WooHoo, it's official, I am now Incorporated

Or at least I will be, come early January.

MyCorporation.com has been sending me spam the last several weeks.  They have been waiving their usual $149.00 processing fee for new incorporations.  That is actually pretty cool.  That means to incorporate, as an LLC, I only have to pay them $29.00 for some S&H and the fees the state requires.  Grand total:  $129.00.

It is actually, a pretty sweet deal.  Now, as a corporation, I can enjoy certain benefits and protections when I do any 'outside' consulting work.  Granted, I have not done any this year, but with the economy as it is and my tendancy to screw up in mind, it is best to be prepared.

More to come on the LLC paper work and such.


Rights of a Customer conflicting with being an Employee

The drama is coming to a close.

I spoke with my supervisor, or should I say I was spoken to by my supervisor.  There were many comments regarding ethics and integrity.  Fortunately, neither my ethics nor integrity were being questioned, but the appearances of the opportunities for impropriety were the topics of discussion for the day.  Evidently, those that were actually at work last Monday received a much harsher discussion than I did.  I actually was in a discussion.  They were, well, the received something MUCH different. 

Long shorty shorted to a simple blog entry, don't do this type of thing, again.  Do not put people's jobs at risk. 

Then it was my turn to speak, and I chickened out.  I just wanted to let it all slide a way.  There was no trouble, or punishments coming down.  As far as the Super' knew, upper management was not aware of the situation.  Because of 3rd shift being invisible so much of the time, the only thing others hear of us is when we mess up.  They only hear the negative, because that is what they have to address on the day shifts.  There is no need for them to make contact with a happy customer.  Hence the continual issues of perception.

But this all still leaves me wondering.  When did I sign away my rights as a customer, just because I'm an employee?  We have employee purchase programs, so the employer encourages us to purchase the products.  If I purchase a laptop or one of our newer TV's at $1000.00 or more, do I not have access to support on those, as well, because I can identify the policies or contact the agent assisting with the support?

Or is this only for equipment from the 'Enterprise' divisions?  Things like servers and high-end workstations?  Maybe some other day I will find the answers to this, but not this week.  Not right now.  Reviews are in March, which means the managers are gathering their information, now.  The evaluation process has already started and is continuing.  So, sit back, keep quiet, don't be seen and stay clear of other issues. 

In other words, return to the epitome of the perfect IT worker.  Put out fires, before they are noticed.  Become invisible.  Fix it, before it is broken.



It is impractical to be both an employee and a customer

Well, now I've gone and done it. At the beginning of what is being called the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930's I have put my job in jeopardy.

My employer sells a product. I purchased said product used, and out of warranty. The company also has a policy regarding a product being dangerous, outside of it's warranty. My purchase developed a problem that fit within the policies of the organization. If I was not employed at the company, I would not know of this policy or how it is managed.

Yes, you guessed it, I called into the support line. I got the very team I support. But that was to be expected, because I was calling in when I was awake, the middle of my 'day'. I work 3rd shift, so calling in the early hours of the morning I was put in touch with my own team.

Surprisingly enough, upon reflection, that was not my most grievous mistake.

The greater mistake was in thinking I could be both a customer and an employee. This is not practical, because I know how things work on the inside. I know what the policies are.

The impractical component is that my interests are not in line with the interests of my employer, when I am calling in, as a customer. The customer wants the get the most value out of whatever they have purchased. The company (also the employer) wants to make the most profit it can off of a sale.

It is because of this conflict of interest, I should not have called in for support. If a member of my team had processed the issue per policy, it probably would have been seen as undue or inappropriate pressure, therefore that would put me in the light of being unethical. Any member of a team would naturally feel some level of pressure (as is human nature) to want to do the most they can to help their colleague. This could put the co-worker into a position of apparent complicity, though innocent.

On tomorrow's shift, I will learn my fate for this stupid error in judgement. This is in no way the fault of my employer or of my colleagues, but mine and mine alone. Because of my own greed and wants I have jeopardized one of the best jobs I have ever had. This could have gotten much worse, and jeopardized not only the employ of my team mate and colleague, but also of our managers.

As I see it, there are three options. The lowest being an informal 'write-up', or a basic slap on the wrist and being on 'high alert' for other stupidity. Next would be a serious level write-up, involving HR. This one is considerably more serious. It is much like being out of jail on probation. If you screw up while on probation, you go back to jail. If I am formally written up with HR, then I can not afford to make even the most human of mistakes. Not that HR is that severe, but because one should not tempt fate. And lastly is termination. I certainly hope to not be terminated, but that is an option I must recognize as being possible.

No matter the decision of the managers involved, I will respect it, and quietly accept it as righteous.

Everything in life has the opportunity of being a learning experience. I will certainly be chalking this one up as such an experience.

P. Blacksmith


The end of 'White Guilt'

I don't know how this man is, but I certainly do applaud his way with words. Tom Adkins, let me know if you are ever running for public office. You would have MY vote!

By Tom Adkins

Look at my fellow conservatives! There they go, glumly shuffling along,
depressed by the election aftermath. Not me. I'm virtually euphoric. Don't
get me wrong. I'm not thrilled with America's flirtation with neo socialism.
But there's a massive silver lining in those magical clouds that lofted
Barak Obama to the Presidency. For today, without a shred of
intellectually legitimate opposition, I can loudly proclaim to
America: The Era of White Guilt is over.

This seemingly impossible event occurred because the vast
majority of white Americans didn't give a fluff about skin
color, and enthusiastically pulled the voting lever for a black
man. Not just any black man. A very liberal black man who spent
his early career race-hustling banks, praying in a racist church
for 20 years, and actively worked with America-hating domestic
terrorists. Wow! Some resume! Yet they made Barak Obama their
leader. Therefore, as of Nov 4th, 2008, white guilt is dead.

For over a century, the millstone of white guilt hung around our necks,
retribution for slave-owning predecessors. In the 60s, American liberals
began yanking that millstone while sticking a fork in the eye of black
Americans, exacerbating the racial divide to extort a socialist solution.
But if a black man can become President, exactly what
significant barrier is left? The election of Barak Obama
absolutely destroys the entire validation of liberal white
guilt. The dragon is hereby slain.

So today, I'm feeling a little "uppity," if you will. From this day forward,
my tolerance level for having my skin color hustled is now
exactly ZERO. And it's time to clean house. No more Reverend
Wright's "God Damn America," Al Sharpton's Church of Perpetual
Victimization, or Jesse Jackson's rainbow racism. Cornell West?
You're a fraud. Go home. All those "black studies" programs that
taught kids to hate whitey? You must now thank Whitey. And I
want that on the final.

Congressional Black Caucus? Irrelevant. Maxine Waters? Shut up.
ACORN? Outlawed. Black Panthers? Go home and pet your kitty.
Black separatists? Find another nation that offers better
dreams. Go ahead. I'm waiting.

Gangsta rappers? Start praising America. Begin with the Pledge of
Allegiance. And please.no more ebonics. Speak English, and who
knows where you might end up? Oh, yeah.pull up your pants. Your
underwear is showing. You look stupid.

To those Eurosnots who forged entire careers hating America? I'm still
waiting for the first black French President.

And let me offer an equal opportunity whupping. I've always
despised lazy white people. Now, I can talk smack about lazy
black people. You're poor because you quit school, did drugs,
had three kids with three different fathers, and refuse to work.
So when you plop your Colt 45-swilling, Oprah watchin' butt on
the couch and complain "Da Man is keepin' me down," allow me to
inform you: Da Man is now black. You have no excuses.

No more quotas. No more handouts. No more stealing my money because
someone's great-great-great-great grandparents suffered actual pain and
misery at the hands of people I have no relation to, and personally revile.

It's time to toss that massive, obsolete race-hustle machine upon the heap
of the other stupid 60s ideas. Drag it over there, by wife
swapping, next to dope-smoking. Plenty of room right between
free love and cop-killing.
Careful.don't trip on streaking. There ya go, don't be gentle.
Just dump it.
Wash your hands. It's filthy.

In fact, Obama's ascension created a gargantuan irony. How can you sell
class envy and American unfairness when you and your black wife
went to Ivy League schools, got high-paying jobs, became
millionaires, bought a mansion, and got elected President? How
unfair is that??? Now, Like a delicious O'Henry tale, Obama's
spread-the-wealth campaign rendered itself moot by it's own
victory! America is officially a meritocracy. Obama's election
has validated American conservatism!

So, listen carefully.Wham!!!

That's the sound of my foot kicking the door shut on the era of white guilt.
The rites have been muttered, the carcass lowered, dirt shoveled, and
tombstone erected. White guilt is dead and buried.

However, despite my glee, there's apparently one small, rabid bastion of
American racism remaining. Black Americans voted 96% for Barak Obama. Hmmm.
In a color-blind world, shouldn't that be 50-50? Tonight, every
black person should ask forgiveness for their apparent racism
and prejudice towards white people. Maybe it's time to start
spreading the guilt around.

I may have made the 'mistake' of showing this to a co-worker. His first response was to call me a racist and suggest only racists would take or support such views as this. As a retort, I suggested he start the "White College Fund" and see how long it is before he gets slapped with a variety of lawsuits for discrimination. "If that is too frontal for you, have your college going son apply for aid from that other fair and reasonable group, The Negro College Fund, and see what they have to say about his application.

