Law Enfarcement in America’s Third World County™

Just another *cough* typical *cough* interaction with putative “law enforcement” in America’s Third World County™. . .

[Phone rings]

Me: Hello.
Caller: This is [some redneck] with the [Third World County™] Sheriff’s Department. What can I do for you?
Me: You called _me_. What do you want?
Caller: Dispatch gave me your name and number and told me you requested a call.
Me: What name?
Caller: Junior [Redacted].
Me: Junior [Redacted] lives two miles from me. What number did dispatch give you?
Caller: [recites my landline number]
Me: That’s not Junior [Redacted]’s number.
Caller: Sorry.
Me: *click*

I should have asked if dispatched was referring to Junior [Redacted] or Junior [Redacted] Junior, his son, although they live (lived? Is Junior [Redacted] still among the “quick”?) in “manufactured homes” catty-cornered from each other. . . (and Junior [Redacted] Junior now runs the family business).

Safe Spaces

Elsewhere on the Interwebs, an acquaintance quoted Sir Conan Doyle,

“There are many men in London, you know, who, some from shyness, some from misanthropy, have no wish for the company of their fellows. Yet they are not averse to comfortable chairs and the latest periodicals. It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one. Save in the Stranger’s Room, no talking is, under any circumstances, allowed. and three offences, if brought to the notice of the committee, render the talker liable to expulsion. My brother was one of the founders, and I have myself found it a very soothing atmosphere.” ~ Sherlock Holmes, “The Greek Interpreter”

A sort of 19th Century British “safe space.” *meh* My “safe place” is designed for the safety of others. I’m thoughtful that way.

I have my “Curmudgeon’s Corner” home office for that. Comfy chair. Semi-adequate research capabilities. TONS of books and periodicals. Fine music. Phones NOT allowed. And “Do NOT Disturb” is well-observed by the household. A “Misanthropists’ Club” would probably include some asthmatic wheezer or “irritable bowel gurgler” to harsh my curmudgeonly “mellow.” *heh* No thanks. 😉 (OK, I do allow the dog to share the space, sometimes, even though his presence tends to curdle my curmudgeonry into a genuinely peaceful attitude. Oh, well. The sacrifices I make for his adoration. . . 🙂 )

My observant reader *heh* will note. . .

That something different is goin’ on here at America’s Third World County. . .

Yeh, the theme I’d used for years was broken by an incompatible WP upgrade, and I’m reduced to using an outa the box plain vanilla theme. Probably for the best. I may reinstall a few of the plugins I once had installed and re-list a (very trimmed down) set of blogs and other features. . . eventually.

Meanwhile, I think this will just serve as what it became six or seven years ago, after its first six or seven years as. . . something else, and just be the place where the voices in my head are free to utter. . . whatever opinions they have. (I’m always interested in what they have to say, whether anyone else is or not. 😉 )

Sometimes, Unintended Consequences Have MASSIVELY Unintended Benefits

All the manufactured sturm und drang of folks upset that “their” criminal candidate–surprisingly!–managed to lose a fixed election to a clown has driven more and more #NeverTrump -ers into reluctant defense of the Orange Clown, and reluctant Trumpery voters into firm support for a pres-elect no thinking person wanted.

Chill or lose even bigger down the road, dumbasses.

“The trouble began” the morning after the election, when the principal of West High emailed the teachers: “Please be positive and strong and teach the heck out of our kids today.”

By the Skin of Their Teeth

I see a lot of silly folks crowing about having a “Republican” in the WH along with “Republican control” (by the skin of their teeth) of Congress.

So? It means little to nothing, really, since any “conservatism” in the Republican Party is no different to the “conservatism” decried by R.L. Dabney in his day:

“Conservatism’s history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward to perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It tends to risk nothing serious for the sake of truth.”

But at least one good thing has come of The Trumpery’s win in the prexy race:

Lotsa FUD* Goin’ On. . .

*Fear, Uncertainly, and Doubt

With the national election only days away, the FUD is strong in the Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind, social media, and just out and about “on the street.” I see/hear talk about nuclear war with Russia, a “feddle gummint” crackdown on dissenters–including fear that “they” will be “shooting us down in the street,” and so on.

Well, I’m glad to live where I do. Yeh, there’s some of that FUD floating around here in America’s Third World County™, but while “they” can try “shooting us down in the street,” it wouldn’t fly here, where firearms outnumber citizens by at least six to one, retired military are in very high ratio to the rest of the county population, we have very nearly Afganistan-like terrain (with even better cover most of the year, nearly as many cave systems/square mile, many of which are on no one’s maps or records–because PRIVATE, and excellent backwoods trails and waterways for transport), and the local National Guard unit would _definitely_ be on the side of the citizens. Heck, my neighbors and I could probably outgun the local LEOs, not that we’d need to if a “feddle gummint they” started trying to push in. Again: would side with citizens, like the local NatGuard unit.

“Red Dawn” was bush league by comparison to Third World County™ standards.

And then there’s the prevalent attitude: “Let them come.”

BTW, the county was almost precisely balanced between Repugnicant stalwarts and Ron Paulistas in the last prexy election, with nearly as many Paulista write-ins as votes for Romney. Neither Dhimmicrp vote counted for much at all.)

Oh, where is “America’s Third World County™”? Nowhere near my IP address. . . 🙂

A Note About Book Blurbs

If you read a book blurb that includes comments like,

“absolutely suspenseful” and “an ending you’ll never see coming!”

