30 November 2007

Meanwhile, Back On the Street...

I'm doing a carryover (of sorts) regarding yesterday's post, but even if you didn't bother to READ that one (shame on you), I'm making it EASY ENOUGH to make this post self-contextual.
As I was going out to remove the latest used "crack baggie" from my property this morning (and I'm getting quite the large collection over the years), I couldn't help but wonder why the need to challenge oneself by attempting to rise above things such as drugs is curiously absent from almost all the citizens in MY neighborhood?
Last night, CNN happened to have a spot I found interesting (as opposed to the liberal tripe they usually air) concerning BLACK MEN IN CRISIS. Since this was yet another case for CAPTAIN OBVIOUS, I nonetheless followed along with the show, listening to things I have known and heard for years, yet which continue to fall of relatively DEAF ears. This is one choir that doesn't need preaching to.
And again this morning, nestled near the BOTTOM of the editorial page was a small article that (imho) has HUGE implications, although I must admit that I found the headline not only a bit humorous, but misleading in it's nature:
MURDER OF BLACKS IS PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN.
Oooookay then. When did "murder" become a public HEALTH concern, as opposed to a public SAFETY concern? All color and race aside, doesn't murder alone dictate that we have a CRIMINAL concern that is a more pressing issue?
I will grant you that there ARE people (of all races) that honestly NEED to be "put down", and I would gladly volunteer my time in the pursuit of such, but to decry that the murder of BLACKS ALONE represents a public health issue simply reminds me that the writer is equating this situation to a plague of bubonically-infested rodents. Now I agree with anyone that feels drug dealers (and their associated ilk) are JUST LIKE a plague, and should be eradicated as such, but let's take a hard look at this "murder" aspect. This isn't the bird flu...or a backed-up sewer system were talking about...it's PEOPLE.
Take the Sean Taylor murder. The writer claims that Taylor is the archetypal murder victim in America today - black, male, young. And it's been proven that the leading cause of death for people fitting the aforementioned criteria is EIGHT TIMES greater than their white counterparts. Nearly HALF of America's 2005 murder victims were BLACK, and the number of black men slain is on the RISE. To quote the writer: "Isn't it a matter of public health that the most likely cause of death for a black male between the ages of 15 and 35 is homicide?"
Perhaps, but the writer fails to mention the CAUSE of the murders/homicides. And that would be (if you haven't guessed by now)....OTHER BLACK MALES!!!
So what is conveniently omitted from the article is the root cause...and without ALL the facts (such as these) one cannot come to a reasonable conclusion. What is also omitted is the fact that black males murder whites at a rate much greater than white-on-white murder/homicide. The Hispanics are unfairly lumped in with other whites, so THOSE numbers become skewed in the statistical process. And those are stats from the DOJ, not some white supremacy buttwipes.
This is purely a SAFETY concern, not a HEALTH concern, unless the corpses lie rotting in our streets, while the government is planning some more free giveaway programs to "alleviate" this problem (which would not surprise me).
Once again, it all boils down to PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY, and no amount of government intervention or programs will forcibly imbue anyone with values like these - they have to come from within first. The decision to take back one's life cannot be "painted on" ...it has to be founded BY that person with the courage to admit mistakes and then learn from them.
If we (as a society) are to make any headway in halting the murders of black men, it's going to take some monumental decisions by the BLACK community, many of them will be unpopular, and although there are men of color with their fingers on the pulse of what's going down, and are out there preaching to those who will listen, their numbers are all too few, and sadly, their voices fall on drug and crime-deafened ears.
That has to change.
Everyone else acknowledges this growing problem in the black community...whether or not the black community itself will act upon the situation and "own up" enough to make some tough choices, and reclaim their young men as well as their community, turning it from striving to thriving is something that time alone will tell.
And by the looks of things now, they've got one helluva road to hoe.
Question is: Is the black community (itself) up to such a daunting task?
Larry Elder would tell them to stop being victicrats. I'm with Larry on this one.

Have a Safe Weekend!

29 November 2007

Sparing Rods...And Spoiling Children...
The recent EACS flap over racist notes found by two black children is finding less merit each day. The latest is that the notes were only A NOTE (as in singular), and that it was NOT placed in a black child's locker, as first intoned.
Furthermore, the two students ADMIT to LYING about where they found THE note (still singular). This was just another knee-jerk reaction to a situation that should have been handled INTERNALLY by the school.
The local NAACP was all over this like you-know-what, and the school had to issue apologies longer than a calendar year. It USED to be called GETTING THE FACTS STRAIGHT...FIRST, before going off half-cocked.
And that is a large part of this nation's problem with it's youth. The sad thing is that this has been going on for DECADES. Seems like another case for CAPTAIN OBVIOUS, right?
Add this to the proposed BAN on SPANKING in Massachusetts (which I hope falls quicker than the stock market on a bad day), and you're creating a recipe for disaster. Corporal punishment (when utilized properly and with the appropriate restraint by the adult) works miracles to ensure that proper discipline is meted towards their children. The down side is that some people can't control themselves once they "get rolling". And then there are those who just plain ABUSE their children outright.
So some dumb-ass lawgiver in Massachusetts "thinks" (erroneously) they have the solution which would be a BLANKET plan to dissuade ALL parents from disciplining their children through spanking vis-a-vis corporal punishment.
Yeah, that's going to go over like a pregnant pole-vaulter!
If there is ONE good point to all this, it's that child ABUSERS will get their just rewards, but that's IT. The rest of this is just so much chaff for the threshing floor.
I've known people that have spanked their kids, and produced fine young adults. Conversely, I also know people who did not spank their kids and got the same results. There are those that spank their kids and STILL produce hellions, and others that do NOT spank and produce similar children. Spanking is not some universal panacea for discipline...it's no magic bullet, but at least allow the PARENTS to make the decision as to when and where to apply the "Board of Education to the Seat of Knowledge"...not some lame-ass lawmaker or government.
In an age where children are thrust into quasi-adult situations at an earlier age, the LAST thing we want to do is withhold corporal discipline. Face it, many kids, thanks to dysfunctional parents, are growing up with heads full of "bad wiring", and no amount of talking, shouting, cajoling, befriending, or joking is going to keep them from getting their little asses in the proverbial sling. But a swat across the butt, when necessary, will do the trick just fine in many cases. A firm smack on the hand when a child reaches for a hot stove burner is a godsend to their safety (and the parents' peace of mind)!
Now we can also preach tolerance about anything or anyone until the cows wander home, but tolerance can only go SO FAR when it comes to "bringing up baby".
Are we ready to "tolerate" kids becoming thugs, because of a lack of discipline?
Are we ready to tolerate disrespect from them, because they know they can toss their parents in jail for smacking their ass when it's fully deserved?
Are we ready to deal with false allegations brought on by some child with a grudge against their parents because they were grounded for doing drugs or having sex?
Are we ready for all of this simply because we're no longer allowed to spank our kids?