Obama won the election. He may not be 'my' president, but is 'our' president. As such, it is up to him to actively destroy the age long uses and abuses that have created a society which would permit such an environment that Mr. Adkin's comments were generated from.

Now, let's all hold our breaths as we wait for that to happen!


Answering Questions on my Ideals to help someone with a homework assignment

A colleague's wife is attending college and studying to be a counselor. Here are some of her questions, and my answers regarding a pagan/wiccan/witch meetup she went to.

Do you, as a Universalist , believe that gemstones and crystals have healing or magical properties?

1) As a Universalist, I not believe that gemstones or crystals have magical properties. I do, however, think that if a person believes, and truly believes, that a specific crystal or gemstone will help them in some way, then it will. Placebos are a strong and scientifically proven example of this idea. Another example would be that I carry a silver dollar coin with me, most everywhere I go. It is a personal ‘talisman’ (wrong word, but closest idea), that could be considered parallel to ‘worry stones’ our forebears may have carried with them. When I’m highly stressed about something, I find the anchor of that silver dollar and the memories of the grandfather that gave it to me, comforting. Does the coin, itself, have any magickal properties? No, of course not, but the memories attached to it, represent strength and calm within the tempest.

There was discussion of what could be labeled as cleansing of demonic spirits with crystal wands. My understanding is that there are no purely evil or good entities in the Pagan, Witch world. Maybe Wiccan? I guess I am not understanding then the black and white issue of positive and negative energies? Why is it not just energy that you can do with as you will?

1) Energy is Energy. It is the intended use of that energy that colors it. That is the ideal I follow. Generally speaking, energy is neutral and has no color. However, I also strong disagree about their comments on truly evil persons or intents. There are ‘Black Witches’ the same as there are ‘White Witches’. Neither need be a follower of Satan to have earned the title of Witch. The Black and White comes from different elements of their ideologies. The Wiccan Rede we have discussed, previously. Not all Wiccans, Witches or Pagans follow such creeds to govern behavior.

There was much discussion of psychic energy and the ability to do astral flying and scrying with mirrors. There was much comment that half of the group was fearful of some of these practices. What are your thoughts? Also half confirmed that these are often used in their craft.

1) Astral Projection or Mirror Scrying are things I have not personally experienced. I ‘like’ the idea of the projection. And Knowing where a person or thing is, would be handy to have, as well. But beyond that, I would have to consider the source and wonder if they were ‘dreaming’ of the Astral Projection and their subconscious took them where they wanted to go. I also have the idea that for either of those to be ‘practiced’ with any kind of reliable, repeatable frequency would take an extremely disciplined mind and body.

a. Now imagine if you will, that while having this out of body experience, that the body got up and went sleep walking into another room. As an astral projection, could us use a mirror to locate your body?

b. Yes, a poor attempt at humor, but still a valid question to ask oneself.

c. There once was a time when I sincerely wanted such ability as astral projection. I was in prison, at the time. The limitations and confines of the prison environment were brutal and disturbing. Instead of projection, I dreamed and imagined my way out of those walls. I took to reading sci fi and fantasy books with a fervor I did not have, previously. Were those mental fantasies projections? I don’t know. I do not consider them as such.

It was lectured that if you take something from the earth, then you absolutely should give something back … even in the form of blood or spit. I am curious about this. How is spitting a benefit to the earth?

1) OK, I find part of that annoying, not because you asked it, but because people claim to be both, Christian and Pagan. To follow the Christian faith is to denounce the availability of magic to persons. "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." (Exo. 22:18) puts it rather clearly what the Christian ideology is supposed to be. At this time, the only way I know of ‘working through this hurt’ is to continue doing what we do. Personally, I tend to keep my ideals away from my family. Because of their beliefs, I am wrong and a sinner and … and … and so on. This is the ‘persecution’ that keeps me only half open with others.

A Magical Counselor could mean two things to me:
  1. A counselor/psychologist (or similar) that is a practitioner or at least sympathetic supporter.
  2. A person with more ‘magickal’ experience who aids a person on their path. An acolyte to adept.
It seems like it would be difficult for so many different kinds of Pagans and Witches to meet and agree on practices and ideas. I saw a lot of evidence of this in the group, no matter how much the words "family" and "love" were used. Do groups like this often work?

1) Groups like that only work when there are three things present

a. A strong, fair leader who does not lead the group for their own sake, but for the growth of the group.

b. Members who are there to learn and to share, but are willing to accept that others have differing opinions and will walk different paths.

c. And everyone needs to keep in mind that a difference of opinion or practice or methods is part of what makes the group dynamic. To share such differences is NOT a personal attack.

There was much talk of magical items and that the items chooses you. What is your take on this?

1) In the first Harry Potter movie, Harry was taken to a store to get a wand. The same idea was made there. The wands just were not working for Harry. Then a ‘special’ wand given to him to try and all was right with the world after that. Do I believe this is the case? No. But others do. That is their right to believe as they will. I do know that there are certain ‘things’ that just don’t work well, together. Many, if not most, of the ‘tools’ used should be in parallel with the path a person walks or the tradition they have chosen to follow. Some churches do communion with grape juice. Other do it more traditionally with wine. Christ gave communion with wine as a symbol of his blood. That is all those tools are, symbols. There are a few, such as the candles that I use, that are tools. For me the burning candle is just a focus for my concentration during meditation

Regarding magical names, what is the reason some members have a magical name and many do not?

1) Magical names have often been used for witches to hide their mundane identities from others. Much the same as the old recipe and spell books had ‘eye of newt’ and other ingredients listed by odd names. For others it is a childish and immature way of seeking attention and being different. For others the magickal name is a real thing that identifies their personality. To some, like the Native American Indians, a name is an identifier of who you are, based upon your actions, your presence, or your attitude/personality. “Walking Bear” is the name of an Indian I know. This name was given to him by his grand father at a rite of passage into manhood. The name was given to him, because of his size, his strength and his presence. Whenever he came into a room, it sometimes felt as if the very light changed. But, for me, I am also known as Pagan Blacksmith. There are many Daniels in this world. Pagan Blacksmith is a handle I use online much more than in person. I will identify myself as such, when introductions are being made, just so persons can connect online interactions with the physical person.

As a Pagan of likely different views than many of the members, what would make you feel comfortable in this setting?

1) Adults. As I listed above, and wanted to warn you about, many of the people in these groups are childish and immature. The group is their own little dominion over others. This bastardizes the very reason for having or leading such a group. Then there are twerps like the druid that kissed you and then would not leave you alone. I would like to meet with a group of others, informally, to share and discuss. Not ridiculed and taught.

I want to say again that I have connected with many different kinds of communities and populations. While I always disagree with some philosophy said by any community or group, I also always respect it. Not only this, but I always find I am better off for having the experience. The experience last night was one I am glad to have had ….. It was unique, interesting, and allowed me to see Pagan and Witches in a refreshing way.

I like the fact that you have a simple philosophy when it comes to differences. Learn, respect, absorb what is relevant for you, and not cast judgment on the rest. Above, it may seem that I am passing judgment, particularly in regards to the presence of children at events. It is not that I wish to pass judgment, but I know that the people around us will. DHS could be very interested in the actions of persons at these events. All it takes is one complaint, and children can and have been taken from homes where parents were deemed unfit because of differences of beliefs and an unwillingness to be flexible.

On another note, there are some persons with the community that are kind of vampyric on ‘energies’. To explain, let me ask this: Have you ever met someone that made you feel tired or depressed? And you don’t really know them? Or you shake hands during an introduction only to feel the hairs on your arm and the back of your neck raise in alarm, yet you have no reason for such? I have heard this explained in different ways. Keep in mind, it is not what you or I believe, it is what the other person believes that will determine their behavior.

1) Some people will feed off of your energies, your ‘good vibes’. They may come in just sorta blah, and by the time they leave, YOU are blah, and they are bouncing off the walls. Some do this intentionally, and many will try to continue this with physical touch. There are only two ways I know of to keep this from happening. The first is to not let it happen. Refuse to become engaged with the person. Secondly, trust your instincts. Some people in these groups call instincts an insight or a craft given skill to foretell the future.

2) Avoid personal contact that is not welcomed or invited. The offering of a hand during introductions, or greetings is considered welcome or invited. The idea being, that when meeting someone new, a person tends to ‘put up shields’. This should be sufficient to keep non-sympathetic personal energies from colliding and ‘infecting’ the other. Much the same as when you go to a party only to find it is more like a funeral. You don’t let the dark mood effect you, yet, you may try to lighten the over all mood, by starting a game, or a light hearted conversation. And above all else, do NOT let a person invade your personal space without at least a warning or request they keep their distance. An absence of rebuke is a granting of permission and invitation to repeat.

These are my opinions, only. So don't go getting your bonnet filled with bees. Everyone is welcome to their own opinions and thoughts. At least it is that way, today. 6 months from now, well, we will just have to wait and see.


The Obama!

What a bloody crock of filth and unadulterated thieving scum!

