Goodbye Barry - Welcome Home AMERICA!

Monday, March 2, 2015

INTERNMENT AND RESETTLEMENT OPERATIONS - for Americans on American soil!

Some of you will be more interested in this than others, although ALL should be... go to https://www.facebook.com/groundzeroradio , click on "Like" and then find the "light reading" post in the upper center of the page and click on "Like". A .pdf file will download, revealing Army Field Manual 3-39.40 "INTERNMENT AND RESETTLEMENT OPERATIONS". It's an eye-opener.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Analysis of the Classic Poem "INVICTUS"



In 1875 one of William Ernest Henley's legs required amputation due to complications arising from tuberculosis. Immediately after the amputation he was told that his other leg would require a similar procedure. He chose instead to enlist the services of the distinguished surgeon Joseph Lister, who was able to save Henley's remaining leg after multiple surgical interventions on the foot.  While recovering in the infirmary, he was moved to write the verses that became "Invictus", which was not published until 1888.  This period of his life, coupled with recollections of an impoverished childhood, were primary inspirations for the poem, and play a major role in its meaning.  I believe "Invictus" - Latin for "Unconquered" - to be about his very personal exploration of the indomitability of  the human "spirit".  Looking at each quatrain individually, I have come to the following conclusions (in blue)…

"Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul. "

The first two lines could reflect his awakening from whatever anesthetic was available in the mid-1800's (probably chloroform - 1831), or the black pit created within his own mind at the thought of losing his legs at the age of 26 years.
The last two lines indicate an uncertainty about the existence of supreme beings (it has been suggested that Henley was an atheist).  But, just in case there be gods, he thanks them for giving him the strength to carry on with his life.

"In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed."

Basically, this is his "Shit happens" statement.  The circumstances of life in the mid-1800s (when the disease of tuberculosis was commonplace) had descended upon him full force, assaulting his body… but his spirit would not yield!

"Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid."

Looking toward the future, he sees the specter of death ("the Horror of the shade") watching him with great anticipation. Yet - knowing that - he chooses to go forth without trepidation… essentially "thumbing his nose" at death.

"It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul."

Here's where it gets a little tricky.  The English language (American version) is in a constant state of flux, ever adding, subtracting, modifying or creating words and phrases to more accurately communicate our thoughts, observations and feelings.  Considering that fact, and the inspiration for this poem, I expect that the use of the word "gate" here, is what we today refer to as "gait" (manner of walking).  Henley sees himself as embattled by the vicissitudes of fate (the "punishments", on his personal roadmap of life, being tuberculosis and amputation). He walks the pathways of his life as truly (strait) as he can, and yet under attack, he refuses to surrender to death, declaring HIS CONTROL OVER HIS LIFE!

Anyone who is not impressed with the power of INVICTUS, must be deficient in spirit.  The truthfulness of Henley's words was best demonstrated by the Jews imprisoned by the German Nazi's during World War II.  Although their bodies were trapped, many of them  sang a German folksong entitled "Die Gedanken Sind Frei" (My thoughts freely flower; My mind is FREE).  A subtle finger poke to the eyes of their captors.  Regardless of your physical circumstances, DO NOT permit your mind to be shackled, and NEVER SURRENDER!

Gil

Friday, January 16, 2015

TODAY'S TOP 5 GOP NOMINEES FOR THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION


Mitt Romney
Here's my take on MA Governor Mitt Romney - Romney is no worse than any other politician.  By that I mean, he tailors his speeches to the audience immediately in front of him, and he tends to favor big business interests (over those of the workers who MAKE big business successful) because he IS a part of "big business".  Throw his religious belief system into the mix - which many devotees of our assorted "mainstream religions" consider to be a "cult" - and, his public image, which is perceived as all too malleable, and you have the recipe for failed acceptance at the national level. Romney polls at around 20% today.

Socially, Romney may be a really fun guy! I wouldn't know, since we've never partied together.  But, IF he runs, it won't be for the office of "Entertainment Director"! He fails to project either the COMMITMENT or the STRENGTH which we so badly need in our national leadership. As a garden- variety Republican, he is also hampered by the public perception of the GOP - which is best described as "The Party of Gutless Wonders". And... there's not a nickel's worth of difference between Obamacare at the national level, and Romneycare in Massachusetts. If Romney turns out to be the GOP nominee, I am greatly tempted to NOT waste my time voting in 2016. I must have SOME level of confidence in a nominee before I will vote for him/her.


