Yesterday, I joined the NRA.
I was raised around guns; Dad taught me to use a .22 rifle at my grandparents’ farm, where pheasants were abundant in the fall, and it seemed logical to bag a few for dinner.
Years ago that farm became a suburban housing tract. The pheasants are long gone, but my memory of the fine dinners they provided, and what it took to get them, remains.
Sister and Brother in-law live in the Arizona desert, on the edge of a mountain range. Coyotes, deer and all sorts of other wildlife wander through their unfenced property. My niece and nephew are growing up knowing how to handle firearms, as their dad takes them hunting regularly.
And when Eldest Daughter went to school in Arizona, they included her in their target practice sessions.
She proved to be an excellent shot. That’s my girl.
Eldest Daughter will probably never go hunting for deer or wild boar (though if she did I’d be lining up for the resulting meat). Learning to handle the firearms was enough for her.
Sister’s family takes hunting seriously. And they take their firearms seriously. And they really do not appreciate any attempt to take their firearms away from them. They’re kind of old fashioned that way; they think the Second Amendment applies to them as individuals.
I tend to agree. Which is why I joined the NRA.
Hunting is not animal cruelty, regardless of what Obama’s new Regulations Czar Cass Sunstein says. Anyone who has ever hunted knows that the last thing you want to do is cause undue suffering; the goal is a clean kill and an intact animal. Same thing with sportfishing. I suppose to those who think meat and fish only come in little rectangles wrapped tightly in plastic on a styrofoam tray, the idea of actually getting, much less eating, fresh game is unthinkable.
You ought to try it. It’s a heck of a lot more ethical than CAFO supermarket meat. But I digress.
Right now, my interest is more along the lines of personal protection than hunting. The rifle can come later; I’m thinking about getting one of these first:
It’s made in the USA of course (you know how I am about that). I hope it never comes in handy, but experiencing an “if only I had it” moment would be infinitely worse.
ABRUPT TOPIC CHANGE…
It doesn’t matter much to me that Pajamas Media has decided to dump its bloggers. I came late to the dance and only watched from the doorway. However, a lot of those bloggers deserve a wide audience and better not stop doing what they do so well just because their relationship with PJM is over.
The Anchoress has a truckload of relevant political insight today alone.
Brutally Honest muses
I believe this nation will miss Bush more and more as this administration continues to show it’s ineptness and as those sworn to kill us are emboldened by it.
*heavy sigh* True words, those. Everything I’ve read, heard and seen about this administration since it began has made me wonder “What next?” and wish for genuine leadership. We are so screwed.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go capture the links for all the PJM bloggers, ’cause it would be a pity to lose them when PJM takes the list down.
So, I’m working on getting my California teaching credential, a process that is ridiculously complicated and sometimes needlessly demeaning. Not too many professions out there expect you to work for free (aka “student teach”) before they allow you to work for pay.
Last week one of my professors complained that there are very, very few men interested in teaching.
See my point above: Men who want to eat food, wear clothing, and live in something more than their momma’s basement do not typically want to work for free for a year before getting a salary that starts around $30,000.
The men I’ve encountered in my credentialing classes include a middle aged scuba diving instructor who stated plainly that he only wants to teach fourth grade and above, because “That’s the age where they no longer want to be hugged, and I don’t like the clingy neediness of small children.”
Yeah, the teaching profession sure needs more like him.
There is the stereotypical math geek, complete with plastic framed glasses, who wants to teach either junior high or high school math. He’ll probably be brilliant at it, and countless more students will develop the same aversion to higher math that I experienced back in 1978. Some stereotypes endure; thirty years later the math geek remains.
Then there are the three obviously gay men whose clothing, hair, voices, mannerisms, and answers to various in-class questions scream “NOT INTERESTED IN WOMEN…but might really enjoy teaching teen boys.”
So far amidst the 47 other students in my two credentialing classes this semester, there is only one young married fellow who wants to coach soccer and teach history. This path is really the only practical one for a heterosexual male with any self esteem; by coaching and teaching simultaneously he can hope to make a reasonable salary.
All the rest of the students are women of varying ages, from 20 to mid 40s.
