Archive for the ‘Patriotism’ Category

01/20/2022 1940 in a Nutshell   Leave a comment

I stumbled upon a stack of old books recently which were reviews of 1940, 1941, 1945, and 1946. I thought it would be kind of fun to drop back into 1940 and get a handle on how things were then right in the middle of a war. It might give us a little context that we don’t have these days except for the damn pandemic.

A couple of famous celebrities were born in 1940, Jack Nicholas on January 21, and John Hurt on January 22. In 1940, Whitman Samplers were the cats-meow for that special date. The men wore wool suits and women wore uncomfortable dresses in order to fit in with current styles. Formal dancing, accompanied by the big band sounds of the day, was always a good way to conclude a celebrity event. Also, roller skating was a popular activity as well as school and church outings. Even in those activities men usually dressed in suits and ties while women dressed a bit more casually.

Now let me supply you with a few movies of that period that were tops at the box office. Boomtown, Fantasia, His Girl Friday, Knute Rockne All American, The Mark of Zorro, The Grapes of Wrath, Northwest Passage, and a kids favorite, Pinocchio. Walt Disney’s Fantasia initially was a financial disappointment. However, in subsequent years the film was edited several times, and eventually became one of the most noted and classic of all the Disney films

Fran Tarkington, a well-known football player was born on February 3. Smokey Robinson rolled in on February 19, and Peter Fonda followed on February 23. A more infamous birthday girl was born on March 26, good old liberal Nancy Pelosi.

With the depression over, consumer food intake became more dependent on canned foods such as soup, meat, and vegetables. Before Spam there was Prem, a tasty and delicious meat made of genuine sugar-cured pork.

The war in Europe continued. 1940 was a pivotal year for England when on July 10, Britain’s factories and military facilities were being bombed by Hitler’s Air Force. The ban on bombing British cities was lifted by Hitler and the blitz began and continued off and on throughout the year, destroying many parts of the cities. Hitler also began marching west and slowly but surely began taking over most of Europe. The British troops were contained at Dunkirk and due to aid from a massive flotilla of private boats were able to be saved from destruction and returned to Britain.

The 1939-1940 World’s Fair was held at Flushing Meadows in New York and was the largest world’s fair of all-time. It featured exhibits like a keyboard operated speech synthesizer, color photography, nylon, air-conditioning, the View Master and the later unsuccessful Smell-O-Vision, among many others.

Sports checking revealed the National Football League, where the Chicago Bears of the Western division defeated the Washington Redskins of the Eastern division 73-0, in one of the most one-sided games in professional football history.

Alex Trebek was born on July 22 and Ringo Starr was born on July 7. The Saturday Evening Post magazine was the biggest seller in those days.

Roadways would be constructed at a fast pace. The Pennsylvania Turnpike, the first tunneled United States superhighway, opened on October 1, 1940. The Arroyo-Seco Parkway was dedicated in December and became the first Los Angeles freeway. The Queens-Midtown Tunnel in New York opened on November 15. Unfortunately, it was also the year that the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapsed only months after its completion, earning the nickname of “Galloping Gertie”.

Last but not least let’s address some food issues. On May 15 the first McDonald’s restaurant opened in San Bernardino, California by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald. A loaf of bread cost $.08 cents, bacon $.27 a pound, butter was $.36 a pound, and eggs $.33 a dozen. A 5-pound bag of sugar was $.26, gasoline was $.11 a gallon, postage stamps were $.03, a new car averaged $990, and last but not least a single-family home listed at $2938.00. The average salary for a full-time employee was $1200.00 a year with a minimum wage of $.30 an hour. The US population at that time was 132,122,000 and FDR was our president.

WAS IT BETTER THEN??

01/06/2022 Two True Stories   Leave a comment

Since this has been a slow week, I thought I’d post these two true stories. It makes for a longer than usual posting, but I think it’s worth the read. It was sent to me years ago by a close friend, but I never posted it due to its length. I hope you’ll take the time to read and enjoy this little-known tidbit of history.