When you let this genie out of it's bottle, rest assured it will next to impossible to put him back in.

Are we ready for the consequences we will face as parents.
Such might just be the case where the EACS note is concerned. Maybe some kids just don't "want" to be in school, and saw this as the opportunity to take the easy way out. The NAACP is busy looking for conspiracies already, so why not let all of our imaginations loose, eh? We're already privy to increasing numbers of families that pretend to be functional...with horrendous results.
And while there are those all too few instances where a single mom (or dad) succeeds with rearing their children, the opposite is most often the case. And we, as a nation applaud ourselves for making decisions we think are fair to the kids, when in fact we deny them the chance to account for their own actions (until it's too late).
My parents were strict, and I got my ass wailed (plenty) but ONLY when I deserved it, and I did NOT turn out to be a mass murderer, rapist, thief, burglar, drug user, drug seller, or vandal. I DID turn out to be a person who will question what needs questioning, and not just take things at face value, or follow the crowd off the nearest cliff because it's the popular thing to do this week. I am tolerant with everything and everyone except where blatant stupidity is practiced and nurtured.
Then I have ZERO tolerance.
But take a look at those kids today who are spared the rod....how spoiled have they become, and what lesson does that teach them about consequences? Again, it keeps coming down to ACCOUNTABILITY and PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. When you are brought up with neither, it not only shows, but it speak exactly as to HOW their children will be raised. And that is NOT a pretty picture, no matter HOW NICE your frame it.
You want to have the government raise your children, with no corporal punishment, while preaching tolerance to all, and demonstrating tolerance toward none all in the same breath. That smacks of Orwell's "1984" to me. Were I to invoke an oft-quoted passage from the Bible, I would have to say that: "You REAP what you SOW".
And from all society's youth "crops" I've seen over the past couple of decades, I'm not that sure that "farming" is all that it was cracked up to be.

28 November 2007

Humpday Happenings...
As a rule, I don't usually watch all these "reality" shows, with the exception of a little-known show called BOOT CAMP a few years back (and for the obvious reasons...lol) simply because (imho) they don't reflect the reality I see out MY windows.

But I just had to make an exception with the show Dancing With The Stars. And aside from seeing more skin that should be allowed on primetime TV ( in a tasteful manner I might add), I find that neophyte dancers with professional partners a welcome relief from a lot of the video tripe gracing my screen these days. Helio Castroneves and his partner Julianne Hough were this season's winners, and I have to say that I was rooting for him since the very beginning.
Why? Because he's short, as in vertically-challenged...like ME, that's why. Not to mention he's one helluva driver. And Julianne isn't all that hard on my 55 year old eyes either. I saw that over the course of TEN WEEKS, Helio has become a ballroom dancer I am in envy of.
In other words..."he done good...he done REAL good".

Now I confess to being a bit of a dancer in "my day". There were those Friday nights where I and my "partner" (who I was madly in love with, although it was unrequited) would light up the floor at the "Fountain Room" club in Oaklyn, NJ. I often wonder what ever happened to Barbara. And it wasn't only those disco moves of the late 70s that intrigued me. I could slow dance her around to any spot on that floor, without injury to toes, shoes, or other dancers. Must have been all those days in elementary school doing the BOX step and square-dancing (yeah, people USED to actually make schoolkids do that back then when girls were "yucky").
Today, what passes for a slow dance is nothing more than two people literally HANGING on one another while swaying in ONE DAMN SPOT. THAT is NOT slow dancing. But it is funny to watch...reminds me of the marathon dancers from the movie "They Shoot Horses, Don't they?"...after the 23rd hour...LOL!
I was doing the "Saturday Night Fever" gig long before it was in vogue, AND one night earlier. There was the shoes...ahh, to dance in leather-soled shoes that cost more than a week's pay. Had to do the "layaway" thing with those. And with wooden floors, leather is a MUST, unless you like sudden stops and the inability to make a simple turn without squealing like a Corvette peeling away from a green light.

Then there was the skin-hugging slacks (gabardine of course), and the obligatory leather jacket and satin shirt to complete the ensemble. Neck chains were optional.It was a time when people were not AFRAID to dress...and dress damn well (aside from leisure suits)!
And surprisingly, when you displayed an ability to "trip the light fantastic", women would come up and ASK you for a dance (one of the best things to come from the WOMENS MOVEMENT). Had I been a gigolo, I probably would have "scored" a lot sooner AND a lot more often. But to me, it was all about dancing. I know...missed opportunities, but using dancing as a way of "notching one's bedpost" was nothing short of a form of rape.
And Bobby don't play that tune.

Yes sir...that was a time when they had NICKEL DRINK NIGHT, buffets, live music, and an air that the world was headed in the right direction. If people had to smoke some reefer, it was done discreetly...out in the parking lot (along with other things), and I can't even recall a fist fight, knife, or gun fight at any time. And weapons were a lot EASIER to come by than they are now. I guess "we" just weren't succumbing to all THOSE evils.
We had plenty of our OWN to go around.
It's different today...you're more than likely to be shot in some parking lot over some stupid thing, or word spoken, or glance. People pretend to dance to suck-ass noise that poses AS music that they pretend to enjoy while imbibing in overpriced drinks, while wearing clothes we'd laugh you out of the club if you wore them.
They come to clubs already tweeked, and looking to score more, and ready to kill at the drop of a hat. What the hell happened to the GOOD times?

The song says THE MUSIC DIED sometime back in the 50s. I think that after a revival, it died AGAIN in the 80s. And I don't see anyone breaking their ass trying to resuscitate this patient. But at least I can watch some GOOD dancing on some "reality" show, cheer on and congratulate some damn fine dancers, and remember back to when the music WAS alive...and well.

And in this case...for an hour...it STILL is.