Don’t get me started on the professors. Here’s a sample of their methodology:
Last night’s professor divided us up into groups, with one group told to pretend they were Kindergartners through Second Graders, another designated Third through Fifth Grade, a group filling the role of Junior High students, and a final group taking on the part of High School students. The prof (after considerable technical difficulty demonstrating his utter unfamiliarity with Windows, speaker settings and the YouTube website) played the following video, asking us to imagine how our specific demographic group would perceive it:
Yeah, well, ohhhkay. The discussion that followed was predictable (little kids would imitate the song without understanding its message, older kids would imitate Perry’s look with a desire to be perceived as cool or sexy). Then the prof asked us what parents were likely to think of the video. The class as a whole murmured “Dislike it,” “Hate it,” “Disapprove of it.”
The prof asked, “Why?” and nobody spoke for a long moment.
So I said, “Because she’s a slut.”
This is SoCal, and everyone knows somebody. The Math Geek student spoke up and explained that when he was younger he attended Katy Perry’s parents’ church and knows the family.
And then I said, “Please do not tell her parents that I said she’s a slut.”
We briefly discussed that Perry began her music career as a teen singing Christian music.
I think a far more teachable moment in this class would have been to show that video and then the “I Kissed a Girl” video, and discuss what the hell happened to the girl. Does personal morality descend as talent ascends? Is the entertainment industry toxically corrupting to young girls? Britney Spears could be used as a case study.
Instead we kicked around why the “I Kissed a Girl” video would be disturbing to parents. Duh. Because most parents don’t want their daughters acting like Katy, and most don’t want their sons treating girls like Katy Perry is begging to be treated in that video.
At that point, Gay Boy #2 suddenly spoke up, looking at me as he did. “I think we’re being judgmental. You probably wouldn’t call her a slut if it wasn’t a lesbian kiss.”
Without thinking I snapped back, “She could be singing ‘I kissed a goat and I liked it,’ and she’d still be a slut. It’s a slutty song and a slutty video.”
Gay Boy #2′s face took on a peevish expression. Prof decided it was time to inject some PC dialogue, and proceeded to tell us that, “You will have children in your classes who are beginning to realize they are gay, and feeling different from everyone else, and it’s very important to let them know that it’s okay. So be very careful how you address gay and lesbian issues in the classroom.”
That it might be a Bad Idea, even an Unhealthy Idea, to encourage kids to focus on sexuality (their own or anyone else’s) at an age when they are emotionally and socially immature apparently doesn’t cross anyone’s mind in the teaching profession. Of course it doesn’t; they’re all about promoting the ongoing discussion of sexuality within the school setting.
I’ve figured it out: The California Teaching Credential process is really an indoctrination process. They need to make sure teachers are going to be completely politically correct and socially progressive in the classroom before they agree to pay them to teach.
And this is yet another reason why my own kids did not attend California public schools.
Of course, my teaching goal does not include public school either (not that I’d ever admit that in the credentialing process). God though, with His inimitable sense of humor, will probably see to it that at some point I end up in a public school classroom with three bisexual students, two gays and four lesbians, and a transgendered principal who lectures me on diversity and tolerance.
I can’t believe I actually have moments when I miss law school. *whimpers*
Is it wrong that I find this flat out hysterical?
It’s more than five hours and counting now since the entire White House e-mail system went down.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs announced the technical snafu at his 1:30 p.m. briefing, apologizing to the media for the e-mail silence this afternoon.
…This follows on the heels of their inability to get the voice-mail system to re-open the White House Comment Line. Bush staffers got the blame for that, too. Last week, they were bitching to the Washington Post about having to use PCs instead of Macs
So now we have a Treasury Secretary who can’t figure out his own taxes and a White House that can’t deal with e-mail. So much for competence.
They never said they were competent. In fact, they said it was time for change; incompetence in performing the most basic job functions is change, no?
In other non-news, two excellent books I just finished reading:
I’ve long been disgusted by the lack of respect and outright hatred toward President George W. Bush. Misunderestimated gave me a deeper understanding of what it must have been like to be Bush, doing what he truly believed in the core of his being to be best for the safety United States, only to be despised for it.
