Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
By the way... there's a crossword at the bottom of this page
It's a simple story, really. Police have a relatively minor crime to solve and they follow standard procedure. They get a description of the perpetrator from the victim and try to match that with known criminals. One of the things the police always ask is "Did the perpetrator have any distinguishing marks?"
In this case, the victim told them that he did... a tattoo of a lightning bolt on his face. Well, this eventually led them to a suspect (one Dylan Vok) who was identified by the victim of a robbery in a photo "line-up":
"so the authorities pulled Mr. Vok’s police photo, as well as ones of several other white men without tattoos, and they used Photoshop to paste Mr. Vok’s tattoo on all of their faces. They showed the array of photos to the victim, who picked Mr. Vok."
This is pretty standard procedure. The problem is, it turns out, that Mr. Vok was nowhere near the scene of the crime on Staten Island at the time the crime was committed. He was in Detroit. And, it turns out, Mr. Vok could prove that through records of his use of a food-stamp card.
Yes, Mr. Vok was being assisted in his daily life by the government. And this saved him a lot of trouble. In a sense, Mr. Vok's story is uplifting...
"Mr. Vok found his way to Detroit as it was crumbling toward bankruptcy [in 2011, months before the robbery], and said he managed to buy a house for less than $2,000 at an auction. He found work gardening and, later, exploring new technologies in self-sustaining agriculture and permaculture."
I won't ask how Mr. Vok, obviously destitute, decided to head for Detroit, find and buy a $2000 house. It is just fortunate he did. Because it saved him from going to prison.
" Lerner once again asserted her Fifth Amendment right not to testify, as
she did last May when she was first called to testify. Before she first
spoke at the hearing Wednesday, Issa warned that his committee would
consider whether to hold her in contempt if she declined to testify."
Ms Lerner has every right to plead the Fifth when called before a House
Committee. And we, the average citizens of this country have every
right to read whatever we wish into her refusal to testify. A court and a
jury must not make any inference from that refusal but we are not a
formal court and neither is Congress. We are the Court of Public Opinion and, as such, we can form our opinions as we see fit. Now, the media
would like us to concentrate on the treatment of Representative Elijah
Cummings (D- Md) who sought to disrupt proceedings and make an opening
statement after having declined to do so at the outset of the hearing. Do not be fooled, do not be distracted...
of course, you believe an administration can, and should, intimidate
its political enemies during a campaign (and beyond) by using the power
of the IRS.
Lois Lerner refused to testify (again). Lois Lerner refused to testify (again). Lois Lerner refused to testify (again).
I ran into this question many times over my life. So have you, I am sure. It was a very popular question in the late 60's and its purpose seemed to be to shut down any argument. As I recall, it was used often and effectively. But the premise is flawed.
We humans make lots of judgments. We are taught to by our parents, by our teachers, by the policemen who were seemingly everywhere in my youth. We were to judge our own behavior, our motives, our thoughts about just about everything. It is the basic ingredient in what we call a conscience. Steal or not steal? Lie or not lie? Cheat on your girlfriend or boyfriend or be true? Live up to a promise or not? We always judge ourselves.
And, yet, we were also taught to "judge not, lest ye be judged." A silliness (in my opinion) that is an important tenet of Christian religion. Because, after all is said and done, its adherents believe they will be judged. And isn't that the point?
After some contemplation, I came to understand that it meant one should not judge others. But that went against the lessons of my youth, too. We were judged by the quality of our friends, the kids we hung around with. In my case... in my teens... they were hoodlums and troublemakers. And, so, I was deemed a trouble-making little hoodlum too. And then there was my brother; two years older than me, he preceded me through school, poisoning the teachers', the principal's, and the dean's view of me. The first time I ended up in the dean's office in junior high, he asked me if I was going to be as much trouble for him as my brother had been. There was, in his tone, the resigned belief that I would be.
I was judged in boot camp by the morons the company commander put in charge. I was judged by anyone and everyone. I have been judged by the girls I dated, by their parents, by bosses and potential bosses. I have become used to being judged.
In fact, isn't the title question a judgment itself?
I am a male. This means that I am clueless. And stupid (or is that stoopid?). I might even be made of "slugs and snails and puppy-dogs' tails" if I believed that old nursery rhyme. Just ask any woman I have dated and no longer do. I was even called a "creep" once by a woman I ran into at a bar after not calling her for weeks after a date with her. I must admit she had me pegged pretty well when she "suggested" I had gone out with her because of the enormity of her chest. To be fair, we didn't leave her apartment that night so did I "go out" with her?
We males have standards too. They were sort of explained by the movie "10" with Bo Derek and some guy whose name now eludes me.... short guy, played a drunk rich guy once. The title of that movie implied a scale upon which men rate women. I will admit that, yes, we do that. In fact, one night in a bar called "Monk's" in Chicago back in 1977, a friend and I even made signs with numbers on them to rate the young women who walked by on the way to the restrooms. It did not make us popular for some reason. Go figure...
But, yes, we males rate women according to that scale. And we did it based on the superficial attribute of physical beauty. Virtually all movie actresses (with a few obvious exceptions) are Tens, for instance. But few women outside of the movies and advertisements rate that high.
I once dated a young woman who came close. I was obviously out of my league. You may have noticed that the only time a woman on the high end of that scale (8-10) is seen with average looking guy is in the movies or on TV. I suspect that women do not really follow that old saying about beauty being only skin deep. Or maybe like that adage that is as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor one, women are pragmatic.
I need to amend the first sentence of that last paragraph; I dated two young women who ranked close to Ten. The first (just prior to my enlisting in the Navy) broke my heart and the second failed to become a steady date but introduced me to one who did (who was maybe a 5 or 6).
The scale is very subjective and involves many personal likes and dislikes. It is also subject to the amount of alcohol one consumes. I went home with a Ten and woke up with a Three a few times while I was in the Navy. Ann-Margaret became Totie Fields in the cold light of morning. The hangovers just made it worse.
My ex-wife was an Eight, definitely, but she still ended up as my ex.
Faye? Well, Faye was a Seven, maybe an Eight, when we first met. But time marches on and her physical attributes are not what they once were. Still, I think of her as a Ten now.
High blood pressure runs in my family... but only on my father's side. It was the cause of the deaths of the males in their mid-sixties. My grandfather, his father, his father's father and so on all died around age 65. My father firmly believed he would succumb to this "curse" also. He didn't, his doctor found the spiking blood pressure in his fifties (it was fine before that) and treated it and he lived to be 84.
My father was a teetotaler... only drank a cocktail on two occasions a year: New Year's Eve and my parents' wedding anniversary. So I don't think this article applies to him. I no longer drink alcohol so it means little to me but my friends imbibe, some heavily. I know I did not flush when drinking so maybe he didn't either.