STORY #1

Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.

Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was Capone's lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.

To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends, as well. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block.

Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocities that went on around him.

Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object. Despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.  Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son; he couldn't pass on a good name or a good example.

One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. He wanted to rectify some of the wrongs he had done.
He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified.

Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.

The poem read:

"The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still."

STORY #TWO:

World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare.
He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific. One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.

His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet. As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American fleet.

The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet. Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly. Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.

Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft. This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Medal of Honor.

A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His hometown would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man. So, the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.

SO, WHAT DO THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?


Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's" son.

12/30/2021 New Year’s Rant   Leave a comment

Another year of pandemic, bad economy, fake news from the media, bad this and bad that. I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted by it all. We can’t seem to trust anyone anymore about anything. I hope we don’t follow in the footsteps of our European allies. If the pandemic doesn’t kill them fast enough, they may start killing each other as they’ve done so often in the past. We don’t want to be dragged down that rabbit-hole again for any reason.

I’ve been hearing about how terrible the economy is all year and how those whiny retailers just never seem to have a good Christmas shopping season. Headlines like “Christmas Sales Fail to Meet Expectations” are the same every year it seems. Fortunately, this year a lot of that Black Friday nonsense before Thanksgiving didn’t happen and probably saved many people from being injured trying to get a big-screen TV into their shopping cart at Walmart.

It’s no wonder the people in this country are depressed after more than two years of the pandemic, mainstream media ranting and raving about every little thing, and presidential doom and gloom from Trump to Biden. We been beaten to our knees with a constant barrage of misinformation, innuendo, and outright lies.

I normally have a great deal of optimism for the future but that’s only true if the up-and-coming younger voters start looking and listening carefully at what they’re being told in the schools, universities, and everywhere else. They must learn the hard way how to teach themselves to recognize the truth when they see it and the lies when they hear them. Politics is an ugly game and has little or no mercy on the uninformed.

Things may not be great but it’s not the end of the world. It’s politicians attempting to propagandize the populace with crisis after crisis so we’ll throw the bums out and vote the other bums in. The pandemic is just one more thing in a long list of topics where we can’t rely on anyone to give us the whole truth. It’s an old and vicious game and we the voters continue to stick our heads in the sand and condone it year after year. Shame on us and shame on those responsible.

So much for the end of 2021. Good-bye and good riddance. I can only hope that things improve this coming year but don’t expect those irresponsible politicians, reporters, pundits, professors, and high school teachers to keep you and yours up to date with true facts. Read, research, ask the questions that need to be asked, and remain skeptical. It’s your duty as an American citizen to question your government, don’t hesitate. We can only hope 2022 will show some improvement and I think it will, if we don’t spend all of our time fighting amongst ourselves. If that continues, we’re all screwed.

Every Useless Thing will return on January 2, 2022.

GOODBYE 2021, WELCOME 2022

12/21/2021 Social Security Lies   Leave a comment

With the end of the year in sight my mind turns to things financial. Today is as good a day as any for a short history lesson on the ever so popular Social Security Program. Back in the day my parents thought that FDR could walk on water because he saved us all from imminent destruction by fending off the economic disaster that was the Great Depression. It’s true to a point but what he did has evolved over the ensuing years into a serious liability instead of an asset. His world saving programs have morphed over time and are currently responsible for some of the misery we are experiencing today. Here’s your history lesson . . .

  • Social Security Cards up until the 1980s expressly stated the number and card were not to be used for identification purposes. Since nearly everyone in the United States now has a number, it became convenient to use it anyway and the message, “NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION” was removed from the card.

President Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) program. He promised:

  • Participation in the program would be completely voluntary. No longer voluntary.
  • The money the participants elected to put into the program would be deductible from their income tax for tax purposes each year. No longer tax-deductible.
  • The money the participants put into the independent “Trust Fund” rather than into the general operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other government programs. Under President Johnson the money was moved into the General Fund and spent.
  • The annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income. It is now taxable thanks to Clinton/Gore.

