Wednesday, September 20, 2017
The Wall Street Journal today has a short editorial (click) lamenting the loss of young people's recognition of the doctrine of 'Freedom of Speech.' The thing that these young people have lost is far greater than anyone wants to admit.
This country has unique freedoms. Nowhere else is it possible to do many of the things that we take for granted.
The Bill of Rights freedoms
We not only take these unique freedoms for granted, they are so ingrained in our consciousness as rights that we don't realize that other governments do not provide these things for their citizens. Many societies live constrained by laws and regulations that are completely foreign to people in the United States.
There is no particular significance to the date today, but it is a good day to remember our freedoms and be thankful that we have them. No other country does.
As we go about our daily business, it is easy to forget these basic freedoms. There are those who would remove them from us wholesale or one at a time. We must be vigilant and jealous of our freedoms.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
I remember when Bill Clinton gutted the budget of the Forest Service. It was a move that cost him little, but the impact was huge.
Bill Clinton's forte was doing this sort of thing: utilizing his unparalleled freedom to pursue whatever ill intentioned purposes that his domination of the slavish press afforded him. Clinton was a pre-eminent manipulator and he knew it. He left this country poorer in many ways, some of which are just now coming to light.
Bill Clinton was not a terrible president, but he is a Democrat, and he was guilty of robbing meaningful federal programs which benefited all Americans to fund pet programs of the social engineering type. The damage he did to our Forest Service was extensive.
Donald Trump has pledged to right these wrongs, and this is a good start.
Now, on to the utter shambles that Obama left a lot (nearly all of them) of the other departments in.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Irma is gone and good riddance. She had some violent times, but fortunately by the time she got here she was a much more sedate individual.
We have several more brewing in the usual places. The nearest one, Jose, gives all indications of missing us completely. More major hurricanes this season are certainly possible, but we hope not to see them.
Irma came through here late Sunday night and early Monday morning. Our power was knocked out at about 1 AM Monday. It was not restored until Thursday afternoon. Cable service was finally restored Friday sometime after I went to bed.
It was an awful week.
As in all things, it could have been worse. The keys were hit very hard, and the droves of population fleeing Dade/Broward/Collier and other counties to the south of us jammed the interstates for days. I'm glad I wasn't among that throng.
Gasoline availability and other necessary services were maintained amazingly well. Republicans know how to manage these things far better than the idiots who have been doing this for the past eight years.
Things were not perfect, but the effectiveness of our emergency preparedness was reflected in the fact that there were few news stories about the foul-ups that occurred. Knowing that these stories would lead the news if they had been available, it is good to think of the hair pulling of the editorial staff at CNN when they had no gripes to air.
Personally, I spent Monday and Tuesday nights in a dark empty house, my Kindle reader sustaining me through the doldrums. Wednesday night, I joined Mo in Plant city at Cully's and Desiree's house along with a couple of their friends.
Which gave me the opportunity on Thursday to make a connection with Mo's granddaughter, Olive.
She is 4, and has regarded me with suspicion from the beginning of our acquaintanceship. Olive would not stay in the same room with me unless someone else (Mo) made her. Thursday, at her house, the circumstances were quite different. We were in her home turf, where her defenses were down, and she was open to interaction with this stranger Pappa Tom.
It worked very well. She began things by showing me some 'artwork' that she had in progress, pencil on lined spiral notebook paper. We spent 1 1/2 to 2 hours conversing about a wide range of topics: cats, dolls, and the passing of her great-grandfather.
Love and death were prominent in her mind. It was a touching experience. She is a sweet little girl.
Desiree was also welcoming and hospitable. She and I spent a good bit of the morning talking of her aspirations and the means that she might use to advance her real estate career. There are many highflown career traps that are promulgated by educational institutions.
The sales pitch to attract students into these programs sounds like it ought to work, and for some people it does, but the credentials that are given by these institutions are not what employers want. Jobs that are available are for people who are differently trained then make a move to administration: a nurse, for instance, becomes a necessary component of a hospital's management staff.
It isn't quite fraud, the people who design these programs know how to keep clear of those charges, but it isn't honest either.
And education has become the latest home for the greatest scoundrels around. The cost of a sheepskin these days is astronomical. Far beyond its value.
Power was returned, and my house is slowly getting back to normal. My yard man has given me a relatively reasonable sum for his services in picking up the lumber from my dock which litters the yard. We have not reached a decision on relocating my boat, which now is perched near my giant oak tree, only about one third in the lake.
Mo was aghast at the fact that insurance will not cover replacing the dock. It was all I could do to keep from laughing at the suggestion.
She still seems to think that insurance is for the benefit of the person who pays for the policy.