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Friday, May 28, 2021

Memorial Day 2021

This Memorial Day Weekend, amid shopping for bargains, getting together with family and friends after all the months of pandemic lockdowns, and enjoying the traditional Memorial Day Weekend cookouts, let us remember the significance of Memorial Day: honoring Our Fallen, who made the ultimate sacrifice.  

Gone, but never forgotten.

American military cemeteries around the world:

For many, the concept of honoring Our Fallen holds the deepest kind of personal significance:
Surely we can all find time to do some reading appropriate for this weekend...2021 Memorial Day: 30 facts, meaning and history to celebrate this holiday.

Monday, May 24, 2021

The Continuing Devolution Of California

Back when Mr. AOW and I vacationed in Southern California from 1975-2006, I always looked forward to visiting festive and beautiful Venice Beach. Such a beautiful place, bustling with activity and joy! Yes, there were a few vagrants, but so few as barely to be noticed. But now:

Additional information (video): Venice Beach taken over by homeless encampments.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy the symphonic poem Vltava (The Moldau) by Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884):

(Please take a few moments to read about the above selection, evoking the sounds of the flowing of one of Bohemia's great rivers and which contains Smetana's most famous tune, also the basis of the Israeli National Anthem

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

“You never know who is vaccinated or who is lying”

Silverfiddle Rant!
I detect a disturbing trend in our nation:  People are expecting guarantees and definitive answers that real life and "experts" simply cannot provide:

With no national system to check who is vaccinated and who is not, the new federal guidance leaves an unavoidable — but gaping — hole, some people said. There’s no guarantee, they said, that unvaccinated people will not discard their masks along with the vaccinated ones, potentially creating a risk that the virus will continue to circulate.

I proffer two articles that provide a snapshot into the state of America today. Please read them and share your thoughts on what a year and an half of masking has done to this nation:
"Masking, a rare practice in the United States just 14 months ago, has become a normal part of American life."

God forbid we ever consider a year with diapers on our faces "normal."  My "favorite" quotes from the articles:

She said she wondered whether unvaccinated people would rip off their masks, putting her daughter at risk before she could get her shots. With no system to track whether people in public spaces have been inoculated, Garrett figured she couldn't know for sure.

“I’m thinking that until we really know more about it from empirical scientific evidence, that we should keep the mask in place, especially in public,” he said.

“It freaked me out,” Mary Beagan, 77, said of riding the elevator in her Minneapolis apartment building on Friday and seeing a woman step on with no mask. Yes, Ms. Beagan had heard about the C.D.C’s announcement. And yes, she has had her Covid-19 vaccines. Still, after all these months, it felt kind of scary.

“I still don’t know where people have been to; they don’t know where I’ve been,” said Yamilet Rebolledo, 24, who wore a fuchsia mask to the farmers’ market and said she plans to continue covering her face even once she is vaccinated.

“I’m hyper-aware that wearing a mask or not wearing a mask says something about me,” said Annie Krabbenschmidt, 27, a gig worker and writer who lives in Los Angeles. She said she had apprehensions about giving up her mask. “They are so much more than a safety vest, at this point.”

Monday, May 17, 2021

Higher Education?

Found in a stash of blog-posts drafts in my Blogger dashboard. True then, true now?
From The College Fix (October 4, 2020), we have this "speech guide."  The list is from Virginia's James Madison University, where the 2020-2021 undergraduate tuition along with other fees, including room and board, for in-state students is $23,918 and out-of-state tuition plus fees and room and board, is $40,818.

 Dated October 4, 2020. 2020-2021 Undergraduate tuition, along with other fees, including room and board at JMU = https://www.jmu.edu/admissions/tuition-financial-aid-and-scholarships.shtml Entering Students (2020-21) - Per year In-state tuition: $7,250 Comprehensive fee: $5,080 Room and board*: $11,588 Total in-state: $23,918 Out-of-state tuition: $24,150 Comprehensive fee: $5,080 Room and board*: $11,588 Total out-of-state: $40,818 The full list of 35 “dumb” expressions is (emphases mine): 

1. “Some of my best friends are …” 

2. “I know exactly how you feel.” 

3. “I don’t think of you as …” 

4. “The same thing happens to me too.” 

5. “It was only a joke! Don’t take things so seriously.” 

6. What do ‘your’ people think.” 

7. “What are you?” or “Where are you really from?” 

8. “I don’t see color” or “I’m color blind.” 

9. “You are so articulate.” 

10. “It is so much better than it used to be. Just be patient.” 

11. “You speak the language very well.” 

12. Asking black people about their hair or hygiene. 

13. Saying to LBGTQ people “what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom is your business.” 

14. “Yes, but you are a ‘good’ one.” 

15. “You have such a pretty face.” 

16. “I never owned slaves.” 

17. “If you are going to live in this country, learn to speak the language!” 

18. “She/he is a good person. She/he didn’t mean anything by it.” 

19. “When I’ve said the same thing to other people like you, they don’t mind.” 

20. Calling women “girls, honey, sweetie pie” or other familiar terms. 

21. When people of color say, “It is not the same thing.” 

22. When people of faith say, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” 

23. When white men say, “We are the ones being discriminated against now!” 

24. Referring to older people as “cute.” 

25. Asking a transgender person, “What are you really? A man or a woman?” 

26. Referring to the significant other, partner, or spouse of a same gender couple as their “friend.” 

27. “Why do ‘they’ (fill in the blank) always have to sit together? They are always sticking together.” 

28. “People just need to pick themselves up by their bootstraps.” 

29. People with disabilities are “courageous.” 

30. “That’s so gay/queer. That’s so retarded.” 

