Saturday, August 6, 2016

Dead Parrot

Warning: some less knowledgeable will assume I am using bad language.  I am not.

 In days of old when nights were cold,  oh, wrong story.

In the old days, most people walked to get about.  There were other forms of transportation, but they were used by the wealthy and royalty.  In some instances, they were exclusive to royalty.  One of those modes was the ass.  Some folks would prefer I use the word burro or donkey.

A really wealthy person or royalty would have a stable of said animals.  If they traveled long distances, they would have a retinue.  The animals would be rotated like we rotate the tires (tyres) on our vehicles to extend tread life.  They would be a able to actually travel farther and more quickly by allowing the animals to rest unburdened.

If an animal were to die in 'the traces', as it were, a servant would be dispatched to get a replacement, one which had the most rest, much like a manager signalling for a relief pitcher, was brought forward.  The retinue would continue, leaving the dead animal beside the 'road' to be dispatched by scavengers.  The natural order of things, PETA.

The next time one hears a human being telling another human being to 'get off their dead ass...', remember, either person is likely ignorant of the origin of the phrase.  Person One is simply pointing out a servant is not going to appear with another imaginary ass, donkey, burro. to carry Person Two away.

As for the 'Dead Parrot', may I direct you to the 'Egress'.  Keep a sharp eye out for a 'Python' named 'Monty'.

Friday, August 5, 2016

More On the Language Police

Warning: contains language some may find offensive

  I probably should add an additional warning, but then, some I'm trying to reach would shy away.

  I'm a Christian.  I make no apologies.  I am a fundamentalist.  I make no apologies.

  The issue with some folks is they have not the slightest idea what a Christian is.  They are prejudiced.  They have formed an opinion based on the 'witness' of others.  That witness would not stand up in a court of law.  It would be inadmissible as hearsay.
  Let me repeat myself: It would be inadmissible as hearsay!

  Examine the evidence!

  The second issue it fundamentalism.  Read the previous.  I could be pedantic.  I taught at the post secondary level.  Christian fundamentalists are NOT uneducated, wild eyed fanatics.  There are five (5) points, positions which identify a Christian fundamentalist.

  Examine the evidence!

  Now to get down to 'brass tacks'.

  In my previous 'Language Police' post, I referred to a word that used to be used in past conversation.  I also ranted about the crazy, insane, prohibition of Latin abbreviations.  Here is another word the uneducated snigger about: piss.

  For those who get wound up, I present to you the King James Version of the Bible.

   I Samuel 25:22, 34
   I Kings 14:10; 16:11; 21:21
  II Kings 9:8; 18:27
  Isaiah 36:12

  To unbelievers, your ignorance will be your own death.

  To believers, your ignorance weakens or destroys your witness.

  I'm praying for all humanity.

Language Police

Warning: use of antiquated language now considered 'vulgar'.

  I am an amateur etymologist, no not bugs (entomologist), word origins.  I am also an amateur semanticist: the meanings of words and phrases in a particular context.  That is only one part of the word's meaning, but this is my primary focus.  This drives my family to distraction.
 Way back in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries a word was in common usage.  Now, it is considered a vulgarism, scatological.  The word is 'shit'.  As a verb,
  present tense: shit
       past tense: shat
    past perfect: shot

  Past perfect survives in reference to firearms, and as a noun for types of ammunition.

  I have provided this background information to provide context for the 'Warning'.

 The military has a saying: "A thousand 'Atta-boys' and a buck will get you a cup of coffee.  One 'Aw-shit' wipes 'em all out."  That is a scatological reference.

  Regardless, us moderns have inserted a limitation on language for no real reason.  Lately, it has been reported certain Web sites will not allow the use of Latin abbreviations, such as, for example, i.e., e.g. and etc.
  I personally have and will in the future rebel against such inanity.  Be advised, I will NOT provide warnings.
  Caveat emptor!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

 What We Claim to Know

Hosea wrote it well, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, ..."
This passage in the book of Hosea 4:6, should not be taken out of context.  I will let the reader look at the entire chapter on their own.  I suggest the Blue Letter Bible online.

