The Follies for Friday, July 19, 2013

Mrs. Crucis is like a kid waiting for Christmas. She’s finally gotten our cats interested in playing with some toys. We bought a laser toy recently. Our tiger-striped tabby, Amber, reacted when Mrs. Crucis shined the laser on her paws. Our big black cat, Snowflake, just yawned.

Both, finally got into the game batting at a string off a short pole. We’ve had these cats for eight years and it’s only recently they’ve been interested in toys. Mrs. Crucis has been watching “Cats from Hell” on Animal Planet and has obviously learned something.

She saw some cat toy on TV and ordered it. She’s be not-so-patiently waiting for it to arrive. We received a shipping notice earlier this week and since has been waiting, on pins ‘n needles, for the mailman to arrive.

Just like a little kid. I’m not sure which is funnier, the cats or her.

***

We’re beginning to see Holder’s next step in the Zimmerman persecution. Holder issued orders to the Sanford, FL police to retain custody of Zimmerman’s pistol pending a federal investigation.  The FBI has already investigated and found nothing to pursue.

Justice Department places ‘hold’ on Trayvon Martin trial evidence, including George Zimmerman’s gun – which Florida law says must be returned to him

By David Martosko, PUBLISHED: 16:34 EST, 18 July 2013 | UPDATED: 08:54 EST, 19 July 2013

The U.S. Department of Justice, overseen by Attorney General Eric Holder, has ordered the Sanford, Florida police department to keep possession of all the evidence from George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial – including the exonerated neighborhood watch volunteer’s gun.

Sanford police confirmed on Thursday that the DOJ asked the agency not to return any pieces of evidence to their owners. Zimmerman was expected to get his firearm back by month’s end.

Want to bet Holder won’t trump up some charge? I don’t.

If Zimmerman attempts to buy a replacement pistol, I’ll bet the NICS check will flag him. There’s no legal reason for that to happen but I’m sure it will. So what do we have to fight this type of state tyranny? Private sales.

Now you know why the libs demand all firearm sales pass through a FFL—to keep their enemies defenseless.

***

Remember all those recall petitions in Colorado? The lib legislators tried to block the recall election.  They failed. The recall election is on!

Latest win for Colorado gun-rights activists: Recall election set Sept. 10

By Valerie Richardson – The Washington Times, Thursday, July 18, 2013

DENVER—Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper set Sept. 10 as the date for the state’s first-ever legislative recall election Thursday after a judge rejected a lawsuit aimed at stopping the recalls of two Democratic state legislators.

Denver District Court Chief Judge Robert Hyatt said the recall may proceed, ruling that the right of citizens to recall officeholders outweighed the technical objections to the petitions brought by constituents of Senate President John Morse and state Sen. Angela Giron.

“I’m really, really happy, obviously,” said Victor Head, president of Pueblo Freedom and Rights, which organized the Giron recall. “He ruled with the people instead of with the lawyers and the bureaucrats.”

Citizens’ groups began circulating petitions in April to recall the two lawmakers in reaction to their votes in favor of three gun-control bills, which took effect July 1. A petition drive to repeal the bill restricting ammunition-magazine capacity is also underway.

Yes, what goes around, comes around. Actions have consequences. It’s time the libs learn the consequences of their actions.

***

It’s not really news, now. It’s been plastered all over the news, cable outlets and the internet for several days—Detroit is bankrupt!

‘Motor City’ Detroit files for bankruptcy with 100,000 creditors

Detroit has become the largest city in US history to file for bankruptcy, owing 100,000 creditors $18.5 billion.

By 1:14PM BST 19 Jul 2013

The city of Detroit filed for bankruptcty on Thursday afternoon, ending weeks of speculation about a possible such move.

Kevyn Orr, the city’s emergency manager, handed over a 3,000 page document detailing all the money which the city is unable to pay.

