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Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Is This Time Different?

My neighbor from 1978-2013 was born in Canada but in the 1980s became a naturalized American citizen.  He is now in his late seventies.  His wife is politically conservative. Their two children are on opposite sides of the political spectrum. 

All these political conflicts made for interesting discussions at the dinner table for thirty years. Truly, though, there no animosity on any side. Discussions were both lively and friendly.

Then came the 2008 General Election, after which point my leftwing neighbor was, overnight, intolerable of other points of view. It was an ugly transformation! That year, he stormed away from the dinner table in a fury when I asked for evidence for one of his discussion points. Gone was his pacifism of so many years.

And so it has remained between us. The dinner invitations ceased, too, of course.  

Now to the present day....

In the wake of the May 24, 2022 massacre in Uvalde, Texas, my former neighbor posted the following at his Facebook page:
I just unfriended a follower. He/she insists that guns are not a problem. What a pile of b/s. If you own a gun and believe that even minimal gun control is not necessary, then you are borderline scum. Every other western country has people with mental problems, but no other country is awash in guns like the US. No other country has had over 200 mass killings since the beginning of the year. Why in blazes does the US lead the world in this god-awful statistic? And we have a group of politicians, read Ted Cruz and his ilk, who won’t do a thing about it. Disgraceful!!
Some other things to ponder....America: where last year 52 percent of adults supported stricter gun control, according to Gallup, leaving nearly half who want either less strict laws or the status quo. America: where residents own more guns per 100 residents than any other country in the world: 120.5, which is more than twice as many as the next highest country, which is Yemen.

America: where there are more guns than humans.
[W]hy in blazes does anyone need 10 guns?
Of course, along came many of my former neighbor's Facebook friends to affirm what he had spewed.

I recall a time, in the 1980s, that my former neighbor summoned Mr. AOW and me — and our guns — to investigate something in their carport, be that something two-legged or four-legged.  Our former neighbor, for whatever reason, had gotten no response from the police and had become more and more fearful for the safety of his family and the security of the valuable antiques he was refinishing in that carport.

Today, my former neighbor and his wife live way west of Northern, out on a long, often impassable, dirt road in the boonies and surrounded by trees and acres of land, in a beautiful, custom-made mansion laden with valuables galore.  Yet, apparently, they see no reason to have any firearms as personal protection.

Right now, a lot of people are opining almost identically as my former neighbor.  Will the noise be loud enough that our Congress critters impose more gun-control measures?  And what good would such measures do if the problem is, as I believe, our society's moral rot?

Some uncomfortable facts along with the only question that really matters:

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Musical Interlude For Memorial Day

(For politics, please scroll down)

Memorial Day weekend is, or should be, about so much more than cookouts and the opening of swimming pools. Rather, it is, or should be, a time for solemn remembrance.

Additional reading: The poem "In Flanders Fields" and The WWI Origins of the Poppy as a Remembrance Symbol

Friday, May 27, 2022

Get it Off Your Chest 5/27/22

  Open Comments 

Comments from trolls and rants against administrators will still be deleted.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Uvalde Massacre (with addendum)

A few thoughts....

As of this writing, nineteen dead students and two dead teachers.  All massacred by an eighteen-year-old monster, with malice aforethought.

Most of you know me as a teacher of high school students.  I have been a teacher in that role since February 1998, when I started teaching classes of homeschool students, most of the students in Grades 8-12. 

Before 1998, however, I taught elementary school students in a private school, from 1978-1997.  Furthermore, in that private school, I taught Grades 2-4 from 1978-1986.  I know first-hand that students in that age group are "babies," as Judge Jeanine Pirro called them yesterday on The Five.  As a former teacher of the same student age group as that of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, when the story broke yesterday, I felt as if I'd been punched in the stomach.  

The story of the massacre also took me back to a period of my life some thirty years ago.

I well remember when the school where I worked had to "harden the target" from spring to the close of school that year — because of the maniacal estranged husband of one of our teachers.  He was threatening, in his words in a phone call to the school's office, to "shoot up the school."  All of a sudden, within only a few minutes, we had armed guards to protect us and could not allow our classes to have free-play time outside; neither could students wait outside for their carpools without armed guards posted.

I still recall the youngest students' terrified faces.  The bogeyman under the bed had suddenly become very real for them.

The situation was so strained even weeks after the initial threat that the teacher with the maniacal estranged husband resigned her position to protect the school's students in future school terms.  What's more, she herself had to go into hiding to save herself.  She lost her teaching career — and she was a fine teacher.  

And the school where I worked did indeed lose considerable enrollment for the next few years.  Understandable, in my view.

