IRMA- Depending on the kindness of others

I am sitting here in a shelter in Newbury outside of somewhere in the heart of God’s country. Everyone is being so kind. I have yet to hear the news, but my home is/was in Fort Myers and not a good location. I had saddled up to one of the early bunkervites Mandy Williams in Bradenton, outside of Tampa thinking  I would be fine there as the home we were going to was fitted out with the best in hurricane accoutrements. Needless to say, by Friday it was apparent this was not the place I wanted to have the experience.

So I got on route 75 passed Ocala and Gainesville. No hotels available and what the heck,$100 bucks a night or more wouldn’t last long. Almost to route 10. I called Red Cross for a shelter. No one wanted me with the cat, she apparently was expendable. Finally I found one which was full but lucky me, a new one was just opening up down the road, and God took care of me to land here.

So the floor is kind of hard, and the food is a bit tough and being homeless probably is more than I can think about. Someone said it is turning west so I hold out faint hope of something left. Maybe a picture or two. I will write more as the day goes. But wanted to let everyone know I am alive and more or less okay.

We are in for a Cat 1 hurricane here, but I am told we should be ok.  Thanks for your prayers and well wishes.



Volvo Bashing

I am on my way North this morning, in an attempt to flee SW Florida and all the potential mayhem. Prayers appreciated as a Cat 5 seems to be bearing down on us. Mustang offers us a change of pace. I will catch you when I can….


Volvo Bashing

A story told by Rod Whitaker

Years ago, the man sought a vehicle that would suit the purposes of a country gentleman.  Upon the enthusiastic advice of a long-time friend, he ultimately decided on a Volvo.  His decision was predicated on the assumption that any automobile that cost so much, lacked beauty, comfort, speed, and fuel economy must at least be dependable and last many years.

Soon after he purchased the vehicle, our gentleman located places of rust, noted misaligned wheels, experienced grabbing brakes, and observed that his windshield wipers only flirted with the glass, and never once consummated their relationship.  Worse, the car had a trunk that required the two good arms of a weight lifter to close it.  He promptly returned the vehicle to the dealer, who punctually suggested that these were issues for the manufacturer.

Over many months, potential litigants exchanged letters, no one apparently willing to accept responsibility for the poor quality of workmanship at Volvo, until finally the company offered their condolences to squire’s bad luck in automotive selection.  Occasionally, we must all suffer a lemon.

The sullen landowner finally accepted his fate.  He set about transforming the Volvo into a vehicle capable of transporting sheep and bulky equipment into the high mountain regions, which were part of his vast estate.  He secretly hoped that the worthless vehicle would fall apart, forcing him to decide on a vastly improved replacement, but sadly, while he found no truth in the proposition that the Volvo was a quality manufacture, the vehicle’s claim to durability seemed entirely valid.  While it always ran poorly —it nevertheless always ran.

The country gentleman had some years earlier hired the village drunk to become his gardener.  In this, Pierre was utterly steadfast in two areas: watering the plants, and consuming no more than eight or ten glasses of Irouléguy each day.  It was to this man that the country squire assigned the additional duties as a chauffeur with the expectation that he would soon replace the Volvo.

Pierre had little trust in mechanical things.  In the first instance, he believed automobiles were far more complicated than necessary.  Pierre thus limited his interaction with the Volvo’s transmission to only two gears: reverse and low.  More than this was a waste of energy, he felt, for the result was the same had he managed to pass the vehicle in its fourth gear.  The clutch was good for starting off, but had no value afterwards.  It was just as easy to re-start the automobile at intersections where stopping was necessary and several times while negotiating tight turns to the left or right.

Normally, Pierre regarded stop signs as signals to proceed at flank speed.  It was also true that Pierre had little use for the foot brake, particularly when the hand brake was more convenient.

The local villagers were fortunate because it was possible to hear the Volvo’s screaming engine from a long way off.  It gave them time to park their scooters, leap over stone walls, or take shelter within the nearest tavern before the Volvo actually descended upon them, its engine racing, body rattling, and the exhaust polluting the air.

