A Moment of Silence in Prayer for the Stupid

rickard

There is technically no constitutionally protected “right” to be stupid. But there is also no element of our founding documents specifically banning it either.

So we are kind of on our own in dealing with it as a society. As George Carlin sagely noted, “If you take the intelligence of the average American, you have to understand that half the people you will meet today just ain’t that smart.”

I’m going to start this missive by coming right out and saying that there is a LOT I don’t like about the United States of America right now.

I most significantly dislike the routine misuse of governmental power in abusing small businesses and individuals.

I most especially dislike that during my lifetime we have ensconced a strangely “entitled” political class in our government that lives better than we do by selling us out to monied interests from large corporations, banks, oil companies, credit card companies etc.

I am sickened by the misguided policies of a liberal elite who don’t know and don’t know they don’t know very much about anything, but NEVER face the music of their failed policies and “unintended consequences.”

I am embarrassed by the spread of atheism and satanic influence across our increasingly Godless land.

I am humiliated that it is widely and publicly accepted in my land that mothers have the “right” to murder their offspring for convenience.

I am embarrassed at our backward approach to such basic and really pretty simple concepts such as alternative energy, technology, and our economy given proven and obvious alternatives that have already been demonstrated to work.

And believe it or not, I am personally offended and have direct and personal knowledge of the widespread abuse of power and trust by MANY, not a tiny minority but MANY trusted law enforcement professionals on a daily basis ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. And I am PERSONNALLY offended at the particular issue of men paid for by us and entrusted by us to provide for civil peace and order who DO murder young black men for “Walking While Black” and “Driving While Black.”. Trust me, it HAPPENS and it happens much more than most American’s would believe.

I am one of those bizarre rascist, mysogenist, homophobic, deplorables that Hillerary so deplores, as indeed I deplore her, that truly believes our country is going in the “wrong” direction. And not on a few issues. On a lot of issues.

The “women’s” movement has given us an incredible divorce rate, basically the destruction of the American family, and the utterly discouraging fact that over half of our offspring that are NOT murdered and are allowed to live are fatherless bastards without benefit of clergy or a male figure in their homes.

And I’m further humiliated that the average college student in the United States now can’t multiply 6 by 9 and get the answer correct given three guesses.

I could go on for days about all I’m unhappy about with the America we have today. And as I said, I am SPECIFICALLY ENRAGED that law enforcement professionals ROUTINELY murder people = not just blacks but probably disproportionately including them. Make no mistake, it happens and it is the heart of evil. I would gladly line up every police officer in the country and personally shoot every tenth man, Roman fashion, to make the decimation point.

kaepernick

But I had a recent conversation with a close personal friend. He is 75 years old, a respected and educated professional, and a superb bridge player. He has an amazing intellect. But he said to me that if Hillary Clinton was elected President of the United States, he was seriously considering emigrating to another land, perhaps Costa Rica.

I was dumbfounded. Actually stunned into silence for a few moments. I asked him, “Have you any idea what you are saying?”

And it struck me that there is just a huge gulf between myself and many of my friends, based solely on my history of being OUTSIDE the United States routinely, and theirs where their only glimpse of other countries is from the deck of a cruise ship.

Mine of course was from the deck of an aircraft carrier. But there is a slight but important difference.

As a young man, I joined the United States Navy at the tender age of 18. I didn’t really want to. I was talked into it by a very close friend of mine, who wanted me to join with him. And ironically he wound up not going. But that’s another story.

I DID get to travel and see the world. In fact, I got to go be in a war. How exciting is that? And not being one of George Carlin’s lesser half, I paid close attention. Indeed, I married a girl from the Philippine Islands and visited many countries throughout Asia as well as the Middle East and Africa. I was overseas for 44 months of my six years in the Canoe Club. And I absorbed with keen attention, anything I could learn of these foreign peoples, in a very deliberate and studied fashion. On my return, I keenly focused on a delightful opportunity to see my land through the eyes of my young bride. And NONE of it escaped me. I carefully observed this AGAIN when her sister arrived in the U.S. and ultimately married a man who I started the first grade with.

On returning to the U.S., I quickly learned that many of my peers, having never left Southeast Missouri, nonetheless had very strong opinions about the world, the United States, and politics of course. And I quickly learned, as many many U.S. servicemen do I have to tell you, that there are just some conversations you can’t have with your friends. They don’t get it. And they aren’t going to get it. And there is nothing you can say to give it to them. So just shut up.