Dr. Ben Carson

Dr. Ben says all the right things that conservative Americans want to hear… but, he has a few things working against him.
          1. Dr. Ben is black, and our perception of a black president has been woefully "colored" (no pun intended) by His Imperial Highness, Barack (Hussein Obama) I. Rightly or wrongly, it will take a significant amount of time for the stain of Obama to fade from our collective memory.

          2. Dr. Ben is a political "dark horse" (again, no pun intended). He has no experience in what I refer to as "power politics".  Yes, there is politics of some sort involved in almost every field of endeavor. Large hospitals are quite political, but the level of political experience compared to national politics, is like comparing a AA minor-league baseball farm team to the major league pennant holders.

          3. Until 2014, Dr. Ben was absolutely unknown outside the medical field. He is  polling only in the 6%-7% range today.

However… someone who is not a professional politician, may be exactly what this country needs to get us off the fast track to Socialism, and back to our Constitutional roots.  It doesn't look at all promising for Dr. Ben at this juncture… but, "it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings."  I would vote for Dr. Ben over almost any of the other so-called "GOP frontrunners".

Jeb Bush

Governor Bush - I'm sorry… but, I believe that the USA has had all of the Bush family that it needed.  George H. was fairly competent, and George W. was… different.  "Gee Dubbya" as he became affectionately known, was seen as more… human, more approachable, more down-to-Earth than were his predecessors.  He impressed me as the "guy next door" type, who would loan you his lawnmower, and then invite you in for a cold beer when you were done.  He was reelected, but then, incumbents rarely lose - only 9 ex-presidents (who were not assassinated, or otherwise incapable of seeking a second term) share that distinction.  Jeb was notably unremarkable as the Governor of Florida, and would probably be equally, if not more - unremarkable in the Oval Office. He is polling at between 10% and 23%, so let's call it at mid-point -16% - just to simplify things.  Jeb leans noticeably to the left, and I therefore see him as an unlikely victor.

Chris Christie

Governor Christie's name is recognized, but his actions - or failures to act - have not been (at the national level).  This could work either for, or against him.  Physically, he is somewhat gibbous - we have not had an obese president since William Howard Taft.  His political career has been somewhat less than stellar, and he will be remembered no longer than the previous Governor of New Jersey (whoever that was). His eight year tenure is most remembered for the wide-ranging corruption probes which eventually led to the convictions of 130 officials from all levels of the state government.  That will be his "legacy"… which was heretofore unknown outside of New Jersey. Christie is polling between 6%-13%, so let's call it 9%.

Rand Paul

Senator Rand Paul (R -KY) is a self -professed constitutional conservative, who launched his Senatorial campaign in 2012, and within 24 hours of his announcement, created political online history in Kentucky when his campaign collected over $430,000 in donations. Paul is a relative newcomer to politics, and somewhat of a "maverick", who tends to drift away from the "party line" when he is so moved.  Personally, I like the idea that he is a constitutional conservative, inasmuch as there are too damned few of those in our national legislative body!  His father, Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), has a reputation of being somewhat unpredictable, which makes him a political maverick also.  "Mavericks" are not well-received in national politics because of their tendency to "march to a different drummer", which - in many instances - limits the "GOP establishment" support for their efforts. Rand Paul is currently polling between 6%-9%, so I'm calling it 8%.

Other Potential GOP Nominees

There are numerous other potential candidates who have not yet announced their intent.  I estimate their number to be between 30-40, of which a handful may stand an outside chance - the darkest of the "dark horses".  Most Americans have no idea who the majority of them are. The only name that I recognize is that of Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) of Wisconsin.  I am familiar with him only because he has been victorious over organized labor's attempts to remove him from office. The 2012 Wisconsin gubernatorial election were recall elections to elect the governor and lieutenant governor of Wisconsin. It resulted in voters re-electing incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker over the Democratic candidate Tom Barrett by a slightly larger margin than he had in 2010, in which Walker had also faced Barrett. Recall organizers opposed Walker's agenda, particularly his limiting of collective bargaining rights for state employees and they collected over 900,000 signatures to initiate the recall election process. There was also a recall for Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. She won her race, defeating Democrat Mahlon Mitchell, making her the first lieutenant governor to run in and survive a recall.
The recall elections were held June 5th, with Walker defeating Barrett. Walker was thus the first U.S. governor to continue in office after facing a recall election.
The recall election was just the third gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history and the only one in which the incumbent was not defeated.

