30 April 2010

Weekend Roundup...
Ahhhh, where to begin...
SO much to ponder...so little time.
Time: that every-so-important commodity that keeps all the crap from happening AT ONCE...who would have thought?
And how much we've all come to DEPEND on it...
Let's take a slight breather this morning.
How's about we start with THIS and then proceed to fall farther down this week's RABBIT HOLE, shall we?
*** Could Puerto Rico become our 51ST STATE?
Sure looks like "some" people want to see it happen.
Now I remember a LONG time ago when we used to "joke" about making PR part of the UNITED STATES. I mean, we DID make ALASKA and HAWAII states, and they're not contiguous with the other 48 states , right?
I suppose GUAM will want a "piece of the action", soon as well.
Here's the story as it currently stands:
Now, I have mixed feelings about this. It's nice to be "included" as part of the USA, but, on the other hand, the OTHER 50 states aren't fairing as well (financially) these days, and the immediate future isn't THAT bright, where I plan to invest in stock with RAY-BAN sunglasses or Coppertone.
I also can't see where ADDING another "state" will all of a sudden REVERSE our economic woes, erase our Federal deficit, and have our currency rebound with buying power. As it stands, we probably have MORE Puerto Ricans living HERE than IN Puerto Rico (legally, I might add).
To me, it's a real toss-up. Not to mention, I'd have to get a whole NEW bunch of FLAGS to display on certain days of the year.
And that makes me wonder HOW we plan to cram another STAR on that field of blue anyway?
*** Protests abound with Arizona's "new immigration law".
Like we just couldn't see THIS one coming, right?
First off, I'm ALL for immigration, PROVIDING it's done LEGALLY. Hell, that's how all of our ancestors GOT here in the first place, wasn't it?
Personally, I LIKE the AZ law...don't see a damn thing WRONG with it.
We charge every single one of our LEOs with the ability to ASK people for ID when performing their duties. And there are "checks and balances" to ASSURE that rights are NOT violated. That's called REASONABLE SUSPICION when stopping someone, either on foot, on bike, or in a vehicle.
Something as harmless as a traffic stop for a broken tail lamp COULD resort to an officer being shot, or it could lead to finding a carload of illegals...or drugs...or BOTH. And having SOME sort of ID makes good sense.
Like my Dad used to say: "If you've got NOTHING TO HIDE, you have NOTHING to worry about".
I call it the "nothing rule"...and it WORKS.
Hell, many traffic stops (and I use this as the most obvious example) here in these United States result in having the driver (and/or passengers) NOT having ANY ID on them whatsoever.
Now how damn stupid is THAT, hmm?
Why would you get behind the wheel of ANY vehicle and purposely NOT take ANY form of identification WITH you?
No one is THAT damn stupid (although some TRY to be). So it MUST be because they have "something to hide", or don't wish to be identified IF they get pulled over.
And given the levels of today's technology when it comes to playing "seek and find", the police will MOST LIKELY find out WHO the hell you really are, so why even bother to try and fool them.
This is NOT any goose-stepping, jack-booted, fascist police-state law...it's a common sense law meant to PROTECT the innocent, PUNISH the guilty, and make everyone safer in the process. I'm okay with that...
Still, a nice thick (high) WALL along the border, although it would be aesthetically unpleasing, would go a long way to dissuade those seeking illegal entry here.
Let me add, that although many pundits "claim" we have about TWENTY MILLION illegals here (currently), the number is MUCH higher. As far back as the early 1950s, we had about 300,000 illegals crossing our border PER YEAR, and that number has NEVER gone down, but rather UP. Do the math. IF the number remained at 300K per year, we would ONLY have around 17 million (now).
For a time, we were seeing up to a MILLION a year, but the numbers having levelled off to around 800,000 per year (around 2000), and has even DROPPED further to near 500,000 per year (2005 stats). Still, that's quite a few MORE than the "20 million" we're being told, with many having assimilated themselves into our society, and will never be found out.
We could very well DOUBLE that original number.
