Goodbye Barry - Welcome Home AMERICA!

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!


Friday, January 16, 2015


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 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 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 billion seconds ago it was 1959.

A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

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

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

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
to rebuild New Orleans.
An interesting number, but what does it really mean?

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

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

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

Washington , D.C


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!)


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


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

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

What the hell has happened to our country?

Saturday, January 10, 2015


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.