And good grief, Saddam Hussein was an evil bastard. Sammon gives us a crash course in the history of Iraq’s answer to Hitler, setting the backdrop for 9/11 and the events that shaped the Bush presidency.
I wouldn’t think anyone in America has truly put 9/11 behind them–how many of us initially thought “Is it terrorism?” when US Air flight 1549 came down in the Hudson River? Some memories are shorter than others apparently; It took less than five years for liberal academics to demonize Bush and minimize what happened to our nation in 2001.
While some may point to Bush preventing another terrorist attack after September 11th, in a 2006 New York Times editorial, Ellis saw the 9/11 attacks as a mere footnote in American history: “…it defies reason and experience to make Sept. 11 the defining influence on our foreign and domestic policy. History suggests that we have faced greater challenges and triumphed, and that overreaction is a greater danger than complacency.”
9/11 is already a footnote? What kind of crack is Joseph Ellis smoking? And people wonder why I refuse to return to teaching at the university level. I’d be exercising my second amendment rights with a fury if I had to put up with morons like that as colleagues.
I understand why Bush was able to leave Washington with his head up and his conscience clear. He kept his promise, and kept us safe for eight years. Now we want to rewrite history and pretend that 9/11 wasn’t all that bad, that radical Islamofacists aren’t enemies of everything the United States represents, and that all we really need is love.
Ed Morrissey points out Obama’s “naiveté” (I think of it as absolute stone blind ignorance) expressed in the al-Aribya interview where Obama addresses the Israel/Palestine conflict as if it were some sort of settlement dispute, and terrorism as if it were limited to Al Qaeda radicals and not supported by a wide swath of the Arab world.
Obama could have taken the opportunity to explain some hard truths while extending the hand of friendship. Instead, he took the opportunity to pander.
Obama’s from Chicago. That’s what Chicago politicians do. We’d better get used to it, because this is hopenchange leadership. Kumbaya.
International politics is so complicated. The more I read of American and world history, the more I understand the chasmic difference between the way Muslim extremists view life and everything in it and the way we perceive it, the more convinced I am that believing we can just be friends is idiotic. Suicidal even. We are dealing with people who insist the Holocaust is a “big lie,” and who are dedicated to wiping Israel (and all Jews) off the face of the planet. They aren’t exactly rational. And I think Obama is going to make us all find out the hard way–the deadly way–just how much our enemies despise us.
Maybe that’s what we need. Heaven knows if 9/11 wasn’t enough of a wake up call, if we’ve forgotten who did it and why, perhaps we deserve another object lesson.
Speaking of object lessons, this book is full of them:
Funny but thought provoking, Beck hits on everything from date movies to immigration with his trademark self-depreciating humor. The final chapter really gave me pause. I’d been unfamiliar with the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. Beck argues that a North American Union akin to the European Union is already in the works, and is at the core of every recent Presidential administration’s failure to address illegal immigration and secure the US borders.
I’m not a tin foil hat wearer, but dang, Beck’s reasoning makes scary sense. Where is our country headed?
And just as it all seems a bit overwhelming, the Anchoress posts something positively serendipitous. Whew.
Eldest Son and Youngest Daughter spent part of their morning in lockdown, thanks to this.
Detectives said a man robbed a US Bank branch on Nickerson Street on the campus of Seattle Pacific University at 10:30 a.m. The man demanded money then fled on foot, prompting university officials to lock down the campus for a time.
I’m not terribly worried; I know (they made it very clear during parent orientation) that the school has a swift and effective lockdown system. Most universities probably do after Virginia Tech. What bothers me is that this is a small private school in a quiet neighborhood, and the bank in question is a little branch next to the university bookstore. It’s really not what anyone would consider an obvious target; it’s only approachable on foot and parking a car anywhere nearby is virtually impossible. Not that that stopped the robber, who ran through the wooded campus after his crime. Hence the lockdown.
Crime I guess really is everywhere.
I suppose I could blame the recession, but really, people have been robbing banks in America since 1798. Stealing other people’s money is nothing new. Bank robbers do it directly. Politicians are more subtle.
And yes, being told that taxpayers must give more of their money to pay for the horrendous state debt incurred by spend-happy politicians seems little different than being handed a note that says, “This is a robbery. Fill this sack with unmarked 10s and 20s.”
