"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

31 December 2016

Blame Russia...


I still catch myself calling them the Soviet Union, or the Soviets.  Weird, eh?   I still think of West Germany and East Germany.  West Berlin and East Berlin.  Lost in the past, I know  ;)

How did we get here...?

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29 December 2016

Old pilots...

A gray-headed old man shuffled into a downtown bar holding his head up high. His hands shook as he took the "Piano Player Wanted" sign from the window and handed it to the bartender.
"I'd like to apply for the job," he said. "I was a Navy Sea Wolf pilot, flying Huey`s in support of the Navy SEALS, spec war operators back in 'Nam, but when they retired the Sea Wolves, all the thrill was gone, and soon they cashed me in as well. I learned to play the piano at Officers' Club happy hours, so here I am."
The barkeep wasn't too sure about this doubtful looking old guy,but it had been quite a while since he had a piano player and business was falling off. So, why not give him a try.....?
The old pilot shuffled his way over to the piano while several patrons snickered. By the time he was into his third bar of music, every voice was silenced. What followed was a rhapsody of soaring music unlike anything heard in the bar before. When he finished there wasn't a dry eye in the place.
The bartender took the old Sea Wolf pilot a beer and asked him the name of the song he had just played. It's called "Drop your Skivvies, Baby, I'm Going Balls To The Wall For You" he said. After along pull from the beer, leaving it empty, he said "I wrote it myself."
The bartender and the crowd winced at the title, but the piano player just went on into a knee-slapping, hand-clapping bit of ragtime that had the place jumping. After he finished, the Sea Wolf pilot acknowledged the applause, downed a second offered mug, and told the crowd the song was called, "Big Boobs Make My Afterburner Light."
He then launched into another mesmerizing song and everyone in the room was enthralled. He announced that it was the latest rendition of his song, "Spread 'em Baby, It's Foggy Out Tonight and I Need To See The Centerline", excused himself and headed for the john.
When he came out the bartender went over to him and said, "Hey, fly boy, the job is yours; but do you know your fly is open and your pecker is hanging out?"
"Know it?" the old pilot replied, "Hell, I wrote it!"


There are old pilots and there are bold pilots but there are no old bold pilots...  (Something my flight instructor told me many, many years ago...)

Short timers...



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Israel aside, I still agree with this meme...  The abstention from voting at the UN was obviously more than Kerry, and the Ambassador to the UN.  obama is behind that.  It has his mark all over it.  Does it matter, in a "real" sense, to Israel?  Probably not.  It does show the world that the US can no longer be trusted to stand with her allies...

Changing the subject just a little bit:  I read this on a friend's fb page this morning...  Sums it up pretty well.  (Thanks to Patrick Kelly.)

The Architect of Destruction
By Maureen Scott

Barack Obama appears to be a tormented man filled with resentment, anger, and disdain for anyone of an opinion or view other than his. He acts in the most hateful, spiteful, malevolent, vindictive ways in order to manipulate and maintain power and control over others. Perhaps, because, as a child, he grew up harboring an abiding bitterness toward the U.S. that was instilled in him by his family and mentors…it seems to have never left him.

It is not the color of his skin that is a problem in America .  Rather it is the blackness that fills his soul and the hollowness in his heart where there should be abiding pride and love for this country.

Think: Have we ever heard Obama speak lovingly of the U.S. or its people, with deep appreciation and genuine respect for our history, our customs, our sufferings and our blessings? Has he ever revealed that, like most patriotic Americans, he gets "goose bumps" when a band plays "The Star Spangled Banner," or sheds a tear when he hears a beautiful rendition of " America the Beautiful?" Does his heart burst with pride when millions of American flags wave on a National holiday - or someone plays "taps" on a trumpet? Has he ever shared the admiration of the military, as we as lovers of those who keep us free, feel when soldiers march by? It is doubtful because Obama did not grow up sharing our experiences or our values. He did not sit at the knee of a Grandfather or Uncle who showed us his medals and told us about the bravery of his fellow troops as they tramped through foreign lands to keep us free. He didn't have grandparents who told stories of suffering and then coming to America , penniless, and the opportunities they had for building a business and life for their children.

