10 October 2011

Monday Musings...
It was Emerson Lake & Palmer who musically proclaimed:
"Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends...", and it's here we find ourselves once again. Another week at the corner of NO & WHERE, full of Lord knows what...just waiting for us all.
*** Our local PBS station replayed the Ken Burns - PROHIBITION film yesterday in it's entirety, and if you missed it, shame on you.
I watched it again, and still found it worth my while. I'm sure your station did likewise (hope so, anyway).
And, in retrospect, I think I did a decent job of reviewing the 3 parts of the film...
(note to self - next life, a possible career move...lol)
*** Ever remember that old rhyme that goes something like this:
In fourteen hundred and ninety two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue?
Well, in case you've forgotten, here's a link to the ENTIRE poem:
Today is "Columbus Day", and the reason I place it in QUOTES, is because, although Columbus WAS a remarkable explorer, I'm not part of the group that believes that "HE" discovered AMERICA...
There are many theories with a smattering of evidence to support most of them.
Some believe the vikings stopped at Newfoundland and New England around 1000 AD.
Others contend that Amerigo Vespucci was the first. (some say he followed Columbus by a year)
Still others believe that Asians crossed an ice bridge on the northwestern part of North America near Russia.
What is interesting is that the native Americans (as well as other native tribes in central and south America) were farming fields and building cities while Europeans were still dwelling in caves. So, where did THEY come from and how did THEY get here?
Actually, Columbus discovered the "mainland" on his THIRD voyage. The first two were concerned solely with the Caribbean and discovering CUBA.
And why did America become "discovered" only AFTER the Europeans landed here?
I would have thought that those already LIVING here discovered it LONG before that.
So, the speculation will no doubt drag on ad perpetuum.
In the meantime, we celebrate Columbus Day...
What about Leif Erickson Day? Or Amerigo Vespucci Day? Or Mongol Migration to the New World Day?
I suppose we default to the person who came the "closest", or who got the most notoriety, right?
Interesting thing, our school system here (FWCS) will celebrate Columbus Day, but NOT Veteran's Day...go figure.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
*** I watched a replay of the 59th Recruit Graduation ceremonies for the FWPD (16 September on CITY TV cable access), and as soon as it began, I noticed something a bit "out of place" (at least from what I recall)...
Not ONE officer or commander had their hat OFF inside the auditorium (at least the FWPD chaplain took his cover off for the prayers)...!?!
I wonder when they changed that?
(I am SO old-school)
Your cover (hat) was held UNDER your left arm (leaving the right arm available for shaking hands) while at attention.
Graduates keep their hat UNDER THE SEAT when seated or when rising to receive your "diploma" and get pinned (receive your shield). Guess I've been out of that loop for some time.
Nevertheless, it was a nice ceremony, even IF the chief of police (Rusty York) was wearing his FLAG patch in the WRONG direction.
The STARS always are at the "front" (that's why they have "reversed" flags for wearing on the RIGHT shoulder side).
This is to signify that you are NOT "retreating", but in fact, moving FORWARD (advancing).
Now, I know this sounds like splitting hairs, but protocol IS protocol, and a level of honor is, or should be maintained.
I wish these kids well on the streets.
They are going to be in for some REAL "fun" when they start patrolling the ghettohood down HERE, that's for sure.
*** This story is indicative of the "nature of the beast" today, unfortunately...
(( Goshen College professor slain in home invasion
Updated: Sunday, 09 Oct 2011, 5:07 PM EDT
Published : Sunday, 09 Oct 2011, 2:40 PM EDT
GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) - A northern Indiana professor has been killed and his wife seriously injured. According to the Goshen Police Department, 58-year-old James Miller died after being attacked in his home about 1 a.m. Sunday.
Miller was a professor in the Science Department at Goshen College.
Goshen police say his wife, Linda, was struck with an object and suffered serious injuries. She was able to call 911 to report the attack.
The suspect left the scene before police got to the home.
Linda was taken to Goshen General Hospital and later to Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries.
Goshen College President James Brenneman said a vigil is planned for Sunday night on the campus.
This comes on the heels of another home invasion, this time in Fort Wayne, and if you missed THIS story, it's because it was buried way back on page 4C of Saturday's paper (near the classifieds):
(( Published: October 8, 2011 3:00 a.m.
Couple robbed by 6 men at gunpoint - The Journal Gazette
A husband and wife told police that six men with bandannas over their faces robbed them at gunpoint Thursday night in their home on Fort Wayne’s southeast side.
At 11:20 p.m., officers were sent to the home in the 4600 block of Standish Drive, near South Anthony Boulevard and Capitol Avenue, less than 10 minutes after the robbery occurred, a police report said.
The wife told officers she was in a bedroom when there was a knock at a side door. She heard a commotion and came out of the bedroom to see the six men putting her husband on the floor at gunpoint, the report said.
The men made her get on the floor, told her to count to 100, keep her head down and not to look at them. They appeared to be in their early 20s and were wearing hooded sweatshirts, along with latex or black gloves, the report said. The wife told police she saw two handguns, one black and one silver.
Although the robbers were masked, the couple suspect one of the men, judging by his features, is their neighbor. The couple moved into the home after they were married in July, the report said.
During the home invasion, the men forcibly moved the wife around the house by her neck, causing her pain, the report said. The men left with the couple’s cellphones, wedding rings, laptop computer, credit cards and a few pieces of jewelry, the report said.
Imagine being recently married (a rarity these days, especially on the SOUTH side of Ft. Wayne), moving into your "abode", and then being promptly ROBBED (at gunpoint) by SIX THUGS, less than 3 months later.
Yeah, nothing says "home" QUITE like that, does it?
At least in THIS case, no one was killed.
*** Home invasion is becoming quite "the thing" these days for the typical "smash and grabber".
Lot easier to kick in a door, rummage through other people's sh*t, and then leave.
Very "impersonal"...unless someone's home.
Then, the rules change...drastically, as we've seen in Goshen (and that was apparently a LONE person committing that crime).
Cowardly thugs rely on "safety in numbers".
And that's why a homeowner should always have an "equalizer" handy.
You need a force-multiplier, in order to "level the playing field" (how many times do we hear THAT phrase these days?), and hopefully allow you and your family to come out a lot more ALIVE on the other side of a home invasion.
That would be a FIREARM.
When you stop to consider how many lives are SAVED by guns than are taken by them, the numbers would blow your mind (no pun intended).
For every life taken by some perp with a gun, THOUSANDS are SAVED by the proper implementation and use of a firearm.
(They ain't just for killing dinner any longer, Gertrude)
I'd say those are the kind of odds you'll NEVER get at the casino.
Many people are uncomfortable with guns, and I can understand that.
They're LOUD...and they can KILL people.
Plus, some people just don't cotton to violence of any kinds...God bless them, Wish I could feel that way.
But it's a lot different world out there, and one of the recruits put it nicely.
The police are the sheepdogs...protecting the sheep and keeping the wolves at bay, as it were.
Then again, some sheep will fight back...when provoked or threatened...ever see a RAM butt heads with another male?
I'd like to think that although we're not ALL cut out to be sheepdogs, we don't have to all become the most placid sheep in the herd, either.
We can fight back, when required, in order to protect ourselves, our family, or our property.
We work hard in order to make a life...and hopefully, it's a good one.
And those who would wantonly take from others for no reason other than to feed a habit, or foster a sense of machismo, have NO right whatsoever to do as much to ANY of us.
We can be on guard...stay vigilant, and be willing to make the tough choices needed in order to maintain our quality of life.
For we never know what lies down the road and around the bend.
But...we can be prepared.
Have yourselves a great week.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.

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