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month and then finding that we are getting taxed on the money we paid to the federal government to put away for us. I thought you might be interested in the following:

  • Q: Which political party took money from Social Security and put it into the general fund so that Congress could spend it?
  • A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically controlled House and Senate
  • Q: Which political party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?
  • A: The Democratic Party
  • Q: Which political party started taxing Social Security annuities?
  • A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the tie-breaking vote while he was Vice President of the United States.
  • Q: Which political party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?
  • A: That’s right! Jimmy Carter and that Democratic Party

Immigrants moved into this country and at age 65, began to receive Social Security payments. The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into the system. Then, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away. The worst part about it is that millions of uninformed citizens continue to believe these lies. Take the time to explain it to your family, especially your kids. They’ll ask questions you may not want to answer.

IGNORE HISTORY AND YOUR DOOMED TO REPEAT IT

4 SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

11/23/2021 The Real Thanksgiving   2 comments

With Thanksgiving only two days away I thought you might find this little bit of our history appropriate. Being a lover of history has been a source of pleasure for me for many years. I love reading about anything historical especially everything I could find on the United States and how it was created. We’re coming up on one of my most favorite holidays, Thanksgiving. In my mind it was the only holiday that we had that meant something real to me. People giving thanks for the things in their life that needed to be appreciated and shared with friends and family. To show appreciation for the many good things and good people that have impacted our lives in the last year and before.

I sometimes think how many of our holidays have changed in the eyes of the citizenry. Christmas went from being a religious celebration of the birth of Christ and turned into an insanely greedy holiday about gifts and presents. Thanksgiving always meant much more to me than any holiday for all of the best reasons. Time with family and friends that was hard to come by most of the year. When Thanksgiving came everyone showed up regardless of any interruptions from outside influences like work and business. It was quality time for me and mine which was sorely lacking most of the year. It was time to eat grandma’s special gravy of which she never gave anyone that recipe. It was the goal of all of the younger generations to somehow convince her to give that up but the old girl took it to her grave except for a few hints she gave me. I make a one helluva gravy but it’s still not as good as hers.

These days Thanksgiving is just a prelude to shopping. I’d like to meet the guy that came up with the Black Friday nonsense and beat him senseless. I hate to say this but there might be one plus coming out of this pandemic and that is the hope that Thanksgiving will return to what it was in years past. Most of the younger generations now know little or nothing about the history of how Thanksgiving became Thanksgiving and all of the people that suffered and died to make the first one happen. I’m finishing this post with three letters written by a young lady named Lizzy to her aunt Constance. The first letter was written during the crossing from England to Plymouth on the Mayflower, the second is about her arrival and the setup of the colony, and the third is concerning the first Thanksgiving celebration with the local Indians. Put yourself in her place as you read these letters and show or read them to your children or grandchildren. It’ll give all of you a better understanding and perspective on what it actually means to be thankful for something. I hope you enjoy them.

LETTER #1

Dearest Aunt Constance,

You wondered what life in a ship would be like. I can now tell you, I would trade my bed for yours in the beat of a heart! I sleep on a damp bed in a tiny cabin with mother and father. We are all packed in like so much cargo below deck. We do not know many of the other passengers, yet we live nearly on top of each other. Few of us have ever been aboard a ship, and there is much seasickness. The stench is most awful! I welcome the times when we are allowed to go on deck to empty our chamber pots and breathe the fresh air.

When the weather is fair, the days are much the same. We pray as we rise in the morning and before and after we take our meals. For food we commonly have pease or bean pottage, cheese and ship’s biscuit. For drink, we have beer. We have some water but they say it will soon go bad.