27 November 2007

Surviving the "CZ"...
The most recent shootings in our city, which left one woman dead and a man downgraded to critical, should be making every one of us stop and think WTF is happening that people will kill each other over some dried and rolled plant, or household chemical concoction.
One thing I found that is STILL cheap in this city.....LIFE.
Now I could go on about how the SOUTH side of the city always gets the "bum rap" and has been a media target for decades...but I won't. The fact of the matter is that it IS all too true. It's not just one person's perception. It's life...if we can call it that, and it's still cheap enough to waste. Are there good aspects to this part of town? Yes, but they are far overshadowed by the bad aspects. It's just being outnumbered to make any good of it.
I could also go on about how the city has meticulously herded all the wrong people into this part of town, as a way of "keeping all the eggs in one basket". And let's face it; It's much easier to track criminal behavior when you can have the majority of criminals in ONE area of the city, isn't it? Woe to those decent folks still trying to survive among this growing number of thugs.
I could expound about how the city ignored any redevelopment down here for the last 20 or so years, and only NOW (as an afterthought) is doing anything to bring back something remotely resembling retail or any other business. Sure the Menards and Wal-Mart are welcome additions here, as is the new Regional Police/Fire Academy at Southtown Centre, but this is something that "should" have occurred ages ago, long before things got as far out of hand as they have. It's akin to finally fixing that damn gate after all the good horses have left the corral.
I could go on about those things...but I won't.

This latest homicide has to make you wonder about these things, unless you feel so secure in your own little "ivory-palaced" suburb. Just remember that every one of YOU are only a heartbeat away from becoming so much collateral damage IF people such as the ones involved in these shootings decide to empty a hi-cap mag in your general direction, because if there's one thing I've learned down here, it's that people such as this DO NOT give a rat's ass WHO gets in the way when they unload. And bullets ARE just as stupid when it come to seeking a "destination"...they don't have the luxury of deciding to change direction because someone not being targeted is in their way. It makes no difference to them if you're at home, in your car, or walking from A to B. Bullets are items born entirely to the realm of PHYSICS.
How many houses have we seen shot at or hit for no good reason (other than the shooter needed glasses or lessons in aiming)?
How many innocent people are gunned down due to a bad drug deal (and a lot of poor shooting)? How many more will be made to suffer at the hands of society's dregs?
Sadly, this is a colorblind conundrum, as people of ALL races are involved with illegal activities such as the ones that claimed the life of a 37 year old woman the other night. And when you (the city) goes to great lengths to place mostly those of a SPECIFIC race in a SPECIFIC area of the city, it can make the job of policing a bit easier, but it also exacerbates the problem, because of certain cultural factors that make enforcement more difficult. People with a predisposed (through indoctrination) hatred or distrust of ANY law-enforcement will be less prone to "snitch", to volunteer time to watchdog the area, and even make a simple call when they see something bad going down...until it hits a little too close to home.
By then, it becomes REACTIVE instead of PROACTIVE, and that creates even more problems.
Gun laws will never work with these people. For that matter, law ITSELF will never work for these people (just like THEY never work at all).
As long as they keep killing EACH OTHER, I don't have much of a problem with that. I'd personally love to see them off one another...it makes the job of the police easier (but we might need more help for the coroner).
Now there's a use for that new "Costaplenty Square" ballpark during off-season...send in the perps, give them all the drugs and guns they can carry, and then let them shoot the hell out of each other while we watch behind some ballistic glass, enjoying our hot dogs, drinks and Junior Mints!
Don't think it's not coming to something like that...it's already playing out that way on our streets.

Maybe it's time to make their behavior pay off for the REST of us.

26 November 2007

Monday Musings...
Another rainy, dreary day in the Summit City, and lots of things to ponder. So here we go. Hang on...it's a bit slick out there today.

-Item: Harrison Square walkway still "up in the air". Well it IS going to eventually be located ABOVE the ground, right? I honestly don't know what is taking SO damn long to figure out what "type" of walkway is needed (how about one that WORKS and is BUILT WELL?). Apparently, there are numerous things being considered, not the LEAST of which is how much MORE this will wind up costing the taxpayers of this city (who by a majority didn't want the current incarnation of this "project" in the FIRST place)?
-Item: New police/fire academy to open this week at Southtown Centre. This looks to be THE regional diamond in our crown (and about damn time too), so if you're not doing anything this Wednesday (28 November) at 2PM...take a drive over and check it out.
-Item: Double shooting on the city's SOUTH side (where else?) leaves one dead and another in the hospital. That brings our current number of homicides up to TWENTY THREE (so far) and it looks to be a good bet on the "25" total for this year that I have MY money on. Lemme guess...this was another drug deal gone bad? AND it's probably gang-related as well? AND the people shot were BOTH "good people - never bother or harm anyone", right? Yeah.
-Item: The Family Channel is now in the "meat-processing" business, and by that I mean BUTCHER! I wouldn't have thought this myself, but after watching the perennial season favorite, WHITE CHRISTMAS this past weekend, I can now truthfully say that I haven't seen such a HACK JOB since SWEENEY TODD first hit Broadway! Do yourselves a favor...buy the DVD instead of viewing the Family Channel's pathetic attempt to show a Christmas classic.
-Item: Fort Wayne's economic growth is in the crapper. We've come out 273rd out of 363 metro areas (of similar size), and yet we still manage to hang onto a 20% manufacturing share. My question would be: "So where are all these jobs we are promised that will spur faster growth"? Tell you one thing - if we had to rely on farmers CROPS growing as slowly as Fort Wayne's economic growth...we'd be starvin' for sure. Makes a good argument for a third world country within our own country, doesn' it?
-Item: Christmas shopping off to a great start. Must have been all those "bargains" the early birds camped out for. Personally, I don't see the overall "gain" that the market THINKS it will garner. I think the peak of spending is already past us, and only the last-minute shoppers will bring in any further serious revenue. Who can bloody afford to blow the wad when you've got to consider home heating, fuel for the cars, and rising cost of everything else (also because of the fuel prices)?
-Item: Supreme Court working on D.C. gun ban. This COULD overturn a 76 year-old ban on handguns for the District of Columbia (you can still have long guns, but they have to be locked or disassembled - great in case of emergencies, eh?). This will have far-reaching effects in places like Chicago as well, where the constitutionality of these bans is also in question. Considering that both D.C. and Chi-Town have had MORE homicides (in spite of some of the STRICTEST gun laws) due to handguns over the years with such bans in place, one has to wonder exactly how much GOOD these bans have provided the law-abiding public. The answer is absolutely NO DAMN GOOD. Criminals don't adhere to bans, don't follow laws, and thumb their collective noses at the law. That's why they're called CRIMINALS. Time to make THEM pay for a change...instead of innocent people.