Out of that sum, close to 20% are criminals, or have criminal intent.
I say we need MORE states to follow AZ's lead.
*** Wall St. "Protests" continue...
Now I'm also for fairness to everyone, but I had to do a double-take when I saw these protesters busting on "big business".
They were all UNION workers, and we know who is pretty much pulling the UNION strings THESE days, right?
This isn't to say that big business "done us wrong"...they HAVE, but let's place the blame on ALL those involved, and not keep handing out bailout-entitlement packages that do nothing but reward BAD behavior (as this nation has done over the last few years), fair enough?
I've held both union and non-union jobs, and I never really did "like" the union. All the union reps (read bosses) all drove nice MERCEDES, while we, (those paying THEIR way) drove whatever we could afford, and hoped we could also afford the insurance and the fuel to get us to that nice "union" job. When initially conceived, unions MEANT something. They were there to PROTECT the worker from UNFAIR practices like sweatshops, unsafe conditions, and the like. But as unions grew in size (and power) they forgot about the "working man" (or woman), and instead became drunk WITH the wealth and power given to them. And they continue to abuse their power to gather MORE wealth. Sorry, but that's NOT capitalism, NOR the AMERICAN WAY. That's nothing short of monopolistic hedonism, laced with greed, plain and simple.
Maybe we can change that....someday soon.
*** The other day I mentioned our dear, sweet African't-American "neighbors" that had SEVEN FWPD cars to their house over the span of a few days...remember that? Well, the calls were for disturbances, and domestics. They just like to wail the snot out of one another for no particular reason. Makes a great case for being a GOOD citizen, and an example to one's race, doesn't it?
But, the tale continues.
Yesterday, we had (yet) ANOTHER call go out for a domestic...seems the 17 yr. old daughter was being smacked around by her 25 yr. old "boyfriend" (?), and TWO MORE FWPD cars were dispatched to the house. Two black males left the place soon afterward...AGAIN, with NO arrests (by now, they're on their 5th "second chance"). This makes me wonder why "mom" is protecting these bums? If MY daughter (who, at 17 yrs of age, SHOULD be in damn school, and NOT at home at 10:45 AM, because she's not sick) were being smacked by some young thug, his ass would be in a sling faster than you could blink. Oh, but wait...that's because I would be a parent that GIVES A DAMN...sorry, I forgot myself regarding the TYPE of people we're dealing with here...my bad.
Well, long story short - the two black males were BACK at the place later that afternoon...and I suppose we'll get another call on the radio for another DOMESTIC or DISTURBANCE. All is forgiven (for the 37th time) and it's back to "business as usual" in the ghettohood, right?
Talk about a Theater of the Absurd...(rolls eyes)...gimme a break.
America finds itself in a precarious position, both when it comes to internal problems and issues, as well as our current standing in the "global arena". And others are watching us...seeing what we will do about it. We need to stop changing things that simply do not NEED change.
We need to FIX the things that are broken.
We need to come up with better ideas to reclaim our nation, even if it means we have to go back to old ways that worked well for us.
We are also a resourceful people. We have proven time and again, that AMERICANS will stand together to fight common enemies, both here as well as abroad. We have the know-how, the technology, and some of the most brilliant minds on the planet.
And we have some of the most charitable people as well.
We might make our share of mistakes, but we vow to never make that same mistake again.
We need to remember that. America needs to rise again to the pinnacle of society across the globe.
All of us, together have to reach the same accord when it comes to America's future.
This is OUR America...and it's the ONLY one we shall ever have.
But if we're not careful, it could well slip out from under us.
That can not...nor shall not happen, if WE are vigilant and knowledgeable about the truth, and never back down from making the hard choices to keep this nation as our own.
Have yourselves a great weekend, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.