The states with the biggest deficits tend to be the most profligate. California has by far the biggest gap — $40 billion — thanks in part to a 40% increase in spending over the last five years.
So what’s the solution? Government bailouts!
President Obama has announced that a big check to state governments is part of his stimulus spending plan in order to “save the public sector jobs of teachers, police officers, firefighters, and others who provide vital services.”
And who will foot the bill for everything from California’s budget crisis to Bank of America’s bad mortgages? The taxpayers, of course.
And I just love the way our government thinks its a Good Thing to force taxpayers to pay for people overseas to abort their babies.
Under the new Obama Administration is anything likely to change? Well, Gateway Pundit details the caliber of our new Treasury Secretary. I don’t know about you, but nothing could make me want to say “Sure, I’ll pay even more taxes!” quite as much as putting in charge of the IRS a man who avoided paying his own taxes for four years.
Geithner is a logical choice though, as Jimmie at The Sundries Shack points out:
President Obama has given us another historic first, a Secretary of the Treasury who is also a tax cheat.
I need to be fair to the President, who has spent his entire political life surrounded by corruption and incompetence. It’s all he’s known. Why should he blink at Geithner’s dishonesty?
while Michell Malkin offers a full rundown of who’s to blame.
At least when he’s gotten the cash he wanted, the robber leaves the neighborhood, and odds are the bank teller will never experience another robbery again…unlike the American taxpayer.
I took Youngest Son to get a haircut today, and whilst we waited I overheard the following conversation between another client and the hairdresser, a single white mom of moderate income and average intelligence. I am repeating the conversation here word for word because it provides a stunning example of the mental processes of an Obama voter.
Client: How’re you doing?
Hairdresser: Oh, I’m so much better since Obama took office!
Client: (in a somewhat surprised tone) Really?
Hairdresser: Oh yes. I did my taxes, and I’m getting a bigger refund this year!
Client: And that’s because of Obama?
Hairdresser: Yes! Because he instituted a tax reduction for people under a certain income level, which includes me, and so I’m getting more money back this year!
She actually believes Obama somehow affected her 2008 taxes. For a moment, I thought about explaining to her that if she’s getting a lot of money back, it means she probably overpaid her taxes during 2008–that too much was taken out of each paycheck. And that before he was elected President, Obama voted 23 times against tax cuts not for tax cuts. And that anything Obama has done in the days since he became President will affect her 2009 income, and not be evident to her until she prepares her 2009 taxes in 2010. But I knew that trying to share all these facts was pointless; the devotion and joy in her tone made it clear.
She’s drunk the Kool Aid. There’s no going back.
(I’m not that visually creative, but “scritch” is).
At least Youngest Son got a good hair cut. I suppose Obama is responsible for that too.
Last night I finally got around to watching the TiVO of the entire Obama inauguration; I’d heard it on the radio “live” when it occurred but had no time to watch it until Thursday.
I was particularly struck by the string performance of John Williams’ composition. Eldest Daughter played the violin for many years, Eldest Son the cello. I know how impossible it is to keep those instruments in tune out of doors. I was amazed to see Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman (two of my most favorite musicians) playing in freezing temperatures as though they were in a climate controlled auditorium. Husband and I commented to each other on the truly remarkable improbably pitch-perfect performance.
And I also noticed that their instruments didn’t appear to be microphoned. The only visible mic isn’t positioned where it can pick up any of the instruments.
So reading this comes as no surprise to me:
The somber, elegiac tones before President Obama’s oath of office at the inauguration on Tuesday came from the instruments of Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and two colleagues. But what the millions on the Mall and watching on television heard was in fact a recording, made two days earlier by the quartet and matched tone for tone by the musicians playing along.
I understand that there was no way to perform live without risking a very likely off key, out of tune performance. What the American public was given was a symbolic performance instead, the stringed version of lip syncing. And the instruments being held by the musicians weren’t even their usual ones–”modern” duplicates were held instead.
