And never forget, but a few hours earlier:
As always, my gratitude to those brave men.
And never forget, but a few hours earlier:
As always, my gratitude to those brave men.
Last week I got this email message from CitiBank telling me all about the wonderful new benefits of using their little credit card. Here are the salient areas I want to talk about (and note the emphasized parts):
All these wonderful benefits will be mine after June 29 — which is kind of ironic because that’s the date I intend to cut up and cancel the card, after paying off the final balance.
And what does that final balance include, you may ask? Just the renewal fee for my annual membership at DFW Shooting Range.
“Leftist propaganda is usually split into two halves. The first half invokes a victim group of some sort, for whom we are expected to feel sympathy for their plight. The second half invokes hate towards a group that is portrayed as deliberately doing down, punishing or disadvantaging the first group. This process is a kind of emotional dialectic – a thesis and antithesis of oppressor and victimhood. Whilst the sympathy of the Left for the victim group sometimes comes across as strained, contrived or even hypocritical, the hate is expressed in a heartfelt and visceral way. This technique is one of the reasons why a debate with a Leftist nearly always departs from any cool rationality and descends into emotional irrationality and contradiction of terms. Emotions are used in this way because emotions are very, very powerful political tools for manipulation of peoples’ actions. Whole revolutions have been justified using this technique.” — David Eyles, Country Squire Magazine
Read the entire article: it’s magnificent.
Why do I giggle like a little girl when I read stories like this one?
Villagers are praising a fire that destroyed an ‘archaic’ toll booth that charged drivers 12p in cash only to cross the Manchester Ship Canal and caused frustratingly long traffic queues. Warburton bridge toll booth is suspected to have been reduced to ash by an arsonist who became fed up of waiting waiting to cross the bridge.
But wait! The powers-that-be are not taking this lying down:
The booth’s owners, Peel Ports, are planning to replace the destroyed structure with a more modern toll.
…and I hope this one gets torched as well, especially if it’s an expensive modern one. For a 12p (50c) toll? FFS.
Anyone remember the spate of vandalism directed at speed cameras in Britishland a couple years back? I do:
When Gummint has to put up cameras to catch the people who are vandalizing cameras, that’s when we’ll know we’re winning.
In the meantime back here in Murka, we can just fall back on the old (hypothetical, that is) question of whether one should use a rifle or shotgun instead of playing with matches; and if a rifle, what caliber? Myself, I tend to favor the .45-70 Government, but I’m prepared to listen to other suggestions.
As y’all may have gathered from my earlier post about needing a vacuum cleaner, I’ll be moving into my own place soon, leaving Doc Russia to get his house back at last.
A couple of thoughts: Doc had originally offered to put me up for a year, and subtracting the time I spent over in Britishland, France and South Africa on my sabbatical last year, that year is up (plus a month or so because it took me longer than I expected to find a suitable place to live). Needless to say, my gratitude for his generosity is beyond words — as I’ve said several times before, that generosity (coupled with the same from Mr. Free Market and The Englishman in Britishland) quite literally saved me, giving me time to relax, recover and rebuild my life after becoming a widower. No more need be said on that topic, because I’ve said it all before and anyway it just embarrasses them.
So: where to live?
Fortunately, I’d done a lot of earlier research after I sold the old house last year, and I’d at least eliminated the places that were totally unacceptable.
The biggest decision, about location, was the hardest. Of course, I’d want to stay in Plano (because I love the place, and it’s close to 2/3 of my kids); but where in Plano? The options:
When I started looking at places, though, the situation became much clearer. Frankly, the urban apartments, while all attractive from a location perspective, were either too small (500 sq.ft), too expensive, or a little run-down (Old Town especially). I liked the convenience, didn’t mind the noise, but ultimately I realized that I would need more space — and most importantly, none of them offered an attached garage: parking garage or street parking only. What I learned about that type of apartment served to crystallize my thinking on what I really needed, as opposed to what I thought I wanted.
My criteria for a Plano apartment, then, became quite simple:
I narrowed the choices to half a dozen “suburban” complexes, but three of them were really suburban, being miles away from any kind of shop, supermarket, drugstore, restaurants, whatever — and they were all expensive, too.
In the end, I found what I was looking for, and it satisfied every single one of the criteria listed above. In fact, the place is perfect save for two ugh! features: it has an electric stove top, not gas; and the cable/Internet provider is… AT&T*. [pause to allow the moaning and groaning to subside]
But those two problems aside, the apartment has mostly wood floors with carpet only in the bedroom, a separate dining room, a small study and a massive garage — almost one-and-a-half-car size — with lots of storage inside the apartment itself.