29 April 2010

The Conscience Of The King...
Now, before we begin, let me preface this by saying today's post IS NOT a slap, nor mockery at ANY political figure, person, or party.
Nor does it reference the original Star Trek episode from the 1960s.
It does, instead mean that I spent the better part of last evening, enmeshed in one of Shakespeare's tragedies, namely HAMLET.
You heard right...this 57 year-old just HAD to park himself in front of the television, a cold Dr. Pepper at the ready, tuning into PBS, and watching the Royal Shakespeare's Company production of Hamlet...ALL 180 MINUTES OF IT (thankfully, they "gave me pause" for 5 minutes after the first 90 minutes).
We studied Hamlet in high school, back in those Pleistocene days when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, and by dinosaurs, I mean huge honking cars with names like ELECTRA, BONNEVILLE, and GALAXIE....LOL.
This was one of those "plays" that usually bored the hell out of adolescents...and I admit to that fully.
It wasn't until I LEFT school, that I became aware of all the nuances contained in such a masterpiece of literature.
There are just SO many "life-lessons" contained within the play, you can either read it or watch it time and again,.and you keep coming away from it with something NEW.
Last night's performance did NOT disappoint.

David Tennant and Patrick Stewart played Hamlet and Claudius, respectively, and I must say that this was even better than Mel Gibson's version (with Glenn Close as Gertrude - 1990) or... Kenneth Branagh's interpretation (1996 - AND a full FOUR hours long).

What sets THIS particular performance apart from previous versions is that it is performed in a "modern-day" setting (replete with CCTV cameras), and while you might wince at such liberties that are taken, after viewing it, you will have a better appreciation for the work.
A timeless play, set in "the now", makes for better comprehension of the classic language, also.
You wind up "getting it", as it were.
Hamlet is also a play where we can find SO many quotes that we still toss about today, without even thinking.
Remember the old saying: "There's something rotten in the state of Denmark"?
Came from HAMLET.
Or how about: "This above all - to thine own self be true"?
Yepper...good old HAMLET.
What about: "Brevity is the soul of wit"?
Oh, yeah...that's HAMLET.
And then there's always: "Though this be madness, yet there is method in't".
You know it better as THERE'S A METHOD TO HIS MADNESS.
You get the idea, right?
I suppose one might say, when observing some slacker with saggy jeans, cocked baseball cap, and a loping stride, that:
"The Apparel oft proclaims the man..." (Hamlet - Act I, Scene III - spoken by Polonius)
Shakespeare sure knew his shi...I mean "stuff", didn't he?
He managed to tap into a marvelous part of each and every one of us.
There have been volume upon volume of books written ABOUT the study OF Hamlet, let alone the actual play itself.
You've got the psychoanalytical aspect, the sociological aspect, and the moralistic aspect...just to name a few.
You could spend much of your life studying Hamlet, and by that I mean not necessarily the play itself, but rather how it RELATES to people and what motivates them into pursuing things that might or might not be noble, depending on your POV.
I remember having to read passages in high school (we all took turns), and we read it in SUCH a boring manner.
You'd get more emotive readings from the recently deceased...LOL.
Now, I've always admired ANYONE who performed ANY of Shakespeare's plays on stage...you gotta memorize SO DAMN MUCH...!
Cripes almighty, how DO they do it?
I was in a few shows in high school (had the lead in Guys and Dolls in 1969), and I had about SEVENTY-FIVE pages to commit to memory...PLUS songs. Initially, I panicked (as would any adolescent with raging hormones and a want to get a driver's license).
But, when it came down to "showtime", everything just fell into place...no "coaching" from the footlights AT ALL...I was stunned.
I suppose when "crunch-time" hits, you discover how marvelous the human brain can be.
Just when you think you can't (for the love of God) possibly remember (or perform) all that stuff...you DO.
And that's something I carried with me all these years...the ability to be "a quick study".
Show me how to do something once....fine. I can do it myself now.
That speaks to humanity itself; the human spirit...our ability to recall, learn, adapt, and proceed with things to their finish.
We NEVER know what we are capable of...until we DO it.
Remember, as Yoda says:
"DO...or DO NOT...there IS no try."
I guess Shakespeare (in some manner) made it way out there to Dagobah, too, eh?
Anyway...if you hate Shakespeare, I understand. It's not for everyone, even though we apply every single facet of humanity that HE wrote about every single day of all our lives.
But, if you really like Shakespeare, the DVD of last night's performance of Hamlet will be forthcoming on 8 May, 2010.
It will be different, and yet quite familiar. You might even see a part of yourself somewhere in that play.
And I think the Bard knew that by showing us OURSELVES, we can better get to know WHO we are, and thereby know others.
Therein lies the lesson for today.
Get to know yourself a little bit better...you'll be glad that you did.
After all, YOU spend a lot more time with you than anyone else, right?
Be well, make a difference today, and...
Stay safe out there, America.