And there you are....lots to talk about at the water cooler. Lot's to think about, and if there is ONE THING you can be sure that you will take away from THIS blog, it's knowing that if nothing else, you will be encouraged to THINK. And thinking can motivate one into action...and affect a change for the better.

And the BEST part...I provide it to all of you GRATIS....Gotta love that, eh?

23 November 2007

Post Thanksgiving Day Ramblings...
It was a nice Thanksgiving, and everything went as well as could be. And not ONE sports event graced our TV. W played some Benny Goodman (fine eating music). You see, we're NOT part of that "Hurry up and scarf down the meal, 'cause we're off to the sports bar to catch the COLTS game that won't be shown on area stations" troop.
And never will be, if we're fortunate.
We took some time to have a real family-oriented repast. And since *my* family exists primarily of long lost cousins back in PA, or the residents of our house (with two more in TX and a couple in Portland, Indiana), it's a small gathering, but a sincere one.
But now it's on to the business at hand...CHRISTMAS SHOPPING. (and the worst day of the year to do it...TODAY).
Yeah, we've seen those camping outside stores for the best deals, and perhaps they'll get some, but I was never into standing in line for anything when I could much rather go elsewhere, walk in and get something. It's an "efficiency in retail experiences" thing with me.

But be serious, with all the OTHER financial swords dangling above our heads these days, do we need to exacerbate it by caving in to THIS day to shop? Haven't we been paying attention during the REST of the year for gifts to give for Christmas? Why do we wait for "someone else" to tell us that NOW is THE time to SHOP for those CHRISTMAS GIFTS? I think a lot of it is the "lemming syndrome". When everyone ELSE does it, then I will too. Well, that works well when trying to relax...or have fun, but when it comes to leaping off of a financial precipice, I tend to hedge a bit...no, make that a LOT.
Then there are the LINES...the PEOPLE (with assorted germs just WAITING to "share" by coughing in your face), the PARKING (when you can find it), and of course...the SALES. All of this just doesn't quite make a nice end to a good Thanksgiving. Who needs angst for dessert anyway? It's not all about sales anyway (except for the stores' "bottom line")...it's about finding the "right" gift for those special people, and *if* you CATCH A SALE in the process...all the better.
But I sure don't need that ELECTRIC CAT POLISHER...
JUST BECAUSE it's 50% OFF today only!
(and neither do our cats)
Still, the "time of the year" has a lot to do with WANTING to shop...the growing festive nature, the seasonal aromas in the air, the crisp chill OF the air itself all lend a helping hand with us parting with our hard-earned savings. And despite all the annoying aspects related to the shopping experience now, we really don't mind all that much in the long run (until the bills come due). What we need to do is practice some self-control, though. We still have to fuel our cars and heat our homes this winter, right?
Those people that do nothing all day but study stuff (and get paid too damn much for it too, if you ask me...I could do it for a lot less and still make out well) said that the "average" person will lay out over $840 for Christmas gifts. Wish that "Mr. Average" considered ME a good friend...LOL! My wife and I together won't come close to that number, and yet, we'll have a good holiday. Then again, I can do a lot with very little (something I picked up in life).
Will we shop today?
Maybe, but we won't be wandering all over creation to do it. We make our lists well in advance, check them THRICE (Santa could learn from that), and with a plan in mind...we set forth (note: having a PLAN-B is always a good thing). And there is always TOMORROW....as well as the OTHER 32 DAYS with which to "accomplish the mission". So before you head out, check that fuel gauge and keep those credit cards nearby, so you can "git 'er done"!
Good luck...you're going to need it.

Have a Safe Weekend

22 November 2007

Talking Turkey For Thanksgiving...
While you're waiting for the family to gather and the Butterball to baste itself, here's an interesting little note to tuck in the back of your mind, especially if you have to drive anywhere the next four days:
ONE out of SIX drivers would fail a driving test if given today. (good, get THEM off the road...there'll be a lot less traffic when I go out and shop)
The 2007 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test study found that 55 percent of motorists don't know WHEN to activate their turn signals (that explains a helluva LOT).
But wait, it gets better.
Adding to the 1 in 6 failure rate of drivers flunking a simple driver's test, an incredible 84 PERCENT of test takers didn't know what to do at a YELLOW LIGHT (hint: the answer is NOT "go faster").
That reminds me of that TAXI sketch with Reverend Jim at the BMV....LMAO!
The auto insurer gave this "test" - with questions from real motor vehicle department driving tests - to 5,100 respondents (they NEVER ask me to take these tests). About 18 percent failed outright, compared with only 9 percent in 2006 (some things do NOT get better as time goes on). The national average score was 77.1 percent (that's a REAL low "C" in ANY classroom).
Not surprisingly, drivers 35 and OLDER were more likely to PASS the test (score one for the "home team"). Take THAT, you young whipper-snappers!
So remember friends, if you HAVE to drive anywhere this weekend, make sure you're OVER 35, or at least make sure you're on the road with FEWER than FIVE other people (that'll take care of that nasty "1 in 6 failure rate" thing).
Enjoy the holiday, and save room for dessert...ALL of them.

21 November 2007

A New Take On "24"...
Nice to know that Jack Bauer can rout the bad guys and save the world in a mere 24 hours. Me? I can't even have a 24 hour virus without it hanging around for at least SEVENTY-TWO hours! I'm on the mend, such as it is...still have a low-grade fever (which is a good thing; it shows the body is STILL in the fight), and any congestion I had is now "looser" than a 3-time DUI perp on a Fort Wayne street...LOL!

So, let's take some shots at those most deserving. Now this will probably cheese off a few people, but with *my* readership so low....I figure what the hell. Those that take the time to READ and UNDERSTAND...will "get it".

I was thinking long & hard about this Heritage H.S. racism note thing. And I've got plenty of thoughts on this. If this racism was directed at good, well-behaved black students with social ethics and a sense of morality, that is just plain WRONG. We can act immediately when a racist note (or symbol) is found, but when other students exhibit prolonged aberrant behavior, we hedge a bit...until something happens (like VT). Is there something wrong with this? This duplicity is one point that a lot of the *PC* brigade fails to acknowledge. And it's costing society....a lot.