Away from this country as a young child, Obama didn't delight in being part of America and its greatness. He wasn't singing our patriotic songs in kindergarten, or standing on the roadside for a holiday parade and eating a hot dog, or lighting sparklers around a campfire on July 4th as fireworks exploded over head, or placing flags on the grave sites of fallen and beloved American heroes.

Rather he was separated from all of these experiences and doesn't really understand us and what it means to be an American. He is void of the basic emotions that most feel regarding this country and insensitive to the instinctive pride we have in our national heritage. His opinions were formed by those who either envied us or wanted him to devalue the United States and the traditions and patriotism that unites us.

He has never given a speech that is filled with calm, reassuring, complimentary, heartfelt statements about all the people in the U.S. Or one that inspires us to be better and grateful and proud that in a short time our country became a leader, and a protector of many. Quite the contrary, his speeches always degenerate into mocking, ridiculing tirades as he faults our achievements as well as any critics or opposition for the sake of a laugh, or to bolster his ego. He uses his Office to threaten and create fear while demeaning and degrading any American who opposes his policies and actions. A secure leader, who has noble self-esteem and not false confidence, refrains from showing such dread of critics and displaying a cocky, haughty attitude.

Mostly, his time seems to be spent causing dissension, unrest, and anxiety among the people of America , rather than uniting us (even though he was presented to us as the "Great Uniter"). He creates chaos for the sake of keeping people separated, envious, aggrieved and ready to argue. Under his leadership Americans have been kept on edge, rather than in a state of comfort and security. He incites people to be aggressive toward, and disrespectful of, those of differing opinions. And through such behavior, Obama has lowered the standards for self-control and mature restraint to the level of street-fighting gangs, when he should be raising the bar for people to strive toward becoming more considerate, tolerant, self-disciplined, self-sustaining, and self-assured.

Not a day goes by that he is not attempting to defy our laws, remove our rights, over-ride established procedures, install controversial appointees, enact divisive mandates, and assert a dictatorial form of power.
Never has there been a leader of this great land who used such tactics to harm and hurt the people and this country.

· Never have we had a President who spoke with a caustic, evil tongue against the citizenry rather than present himself as a soothing, calming and trustworthy force.

· Never, in this country, have we experienced how much stress one man can cause a nation of people - on a daily basis!

Obama has promoted the degeneration of peace, civility, and quality of cooperation between us. He thrives on tearing us down, rather than building us up. He is the Architect of the decline of America , and the epitome of a Demagogue.

© Maureen Scott


Fuck obama.

Nothing at all...

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28 December 2016

Rough weekend...

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Interesting statistics regarding Chicago this year. :) 

Chicago has some of the strictest anti-gun laws in the nation.  Just think how many would die without gun control...

27 December 2016

Considered awesome for no reason...


Seems to be a fairly common affliction with Progressives...

26 December 2016

24 December 2016

O Holy Night...


Merry Christmas.  I hope it is filled with family and joy.

19 December 2016

Fair share...


Better President...

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That right there is funny...

17 December 2016

15 December 2016

225 years...

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15th December 1791 is the date of the ratification of what is known as The Bill of Rights...  Those 10 amendments are kind of a big deal, if you ask me.  Now, if we could just get our government to stop ignoring them. 

14 December 2016

12 December 2016

Time to move on. I guess...


Now it's the Russians.  Maybe.  ;)

09 December 2016

Funny stuff...


SJW = Social Justice Warrior.  Yeah, I had to look it up, but then it all made sense.  ;)

08 December 2016



I took this picture a year ago at the veteran's cemetery in Springfield, Illinois...   I guess it's appropriate today.  Those currently "in charge" could learn a thing or two even from a douche like FDR... 

75 years ago...


Yes, I'm a day late.  ;)

04 December 2016

The most losses...


Free speech, a definition...


Honestly, I thought Liberals were an annoying pain in the ass before the election.   They are now completely insufferable.  Something has to change.  ;)

03 December 2016

02 December 2016

Places lost...


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!