28 April 2010

Humpday Happenings...
Today, we're going to deviate from the realm of the surreal (which describes my part of Fort Wayne SO aptly), and instead lighten things up a bit. And let's face it, we need all the break from this current reality that we can find. I mean, being forced to be mimic a "Stretch-Armstrong" as we're pulled in so many directions by the "powers that be", can get a bit tiresome, right?
Okay, so as a new-found holder of the HONEST SCRAP AWARD (and some things are actually GOOD with the word CRAP in the middle of them), AND, as per yesterday's post, I've (somehow) managed to compile a gaggle of what I call:
"My Favorite Life Lessons as quoted by other, more famous people that I wish I had a chance to sit down and talk with for a while, but never got the chance to meet." (What?...too long a title? I've GOT to work on that....)
These quotes just seem to make so damn much sense...to me, anyway..
Never fail to use any (or all) of them "liberally" (there's a word you don't see HERE in a POSITIVE tone all that much - LIBERAL....LOL)
And feel free to pass them along to however many people are in urgent NEED of them.
(because there are SO damn many out there)
These are in no particular order...nor frequency of usage by me.

"I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty."
John D. Rockefeller, Jr (1874-1900) American capitalist and philanthropist

"I speak truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare and I dare a little more as I grow older."
Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) French philosopher and essayist

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) English writer

" When good people in any country cease their vigilance and struggle, then evil men prevail."
Pearl S. Buck ( 1892-1972 ) American writer Nobel prize winner 1938

"Natural hatred is something peculiar. You will always find it strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German writer

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value."
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) American (German-born) physicist - Nobel prize winner 1921

"Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write."
John Adams (1735-1826) 2nd President of the United States of America

"If any man seeks greatness, let him forget greatness and ask for truth, and he will find both."
Horace Mann (1796-1859) American educator

"...The right to be let alone - the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized man."
Louis D. Brandeis (1858-1441) U.S. Supreme Court Justice

(and lastly, one of my very personal favorites)
" I look to a day when men are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American civil rights leader & clergyman - Nobel prize winner 1964

And there you have it...
You can probably tell that I used to spend a LOT of time reading all sorts of "stuff"...and some of it even managed to rub the hell off!
These are a few of the (all too numerous) quotes that I find myself turning to more times than I care to think...and they ALL speak as boldly TODAY, as when they were all first uttered.
There are (also) ALL the BIBLICAL passages that mean so very much, and that I have relied on lo, these many years. I have many more quotations that I could have chosen, but THESE seemed to come more readily to mind.
And there is always Murphy's Rules of Combat...another favorite of mine.
I also have a lot of Latin (Roman) quotes, and again, they are too numerous to mention. And there are also the STAR TREK quotes, the STAR WARS quotes, other MOVIE quotes, all those TV quotes, the COMIC BOOK quotes, and GARFIELD quotes...to name but a few. And I can still remember MOST of them at my age...WOW!
But (from my classical "Latin" days), I always DID like this one:
"Si vis pacem, para bellum" (If you want peace, prepare for war)
This means that having a strong society CAN prevent you from being conquered.
By reading these, perhaps you have a better idea as to what makes me so darn "complex"...!
(and why I feel a bit "out of place" in today's world, some days)
So now, on to the next group of recipients of the HONEST SCRAP AWARD.
You people are deserving of this award simply because I SAY SO...lol.
(plus, you worked your tails off to provide me with enlightenment, insight, humor, and good old chutzpah)
Again...these are in no particular order.
-- RURAL SOUTH TEXAS - I seriously love Diane's blog. She comes up with some startling facts and figures regarding the "politicking" that's going on these days, and yet still manages to mix it up with bits of "Americana".
-- SGT. SAYS - Just because he's from the "left" coast doesn't mean this LEO isn't ON THE BALL. He IS, with his "tips" and observations that serve everyone well, be they from a LEO background or just an average citizen. Common sense RULES here.
-- GADFLY - First off, I really like the header he's got going for himself...that always makes me think. But the CONTENT is what I really do enjoy. Again, another person with more common sense in his pinky, than most of D.C. has in it's Senate chamber. A good read.
-- I'M WAITING FOR GOD - Ms. N never ceases to amaze me with the fun trivia she manages to find (I have to get out on the Internet more often...LOL), and her personal views about life speak to a part of us that maybe we've put on that back burner. She is one of the more kindred souls I have found (here)...and she's from Indiana, my adopted state. (who knew?)
-- JAMI'S BLOG - Don't let the title FOOL you...She can sing, loves GOOD music (that means OTHER people that can SING), and she loves small dogs. But what I find captivating is her spunk. She admits to being "only" 5'3", but she speaks with the authority and passion of someone a LOT taller and WISER...and being just 5'7" myself...I can appreciate that.
-- THE DINO LOUNGE (posthumously) - This blog shut down on the first of 2010, but "might" make a comeback...we don't know. All I can say is that this was the ultimate trip down memory lane. Full of classic videos of Dean Martin, Sammy, Frank, and the "Rat Pack", along with old commercials and the like. It was a place one could kick off the old shoes, lean back in that stratolounger, and sip on some scotch on the rocks. It was...COOL.
Now, it's up to every one of YOU (recipients) to do something I have done, and (again) pass the award onto those YOU feel are deserving of it, just mention my blog as the one making the award so people can track back "up the food chain" to those initially presenting it, thereby getting to know even more people with views and commentary you will find fascinating. That is, after all, how we ALL become "one" as a people.
Think of it as a chance to "broaden your horizons"...for CHEAP...LOL!
No carry on luggage to get lost, no rental car worries, no sand fleas at the beach...no watered-down drinks poolside...yeah, we can certainly do WITHOUT that kinda stuff, right?
And to any of those blogs that have gone to that great Ethernet in the sky (?)...you deserve the award as much as those still blogging.
So enjoy your awards, and keep those hits coming, all of you.
Be well, make a difference today, and...as always - Stay safe out there, America.