The list of those owed includes the names of all of the city’s active employees and its retirees, a list of properties that have tax claims with the city, numerous bondholders, business creditors and companies that insured Detroit debt.

The largest creditor is the city’s general pension scheme, which is owed $2 billion.

We knew the city was bankrupt. We’ve known it for years. Detroit is and has been financially and morally bankrupt for years, decades, really. A large city government, led and controlled by libs, socialists and democrats, has been run into the ground. The residents has been leaving in droves. The population is half what it was in 1950. Vast swatches of the city is empty and the houses, falling into deep disrepair, are being razed.

And the unions are still fighting, in the courts, the inevitable result—bankruptcy. Why? Because they have been bleeding the city’s finances for decades. If the city really is placed in bankruptcy, the money stream will be cut off. Detroit is nearly $20 Billion (yes, that is Billion with a B!) in debt. A significant portion of that is to the union pension funds. Now the unions with have to fund the pension funds themselves using money that had been used for political purposes as well as lining the union leaders’ pockets.

City leaders are already calling for Obama to bail them out.

***

Finally, this blurb from the Heritage Foundation concerning Benjamin Franklin. The libs belittle Franklin at every opportunity. They claim he’s one of the countries first atheists. An incorrect fact. He was a Deist. 

Benjamin Franklin: The Sage of America

By

There was a time, not too long ago, when every schoolchild in America learned about Benjamin Franklin and his exploits; a great many read his brief Autobiography. Unfortunately, that time has passed. None of the American Founders is the icon he once was, of course, but in the case of Franklin, this is especially lamentable because Franklin addressed himself more to the common man, and to the young, than did his colleagues. He directed his writing largely to the formation of popular character and had a very salutary effect on that character for as long as he was widely read.

Life

Born in Boston in 1706, Franklin was older by a generation than most of his fellow Founders. The youngest son of youngest sons for five generations back, as he tells us with pride, Franklin necessarily made his own way in the world. He tried several trades before settling on printing, the one mechanical trade that suited his bookish and searching mind.

While still very young, he read books of “polemic Divinity,” mostly attacks on Deism that he found in his father’s library. These books had an effect “quite contrary to what was intended by them,” Franklin tells us, and he became “a thorough Deist” by the time he was 15.[1] His unconventional religious beliefs, together with his fondness for disputing with his fellow Bostonians, contributed to his eventual need to depart for Philadelphia.

When only 16 and a printing apprentice to his brother James, he penned a series of essays under the pseudonym Silence Dogood, devoted to chiding the faults and encouraging the virtues of his fellow Bostonians. It was a device he returned to again and again. In Philadelphia, he wrote as the Busy-Body, a self-proclaimed censor morum, and at other times as Alice Addertongue, Obadiah Plainman, Homespun, and of course Poor Richard, whose sententious proverbs (many gleaned from other sources) remain part of our heritage. Franklin considered newspapers (as well as almanacs) to be “another Means of communicating Instruction”[2] to the wider public and filled his out with small, edifying pieces. It was part of a larger educational project, to which his Autobiography also belongs.

Franklin’s curiosity extended not only to politics, morality, and theology, but also to science. He investigated natural phenomena from weather patterns to the Gulf Stream to electricity. He founded the American Philosophical Society to advance the cause of science in the New World. His research in electricity led to the discovery of the polarity of electrical current; his invention of the lightning rod and many other advances brought him international renown. He was admitted to the Royal Society of London and other European learned societies. Franklin was the only one of the Founders with an international reputation before independence, and that reputation was scientific.

I invite you to read the entire article. Have your children read it, too. They’ll learn much about our Founding Fathers and Franklin that I doubt is being taught in their schools.

Strange! Submitted without comment.