Did I tell you that I have a friend? Her name is Mary and I am so grateful for her. Mary and I play games, tell riddles, sing or just speak to each other. It is often too dark to even read. There are few other lasses on the ship since most families left their daughters behind until our town is built. The sailors will sometimes allow us on deck, but they are a hard lot and frighten me somewhat. Master Goodman brought his two dogs—a mastiff and a spaniel—and we chase them as they chase the mousers that chase the rats. Have I made mention of the rats? They are almost as great in size as the mousers!

May the Lord help us when the weather is not fair. Father told me that sailors usually seek safe harbor in the autumn and now I know why. The storms are fearsome! They roll and toss our poor ship which creaks and moans as though it will break apart. My arms and legs are bruised from being thrown about and having things fall on me. In one storm, a young man was thrown into the sea, but by God’s good will he caught hold of a line that was dragging in the water and was saved. Just a fortnight ago came the worst storm yet. Aunt Constance, I thought we would all surely drown and become food for the fishes. The ship’s upper works were leaking and of a sudden there was a great snap! Master Carver told us that one of the ship’s main beams had cracked. Many of the crew wanted to turn back, but after much consultation, t’was decided that we would continue . The carpenters and sailors mended the beam and caulked the leaks.

Thus we put our faith in God and we press on. I do not think that I can stand such a fright again. I pray that we reach the New World soon.

Your loving niece,

Lizzy

LETTER #2

Dearest Aunt Constance,

I was so grateful to arrive in the New World, but I am now beginning to wish that we had never left home. I know that father had a hard life in England because he was punished for following his conscience and worshipping in the Separatist Church, but I wonder if it could have been as hard as this.

We arrived here just as winter did. It is bitter cold and snow is almost always upon the ground, but God has blessed us with a place to start our new town. There is a fair brook running under a high hill that Father says will offer us protection from our enemies. The men have begun building houses on land, but we must remain on the ship until they are nearer to being finished. I never thought I would still be aboard the ship for so long after we arrived! I suppose it is safer on the ship. I know not what to think of the naturals of this place that are called Indians. The first time some of our men encountered them, there was a fight though by God’s blessing no one was injured. We are on our guard now.

Master Goodman—the one with the dogs—has become quite ill. He was out cutting thatch with Peter Brown when his dogs chased a great deer deep into the forest. They chased after them and were soon lost, and had to pass the night in the wilderness. When they found their way back the next afternoon, Master Goodman had to have his shoes cut off his feet as they were so swollen with the cold. Many of our party have already died, among them Mary’s mother and father. I cannot think how lost I would be in this strange and frightful place without mother and father. I pray that they will not succumb to scurvy and other diseases. I mean not to be so grim, but I fear that things could get far worse. We are near to scraping the bottoms of the barrels of rice, peas, and biscuit, and the men have had little fortune in hunting. I am worried, though I know that with God’s help we will survive this dark winter.

Your loving niece,

Lizzy

LETTER #3

Dearest Aunt Constance,

Pray forgive me for being so long between letters. After the great sickness it seemed that there was little good to write about. By the time spring arrived, nearly half of our number had died. Twas truly a mournful time. Since then we have continued to build houses and have planted our gardens and many acres of our English corns. In time, I think we may come to prosper here. We have even begun to grow a curious corn that we call Indian corn or turkey wheat.

How we learned to grow this Indian corn was most unexpected. Last spring a tall Indian walked into our town, causing great alarm. To our great astonishment, he spoke in our tongue, saying “Welcome Englishmen.” He told us that his name was Samoset and that he had learned English from fishermen to the north of here. Samoset returned the next day with Tisquantum, whose English was as fine as yours and mine. Tisquantum told us how his people used to live where we now live, but that a few years before we arrived a plague had come and wiped out the town. He has been a great blessing to us, showing us how to grow Indian corn in mounds. He even told us to put herring in the ground to make the corn grow better. It works as well as using manure and our harvest was quite fine. Tisquantum also showed us how to fish and the best places to hunt. I fear that we would not have survived here were it not for the help of Tisquantum and others.