27 April 2010

Tales From The SOUTH Side...
One is never at a loss to report on the "things" that occur in my part of Fort Wayne...that's for sure.
There's plenty of asshats all around the place. All YOU have to do is choose the age, the weight, the race, and the size.
But before I begin, I want to take a minute to thank Ann Hathaway for seeing fit to bestow upon this here blog an award. HER blog is listed at left. (and if you like ZOMBIES, has she got tales to tell you...lol)
I am now "officially" an HONEST SCRAPPER, as this latest award proclaims.
As per the "rules", I have to provide some kind of list...things that I like, tips on life, things about me...that sort of stuff. So, I might be able to have something put together by tomorrow. I'm still pondering and sifting through my vast mental repository as to what EXACTLY to make a list of. Stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, kids...back on the South side...
CRIME is once again at the forefront of the stories here (like it ever went away).
We are now up to TWELVE HOMICIDES (so far) this year, and the latest one did NOT occur in the SOUTHEAST area.
The disease has been spreading (that's what diseases DO when left unchecked) over to the SOUTHWEST side, and It's not like I didn't say that THIS was coming.
Here's the first tale of a 3-time loser that won't be costing the judicial or penal system ANY more money:
*** (( Slaying was preceded by domestic call - Holly Abrams/The Journal Gazette
The Saturday shooting death of a man on the city’s southwest side has been ruled a homicide, according to the Allen County Coroner’s Office.
Quinton Sentrell Lewis, 29, of Fort Wayne, died after being shot multiple times. His death is the 12th homicide in Allen County this year. All but one of the slayings has
occurred in the city.
Residents found Lewis lying in a hallway inside an apartment building at 4320 Kekionga Drive just after 2 a.m Saturday. Fort Wayne police and paramedics arrived shortly thereafter and Lewis was pronounced dead.
Police had been called to an apartment within that same building just after 10 p.m. Friday on a report of a domestic dispute involving Lewis and a woman. Investigators questioned the woman, along with other witnesses, and have made no connection between the dispute and the slaying, said officer Raquel Foster, a police spokeswoman.
Police said they arrested a "person of interest" Saturday on a probation violation charge. That person, who was not involved in the domestic dispute, has not been charged in connection to Lewis’ death, Foster said.
Foster said Monday she did not know whether detectives had determined what time Lewis was shot. Police have no motive or additional suspects in the slaying, she said.
A resident of the apartment building said Lewis lived in the building – but police have no record of that, Foster said.
Lewis previously spent time in prison, and was released in March 2007, according to the Indiana Department of Correction. He was convicted in Allen County in 2005 of residential entry and battery. After his release, Lewis had been arrested several times on misdemeanor charges.
Well, no one has come forward to say "what a good boy he was...always joking...life of the party...never want to hurt anyone"...that kind of BS? Amazing. The way this guy ran, I guess the local lockup might have considered placing a revolving door on "his" cell. And what a surprise...he's BLACK!
(who knew?)
Still...good riddance to bad rubbish.
*** And, not too far away from THAT apartment complex (keep the word "apartment" on the back burner - you'll find out why farther down)...
(( Sibling stabbed, ‘critical’ after dispute - Holly Abrams/The Journal Gazette
A Fort Wayne man was critically wounded Saturday after an argument broke out between him and a sibling, according to Fort Wayne police.
Officers were called by staff members at St. Joseph Hospital just after 10 p.m. Saturday, after a man walked into the hospital with stab wounds to his upper torso. The man, later identified as Tayon Jermaine Aron Jr., 27, of Fort Wayne, was then transported to Lutheran Hospital in critical condition.