. . . just know that the normative translation into words reflecting reality for those phrases is “utterly boring” and “entirely predictable.”

A Musing: Driving

I’ve observed changes* in my driving over the past couple of decades–maybe “few” would be more like–mostly for the better.

For one thing, I’m more conservative in my driving now than in previous decades. Part of that–a large part–is due to conscious changes to my habitual driving behaviors. For example, while I never had my first car (1953 Chevy Bel Air, 6 cylinder, 3 on the column manual transmission) above 110 mph (to my knowledge; the speedometer pegged at 110 😉 ), I did, of olden days *heh*, regularly and habitually travel at whatever speeds I thought I could handle in whatever vehicle I was driving. . . without getting caught. Yeh, I did get a speeding ticket one time, but that’s a long story.

Now, I habitually travel at posted speeds, only exceeding the speed limits for passing, or when keeping to the posted speed would seriously impede traffic, or a few times when I zone out, as it were, and do not maintain conscious control of my lead foot.

And “more conservative”? Yeh, I just noticed this morning that a turn-off on a 55 mph-posted highway that has a 25 mph posted “recommended speed” cautionary sign that I used to take at the posted 55, I now, apparently, have a “new normal” 45 mph turn-off speed. *shrugs* That one seems to have happened all on its own.

Or perhaps it was just an effect of a coffee deficiency. *shrugs* It felt “right” though.

Some old patterns remain, of course, and some older things I was taught when I first started driving are reasserting themselves, or I have decided they are worthwhile patterns to re-engage. For example, I do still have problems with some slowly-moving roadblocks. Oh, I don’t so much mind slowing down for horse-drawn carriages or farm or road maintenance equipment that are occasional “slowly-moving roadblocks,” and especially the school buses on two lane roads and highways here in America’s Third World County™, but folks who cannot even manage a double nickel on roads that were originally designed and built for faster travel, simply because “Hills! Curves! Scary!” or other mental handicaps really irk me.

And it does take some serious self-control, still, to not answer some asshat’s high beams with the same.

But overall, less agressive driving is my new norm. The old “one car length for every 10 mph when following another car” does make passing “slow-moving roadblocks” a bit more challenging when on two-lane highways, but it’s my renewed norm, and, in fact, on some roads here in America’s Third World County™ where I know I can expect some “slowly-moving roadblocks,” I tend to drive even more conservatively than my ancient “Driver’s Ed” instructions dictated.

But more gripes still abound. The aforementioned “slowly-moving roadblocks,” folks who think the ONLY setting for their headlights is high beam, wanderers (“Hey, doofus! Find your lane and stay in it! That double yellow line before that blind hill/corner is there for a reason. I don’t want to have to avoid your head-on collision with someone in oncoming traffic!” *sigh*), people performing a “GHETTO STOP” on two lane highways (in 55 or 60 mph posted speeds) having conversations between their cars blocking the highway, etc., have convinced me that Lovely Daughter’s dream of taking the cars away from 80% of the drivers on the road is a worthy dream. *heh*

Other things: I used to find cruise control to be useful. No longer, not even on Interstate highway driving. I find it a barrier between me and the road. I want to have to think about what I’m doing a bit more than just pointing the car in this direction or that.

All our current vehicles have automatic transmissions. I really miss manual transmission driving. The engagement factor, again. I may address that lack sometime in the coming year. . . or not. Something to think about.

I simply cannot understand folks who apparently drive no further ahead of themselves than their noses. IMO, folks who do not “drive” at least a quarter mile ahead of their own position (while maintaining observation to everything between their position and the distance they drive ahead) should have automatic “dope slap” mechanisms installed in their head rests. Really. Continue reading “A Musing: Driving”

Power and Corruption

A small war of words between Lord Acton and Frank Herbert:

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” ~Sir John Dalberg-Acton

“All governments suffer a recurring problem: it is not that power corrupts, but that it is magnetic to the corruptible.” ~ Frank Herbert, Dune.

My own take, in brief:

Actually, it is both. Most folks can be corrupted by the ability to exercise power over others. For some, it is after the fact: they seek power because they are corrupt; for others it is a very small step; for still others it is a process that proceeds at snail’s pace, so that the longer they exercise power–even intending that exercise to be for the good of their charges–the more corrupt they become.

A minor example of this is parenthood. A parent exercises just power in raising their children within sensible boundaries so that they can lead (generally) happy, productive, and safe lives (within whatever areas are under their control). That authority/power should phase out as the children achieve maturity. It is when children either eschew the responsibilities of maturity and continue to rely on their parents for support or when parents continue to exert controlling “influence” over their grown children that the process–and the individuals involved–either become corrupt or reveal their corrupt nature.

And so with government: exercising controlling power over a supposedly free people is corrupt and illegitimate. Those who want to be a part of that control are corrupt to begin with. Those who become a part of that process with the goal of ameliorating the effects of such illegitimate power inevitably either become corrupt themselves or are purged by the system.

(Long version: The Revolt of the Masses (Ortega) and Suicide of the West (Burnham), et al)

“Based on a True Story”

Whenever I see “based on a true story” hitched to any sort of media presentation, I understand that the “based” part simply means, “Something happened. One or more elements of what happened may appear in the following presentation. . . or may not.”

Of course, this makes such media presentations “truer” than a typical “news” story, so there’s that. . .