"redistribution of wealth" my fat, sweaty, hairy ass. Stalin and Lenin both supported the ideologies of distributed wealth, until it came to their wealth going out to others.

So, the Obamanator's great plan is to take the monies from those of us that work to make a living to pay for others to not have to work. He has been spouting that our taxes will not go up. I know just enough people to represent a rough sampling for a cross-section. This was not very scientific, but I will post what was discovered here, anyway.

20 people were asked:

1. If you had free healthcare, free rent, free food and free cable, would you keep your current or any job? 6 said no, 12 said yes, 2 asked if cigarettes would be free, too.

2. Do you believe Obama can honestly keep from raising taxes on your work earned dollar and still pay for the increased costs of his healthcare plan? 9 said yes, 11 said no.

3. Will Obama try to take the guns and destroy the history of the 2nd Amendment? 17 said yes, 3 said no.

4. Should Obama take the guns? 14 yes, 5 no's and one 'only if it will mean I can sleep better knowing only cops and criminals have guns'

5. If Obama denies our 2nd Amendment Rights, will he also narrow our other rights and freedoms? 18 yes, 2 no's.

6. Will the teachings of Rev. Wright effect Mr. Obama's decisions? 20 of 20 stated 'yes'.

I so wish I had the essentials to leave this country, if Obama is elected. I'm not sure where else I could or would go. Every other 'free' nation has become or is becoming a nanny state.



McCain and Palin

McCain - the shifty old dog!

McCain shocked the wolrd, last week when he suggested Alaska Governor Palin for his running mate and to be the VPOTUS.

At first I thought: WTH? Then I started thinking about it and the more I liked the idea. And as I started reading more and more about Palin the more I liked the idea. Here is a woman that knows how to be womanly and yest still governs a state that has no shared border with the U.S. That means every piece of government duty or responsibiltiy outside of the State of Alaska is INTERNATIONAL.

Alaska has Russia to the west and Canada to the east. Two very different opposites in the arenas of diplomacy. I think that would qualify for Executive experience.

Ms. Palin balked at the addition of the Polar Bear to the rosters of protected animals. Ms. Palin's reasons for this were that she was there and knew more about what was happenign wiht the Polar Bear population. It is not shrinking, despite changes to their natural habitat.

As a member of the NRA, experienced outdoors person, hunter (moose) and fisher, I believe Ms. Palin will be able to support balanced protective incentives for the preservation of nature. But I also believe she will find ways to insure those protected natural resources are available for us all to enjoy. Both for sport and for pleasure.

Additional research into Ms. Palin shows that he is a staunch defender of the people agianst political corruption. She took on her own party...AND WON. She fought the oil companies...AND WON. And then she was elected as Governor, upsetting the traditional 'good ol' boy' establishment.

Ms. Palin has little to no experience in Washington D.C. This may be a negative that she and McCain can spin into a true positive. No experience in Washington means fewer allegiances or alliances she will need to maintain. Opening the way for he to force feed some sensibility into the House (both White and on the Hill) by holding those voted in there accountable with her fervor against corruption.

Ms. Palin has a 17 year old daughter that is 5 months pregnant. This has been in the news the last day or two, and about the only thing the Dem's have gotten through the Gustav reports. Ms. Palin also has an infant with Down Syndrome. She also hase 3 other children. Being a mother is already a full-time job, but from all reports I have been able to find and read, Ms. Palin has a knack for balancing the needds of her office with the needs of her family.

I sincerely hope that Ms. Palin's involvement in the Presidential race is a better draw for women than Ferraro or Clinton ever dreamed of. McCain is an old hand in politics, with a bit of a liberalism thrown in. Palin seems to be a solid conservative interested in openign up the North Slope to drililng, TRUE evironmental responsibility, valid and equitable support of Constitution and all Amendments. A Supporter of the Military and has a head for cutting spending without cutting benefits. From all reports I have read, she believes in taxing those that have the most at the same level as those that have the least. However, Corporations are a different target for her. As she proved with the Oil companies and a $1200.00 check to individual Alaskans to help offset the costs of the comming heating expenses.

I was not going to vote for McCain, and was seriously considering not voting AT ALL. Just citing Brewster's Millions with a write in of 'None of the Above'. Now that McCain may have a partner who is a COUNTERPART and BALANCE of his beliefs I have to reconsider.



Too Long

Yes, it HAS been too long since I last posted on this blog. It's been close to 6 weeks, maybe longer.

The posts have been missing, because my head has been elsewhere. On August 1st, I again took the RedHat Certified Engineers exam. This is one of the few remaining IT related exams that actually has any value on the market. RedHat is a Linux distribution that has corporate support and offers technical support for contract purchasers. Their exam is an all day long affair, requiring the examinee to troubleshoot and repair an intentionally broken Linux server. In the afternoon, the examinee is required to install, setup and configure a linux system and supporting services as well as establish security. This being a practical exam, RedHat is not concerned with what steps you take to accomplish the assigned tasks, so long as the services are working as necessary.

Once all was done, I passed the exam and earned the certification.

Now, here is the most interesting part. Since I added the exam to resume on Monster.com, I have received more hits than ever before.

Lately, I have been studying the SCSA (Solaris Certified Systems Administrator) exam. My current employer will soon be offering the Solaris 10 operating system from Sun on our servers.

So, in a nutshell, work is ... well, work. It's paying the bills. The certifications are helping, and I'm expecting a raise, soon. However, I do not expect my mid-year review to go as well as previously. I've been a bit of a pain in the back-end to my boss. He has a clue of some of the personal things going on and cuts me a little slack.

I'm still looking for a place to set up a forge. I may have found a place to rent, but they are wanting more than I can afford, unless they fix up the 2nd story to be an apartment. An older two story auto service station. Just large enough to be an apartment. Down stairs are three auto stalls. The building shaped as an 'L' has one stall on the short side, and two on the long side, with an office between. The entrance to the upstairs is through the office space. At $650.00 a month, plus bills for the space, I'm very interested. I would be willing to pay 900.00 a month for the space if the upstairs were made into living quarters.

Maybe I should speak with them about doing the conversion for them.



Freedom Wins with Scalia

Interesting dissenting comment by Stevens.

The majority “would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian use of weapons.”

Ok. One question: WTF?

210 years ago, the founders were businessmen and farmers (mostly) who were tired of being oppressed by a tyrannous government. At that time, the most popular method of feeding a family was through the use of a plow and a gun.

When the Founding Fathers initially stood up against the King of England, they were empowered to do such with the use of firearms and weapons. If the oppressing government of the time had a restriction on firearms (as England has, now), we may STILL be a colony. As a collection of colonies there was no centralized militia that belonged to the colonies. Any military present was owned and operated by the King and his representatives. Washington and the boys had to form companies of men from volunteers. These groups of volunteers became the militia for that colony and later that state, but very few of these militia men were full time soldiers.

Approximately one quarter of these militia men were the famed Minutement. Members of teams of men from the colonial militia vowed to be ready for battle within one minute of notice. These men were the ones that responded to Paul Revere’s warning that “the British are coming” as the British marched towards the arsenals in Lexington and Concord. Their goal was the collection of the colonists weapons.
The founders remembered this fact as they wrote and ratified the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Rather than keeping weapons under the control of a government where corruption was going to be rife (eventually and now), the people should be allowed to keep and maintain ownership of a means to defend themselves, not only against the unlawful, but also against the potential tyranny of the fledgling republic being born.

Most Colonial militia were provided neither arms nor uniforms. They were required to equip themselves. Most wore their regular farming or work clothes. Their weaponry consisted of hunting rifles. As the Continental Army regulars received European style military training, the Militia received very little. While their rifles were accurate at long range (as hunting rifles would be), they were not equipped for bayonets. Rather than fight in the traditional dense lines and columns, the militia men were used as irregulars. Irregulars are primarily skirmishers and sharpshooters. It is from these men that snipers became a valued military tool.

THIS is the growth of our nation with the private ownership of firearms. In the ten score years since, our nation has grown and changed from a nation of the people to a nation of corporations, lobbyists and special interest groups, liberal/conservative clashes and big business/big government. History shows that the big government of that day did not have the best interest of the majority of it’s people at heart (does this sound familiar to today?).

A desire to be free, access to weapons and a willingness to kill other humans to gain that freedom are the only reasons we are here, today. Take any one of those away, and we would not have had a chance. Without personal ownership and access to weapons and ammunition our current populace will be easy targets (VATech?) unable to defend themselves against those willing to break the law.


I'm an ELF?

Funny little quiz. I don't go for these, often, but the Middle Earth thing hit my geeky streak! Enjoy!

Your result for The What Middle Earth race do you belong to Test ...

You scored 0% Size & Strength, 59% Morality, 59% Aggression, and 88% Intelligence.

To This Test

To Your Result
http://www.helloquizzy.com/results/the-what-middle-earth-race-do-you-belong-to-test/?fromCGI=1&var_Size & Strength=0&var_Morality=10&var_Aggression=10&var_Intelligence=15


Spiritual Epiphany

Magickal Epiphany

I must admit that I have had a bit of an epiphany regarding TheWitchDiaries.com website.

