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Oh noes! Gays can legally get hitched!

There seems to be some sturm und drang in some quarters regarding today's Supreme Court decision shooting down the Clinton "Defense of Marriage Act."

I am not among the particularly peeved.

My attitude is much more aligned with Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds' view that the country he wants to live in is one where same-sex couples are secure in their Second Amendment rights.

Now, I do think it's a legitimate concern that some of the critics of today's USSC decision have, regarding the general erosion of the stability and desirability of traditional, heterosexual, child-producing families in the USA. In this process of erosion, governmental action has not been helpful, but as in most things, government policy is the result, not the cause, of a more general dysfunction in society at large.

You can call that dysfunction by many names, but at its core lies the most pernicious and destructive of humanity's many pernicious and destructive urges. Urges that have names like Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride.

Everybody experiences them. All of human history is written with these vices as primary motivators of human behavior. In stories, those that let these urges dominate them usually come to bad ends. Unfortunately, we've all also seen, in history and in our own lives, people who use these urges to grab, hold, and wield power over others.

The fundamental, corrosive dysfunction in today's Western Civilization is the systematic conversion of these human urges from vices into virtues. But even worse is the use of these vices to entice people in democratic countries to cede their rights and powers to the privileged few who seize the reins of power, and are loathe to ever drop those reins.

You can watch that sordid process going on daily in Washington, D.C., in State capitals, and in most major urban City Halls.

This will not end well. It never has before, and people haven't really changed since the ancient Iraqis invented irrigation.
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You know we have a BIG problem when . . .

You know that there is a huge problem in the United States when the Chancellor of Germany plans to discuss the NSA eavesdropping scandal with Obama when they next meet.

A question for Democrats and other Obama partisans: what--exactly--could Obama and his Administration possibly do which would cause you to seriously reconsider your support for him, and them?

If you can't answer that question honestly to yourself (or worse, if your answer is "nothing," then you are a danger to other people's freedom and liberty, and you should not be surprised if other people begin treating you as such.

If you do have an honest, principled answer to that question, then take a good, long look at what Obama and his Administration have already done. Chances are that they have already crossed your line--it's just that they've victimized people you don't have any respect for anyway.

What then does that say about your fundamental sense of fairness? Of your sense of humanity itself?
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Wait! I was told vote fraud was not a problem!

Poll worker convicted of voting fraud.

Guess which Presidential candidate got illegal votes cast on his behalf? Just guess. One guess.

How many more Melowese Richardsons are out there? Two others have been convicted in her county alone, and three more are yet to stand trial. How many counties did this election-stealing occur? Why do the overwhelming majority of these cases involve illegal votes for one party, and not the other?

How many illegitimate votes were cast how many votes for candidates of that party? Hundreds? Certainly. Thousands? Likely. Tens of thousands? Probably. Enough to steal elections? Well, why would people be doing this, except to steal elections illegally that they could not otherwise win?

And oh, by the way, during that same election cycle where the demonstrated vote fraud was occurring, the IRS and the entire weight of the federal government was working overtime suppressing its political opponents.

No. No conspiracy here. That's crazy talk.

Hat tip The Blaze.
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Memorial Weekend, 2013

Memorial Day is when we remember--not the veterans who returned home, but those who did not.



"I do not know whether it is to yourself or Mr. Adams I am to give my thanks for the copy of the new constitution. I beg leave through you to place them where due. It will be yet three weeks before I shall receive them from America. There are very good articles in it: and very bad. I do not know which preponderate.

What we have lately read in the history of Holland, in the chapter on the Stadtholder, would have sufficed to set me against a Chief magistrate eligible for a long duration, if I had ever been disposed towards one: and what we have always read of the elections of Polish kings should have forever excluded the idea of one continuable for life.

Wonderful is the effect of impudent and persevering lying. The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, and what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusets? And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it's motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion.

The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independant 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state.

What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two?

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure. Our Convention has been too much impressed by the insurrection of Massachusets: and in the spur of the moment they are setting up a kite to keep the hen yard in order. I hope in god this article will be rectified before the new constitution is accepted."
- Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, Paris, 13 Nov. 1787

(Paragraph spacing is mine; for readability only.)

This Thomas Jefferson letter is known primarily for the quotation "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure." But equally if not more insightful is an earlier Jefferson comment in the letter: "Wonderful is the effect of impudent and persevering lying. The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, and what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist?"

Free press, yes. But aren't we always told that with freedom (gained by the sacrifice of brave warriors) comes responsibility?

What has our free press done with the freedom they have been given, but lie to us at the whim of the very government which they increasingly depend on for their "copy."

It is past time to call for Separation of Press and State, every bit as restrictive as the separation of State and Religion which is daily imposed on even private citizens in the public sphere.

What shape would this Separation of Press and State take? It is hard to say. At a minimum, the State must not be providing funding to the Press: either overtly through "public broadcasting" or by purchasing advertising from media outlets.

Beyond that, you encounter conflicts between the rights of individuals and the requirements of this separation--just like conflicts occur between expressions of religion and the governmental duty to maintain public order.

But, on Memorial Day, is it really enough to put a hand over your heart, bow your head for a 10-second "moment of silence), and then dig into your burger and beer? Shouldn't people be talking about what the people who died in the service of this country gave up their lives for in the first place? Wouldn't that be a more proper and fitting memorial than a family picnic?

