Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Television is something I stopped watching back in 1987. At that time I had been watching cable TV in order to see the Discovery channel and one or two other channels providing educational information. When I bought a little 40 acre ranch outside of town, the choice was either satellite dish or nothing. I chose nothing, and it has remained that way since 1987. I enjoy watching videos now, but I have no connection to any form of television programming, nor do I wish any. Books and the Internet have been my mainstay, including books available on the Internet. (Speaking of which, check out Francis W. Porretto at Eternity Road and then go to smashwords.com, deactivate the adult filter, and download all of his novels. Some are free and all are cheap. He is a superb writer, very entertaining, and is a strong libertarian. He is also a religious individual, so that directs some of his writing quite strongly, but it actually enhances his work. He does not proselytize or beat a drum, merely informs some of his stories with strong Christian values and a connection to Judeo-Christian morality and philosophy. I speak as a moral atheist who does not believe (by definition) in G-d or any "Supreme Being". Porretto's religious leanings add nicely to his stories when he displays them.
[Be advised, he is not a prude, however. His collection "A Dash of Spice" is quite erotic, done in a nice way. Perhaps not what you want your twelve-year-old to be reading, but it wouldn't be harmful if he or she stumbled across it.]
OK. This is all in service of an essay written by Fred Reed at Fred On Everything called, "A Culture in Regression". It is an excellent look at the state of our society today, with its trivialization of those things which are/were important, replaced by "social networking", immediate gratification, and a loss of manners, consideration, and true civility (not the pretend "civility" of the liberals, which is actually their insistence on censorship of anything they don't want you to say). The sorry state of education, and the fact that - if you really want to spare your children a lot of agony and wasted time (not to mention keep them from being twisted into little "progressive clones") - home schooling is almost mandatory for parents who wish to have children who are not the barbarians so many of them are these days. At one point he says,
"If you correct a high-school teacher's grammar, she will accuse you of stultifying creativity, of racism, of insensitiviy. If you reply that had you wanted your children brought up as baboons, you would have bought baboons in the first place, she will be offended.
Home-schooling, it seems to me, becomes a towering social responsibility. I have actually seen a teacher saying that parents should not let children learn to read before they reach school. You see, it would put them out of synch with the mammalian larvae that children are now made to be. Bright children not only face enstupiation and hideous boredom in schools taught by complacent imbeciles. No. They are also encouraged to believe that stupidity is a moral imperative.
Once they begin reading a few years ahead of their grade, which commonly is at once, school becomes an obstacle to advancement. This is especially true for the very bright. To put a kid with an IQ of 150 in the same room with a barely literate affirmative-action hire clocking 85 is child abuse."
This is so true it almost beggars the imagination. The complaint I have so often heard mentioned, that children home-schooled will lack "socialization" is absurd. Would you want your children to become socialized to pre-teen sex and drug abuse? To learn how to suck up to the most popular children in their school, willing to submit to any misbehavior or indignity in order to belong, to fit in? To be willing to beat up children who don't fit the "norm" of the group they have attached themselves to?
Fred goes on to say,
"In an age of blinkered specializaton perhaps we should revive the idea of the Renaissance man. Today the phrase is quaint and almost condescending (though how do you condescend up?), arousing the mild admiration one has for a dancing dog. A time was when the cultivated could play an instrument, paint, knew something of mathematics and much of languages, traveled, could locate France, attended the opera and knew what they were attending. They wrote clearly and elegantly, this being a mark of civilization. I think of Benvenuto Cellini, born 1500, superb sculptor, professional musician, linguist, elegant writer, and good with a sword.
If there is any refuge, it is the internet. Let us make the most of it."