I recently made the mistake of forwarding an email to my father with my TWD e-mail address as the reply to. I'm not sure if he noticed, but it got me to thinking. My father is considerably more conservative than I am. In a conversation a few years ago, my father described Magick as a tool of Satanic interests. (Ok, that may not have been his exact words, but the sentiment is close.) At that point, I dropped the topic, as I knew I did not wish to face that argument.

Since realizing the e-mail snafu (he has not mentioned it, yet, so I do not know if he noticed). I started thinking how I could 'defend' the ideals I have learned and accepted since I started reading about Magick. That is when the epiphany hit me, like a 2x4 across the forehead. Arguments I have received about the posted intent of TWD fell into crystal clarity.

TWD should NOT be a source of spells but, instead should be a resource to identify the components of a good spell, based upon the experiences of others. The spells that work best and most assuredly are the ones that come from the heart. The spellcraft or ritual is a means of focusing the practitioners intent to achieve a desired effect. For example, I lay a dollar bill on the surface, and set a green candle atop it. From there, I light the candle, focus and state my intent or desire. This simple spell/ritual helps keep me focused and open to opportunities to receive or earn more money. It also helps keep me focused on NOT spending money of frivolous items. The statement of my intent/desire is often a small rhyme or limerick. The rhythm and the rhyme helps to keep the spell in the mind all the day long.

To me that is Magick. A tool with which I focus my mind and my heart to achieve a desired goal. This is, in my opinion, not very different at all from the idea of a Christian prayer. The prayer is a request to a higher power to grant a boon or to assist with a desire or need. Other times it is a means of 'giving up' the troubling or stressful events of life. Either way, the process of a Christian prayer and the process of spells are very much the same. To create an environment to succeed, one must clear their mind (meditate), state their desire (pray or cast), and remain receptive of the opportunities (believe).

I thank my father for the way he raised me. At times I was less than stellar as a son, and there have been many times I have failed to meet his expectations. But still, my father taught me to be ME, and to live MY life. To do as I wish, so long as I think it through. And there is no wrong decision, if one considers all the available information and makes a choice from there. Later it may prove to be a less than optimal choice, but that is usually when an additional information enters into the equation. As a teen (and for several years after) I did not know who I was. I had a name and I had a history but I did not know me. And at 40, I'm starting to know who I am, and to actually like myself. This would not be possible without my father's teachings or my research into Magick, on a whim. I am no high priest, nor do I wish to be one. For me, Magick is and always will be a solitary path with a destination for me alone.

For the solitary practitioner, the path is one best walked alone. That need not mean one should be lonely in the journey. Our path is one of the heart, and the heart must go as it is in the body. Solitary, but in working with others. I am hoping (praying and casting) that TWD will make it possible for the solitary to find others on a path similar to or parallel with theirs in this skein of string of paths. To find support and information that otherwise may not be found.

I do not wish the previous statements to deter others who follow specific traditions to turn away. Please, stay, contribute and share. There will always be people who desire a more structured belief system, one that has boundaries and rules. Or a system that supports a specific need in their life, at that time. Please help those find their way, share your ideals and beliefs. It is only through the sharing can we have understanding.

So, in closing of this first, of (hopefully) many articles of my personal journey, I thank you for reading it. And I thank my father for being him and for teaching me to be me.

The beginning was there, the here is now and the end is yet to be.



why aren’t our prisons the safest places in the country?

Socialist Society and Personal Safety

Interesting read over on Marko's blog. The Munchkin Wrangler almost always has something interesting to write about. I have found inspiration there, more than once. Much like today, so first go read his post. I hope you like it. I'll wait for your return.

Ahhh, good. You have made it back.

Did you notice the last line of his post? I sure did. And it lit up my muse. So, without any further ado, I present to you: If more government control and less civil liberties mean increased safety, why aren’t our prisons the safest places in the country?

I have been to prison. Here, in the U.S. of A. In the early '90's. I was still in the U.S. Army, when I did a stupid thing. I took something that did not belong to me. And when the booze wore off, the next morning, I paniced. My first thought was to return it. I didn't. Instead, I tried to hide that it was someone else's. Found a like vehicle at the mall, and changed out the tags, etc. Stupid, stupid kid stuff. And then, when I DID get caught (as inevitable as falling when the floor drops away), I .... lied. pure plain and simple. I fabricated up all sorts of BS, trying to find a way clear of CF (army lingo spoken as Charlie-Fox, I'll let you figure out what they stand for) I had just turned my life into. No one was to blame, but myself. But of course at the mature physical age of 21, and the emotional age of, like 12, I would not admit I was to blame. I just would not see it.

So, when the charges came down, I thought they were too severe and demanded a trial. Which I got. A fair one, I must say, despite being an idiot about the entire thing. (And if anyone who reads this was in that jury, my sincerest apologies.) I was found guilty of.... Unauthorized Use And Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle. 2.5 years was the sentence. My attorney offered to help me with an appeal. I just needed to get some cash together to pay him to do it.

I started the process of growing up, right there and then. At least a microscopic bit. In a little room in the Commanche County lock-up. The uncomfortable metal chairs, the metal table, large mirror on the wall. All of it very "Law & Order". Before L&O was on television to start with. Instead, I signed the papers terminating our agreement. He was nice enough, though to put $100.00 into my commisary account.

Next, I sat in that county hole for 3 weeks, as I was processed and 'waited for a bed' at Lexington. Lexington is Oklahoma's processing center for the State Department of Corruption Corrections. Once in Lexington, my head was shaven, again. I was de-loused for the first time in my life. And I was able to actually get a shower. Although, I learned I was no longer human.

At Lexington, my three day stay was highlighted by very small cells with two beds, and a mat on the floor, and the combination sink/toilet. The meals were taken in a central area and there was not much of anything to break the monotony of the walls about me. I stayed in that cell and went out only for meals and to shower, on alternating days.

I was the one on the mat. On the floor. At 5'9" 130 pounds dripping wet and fully dressed, I was an easy target to push around. The guy on the lower bunk, Gary, took great pains to insure he steped on me, at least once a night while he emptied his 'tiny bladder, sorry...NOT!'. He had been convicted of rape. Well rape of other men. It seems he had been targeting a certain segment of Oklahoma City for his 'releases'. He told me that women just did not put up enough of a fight. The thought of this man still makes me ill, nearly 20 years later.

(Names have been changed to protect the guilty and presecut the innocent.)

Joe was the guy on the top bunk. Involuntary man-slaughter. 45 years. Nice guy, really. Large dark and mean looking. He and the other guy had an understanding, I was on the floor, only becuase I chose not to fight for the bunk. Joe would drop a shoe on me, from his bunk, to let me know he was comming down. It was actually his way of trying to be nice. Joe also stayed in the cell, most of the time. You see, Joe had been here, before. He knew what the drill was.

Joe told me I was too small, too thin and too polite. I needed to toughen up and to accept the inevitable, I was to be a prison bitch. On my last day in Lexington, Gary woke about 4:AM, he had decided he was 'to be my first'. Gary went about his usuall crap of steeping on me and pissing on my mat. Next he turned around and fell on me. He clamped his hand over my mouth and started fighting me trying to get me roll over onto my stomach. The next thing I remember, I was standing, crouched on the toilet seat, Gary was a bleeding mess from his face and head. And Joe? Well, he was laughing while still in his bunk. The guards came, drug us out into the central area and started to question us. They started with Joe, as he was the largest. He just pointed to me and kept his mouth shut. Gary was just gibbering as he was being checked over by medics. I shrugged and explained that Gray had tripped over me and smacked his face on the cell door. Repeatedly. He must have been stunned from the first fall.

Joe and I were sent back to our cell. He laughed and laughed. Later in the day Joe confided in me that I would be just fine, so long as I did not give in to anyone, continued to fight only for myself and to not turn anyone in.

Two hours later, I was on a bus, headed for McAlester. The State Penitentiary. The Big House. Maximum security. Evidently the State of Oklahoma is not without a bit of irony. A soldier, convicted of non-violent crime was being sent to maximum security. Want to make a life long criminal? Put an otherwise impressionable and innocent (no, I was guilty, the OTHER innocent) person in with hardened criminals, lifers and such. Persons who had nothing left to lose.

My first few weeks at Big Mac were filled with psych evals, and terror. I did not eat for the first four days. I refused to leave my cell, if it was not necessary. Terry, my new cellmate, told me if I did not shower the next day, he woudl have me showered and I would not like it. Terry was and had been someone else's bitch for a long time. Being smaller and newer and terrorized, the pecking order was simple. I was on the bottom. Fortunately, Terry did not try anything. I got to where I started to like the pig.

Terry and another guy worked things out with a guard for me to get to the shower, almost last. I was in the shower, alone. Until two hispanic 'gentlemen' entered. They obviously were not there for showers. They were not carrying towels or any of the other items of personal hygeine one would use in a shower.

When I left I suggested to the guard that there were a couple of guys in there that had been fighting each other and it did not look good. Word got around that I was not goign to go easily. After that, I had a bit of self respect and started leaving the cell. I went to the one place in that hell-hole that represented any kind of escape. I went to the library. And I read. I read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I started taking books back to my cell. I started reading to Terry, as he could not read well.