Pierre was a proud man.  He was also proud of his driving record; not once had he ever been involved in a traffic incident of any sort —which was more than he could say about others who used the narrow mountain roadways.  These other drivers would frequently run their scooters off the roadway, or drive their lorries into the business establishments along the mountain road.  It was not necessarily their lack of driving skill that bothered Pierre —it was their rudeness in offering him obscene gestures.  This was too much to bear.

In time, our gentleman came to accept that this monstrosity of a vehicle might even outlast him, who had just recently entered his 50th year.  In anger and disgust, he began kicking the vehicle before entering it, and upon exiting.  Initially, the local people found this quite amusing.  Then the friends of the squire began bashing the Volvo whenever they came across it parked in the village square, and soon it became a village tradition involving everyone —even the village priest, although without the profanity.

Thus began the custom of Volvo bashing in this small mountain village, and not just the Volvo owned by the country gentleman.  Tourists who rented Volvos had their cars bashed, too … and, in time, they too participated in this quaint behavior.  Then the jet setters that came to ski began bashing Volvos, and the backpackers who came to spend their parent’s money.  Within a year, Volvo bashing spread throughout Europe and there was soon a persistent if not mythical flavor to the rumor that the mountain people bashed their Volvo for good luck and it seemed to work for nowhere on the planet were there any Volvos older and more utilitarian than in the Pyrenees Mountains.

Rumors soon spread throughout Europe that in an effort to attract the smart set to an automobile that had sacrificed everything to passenger safety (despite their use of Firestone tires), Volvo would soon introduce a pre-bashed model.  This is how the Volvo Company ultimately appealed to the European affluent class, who remain convinced that their lives must surely benefit all of mankind.

Sunday Respite – Hymn to Hope

I chose Secret Garden “Hymn to Hope” for my Sunday Respite. Beautiful photography with one of my favorite groups. Special prayers go out to all that are suffering with the latest weather disaster. Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday weekend.  I suggest watching this in full screen.


Sunday Respite – Sometimes a Prayer Will Do

This seemed to be an appropriate selection when so many are feeling so much pain. Prayers for all those who have suffered losses and who now face additional challenges.

Performed by Tracey Campbell/Ensemble Animato/Grosser Earth-Choir for “Hymns & Prayers” concert 02/05/14. Written by Secret Garden. Orchestration/choir arrangement by Ed Blunt.

Excusing Leftist Hatred – SPLC

Guest post by Mustang.

What is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)?  They were founded in the early 1970s by two Alabama lawyers by the names of Morris Dees and Joseph Levin.  Levin managed the SPLC for its initial few years, while Morris Dees was irrevocably convinced that America is a racist nation and needs his guiding hand to lead us into the light.  As psychotic as that sounds, it only gets worse.  The operating methodology of SPLC is to launch expensive lawsuits against fringe organizations, such as the KKK (Founded by a Democrat, of course) and others, at about the time when hardly anyone ever heard of these organizations.  Those who had heard of them repudiated them; their memberships were almost in single-digits.  In suddenly getting a lot of attention from the leftist media, the SPLC became the white knight of American race relations –well, er … maybe that’s not such a good analogy.

Since its beginning, SPLC made a transition to monitoring hate groups, committed to fighting hate and bigotry.  No one in America is exempt from such monitoring, except possibly the hate groups on the left, which insofar as I can tell, represents the mainstream of the progressive movement.  Let’s pause to review organizations monitored by the SPLC:

SPLC Groups Monitored

The interesting part is that most of these groups herald their beginnings from the Democratic Party … you know, the same group that used to hang uppity Negroes, beat the crap out of homosexuals for entertainment purposes, burn down black churches, and celebrate the birthday of Adolf Hitler by dressing up in SS uniforms.  I should also mention that a clear majority of these monitored groups only exist at a letter drop box and an internet website —which makes monitoring “pig simple.” In essence then, the founders and managers of the SPLC have made a business out of “monitoring hate groups,” and they do this for profit even if they have to make up hate groups to add to their curricula vitae.

