those Presidents wrote our Declaration of Independence, the foundation of life in America. One of those Presidents fought to end slavery. One of those Presidents was the leader of the then Progressive Movement and a Conservationist who championed National Parks and the eternal preservation of our native lands. The indigenous community labels those Presidents as “Disgusting Images of White Supremacy”.

It doesn’t take much of a genius to understand the magnificence of statuary, but it does take a major dumb-ass to tear a statue down for fear it is a current threat to our society.

I’m a Normalist

Today it seems that everyone needs an identity. “I identify as a……………………person”, is a common response these days. Growing up, I was completely aware of big dogs and little dogs; black, yellow, brown and white humans; fat cats and skinny cats; mens rooms, ladies rooms and unisex rooms; colored and white water fountains (for a brief period in my life); tall, short, fat, skinny, hairy, bald, pretty, not so pretty people, natives and foreigners and everything in-between in my sphere of awareness. I kind of thought that everything was normal, the way it was, part of the scene, what was happening.

I identify as a NORMALIST person. A Normalist person is one who believes something to be the normal state of things, not requiring remediation. I don’t give a rats ass how you identify, you are who you are…………….normal.

WOW – We can’t possibly forget

This morning, like most mornings, I got up, fed the dogs, made a cup of coffee, sat down and read the newspaper. I got all the way to the end before it dawned on me that there was not one mention that it was the 76th Anniversary of D-Day. For a few moments I sat quietly and thought, “How can this possibly happen?” “It is unthinkable that a June 6th, of any year since 1944 can go by without a rememberance of the thousands that died that day.”

Living in a Third World Country

I’m living in a third world country 217 miles north of San Francisco, just off the I-5 in Redding California. My internet speed averages 12.5 Mbps, and my power goes off on such a regular basis that I had to install a 20Kw standby generator, and a 500 gal propane tank to power it. My internet (partial) provider is AT&T and my electiricity (partial) provider is PG&E.

The summer hasn’t even officially started and already PG&E has put us through a 24 hour power outage. Last evening, it was still light out, the power went off in the middle of Season 6, Episode 2 of Ray Donovan. When we watch Ray Donovan at 12.5 Mbps, on AT&T Broadband, we watch the little round circle go around almost as long as you watch the show. Every 15 minutes everything stops, the little round circle starts going around, and 30 seconds later you get a message the internet is SLOW. Typically at that point we go through a series of button pressing and power on/off exercises, (you know, “Turn off the power to the modem, count to 10 and plug it in again.”).

Last night we were treated to something new, something to break the monotony, the screen just went black. I dutifully began pressing buttons, pulling power plugs, but nothing happened. “Something’s wrong”, I thought. I concluded that we had been treated to a Bi-Fecta, a Double Whammy, a One-Two punch. PG&E and AT&T teamed up for a WTF.

We Third Worlders pay the same, if not more than you folks in the Real World for all these modern conveniences like electricity and broadband. You would think that there is some sort of obligation, on the part of our provider’s AT&T and PG&E, to provide us with similar quality of service. Well that’s what we thought too, but we have come to find out that they are the only game in our neck of the woods and their answer is “take it or leave it”. What is this Thrid World of Redding, California. coming to?

Government Wisdom and other Oxymorons

HUH?

Attorney General Barr has just made a momentous decision that I want to share with you all. Barr announced  that he will not be investigating past President Obama and Past Vice President Biden for the so called Obamagate issues. He said, and I quote, “The criminal justice system will not be used for partisan political ends.”

Lets just think about that for a moment. Obamagate is, according to President Trump, the unjust targeting of his staff (General Flynn, Paul Manafort, etal) to try and accuse newly, duly elected President Donald Trump of colluding with Russia to meddle in the 2016 elections. For two excruciating years we tolerantly watched and listened to Robert Mueller and his merry band of ‘criminal justice system members‘ use the ‘criminal justice system‘ in an unfounded attempt to unseat President Trump. Senators, Congressmen and Congresswomen, past Presidents and Secretaries of State, Attorneys, even all levels of the FBI (for God’s sake), lied, created fake dossiers, and misled the American Public in a futile attempt to satisfy ‘partisan political ends‘, and unjustly impeach a sitting President.