Another altercation with persons of ill-intent got me tossed into a smaller cell, alone. Solitary confinement. One of the guards suggested it was for my own safety. I was in that lonely little room for a week, with no books. Nothing to do, but start going insane. I started feeling what I though as myself starting to slide away. I started to adopt the ways of the place I was in. Three days later I was released back into general population. After looking for Terry, I went looking for Terry's 'owner'. I found him, using Terry. And I broke his nose. I continued just beating on him, as hard and as fast as I could. The whole time, I was yelling to leave my property alone. When he was down, I was standing on his throat, holding him down. I threatened to kill or anyone else that touched MY cell bitch, again. With that, Terry and I returned to our cell.

Terry and I shared a cell for three more months. During that time, Terry was not bothered, nor was I. It became known that I had nothing to lose and was 'flat out crazee, maaaan'. I also started tutoring in the library. There were volunteers that came in to help tutor, but most of the inmates/cons/convicts/detainees/(and my personal favorite) Residents would not go to them, because of all the preaching. It was pretty simple to some of us, God may have been there, in the prison with us, but we got there on our own, and we would survive it on our own. Then we would make ammends with the Almighty.

From here, I went to a type of half-way prison/community shelter in downtown Tulsa. The place was an old school and had no bars not gates.

Here was a place to get a job and return to normalcy. And I had to start seeing a shrink, again. It seems I had developed a bit of a problem with anger management.

I spent 9 months here. And a total of 4 months in BigMac. And I almost was not allowed to stay there. The DOC had an agreement with the City of Tulsa. No Violent convictees becuase of the proximity to the local community college (two blocks).

Now this has been a bit of a long story to get to the salient point I wanted to make in responce to Marko's query. Anarchy is an antitheses available to us.

Prisons are not the safest place on earth not because the people there are violent (and mostly unarmed), but because of human nature. Humans are animals, still. We fight for a pecking order. We fight for ourselves. And sometimes we fight for others. We fight and we argue and we get heated, angry and agitated. Any man (or woman) is capable of this show of beastial temporance. Some people with less stimuli than others require.

We are but beasts on the loose. And the worst of us are locked up only because some of us are afraid of them.

Society is about an order of rules and mutual agreements. Members of that society are selected to enforce the agreement of the many against a few. Others are now selected to defend the rest of society against those who would change us to their beliefs and non-tolerance.

But in general we are in a mutual and semi silent contract with the rest of society about us. Unfortunately, our society is devolving into a more chaotic mess. The Powers are keeping the Masses appeased with bribes. The Bribed are no longer responsible for thier own existance, as the Powers are providing all they need. If the Bribed want more, they just scream and let loose some of their own unto the Workers. The Workers are the ones that actually produce something, anything that is productive to the whole of society. The Workers are taxed so that the Powers may continue to buy off the Bribed.

When the Bribed do not get what they want, the Powers get replaced, but only by someone who promises even more than what is being demanded. And again, the Workers get squeezed to pay for it. The Powers see an opportunity to redirect the anger of the Bribed. The Powers restrict the Workers not from self preservation, but instead from the most effective tools.

In prison (albeit a thankfully short career) I learned more about human kind in it's most basic balance. Anarchy within a small tightly structured and controlled environment. I learned how to survive it with some degree of sanity, only by becomming one with the beast within. OK, that was a bit dramatic, but the point still stands. As beasts we force an order. As Humans we adapt to that order, accepting 'rule' by another. Over the years, as Americans, we have continually lowered the requirements of those we would have rule us, as more of us continued to lower ourselves.


Unchallenged Bad Ideas Never Go Away

Unchallenged Bad Ideas Never Go Away

All to well have we seen how a trend becomes a permanent fixture in our lives. The next generation does not know there is another way, becuase the trend has become the norm with which everyone is comfortable. They assuem this is how things should be. (More on this in a later article.)

The advances of surveillance on a global scale are moving very quickly. The gerneral public is continually manipulated into their fearful mindset, making the expansion of surveillance possible. And we are fast approaching the point of no return. The point where we can not turn back the surveillance beast.

"Back in the day" myself and others used to play 'what if' scenarios as mental excercises what surveillance would be needed to meet and maintain a specific level of control of a populace. We were always assuming this would be a real-time tracking technology. But we always came back to a few very specific points that would have to be breached in our society. The first being cameras everywhere. The second our private information no longer being private.

As the cameras started becomming more and more commonplace, people started ignoring them more and more. They became a facet of life, much like the cracks in the sidewall. A part of our existence to be noticed and otherwise ignored, until they were no longer noticed. Their absence is more notable in many places.

And now our personal information has become even more valuable to anyone else than it is to ourselves. The poor security of those entrusted with protecting our sensitive data are demonstrating a sever lack of capability. Those in the cracker communities have always known how thin that veil of protection is. Now with the nearly daily reports of database invasions, website hacking, and lost or stolen laptops containign hudreds of thousands personal records, we have become immune to the news. We have become all the more resigned to the 'this is the way the wolrd is'. We have become sheep who can no longer be shocked by the negligent incompetance that makes such thefts possible. Now when we hear that some facet of our existance is being watch on an 'official level', we are no longer concerned as we once might have been outraged.

With the unlikelyhood of our private lives remaining private, the resignation has set it to the point that we are now giving away our most intimate data and details, gladly and without concern. With social networking sites such as MySpace, FaceBook, LiveJournal and others, we voluntarily put ourselve 'out there' to be found. A quick look through public profiles on these sites will garner names, phone numbers, work or class schedules, photos, and even addresses. These are visible to anyone on the planet with internet access. We, as a culture, have turned our lives inside out. It used to be a diary was a deeply private and personal item, stored under lock and key. Now we post these same thoughts, our innermost thoughts, fears, doubts and desires and put them on billboards. This level of self-survaillance is like no other social development and presents the unhealthy nature of our free society as a whole. Individuals are not government entities or large corporations where such oversight is desired. The lone individual writing about a crush on a fellow student or work colleague does not effect the millions of lives that Enron did. If we had the same level of transparencey, would Enron ever have become the household word it is, today? This is a slippery path we are on, as a social structure. Those of us who desire to only interact with those we know, those of us who wish to maintain a level of privacy or anonimity will become the social outcasts and viewed as suspicious. Gone are the times of being known to only those that you wished to be known by.

Consider this, you are in a coffee shop using a laptop. This simple, innocent action can be the first step in towards having your entire life exposed for public view due to the choice you make, conciously or not. As you are sitting int his coffee shop, surfing the internet, your machine pops up on the local network. Some curious busybody happens to notice and scan your machine, finding your online music library is readable. From this they can identify what kind of music you like, as well as what you are listening to, right now! Once they know which service you use, and what you are listening to, they can findout what you use for a screen name. From there, our good friend Google can tell them where else that screen name is used. Anything you have ever typed into a public forum is available for review in perpetuity, both in and out of context. This could be your political views, life experiences, organization membership, maybe even information about your church or where you work. Seeing as most of us try to use the same or very similar screennames on a variety of sites, locating your Facebook/MySpace/Yahoo! profiles is easy. Now that same busybody knows even more about you, maybe even with access to photos of your family and kids from that last vacation trip you took.

Frightening, isn't it? Now here is the kicker, all of this can be done without any injury, as there is no invasion of privacy. Remember this all started when you joined an open network without insuring your laptop was properly secured. When you blather everything out there on the public internet, how can you expect to have any right to privacy or even an expectation of privacy?

And this is the problem. As we continue accepting this type of breach of personal information and security as the norm, our expectations of privacy erode. I recall there was, recently, some creep released from prosecution for taking photos or looks up teenaged girls skirts in a mall. The reason being that the mall was a public place and the girls had no reasonable expectation of privacy in such a public place. Yes, there were some people that were outraged at the judge, but that was all that happened. Not enough people did not even care enough to notice such a ruling. When we give up our privacy so easily, the government has an even easier time taking our other rights from us. In The U.S. we are starting to accept more and more cameras in public. This is all in the earnest beliefs that a camera will make us safer. In the U.K. it is reported there is approximately one public camera for every 13 to 15 people. In London the average person will have their image captured by public cameras as much as 300 times a day. It certainly has not stopped crime. And we are embracing this more and more, daily, for the fallacy of staying safe. For this illusion of safety, we will invite cameras into our neighborhoods, where not so long ago, this would have caused an outcry of anger. That was a time when our tangible right of freedom of movement, privacy and anonimity still meant something to us as individuals.

"Patriot Act", "Homeland Security", and similar buzzwords have made it possible for our own peopel to give away our most sacred of rights. The right to be who and what we wish to be and to come and go as we wish. We now have to sign in and out of buildings as this will make us safer from terrorists. We now not only tolerate, but welcome searches on public transportation, as long it is some other person who is inconvenienced. There was a time when only prisons suffered "Lockdowns". Each of these actions are totally without merit and absolutely meaningless. In our efforts to speed along the feeling of safety, we quickly give up our most basic rights, because we want to be normal.

