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.

Accuracy

One of the most important factors of writing an opinion blog—or posting news items and rants on social media for that matter, is accuracy in reporting.  It was brought to light in an exchange last night concerning a post ranting about surveillance drones.

The writer had an agenda against surveillance drones. I don’t have a problem with that. Everyone has agendas in one form or another. I have mine as well. The problem, in this case, was that the writer used a news item to support his views that had nothing to do with his agenda. He used the crash of an Air Force QF-4 target drone from Tyndall AFB, FL to support his agenda. The issue is that the QF-4 is a modified F-4 Phantom fighter-bomber that is frequently used as a target for fighter pilots under training.

A QF-4 drone crashed on takeoff near a highway in Florida. The writer used that crash to bash surveillance drones…a large stretch. Target drones have been used since WW II. The Air Force live-fire target range over the Gulf of Mexico has existed since that time as well. The Air Force has been shooting down drones in that range since WW II and this QF-4 isn’t the first one to crash or wander off course on the mainland. A QF-4 is not a Predator nor a Global Hawk surveillance UAV. Neither is it a small camera-equipped surveillance drone such as the one that crashed near Orlando last month.

No, the writer attempted to use the QF-4 crash to support a rant against drones, citing the capture of a drone by the Iranians, domestic drone surveillance, and drones being used to kill Taliban and Al Queda terrorists around the world. Yes, the QF-4 is a drone but it is as unlike a Predator or Global Hawk as a White Freightliner is to a MGB sportscar.

Using such broad rationalizations in a post, whether in a blog or in a social media post, erodes the credibility of the writer. It takes only a few such posts until the writer acquires a reputation for carelessness or worse, being thought as a member of the Tin-foil Hat Brigade. The former condition can be corrected after a long period of careful work writing accurate information with multiple sources—all which support the theme of the post.

The latter, however, once acquired is ruinous. Thereafter, every word, every sentence, no matter how accurate and appropriate, will be tainted by the reputation as a agenda-driven scandal and fearmonger. Ron Paul is an excellent example of this. He acquired a reputation of being a loose cannon, a conspiracy theorist, a whackjob during the Bush years. It doesn’t matter if the reputation was deserved or not. It followed Ron Paul throughout his political life. He attempted to return to the political mainstream during the 2012 election but it was too late. He’d acquired a reputation, deservedly or not, and voters discounted him—and his followers by extension.

The point of all this is that once a reputation is damaged, however inadvertently, it is extremely difficult to recover and heal that reputation. It is best to never place yourself in that situation.

I’ve been writing a blog since the Fall of 2008. I’ve made mistakes, misquotes, typos and a few errors of fact. Whenever I find these errors, I’ve correct them—usually within minutes of the posting. Sometimes that correction has come a day or so later. In a couple of instances, it was months later. I realize in that last instance, my readers probably weren’t aware of the correction, the update.

But, I knew. And it was important for me to maintain my personal standards just as I would point out errors of omission and commission I see in others.

I would urge my readers, whether here or within social media, to review the accuracy of your information before you press the POST button. If you make an error, acknowledge it, make the correction and move on. If you fail to followup or acknowledge the error, you will lose readers.

Before you make that post, validate the news item. Make sure it supports your thesis or your agenda. Is it appropriate to the subject at hand? Do a little work. I can’t count how many blog entries I’ve written to find them falling apart when one of my sources failed to support my theme or my initial premise was found faulty. More than once, that has caused me to post a “No Post Today,” message and hope to find a better, supportable topic the next day.

Reputation is important. It can be easily damaged or lost. Maintain your reputation or be ignored. It’s your choice.

Lost…

It will be 40 years  next month since I got out of the Air Force. So many little items have been lost over the years—my insignia, ribbons, uniforms. I think my old field jacket lasted longest until I “outgrew” it.

My boots were the first to be lost. I was one of a lucky few who were issued jump boots instead of the usual lace-up 12″ boots. I remember looking for them when a deep snow fell a few years after leaving the Air Force. We had moved at least once, maybe twice at that point. The boots were well broken in. Perhaps I should have worn them more often. If so, maybe they would never have been lost. I have no idea whatever happened to them.

AirForceUniform-1970-1The Air Force numbered their uniforms. When I first entered, the 1505 tan uniform was universal for summer wear. The blue uniform was darker, shade 1545. We were called bus drivers due to the similarity with the Greyhound bus uniform.

(I’m not in either of the photos in this post. They are just examples of the uniforms.)

There were optional items and alternatives available through the local BX and the local sales store; a light-weight 1545 dark blue short jacket, or a dark-blue 1545 long sleeved shirt that could be substituted for the usual long blue winter tunic.

USAF_Uniform-2A few years later, the 1505 tan summer uniform was replaced by light-weight/tropical weight dark blue worsted trousers and light blue short-sleeved shirt. No one grieved at the loss of the cotton 1505s. They were a pain. Both the shirt and trousers had to be heavily starched and wrinkled within a few minutes of being worn. It wasn’t uncommon at some bases to require a change of uniforms several times a day because the 1505s would not remain fresh. The new blue summer uniform was a mixture of wool and synthetic material and much easier to keep fresh-looking. It wore well although being a bit warmer than the 1505s.

I’m not sure how many iterations of uniform changes have occurred in forty years. Several without a doubt. I owned some “tailored” fatigue uniforms including some unauthorized short sleeved fatigues. Mine were solid green. The camo versions were for South-east Asia locations only. Now the digital camo is in vogue even for the Navy! (Why is camo needed aboard ship!?)

So many changes.

It’s been a long time. I’m going to look to see if I can find my dog tags once again.