…questions had swirled in the classical music world about whether Mr. Ma and Mr. Perlman would use their valuable cello and violin in the subfreezing weather. Both used modern instruments. Mr. Ma said he had considered using a hardy carbon-fiber cello, but rejected the idea to avoid distracting viewers with its unorthodox appearance.
Surely the committee who planned this event and who chose to make this performance a part of the morning knew it would be “wicked cold.” Surely someone told them you can’t play a stringed instrument in sub-freezing temperatures without it going badly out of tune and risking snapped strings (not to mention the difficulty one would have playing it with bare fingers). Why go ahead and plan for performance that you surely know will have to be faked?
In the case of the inauguration, the musicians argued that the magnitude of the occasion and the harsh weather made the dubbing necessary and that there was no shame in it.
“What we were there for,” [Yo Yo Ma] said, “was to really serve the moment.”
Somehow I think “serving the moment” may be the perfect slogan for this Presidency. A puppet-like musical performance goes perfectly with a puppet-like signing of executive orders:
Specifically at 0:40 and 5:30 on that clip, the President has to ask Greg Craig, his legal counsel, for specifics on his own executive orders. He then repeats Craig’s words as though they’re his own, as though we’ve not just heard Craig’s voice telling him what to say. Here’s a transcript of the signing courtesy of Rush Limbaugh (H/T Small Dead Animals):
OBAMA: In order to effect the appropriate disposition of individuals currently detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo, uh, and promptly to close the detention facility at Guantanamo consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and interests of justice, I hereby order. And we then we will then, uh, provide the process whereby Guantanamo will be closed no later than, uh, one year from now. We will be… Uhhh…. Ummm…. Is there a separate executive order, Greg, with respect to how we’re going to dispose of the detainees? Is that it, eh, uh, what we’re doing?
CRAIG: We’ll set up a process!
OBAMA: We will be, uh, setting up a process whereby this is going to be taking place.
…There’s more, as Obama signs another executive order…
OBAMA: What we’re doing here is to set up a special interagency task force on detainee disposition. They are going to provide me with information in terms of how we are able to deal in the disposition of some of the detainees that may be currently in Guantanamo that we cannot transfer to other countries, who could pose a serious danger to the United States, uh, but, uh, we cannot try because of various problems related to evidence, uh, in a Article 3 court. So this task force is going to provide us with, uh, a series of recommendations on, uh, that. Is that correct, Greg?
CRAIG: That’s right. And detainee policy going forward.
OBAMA: And detainee policy going forward so that we don’t find ourselves in these kinds of situations, uh, in the future.
CRAIG: And there is clear guidance for the military as well.
OBAMA: And that we are providing clear guidance to our military in terms of having to do with it.
I’m sure the liberal left will make all sorts of “first day at the job” excuses for this bizarrely uninformed presidential behavior. I want to feel some confidence that Obama is capable of shouldering the Presidency, that he knows exactly what he’s doing and can handle the job. This kind of Craig puppetry is not helping.
Maybe the next time our new President’s administration stages a media event, they can play a prerecorded audio tape of Obama speaking confidently, without prompting, while he goes through the motions of signing fake documents, complete with an inkless pen.
I don’t mean to gloss over the very real danger in what Obama was signing. Confederate Yankee has one of the most lucid, sobering analyses of this rash action.
Barack Obama, less than a week into the first executive leadership role of his entire life, dispensed with all that has succeeded these past seven years without review.
He disarmed America with the arrogant stroke of a pen, secure in his belief that his idealism and ideology will keep us safe.
With the stroke of a pen terrorists around the world were put on notice that the most successful anti-terrorism strategy that has saved thousands of American lives and resulted in the capture of kill of thousands of terrorist scum worldwide was coming to an end.
And Obama did this without even being clear on what his new policy would be.
God help the USA.
1. Uncontrollably emotional
2. Irrational from fear, emotion, or an emotional shock
3. Causing unrestrained laughter; very funny.
I don’t get much feedback from this blog, and most of it is spam for various herbal/pharmecutical products. That’s okay though, I’ve only been blogging for a few months and I don’t think I’ve truly found my voice within it yet.
When I do get a “live” response to something I’ve posted, and the response is not from my small handful of online friends, I’m honestly surprised; people I don’t know are actually reading this stuff? I can’t even get Husband to read it (my receiving no monetary compensation for writing it has a lot to do with that). When someone responds and links to my blog on their own site, I’m even more shocked.