Imagine the phone company being made retroactively immune to civil and criminal lawsuits for illegally wiretapping their customers. This outrageous situation has happened due to the secret cooperation between the phone companies and the NSA since 2002. This was legal thanks to the below the radar Foreign Intelligance Surveillance Act of 1978. FISA basically authorized secret courts to approve secret warrants to collect foreign intelligence within the U.S. between 1978 (inception) and 2006 only 5 warrante requests were ever rejected. That was 5 of 23,000 requests. And yet, this was not enough for our current administration. The Protect America Act of 2007 basically removed the warrant requirements, allowing an unlimited number of wiretaps on Americans suspected of communicatins with suspicious people outside our borders. The PAA of 2007 is the avenue in which the phone companies were made retroactively immune to prosecution for illegal wiretaps from 2002 to 2007.

The door has now been unlocked and left unlatched as we have given our government the tools to circumvent our Constitution. With this Protect America Act of 2007, it is now legal for our government to legally seize data and hardware that is meerly suspected of to be linked in some way to suspicious persons, over seas.

As a country we are facing a series of troubling times in regards to personal freedoms, privacy and surveillance. In our hands and in our minds, we hold the keys to lock these doors, should we choose to use them. The elements of a surveillance state only gain strength with our acceptance of these elements.

We need not leave this as a legacy for our children and their children.



The difference between "Right's" and "Privileges"

The difference between "Right's" and "Privileges"
I am getting so damned sick and tired of all these various groups demanding that they be funded by the gummint. Some have declared it as a 'RIGHT'! Well, let's get a few things straight.
Dictionary.com defines a right as:
18. a just claim or title, whether legal, prescriptive, or moral: You have a right to say what you please. 19. Sometimes, rights. that which is due to anyone by just claim, legal guarantees, moral principles, etc.: women's rights; Freedom of speech is a right of all Americans. 20. adherence or obedience to moral and legal principles and authority. 21. that which is morally, legally, or ethically proper: to know right from wrong. 22. a moral, ethical, or legal principle considered as an underlying cause of truth, justice, morality, or ethics.
The same site defins privileges as:
1. To grant a privilege to. 2. To free or exempt.
A 'right' is to be enabled to speak your mind, publicly or privately, without fear or retribution from the government.
A 'privilege' is to be licensed to drive your car to work.
A 'right' is to empower a citizen to pursue their own happiness.
A 'privilege' is to receive welfare checks.
A 'right' is to own and carry firearms for protection from others as well as from the government.
A 'privilege' is to receive an education.
The rest of the American People do not owe any other member of our society, citizen or not, anything not promised as a right in the Constitution, the Bill of Right's, and any additional amendments.
So, to shorten an otherwise long, boring and tasteless post, if you are surviving on the misbegotten 'right' of welfare, leave. Just get out of my country. The government collects billions of dollars in taxes just to pay for you to sit at home, declaring a new plasma television with HD Cable service is another 'right'. That same billions of dollars is supposed to be used to support our national infrastructure, keep our military staffed, trained and armed. And to see to the general welfare of the nation. OF THE ENTIRE NATION. Not just you and the other lazy-assed bums living off my tax money. And the next welfare junkie that tells me I "need to get a life", make sure you have a job, before you say it. Until you are supporting yourself and the national welfare program, you have nothing to say to me.


Doing a BAD THING!

I know it's a bad thing, but I am curious what others would put in the drop box.

Imagine, purely for a intelectual workout, we did not elect a voluntary President, but instead conscripted or drafted one.

Who would you draft and why?

Personally, I would look for someone like Fred Thompson with a lot of practicle business experience like an Iacoca.

A solid center line conservative (on most things) combined with a top of the line business person? Somone who understands the needs of budgets, the limits of revenue generation in relation to customer statisfaction and both men have shown they have the (pardon my expression) balls to do what is needed.



Any Oklahoma Attourneys out there?

I need a bit of legal assistance.

I'm a former convicted felon, nearly 20 years ago. I would like to get an expungement. An expungement would make it possible to apply and actually qualify for a security clearance. Having a security clearance (or at least being eleigilbe for one) would open a great many doors of opportunity in my chosen career field of IT.

I have spoken to a local attourney, he stated the whole process would take as long as 5 years, and would start with a request for pardon. His fees would be $1000.oo for the pardon. He 'guessed' the total cost would be between $6 and $8 thousand dollars.

I just don't have access to that kind of cash.

Assistance greatly appreciated.


P.S. my 'crimes' were neither violent nor drug or sex related.

A valentine's card worth purchase!

And it's NOT from Hallmark!

Sent to me via e-mail.


The Extinction of the Good Neighbor...

We used to (in the U. S. of A.) have a term that many people wanted, both for themselves and of others. It was called "Being a Good Neighbor". Good Neighbors welcomed new people to a neighborhood, helped with every little thing that the family next door could not do for themselves or just needed a helping hand with. Good Neighbors DEFINED a community. Good Neighbors insured the newspapers and mail did not stack up, while you were on vacation. Good Neighbors helped keep an eye on all the neighborhood kids, before the kids had pagers, cell phones, drugs and guns. Good Neighbors helped increase property values and lower insurance premiums. Good Neighobrs are nearly extinct.

Lately, I have been helping some neighbors in the apartment complex I live in. I've been trying to be the Good Neighbor. Now, I know why Good Neighbors are so few. I will call it UAS, the Used and Abused Syndrome. This is where you, trying to be the Good Neighbor, become another neighbor's b&^%$. Let me explain what I mean...

Recently, I was asked for help by a neighbor who does not have a working vehicle. This was not a big deal, I needed to do grocery shopping, anyway. So, at the grocery store, she starts loading up the cart. Milk, cereal, essential food stuffs normal stuff, mostly the generic brands. The baby formula was not, but that is understandable cause the infant regurgitates the other. I've got a carry that I'm putting a few things into, lunchmeat, bread, etc. She also picked up diapers, dish soap and other cleaning supplies. In my opinion, things that are needed. As we are checking out, all the food stuffs go on her WIC/Food stamps card. Then she asks for two cartons of name brand cigarettes. Nearly $100.00 for cigarettes for her and her husband. The non-food stuffs bill came to $117.84. She did not have the cash to pay for it! She asked me to cover it, she had the cash at the apartment, she just spaced on bringing it. I've done similar, so OK, I pay for the non-food stuffs. We get to the apartments, unlaod the bags to hers and I go on home.

Two hours later, she comes back, asking if I can take her back to the store, she forgot a couple of things. I tell her that she will have to wait about an hour, as I finish a task. She smiles, and leaves, with an 'ok'.

Ten minutes later, her husband is at my door, letting himself in, smoking one of those foul cigarettes in MY apartment demanding that I take his wife to the store, right now. With the change in attitude, I suggest I will gladly take her, when I finish what I am doing AND when she pays me back for the non-food items purchased at the store.

The SOB takes a swing at me for telling him what needs to be done and what his wife is going to do. He quickly found himself out the door. The critical item needed from the store? Beer.

Since then, I have helped them with little things, running to the store, when I was already going that way, etc. I still have not seen the $117.84. It has been three months. She tells me she does not have the money, because he is not employed and he does not want to be employed. Yet they still have cigarette and beer money.

This is an example of what happens to Good Neighbors. People start taking advantage of them. The Good Neighbor is seen as a fool to soon be seperated from his money and belongings. An easy mark.

In today's America, decent, helpful, compassionate people are seen to be chumps and easy targets for those who are less than honorable. The people who have no personal interest or drive towards financial independence are the ones now running our country. They have infected our very way of life. Success to them is mastering the New American Dream: stay at home, have no job, and get others to pay for their very existance.

I'm tired of it. I and many I know are done helping. I go home, I close and lock my door. That is where I stay, until I need to go somewhere else. Then it is straight there and back, no socializing with my neighbors. All my social interactions are with people I know online that share common interests (Linux) and at work. I don't even answer the door for peopel I don't know or recognize. The self sequester is not out of fear of violence, but out of self disgust for being a fool, once again.

But an interesting point just came to my mind. I believe there are many more of these people (like my neighbors) that will be at the polls in November than the rest of us. And the only reason that will happen is because Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are promising free existence for life. Between increasing the variety and breadth and depth of our taxes, the demmocrats are promising that money to go to these free-loaders. In an effort to create a more just an dequal America, our (proposed ?) leadership will destroy the very foundation of our contry. Each person is an individual and is granted rights and privileges there of. To make everyone a member of a single welfare based nanny-state smacks of Stalin and Marx.

Well, that's all I've got to say about that.



I believe...

* I believe myself to be, mostly, a Republican and moderate conservative.

* I believe in HELPING others at a social level, meaning the variety of churches and other service providers that work as non-taxed entities.

* I believe in the adage of teaching a man to fish rather than giving him a fish every day for the rest of his life.

* I accept it as a hard fact of reality that if you save a man's life, he is your responsibility, for life. Darwin and Murphy exist as part of Nature's Great Work of Improvement.

* All men ARE created equal. And that those of us who work are voluntarily subjugating ourselves into slavery to those that will not work.

* I believe I have earned my place in life. I have done good things and I have done bad things. I have served in the military and I have served time. I have helped others with sincerity and I have begrudgingly accepted aid from friends, family and strangers. I have never been on food stamps, I have, however been on unemployment. I have been late on bills and I have donated extra money on bills to help others.