Anybody that has the cojones to take a stand against the AFGSME, and their voracious appetite for more money and benefits at the taxpayers expense, is OK in my book. Walker is considered a "sleeper" for the 2016 Presidential Elections.  We could do a lot worse!

My "Bottom Line"

There are no true "champions", "guiding lights" or "shoe-in" GOP potential candidates at this time, but "this time" is still 22 months away from the 2016 Presidential Election.  There is no candidate that particularly "stirs my soul", or inspires me to vote for him/her wholeheartedly.  The GOP field is - IMHO - WEAK... and weak WILL NOT WIN!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Save the planet: Kill the Muslim Third Reich

There was an op-ed of sorts online this morning by Rock Star Hall of Fame member and Second Amendment activist, Ted "Uncle Ted" Nugent"...

during which, Uncle Ted was quoted as having said, "The only people who smile and rejoice in killing innocent people are those pure evil rabid dogs who kill innocent people. Hitler was evil. Stalin was despicable and evil. So was Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, Idi Amin and other such subhuman mass exterminators. The world is better off with these rabid dogs off the planet.
Now, I’ll admit I’m not opposed to putting hollow points to the back of the heads of human cockroaches and various other vermin who wish to imprison me with their braindead, toxic “values.” Truth is I want to eliminate them from planet Earth and erase them from the history books of the human race.
To show you how radical I am, I want carjackers dead. I want rapists dead. I want burglars dead. I want child molesters dead. I want the bad guys dead. Let the victims defend themselves in a timely, efficient manner. Double tap center mass. No court case. No plea bargaining, no parole. No time off for good behavior, no early release. I want ‘em dead." (The entire article is available at http://www.wnd.com/2015/01/save-the-planet-kill-the-muslim-third-reich/ for those who may be interested.) Some whiney-ass liberal piped up in the "Comments" section with, "Carjackers, rapists, burglars, molesters...all the bad guys dead is Ted's wish. Not that I totally disagree, but death is a bit harsh for some of these offenders." My response follows:

"Carjackers, rapists, burglars, molesters..." ALL terrorize somebody in order to do what they do. I would probably replace "burglars" in that list with "home invaders", but that's just me. "Uncle Ted's" bottom line is, that the criminal element in the world relies heavily upon acts of violence, intimidation by threats of acts of violence, the display of a deadly weapon to reinforce the severity those threats. Who, of sound mind, wouldn't be terrorized if they were unable to defend themselves and their family against such assaults? We should be less concerned about the rights of those perpetrating crimes, and more concerned about the rights of their victims to not live in fear and paranoia - real OR imagined.

The Islamist faction is obviously not a peaceful group! If it were, there would be reports of them carrying out spontaneous acts of love and peace toward their Infidel neighbors... there are no such reports, because the "radicals" among them will declare the doers of good to be apostates, and kill them along with their Infidel neighbors. When the "radicals" came, they would take up arms with which to REPEL them, and DEFEND themselves and their neighbors.

In-part, the problem is one of identification. The cowardly "Islamic radicals" do not have the courage to face their "enemies"- they do not wear uniforms, they HIDE among the population as civilians until they choose to attack those same civilians. They will NEVER face a military force - or even well-armed civilians - by choice, but only if they are trapped and have no option.

In what meaningful way are America's home-grown thugs any different than the Islamic terrorists? Okay, the numbers of the thugs victims are generally MUCH smaller, and they may only rarely have the intent to take lives in order to commit their intended crime. But, we're talking about the EMOTIONAL IMPACT on the victims - victims who ARE TERRORIZED when they are directly exposed to the face of evil. There is no measurable, noticeable difference!

I'm with "Uncle Ted"... wantonly take a life, forfeit your life - attempt to terrorize others, be prepared to forfeit your life on the spot... perhaps at the hands of your intended victim! I SUPPORT THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, THE "CASTLE DOCTRINE", THE SECOND AMENDMENT, AND THE RIGHT OF EVERY AMERICAN TO FEEL SAFE IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY!"

Sunday, January 11, 2015

THIS POPPED UP IN MY EMAIL A FEW MINUTES AGO, AND IT'S TOO (DISTURBINGLY) FUNNY NOT TO SHARE...


This is too true to be funny...

 
The next time you hear a politician use the Word 'billion' in a casual manner, think about whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.

 
A.
A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

 
B.
A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

 
C.
A billion hours ago our ancestors were
living in the Stone Age.

 
D.
A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

 
E.
How long does it take the United States Government to spend a billion dollars?
8 hours and 20 minutes



 
While this thought is still fresh in our collective brain, let's take a look at New Orleans ...