Today I received several paragraphs from someone known as “docweasel.” His response made me look up the word “hysterical,” because his tone was so aggressive, so frantic. Warning to my gentler readers: Docweasel.wordpress.com is filled with vulgar language and graphics, excessively so for my taste. I’m not a prude, and I totally understand why someone like Rachel Lucas says,
…another way to piss off a blogger: telling them not to cuss because you don’t care for it. I don’t care what you care for. Unless, again, you’re giving me A LOT OF MONEY. As in, enough to make me care. I don’t understand how people aren’t aware of the fact that there are approximately 80 trillion blogs out there. You can find something that suits you, trust me.
Rachel’s prose is witty, articulate and engaging. A few blue words can add colorful emphasis. Using a plethora of them indicates a vocabulary–and an imagination–that is sadly limited.
This is what “docweasel” said of me on his site:
Random Thoughts This guy is “trying, really I am, to adopt Andy Levy’s To Don’t List, particularly these key points”. Yeah, well try to shut the f— up then, because if you are blogging using his rules, you are a f—ing worthless piece of s—, and you are actually detrimental to our cause, because the more gutless cowards we have calling themselves Republicans, the longer it will take for the real message to get through. Read our f—ing post, copy paste it on your next 1000 posts, or just go back to the Crocheting Forum and make another f—ing sweater for your dachshund, because you aren’t worth a flying f— at a rolling donut as far as helping the conservative cause. Thxmmkaybai. A–hole
He got my gender wrong but how’d he know I crochet? I never mentioned that on my blog. I wonder if I could crochet a sweater small enough for a dachsund…I don’t know any dachsunds, but Littlest Dog is kind of dachsund-shaped, and I could bribe him with apple bits to wear it for a photo or two…
Scraping off docweasel’s vulgarity, underneath what I see is fear. Deep seated, pervasive fear. This is a person who is terrified of Obama, and of the entire Democrat party. He is all but screaming in terror:
We need in your face fighters. We need grassroots organization. We need fire, we need commitment, we need a strong message.
And we need to destroy the Democrats’ brand.
F— comity. F— that and f— Obama. Listen, you nancyboys, mewling prettily about “substantive policy differences” like whiny little bitches isn’t going to win us any friends or elections. My God, you make us want to puke with that s—.
We need to be loud, we need to be outrageous, we need to be unfair, uncivil and profane. We need to be aggressive and loud. That’s how you get the public’s attention.
Hey, I have moments where I feel kind of scared too, where I wonder what’s ahead of us, and where our country will be in a month, a year, four years from now.
And then I recall three things:
1. Obama and every other politician are human beings. They have finite abilities and finite lives: They can’t do everything they talk about, and they won’t live forever, much less be in office forever.
2. I lived through the Carter presidency. No matter what the msm says, things are not nearly as bad now as they were during the Carter years. And the Carter years are precisely what led us to the Reagan years. It’s all cyclical. Truly it is.
3. There’s a bigger picture, and Someone else is in control of it. Even when it doesn’t seem so.
So yeah, I don’t think being terrified of Obama, and reacting to his presidency with hysterical venom is useful. Or helpful. Or sane.
I’m always interested in where words come from, in their etymology. Here’s the etymology of “hysterical”
1650–60; from Latin hystericus, < Gk hysterikós: Suffering in the womb, hysterical (reflecting the Greeks’ belief that hysteria was peculiar to women and caused by disturbances in the uterus).
Suddenly I have an entirely different mental picture of “docweasel.” And it’s hysterical.
Excuse me, I need to wipe Apple Chai off my monitor before I can continue typing.
Postscript: Apparently “docweasel” is an hysterical schizophrenic:
In reality, this is a group blog written by several anonymous authors with wildly differing viewpoints, which can lead to some contradictory opinions (sometimes in the same post). For this, we make no apologies. Its supposed to be confusing. We decided to all blog under one pseudonym so no one can be the star blogger, but also so no one has to take responsibility for anything we write.
Now that explains everything, including the ridiculously excessive profanity.