What prompted this was an opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post.  It was a response to another opinion piece in the same online version of the Post.  A Dr. Laitman had titled the first piece, "Fascism is looming over the U.S...".  A David Turner wrote a response.  I read Turner's response.  I have not read Laitman's piece, yet.  So my critique is aimed at Turner.
Mr. Turner makes some quotes from the B'rit Hadashah.  For those unfamiliar with this, it is the transliteration of Hebrew for New Testament.  My question would be of Mr. Turner's understanding of the 'forbidden' portions of the Tanakh, their relationship to the B'rit Hadashah and the translation he quoted.
He makes a point about Martin Luther and anti-Semitism.  Luther wasn't always anti-Semitic.  He became so after failing to convert any Hebrews, or Jews, if one prefers, after the Reformation got started.
I don't like being lumped together with all the persons who claim to be Christian and are anti-Semitic.  Broad brush strokes have a tendency to cover nuance, or obliterate.
The main problem is claiming to know and not really knowing.
For example, many of the mistakes made by Christians are, for the most part, made out of ignorance.  Some of those mistakes have been compounded by people rejecting knowledge.  Add those who, for whatever reason, are prejudiced and act on those prejudices, inflame matters.  Add those who, for whatever reason, have an agenda to destroy the object of their prejudices throw accelerant on the flames.
The Shoah, or Holocaust, killed millions of people.  The Hebrews represented the majority of deaths.  They were singled out for the most horrendous of violations.  Other ethnic and religious groups were put to death as well.
I am not here to equate the current persecution and murder of Christians to the Shoah.
What am going to state is regarding Dr. Laitman's title.
Fascism is not looming over the U.S.  It is at work right now!  Christians are one of the groups on the fascist hit list, unless we can be 're-educated'.  Some of us will be offered 're-education'.  Some won't.
Some of us will go into captivity.  Some of us will die by the sword.
There are others who will face the same decision because of their religious views, their political views, and some who thought they held to the 'correct views' but are considered expendable.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Back Porch Papers
Volume 1, Number 1

  I pulled one of a pair of deck chairs, an anniversary gift from our daughter and son-in-law, out to the rear deck to enjoy the sun while reading the Sunday paper.  I read the comics first, then the weekly tabloid insert, and finally settled down to actually reading the paper.
  I had an idea rambling around in my brain since my morning run for coffee and the paper.  I was trying to distill it into a 300 word submission to said editorial section of said paper.  I had a good draft in my head.  I set it aside to enjoy the sun and avoid firing up the computer.
  Instead, I read the articles in the A section stopping to editorialize.  Finishing I paused to watch a red tailed hawk circling to gain altitude.  Instead of soaring about looking for its next meal, it began a long decent glide path from the area near a ridge, running south and east of the deck, to the west, northwest toward a creek.  I could barely hear the call of its mate.  It disappeared behind the housetops and treeline, from a approximately 100 foot drop in elevation from the 1020 feet of the deck to the 900 feet of the creek no more than a quarter of a mile from me.
  I decided to borrow the time to start this first of hopefully a few more posts of an editorial nature.  The seed was planted by, interestingly enough, an editorial first printed in the Los Angeles Times and distributed by the Times nation wide.  It was couched in progressive language, siting 'legal precedents' when in fact it was simply pushing an agenda toward the elimination of private property.
How to respond?
  I have the paper copy.  It is going to be time consuming to prepare a rebuttal.  How to not let the moment escape researching a logical and reasoned response as the nation runs toward its destruction?
Maybe a 300 word comparison in summary form.

  People have been appropriating and misappropriating language to bend others to their will for millennia.  Some for noble causes.  Others for ignoble causes.  Private property rights are a case in point.  Let us use a comparison that utilizes a 'hated' word which causes some, mistakenly, great 'anguish'.
  The alternative to 'private property rights' is the 'plantation'.  The plantation is an old, outmoded method used in agrarian societies.  It is actually inefficient.  In its attempt to retain some semblance of  efficiency it must stoop to crushing brutality, inhumane treatment of the principle resource, humans.  It supposedly provides economic success, while destroying the very fabric of society.
  Moderns, so enamored of socialism, fail to realize, Karl Marx was waiting for a 'miracle' to occur in the 'sweat, or rather, sweet by and by' give me some pie.  Socialism is the plantation writ large.  A good propagandist knows how to 'turn a phrase'.  An educated and knowledgeable populace is difficult to seduce.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Not So Safe House

