What Have I Done?

I raised my children as best I could; educated my poor little brain; and offered myself in various capacities.

I remember one young man an ADA made a special trip to my office to ask me to help him.  I did of course.  It was an amazing trip which I will always recall with warmth.  His mom called me to thank me for returning her son to her.

Twice I went to the reception room to greet a new client only to find young woman literally curled into the fetal position on the couch, a ball hat pulled down over their eyes.  They were rape victims.  How to get them to trust a male counselor?  Somehow it happened.  They eventually left in happiness, restored pride in their life and left a pile of shame and blame on the rubbish heap.  It feels good to remember those things.  A worker at our Walmart came up to me one day and, after hugging me, expressed her gratitude for what I’d done for her daughter.  I didn’t know her or who she was talking about…just thanked her & left with a hell of a good memory.

So many good people around the world have done their best with what they possessed in places where they were allowed.  And, there were also those who truly “floated” up to their destiny in Washington and elsewhere.

I can think of a dozen or so people who could become a great president with a little training & OJT.  Why is it our country cannot seem to find people of quality?  We keep recycling the same old tired policies, families and failed philosophy.  We have amongst us the best, brightest and most morally well-intentioned folks in the world.  Our young warriors are the absolute best and are universally feared by our enemies.

We are a courageous and giving people.  We have continually expanded the frontiers in all areas.  Yet, politically we lack inspiration and the determination to try alternatives.  Historically we have politically reacted in times of extreme crisis.  That is where we find solace in these latter days of stagnation.  For always “Shit Happens”.

End of Rant Per Day.

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Our Place

                            jeep in the snow

My wife & I live pretty much in the middle of our 53 acres. I know every foot of this place. I have an old 4 wheel utility vehicle I call “the mule”. I am out all over this place daily in good weather always discovering something new. I know all the neighbors, all their pets, cows & other varmints; I even know several of the wilder animals around here. I certainly know when there are strangers on the place; most are alright, but occassionally one or two need to leave.

We have weapons scattered around the house & I often carry one around. O, we also have 4 large dogs who run everywhere with me. They are big friendly animals that will slobber over about any stranger. I have no idea what they would do if someone threatened me; I believe they would attack and savage the aggressor. We certainly make no secret of this random collection of potential weapons of self-defense.

I think most criminals reach some kind of decision in their mind before they committ a crime. They have to believe they have a reasonable chance of not being either caught, injured or killed before they will attempt a crime. It is the unrational mind that tickles the back of my mind as a real threat. Though truely, I spend very little time in worry.

What Feedom Is…

It’s freedom, Mate. The swagman had it. And, rather than allow himself to be imposed upon by landowner & law, he kept his freedom and gave up his life.

“Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose, Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free, now now. And feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang …”
“Me And Bobby Mcgee” Kris Kristofferson

Society & I have always been fascinated they the underdog, wanderers, loners, outlaws, pirates and vagabonds in general.

As we grow older we assume the burdens of society (laws, values, mores), family, personal property, real property and all those things which make us valuable. At first it feels good to be productive and responsible members of society.

At some point most folks get to feeling a bit crushed by all that stuff riding around on our shoulders. We say it is the price of freedom but we know better than that. Freedom, as the song says, is nothing left to lose.

We know those few who actually bear little or no responsibility are mostly free and, occasionally, we envy that independence. Few would willingly give up our lives to wander the land unburdened, but that vision helps us to continue our lives as it is an option should we someday get that straw that breaks our back.

As Captain Jack Sparrow described the Black Pear:
“Wherever we want to go, we go. That’s what a ship is, you know. It’s not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails. That’s what a ship needs. But what a ship is…what the Black Pearl really is…is freedom.”

God, Family and the Corruption of Islam

It is universal in religions of the world that a man’s priorities are God and family. Without harmony in either of these sacred poles of existence, life becomes a chaos.

Islam’s treatment of women and children within the family is perversion making the family an abomination of God’s vision of family as a sanctuary of love and security.

The corruption of family love cannot but lead to a depraved concept of God’s love. Perverting the relationship of man and God is a function of hell. The result is hate, conflict and an inability to tolerate the views of people obviously living within God’s own harmony.

The abominable behavior of militant Muslims results in their separation from God’s word and love. Fellow Muslims find it hard to condemn the acts of their terrorist brothers due to the fact their own family systems are also perverted. In the cauldron of conflicts of Islamic beliefs and God’s word evil grows in strength and corrupts the souls of men.

The Ship Cutty Sark – Last of the Clipper Ships

Cutty Sark

The last and likely the most beautiful of the magnificent Clipper Ship class, the Cutty Sark was built challenge the reigning champion clipper of the day Thermopylae. The competed around the world for several years.

Whether carrying cargoes of gold or ceramics or blended Scotch Whiskey from it’s home port the Cutty Sark continually set new records for flying across the Duke of Edinburgh—Prince Philip—who established the Cutty Sark Society in 1951 and still serves as the president of its successor, the Cutty Sark Trust. world’s oceans.

The Clipper Ships ruled the waves and world trade for years. Only to be eventually replaced by plugging, smoke-spouting steam ships. The steamers set standards for reliability and size which displaced the graceful Clippers.

The Cutty Sark changed hands several times, was refitted after being de-masted in a storm but was continually degraded in her cargoes. Yet, in 1922 she returned to British hands and was returned to her former grandeur. She served as a training ship for several years. Duke of Edinburgh—Prince Philip—who established the Cutty Sark Society in 1951 and still serves as the president of its successor, the Cutty Sark Trust.

Moved to Greenwich for restoration she suffered a major fire in 2007. Work continued and is now open to the public.