31. “I don’t see difference. We are all part of the same race, the human race.” 

32. I don’t care if you are pink, purple or orange, I treat all people the same.” 

33. Asking a transgender person, “Have you had the operation.” 

34. Saying to a Jewish person, “You are so lucky to have ‘your’ Christmas spread over a week!” 

35. “Here’s another book on political correctness.”

The entire document is HERE, and each individual item has an "explanation" or "supportive material."

Mind you, I wouldn't utter most of the above statements.  As a young person, however, I would have.

Besides, a university is supposed to be, by definition, a place where students are exposed to new and different ideas and opinions.  

Back in the days when I attended university (1968-1973), I was exposed to plenty of different ideas.  I evaluated those ideas ("Keep the best, lose the rest") — that was my job as student.

Today, students at so many of our institutions of learning are being turned into Leftism-spouting automatons.  Weep for America. Weep for our  Bill of Rights.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy the serene Images pour orchestre by Claude Debussy (1862-1918):

Sections of the above piece:
1. Gigues (0:00)
2. Iberia:
I. Par les rues et par les chemins (7:30)
II. Les parfums de la nuit (14:30)
III. Le matin d'un jour de fête (22:00)
3. Rondes de printemps (26:20)

Friday, May 14, 2021

Masks Off!

But only if fully vaccinated:
Are we going to be on an honor system, or are we going to have to wear our vaccination cards on lanyards to gain admittance to certain places or if in certain situations?

Monday, May 10, 2021

Recommended Reading

People Have Gotten ‘Institutionalized’ by COVID (dated May 6, 2021). 

...As the vaccine has brought the promise of liberation from a year of masks, lockdowns, canceled travel plans, and forgone family visits, there is a contingent of Americans who are simply not prepared to move on. They have somehow gotten used to the restrictions and are wary of returning to their pre-COVID-19 lives. In short, they’ve become “institutionalized.”...
 ...[W]e are in the midst of a destructive feedback loop. Leaders make statements that overstate the current risk of COVID-19, which ends up guiding the decisions of local officials, and it also makes people more nervous about returning to normal. The people who are nervous remain less likely to pressure local officials to change irrational policies....
Read the entire essay HERE

As I observe all the mask wearers here in Northern Virginia all masked up even when jogging or alone in their cars, I have to wonder if we are turning into a nation of hypochondriacs and — worse — a nation of sheeple. 

And we also have the extreme vaxxers (from Facebook): 
One solution to getting everyone to get the vaccine...bar anyone who has not had a vaccine (except for those with medical reasons) from entrance to any store, restaurant, bar, airplane, resort, movie theater, etc. Maybe when we deprive them of such things will they come to their senses.
Can we somehow turn back the clock so that Americans are not running scared and willing to subject themselves to tyrannical voices?

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down) 

Enjoy "Be Still, My Soul" as performed by the British vocal ensemble Voces8:

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side. 
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. 
Leave to thy God to order and provide; 
In every change, He faithful will remain. 
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly friend 
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. 

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake 
To guide the future, as He has the past. 
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake; 
All now mysterious shall be bright at last. 
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know 
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below. 

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart, 
And all is darkened in the vale of tears, 
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart, 
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears. 
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay 
From His own fullness all He takes away. 

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on 
When we shall be forever with the Lord. 
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone, 
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. 
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past 
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last. 

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise 
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high; 
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways, 
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye. 
Be still, my soul: the sun of life divine 
Through passing clouds Shall but more brightly shine. 

This hymn was a favorite of Eric Liddell, the athlete who became famous in the 1924 Olympics for refusing to run on the Sabbath (see the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire). 

Liddell later became a missionary in China, and was imprisoned during World War II. He is said to have taught this hymn to others in the prison camp (where he eventually died of a brain tumor). 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Quote Of The Day

Last week, my good friend Mustang stated the following at GeeeZ:
I would not want the sun to set at the end of today with anyone on the right thinking that the reality of the present has only recently manifested itself. Have we forgotten that when the American people rejected socialism almost as frequently as they rejected William Jennings Bryan, that the socialist leaders announced, in the late 1940s, that they intended to seize our education system so that they could grow their own future socialists? Well, they have. Generation after generation has been the subject of leftist brainwashing in disguise of education. As each beguiled generation grew into adulthood and became parents themselves, they, in turn, became the willing participants of the socialist plan until presently, we are left with only a few parents who object to what is going on inside our schools. 
Generation after generation of programmed young people who grew into adulthood to become the neo-Communist members of Congress, who occupied judgeships, who led the government’s many departments and agencies, who advanced to become four-star generals, journalists, and newscasters, who became the owners and operators of America media corporations, each of whom has fed newer generations with Marxist filth, each one breaking down our society into its many parts so that people today imagines that we have a right to choose and modify our biological identity, and that anyone who disagrees with their reality is a right-wing racist, and that God is merely a figment of our imaginations. 

It is today too late to save America from herself. The misery of future generations is already guaranteed. America is already destroyed. Biden is proof of that — he and the tens of millions of people who subscribe to the foolish arguments of the new left. A new America will arise from this chaos: one whose flag will have a hammer and sickle in one corner and a raised black fist in the other. Welcome to the new Kenya, folks. The inmates have taken over the asylum. 
Is Mustang correct in his assertions, particularly that there is no hope for the future of our republic? And if there is hope to counter what Mustang informs us has taken place, how exactly can we bring that hope to fruition?

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down) 

 Please enjoy the short lecture, then Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring (hat tip to Deplorable Bloggers Alliance):

Happy Weekend, Happy Spring!