To celebrate our first harvest our Governor, Master Bradford, called for a celebration. Four men went hunting wild fowl and brought back enough geese, ducks and other birds to last nearly a week! We ate, played at games, and the men practiced shooting their muskets. The Indians came amongst us as well, among them their greatest King Massasoit and more than 90 men! I was most frightened at first, but they stayed for three days and we entertained and feasted them. And they went out and brought us five deer. While they were here I even saw some of their children! One boy, father says he thinks that his name is Po-met-a-comet, threw a ball to me. Of course he could not speak English and I could not speak the Indian tongue.

And now we have a new ship in the harbor! It is wonderful that we have new folk to settle here, but I fear that our harvest, which seemed plentiful enough, will not be enough for all of us and the newcomers. Father says that we will fill this ship full of timber and furs to send back to England. Perhaps on the next ship they will send over cows!

Dearest Aunt Constance, I truly hope that you will come to join us in New Plimoth. I pray that soon we will be a thriving town.

Your loving niece,

Lizzy

HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING

11/19/2021 Presidential Trivia   2 comments

While I don’t fully respect most politicians, I do respect the office of the Presidency, regardless of party. It doesn’t change my opinion that most if not all politicians are underprepared for the responsibility of the office. Here are some facts concerning past presidents you might find interesting even if the individuals weren’t.

  • Our first president was George Washington. He is portrayed along with three other American presidents carved into Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. His birthday is the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen and was implemented by an act of Congress in 1879. He stood 6’2″ tall, weighed 200 pounds, and wore size 13 shoes. He is the only president who didn’t live in Washington during his presidency.
  • Eight presidents were born British subjects: Washington, J. Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J.Q. Adams, Jackson, and W. Harrison.
  • Eight presidents never attended college: Washington, Jackson, Van Buren, Taylor, Fillmore, Lincoln, A. Johnson, and Cleveland.
  • The college that has the most presidents as alumni (seven in total) is Harvard: J. Adams, J.Q. Adams, T. Roosevelt, F. Roosevelt, Rutherford B. Hayes, John F. Kennedy, and George W. Bush.
  • Presidents who would be considered “Washington outsiders” (i.e., the 18 presidents who never served in Congress) are: Adams, Jefferson, Taylor, Grant, Arthur, Cleveland, T. Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Coolidge, Hoover, F. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Trump, and G.W. Bush.
  • The most common religious affiliation among presidents has been Episcopalian, followed by Presbyterian.
  • The ancestry of all 46 presidents is limited to the following heritages, or some combination thereof: Dutch, English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Swiss, German, and African.
  • The oldest president inaugurated was Joe Biden (age 78); the youngest was Kennedy (age 43). Theodore Roosevelt, however, was the youngest man to become president – he was 42 when he succeeded McKinley, who had been assassinated.
  • The tallest president was Abraham Lincoln at 6’4″, Madison was the shortest.
  • Fifteen presidents served as vice presidents: J. Adams, Jefferson, Van Buren, Tyler, Fillmore, A. Johnson, Arthur, T. Roosevelt, Coolidge, Truman, Nixon, L.B. Johnson, Ford, George Bush, and Joe Biden.
  • For two years the nation was run by a president and a vice president who were not elected by the people. After VP Spiro T. Agnew resigned in 1973, President Nixon appointed Gerald Ford as vice president. Nixon resigned the following year, which left Ford as president, and Ford’s appointed, Nelson Rockefeller, as second in line.
  • James Buchanan was the only president never to marry. Five presidents remarried after the death of their first wives – two of whom, Tyler and Wilson, remarried while in the White House. Reagan was the only divorced president. Six presidents had no children. Tyler – father of 15 – had the most.
  • Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy were assassinated in office.
  • Assassination attempts were made on the lives of Jackson, T. Roosevelt, F. Roosevelt, Truman, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, Clinton, and G.W. Bush.
  • Eight presidents died in office: W. Harrison (after having served only one month), Taylor, Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Harding, F. Roosevelt, and Kennedy.
  • Presidents Adams, Jefferson, and Monroe all died on the Fourth of July; Coolidge was born on that day.
  • Kennedy and Taft are the only presidents buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