Highway Morality/Mortality

Way back, when I was a kid, in the 50’s turtles were a popular target of opportunity.  Rarely got on the road without seeing several crushed turtles.

Things have certainly changed (for the better) in the years since.  While the highways are littered with dead animals they are mostly unavoidable collisions.  Few folks actually attempt to kill a creature with their vehicle.

A dead turtle is a rare sight and I have witnessed countless cars swerve to avoid them…even snapping turtles which are still pretty negatively viewed.

A friend of mine was lamenting the harm caused by the nuclear energy business.  Some thing tickled the back of my mind until I remembered when the industry began years ago:

It is worth noting that just because something is good or bad and involves as much money as the energy sector must be considered in regards to it’s economic viability.  Nuclear power (remember when it was Atomic energy?) was introduced at a time when fossil fuels were commonly forecast to be pretty well depleted by now.

Economic concerns over-came fears of future safety which pretty well flew over the head of the general public.  As the reserves of fossil fuels have stubbornly kept up with demand and even increase as the case of natural gas, the nuclear sector has become non-competitive.

When dealing with a relatively few well educated and informed people reason can sway the crowd.  However, when the pocketbooks of the millions is in question economics generally wins the day.

BTW, proven reserves is not the same as “peak” oil.

The ability to perceive beyond the tangible into boundless transfiguration ; to steep oneself in the cacophony of time; and listen to the prodigiously resonating echo’s of the earth is freedom, the emancipation of spirit.
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A Dream

Last night I had a weird dream. Cheri & I were visiting grandkids in a larger city; shopping a little, eating out…the usual.
Suddenly, over televisions, the internet, radios & all forms of communication, it was announced that a Sino-Russian coalition had taken-over the governance of the United States. In some manner a bloodless coupe had been made and officials at the highest Federal level had been replaced. In retrospect it was more like a foreclosure.
Most people were fairly panicked. Expecting paratroops (as in “Red Dawn”) we all scurried for cover. Then, as nothing immediate ensued, Cheri & I headed for home.
As we drove we expected to encounter roadblocks manned by Chinese troops or Russian secret service personnel. We saw no one…as if they would waste manpower setting up roadblocks on the Oachita Forest roads.
A few days later leaders of the Coalition and ex-President Obama appeared to explain what had happened. Obama of course apologized profusely to his captors and stated to the American people that it was not his fault.
The Coalition leaders explained that world leaders had made a decision that the American leviathan could no longer be allowed to run wild through the world. With the full knowledge of the UN and all leading nations the Chinese-Russian Coalition was tasked with setting America right.
They continued in their list of crimes, complaints and irresponsible behavior. Chief amongst the crimes was America’s constant state of war and the unwarranted killing of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children around the world. The irresponsible behavior was the huge un-repayable debt amassed by our governments.
Cut now to a few weeks later: People now discussed how little things had changed. Most noticeable was the massive reduction of armed forces and elimination of all combat. Over the objections of disbanded labor unions thousands were employed at remarkably low wages. Millions of government employees were layed-off and told to return to their homes-of-origin.
I don’t know what happened after that, I awoke a bit mystified at the dream. I have these kinds of dreams often…the type that puts together facts from the waking day with the imaginary solutions of the inner mind.
Just thought I would share this one.

In response to a FB comment on my dream above I wrote the below. The comment was related to war not being abolished in our lifetime.

That’s definitely true about conflict. But few nations maintain a near constant state of war as we have the last couple of decades.
Also in the last 40+ years we have not only gone into combat but have helped train, organize and arm our adversaries.
Saddam Hussein is only the most obvious. We backed his government after the Iraq hostage debacle as a counter balance in the region.
When the Russians occupied Afghanistan the CIA welcomed the opportunity to pay-back them for old debts in Vietnam. We consequently backed the Mujahideen. The Afghan Islamists were the original recipients of aid but volunteers from Saudi Arabia (including Osama bin Laden and other future leaders of Al-Qaeda) were welcomed into the militant corpse.
Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno was a soldier when he allied himself with the CIA. Elevated to Panamanian strong man we then destroyed him. This is a common tale. It is a wonder American can still find willing allies.
Few have ever heard the tale of the Deer Team exploits during WW II. Major Archimedes Leonidas Attilio Patti was an OSS operative in China seeking a thorn to insert into the Japanese troops in Indo China. He located his thorn in little Vietnamese gentleman recently released from a French prison named Ho Chi Mihn.
The Deer Team was organized explicitely to create an effective fighting force to field against the Japanese and their Vichy French conspirators. At the Japanese surrender Ho occupied Hanoi and pled with Roosevelt to respect his government. But we decided to back the old French colonial tradition thus assuring the deaths of thousands if not millions in Southeast Asia.
Why do we set-up our future enemies only to turn and attempt to anihilate them? That is American expertise in action.

But-HEY-this was just a dream!

Screendoor Nights

I love when the weather warms-up to screen door days. The bedroom window thrown wide-open to let the warm breeze flow across the bed. Slumber is hastened by Spring peepers filling the woods down by the creek preceeding the racous cacaphony of mating owls.

The soft sounds of summer birds calling through a late May midnight silence. Darkness erupts in the resounding sounds of tree frogs in June and are soon joined with the shrill rasping of the cicada.

Nights roaring in sounds race into fall when one evening only the chirping cricketts challenge the frosty early mornings. Nocturnal summer denizens find lonely echo’s in a flight of southbound geese sounding their way to warmer climes.

Cold silences the insect performers. A chill north breeze whispers a beautiful thrill in the tall pines and a hunting pack of coyotes splits the ambience. And then, comes time to close the doors against the bitter chill of winter.