Police believe the stabbing occurred in the 2800 block of Millbrook Drive, in the Brookmill Court apartments, on the city’s southwest side, shortly before Aron arrived at the hospital. Aron was inside an apartment with family members when a verbal dispute erupted between Aron and a sibling. The two then moved outside – and Aron was stabbed, police said.
Aron’s sibling is a suspect in the stabbing but has not been charged, police said. Aron was initially listed in critical condition. He was no longer listed as a patient at the hospital Monday.
Wow...ANOTHER "incident" on the city's SOUTHWEST side. And the guy was...BLACK. Wonder if the deputy chief THERE is doing "as much" as our own deputy chief on the SOUTHEAST side to halt these heinous events.
And this stabbing occurred right NEAR the Kekionga Middle School.
Bet'cha parents around there are a bit more "concerned" as their kids come and go from that school these days.
Wonder how long it will be before the PROPERTY VALUES (there) go in the crapper (and the city/county loses even MORE money)...because we ALL know that crime (and the criminals responsible for it) tend to DO that to once nice neighborhoods...been there...living that, remember?
But wait...we're not QUITE finished, yet...
*** (( Vigil disturbance leads to drug charge
The man accused of a disturbance during last week’s annual candlelight vigil for crime victims, which took place inside the Allen County Courthouse, has been formally charged, according to Allen Superior Court records.
Tituse James, 28, of the 3400 block of Oliver Street, is charged with possession of cocaine, battery and resisting law enforcement. He was being held in lieu of $16,500 bail.
A court security officer found James on the third floor of the Courthouse, during the vigil – which was taking place on the first floor. The officer asked James to leave the third floor. James refused and started yelling obscenities, court records state.
James reportedly then struck the officer, as the officer tried to escort James out of the Courthouse. Fort Wayne police assisted, and James was arrested.
During an inventory of James’ property, an Allen County Lockup officer found more than 3 grams of cocaine in a pocket of James’ pants, records state
During a CRIME VICTIM VIGIL for Christ's sake....who ever said that drugs don't lead to chronic stupidity, hmm?
Oh, the perp was BLACK, in case you were wondering.
*** Here's an article that "rates" the Section 8 apartment complexes in our fair city (and, as could be predicted, it's not all sunshine and lollipops):
http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20100426/LOCAL/304269989/1002/LOCAL This article says that HUD gets "low marks" for it's housing...wow...BIG surprise THERE, hmm?
Well, YOU know...and I know it's not the "housing" that is the REAL issue here...it's the SQUALOR brought about by the PEOPLE that infest...I mean "inhabit" such apartments, isn't it?
Housing projects (either vertical OR horizontal) do NOT destroy THEMSELVES, do they?
They need "help", and that's where the dregs of society come in, folks.
It's the "people" (and I use that word loosely) that bring the crime, the trash, the irresponsibility, and the apathy with them (along with the welfare checks that YOU have bought and paid for) to take an otherwise habitable venue, and completely and utterly turn it into a damn filthy cesspool of human flotsam. And we keep allowing it to be done over and over again, never holding those responsible for this mess...well, responsible.
Someday, we'll learn...but unfortunately, NOT today.
*** Also, there is a SYNTHETIC marijuana out there posing as a form of INCENSE, called K2.
Now, since INCENSE isn't "regulated" or banned, people are getting off on this crap.
Even though the incense has a label on it that reads: NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION, people WILL be people (read dumbasses) and try damn near anything, which means "If 'ya can roll it...'ya can smoke it". The "lawgivers" are scrambling about as to HOW to approach this new-found bane to society.
(good luck with that one)
*** Lastly, today, we have another one of my personal favorite "pet-peeves"...