Frankly, I don't have a positive view of "hardening the target" by fencing in a school and by having armed patrols in a school, particularly in a school with students as young as those in Robb Elementary School.  Maybe "hardening the target" is what we must do to protect students and teachers.  But the impact on education under those circumstances is not a good one for the promotion of learning.  I've seen and lived that impact myself.

Here's what I know for a fact about the aftereffects of the Uvalde Massacre....

The parents affiliated with Robb Elementary School will never be the same.  Neither will the surviving students.  Neither will the surviving teachers.  And the change will not be a good one.  Lord, have mercy!


I found something quite interesting at the WaPo, and this might "explain" why Ramos attacked Robb Elementary School: 
...Uvalde High School school [seniors] had visited Robb Elementary School just a day before the massacre, wearing their graduation robes and high-fiving the grade-schoolers, who lined up in the hallways — a community tradition....
See this Tweet, dated Monday, May 23, the day before the massacre.

Salvador Ramos was not on track to graduate with his class this year.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Elon Musks Turns On The Democrat Party?

This will light up some Dems and others who think that the Democratic Party has any integrity:

And then, there's this:

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Hat tip to Deplorable Bloggers Alliance for the video in this blog post.... 

Multi-talented Lucile Boulanger playing this lovely selection on the viola da gamba:

[About the viola da gamba.  Not a cello!]

From the YouTube blurb for the above video (with links added):
This is Lucile Boulanger’s first solo recital. The French gambist, universally praised for her natural and moving playing – BBC Music Magazine even described her as ‘the Jacqueline du Pré of the viola da gamba’ – juxtaposes Bach with Carl Friedrich Abel, a great master of the bass viol and a close friend of the Bach family [a good friend of Johann Christian Bach, J.S. Bach's eleventh son and eighteenth child0]. Although Johann Sebastian never wrote for solo viola da gamba, we know that he transcribed many of his works for other instruments. So Lucile Boulanger has chosen, for example, to transcribe three dances from the Sixth Suite, ‘because it sounds particularly good on the viol, being written for five-stringed cello (a step towards the six or seven strings of the viol?). It is in D, the viol key par excellence, and its style, already somewhat galant, is reminiscent of Abel. . . . This album gives me the opportunity to showcase the viol as both a melodic instrument – with the grain of the bow, the fragility of tone – and a polyphonic one.’

Friday, May 20, 2022

Get it Off Your Chest 5/20/22

 Open Comments 

Comments from trolls and rants against administrators will still be deleted.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

The Incredible Whiteness of Being a Minority

Silverfiddle Rant!
From a Clintonista Democrat, circa 2014:

"What the new research really appears to reveal is just how confused we continue to be about race – and how, even amidst this confusion, whiteness remains a dangerously malleable idea that Americans must deal with more candidly." (Eric Liu - CNN

For over a decade now, white bigots have been expressing everything from disapproval to anger at the growing phenomenon of Asians and Hispanics identifying as white.

Oops!  My bad.  Democrats and the racially-deterministic left have been expressing that outrage. 

The left's insistence on slotting people into strict skin color categories makes them sound like a 19th century British slaver in the West Indies invoking the odious "one drop rule" and deciding whether the indigenous person before him is a quadroon or an octoroon.

The Left's Replacement Theory

A related propaganda vector emanating from the racially-obsessed left is the "White Minority by 2045" fetish they enjoy wallowing in so much.  The most charitable articles view this as a "shoe on the other foot" morality tale, hoping the looming prospect of minority status will chasten whites into atoning for their white privilege, toning down the Karen, and humbly accepting their lower status. 

The worst ones wallow in giddy glee and snarky smart-assery, but most of it's designed to troll whitey, feeding us a steady drumbeat of how this is upsetting whites, making them more fearful and bigoted, despite the lack of any actual evidence to support their schadenfreude fantasies.

The Great Abandonment Theory: A Democrat Dream Destroyed

Professors Richard Alba, Morris Levy, and Dowell Myers shoot down the "Great Replacement theory" and its concomitant "White minority theory."  Both theories are racially-deterministic, grounded in the abhorrent "one drop rule," and wrong.
That narrative depends on the misleading practice of classifying individuals of mixed backgrounds as exclusively nonwhite.
Their research reveals that instead of a "Great Replacement," there is actually a "Great Welcoming:" Whites are welcoming Hispanics, Asians and other "people of color" into the wonderful world of White Privilege, just like the beneficent whites of the 19th and 20th Century welcomed Italians, Irish and Jews into the exclusive club.

More excerpts from their Atlantic article:
Nearly three in 10 Asian, one in four Latino, and one in five Black newlyweds are married to a member of a different ethnic or racial group. More than three-quarters of these unions are with a white partner. For more and more Americans, racial integration is embedded in their closest relationships.