* I believe I have the right to believe in myself as much as anyone else believes what they wish to.

* I believe that all religion has a place.

* I believe that government has a place.

* I believe the two should only meet at the tax office.

* I sincerely think that if I can't run my business on rubber checks, then neither can the government. And taking MORE of my money is NOT how you fix THAT issue.

* Our public education system is no longer educational, it is an under paid over worked day care center for too many delinquents and misfits who have no parents, just DNA donors.

* I believe this list is getting long, but it is also fun! Maybe it can be made into a 'meme'?

* I believe no man is always right. If no man is always right, then no philosophy created by or recognized by man is always right.

* I believe our system of government stinks.

* I believe our system of government is the best on the planet.

* I believe the previous two statements qualify as something worthy of horrific terror and fear.

* I believe that when a person commits a crime, does their time and pays their debt to society, they should be forgiven, in ALL eyes. If they do it again, lock 'em up forever. "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice? Shame on me."

* I believe the best medicines are not prescribed.

* I believe the U. S. of A. can be great, again.

* I believe that we should withdraw many of our military posts back to American soil. If our troops are not welcome there, then neither is the American Dollar those troops spend there.

* I believe in immigration and paths to citizenship. Legal immigration, that is.

* I believe welfare shoudl have deadlines and drop dead dates. Either be working by this date, or find help from somewhere else.

* I believe the government should provide a list (electronically, updated weekly) to the variety of shelters and social aid groups of the people who have been cut from the federal teat for failure to support themselves.

* I believe I have come to a reasonable end to this rant.

P. Blacksmith

The fall of a great country

It is truly amazing how the nation currently known as Great Britain at one time generated people who said:

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. -- Winston Churchill

If Churchill could see what had become of GB, he would leave it, of that I am certain.



The Nanny State gets tough on internet crime

The U.K., in this article is starting to crack down on people who illegally download movies and music off the internet.

In order to do this, they must know, as a provable fact that the current download is of illegal content. I guess the British don't have those little bills that guarantee protection from illegal search and seizure.

This wonderful recommendation comes from a consultancy known as Green Paper. In their recommendation, it would be the responsibility of the ISP to maintain a list of the illegal and pirate websites and services used.

From other research, peer-to-peer file sharing networks would also mentioned as an item that should be banned all together. With a three strike rule, the customer would receive, from the ISP, two warning letters, and on the third instance they would be terminated as a customer.

So, in order to enforce an unjust and unreasonable ruling (probably paid for by the entertainment industry), an entire protocol with legal and righteous uses will be banned.

Way to go, Jolly ol' England!

If this kind of LIBERAL crap will pass there, what do you think will happen here, if the Liberal Dimmocrits are installed as President?

P. Blacksmith

Buh-Bye, Fred

Hey Fred! Thanks for trying. It's a shame you started so late, you may have had a better chance if you had started earlier and gotten your name more prevalent.

Oh well, it's only our country, right? The Liberals will tax the hell out of us, drive us into the pending recession and then we will acerbate the the impending fall of America.

I never knew a Tennesean to give up so easily on something so important. I guess the Republican party has moved to the left of center for such a stoic member to throw his hands up and walk away.

Bye, Fred.

P. Placksmith


New Guest on the Blog Roll

Introducing I Mean To Misbehave.

From what I have read of his blog, so far, I have enjoyed it considerably. And the title being a quote from a favorite movie does not hurt, either.

P. Blacksmith

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Eulogy for America

Eulogy for America

The United States of America, born from strife and abuse. Men of courage, traitors to the land of their fathers, determined to be free, stepped forward to unite a people to a common cause. Realizing a Confederacy lacked stability because of fragmentation, these same men remodeled the Nation into a Republic of Independent Free Men who would democratically choose their representative in the halls of the Republic. And so the Nation was born and set upon the cycle of its life. These men were strong, fierce, proud men of values centered around family and beliefs that gave them a moral compass that rarely failed them.

Over time, these men were replaced by the voter with men of lower self standard and lesser desires to serve than to rule. This new generation of leaders continued supporting the ideas of the Republic until they noticed the personal profit to be garnered from their positions. And time moved on. As the Nation grew from it's infancy and childhood it divided, internally, seeking geographic lines of separation as economic and cultural differences defined regions. And there was conflict within. Again, in a time of need, a single man stepped forward to lead the fight for freedom for all men. From this embattled time, the Nation stepped forth as a young adult, tempered, strengthened and standing tall.

And again the Nation started becoming complacent and looking to take easier routes to maintain the beliefs upon which it was founded. And again, the Nation started into a morass of decay and lost vision. The responsible young adult was becoming lazy as a new generation was handed the freedoms hard earned by the blood of others. And again the Nation started onto the path of material gain. As the competition for material grew, so did the ease with which it could be attained. Tools and industry made it possible for men to replace craftsmen with machines and processes. Pride of workmanship started to decline as did the unity of the family unit.

As the nation continued to grow, it's very ideals were attacked from without. Challenged by forces great and small on all sides, the Nation stood tall, again, defending not only itself, but it friends. The Nation used its strength to win the challenges, protect it's friend, and bully it's allies. And the population of the Nation grew at a rate renewed and invigorated by the victory over an axis of hatred and oppression. Others from around the neighborhood also came to the Nation wanting the freedoms and the opportunities available there. And the need for material growth became ever greater as the numbers in the Nation exploded.

With the constant effort to increase material wealth, the foundations of the Nation started to crumble. The Family Unit was neglected, the Women left the traditional role of the home to also acquire material wealth for the Family. The Children were now less supervised. They did not benefit from the teachings and examples the parents of their parents had.

Soon the Men and Women of the Family started competing for who was the larger earner of material wealth. Laws were changed as those wanting material demanded equality. The Family unit crumbled and started breaking apart. As the generations passed the idea of having a Family became distasteful. The acquisition of Material wealth was augmented by the search fro personal pleasure, again leaving Children unwanted, abandoned and undisciplined, taught only by their parents the only important matter in their world was to win. Winning was defined as having more than others and working less to get it.

This lead to another generation of adults who were more guided only by self-individualism. This growing ideal of selfishness grew and expanded past the decaying Family Unit and integrated itself into the very structure of the society. The society of the Nation fragmented into smaller and smaller units. Each shouting louder to be heard by their Representatives in the Halls of the Republic. Each generation chose those that promised to return the most unto the lowest of classes hoping to be elevated from the bottom rung of the social and financial ladders. And again the Nation was weakened by fragmentation as individualism moved loyalties away from the whole of the Nation to the smaller groups that promised personal benefit and profit at the expense of others.

The Society fragmented into even smaller elements as the Nation was attacked from without by those who desired the benefits of the Nation without following the Laws of the Land to become members of the Nation. And again, the Nation fragmented as the Representatives promised to open the borders and let any less fortunate in with no regard to the safety of all or they promised to close the borders and restrict the flood of new comers. As this debate carried on, others of the Nation were standing and fighting for the Nation and those that make it. Fighting to protect the freedoms and the way of life and decadence the Society demanded. And with the decay of the Family Unit, this brave minority were excluded from the Society and labeled all manner of unworthy monikers.

And now the Nation, the Society, the Republic that was once great teeters and sways as its foundation continues to crumble into a morass of decadence, an absence of morality and the loss of values.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

As our Nation has grown and matured we have continued to lose contact with the great ideals that brought this Nation into being. A handful of men stood against tyranny as traitors to deliver themselves into freedom. Later, a single man stood as a leader in a time of great internal turmoil to strengthen and gather the Nation back into a single people. Then the Nation stood as one against an enemy of bullies who desired the wealth of our Nation and the enslavement of it's peoples.

Now we are faced again in a fight with jealous and zealous persons bent on cleansing the decadent Nation.

Now we are faced with fragmentation of the Society into small clusters of self interest.

To stand forward now, to put the interest of the Nation before oneself would only lead the death of that individual from starvation, exclusion and ostracized as unintelligent.

We no longer value Unity. We no longer support each other. We no longer look to others in need of aid and support in our times for abundance.

We have lost our strength.

We, as a Society, are already dead.

As a Nation, we may be too far gone to be resurrected.

I, for one, am proud to be ostracized for caring about our Nation as a whole.

Where do you stand?

Do you stand in the crowd, alone?

Or do you stand alone uniting to effect change in the crowd?


Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

Due to recent and local weather events, I realized I was woefully under prepared for emergencies. So, I have started building emergency kits, again. This is a call for an open discussion of what makes for a good emergency kit. If you are a particular professional that deals with emergencies, safety or emergency medicine, your input would be greatly appreciated.