I have an ex-brother-in-law (thankfully for him - my sister is a total bitch) who is a modern-day Renaissance man. He was in the small group that left Xerox to start up Adobe. A software engineer with post-doctoral work in mathematics, a superb chef who demonstrates during some of the culinary conferences at the Awahnee Hotel in Yellowstone, a man who sings and plays musical instruments, does fine woodworking including furniture, builds houses for Habitat For Humanity, is very well read and quite funny. (Dr. Richard Sweet is an extremely nice man who deserved so much more than to be deceived into marrying my gold-digging, money-grubbing sister.) He is a complete gentleman, and although I don't believe he has ever wielded a sword, I would gladly have taken him in hand and introduced him to the fine art of gunnery if our friendship had been able to withstand the damage done by my sibling.
Read all of Fred's little essay, and understand that our culture truly is in decline. Short of a full sea-change in the direction we have taken (including the firing of all the socialist drones currently infesting our educational system right now, which will never happen), I am afraid we will not recover. The best we can do is attempt to better-equip our children via home schooling and teaching them the moral qualities that were once prevalent in our society. Instilling an appreciation for good manners, consideration of others, and a good work ethic - along with a hunger for the written word - will serve them well. Teach them to shoot and be able to defend themselves, and they may prosper even in these times.
Friday, September 23, 2011
While "zoning out" (a little zen, perhaps, or dharma yoga?) at my reloading bench earlier in the evening, it occurred to me that those of us who reload are the new alchemists: turning lead into gold. Even if you don't sell your reloads (and I do not), they sure feel like gold, sitting on your shelf or in your safe. Should we be reduced to a barter economy in the not-too-distant future, they may become more valuable than gold. When food and other necessities become scarce, would you trade gold for food you need to survive? Sure. Would the fellow who has the food be willing to take gold in exchange, if it were winter and the possibility of obtaining more food was questionable? Maybe not. Ammunition that could be used to hunt and kill an elk, a moose, or a deer would be pretty valuable though, as would ammo needed to protect and defend your self and your family from marauders or gangs. So, loading hundreds of rounds of .45,.44 Mag, .40, .357, 9mm, .308, .223, and .45-70 feels even better than putting gold into the safe.
If you are a shooter, it is possible to get into reloading fairly cheaply at the start, with better equipment possible if and when you are able to spend a little more. Customizing your ammo for your own particular needs (say a hard-cast 405 grain flat nosed .45-70 bullet loaded to 1800 feet per second to deal with bear or moose in the brush) is fun, a lot less expensive than in the sporting goods store or even Walmart, and will continue to supply you when the stores don't have your ammo available (and maybe stop selling it altogether?). Learn to cast your own lead bullets and save even more. Learn how to anneal your brass cases, and make them last for many, many reloadings. Plus there are good sources for all of the specialty bullets - soft-nosed, hollow-point, full metal jacketed, etc. - that you may wish to load for self-defense, hunting, or target shooting for practice. Lots of good info on the Internet on reloading and bullet casting, and many good books on the subject are available as well, some at your local library.
Tonight I read a post by Francis W. Porretto at his web site, Eternity Road. It concerned socialism and the sort of "thinking" that goes along with leaning in that direction. One of his points, if I may restate my understanding of his point, is that even people who are otherwise conservative in outlook have gotten suckered into believing things which aren't true, but have been stated and repeated so many times - as well as being taught by left-leaning teachers and professors - that they appear reasonable to said conservative. Like "taxing the 'rich' ". At the end of his post, Francis says,
Monday, September 19, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
“I still have my Che Guevara poster. Che Guevara was a freedom fighter.” (Bob Beckel on FoxNews’ “The Five” Sept. 5th)
If Bob Beckel’s “freedom-fighter” had been allowed his fondest bit of “freedom-fighting” Bob Beckel’s incinerated remains would fit in a gin bottle today. “America is the great enemy of mankind! Against those hyenas there is no option but extermination!...If the missiles had remained, we would have fired them against the very heart of the U.S., including New York City.”
For the record: Ernesto “Che” Guevara was second in command, chief executioner, and chief KGB liaison for a regime that jailed more political prisoners per capita than did Stalin’s during the Great Terror and murdered more people (out of a population of 6.4 million) in its first three years in power than Hitler’s murdered (out of a population of 70 million) in its first six. Many, perhaps most, of those murdered and jailed by the regime Che Guevara co-founded were Batista opponents.