Among Latinos, identifying as white or as simply “American” is common, and belies the notion that Latinos should be classified monolithically as nonwhite.

As much as they are competing for economic resources and political power, America’s racial groups are blending now more than ever. According to the most detailed of the Census Bureau’s projections, 52 percent of individuals included in the nonwhite majority of 2060 will also identify as white. By the same token, the white group will become much more diverse, because 40 percent of Americans who say they are white also will claim a minority racial or ethnic identity.
"They" are not "Replacing us," -- They are Joining Us

Please go read the entire short essay, The Myth of a Majority-Minority America.  It will give you hope.  White Americans--contrary to the leftist propaganda--welcome the changing, blending demographic landscape, as do minorities eager to assimilate into this e pluribus unum.  

That is a threat to the leftwing deconstructionist agenda, which is why activists continue to stoke the flames of  black and white conflict, us against them racial resentment.

Fie on them all. They are only marginally better than the white supremacists.  Racial identity tribal warfare is a losers game, but its all Democrats and their mirror-image fellow travelers on the extreme right have left. 

Good Americans are moving forward. Together. 

Related:  Pew:  Measuring the racial identity of Latinos

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Democrat Fear and Smear

Silverfiddle Rant!
First off, I damn all Republican politicians and public figures for not making this simple statement, loudly and frequently:  

"To the Buffalo killer, and anyone who would be inspired by his manifesto, know this: You’re not fighting for the white race. White people hate you. You are alone."  (NY Post Editorial Board)

The Infotainment Media Complex, in its long march to elect more democrats and smear everyone to the right of Nancy Pelosi is now tarring mainstream Republicans with the Great Replacement Theory.  

This is a neat trick progressives have used over and over, but thankfully with diminishing returns.  They have made the term 'racist' almost meaningless, and I'm sure you can come up with some other words and concepts they have despoiled by blatant and irresponsible misuse.

So anyhoo, the questions I have are...
* What is the proper, progressive-approved way to voice opposition to illegal immigration?

* Can an American express pride in this nation without being labeled a white supremacist (I know, it makes no sense, but we are talking about the progressive left) 

* Can someone avoid being labeled a neo-Hitlerian if she expresses concern that bringing in too many people with dissimilar cultures, practices and mores will negatively affect our society?
This is what the left does best: Smearing good people with odious labels to stifle debate.

What say you?

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

I loved the following tune so much that I bought the vinyl pictured below:
About the "Dueling Banjos" scene in the film Deliverance:

*****At the age of 16, [Billy Redden], this boy from Rabun County, Georgia, was the only "authentic" local to play the role of The Banjo Boy in John Boorman's disturbing hit movie Deliverance (1972). He was hand-picked from his local elementary school, largely due to his "look" (his large head, skinny body, odd-shaped eyes and moronic grin had sadly branded him a poster-child for inbreeding and mental deficiency).****

Redden could not, in fact, play the banjo.  Some Hollywood "magic" in the editing room made it seem as if he could.  For more details, see "Use in Deliverance."

Friday, May 13, 2022

Get it Off Your Chest 5/13/22

 Open Comments

Comments from trolls and rants against administrators will still be deleted.


Thursday, May 12, 2022

Baby Formula Shortage?

The top and bottom shelf look like apple juice or applesauce (I could be wrong), but the middle shelf is baby formula.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Freedom Of Religion?

Please watch the following short video (sorry for the advertisement):

Read the article HERE (dated April 24, 2022). But be warned: videos will play as soon as the page loads.

What say you about the Satanic Temple's plans?

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Mother's Day

(For politics, please scroll down)

Happy Mother's Day, Mom and Wawa.  I miss you both every day.

Family photos below....

Unfortunately, I don't have any photographs of the women on my father's side, probably because they came from the Church of the Brethren.  I do, however, have quite a few photos of the women on my mother's side.

Mom's grandmother, aka "Ma" (circa 1860-circa 1945), whom I never met.  She gave life birth to five sons and two daughters:

Mom's mother, whom my and subsequent generations called "Wawa"(1898-1981). Wawa was a mathematical and computer genius, with only an 8th grade education back in the hills of East Tennessee; she was a master seamstress, as well.  After she no longer care-gave Ma, Wawa went to Washington, D.C., for employment toward the end of World War 2.  Because of her intuition about how to keep those big-frame computers running as efficiently as possible, IBM trained her—never mind her age.  A redhead, she was a force to be reckoned with everywhere she went. Example: Wawa held off the power company at rifle point in Northern Virginia because the power company wanted to put high-tension power lines over her cow barn. Because of what we today call bad optics, the lines got moved elsewhere!