This is what I have started with:

  • one each large black plastic trunk, watertight -- Pep Boys - $25.00

  • two woolen army blankets -- $10.00/ea

  • one gallon lamp oil -- $2.50 --

  • one glass oil lantern -- $7.00

  • five large heavy black trash bags -- already on hand

  • one medium sized medical kit that includes -- $55.00

    • minor band aids

    • bandages & gauze

    • sterile needle and suture

    • variety of cleaning, sterile and anti-bacterial packets

    • watertight container

    • EMT scissors

    • single sided razors

    • tweezers

    • rubbing alcohol

    • peroxide

  • motorcycle wet weather gear/dbl sided yellow & black -- $45.00

  • two tarps 12x12 and 10x10 -- Harbor freight sale $4.00 for both

  • rope -- Ace Hardware – $4.00/50' @ 1/4” and 20lb

  • small bag of char coal (for helping dry wet wood to burn) in sealed plastic bags

  • crank charge flashlights (2)

  • crank charge emergency radio with beacon light (1)

  • 'Biker's Tent' – quick and easy to set up super lightweight and tightly packed tent for motorcycle campers -- 10'x8'x6' -- $65.00

  • hatchet

  • limb saw

  • leather man

  • matches and lighters (sealed)

  • 2 empty clean milk jugs for fresh water

  • $200.00 cash and a $200.00 prepaid credit card

  • folding camp shovel

  • Sleeping bags

  • various campsite gear (picnic basket with plates/utensiles/cookware, etc)

Fortunately, I already had much of this list about the apartment. I simply decided to gather is all together and make ready a kit. This is for short term in place or on trips emergency kit. Some of it over kill, and I'm sure some things are missing.

For long term or evacuation required emergencies, I have added to my 'kit' a 3500W generator, a coleman camp stove (will run on K1 kerosene), rechargeable batteries and recharger, handheld CB radio with additional long antenna range of about 3 miles. Pair of FRS radios from Walmart. Compass and other similar items for the local army surplus store.

I will add more to this list and additional details as they come available.


Comments on Fred and Fred's Principles

Comments on Fred and Fred's Principles

Last night on Chris Byrne's blog “The Anarchangel” was a video link to Fred and his comments to the people of Iowa. Although he looked about as interested as a four day corpse at a Thanksgiving Dinner, I truly did enjoy his comments.

In today's political landscape I doubt there is a single candidate that shares the same ideals I do, but that is part of what makes our nation the best on the planet. Fred has the chance of 'being another Reagan' for us, providing clear leadership and maintaining a more center of the road position of conservative values.

As I listened to Fred's speech to the people of Iowa I was hit by a simple realization about what Fred had to say. As a conservative Fred believes in empowering the people of the nation. A true conservative does not see the nation as an uneducated gaggle of victims in need of nurturing, but instead as the beautiful and engrossing potential of being much greater than the sum of our collective selves.

From what I have seen and read about the man, he is very much for reasonable common sense usages of government. He wants to put the idea of serving the nation back into government. Each payday we are serviced by our government and he may be able to back that down a bit.

Items I disagree with from Fred's statements are social items that will take time to balance out and the President is NOT the person to force the balance. For example, his statements regarding his religious beliefs. More power to you Fred, but not all of us are Tennessee Church of Christ Christians. I'm all for a person seeking wisdom from a higher power, but that wisdom still needs to meet the basic tenants of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. Keep your Bible in your desk drawer, Fred. Fred is Pro-life and he is welcome to that philosophy. With a 100% Pro-Life record I believe Fred may be over looking a few things about personal responsibility and personal freedom. Fred is also against gay marriage. Again that is his personal choice and philosophy. Neither of which belong in a law restricting people's basic and fundamental right to the pursuit of happiness.

Positives of Fred's principles, now that the trash is out and being considered, are very much in line with what I personally believe. Below are excerpts from his website with my comments following each excerpt.

Individual Liberty . As Jefferson spelled out in the Declaration of Independence, our basic rights come from God, not from government, and that among these inalienable rights is the right to liberty. We must allow individuals to lead their lives with minimal government interference.

And Jefferson had it right. More right than Fred may be willing to admit. The Declaration of Independence stated 'Creator' NOT God. This permits and opens the nation and individuals to follow believe and worship as they wish. Perhaps Fred's wording was chosen due to the higher percentage of Christian fundamentalists in the for Right side of the Conservatives.

Personal Responsibility . The corollary to liberty is responsibility. No society can succeed and thrive for any duration unless free people act in a responsible way. All of us must take responsibility for our actions and strive to improve our own lives and to contribute to building a better society.

There can be no true liberty nor true freedom if people are not held responsible for their actions that impinge upon the freedoms of others. Whether the issue is a matter of accepting responsibility in a car accident to being responsible citizens and raising children to be the same. From the small and petty to the major and life altering, to be free, we must be responsible. “Responsibility is the yoke we all bear to enjoy our freedoms” is a comment my high school civics teacher used often, particularly when someone complained about something not being 'fair'.

Free Markets . Free people are best equipped to order their own affairs, and the common interest benefits from and is improved by the aggregate success of all. We must reform our tax system, encourage investment, support entrepreneurial spirit, open markets abroad to American goods, and minimize burdensome government regulations to continue to expand the economy and bring increased wealth to all Americans.

Wow! What a concept. Americans competing within and without, openly and transparently. 'The People' should be the one's determining reasonable prices by their decisions on what to buy, when. Support this with the opportunities for inventors and entrepreneurs to compete fairly with the 'big boys'. Sometimes the little guy is closer to the solution than the mega-corp entities that do so much to control congress. Just imagine if all the different engine designs of the last 50 years were unlocked and made available to the open market? Imagine a Ford Explorer SUV getting as much as 50 MPG on the open highway.

Limited Government . Government must be strong enough to protect us, competent enough to provide basic government services, but limited by the delineated powers in the Constitution.

Government is strongest when it is small, tight and efficient. Fewer laws, equates directly to more liberty for all. Simplification laws and processes would make it possible for American's to actually KNOW that they are or are not in violation of the laws of the land. I am hoping this would include actions to remove laws rules and regulations that keep the government as the ultimate provider for a variety of services. Welfare comes to mind.

Federalism . Our Constitution innovatively guarantees our liberties by spreading power among the three branches of the federal government, and between the federal government and the states. In considering any action by the government, we must always ask two questions: is the government better equipped than the private sector to perform the task and, if so, what level of government (federal or state) ought to do it. Washington is not the seat of all wisdom

WOOHOO! “Washington is not the seat of all wisdom.” I love that line. It is so perfect. So many politicians are always showing the 'doyouknowwhoIam' attitude, putting on a face of being omnipotent of what is and what is not 'right' for Americans. If it is not defined as a responsibility of the federal government, identify it should be. Otherwise pass it to the individual states. If the states are not the correct location for such a rule, as the federal level is not, then there is no need for the rule because it will negatively impact the liberties of the majority.

Protecting our Country . The first responsibility of the federal government is to protect the nation and the American people. There is no more important task. We must have a strong and effective military, capable intelligence services, and a vigorous law enforcement and homeland security capacity.

The FIRST responsibility. The federal government is constitutionally charged with protecting the people and the American way of life. Noted difference between Liberals and Conservatives: Liberals would coddle and shelter the populace, taking liberties in exchange for less personal responsibility. Conservatives push for the people to be an active part of any and every form of national protection. From the volunteer military forces to actually being responsible for our individual actions.

Traditional American Values . A healthy society is predicated on belief in God; respect for all life; strong families centered on the institution of marriage—the union of a man and a woman; and self-respect and tolerance of others. While we are all free to live our lives in the pursuit of our own happiness, the government has a responsibility to respect the right of parents to raise their children and to promote the values that produce the strongest society.

Fred, the health of a society is not determined by how many of the people attend church on Sunday Morning. But the society's respect for life, personal liberty as well as personal responsibility as well as the foundation of healthy people, self-respect and tolerance of those with a differing perspective. Bring on the freedoms and liberties, Fred. I was brought up in a Christian based household, but I was also encouraged to find my own path through life. So long as a person stays true to themselves and true to the simplest principles of our our Nations foundations, they will rarely go wrong or offend others of differing beliefs but similar principles.

The Rule of Law . We protect our liberty, secure our rights, and promote a just and stable society through the rule of law. We owe to ourselves and our fellow citizens our own adherence to the rules, but tough law enforcement and punishment for those who do not. A free and independent judiciary that interprets the law by adhering strictly to legal text and respects its limited role in our system of government is essential to our security and freedom, and we need judges who understand that role if we are to preserve our republic and freedom.

The judiciary is to determine the legality of a law, based upon the constitutionality of the law. Their personal beliefs have no place on the bench. For examples of this look into the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco.

Conserving Our Nation’s Resources . Each of us is put on Earth for a limited period of time. We must always strive to ensure that the resources we use to lead our lives are here for future generations to enjoy and use as well.

Go Green, America. Go Green! Ha. Nice thought and an honorable goal. But to pull it off, the mindset of American's will need to change from the instant and immediate gratification crew to one of progressive planning and determined management of the planet as a whole, not just our nation. We can not, as a government tell another government what to do with it's national resources. However, as a people, as a nation of independent thinkers and responsible citizens we have the power to deliver the same message to others that our government can not legally influence. We have the power to avoid supporting that nation by purchasing the products of other nations.

All in all, I agree with and like Fred for my candidate of President. If only he would awaken from his chrysalis, spread his wings and let the world know he was there. Reagan stepped up to the mike and was active. He moved when he spoke. He insured that people understood he was a force unto himself. Freddy you wanna be considered a Reagan Era Conservative? Then step into Ronnie's shoes, boy. Show us what you got.

P. Blacksmith