It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.

Louisiana Senator,
Mary Landrieu (D)
asked Congress for
250 BILLION DOLLARS
to rebuild New Orleans.
An interesting number, but what does it really mean?

 
A.
Well, if you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans  
(every man, woman and child)
you each get $516,528

 
B.
Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans, your home gets $1,329,787.

 
C.
Or, if you are a family of four...
your family gets $2,066,012.

 
Washington , D.C

HELLO!

Are all your calculators broken??

 
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax (Fed)
Federal Unemployment Tax (FU TA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge Taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax  
State Income Tax  
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax  
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
(And to think, we left British Rule to avoid so many taxes!)

 
STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?

 
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

 
We had absolutely NO national debt.
We had the largest middle class in the world.
And Mom stayed home to raise the kids!

 
What happened?
Can you spell

 
'politicians'!

 
And, I still have to "Press '1'
for English"!

 
I hope this goes around the
U
SA at least 100 times!

 
What the hell has happened to our country?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

NEVER - I REPEAT - NEVER SHOOT SOMEONE ELSE'S RELOADS! ESPECIALLY IF YOU DON'T KNOW THEM PERSONALLY!!!

I have always made it a practice to not shoot reloaded ammunition if I had NOT reloaded it myself... and I tend to load some fairly radical stuff, myself. About 6 years ago, and toward the beginning of the ammo crunch, I was living in Oregon and I had just purchased a new Glock 26 (9x19mm) from a locally-owned, trusted gun shop. I took my new prize home, and cleaned and lightly lubed it. I had no room to setup my reloading press where I lived, but I still liked to practice. The cost of a box of new 9mm FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) practice ammunition (and all others) had just about doubled overnight! The price of my G26 had a significant impact on my wallet, and my dealer said there were no savings to be found on factory ammo. Then came this little "ray of sunshine"...

He had just spent $17K on a completely automatic, Dillon commercial reloader, and had some 9mm, 115gr FMJ  reloads available for about $7 less (per 50) than factory ammo. Thinking that this would be an affordable way to test my new G26, I grabbed what remained of a box of 9mm factory Remington loads (about 15 rounds), ran by Wil's and bought 50 rounds, and then I was off to the range!

Loaded up my old Remington ammo, and went thru the first magazine flawlessly. For each squeeze of the trigger, there was an appropriate and expected **BANG**, and there was light showing thru the 15 holes in the black part of my target. I loaded up another magazine, pushed it into place, addressed my target, and squeezed off the first round. Something didn't feel right... the slide had failed to "return to battery" (go all the way closed as it should)! I looked down into the port, and the first empty case had failed to eject for some reason, and the nose of the next round was pressed against the back of that case, holding the slide open. I cleared the jam, removed my magazine, and extracted the empty case by working the slide. I was concerned about the failure to extract... since my other Glock 9mm had never failed to anything, and it was about 20 years old then. I did a quick field strip of the G26, removed the barrel, and held it up to my eye - I could not see daylight - an indication that there was an obstruction in the barrel, which ended my day at the range.

Upon returning home, I placed the G26 barrel vertically into a wood vice, slipped a brass rod into the chamber until it rested on the obstruction, and gave it one rap with a hammer. The bullet fell clear, and - in compliance with Newton's law of gravity - landed on the floor. I picked it up, grabbed my digital micrometer, and checked the diameter three times (0.399", 0.040", 0.399") which is 0.044-0.045" larger (45/1000") than the 0.355" diameter of a 9mm bullet. That's only about the size of an angel's pubic hair, but it moves the bullet diameter from 9mm up to .40cal! This called for a trip back to my trusted gun dealer, who became absolutely livid over the error, refunded the cost of the ammo (Glocks are indestructible), apologized, and explained that he didn't operate the machine himself. He had hired somebody who was (ostensibly) knowledgeable in the mechanics of reloading to monitor and feed the Dillon reloader. Inattention cannot be condoned when one is involved with gunpowder, or any other component used in the production of ammunition!  My experience was not one of "clear and present danger", other than for the fact there was a firearm involved. The conditions created by an incorrect projectile size posed no particular threat to life or limb, whereas an error in any other aspect could prove fatal to the shooter. When you trust others, you do so at your own risk!