(H/T to salgak) Originally posted by: salgak. 
Dehydrated/Long-storage food is nearly impossible to get right now. WHY ?? Seems the Feds just placed a billion-dollar-plus order for long-storage food. http://www.examiner.com/finance-examiner-in-national/terror-threats-rising-as-fema-orders-1-billion-dehydrated-food My paranoid side says they know something that we don’t.
I usually don’t go into Doom ‘n Gloom.  Yes, my wife does stock up on non-perishable goods.  I stubbed my toe once at our bed and discovered she’d place a tray full of canned food under it.  I’m also told that it’s a standard practice for LDS and RLDS folks to keep a year’s supply of food on hand for emergencies.  I have no issue with that either.
But as I said, I don’t subscribe to all the conspiracies and TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) alarmist rants.  
Then I read this…

Terror threats rising as FEMA orders $1 Billion in dehydrated food 

February 24th, 2011 1:22 pm ET

Terror threats appear to be on the rise as FEMA has rushed a $1 Billion order of dehydrated food in the event of attacks on domestic targets in the US.
This is also coming on the heels of one of the largest terror drills performed by the US Navy on American soil, as Operation Solid Curtain is taking place this week.
In an article Tuesday from the Beaufort Observer, many of the largest suppliers of dehydrated foods in the country are dropping their distributors and customers to dedicate their resources to supplying a billion dollar FEMA request and purchase.

One of the nation’s largest suppliers of dehydrated food has cut loose 99% of their dealers and distributors. And it’s not because of the poor economy. It’s because this particular industry leader can no longer supply their regular distribution channels. Why not? Because they’re using every bit of manufacturing capacity they have to fulfill massive new government contracts. Look, the government has always been a customer of the industry to some extent. But according to our sources, this latest development doesn’t represent simply a change of vendor on the government’s part. It’s a whole new magnitude of business.
And that’s not all.

Apparently, even though they’ve cut off their regular consumer markets, the industry leader I’ve just mentioned still can’t produce enough survival food to meet the government’s vast requirements. How do we know? Earlier this month, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) put out a Request for Proposal, or RFP, for even more dehydrated food. The RFP called for a 10-day supply of meals – for 14 million people. That’s 420 million meals. Typically, FEMA maintains a stockpile of about 6 million meals. Why the sudden need to increase the stockpile by 420 million more? (And that’s in addition to whatever our aforementioned industry leader is supplying.) It almost seems like they’re trying to stock a modern day “Noah’s Ark,” doesn’t it?

Just makes you wonder doesn’t it?

Signs of a failing nation: Education

This post is the third of the theme of the trend towards failure of our current civilization. Monday’s post was on the subject of factionalism. Yesterday’s post was on the failure to secure our borders. Today’s subject is the failure of education.

The failure of education is not solely a US issue.  We see the same trends in Europe and other “first world” countries.  There is opposition of this trend in southern Asia (India) and coastal Asia, Taiwan, Japan and portions of coastal China.

Anyone here in the US over the age of 50 can see how education has changed.  When I was in elementary and high school, we were taught, reading, US and global geography. We were required to memorize all US  and Canada state capitols, European geography, borders, major rivers and national capitols, the same for the Mideast, Africa, Asia and the major Pacific Islands.  Surprisingly, we didn’t study the territory of the former USSR because, “the Soviets kept changing the city names and internal boundaries and we can’t keep up.”  That statement was from one of my high school teachers—a WW2 and Korean War disabled veteran.

We were also taught writing—handwriting specifically, grammar and composition along with government, US and Western History.  

We were required to take and pass state examinations on our state (Illinois) constitution and US constitution for graduation from high school. If  you didn’t pass, you re-took that test until you passed or you didn’t graduate.  Many students took the class in their Junior year. The class was taught again during summer-school for those who failed the first time.

My mother was a teacher. She started teaching me to read when I was four years old. I was able to read the comics in our local paper when I was in the first grade.  I wasn’t unusual, many first-graders could read enough to read the comics. 

