"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." ~~Thomas Jefferson

"Who will protect us from those who protect us?"

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. ~ Thomas Jefferson

"None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free." ~~Goethe

02 December 2016

Places lost...




















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Forgive me if I jump around a little bit...

This is my old school.  Thomas A. Edison School.  It was a K-9 school.  My mother went here as a child.  I went here for 1st through 6th grade.  Some of my younger brothers and sisters went here.  My 3 sons went here.  This is where my Cub Scout Pack met and where my first Boy Scout Troop met.  I learned to square dance here and this is where, after much consternation and many sleepless nights, I finally summoned the courage of a 4th Grader to ask Lee Ann Dinwiddie if I could carry her books home from school for her.  This playground is where I failed to make the Optimist team for summer ball as a 4th grader.  I still remember the devastation I felt that day.  I won a white ribbon on field day for running a hundred yards 3rd fastest.  Only 4 places received ribbons.  Everyone after 4th left a little disappointed.

The city currently has no plans for the property that the school stood on.  I suspect it will become a subsidized housing area.  One never knows, but hey, tax dollars have maintained this property for ninety years, why not continue, right? 

Rath Packing Company and John Deere were the two biggest employers in town.  Between them they probably employed half of my little town's workers.  Rath is long gone, unable to compete in the 80s with the IBPs and the Tysons of the world.  IBP and Tyson had a different business model...  Employ anyone who will work for bottom dollar.  That had a devastating effect on the local meat packing industry.  The old guys who worked at Rath for many years and made good wages and benefits no longer had a place to ply their trade.  IBP and Tyson employed Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Mexicans because they would work hard for next to nothing.  The story of the demise of Rath is a sad one.  The meat packing industry is corrupt, in my opinion.






 Deere is still around but not the big employer they use to be here.  They farm a lot of their work out to small local companies that have sprung up to do things like chipping and grinding castings and machining small batches of parts, or repair tractors that come off the assembly line with a defect.  These companies pay lower wages than Deere does, and have less lucrative benefits.  Heck, Deere doesn't pay like they use to...  

John Deere wanted to build a new electric foundry way back when, on the ground that my neighborhood was standing on.  It was a good location, they said.

In our neighborhood were homes, families, shops, a restaurant, a small grocery store, a barber shop and two gas stations.  There was a lumberyard and a printer, the church where my parents were married and a pattern company.  A small foundry that made manhole covers, a manufacturer of farm equipment such as hog and cattle feeders and a couple old buildings that were being used as warehouses.   There were Christmases and Thanksgivings and all the other holidays.  There were amazing adventures with the neighborhood kids...  There was life in 1950s and 1960s America here.

People and business owners weren't real keen on selling.  That is no problem, the city will just condemn your property and pay you what they think it's worth.   They have ways of changing your mind.  Ways of motivating you to do as they wish.

It started to disappear, that old neighborhood.

My family moved in with my grandfather after my grandmother died in 1962.  Prior to that we were living a couple of blocks away in a house behind Lobeck's Grocery, and had recently moved out of town to a farm where my dad raised chickens.  When grandma passed we moved back, seemingly without any interruption.   Chicken farming wasn't meant to be...

My grandfather was an employee of Deere, a union guy, but he wasn't pleased about losing his home of many years and he wasn't happy with the amount of money they were offering him for the house on two lots with the garage and the chicken coop and rabbit hutches.  He held out until we were nearly the very last people living in a once thriving blue collar neighborhood.  We may have been the last...

The river was a block away, at the end of our street.  We used to fish there.  We ran through the woods partaking in many, many adventures.   We were soldiers.  We were cowboys.  We were explorers on the river.

Houses and buildings were being torn down around us.  The once beautiful neighborhood looked like a war zone.  The local Fire Department would come in about once a month and burn a house for "practice".

It was an incredible, scary time.

Grandpa finally sold the house and my dad built a new one a couple of miles so away.  I remember talking with my dad later in life and him telling me how scared he was to build a brand new $15,000 house.  It had 4 bedrooms for the 9 of us.  An attached double garage came a year later at a cost of $1500.  He was scared to death that he wouldn't be able to make the $135 per month mortgage payments.

We ended up in the neighboring town's school district.  Our new house was right on the edge of town.  The streets were gravel and the woods and a quarry were only a block away.  Somehow, we made new friends and we somehow all survived.   The woods and quarry are gone now, replaced with a (n all electric) housing area (so cutting edge at the time) and a Middle School that was originally built as a High School.  The powers that be finally concluded that this town couldn't support 3 High Schools, so the newest HS became a Middle School.  It was all about keeping East High mostly black, West High almost completely white, and making the government happy by integrating the new Central High School, which was really on the south side of town.  (They use buses for their integration requirements today :) )  And then they sold the printing presses and eliminated most of the "career path training" tools and equipment.  We have a Community College that can teach that stuff, ya know...   Now they think that teaching serious career path courses in High School might be a good idea.  Our world is circular, ya know.  It's all been done before.

The population of my little town has been stagnant since the late 60s.  Actually declining by a hundred or two people every year.  Dependent on Deere and the farm market, ya know.  Deere use to employ about 12,000 workers here.  It's about 4,000 now, total, including white collar.  Union wages and benefits forced automation and efficiencies.  It's progress.  It's evolution.  It's the way it is. Deere continues to show record profits each quarter. 