There you have todays trivia. Can’t wait to see what odd facts Joe Biden will leave for us. For sure he won’t be a candidate for Mt. Rushmore. Hollywood has the Walk of Fame with hundreds of gold stars on their sidewalks. We should institute a Walk of Shame around Bill Clintons presidential library with gold 🚽’s instead of stars. The first three recipients could and should be Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Donald Trump. Coming up fast on the outside is Joe Biden looking for his spot. Actually I think I’ll just nominate him right now to avoid the rush later.

HAIL TO THE CHIEF

11/08/2021 Is 2021 Becoming 1984?   Leave a comment

George Orwell

I’m a reader of just about any printed material.  I enjoy fiction, nonfiction, and anything else I can get my hands on.  By far my favorite genre is science fiction and I’ve been reading it religiously since the age of nine.  I love it for a number of reasons but primarily because of its ability to foretell the future.  So many things included in the oldest sci-fi stories have eventually become part of our reality i.e. lasers, satellites, cell phones, and space travel. I then asked myself the question, if sci-fi writers have the ability to see the future so clearly, why not others. The novel 1984 is considered sci-fi by some but to me it’s just social commentary taken to extremes.  But . . . could it be prophetic as well?

I look at the direction of our country today.  It’s slowly sliding toward socialism with people like LBJ, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Joe Biden insinuating their kind of changes into every facet of our lives. In Orwell’s future, the Party is everything and only our service to the Party has any value. Sounds vaguely familiar doesn’t it?

Orwell rewrote the language into something called Newspeak. Changing words to reflect new meanings such as terms like Head Start, Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits, Peace Corp., Americorp and of course Welfare. Newspeak allowed the Party to suddenly change the perception of something just by making the name more palatable.  The “proles” weren’t smart enough to figure that out. Are we?

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING was the mantra of the “proles” in Orwell’s novel.  The “proles” were the regular citizens excluded from the upper echelon of society and needed to be strictly controlled. Could the NSA be the new “Big Brother”? Could Homeland Security be the new “Thought Police”?  You tell me.

Mentioned throughout Orwell’s novel are the following three terms:

  • WAR IS PEACE – Doesn’t this clearly describe our current approach to the rest of the world or not?
  • FREEDOM IS SLAVERY – Does corroding our civil rights and freedoms under the guise of security explain this?
  • IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH – When government transparency becomes just some phony “politically correct” term, does that explain this?

Orwell’s” Ministry of Truth” comes alive when you read this description:

There were the huge print shops with their sub-editors, their typography experts, and their elaborately equipped studios for the faking of photographs.  There was the tele-programs section with its engineers, its producers, and its teams of actors specially chosen for their skill in imitating voices.” – Sounds a lot like the Main Stream Media and “Fake News” to me.

I could continue these comparisons all day long.  Orwell had the Thought Police and the Ministry of Truth and we have the Criminal Justice System. The comparisons were striking to me but will easily be shrugged off by our current government as a gross exaggeration of an old and antiquated novel.  Just like the lasers and communication satellites were written about in the 1940s, at the time they were also considered a gross exaggeration.  I’ve made my decision on where I think were headed as a country and a society.  I’m not saying it’s a certainty but it could become our reality very easily and very quickly.

I’ll admit one thing of Orwell’s that does not translate to our current generation is the “Ministry of Love”.  He thought his “Big Brother” government should mandate copulation and childbirth as a service to the Party as a means of keeping the population levels growing.  I’m sure he never anticipated a government assisted by the courts that would permit the wholesale slaughter of unborn children just to maintain the status quo and keep citizens voting a certain way.

