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February 2016
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Responsible Marijuana Use

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The responsible recreational smoker of marijuana will smoke with a plastic bag over his head and tied around his neck.

Thatisall.

(Pseuo) Legitimizing Slavery

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Ted Cruz on Drafting Women Into the Military: “We Ain’t Doing It…”

A military draft is in the new again, with some proposing extending raft “eligibility” to women. While this might seem fair (sauce for the goose, as it were), I demur. A nation that cannot survive with a volunteer military does not deserve to exist.

The draft is government-sponsored slavery. A modern military cannot function properly when staffed with slaves, and a slave military has no place in our Republic. Attempts previous to the 20th Century were struck down on constitutional grounds. Of course, that didn’t stop Mr. Lincoln, any more than the Constitution stopped him from other violations of individual rights.

Things were different when Wilson was putting political opponents in jail, and military slavery was given a wink and a nod for WWI. . . WWII? I have known many men of my dad’s generation. None of them who served _admitted_ to having been drafted, and I knew more than a few of my dad’s friends whom I know volunteered along with him–his whole dance band, for example, enlisted in the Navy en bloc.

I repeat: A nation that cannot survive with a volunteer military does not server to exist. The draft is simply wrong in a democratic republic.

OTOH, those who are unwilling to volunteer in time of war probably shouldn’t be allowed to vote, either. JMO, of course.

Stupid Sports Writing

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Yeh, I know, “stupid” is redundant, right?

“The Broncos authored one of the greatest defensive performances in Super Bowl history. . . ”

Authored?

#gagamaggot

Nota Bene

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Sometimes, when I say “I DGARA” (and I have been known to do so), it’s not because I’m stingy; it’s because I really do not have a rat’s patootie to give.

Thatisall.

Good, Bad and Downright Ugly

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I “buy” more than a few free ebooks. Book blurbs, reader reviews, and sample text allow me to filter many unworthy offerings, but some do slip through. And then there are the borderline examples. Well-written, for the most part, interesting stories (again, for the most part) with characters that seem more genuine than not (not that “genuine” is always good, when a young, semi-or-sub-literate writer is genuinely reflecting his/her own cohort *sigh*), etc., but with gaping holes in literacy, research, or understanding of a few basic concepts.

Many of the problems noted here could be easily mended were it not for the frequently overriding problem of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. It seems many writers don’t feel a need to have competent, literate line and copy editors (or are too chintzy to pay for such). After all, they have their attendance certificate (diploma) from some college or university, so that MUST mean they are literate and competent, and do not need to seek out someone who is literate and competent to line/copy edit their “masterwork,” right? Wrong. Even the most literate and competent writer can use literate, competent editing by a third party, preferably an adult. No, a real one.

The worst problems aren’t language or character development or plotting. No, the worst problems in a lot of writing in many of these freebies by millennial “grups” lie in their basic world view, their misunderstandings of human nature formed by living in a morass of media fantasy instead of

An example (I’ll name one author who deserves praise and not name another who tried really, really hard [#gagamaggot] to write a decent story but failed, “deserving” only a “participation trophy”): Many of the freebies I read are introductions to series. Good practice. . . if the intro is a good read. Some of them I read specifically to review for recommendation/disapprobation for my Wonder Woman who is always seeking new writers to appeal to her students, especially her 7th/8th grade students. This practice led me to read (for review) a book by Shelley Adina, “Lady of Devices,” a steampunk “romance” (NOT capitalized), where, for the first book at least, “romance” ~ “adventure,” as it once meant. I was so surprised by the quality of the writing (in all aspects–good use of English, good plotting, character development and descriptive narrative, etc., as well as a really sensible Victorian feel to the book that I have since read everything else Adina has written in the series,* and felt privileged to pay to do so.

Another book I just finished attempted to do what Adina accomplished, in the same genre, but the writer was both not competent in those areas where I praise Shelley Adina and apparently did not see the need (or was too cheap to pay) for competent, literate line/copy editing. On top of that, the writer committed the cardinal sin of placing “message” above story and periodically throughout the text ended up pontificating on points of the society she had designed with which she disagreed, instead of letting the story simply speak for itself. Bad writing, that, really bad writing.

And that was on top of presenting some basic concepts of human nature and relationships in what I have come to expect to be typical of jejune, shallow, millennial crybabies.

Sad. There were moments of sound grade “C” writing, with gusts up to “B+” on occasion, but I had to give the book a “One star that should be zero stars” rating and could NOT recommend it for young adolescents, as I resoundingly recommended the Adina books.

Seriously, most of these young writers really, really need to submit their work for correction and critique to literate, competent adults (NOT something they are likely to find among their circles of acquaintances) before releasing it into the wild.


*She’s also written some contemporary “juvies” directed toward (it seems middle school girls. I’ve not read those, but I did suggest that my Wonder Woman look into them for her libraries, given the quality of Adina’s steampunk books.

For the Record

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“Social Justice Warrior” movements are full of [“Shiite”].

Thatisall.

Now Is the Time for All Good Men to Come to the Aid of Their Country

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(And any doofus who objects to my use of the generic term, “men” to refer to “people” as “sexist” can eat my shorts.)