The Stalinist regime Che Guevara imposed on Cuba also stole the savings and property of 6.4 million citizens, made refugees of 20 percent of the population from a nation formerly deluged with immigrants and whose citizens had achieved a higher standard of living than those residing in half of Europe. Many opponents of the regime Che Guevara co-founded qualify as the longest-suffering political prisoners in modern history, having suffered prison camps, forced labor and torture chambers for a period three times as long in Che Guevara’s Gulag as Alexander Solzhenitsyn suffered in Stalin’s Gulag. Most of these had been Batista opponents.
“Don't put him in a list of fascists. The fascists (Batista) were the ones he was trying to get rid of.” (Bob Beckel on FoxNews’ “The Five” Sept. 5th)
For the record: According to the Cuba Archive Project, the Castro regime – with firing squads, forced-labor camps, torture and drownings at sea – has caused an estimated 102,000 Cuban deaths. According to the Harper Collins Atlas of the Second World War, Nazi repression caused 172,260 French civilian deaths during the occupation. France was nation of 42 million in 1940. Cuba was a nation of 6.5 million in 1960. My calculator reveals that Beckel’s freedom-fighter caused an enormously higher percentage of deaths among the people he “freed” than the Nazis caused among the French they enslaved and tortured with the SS and Gestapo.
Beckel tells the “Fox Five” that the CIA killed many more people than Che and implies that in the 50’s the agency was Che’s enemy.
In fact during the late 1950’s the Castro brothers and Che Guevara had no better friends--and Fulgencio Batista few worse enemies--than the CIA. “Me and my staff were all Fidelistas,” (Robert Reynolds, the CIA’s “Caribbean Desk’s specialist on the Cuban Revolution” from 1957-1960.)
“Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State was pro-Castro, except (Republican) ambassador Earl Smith.” (CIA operative in Santiago Cuba, Robert Weicha.)
“Don’t worry. We’ve infiltrated Castro’s guerrilla group in the Sierra Mountains. The Castro brothers and Ernesto “Che” Guevara haveno affiliations with any Communists whatsoever.” (crackerjack Havana CIA station chief Jim Noel 1958.)
“Listen, we (the U.S.) did not have the most stellar reputation in Latin America and South America during the 1950s and '60s….when the CIA was complicit in the assassination of Allende, that was killing a head of state.” (Bob Beckel)
Ground control to Major Bob: Allende died in the 70’s. But whatever. The leftist proverb that he was assassinated by the CIA was spun and spread only by the hardest of hard-left wackos. Not even Allende’s own family believed it. An investigation including an autopsy by Chilean authorities just last month confirmed that Salvador Allende committed suicide. Surely you read the New York Times, Bob?
“(Che) did help Fidel Castro get rid one of the biggest thugs and murdering bastards there ever was, and that was Batista in Cuba.” (Bob Beckel)
Batista was a mulatto grandson of slaves born on the dirt floor of a palm roofed shack in the Cuban countryside. As President (via honest elections 1940-44, bloodless coup 1952-58) he always enjoyed the support of Cuba’s labor unions. And under Batista, according to a study by the International Labor Organization, the Cuban workforce was more highly unionized than the U.S. work force, with Cuba’s Industrial laborers earning the 8th highest wages in the world.
“Cuba’s laborer’s always maintained a stony indifference to Fidel Castro’s movement,” admitted Cuba’s richest man and Fidel and Che bankroller Julio Lobo, who knew because he employed thousands of them.
So here’s Bob Beckel bashing a black politician of lowly origin who enjoyed overwhelming unionized labor support--while hailing the lily-white rich-boys, Fidel and Che, who outlawed labor unions and sent such as Richard Trumka and Jimmy Hoffa to the firing squad or prison. Where’s Trumka, Hoffa and Maxine Waters on this? Using liberals’ own standards Beckel sure sounds like an elitist--and a racist to boot.