In the following pictures, you will notice a total of SEVEN FWPD police cars stopping at a particular residence (rented by...all together, now...BLACKS) down the street (within a bloody week). The FIRST call that precipitated the THREE-car run wasn't even on the police blotter...go figure.
Another case of "missing data" (how convenient), much like the SECOND harassment call I placed to dispatch over "Mr white-trash-loudass", who STILL comes by the house at least ONCE per day.
My beef with the handling of such matters stems from the fact that on those THREE calls at the other house, the city has NO basis for making ANY money from ANY citations (no one ever left in ANY of the three calls in cuffs), while, all the time, EACH AND EVERY time this loudass boom car passes my house, that's ANOTHER $250 the city police just pissed against the nearest wall.
Now, if the department were a bit more "PROACTIVE", they'd bop over to RADIO SHACK and buy a couple DECIBEL METERS (which can be had for UNDER $90 for the low-end models), sit an unmarked car in my area, and "ticket away" until you run out of citation books...
Well, (to me), that's what PROTECT AND SERVE should be meaning, right?
Truth be told, I'm not feeling ALL that PROTECTED, aside from my personal firearms (to which any one of them is NEVER out of arm's reach). And as for being SERVED...yeah, I kind of "feel" served...on a platter...to the local human refuse...with a frigging apple in my damn mouth (obviously to keep me quiet). Hell, add a nice burgundy wine, and you've got the makings of a meal fit for a king (or a mayor).
This has become a far cry from what America meant to me...
We used to STAND for something. And it was usually something a lot more NOBLE than what I'm seeing these days.
I know there are others that feel the same way as I do.
But yet, there are so many more that really need to feel this way as well.
United we stand, divided we fall, was the saying...and you know what?
It still can apply, especially in times such as these.
Now is NOT the time to be divided against one another.
It is the time to stand together...to take back our neighborhoods, and our nation.
It's time to bring America's nobility back into vogue.
But hey, that's just *my* opinion...based on the facts presented to me every single day.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.

26 April 2010

Monday Musings...
Good Monday morning friends, colleagues, and contemporaries, and welcome to the first post AFTER the first 1000 posts.
I want to take some time to focus on something I'm sure many of us have contemplated throughout our lives, and that's being able to wonder "What If?".
I know I've had MY share of "what ifs" over the years.
Still get a few these days...
I suppose this ability to wonder must stem from the creative "child" in all of us.
I mean, who hasn't been able to really PRETEND when they were growing up, hmm?
And how much did it really COST to pretend?
This trait which allowed us to delve into a world of infinite possibilities, limited ONLY by our own imagination, kept many of us content through our formative years. It permitted us to explore the vastness of our own minds, while at the same time, never allowed us to stray too far from reality.
Hopefully, we've managed to retain a portion of this as we grew up.
I mean, without the ability to imagine and ask ourselves "what if?", much of the machinations and things we take for granted would never have been invented, so there have been others with this marvelous ability to think the unthinkable and dream the improbable.
It was those with great imaginations that produced some of our most important inventions.
It has been those who dared to dream, that have brought us along our evolutionary path.
Throughout history, wherever there was a need that had to be filled, someone with an "idea" came forth, and through a lot of hard work AND persistence, made it work. Many times, such people had to rely NOT on their own resources (for they had little to speak of), but on other people who also came to believe in what this person wanted to accomplish.