Personally, I’ve always viewed the SPLC as a terrorist group; I don’t understand why they are not under scrutiny by the federal agencies … but then, I’m still trying to figure out why Barack Obama is not classified as a terrorist, as well.  Certainly, everyone who suffered from Arab Spring thinks of him as such.  And if the SPLC is not a terrorist organization, which is to say having direct ties to terrorist activities, then they most certainly are indirectly linked because they “enable” and “encourage” terrorist activities by the nimrods they seek to protect: Black Lives Matter (advocating the assassination of police officers), Code Pink (setting off bombs near military recruitment centers), CAIR (tied to Hamas and Hezbollah), MSA (Moslem Student Association), and ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) (also connected to the Moslem Brotherhood, a Sufi-Islam terror group)

But the truth is that SPLC is part of the vast lie about conservative values, and when these are repeated often enough, most leftists (which is to say, individuals’ incapable of thinking for themselves) accept the lies as an unmitigated truth.

Are there any “haters” on the right?  Of course, there are … but they are fringe groups composed to seriously demented persons and they do not represent mainstream conservatives.  In contrast, the leftist politics of hatred is fundamental … it’s been with the left since the French Revolution, and it’s getting worse every single day.  Unlike the fringe right, leftist hatred exists in the American mainstream (placed there, and maintained by an adamantly biased media).  To people such as the standard CNN line-up, hatred is only a fault if it exists on the right.

The Scots

The Scots –  by Mustang who writes at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

A bit of change (but not much) for our usual fare of modern American politics. I am writing today a trifle report on a manuscript by former Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb —also a former senator and a presidential candidate in 2006. Webb’s book (one of them) is titled Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish shaped America. It is a book worthy of your time if (a) your Scots-Irish, (b) being an American still thrills you, and/or (c) enjoy reading good history.

Essentially, somewhere around 30 million modern-day Americans can trace their lineage to the Scots. This is somewhat amazing, considering that the number of people living in Scotland today only numbers around five-million. Scottish culture has been formed by centuries of continuous warfare, beginning with their migration from the Emerald Isle into the land of the Picts, whose own quite sophisticated society, we are told, the Scots eventually replaced. I’m no anthropologist, but I believe the Picts are still with us today, only we know them as “Scottish Highlanders.”

Chronologically, we obtain the word Scot from the Roman Latin word Scotii; it is simply what the Romans called the Gaelic speaking people living north of present-day Hadrian’s Wall. The sobriquet remains, and today it includes those who migrated to present-day Scotland from Ireland around 400 A.D.

Someone with more wit than I once observed that the number one export from Ireland and Scotland were the Scots-Irish people. What pushed them out of their homes and on to America’s doorstep? Somewhere between 250,000 and 400,000 Scots-Irish immigrants found their way to America in the 17th and 18th centuries. They mostly traveled in family groups; they brought with them their cultural view of the world around them, and they brought their skills as warriors and rebels. If we examine them closely, we’ll find strong individualism, an innate distrust of aristocracy, a military tradition, and a strong sense of duty.

America was not the only place these people went, but inside the United States there were two major waves of immigrants. The first group were mostly protestants; they were welcomed by the English and celebrated for their contributions to the settlements. A second group in the mid-1800s were not quite as welcomed; it had to do with their religious beliefs and the time-period of their arrival in the Americas. Within the first wave, we find men and women whose attitudes and values were predominantly working-class/populist. In the second group came the founders of America’s labor movement; men and women who rejected capitalism in favor of socialist ideology.

Webb’s book, Born Fighting, seeks to chronicle the shaping of the United States. It is a well-written narrative history that brings understanding to many of our perplexing issues of the day. The story begins nearly two-thousand years ago north of Hadrian’s wall; the tale continues with an account of Scotland’s struggle with England … altogether showing how Scotland was formed from conflict, while England’s history was formed around commerce and trade. The Scots and English fought over several hundred years—conflicts which even extended into Northern Ireland. One of the major push factors from both Scotland and Ireland was starvation —people left in droves.