No doubt Beckel picked up the leftist proverb about Batista as “one of the biggest murdering bastards there ever was” from a meme hatched in 1957 by a Fidelista Cuban magazine publisher named Miguel Angel Quevedo. The meme asserts that Batista’s police and army “murdered 20,000 Cubans” and is still parroted by the MSM/Academia axis.
For the record: Ten years after he hatched and spread the lie, Quevedo (from exile, he scooted out just ahead of a Fidelista firing squad) confessed to the lie and greatly regretted how the lie helped the propaganda campaign to put Fidel and Che in power. The regret for the calamity he helped bring upon Cuba was such that, that right after signing the letter, Miguel Angel Quevedo put a gun to his head and blew his brains out.
“The idea of picking Che Guevara and calling him a mass-murder is crazy.” (Bob Beckel)
“Certainly we execute!” boasted Che Guevara while addressing the hallowed halls of the U.N. General Assembly Dec. 9, 1964. “And we will continue executing as long as it is necessary! According to the “Black Book of Communism,” those firing-squad executions (murders, actually; execution implies a judicial process) had reached 14,000 by the end of the ’60s, the equivalent, given the relative populations, of almost a million executions in the U.S. “I don’t need proof to execute a man,” snapped Che to a judicial toady in 1959. “I only need proof that it’s necessary to execute him.”
Saturday, September 10, 2011
A new biography of Jane Fonda by Patricia Bosworth reveals a lifelong lament by the famous actress: “My biggest regret” Fonda is quoted during a “feminist consciousness-raising session,” according to the book’s account, “is I never got to f*** Che Guevara.”
In case you read Townhall, Ms Fonda, here’s some consolation, honey: “I used to call him El Gallo (the rooster)” recalled Carlos Figueroa who was Ernesto Guevara’s adolescent friend in Alta Gracia, Argentina. “I’d be visiting him and eating in his family’s dining room and whenever the poor servant girls would enter Ernesto would promptly grab her and force her to lay on the dining room table where he’d have rapid intercourse with her. Immediately afterwards he’d throw her out and continue eating as if nothing had happened.”
“Es un gallo—un gallo! (He’s a rooster!—rooster”) complained a scowling Berta Gonzalez a few years later upon emerging from her Mexico City bedroom summer of 1955. This was shortly after his Motorcycle Diary trip, when the hobo Ernesto Guevara was scribbling unreadable poetry and mooching off women in Mexico City, where he met Fidel and Raul Castro. Berta Gonzalez was a Cuban exile in Mexico at the time.
Gallo, as you might have guessed, is a common pejorative by Spanish-speaking women against men who terminate carnal encounters prematurely.
Alas, how the feminist sessionists reacted to Ms Fonda’s above-mentioned confession, and thus, the “raising of their consciousness,” is not mentioned in the book. But we can guess. After all, feminist swooning over Cuban Stalinism started early, and by the feminist movement’s very founders.
“Not only is (the Cuban Revolution) a great success but an example for the rest of the world!” gushed Simon De Beauvoir in March 1960. Her bellhop, Jean Paul Sartre, was not to be outdone. He crowned Che Guevara “the era’s most perfect man.” These “intellectual” hyperventilations 1960 set the tone for future ones of everyone from Maxine Waters’ to Jimmy Carter and from Ted Turner’s to George Mc Govern’s, and from Barbara Walters’ to Andrea Mitchell’s.
“Fidel Castro is old-fashioned, courtly–even paternal, a thoroughly fascinating figure!” (NBC’s Andrea Mitchell)
Alas, Cuban feminists view the Cuban Revolution somewhat differently from Hollywood, Georgetown and Manhattan feminists. When feminist icon Barbara Walters sat quivering alongside Fidel Castro in 1977 cooing: “Fidel Castro has brought very high literacy and great health-care to his country. His personal magnetism is powerful!” dozens of Cuban feminists suffered in torture chambers within walking distance of the hyperventilating Ms Barbara Walters.