I’ve voted in every election I could get my hands on for the past 46 years, and even worked as a volunteer on a couple of campaigns when I was a young pup, full of piss and vinegar and hope and lofty ideals (though only for one Democrat who was a pretty good guy until he reached his level of greatest opportunity for the corruption of his expressed and demonstrated–to that point–ideals *sigh*). I’ve always tried to stay as plugged into local and state politics as possible, though not to the degree I will admit my Wonder Woman has (she once had a problem with an unresponsive state bureaucrap and lit a fire under the whole office with one speed dial call to our local state rep, a guy she’d done some committee work with. Problem solved by “remote control” in about an hour).

All that to say that I’ve had more than 50 years’ experience (you didn’t think I was twiddling my thumbs as a lad before I had my first chance to cast a ballot, did you? ;-)), trying to decipher politicians’ bullshit, buffoonery, balderdash, pontifications and outright lies. As a result, I’ve only cast two votes for candidates for office that, in hindsight, I truly regret. Oh, I have cast votes for snakes, crooks, dumbasses, inconsistent and self-contradictory weasels, and lesser sons of satan knowing full well what they were, but also knowing they were the lesser of evils on offer. *sigh* Not always, Deo gratis, but often enough to find discouragement with our political process a very nearly constant companion.

That’s pretty much how I view most of the candidates from the local level all the way to the national level, this year so far: snakes, crooks, dumbasses, inconsistent and self-contradictory weasels, and lesser sons of satan. Oh, there are some decent candidates, I’m sure, but do ANY of those “decent candidates” have the integrity and intestinal fortitude to remain decent once in office, or is their decency just a thin crop sown on shallow ground, unable to stand the temptations and pressures of power, however petty or great?

The duty of citizens is to gather all information possible about candidates, weigh concerns and then work for* and vote for the election of those they believe will do the best for the republic in whatever office the candidates of choice are running for.


*”work for” does not necessarily mean working directly for a candidate’s campaign. And, of course, one must balance time and resources and select a candidate (or candidates) one believes to be 1. running for an office that will impact the individual citizen’s priority concerns and 2. that the citizen voter feels he can make the biggest impact for with his time and effort.

Fostering Subliteracy

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Speaking of a past event, with the context implying a past perfect contrafactual, some moronic TV writer has a character spread illiterate speech with, “If that limo didn’t have Lojack. . . ” But the limo DID have Lojack, and so the character was found and rescued. So, “If that limo hadn’t had Lojack. . . ”

These kinds of exceptionally stupid errors with tenses indicate a failure of temporal awareness, a failure of reasoning ability, and extreme laziness. When writers do it, it’s also a sign of contempt for their readership/audience. Really? Yep. If they had any respect for their readership/audience, such writers would have learned how to form such phrases literately, correctly.

I despise such lazy, disrespectful, unethical thieves. Yes, thieves. They take money for supposedly using their writing skills but have not bothered to acquire the skills they accept pay for (or are too disrespectful of their readership/audience to properly use skills they have. Frauds. Such people should be lashed daily with dangling participles, for the rest of their disgusting lives.

Well, THIS Is Gonna Be Fun

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Well, for values of fun that include making finicky repairs on small electronics with arthritic fingers. *heh*

Hardware fault on the lil lappy I’ve been using for the past six years for casual Internet browsing, email, etc. while away from my primary computer (which is any time I’m sitting with my Wonder Woman and she’s on her lappy). So, backup lil lappy. And this time, when I say “lil” I mean :tiny”–a discarded netbook I rehabbed and installed Linux Mint on. Works surprisingly well, apart from

1. Cramped keyboard *feh* that makes typos almost certain, and
2. Crappy, tiny mushpad, and
3. Difficulty disabling the crappy, tiny mushpad, making typing even more of a chore–strictly “Biblical method” typing (“seek and ye shall find” *sigh*)

I will figure out that last one. . .

Meanwhile, decision time: definitively diagnose and repair the other lappy or replace it? I don’t really want to purchase a Win10 laptop, so pickings might be slim. For a casual use lapptop, Win7 works pretty well, shich is the reason I had kept that one at Win7 Pro. I like the way Linux Mint works just fine on this lil thing (apart from the obscurantist nature of disabling the touchpad–although it’s probably a simple task and I’m just missing something that’s staring me right in the face. Only one cuppa joe and all that.*heh*)

Anywho, at least most of my data from my regular ole lappy is secure elsewhere, apart from recent bookmarks and the like. The only really irksome things about replacing it with a Linux or Win8.1/10 compy would be

  1. The PITA of putting Win7 version of Freecell on one (it has a more attractive look than any other version I’ve seen out there for other OSes, and I use it for “Freecell Zen” mind-clearing)
  2. Transferring the record of nearly 10,000 to 0 win-loss would be nice, too. *heh*

Yeh, like that is such a big deal, eh? 😉

Do You Really Want to Be Stuck in Your Current Carcass Forever?

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Every now and then, this just seems appropriate. . .

As poets have mournfully sung,
Death takes the innocent young,
The rolling-in-money,
The screamingly funny,
And those who are very well hung
–W.H., Auden

(Well, , if this is true, _I_ certainly ought to live forever.)