What have you done with the freedoms you have, which were secured by the blood of your fellows of this generation and of the generations which came before? What will you do with those freedoms?

Will you use your freedoms to take away the freedoms of others?

Because unless things change drastically in this country, that's exactly what we as a nation are doing right now. What kind of memorial is that?
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Is beer getting too bitter? YES.

I stumbled across an article in Slate which makes the point: beer makers, especially the trendy micro brewers, are addicted to hops:
So when a homebrewer friend recently decided to visit my husband and me from Tennessee, I was excited to spend time with a kindred spirit, someone with whom I could share my favorite brews without having to make a hard sell. The first brewery I took him to was Hopworks Urban Brewery, where I ordered us a pitcher of the Velvet English session beer.

After a few sips, I noticed that he had pushed away his glass. “I’m sorry, guys,” he said when he noticed our puzzled expressions. “This is just way too hoppy for me.”

I was floored. Session beer is light and drinkable—it’s called session beer because you’re supposed to be able to drink several over the course of a drinking session without ruining your palate. If one of my favorite session beers was too hoppy and bitter for an avid beer drinker—for a homebrewer who is currently brewing beer to serve at his own wedding—what would he think of the famed Pacific Northwest IPAs? Do friends let friends drink only pilsners?

That’s when I realized that I had a problem. In fact, everyone I know in the craft beer industry has a problem: We’re so addicted to hops that we don’t even notice them anymore.

The problem is endemic. And I think the last sentence reveals the problem: suds-heads have become desensitized to the bitterness of hops.

We can see the problem of desensitization everywhere in society, actually. We see it in the currently flourishing IRS scandal, where a corrosive Democrat-Media complex demonized Tea Party groups and people whose only crime is to actually think that the Constitution should perhaps be read for comprehension rather than "interpreted as a living document," and that progressive (pun intended) desensitization soaked into the fertile ground of the IRS.

This doesn't excuse the oppression coming from the IRS. Far from it. It simply highlights once again that this kind of political power is just too dangerous to hand to anybody.

Anybody.

Because it's far, FAR too easy to go down the path of thinking you're the "good guy" while you're happily suppressing your neighbors and friends. For their own good, you see.
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The problem is "assault people," not "assault weapons"

Stabbing injures several on Lone Star College Cy-Fair campus



Knives don't slash people. People slash people.

Inanimate objects are tools. They don't do anything. They don't think, don't feel, don't care. It is the purpose to which people use the tools which is the issue, despite the incessant partisan ideological shrieking of the control-freak media and their pet politicians.

Story headline stolen from a line by Ace of Spades
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Reminder: MSNBC is a propaganda, not a news network

Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism

Ratios of commentary/opinion to news content on "news" networks:

MSNBC: 85% commentary/opinion, 15% news;

Fox News: 55% commentary/opinion, 45% news;

CNN: 46% commentary/opinion, 54% news.

Note that MSNBC's commentary/opinion consists overwhelmingly of leftist propaganda, tropes, and groupthink, while Fox presents a range of leftist, conservative, and libertarian viewpoints. (I never watch CNN so I have no idea what their ideological mix is.)
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The 2012 Alaska Cruise, Part 3

The 2012 14-Day Alaskan Explorer, Holland America ms Amsterdam

Text and pictures by Snookums, webification by Filbert

Part Three

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

July 7 (Saturday, Day 10, Homer) –

Kilts in Homer. Why? Who knows?


Snookums, Filbert and Matt left the ship and looked for the rental car woman on the dock. We didn’t see anyone and asked a local to call the rental car number. We then found the woman in the big maroon van that was to be our rental car. She took us to the airport for us to do the paperwork and then we were off on our adventure.
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The 2012 Alaska Cruise, Part 2

The 2012 14-Day Alaskan Explorer, Holland America ms Amsterdam

Text and pictures by Snookums, webification by Filbert

Part Two

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

July 3 (Tuesday, Day 6, Juneau) -

Mendenhall Glacier


Filbert and Snookums walked to Juneau Car Rental Company, about a mile from the ship, for our 8-passenger rental van. We picked up everyone else back at the ship and drove to Mendenhall Glacier. Mom and Dad stayed in the visitor’s center while the rest of us “hiked” to Nugget Falls which is a waterfall near the glacier. The weather was nice and it was an easy walk. Pat spotted a mountain goat that all of us were able to see. Snookums still wants to see a bear and a moose, though!
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The 2012 Alaska Cruise, Part 1

The 2012 14-Day Alaskan Explorer, Holland America ms Amsterdam

Text and pictures by Snookums, webification by Filbert

Part One

(Remember to click "read more" if you're looking at this from the main medary.com page to get the whole article!)

June 28 (Thursday, Day 1, Flying to Seattle) -

Flying over Yellowstone


Note – Snookums, four of her siblings, her parents and her husband Filbert are on this cruise.

Our shuttle minivan to the airport showed up on time. Unfortunately, the driver didn’t know how to stow the seat in the floor and after 15 minutes, Filbert was the one that figured it out. In the meantime, Snookums called the shuttle’s office and requested another (complimentary) shuttle minivan be dispatched to Mom and Dad’s house. Our shuttle made it to Mom and Dad’s house and five minutes after we arrived there, the other shuttle arrived. The five of us (Mom, Dad, Judy, Snookums and Filbert) piled into the two minivans and took off for the airport. Jean and Matt (Snookums’s siblings) were there, too.

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