The woman was furtively pacing back and forth on the sidewalk.
Had she not made a false start toward the house,and likely, the front door, she wouldn't have tripped the proximity alarm. I would have been alerted later by the male creeping up toward the back deck and door eventually.
What in the world were they planning? They didn't look like operatives. Home invasion? Probably. This was an unlikely neighborhood, but desperation makes people do unlikely things. The house on the left was 'occupied'. Had a couple of vehicles parked out front appearing to be on their last legs. The house on the right was boarded up, or so it seemed. Many a homeless person had wasted their energy trying to get in. Feeling sorry for them, I would call a deputy who would transport them to a homeless shelter in the city.
I caught sight of a third person on the perimeter out front.
How was this going to play out? I felt a bit sorry for them. I had an older car out front, but appeared to be in good shape. The handicapped plate was not a ruse. I could still perform my primary job. My next evaluation was over eight months away.
The woman headed toward the front door. She was emoting terror, wailing as she approached. She wasn't doing a half bad job. She was loud enough, I guess, to alert the man in back. She started to pound on the front door.
My voice startled her.
“My dear what is the problem?”
She couldn't see a speaker, so she just yelled in the direction of the door, “He's trying to kill me!”
“My boyfriend!”
“Oh, my. We can't let that happen. Just give me a moment. I'm not as fast as I used to be.” Which was true. I suppose she was to gain entry and then slip to the back. Upon finding the door, she would likely let that accomplice in.
I tried to calm her, assuring her I was on my way. In the meantime, I swiftly moved to the back door.
“Please, stop, sir,” I asked in a low but firm voice.”
He was a bit beefy. Not much taller than I. I startled him. I had hoped he would turn and run. I guess the open door behind me was too tempting. He tried to tackle me. He might have been a football player in high school or maybe college.
He didn't really hear the first shot. He just saw splinters kicked up in the deck in front of him. He made the additional mistake of raising his shoulders, then with single mindedness continued to run at me. The next two shots hit him squarely in the chest. The fourth hit him in the head. It was not my intent, but he stumbled at the last second.
The two out front were not alerted as the suppressor did its job. I'm sure they were wondering what was taking me so long.
I quickly dialed for a clean up crew. Then, I alerted my associates next door to pick up the second man out front as soon as the woman was let inside my abode.
I made it to the front door just as the woman was showing visible signs of indecision. She should have gone with her gut.
“I'm sorry, my dear, I'm just not as fast, as I said. Where is your boyfriend?”
“Oh, thank you, thank you,” she was effusive and trying to make her way in.
“Your boyfriend?”
“Oh,” I startled her again. “He must have heard your voice on your speaker system. He's still out there. He seems to be waiting.” She was having trouble shifting gears between stage panic and participating in a reasoned conversation.
I wasn't going to make it easy on her. “Do you think he might wish to come in and join you? You know, maybe some coffee. A moment to clear each others heads. It might save you future grief.”
“I've seen him do this before. I thought he would treat me different.”
“Would you like to come in? I can call the sheriff's department.”
“Yes, I would, but no, don't call the police, at least not yet. If he has a chance to cool off, he might just leave.”
“You don't think he might follow you home?”
“Not likely. He's more of a “find a bar and drown his sorrows' guy. I found that out Friday. Could I get a drink of water?”
“That might be a problem at this juncture.”
She blinked her eyes trying to sort out what I was saying. Her gut was telling her 'the play' had gone south, but her brain was holding out it was still salvageable.”
“You might want to sit down.” I shifted my stance so the hand gun with suppressor was visible at my side.
She gasped and sat down. Tears welled up in her eyes. She covered her face and started moaning.
I went to the refrigerator. Pulled out a bottle of water. I then opened a cupboard and pulled down two glasses.
When I returned she was half out of the easy chair she had dropped in, ready to bolt.
I just shook my head slightly. She looked for the hand gun, but saw the water and glasses. She relaxed slightly.
I handed her a glass, juggled the other one and opened the bottle. I then poured some in my glass. I took it in one gulp and let her watch me. I filled her glass and handed her the bottle.
After a few tentative sips, she asked, “Where's Jake?”
“Which one is he?”
“He's the one I was supposed to let in by a back door.”
“He's resting, waiting for some associates of mine. They'll escort him to a nice place and leave him alone.”
“I was afraid you killed him. What about me and Billy?”
“Your boyfriend?”
“He's not really. He said he needed a woman to help him and Jake get some money owed them. I could have really used the fifty bucks he promised.”
“Why didn't you take off? You gave yourself two chances.”
“What? You were watching me?”
“Not the whole time. You made a false start which alerted me. Jake would have tripped up anyway. You just beat him to it and gave me time to watch, figure out what might happen.
“You didn't answer my question.”
“True. Billy is with the gentlemen next door.”
“Is one of them's named Hector? Talks with an accent?”
“You saw Hector?”
“No, but that old pickup looks like one he drives.”
“That's what tipped your gut, then?”
“I guess so. He flirts a lot, but I've never heard a woman say she's actually went out with him.”
“Maybe, he's happily married.”
'Him, married?”
She mulled this over. “What happens to us? We all go together?”
“No. Each of you is going to take a trip. Each will go to a different destination.”
“Will we see each other again? I'd really rather not.”
“I suppose you could run into each other at some point in the future, but it's unlikely.”
“The folks picking us up going to kill us and dump us?”
“You're more likely to win the lottery than have one of my associates harm you.”
“What did we do?”
“Made some very poor choices.”