American history is replete with such people with names like Tesla, Edison, Morse, Ford, Wright, Westinghouse, Salk, Whitney, Goodyear, Fulton, Colt, Bell, Browning...hell, the list seems endless.
EACH of these people had their own "what if?" moment; an "idea"...a dream, if you will about what would benefit people everywhere.
The Industrial Revolution proved as much, as did the founding of this nation.
It might have been something as grand as alternating current...or as subtle as a brake press to bend metals. Or, it could have been as "revolutionary" as wanting to govern oneself and promote liberty and justice for ALL.
For example, I know for a fact, that there are STILL, in small factories, functioning today, machines built back in the early 1900s. And they were built in such places like Philadelphia, PA, Boston, MA, New Haven, CT, and Baltimore, MD...to name a few.
Now the companies that once made such machines have long since disappeared from our streets and cities, but the legacy still works.
These rather ancient machines stand as testimony to the American spirit of invention...of dreams that were dared into reality...of ideas brought into form and function.
Now, I said all THAT...to say this:
I often think about "WHAT (I would do) IF"...
As an perfect example, in yesterday's paper, there was an article about Fort Wayne's WATER USAGE going DOWN over the past 2 years.
(here's the link):
Well, I look upon that as a GOOD thing, right?
People are NOT WASTING water, but rather SAVING it, through efficient fixtures, along with other sundry cost-saving methods and items.
We're doing pretty damn well in that regard, right?
Nope...hold on...not so fast, people.
There's a DOWN side to being frugal and cost-effective, and it's not YOUR fault.
You've been doing what "the system" says you SHOULD be doing vis-a-vis not being wasteful (along with what YOU feel is in your best interest to save thinly spread finances).
See, all this frugality is causing the water utility to LOSE MONEY....(aww, poor babies).
Wasn't it YOU (the utility company) who told us NOT to waste water in the first damn place?
So you want us (now) to WASTE water (to shore up YOUR revenue)...BUT (also) save it AT THE SAME TIME?
Okay friends, now THIS is another one of those "W...T...F...???" moments.
You utility companies simply CANNOT have it BOTH ways.
The Water utility in Fort Wayne is looking at (likely) RAISING RATES to offset the "lack" of usage by it's customers (that's US).
So, lemme get this straight....we go ahead and SAVE water to lower OUR bill, and you morons go right ahead and jack back UP the rates, so we STILL have to pay for the same damn water we've been getting all these years at LOWER rates, JUST so you can justify YOUR high-paid staff and bosses...sound about right? Are we pretty much in the ballpark on this one?.
Oh, I forgot that the FEDERAL government has mandated "upgrades" to the waste water system that will obviously necessitate the raising of rates, so these "fixes" can be implemented.
Yeah...I can certainly SEE that "the FIX is in"...
Now...if I were to do a "WHAT IF?" over this, I would propose that rates remain STATIC for the time being...feds be damned.
And "IF" the city utility wanted to get more money from more people, why not REVAMP the over 400 houses sitting IDLE across the city (more than a few for many years) and get some tax-paying people back INTO them.
Gee, 'ya know...that might even help out with PROPERTY TAX MONEY that the city and county (and even the FWCS) needs.
What a frigging GREAT IDEA...!
You see, whenever ANY city allows itself to become enmeshed in a "welfare state / gimme" mentality, taking from the working class taxpayers to "redistribute" to those unwilling or undesirous of becoming productive citizens, it DOES hurt everyone...in the long term.
It hurts the working class, by disallowing the full potential of their buying power, it hurts the city, because it has to hand out money it doesn't have for a perpetual gravy-train with no foreseeable destination in sight, and it hurts those receiving the funding, because it rewards bad behavior, when (if anything) it should be encouraging them to help themselves.
It's the whole "hand UP instead of a hand OUT" gig.
So...WHAT IF we decided to STOP with all this socialistic rhetoric, and urged people to fend a lot more for themselves.? Well, for one thing, we'd have a LOT more folks able to get creative and begin to imagine better ideas that could be conceived.
Gee...wasn't that how this all got started? When you deny an ever-growing number of people the ability to work THROUGH their difficulties, and instead give them anything and everything, you take away their individualism and humanity, creating a "ward of the state". In many ways, it's just ANOTHER form of slavery.
And it's damn hard to be creative and innovative when you got some type of shackle about you.
WHAT IF we got people back to work, got those vacant houses all repaired, brought up to code and filled them with people who paid taxes and had a real income once again?
Housing could become a LOT more affordable (again), jobs could be created (REAL JOBS, and not just part-time or gov't positions) and businesses would again return to areas currently denied growth due to socio-economic problems.
The price of things would actually go DOWN (according to many economists), because we'd have both supply (once again) as well as demand. Wow...another capitalistic venue...who'da thunk?
All this (and more) is NOT outside the realm of possibility. We've done it before in the past.
Yes...we CAN dare to dream...we CAN imagine great things...and we CAN challenge ourselves to make such things a reality for everyone.
Many of us are aging...and that's just a part of life, too.
Our generation can't carry the torch forever, but we can pass it along to those willing to take the narrow path...the path that involves diligence, and persistence, and a willingness to do the tough things, simply because it's the RIGHT THING to do.
Imagine all the WHAT IFS that could be, if such a thing were realized.
I know I often think about it...
And hope others think likewise.
We don't have to go and attempt to reinvent the wheel...that's become such a hackneyed term these days.
We just need to remember what it was like to have an idea...a dream...
And then think to ourselves..."What if..."
Be well, make a difference today, and...
Stay safe out there, America.