Attorney General Barr you should be ashamed of yourself and you should be immediately removed from your exhaulted office for not doing your Constitutionally appointed job of protecting the United States and its duly elected President. President Trump has suffered immeasurably and yet has done more for this country than all of the rest of you jerks, or should I say, in spite of all of you jerks put together.

The President has been wrongly accused and deserves his day in court. How dare you hide behind a cheap, self-rightious, meaningless oxymoron as “The Criminal Justice System will not be used for partisan political ends”. The other partisans have been using the ‘criminal justice system’ (of which you are so proud), with abandon for the last 12 years, or haven’t you noticed.

 

!!!News Flash Gavin – Climate Change Is Here!!! Has Been For The Last 4.6 Billion Years.

“At least 75 major temperature swings in the last 4,500 years.”

Gavin…….there have been at least 75 major temperature swings in the last 4,500 years, the graph above shows 13 of them. As much as you would have us think; the earth does not revolve around California, nor the Governors Mansion, nor your self anointed fat little head. The earth wobbles and revolves on an axis that, in its imperfection, is causing all sorts of issues. The plates move, the magma spews, the Sahara becomes Eden every 20,000 years or so, and living objects on earth adapt or perish. You talk about Climate Change as if it is stoppable, and you are the only person on Earth  that can accomplish it……. Well with exception of that other idiot AOC.

President Trump chastised you for not taking care of California’s forests last week, and you cried “You don’t believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation.” Climate Change is inevitable, it has gone on for 4.6 Billion (with a B) years. As a practical man, the President has asked you to understand climate change and to learn to live with it. We can all head for cooler climes or we can get busy learning how to live with the one we’ve got. For God’s-Sake, California will burn to the ground a thousand times before you can spend enough money to alter Climate Change.

As always, your mouth continues to motor on, and somehow, by default, you are always part of the conversation. I suggest you press the “mute” button, and follow in your predecessor’s footsteps and join a monastery somewhere and do some deep soul searching. You might find out that you are not the center of the universe after all and that you can really do some good for society as a whole (not just your misguided constituency).  See the real problems, Gavin. Climate Cycles are longer than the next news cycle, or the next election cycle. Start making REAL DECISIONS.

My fondest wish for this Political Season

ASK NOT!!!!!!!

As I listen today to the Democratic Candidate’s speeches and addresses from Joe, Kamala, Elizabeth, Bernie, Cory, Pete, Andrew, Amy,Beto, Julian, Tom, Tulsi and whoever else is still in the race, cringe, from what my aching ears, brain and heart have withstood thus far. I cup my ears to try and hear a political promise that actually means something to our American Society. Thinking their words might be faint, I crane my neck and stretch as close to the words as I can get to hear just one thoughtful, necessary, significant, consequential political promise. They ask us to be Socialists (obviously they don’t know American History), they ask us to turn in our weapons and ammunition (obviously they haven’t read the Constitution), they ask us to believe in “affordable Health Care” (obviously they have a different provider than the rest of us), they ask us to open our borders (obviously they don’t get what the United States Stands for). I say to all of them ASK NOT!!!!!!

When ASKING FOR OUR VOTE they should ASK NOT what our country can do for them, ASK what they can do for the Country. ASK NOT to toss out the Constitution and the Rule-of-Law, ASK for proper interpretation and application. ASK NOT to fear monger with mis-truths, and exaggerations, ASK for and speak the truth. ASK NOT to make promises they know they can’t keep, ASK what is necessary and affordable for a better life for each and every American Citizen (No matter what his gender, origin, ethnicity, religion, skin color, or sexual orientation)

I would gladly trade every Campaign Dollar, and there will be Billions that will be spent this Political Season, for just one of them to remember their iconic Democratic predecessor and ASK NOT.