Here's the way I see the ammunition situation today...
1. It was a manufactured shortage, created by the government, when DHS ordered 4 BILLION rounds of assorted (9mm, .40S&W, 5.56mm & 7.62mm) ammunition. This rendered the manufacturers equipment inaccessible for production of civilian orders.
2. It was an attempt to create a de facto means of eliminating civilian firearms. Without ammo, a firearm is only useful as an impact weapon - like a club, or a baseball bat.
3. The nonavailability of the most popular ammunition is finally beginning to relax, but that doesn't mean it will return to 2008 pricing. It's difficult for retailers to surrender that extra profit.
 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW - "THE INTERVIEW"

I watched "The Interview" on 12/25 - SAVE YOUR MONEY! It didn't quite suck, but - at its best - I smiled several times at something I found clever. After all the hoopla surrounding this film, I didn't find anything really funny in Sony's "comedy". On a scale of 1-10 "The Interview" gets a miserable 3.5.

I feel sorry for those poor folks who stood in ridiculously long lines waiting to see this "comedy". The acting was acceptable - Seth Rogen and James Franco (and whoever played Kim) upheld their end of the bargain, and the concept was very good, but the execution of the comedy - with one or two exceptions that caused me to smile - pretty-much flatlined.

Apparently, there are those who disagree with me, as indicated in this excerpt from a news article - "An afternoon screening at the Van Nuys Regency Theatres in the city's San Fernando Valley was two-thirds full and drew a diverse crowd ranging from teens to senior citizens, who laughed loudly throughout at Rogen and Franco's antics."It was much better than I thought it would be," said Carlos Royal, 45, a professor." His statement indicates that professor's in California are easily amused by humor so long as it is presented at the grade-school level.

It's possible that I may have some heretofore unspecified "Asian blood" in my heritage, because the South Koreans seem to agree with my position. From the same article as above - "In Asia, online audiences seemed to find the movie tedious.
"There is no drama and not much fun," said a blogger in South Korea. "It's all about forced comedy that turns you off. Couldn't they have done a better job making this movie?"

TEDIOUS!! That's the word I as looking for! An hour and fifty two minutes of tedium. Rogen and Franco are capable of MUCH better. "The Interview" makes my list of MOVIES WELL WORTH MISSING!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Desiderata (Things Desired - "Welcome" in Latin)


Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.  As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.  Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.  But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection.  Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.  But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.  Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

 Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.  You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
 
Origin Unknown

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

THE UNSETTLING EXPERIENCE OF OUIJA...


This post is in response to a couple of inquiries from some friends in Facebook...


I "played" with a Ouija board a couple of times as a child, when I was around 12 years old (by the time I was 13, I found girls to be more interesting).  The few questions I posed to it garnered surprisingly accurate answers, when I verified them.  But, that was the kind of stuff kids did before there were video games and "personal computers". In my mid-teens, I had several extra-physical experiences - precognitive dreams (aka: déjà vu), a sighting of (what I call) a "sprit house" (possessing three dimensions [that's a long story all by itself], but had no physical presence) that was no longer on that site, and an OBE in my late twenties.

I joined the Navy eight days after my 17th birthday, experienced 13 weeks of Basic Training at USNTC Great Lakes, Illinois, where I was selected for training as a Radioman.  I was a part of a very large group called "Burke's Boys" - enlistees who are selected for a particular field in Basic Training, but who were assigned to general duty in the fleet for 6 months before attending that training.  My first ship was the USS Tidewater, a destroyer tender at NOB Norfolk, VA.  That was where I spent my time polishing brass in the passageways, chipping paint and repainting various parts of the ship, rebuilding electrical motors, and inventorying all sorts of things that were required aboard ship.

Radioman "Class A" School at Bainbridge NTC, Maryland, was my next assignment.  At Bainbridge we learned basic electronics, typing and International Morse Code.  I enjoyed being on dry land again, and this assignment (as I recall) lasted about 3 months.  Upon completion of the course, I was reassigned to the USS Mount McKinley, a Fleet Communications Command Ship as a Radioman.

About 3 months later (1967-68) the Mount Mac (as the crewmembers called her) got underway for a 6 month Mediterranean Cruise.  One of the guys on the ship had a Oiuja board, and pulled it out one day while we were crossing the Atlantic Ocean.  Those of us who weren't "on watch" thought it would be a fun way to break up the monotony, and another shipmate and I began playing with it.  A group of about six gathered around us to watch.