Not ALL members of the black race are "worthy" of such a derogatory title as the *N* word. In fact, less than 5% of the ENTIRE black race in this country deserves (read asks) to be called exactly what they are. I am fortunate to say that I have NEVER befriended a person of color who deserved to be called the *N* word. And I guess some would call that "biased". SO be it. I can take the heat. Hell, THEY used that word more than I did, and didn't mind when I used it to someone they thought was one either.

The real PROBLEM stems from the modern connotation of the *N* word, as well as social indoctrination. People (incorrectly) use it as a "blanket" term to describe EVERYONE of the black race. Sorry, that dog just won't hunt. You can't "redefine" a word to fit YOUR agenda, but people do, and a lot of us are fooled into following that. Colin Powell, Condie Rice, Bill Cosby, John McWhorter, Larry Elder, Winton Marsalis, Leontyne Price, and scores of other notable black people (many of whom have made SIGNIFICANT contributions to OUR ENTIRE society throughout history) are being lumped in with this rabble who, by their actions, mannerisms, speech (if you can call ebonic mumblease such a thing), along with utter CONTEMPT for anyone OTHER than their "own kind" (which actually excludes many blacks - the OREO syndrome) beg to be called what they purport to be.

Calling these "people" anything better than what they are does everyone else a disservice. You cannot seriously make me believe that the welfare fraud mom with her thuggie boyfriend, who hasn't worked since he was kicked out of school, driving around in his brand new Durango, thumping that loud-ass $3K stereo and spinning those $2K rims all bought with drug money, and who will rob a person or business at the drop of a hat with his homeys is JUST AS DESERVING to NOT be called the *N* word than George Washington Carver OR Harriet Tubman....NO freaking way!

We can't even say "Afro-Americans" any longer. And negro is definitely taboo. Nubian is too confusing as many don't even know what that word denotes. I wonder how all the harps, mics, wops, krauts, nips, limeys, chinks, and hebs (wow, I'm somewhere in that group too) feel about this?. Hell, they MADE this nation as well.

We're perfectly OK calling a terrorist a TERRORIST, or a child molester a CHILD MOLESTER...because that is WHAT THEY ARE. But trying to do away with a word from our lexicon that denotes a "particular" group in our society (and not an entire race) takes us down the fascist road of the 3rd Reich. We can easily slide down this slippery slope of becoming a fascist state if we refrain from calling things as they are. Now I don't know about YOU, but fascism is NOT anywhere on my "to-do" list in my life any time soon.
We cannot create a better world by denial.
What is needed is temperance, and a return to a time where "sticks and stones may break our bones, but WORDS will never hurt us". I know that flies in the face of words having POWER, but you have to realize that people either GIVE those words power...or take that power away.
And how the rest of us respond to this "power-struggle" sets the tone for the subsequent generations. They will learn from US.
I, unlike so many others will admit to using the *N* word, but only where it is APPLICABLE. Outside of that "less than 5%", all other blacks are "just plain old people" to me. I will assess each person (of any race for that matter) on their own merits, their integrity, their morality, and social nuances. But if they dress like a slob, talk like an illiterate, and shuffle along the street, don't cajole me into thinking THIS guy's an up and coming BANK MANAGER...ain't gonna happen, people.And I think that's about AS FAIR as anyone can be when sizing someone up. It's when they demonstrate that they have NO respect, NO regard, and NO compassion towards anything or anyone (but themselves) that we have a parting of the ways.

It's this *N* mentality and blatant victimology they so often portray that has pervaded too many levels of our society, setting double standards, duplicity of speech, and confusion for the rest of society. The media allows the films, music, and lifestyle to become part of our lives daily, and little gets done to stop this indoctrination.
Our reaction is to knee-jerk ourselves into a overly-cautionary stance, enacting laws, bans, and hate crime legislation that is ill conceived and unfairly enforced. The FBI states that hate crimes are rising...well when you legislate anything and everything INTO a hate crime (except thought...for now anyway), what do you expect?

A TRUE hate crime is not just calling someone the *N* word...it IS dragging some poor black soul behind a truck until he's dismembered. That is reprehensible on too many levels. We're rapidly blurring the lines as to the true definition of hate crimes, and I fear the next step will be a further governing of our speech and eventually...our thoughts.

How Orwellian is THAT?
People need to start being honest with THEMSELVES, and grow a thicker skin, before they can be honest with others.
We can but hope that better minds will prevail.

20 November 2007

It's those GERMS, stupid...

Forget everything I said yesterday about fighting this illness. They've launched a major offensive.
I haven't felt this bad for a DECADE!

If anything, my stubbornness to go see a doctor will most likely be the death of me, but hey, no one lives forever, do they?
To me, doctors are like hairdressers...once they get you "in the door", you're "hooked".

So bear with me if the posts are not coming everyday, I've already got a screwed up Thanksgiving dinner staring me in the face (who wants to invite the relatives up when I don't have an appetite)?
Giving my favorite octogenarians a cold or the flu is NOT my way of bringing on the holiday season.

Actually I do feel a lot like George S. Patton, though...like when he was in that car accident in Germany in 1945 and was paralyzed.
How fall the mighty indeed.

Be nice to have some erythomycin handy....can't do penicillin. Maybe in a week or so this will go away...or kill me. One of the two.

In the meantime, unless you hear otherwise, I'll still be around. And I'll be posting.

19 November 2007

Monday Musings...
Saturday's paper FINALLY showed up, the trash was collected as well, and my wife and I have all the "fixins" for Thanksgiving. Things couldn't be better, right?
Gee...I don't know. How about a sudden bout of general malaise?

I woke up yesterday aching all over, so I can only surmise that even MY immune system doesn't take kindly to at least ONE particular germ. Then again, I get maybe ONE cold every few YEARS, unlike my school-teaching wife who enjoys (?) her YEARLY bout of sharing her students' colds with great gusto.
So here we are...I have the relatives coming up this Thursday for Thanksgiving Dinner, and I'm hitting on about 5 cylinders (out of a usual 8).

Now when it comes to getting sick, I will be the FIRST one to tell you that I am the world's WORST patient. I'm the person that when he's told to "eat light foods" (like oatmeal) will opt for a PLAIN pizza with no toppings (to me that IS light eating). I'm the guy that believes in "toughing through" this kind of physical adversity. Sure you feel like crap, achy, feverish, and the appetite ain't what it used to be. But things HAVE to get done, and if YOU don't do it, nothing WILL get done. I have to be pretty DAMN sick to be "off my feet". That's just an option in my book.
Having spent more time in hospital (as a youth) than most DOCTORS was something I don't recommend to everyone as a way to "get away from it all" (and meet new people). But it is nice to return for another illness and have the nurses REMEMBER your first name. That's reassuring. I think they drew the line at me having my own "suite" with nameplate on the door of the ward. And I NEVER missed ONE SINGLE lesson from school, either. Kids today miss schoolwork WHILE THEY'RE IN CLASS.