LETS CALL THAT OUR “MINISTRY OF UNLOVE”

11/01/2021 Modern “#*%@&” Politicians   Leave a comment

I honestly try to avoid getting into political discussions and arguments with people because any fool knows it’s a waste of time. As I’ve always explained, I don’t have a lot of good things to say about any politician whether they be Democrats or Republicans. I think the system has the ability to corrupt even the most honest elected official once they been in office for a period of time. As a lover of history I constantly fall back on the words and opinions of past politicians who practiced their politics in a different way than these modern magicians.

Today I think it’s time that we hear from some of those experts on exactly what a politician is or should be. These quotes, no matter how old, still retain a great deal of truth about the human condition both good and evil and how they operate within their political reality.

  • “Politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.” Charles De Gaulle 1961
  • Anonymous: Do you pray for the Senators, Dr. Hale? Hale:” No, I look at the Senators and pray for the country.” Edward Everett Hale 1964, Senate Chaplain
  • “If ever this free people – if this Government itself is ever utterly demoralized, it will come from this human wriggle and struggle for office – a way to live without work; from which nature I am not free myself.” Abraham Lincoln 1865
  • “Politicians who vote huge expenditures to alleviate problems get reelected; those who propose structural changes to prevent problems get early-retirement.” John McClaughry 1978
  • “A politician should have three hats: one for throwing in the ring, one for talking through, and one for pulling rabbits out of if elected.” Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

WORDS OF WISDOM ALWAYS REMAIN PERTINENT

10/28/2021 Our So-Called Celebrities   Leave a comment

I realize how many of you absolutely adore and idolize celebrities and some politicians. I will admit that not all of them are objectionable but as with any group of people there’s a certain percentage that give them all a bad name. I thought I’d start off first with five presidents that were arrested and convicted of crimes of one sort or another. See if you can match up the arrest with the appropriate photograph. Not as hard as you might think but if nothing else it makes them a little more human.

NAME THAT PRESIDENT

President Ulysses S. Grant was once arrested for speeding and his horse and carriage were impounded. He paid in a $20 fine and then walked back to the White House.

President Thomas Jefferson and President-To-Be James Madison were once arrested by an overeager police officer in Vermont in the spring of 1791, for carriage riding on a Sunday.

Then there’s “Tricky Dicky” Nixon of Watergate fame. The first and only president to be forced to resign from office because of his misdeeds and terrible judgment. Fortunately for him Pres. Gerald Ford officially pardoned him.

President Franklin Pierce was arrested in 1853 for running over an old lady.

Now that you’ve completed the presidential quiz, next comes some really out of control celebrities. Some of these photos are old but most are relatively current. Without cheating, name as many as you can without doing research on-line and then send me your total on a comment. I thought they were fairly easy so it shouldn’t be all that tough. It’s fun to see them without all the makeup and expensive clothes and having “regular folks” problems.

CELEBRITY MUG SHOTS

NAME YOUR FAVORITE CELEB

Nick Nolte, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Gary Bussey, Paris Hilton, Robert Downey Jr.,

Jane Fonda, Mike Tyson, Yasmine Bleeth, Macaulay Culkin, Kloe Kardashian, Heather Locklear

AMERICAN IDOLS ?

10/25/2021 **DUMB 💩💩 AWARD**   Leave a comment

I’ve given a lot of thought to reintroducing this “Dumb Shit Award”. It’s something I instituted on my former blog and I feel it’s time to bring it back. We’ve become what is known as a target-rich environment. This award is only given to people or things that have earned this prestigious honor.

So I’d like to introduce the first “Dumb Shit Award” winner for 2021, namely anyone who refuses to be vaccinated against Covid-19. All of those “Dumb Shits” who think by defying the government they will somehow protect the rest of use from infection. Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot, those “Dumb Shits” could care less about anyone else. Congratulations to you all.

TO COLLECT YOUR AWARD, REPORT TO YOUR LOCAL VACCINATION CLINIC

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