Mom (1916-1987). She went to Washington, D.C., to get a job during the Great Depression. A whiz at mathematics, she took various accounting courses and became a statistician for the federal government. She loved her job at the Federal Trade Commission, but kept getting bumped back to the Internal Revenue Service, a place that she hated to work. She met Dad on December 24, 1950, when she was thirty-four, and fell in love with him at first sight. Mom was never in good health during my lifetime; she had serious heart and kidney problems, and had a series of eight heart attacks between 1960-1964. Mom was the most patient person I've ever known! The photo below was taken a few years before Mom met Dad:

Four generations on Mother's Day, circa 1979. Left to right: my dearest cousin, the daughter of Mom's brother's son (1942-1992), at age 12; yours truly at age 27; Mom at age 63; Wawa at age 81.  This photo was taken in the living room of my maternal family's last "homeplace," which I sold in 2021: 
PS: I still have that loveseat and that side table!

Friday, May 6, 2022

Get it Off Your Chest 5/6/22

Open Comments

Comments from trolls and rants against administrators will still be deleted. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Roe v. Wade: Overturned?


Monday, May 2, 2022

The COVID "Vaccines"

Over and over again, we hear that the COVID vaccines — not really vaccines in the traditional sense — prevent severe illness, hospitalization, or worse.   Statements so laudatory of the COVID vaccines are not based on science, however. Rather, they are merely feel-good statements based on emotion or perhaps a  manifestation of magical thinking.


If you got the COVID vaccines and had no ill effects, good for you No sarcasm implied or intended.  

My situation is different.

You see, prior to the arrival of COVID, I already had a history of two severe reactions to live vaccines: (1) after a live vaccine at 6 months of age, I had febrile seizures, followed by over a week in pediatric intensive care; (2) after a live vaccine for chickenpox at age 64, I developed a problem with my renal system, to the point that I required surgery. Because of the latter development, a neurologist, a urologist, and a primary-care doctor all stated, independently of each other: "No more live vaccines for you!"  Not a single one of the aforementioned doctors is an anti-vaxxer.   
Then along came COVID-19. In March of 2021, my primary-care doctor ruled out my having any mRNA vaccine. In his words: "MRNA vaccines are not exactly live, but they are close to that. Considering your history with vaccines, let's go with the J&J shot."  A risk-benefit analysis. 

My significant reaction to the COVID vaccine didn't set in until about 3 weeks later, and I've yet to fully recover from the respiratory issues that arose.  When I informed my doctor as to the negative effects I was experiencing, he said: "Worse than many, but not as bad as some."  Of course, followed by "Call 911 if you need to."  

Hmmmmm. Maybe I should have stuck with social-distancing only.  

So far, I haven't needed medical intervention. 

Now, with the passage over a year, we are hearing more and more that there are indeed people who have had severe problems with the COVID-19 vaccines. Consider the following information (only two samples of many I could have chosen):

and, albeit over 10 minutes long;

Full disclosure: some sources have discredited the above and have deemed it "misinformation" or "disinformation."  Is it, though?

The fact remains that we don't know what we don't know.  Furthermore, that little bit of information about FDA's wanting to put a 75-year lock on certain information related to COVID vaccines does not promote confidence in Big Pharma's products.  See this article.   

Whatever the truth about COVID-19 vaccines, all of us should be able to see that experts are contradicting experts — and sometimes experts contradict themselves within as little as 48 hours!  "The science is evolving."  Or something.

I can't advise you as to what to do about these vaccines for yourself or for your children (or grandchildren).  But I know that I'll have to think long and hard about getting any kind of booster.

I'll close this post with the following, relevant to more than vaccinations per se....

In 1901, Churchill wrote to H.G. Wells: 
Nothing would be more fatal than for the government of states to get into the hands of the experts. Expert knowledge is limited knowledge: and the unlimited ignorance of the plain man who knows only what hurts is a safer guide, than any vigorous direction of a specialised character. Why should you assume that all except doctors, engineers, etc. are drones or worse?

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Poetry Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down) 

As a result of seeing I saw this particular 1981 episode of The Tonight Show live, I had Mr. AOW get a signed copy of Jimmy Stewart and His Poems on September 19, 1989, while I was at work (no personal leave at the private school where I was working):

Recently, I reread the little volume Jimmy Stewart and His Poems by Jimmy Stewartas good now as when I first got the book.  

As of September 3, 2020, after decades of having only cats as household pets, I have a dog named Callie, pictured left.  To my chagrin, she is as disobedient as Jimmy Stewart's Beau.  But she's a pretty faceand a crazy clown!