Being one of those "sickly youths" growing up was just "part of the territory". Fortunately, as I got older, that all went away. I took after my dad in that respect. He rarely missed a day from work, and basically had to be sent home when he was.

Hell, I'd show up with several types of medication coursing through my body in a foot and a half of snow, when other healthier people couldn't (or wouldn't) make it to work. Even got a day's pay for less than an hour's work when I was one of only THREE people (out of about FORTY) that showed up for work one time. That's sweet.
Still, I'm going to be pulling out all the stops this week, in an effort to fight this microbial attack on my personage. And I'm not taking ANY prisoners in the process. This cold might take some wind out of my sails, but it's sure as hell NOT going to stop me. And I've found that that THIS approach works pretty darn well. Germ warfare is still (and should be treated as) WARFARE!

One of the WORST things you can do is wallow around bemoaning how sick you are, when you could be demonstrating to all these microscopic little shits "who's running the show" here. They invaded YOUR body, and NOT the other way around.
Cold germs are like crimes....you don't give them a place to play, and they have no choice but to move elsewhere.
Taking care of the "basics" is paramount: Drink plenty of fluids (citrus is the best), take some good old JEWISH PENICILLIN (chicken soup), wash your hands often (like after you blow your schnoz), and for God's sake, cover your MOUTH when coughing (and be careful who you kiss). That last one is the worst culprit of spreading germs. One need go no farther to find THAT out than the nearest shopping center or grocery store.

And when it comes to fighting any cold, call me George S. Patton.
(Yeah...think I'll go play that opening speech from the movie....again)

16 November 2007

It's Not All About Stubborn Trees...

I'm sure Oliver Wendell Holmes had days like this.
We're well into November, with that seasonal crispness in the morning air. So, as I do every morning, I step outside, take a nice long inhale of that brisk air, and...hear the sound of POLICE SIRENS somewhere within a ten-block radius (again).

Ahh...just another "typical" day on the SOUTH side.

I look around for my morning newspaper, and lo, it's nowhere to be found (again). Seems the MORNING edition is fast becoming more like a MIDDAY edition. I guess that speedy-ass high tech printing press needs to be seriously DE-BUGGED. Either that, or they should dig out the OLD press as a backup.
Maybe it's time to swap papers for the afternoon edition. This way, if THAT paper is late, I STILL get a "morning" edition. A win-win all around. It's the "life gives you lemons so you make lemonade" thing.

So, while waiting for the paper, I decide to toss another bag of trash in the bin, which is STILL sitting by the driveway waiting to be collected (again - from yesterday when Serv-All apparently forgot that OUR block is STILL on the frigging route).

Then there's that stubborn tree out back.
Every neighborhood has one, I'm sure.
You know what I'm talking about. It's that stodgy old maple or oak that is the very LAST one to drop it's leaves. When other trees have since gone barren, this tardy tree is hanging onto it's foliage like they were $100 bills! And how I wish they were, as the city must surely "think" our money GROWS on those trees.
But that's another tale for another time.
Here's a link for a more apt description of the situation:
This stubborn old tree , in many ways, is my counterpart in the world of flora. This tree doesn't take well to change. It wants to keep things as they were when it looked beautiful, providing shade, and making the place look less like a ghetto...and that about sums me up (except I don't provide all that much shade...well, that and the "beautiful" part...a little handsome perhaps, but NOT beautiful...that's me...LOL).

Damn...it's amazing how those TANGENTS sneak up on you.

That old maple tree doesn't want the cold weather to come...neither do I. Then again, IT doesn't have to put up with assorted aches and pains related to the weather, or layer it's clothing and go shovel snow, or clean out the gutters yearly. But, when spring comes around again, it'll start it's cycle anew...wish I could do likewise, but Father Time has other ideas in mind.
If there is ONE thing about that tree that's truly annoying, it's that when ALL the leaves from ALL the other trees have been gathered up and picked up, this bugger will wait until that last city vehicle is around the corner, AND THEN start it's defoliation with gusto...all over the (newly-cleaned) property, making it look like the lawns haven't seen a rake or a leaf blower in ages (much like everyone else's lawns).
I suppose it wouldn't look AS BAD if some of the OTHER people in the neighborhood KNEW what a rake was (they rarely bother to rake ANY leaves, so you know where they ALL blow to, right?), because a little WORK wouldn't kill any of them (although I might...if provoked sufficiently).

So this tree and I have "come to terms"...after a fashion.

I promise I won't chop it down, and it (looks like it) won't fall on the garage. Fair enough, eh? Let's hope it keeps IT'S part of this "bargain", unlike that tree down the street that dropped a huge part of it's trunk last month (and is still not looking all that much fun to walk under....it's basically a non-tree; it's dead).
At this point, you're probably wondering WHY I "make deals with trees". Well, it's simple enough. These trees tend to be a lot more predictable than ANY of the PEOPLE around here, they hold a LOT BETTER quality of conversation, and are SMARTER than the human flotsam indigenous to the area. I do draw the line at wanting to HUG this tree...leave that to some hippie!

Thank goodness that living down here isn't JUST a job...it IS an adventure.

...And (like Remo Williams) the adventure continues.

Have a safe weekend - hope YOUR paper is ON TIME.
(and your trees are free of leaves)

15 November 2007

And So...It Begins...
I'll say one thing for our outgoing mayor here in Fort Wayne...he's got cast-iron agates!
King Richard recently proposed an 8% pay increase (that's $10,000 bucks, people) for the office of mayor. Now aside from the fact that this will likely be voted DOWN, one still has to admire the sheer audacity of such a ploy.
I for one sure didn't expect any type of (financial) SPANISH INQUISITION here. (..."NOOOOOoooooobody expects the Spanish Inquisition"...)
Let's forget that OUR mayor is the HIGHEST paid mayor in ALL of Indiana. And let's forget that this position pays even MORE than being the GOVERNOR. Let's just look at yet another way to SPEND MONEY...period. It doesn't bode well for any democrats that "say" they're for LESS spending, does it? And it kind of reinforces the point that the democrats LOVE to spend, right?
Curiously, neither (Pat) "Roller the Controller" nor incoming (king) mayor Tom Henry could be reached for comment. So I'll just have to comment on this myself.

