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."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
I don't understand it, of course, but that doesn't mean I can't, or won't, try. I am talking about why somone might want to fight, and maybe die, trying to create a caliphate. I realize that many Muslims believe a caliph would be elected by the people within it but, in reality, it is the equivalent of a western monarchy. But, then, I have a hard time understanding why someone would fight to place a person in power; whether that person would be king, a dictator, or a president. It just makes no sense to me.
Now, I fought for a system but that system was a republic (a form that is democratic in nature) and I would do so again. But that is young man's game, not one for a man pushing 70.
I think that these fighters for ISIS are ones that would be denied enlistment in our military because they would be deemed unfit mentally. That is not to say that our military men and women are all completely sane. Some of them, no doubt, have some tendencies that would be unacceptable in civilian life. They are not automatons who blindly follow orders though I have known some who seemed that way.
I learned I could not be a cop because the power of that job would corrupt me. I learned that while doing a couple of stints as Shore Patrol. I didn't like what that job did to me.
But why would someone risk their life and, for want of a better word, their soul to establish something that resembles a dictatorship?
Note that the bill only requires a vetting process be in place and does not prevent any refugees from coming here. I would find the administration's words of how safe it would be to allow them in more sincere if Obama promised to resign if any of the refugees commited an act of terror. I won't hold my breath waiting for that announcement.
There are times when I do not understand human beings. For example, when they gather together under an ideology of hate and call it a religion. That is what ISIS is, a cult with a large following of young men and women who seemingly hate the lands of their birth. I don't understand that. I think I did when I was younger but do not anymore. When we are young we are are malleable. We can be easily brainwashed. It is why we recruit soldiers from our youth. The State can then mold them easily into trained killers. That is what The Islamic State is doing; taking young minds and manipulating them into thinking there is only one way to see the world.
They then make them think they are part of a "family" that thinks alike... there is a reason they call each other "brother" and "sister." What would you do for your family? Especially if you are told that your family is under attack?
As some of you know, in addition to being obnoxious, I am a student of WWII and that is what I want to talk about today. At the outset of the war, Germany and Japan seemed unbeatable. They had supposedly better technology and "blooded" soldiers and pilots. Yet we soon had the upper hand. One wonders why....
I think they weren't as tough as we thought. We soon applied our will and our best brains on defeating them. In the Pacific theater, the Japanese supposedly had better planes and better pilots (because they were "battle-tested") but we soon learned how to beat them in planes that weren't as fast and weren't as maneuverable. Ours were designed to take a hit and still keep flying while theirs weren't. That made a difference. The Japanese also kept their best pilots in the field while ours rotated back to be instructors. That mattered because,eventually, we killed their pilots and that made a big difference.
Our pilots wanted to live, too, and that gave them incentive to develop successful strategies.
In the end we overwhelmed the enemy on two fronts and defeated them, mostly by waging something called "total war." What this meant was striking at the enemy at every opportunity and not caring what happened to the enemy population.
That might be the only way to defeat our current enemy.
By now, you've heard about the multiple (and,apparently, coordinated) attacks in Paris. I think France is learning what Israel lives through.
Faye had an interesting suggestion: deport all Muslims from France. I feel I must agree. Yes, I understand that only a tiny few are responsible for the carnage but I also recall that when I was in grade school and high school, a common practice when someone acted up and pulled a prank, was to punish the entire class. I thought it unfair at the time but now, with age, I think it was the right thing to do.
After much discussion, we decided that all Muslims should be deported to Syria. Perhaps that would provide the incentive to clean up the Islamic religion. We cannot do it for them, it must come from inside... just as all other religions have done.
It appears that college protests are all the rage these days. Back in the 60's, there were plenty of them... mostly about the Vietnam War but not just that. I could understand that, there was an active military draft at the time and getting sent to fight was a real concern. Not for me, I was already in the military by the time these protests became commonplace.
Today, the protests are more about financial concerns than personal safety.
There are also protests over what is being called "systemic racism" at some colleges; a case in point being the University of Missouri (commonly called "Mizzou", I believe). I believe that racism is systemic throughout this country. I believe this because of my experiences and observations over the years. There is a lot of racism out there and it's not going away. I see it in action every day... in the comments of friends and acquaintances as well as in the actions and words of strangers. It won't be eradicated in my lifetime, I am sad to say, because I think it is hard-wired into our DNA. Not just in white people but in all human beings. I have spoken of this before... probably more than you ever wanted to read. But to complain about debt from student loans and demands for tuition-free state universities just irks me. Nothing is free, it must be paid for in some way. Either through taxes or through tuitions. Even "basic" education (elementary and high school) wasn't/isn't free. Teachers and administration staff must be paid, schools must be built, and all of this is why we pay taxes. When they say "tuition-free" they mean for the students, not their parents or those who live in their states.
One of the lessons I learned growing up was that we do not appreciate what we are given but we do appreciate that which we earn. We need to have "skin in the game" so to speak.
I just read an article about some fast-food employees protesting their pay and wanting a $15.00 an hour minimum wage. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is behind the protests which are primarily aimed at McDonalds and Wal-Mart.
We often don't pay attention to the ingredients in OTC medicines. I do... because I once had a problem with getting too much vitamin A. It gave me symptoms that mimicked, I thought, illness. I would get nauseous, dizzy (maybe I should say "dizzier"), and experience some pain. I learned to be careul about what I ingested. I continue to pay attention to labels even today although vitamin A is less of a problem now.
Maybe I don't get as much vitamin A from my diet now... or maybe my body has changed. At one time, I couldn't take vitamins every day. Now I do; you get old and you need some supplements.
We tend to forget that OTC medicines (once called "patent medicines") are not all that safe and we often neglect to tell our doctors what OTC medicines we routinely take. One of our dinner friends was a nurse and knows something about medicines, she regaled us with information last week.
I learned quite a bit. But pay attention to those labels... on just about everything.
I've been wondering about the lack of sense in the world today... We have teens trying to "hook up" with ISIS, countless candidates for president, a president that has ignored the Constitution, and people (young and old) who are fixated on their cellphones.
What am I missing?
I suspect that, once this president has left office, we will be faced with runaway inflation the likes of which we never had before. Jimmy Carter had a poor economy (they called it "stagflation") and I think the only reason we do not have that now is because the Fed is basically giving out money for free (or at incredibly low interest rates) thereby providing a false sense of security. At some point, interest rates will rise and inflation will be the norm.
I fully intended to write a post for Friday... really. But, obviously, I didn't. I will go through my usual excuses (something came up, the dog ate my computer, etc.) but, to be honest, it just slipped my mind. That has been happening a lot lately.
Like when I went to Wal-Mart on Thursday (I usually go on Tuesday but... "something came up"). Faye had listed "tea" on the shopping list but did not write "hot" or "iced" so I bought hot tea (I like Celestial Seasonings Green Tea with Honey, Lemon, and Ginseng) which was okay because a couple of weeks ago, I mistakenly bought Green Tea with Lemon and Jasmine instead of what I wanted.
That happens when you get old... I paid the price for screwing up on Friday because my the driver of my cart was an 86-year-old named Pete who managed to run into a stump on hole 6 and I ended up with a bruise just below my lower lip (neatly hidden by my beard). Pete bruised his ribs on the left side but nothing broken, fortunately.
Life does not get easier with age... I'd like to add a rant at CBS (especially) and any other network that shows football games on Sundays: What is the point of a schedule when you know it will not be adhered to? Why bother to have any new shows on Sunday primetime when you won't abide by the schedule?