And cheap (for Plano).
I’ll be moving in around the middle of July. In the meantime, I have to earn Uber-$$ [sic] so I can afford to get the necessaries, e.g. some furniture, a washer and dryer (no laundromats for Kim oh no) and so on. Also, as The Spoiled & Ungrateful Children made off with all the kitchen goods, I’ll be needing to build that particular workshop from the ground up. Fortunately, I know quite a bit about the latter, having worked in the Housewares department in a large retail chain, so that won’t be as difficult as some of the other areas. (By the way: since when did halfway-decent kitchen cutlery become so damn expensive? Granted, it’s been about thirty years since I last bought the damn things, but still.)
So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to
the range pick up some passengers…
*I’ve had dealings with AT&T before, and they are the most dishonest bastards I’ve ever come across. Even their connection speed leaves room for dishonesty: “up to 50Mbps” — so they could deliver as little as 5Mbps and still be “technically” within their promise.
Thus spoke Italy’s new Minister of the Interior, addressing Italy’s migrant population. I have to say that I’ve been fascinated by the recent elections in Italy — it’s been quite Trump 2016-like, with populism, anti-illegal immigration and all the pearl-clutching horror from all corners of the political establishment that the stupid voters could possibly have elected so monstrous a couple of parties, the Liga (League) and the 5-Star Movement. Both parties campaigned hard against what they see as the ruin of Italy caused by “foreigners” (migrants and the EU).
Yeah, screwing up Italy should be left to the Italians. Their track record in this regard has been exemplary.
In fact, the only difference between 2018 Italy and 2016 U.S. is the Italian voters’ outright hostility towards the EU’s control of the Italian economy (and they have a point) — which was only exacerbated by the outright threats of the EU government towards the new government (see below).
But support for the election results has been pretty much universal in Italy:
Offering the new government cautious support was Italy’s small, far-right neo-fascist CasaPound party, which held its own Republic Day commemoration on Saturday. Banners featured images of a crossed-out EU flag and ‘#exIT’ written underneath, a reference to calls for Italy to leave the 28-nation bloc.
That, in fact, was what caused the political establishment to end their attempts to overturn the election results: a new election, from what I can understand, would have turned into a de facto referendum on continuing Italy’s membership in the European Union — and it’s quite clear that this scenario was frightening enough, and the “#exIt” outcome likely enough that the U.S.-style “Resistance” to the election outcome collapsed. Here’s the background to all of this:
The latest manifestation of this battle of wills between an authoritarian Brussels and individual nations trying to uphold democracy came this week with a set of extraordinary events in Italy.
After national elections in March, Italian voters committed themselves to what to the EU elite is the ultimate heresy. They voted in their millions for politicians who said they were prepared to abandon the European single currency.
The result was that two populist parties, the League and the Five Star Movement, came together to try to form a government.
There is little surprise that the Italian people are increasingly fed up with EU membership. Italy has struggled since adopting the euro currency 18 years ago.
Deprived of the ability to manage its own economy, there has been no cumulative economic growth since then.
In recent years, Brussels has imposed unelected technocrats to run the Rome government with savagely austere economic policies. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs.
Most outrageously, European commissioner Guenther Oettinger said the crisis would teach Italians not to vote for ‘populist’ parties next time.
Without a shred of evidence and in a manner akin to those behind Project Fear in the run-up to the EU referendum in the UK, he said menacingly that the financial markets would punish Italy and that votes for anti-EU candidates risked destroying the Italian economy.
In other words, if Italians do not vote the ‘right’ way the next time they go to the polls, they will be punished.
I’ve often thought that if the EU were to collapse, it would be because the Germans got sick of supporting the rest of Europe and went home. I was wrong. What started (and was crushed by Germany) in Greece has spilled over into Italy, and the Italians don’t seem to be in a mood to be bullied. (I was also wrong about getting tough on illegal immigration. I always thought it would be the French who would start — or at least threaten — mass deportations.)
This is big news. It’s the first time since the establishment of the EU — and all its forerunners — that a genuinely populist party (or coalition of populist parties, in this case) has been elected in Western Europe. (It’s akin to Britain’s UKIP winning a general election.)
Like the Italians, I don’t buy the threats of global financial collapse. For one thing, the Italian economy isn’t big enough to cause it, and the only “downside” would be if Italy’s solo efforts cause the euro — the single currency union — to collapse because other countries (e.g. Greece) follow suit.
Someone pass the popcorn. This will be interesting. And Viva Italia!