We lived through the 60s and the 70s with shopping malls and rock and roll.  The Viet Nam war was on Television every night.  It was in the papers every day.  The protests.  The "massacre" at Kent State.  My Lai with  Lieutenant William Calley and Captain Ernest Medina.  It was hard to understand why Calley was the only soldier who was really punished.  My cousin Tony being killed in Viet Nam 2 weeks after he arrived in country.  Infantry.  The Brotherhood of the Blue Cord.  It was a heady time to be alive.

I joined the Army in April of 1972.  Left for basic at Fort Leonard Wood in June.  I felt like I had only two choices at the time, the Army or Deere.  No way was I going to work at Deere.  I saw what it did to people.  I ended up in Germany for Thanksgiving of 1972.  Had dinner with General Hoeffling, the 3rd Armored Division Commander, in Frankfurt that year.  Rode the bus to my first permanent duty station just north of Frankfurt on that cold, bright Saturday morning following Thanksgiving.

This old school had students from about 4 or 5 neighborhoods.  All of those neighborhoods, except the one I grew up in, still exist today.  The actual neighborhood that this school sat in is becoming a run down place where immigrants and folks too old to move live.  A victim of "concentric devolution", I guess.    Parts of it are well kept, like when I was a child.  Parts of it are run down dumps.  The whole neighborhood is maybe 6 blocks by six.  8 blocks by 4?  The new highway took a bit of it, too...

Back then we had a teacher who taught our class of 30 or so students by herself.  There was no teaching assistant.  There was no teacher's aide.  Just the teacher.  If we got out of line we knew we would end up in Mr. Trebon's office, where we would receive a stern talking to.  That would happen once.  The second time it was a crack on the ass with his paddle.  The other part of that equation was that our parents would be notified and we would be punished again when we got home.  ADHD hadn't been invented yet.  There were about 3 kids in the entire school who were "discipline problems".  They had a special class with a special ed. teacher. 

It amazes me that we are unwilling to spend a few million dollars to upgrade these schools and keep them operating but we are willing to spend 10s of millions of dollars to build new ones.  Even with our declining population we are constantly looking for more classroom space.  Because teaching 30 students is impossible now.  No one can teach more than 18 to 20 now days, and only then with aides and assistants.  One of you teachers out there, please feel free to sound off.  What has changed?    Smaller classes, more classrooms, more teachers and staff, more expense...  Is it really necessary?  Legitimate question, not snark.  

The rest is history...

So many memories.  Most of them tolerable with the passage of time.  Sometimes melancholy.  Sometimes nostalgic.  Always in the past, not quite graspable.

The Germans are currently demolishing the kaserne where I was stationed the second time I was there.  1976-1979.  A German friend sends pictures occasionally.  He works there and is taking it hard.





We did and saw so many things in our 5 years living in Germany but the memory that is most poignant in my mind is the smell of woodsmoke in the air once the weather got cold...

Time goes on.

Have a great day!


01 December 2016

Something different...

A man's life in a nutshell.........

  1.  When I was 13, I hoped that one day I would have a girlfriend with big Tits.

 2.  When I was 16, I got a girlfriend with big tits, but there was no passion, I decided I needed a passionate girl with zest for life.

 3.  In college I dated a passionate girl, but she was too emotional.  Everything was an emergency.  She was a drama queen, cried all the time and threatened suicide.  I decided I needed a girl with stability.

 4.  When I was 25, I found a very stable girl but she was boring.  She was totally predictable and never got excited about anything.  Life became so dull that I decided I needed a girl with some excitement.

 5.  When I was 28, I found an exciting girl, but I couldn't keep up with her.  She rushed from one thing to another, never settling on anything.  She did mad impetuous things and made me miserable as often as happy.  She was great fun initially and very energetic, but directionless.  I decided to find a girl with some real ambition.

 6.  When I turned 30, I found a smart ambitious girl with her feet planted firmly on the ground, I married her.  She was so ambitious that she divorced me and took everything I owned. 

 7.  I'm older and wiser now, I'm looking for a girl with big tits

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29 November 2016

In Hell...



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A crazy world...



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Who is surprised?

23 November 2016

Is Donald Trump my President...?



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I "get" that it isn't a perfect flow chart.  It would have been more accurate to say "are you a citizen of the United States?", rather than "Do you live in the United States".

22 November 2016

18 November 2016

The Left after the election...

From SunwolfNC... Good job, my friend. ~~~~~~~

17 November 2016

15 November 2016

14 November 2016

Unhappy Hillary supporters...



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I'm not sure that the diaper pin is worn so much by "Hillary Supporters" as it is by "Trump Opponents", but they may be one in the same...

I have no problem with protest.  I just wish that the "protestors" would think a little bit before doing what they do.  These people are being driven by the media and a few folks in Hollyweird, I think.

Trump hasn't even taken office and they are going berserk.

You would think that people as smart as those on the Left claim to be would wait until he actually does something they disagree with before protesting.  They are protesting words.  They are protesting "what might become...".  They are protesting their gravy train being disrupted.  They are protesting their fast slide to the dark depths of Socialism being interrupted.  They are protesting the end of the time when calling someone they disagree with "Racist" will suddenly get them their way.

They are driven by emotion.  Always have been.


This is why they can't be taken seriously.

Deplorables...



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13 November 2016

12 November 2016

The how and why...

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Spot on. :)

Election night blues...



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A Liberal is a person who refuses to recognize any opinion, position, or belief other than their own.  

How this got started...



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