We must acknowledge that the Scots are a people who not only fought for England through two world wars, and numerous other engagements, but they also fought in the American Revolution. They wore both red coats and blue coats … some wore clothing made of buckskin. Easily forty percent of America’s Continental Army were composed of Scots; they included such persons as Daniel Book, George and William Rogers Clark, Meriwether Lewis, David Crockett, and Andrew Jackson.

The Scots helped to settle America’s frontier; they helped to define American culture. One only has to listen carefully to American country music to discern the influence of Scotland. In literature, the Scots gave us Edgar Allen Poe, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), and in political and military leadership they gave us Stonewall Jackson1, Ulysses S. Grant, Lewis B. Puller, George S. Patton, and Ronald Reagan.

Throughout America’s formative years, the Scots living in America experienced cultural isolation and hard times, but they were stubborn and refused to give in to either an over-bearing government, or the equally over-bearing industrialists. Today, the continue to dominate the blue-collar work force. They remain a primary enlistment pool for America’s armed forces. They form the so-called Bible Belt; they continue to dominate country music.

Mistrust of the political elite continues even today, but on the downside, it is apparent that many of the Scots-Irish are easily misled by the same people whom they profess to distrust: politicians. Today, they tend to vote Democrat for no other reason than because their ancestors did2. They are convenient targets of political rhetoric and the divide and conquer of class warfare. After decades of being told by politicians that “the rich” are their enemy, the modern Scot envisions anyone more well-off than they are, were somehow born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Born Fighting is a good read, because it causes inward reflection.

The Scots arrived in America believing in liberty, property, equality, and limited government. We must then wonder, how did such a stubborn, prideful people become duped into neo-liberalism? How did such a powerful, patriotic, and individualistic cultural group ever get to the point of embracing socialism?

The answer to the foregoing is that it is part of a global trend. I’ve recently had the privilege of spending several months in the United Kingdom, including England, Wales, and Scotland. Yes, there are “conservative” elements within these societies, but among the Scots I found a very large number of people who think that since government has for decades taxed them into oblivion, and as government have promised them something for nothing, they are entitled to “something” at “someone else’s expense.” There is a belief here that they are entitled to a share of Britain’s national treasury.

Concluding now, I’ve found what seems to go hand in hand with British liberalism is a very large number of homeless people, thieves, pickpockets, and druggies. No matter how many times these people go to jail for breaking the law, they go back on the street as soon as they are released. The once proud Scot has been beaten into submission by all the factors of politics that we despise. Their educational system is an abject failure, and if the government wants to silence voices of discontent, they stick a cookie in their mouths. What is actually happening is that over the years, a once-proud and fiercely independent people are being beaten into submission.

I believe that what I am seeing here in the UK is the future of America. Are we smart enough to turn this trend around before it’s too late?

Grassley to hold hearings on ‘Russian interference’ no mention of sins of Obama clan for review

Interesting isn’t it. The GOP can’t get themselves together to repeal Obamacare, but they sure can pull themselves together to beat on Trump. We have the usual suspects. But let’s pile on. Senators prepare bill to block firing of special counsel – Chicago Tribune

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is working on legislation that would block the firing of special counsels without judicial review. DemocratsSheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said Thursday they are among the senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee who are working with Graham on the effort.

Oh, but that’s not enough. Grassley will pull out the Bazooka and hold hearings to try to nail Trump et al. No time for hearings on the zillions of illegal activity by the Obama clan, but plenty of time for Trump. Just wait until 2018. In one big last hooray, let us primary these sad representations of the GOP back to their home towns for keeps:

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley is amping up the panel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, weighing whether to issue subpoenas for Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Bloomberg News first reported Monday.

Grassley’s committee is conducting its probe in addition to the Senate Intelligence Committee and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigations, which some– including Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn — have said they feel is inappropriate.

While the move has received some pushback, Grassley stands by his decision to push forward with the investigation alongside Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, arguing it’s their duty to look into whether there was any sort of obstruction of justice.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham praised Grassley’s efforts, saying he is loyal to the party but concerned with the greater good of the country.

More at Daily Caller

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