The mayor, regardless of the "title" associated with the position is STILL a CITY EMPLOYEE, and with any and all other city employees getting only a 3% increase in their salaries, who (exactly) figures that being a mayor (of a city trying to find it's way and purpose) is worth another 5% more than those who are actually DOING MORE for the city anyway? And "if" we have the highest paid mayor (already), shouldn't we be seeing more "bang for our buck"? I'm sure Tom Henry would agree, since he used that phrase in HIS campaign ads. He's not commenting (for now).
To paraphrase a line from Julius Caesar - But Tom Henry is an honorable man.
Besides, didn't the mayor's position ALREADY receive a nice healthy increase on 2007 (which made being a mayor HERE better than being a mayor in any other Indiana city, as well as being a governor in this state)?
Our city is struggling to find it's identity, and no amount of trending, ballpark building, rezoning, annexing, or pay raises for the "Big Kahuna" is going to get this dog to hunt. We could toss (frivolously) a 50% increase in the mayor's salary, and I can say with certainty that all that scratch will NOT make one damn dent in the CRIME we have here. It will NOT bring jobs to the city, and it will NOT make this city a better place to raise a family.
We, the citizens do that (mostly) on our own.
I'd much rather see that $10K (mayoral) increase tossed at the FWPD instead. Hell, give ME that $10K, and I'll not only make MY area safer, but I'll even turn that $10K into more folding money for even MORE public safety. And I'm about as far away from any mayor's office as you could get...and it would be LEGAL to boot.
As I have said time and again: "Any city is only as good as it's worst attribute".
Let's be fair, Fort Wayne has a laundry list of dubious attributes, and thanks to other bloggers, we KNOW what they are, so I won't have to repeat them here. What I will say is that whatever "we" (the people of Fort Wayne that WANT to give a shit) feel about the city, we are on the inside looking at the inside, and share a certain level of bias (good or bad), as opposed to those on the OUTSIDE looking IN (being a lot more objective).
Problems do abound here, as is the case with any fair-sized metropolis, but it's how these problems are DEALT WITH that either entices or repulses both outsiders as well as it's own citizenry.
-Businesses are not likely to build where crime runs rampant.
-People will not move into blighted areas.
-Downtown cannot be revitalized as long as developers are allowed to build FURTHER AWAY from that downtown.
All political parties are to blame as well. This is ONE area where "everyone can share the wealth", as it were. And like the old saying goes: "If you're not part of the SOLUTION, you MUST be part of the PROBLEM". The democrats want change for change sake, while the republicans stodgily hang onto whatever status quo is handy. And even the libertarians need to step it up and do more to at least unseat some of these other two party members that don't appear to have OUR best interest in mind.
I usually don't get into the political realm (here), but I just could NOT let this fish get away...the pole was starting to bend a tad too much (plus I didn't want to lose that "lure")...LOL!
And just "cutting the line" was simply NOT an option.
I just hope others see this for what it's truly worth, and come to the same conclusions. This last hurrah for "King Richard" (the shifty-hearted) will likely become a muffled whimper (just keep an eye on those "peasants", your majesty). Let's trust "King Henry" will not suffer us the same indignities.
Or as Ash (from Army of Darkness) would say: "Hail to the king, baby".

14 November 2007

Happy Hump Day!
To paraphrase a local commercial: "If you're not at the PA-IN Erudition...you're at the WRONG place".
Welcome to the middle of the week.
Submitted for your approval are two stories that go a bit outside the boundaries of human reasoning. They make a mockery of our intelligence. But never fear, because as your guide into this soiree of unmitigated lunacy, it will be my job to make sure that no harm comes to you. Read on.

Item - Voter ID law receives challenge.
Seems that a counsel for the Brennan Center for the Justice at the NYU School of Law has filed a brief argument over voters having proper ID when going to the polls. He cites that the elderly, poor, and black are less likely than others to have the photo identification required to vote.
I can sum this up in ONE word: BULL$HIT.
And here's how I got there...
Let's take MY neighborhood (puh-lease) for example. We have about 42,000 "eligible" voters in the area (barring children of course). We had ONLY an ELEVEN PERCENT voter turnout for the entire 6th councilmanic district this past election...truly pathetic, as well as apathetic (per my post of last Friday). So that tells us that EIGHTY-NINE PERCENT didn't give the proverbial rat's ass about voting. We can "allege" that this 89% didn't have the proper photo ID.
Another load of B.S.
Without exception, nearly EVERY DAMN ONE of these "poor" and "black" people around here have EITHER a DRIVER'S LICENSE...OR...a PHOTO ID to get "dat welfare check". And you can't tell me they do not. I see these IDs at the grocery when using their food stamps (that YOU have paid for). So they DO in fact HAVE some form of photo ID, which by law is good enough to get their asses into the voting booth to cast their ballots. Trouble is...they just DON'T. Call it LAZY (an apt description), or call it whatever else you will, there is NO excuse for this 89% of the people in MY area to NOT have proper ID to vote, because it's a non sequitor. They DO have ID. They'd rather pursue their hedonistic desires than make any difference to anyone or anything. And this holds true everywhere else in this nation.
As for the elderly, are they not requiring photo IDs for meds these days too? Can they not vote in absentia? Can't anyone DRIVE them to the polls? Even they don't have an extremely VALID reason any longer. It's real simple: Poor people don't want to vote. Poor BLACK people don't want to vote. And the elderly often forget, or are encumbered physically enough to not be able to vote. Drop the challenge, NYU...it's a moot point.