“They started by beating us with twisted coils of wire recalls former political prisoner Ezperanza Pena from exile today. “I remember Teresita on the ground with all her lower ribs broken. Gladys had both her arms broken. Doris had her face cut up so badly from the beatings that when she tried to drink, water would pour out of her lacerated cheeks.”
“On Mother’s Day they allowed family visits,” recalls, Manuela Calvo from exile today.” But as our mothers and sons and daughters were watching, we were beaten with rubber hoses and high-pressure hoses were turned on us, knocking all of us the ground floor and rolling us around as the guards laughed and our loved-ones screamed helplessly.”
“When female guards couldn’t handle us male guards were called in for more brutal beatings. I saw teen-aged girls beaten savagely their bones broken their mouths bleeding,” recalls prisoner Polita Grau.
The gallant regime co-founded by Che Guevara jailed 35,150 Cuban women for political crimes, a totalitarian horror utterly unknown—not only in Cuba—but in the Western Hemisphere until the regime so “magnetic” to Barbara Walters, Andrea Mitchell, Diane Sawyer, Jane Fonda, etc. Some of these Cuban ladies suffered twice as long in Castro’s Gulag as Alexander Solzhenitsyn suffered in Stalin’s.
Their prison conditions were described by former political prisoner Maritza Lugo. “The punishment cells measure 3 feet wide by 6 feet long. The toilet consists of an 8 inch hole in the ground through which cockroaches and rats enter, especially in cool temperatures the rat come inside to seek the warmth of our bodies and we were often bitten. The suicide rate among women prisoners was very high.”
Upon the death of Raul Castro’s wife Vilma Espin in 2006 the Washington Post gushed that: “she was a champion of women’s rights and greatly improved the status of women in Cuba, a society known for its history of machismo.” Actually, in 1958 Cuba had more female college graduates as a percentage of population than the U.S.
This Castroite “improvement of status” and “good life “for Cuban women also somehow tripled Cuban women’s pre-revolution suicide rate, making Cuban women the most suicidal on earth. This according to a 1998 study by scholar Maida Donate-Armada that uses some of the Cuban regime’s own figures.
On Christmas Eve of 1961 a Cuban woman named Juana Diaz spat in the face of the executioners who were binding and gagging her. Castro and Che’s Russian-trained secret police had found her guilty of feeding and hiding “bandits” (Cuban rednecks who took up arms to fight the Stalinist theft of their land to build Soviet –style Kolkhozes.) When the blast from Castroite firing squad demolished her face and torso Juana was six months pregnant.
Thousands upon thousands of Cuban women have drowned, died of thirst or have been eaten alive by sharks attempting to flee the Washington Post’s dutifully transcribed “improvement of status.” This from a nation formerly richer than half the nations of Europe and deluged by immigrants from same.
In 1962, a Cuban Catholic nun named Aida Rosa Perez was overheard in a private conversation saying things about Fidel Castro and Che Guevara similar (but milder) than those Jane Fonda and Joy Behar trumpet about Republicans. Sister Rosa Perez was sentenced to 12 years at hard labor. Two years into her, while toiling in the sun inside Castro's Gulag and surrounded by leering guards, Sister Rosa collapsed from a heart attack.
The Cuban Archive project headed Mrs Maria Werlau has fully documented the firing squad executions of 11 Cuban women in the early days of the regime. Another 219 women died from various brutalities and tortures while in prison. The Taliban has nothing on the regime co-founded by Che Guevara. So I trust you’ll excuse these Cuban ladies if they regard the “struggles” of Betty Freidan, Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda as a trifle overblown. And for many of them, though it’s utterly ignored by the MSM, the feminist struggle continues.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
This blog is meant to be more politically/socially/morally oriented, but I just got a wild hair and decided to do something different. More for family and friends - although some of you folks who read this have become friends through our interactions here and at your own blog sites - than for those who stop by to read my conservative maundering.