It was the stated goal in my country school that every child would have the reading skills to read and comprehend the newspaper—not just the comics, but also the front page.  We were taught phonics to enhance reading. We were taught the relationship between letters and combination of letters and sounds. And, we were taught to use the dictionary. Every third-grade student was required to have a dictionary in their desk.  If parents didn’t have one at home, one could be purchased through the school and the parents would be billed.

Now take a look at the list above and compare that with our current school curriculum.  Reading? Sight reading, no phonics. Spelling? Not in my local school district. When I was in grade school, we posted our spelling, math, drawing, and samples of our handwriting on the school room’s walls. We had monthly PTA meeting—at night so everyone could attend. If a parent worked at night, the other parent attended.  Parents roamed the school rooms and closely examined their children’s scores and compared those scores to others in their class. Kids who scored low often received a spanking when they got home.

Returning to the comparison between then and now. We were taught geography. Not today. We were taught writing and composition, not today. We were required to take and pass state tests on US and state governments. Not today. We were taught US and World/Western history.  If taught today, the lesson must adhere to socialist philosophy and has been heavily altered to conform to political correctness—regardless of the validity of those changes.

The Wisconsin teachers are upset with changes proposed by Scott Walker.  Earlier this week it was revealed the 66% of Wisconsin 8th graders did not score as “proficient.”

In the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests administered by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009—the latest year available—only 32 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned a “proficient” rating while another 2 percent earned an “advanced” rating. The other 66 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned ratings below “proficient,” including 44 percent who earned a rating of “basic” and 22 percent who earned a rating of “below basic.”    

Those of us who are old enough to remember the education of ourselves recognize the failure of education of today.  Today, we have “social” promotions in school and graduate students who are functionally illiterate.  We have the education system who supports open registration for our colleges and universities regardless of test scores. The failure rates of first and second year university students is astounding and largely ignored.

How can we expect our future generations to be capable of self-government when they have no understanding of our representative republic and how that is different from mobocracy democracy?

Civilization requires an educated populace. When my generation passes, that will no longer exist.
             

Signs of a failing nation.

As I wrote yesterday, one of the signs of a failing nation is factionalization. When the sense of national unity is broken it is nearly impossible to be repaired.  We’re seeing some signs of attempts to repair unity with the rise of the Tea Parties and conservative states confronting union socialism.  That’s a good start.

Another sign of a failing nation is the failure to secure its borders. A nation who has no clear borders is no longer a nation. Territory, land that we can say, “This is mine. I will defend what is mine,” is the core component of a nation.  Without land, the people of a nation are no more than nomadic tribes.

The Obama administration is purposely failing to establish and defend our borders.  They want the nomads to come in to increase the size of their faction. That is another step towards barbarism.  Factionalism is inconsistent with civilization.  One one hand you have a group that places its faction over that of the nation. On the other hand is a group that places its nation over that of its faction.  The military is a prime example of the latter while the democrat leadership is an example of the former.  The two are not compatible.

The republicans are not guiltless in factionalism either.  George Bush only gave lip service to protecting our borders.  He wanted to sweep illegal alien issue under the rug, to hide the issue by granting illegals amnesty.  He thought it was a no-win situation. Regardless, it was another step towards barbarism.  When you refuse to protect what is yours, you are weaker to resist that next barbarian that comes onto the scene.

A number of states are actively confronting this issue.  Arizona was the first to begin to protect their state borders after the failure of the FedGov to uphold it’s constitutionally mandated directive and the active assistance of the FedGov to circumvent its constitutional requirement.

We, in the US, are fortunate that we do have a constitution. We are also fortunate that the 2nd Amendment provides us the means to resist barbarism—even when that barbarian is our own federal government.

As I  write this comes the news that Indiana state democrats have fled to Illinois and Kentucky to block a vote that would make Indiana a Right-to-work state.  Those democrats, as well as those in Wisconsin, are holding allegiance to their faction, to their fellow barbarians at the expense of civilization. 

It will be a long battle.