D-Day – And What it Means

It seems so long ago, 75 years does, and yet it feels like only yesterday that Mom, Dad, Brother John and I sat in front of our RCA radio listening to the reports, looking at maps, which were the front page of every newspaper in those days of “Can our boys do it?, Can we win? Will Ike win the day?”. So many fears, prayers, joys and sorrows were launched from the shores of England that day, and everyone in the world stood still, waiting for the verdict of the “Longest Day”.

That “bastard Hitler” was beginning to feel the sting of Allied determination. He was beaten in Africa, he was beaten in Italy, he was beaten on the Eastern Front and he had one last chance, England and the Western Front to make his final stand. On that momentous day over 150,000 sea sick Allied soldiers (From England, Canada and the United States) charged from the LST’s; wading 200 yards with full pack in the chest deep Channel surf; then through 200 yards of mines, hedgehogs exposed beaches, runnels, razor wire; then 200 yards of open beach, in a hail of crossfire, and then scale 100 to 170 foot tall cliffs to accomplish the days mission and secure the blood stained beaches code named Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, and Utah. Close your eyes and make that run in your minds eye, hear the bullets whizzing by, feel the cannon and mortar concussion, smell the cordite, hear the yells and screams, experience the fear. My God what those boys went through. Canada gave 1,000, England gave 2,700 and we gave 6,600 of our courageous young men, most under 20 years old, to the fight that day and 6,500 gallons of prescious young blood, soaked those god forsaken sands.

My wife and I toured those hallowed grounds back in 1978. I tried to film the white crossed graveyard at Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. Before I could pan 10 feet of that sacred ground, my lens fogged up and I began sobbing uncontrollably. I dropped to my knees, I could only cry for those wonderful boys I never knew, but loved like family. It gave me peace.

Today there are 450,000 (RRS Sunday Supplement 6/2/19) of those heroic men that marched to victory across the D-Day Beaches remaining today. Most in their nineties. They are dying at the the rate of 362 per day. As an American, you should travel to Normandy and pay homage. If you can’t do that, seek out one of those remaining heros (Start at the Veterans Groups in your Town or City), shake his hand and thank him for giving you everything you are today, and pray for those you can’t thank personally. You’ll be very glad you did.

As A Member of Society, I……………………………..

SOCIETY

Society Definition: The aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.
society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.
Society Used in a sentence: We are painfully aware of drugs, crime and other dangers to society.
Society Synonyms: the community, the general public, the people, the United States at large.
Other meanings and uses: He was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, She’s high society, You wouldn’t say that in polite society, They live on the fringe of society, She shunned the society of others.

What the above means to me is if you call yourself a ‘a member of society’, it is probably a good idea that you understand what that means and that you should understand the mores of the society in which you claim to be a part. Or on the otherhand, if you don’t, you might be a ‘sociopath’.
Social Mores Definition: The essential or characteristic customs and conventions of society.
Sociopath Definition: A person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

I see the United States as a society. In the beginning, millenia ago, the United States was a society made up of ‘Native Americans’. (I think we all know that story, and if you don’t you had best learn it, as a social obligation.) Then centuries ago  (1790 to 1850 the Colonial Migration) people escaping political persecution and other inhumanities came seeking freedom from their oppressors and we became the land of the free, which led to a bloody Civil War. Then from 1850 to 1930 we noticed immigrants from all over the world, most looking for a ‘better life’, as WWI had impoverished most of Europe. My parents came to the United States from Denmark in 1921, so I know from whence I write. What is really important to understand, is during this entire period, and probably untill 9/11, everyone in the United States (with the exception of the sociopaths) was working diligently to build the greatest nation in history and the greatest society in history.

The outcome of all of this work is our Society that is outlined in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, and in The Rule of Law. Just in case you don’t understand what our societal mores are, let me iterate. We are (to a fault) a Society of tolerance, a Society of fairness, a Society of generosity, a Society of Laws.

Bottom line? If those aren’t your mores (in aggregate) you should find another society.

Note: My reasons for writing this piece was sparked by our current political crisis, our lack of respect for the law crisis, our drug and addiction crisis (commonly known as the homeless crisis), our burgeoning immunization crisis, our immigration crisis, our education (or lack thereof) crisis and our growing lack of love for eachother crisis.