Item - NY police shoot, kill teen.
There are TWO sides to this tragic tale...one the MSM will tell and the truth. The MSM states that an "unarmed, mentally-ill teenager that could be heard yelling, 'I have a gun' by his mother before police arrived and killed him in a 20-bullet barrage".
This will no doubt have "The Sharpton and Jackson Show" back on the road, wanting blood for blood from the NYPD. And we'll have the obligatory "ma baby was a good boy" from the mama, and the MSM will be all over this like flies on manure.
The teen had brandished a hairbrush like a gun when he exited his mother's home. It was then he was killed by police. They did not know it was a hairbrush until after he had been shot dead. Yes, that IS a sad story. It's sad that this boy was killed. It's sad that he didn't get the medical help with his condition prior to this outburst. And it's sad that non-lethal measures were not first employed. It's tragic on many levels.
But the truth of the matter is this: You PAY the police to PROTECT you. You pay to have them strap on a gun, pin on a shield, and serve the greater good of whatever community they are charged with patrolling. And every one of them is NOT clairvoyant. They can only act on what they are trained to OBSERVE, as well as their gut instinct. They cannot foresee any given situation and how it will pan out. They do NOT have tarot cards, a crystal ball or a Ouija board as standard issue in their cruiser. And don't expect them to any time soon.
What they DO have is a radio, a computer, and a brain between their ears.
If YOU were to walk into this situation with only the information provided by dispatch (and your training), how would YOU react?
Would you "roll the dice" and HOPE this boy did NOT have a weapon which could send YOU to the morgue? It's damn hard to protect the innocent when pushing up daisies, isn't it? In many other (less publicized instances) officers who took that split second to "evaluate" the situation were gunned down. How do you explain that to his widow? Or mother?
It's bad enough we have too many guns on the streets in the WRONG hands, but given this, are we seeing guns where none exist? Or are we erring on the side of caution to promote the general welfare and protect the common good?
Is there a definitive solution?
Non lethal weapons would have been my first choice in this case, but they were not used (for whatever reason). It could have been the immediacy of the scenario. It could have been lack of funding to equip every officer with a TASER. One solution is NOT to defame the police for doing their job (with what they have at hand), but yet there will be those people who will point fingers for weeks over this. If the officers conducted themselves in a reckless manner, it will come out. If they acted properly, that will also come out. Whether it was 20 bullets or one well-placed shot...the boy is gone. That's a fact. And he's not coming back any time soon.
In our modern society where violence abounds, the police are supposed to be our first defense, and we entrust them with this overwhelming task to stem the tide of violence. That hairbrush can become damn threatening at night when you don't KNOW it's a hairbrush, and when you also know there are those out there wanting to kill you JUST because of the color of your shirt, and the badge on your chest.

Things to make you think...that's for sure.
And maybe the world could use more cognitive reasoning.
'Ya think?

13 November 2007

It's About Time...
Everyone knows (or at least SHOULD know) exactly WHY we have TIME in the first place; It's to keep all the crap in the world from happening ALL AT ONCE.

We have time zones, military time (24 hours instead of two 12 hour cycles), Zulu time (Greenwich time), daylight saving time, a magazine named TIME, time enough for one more drink, time to fritter away, no time to lose, time to get moving, no time for the love you send (The Guess Who), time to spare, time to kill, and time to think things out. And as we all know, time keeps on slipping...into the future (Steve Miller Band).
We could have plenty of time left, be out of time, or just in the nick of time. We could dance the Time Warp, become lost in time, travel in time (H.G.Wells), or even stuck in time.

It could be time to get started, time to quit, time to get some sleep, time to shove off, time to pay our taxes, time to give the devil his due (which is curiously LIKE paying taxes), time to let the dog out, time to let the dog back in, time to get to work and school, time to put up all the Christmas decorations, time to take down all the decorations (except on the south side where they leave them until APRIL), or even time to sit back, do nothing, and have a cold one.

But it all comes back to one thing we can't do without...TIME.
And whatever the situation, we can always be sure of one thing, and that is something to MONITOR or keep track of all this "time". Look on most ANY wall or even at your wrist, and you will see those devices quaintly known as CHRONOMETERS...things that TELL us the time. It could be analog (hands on the clock or watch face), or it could be digital. It can glow in the dark, beep, chirp, talk, or even project what time it is on our ceilings.

Thank the maker for that "snooze" button, though.
No matter what manner of device we use, we depend on them, because if we did not, we'd be a lot more screwed up (than we already are) a lot more often, and let's face it, not EVERYONE can strap on a SUNDIAL and tell what time it is at a glance. And there's NEVER a DRUID around when you need HIM.

Now I'm one of those traditionalists when it comes to chronometry. I like my WIND-UP watches. I'm proud to say that I still own a Longines that I got as a graduation gift in 1970, perfectly functional, and still keeps VERY accurate time. Bet that puppy's worth some SERIOUS scratch today, eh? I even had a watch that stayed wound up by simple movements of one's wrist. They now call these "Kinetic" watches, and believe it or not, they STILL make these (they just cost a helluva lot MORE than they used to). And my mom used to have a German-made cuckoo clock that had to be wound every day (actually you had to pull the chains to reset the balancers).

But like the rest of you, I got sucked into this realm of BATTERY-POWERED chronometers. They supposedly keep perfect time...(supposedly, that is). Well, my ONE watch loves to run about 5 minutes FASTER (must be on "Bilderberger time"...where's David Icke when I need him? LOL). Hell, we even have watches that ADJUST themselves to the Atomic Clock by communicating to some satellite in orbit twice a frigging day (like I really NEED that). And let's not forget that tossing all those discarded batteries is toxic to the environment. So that would make NONE of us all that "green" when it comes to keeping time, right?
And what happens when that battery craps out? We don't have a "wind-up" backup to keep us apprised of the time. We're chronologically screwed.

Sorry, but I like my "manual" watches and clocks...always will. Not to mention that they kept the art of WATCH REPAIR (and those people who repaired them) an active career. I've known several people who were watch repairmen, and you couldn't fine better people anywhere. Try finding them today...not as easy, is it?
Hey, YOU try working with a snotload of parts smaller than sesame seeds all day long...and enjoy doing it.

I suppose we, in our "hurry up and go" society need this instant gratification whenever we look at a clock or watch. We can't be bothered with winding one up, and many cannot even tell time all that effectively. I guess that "should" make all the illiterate people either very EARLY or very LATE for everything in their lives.

And whenever we set our watches and clocks, what do we use as a base reference?

Is it NPR radio (my source)? How about the Weather Channel? How about another clock in the house? That would at least get the whole house in sync.
Does anyone use the phone to find out the time anymore?
And what do THEY base THEIR time on?
Who's right and who's wrong? Who sets the standard, and does everyone adhere to it? How can we be "sure" that this Atomic Clock is all that accurate? What about if THAT battery fails? Or does someone wind THAT clock? Or is it SOLAR-POWERED?

It IS all about time...make no mistake.
I just trust YOU will be ON TIME.

As for me...well, I'm just 5 minutes EARLY (and out of time)...as usual.