We both placed our hands upon the planchette (pointer), and it began slowly moving around the board (it didn't seem to have any discernable pattern to it's movements, the pointer just seemed to roam around the board as if it was familiarizing itself with the layout). After about a minute, the pointer made a couple of big, quick, sweeping movements around the board, like it was comfortable with the board and ready to "do it's thing". It paused with the viewer over the letter "H", then moved to "U", then "R" and "T", and then paused for maybe 10 seconds. Okay… HURT. It then moved again, this time pausing momentarily on "P", then on "A", then "I" and "N". We now had HURT and PAIN… and we stared at each other blankly, each shrugging indication it had no meaning. So far, the message meant nothing to either of us. After another 8-10 second pause, the pointer moved and paused on the "V", and then moved to "I", and took then another long break.

We decided to try it again, and asked the board "Who are we communicating with?" "V" and "I" was the response, spelling "Vi". At that point I asked the guy on the other side of the board if he knew anybody named Virginia, Violet, Virgil or Vincent.  He didn't… but, one of the people watching blurted, "I DO!".  I turned my head to look at him… his face was drained of all color, and his pupils were the size of saucers! And then he told us his story…

His family lived on a working farm, with all the usual animals, crops and farming equipment.  The tools and equipment were all kept in the barn when they weren't in use, and the fuel for the equipment (tractor, etc.) was stored in a large old drum outside of the barn.  The drum had a slight leak around the valve, of which the family was aware. He said his younger sister (named Violet but called "Vi"), was playing around the old drum one day… with matches (that nobody in the family had any idea she had found), when the fuel ignited and extinguished her young life. On that day, I became a believer that the word "impossible" no longer had much practical meaning.  It had been demonstrated, to my satisfaction that there was a potential power by unseen forces to - under the right conditions - reach out from the afterlife.

WARNING

I know that - for myself - when I read something like this, I am almost immediately tempted to try it. Ouija requires no particular skill, no physical prowess, and can be navigated by even borderline idiots.  I would caution everyone who reads this - DO NOT run out to buy a Ouija "game".  Keep in mind that - as in the physical world - there are benevolent, neutral, and evil presences in the realm of "restless spirits".  The operators of the Ouija DO NOT get to pick and choose which type of "spirit" comes through the thin veil that separates the realm of our physical world from that of the non-physical world.  We were fortunate, in that this was a neutral spirit which was reaching out to one of our observers. There was no indication of malevolence in this instance.  I am not selling Ouija Boards, nor do I hold any stock in Parker Brothers… I am simply reporting a personal experience, and specifically NOT recommending anyone interact with a Ouija!  It's one of those "You pays your money, and you  takes your chances." things.  Personally, I have not touched a Ouija since that experience of over 50 years ago (but I also know that people will do what people will do). Should you choose to ignore my warning, I wish you the best of luck and safety. As a curious aside, I must note that Parker Brothers is located in SALEM, MA - "witch-hunt" headquarters in the time of the Pilgrim.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

YAY!! GASOLINE NOW UNDER $2.50 PER GALLON!!


Are you enjoying the LOWEST gasoline prices in 5+ years ($2.399 at Sam's Club today)? Wondering how they came to be so low all of a sudden? Well, enjoy it while you can… here's the bad news.

OPEC recently lowered their price per barrel from $100+ to $65.33. That was nice of them, wasn't it? Maybe, maybe not.  There are two things driving the price down -
1.      Reduced demand, and
2.      "Fracking" (fracturing) in the USA

Now, think about this - you are OPEC and you have about half the money in the world to work with. Your production costs (I'm just guessing here, impossible to find online) run $15-$20 per barrel, and you're selling it to the world at $100+ per barrel. Half-way around the world, U.S. companies begin fracturing oil shale - "Fracking" - and are retrieving oil at a production cost per barrel of $70. Also, understand that the fracking business began with several trillions of dollars of indebtedness to stock and bond holders.

How do you - as OPEC - maintain control of the market for the long run? By lowering the cost of your oil to 93% of the production cost of the upstart's oil. You're still gaining over 200% above the cost of production, and simultaneously driving the competition out of business. You (OPEC) can afford to do that until the frackers collapse under the weight of their debt. When that happens, you (OPEC) push the price up to $150 per barrel overnight.

The window of rejoicing WILL be limited - limited by how long the frackers can keep their collective head above water. According to published studies, we have approximately 3X the oil in western North Dakota's Bakken oil fields than all the OPEC countries combined!  I'm hoping that if things get "dicey", there will be a bailout by our government of an industry that is truly DESERVING of assistance.  In the long term, we WILL benefit from a bailout of fracking by becoming "energy independent" of imported fossil fuel. Which is precisely why the CURRENT administration won't permit it.