It’s like explaining marital relations to a cat. First, the cat doesn’t care about human marital relations. But if it DID care, it is devilishly difficult to put into terms a cat would understand. Marital relations have nothing to do with how it smells given a keen sense of smell, or barely what it looks like under low light conditions. It is not prey. And it won’t make kittens. So it’s just not something you can share with your cat.

We DO rail against the rather obvious corruption and “pay for play” illustrated so clearly by Bill and Hillerary Clinton. We are OFFENDED by it. We are ALARMED by it. And we are DISGUSTED by it. It is wrong. It in unAmerican. Many of us consider it treason.

But understand this. In MOST countries in the world, it isn’t uncommon. Understand further that indeed, in most countries of the world, bribery and corruption are not even considered evil. They are how things work. And they are how things are EXPECTED to work. If you go to the Philippines, or Korea, or Thailand, or really almost anywhere in Asia or Africa or South America, as a MISSIONARY bringing food and money and building schools and churches. You HAVE to pay off the local police constabulary REGULARLY, along with the Mayor, perhaps the Governor, and scores of other public officials as a routine matter of business. IT IS HOW IT WORKS. And the population living there ACCEPTS it as how it works. And it works like that every day. Americans are all initially offended by this. But you can either accept it and go along or be very very unhappy there, that’s just the way it is. And it is TOP to BOTTOM and there is nothing to report. And no one to report it to. THat’s how they LIVE. It is their way of life.

And children die in the streets in front of you from diseases we don’t even think of as diseases any more. Who dies of measles??? Influenza? Whooping cough? My little buddy Ugbert, rest in peace.

Well if you have absolutely no access to even the most rudimentary medical care and are so impoverished you can’t even pay the local quack doctor, you do. I’m told there is real poverty in America. By Americans. Who have never SEEN poverty. Who cannot imagine it. Who I can’t explain it to.

And poverty so deeply entrenched and profound that you want to fix it. Because you CAN fix it for just a couple bucks. Well the one in front of you. For the moment. And when you raise your eyes and see the scope of 30 million of them, or more, your testicles shrivel up into your stomach at the utter futility of trying to do anything. It is just unimaginably big. It’s huge. It’s unimaginably unfair. And there’s not a goddamn thing you can do about it.

Clean drinking water. A fifth of the population of the planet right NOW has no access to it at all. For many others, it’s a daily two hour round trip hike.

We run it out on the driveway from the garden hose while we hand wash our cars and let it run down the street. Clean, crystal clear, cool, water.

My own son was shot and killed a little over a month ago in Olongapo City Philippines by local police while in possession of less than a quarter ounce of Marijuana. They’ve killed 1800 in the past few months in a nationwide crackdown on drugs. Jack Gertolfo was 40 years old and had six children all under the age of 12. Bahala’na. In that land, it is considered the will of God.

The United States of America is blessed by God with a stunning cornucopia of riches, not because we particularly deserve it, but specifically to serve as an example of how to live as a people. An example to the rest of the world. We are indeed the light of the world and the shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan so astutely understood. A land of FREEDOM. And individual LIBERTY. Where corruption and governmental malfeasance and corporate greed are considered to be WRONG. Where the populace is actually indignant where and when they occur.

And America does benefit from immigration. ALL the lazy, sick, and satisfied stay home. ONLY the ambitious, the bright, the healthy, the people who dream and want and strive for a better life are willing to endure the inconvenience, the discomfort, the pain and the humiliation of traveling to a land where they know no one and cannot even speak the language. Leaving behind family and friends and their dog. All that is familiar and comforting to them and that for many they will never see again. To go to a strange land of strangers. In the hopes for a better life. And cummulatively that is who we ARE. The genetic best of all the tribes of the earth who come here and then cross breed into a land of genetic supermen.

And every one with a different opinion. And a different agenda. And a different list of all the things that are wrong with America and should indeed be fixed.

The vast majority of Americans, and indeed the vast majority of white Americans, have nothing against you being black or being here. Historically, at 12% of the population, you would have been eradicated hundreds of years ago and we would have picked our own damn cotton. While there are a few nutcases in every box of cracker jack’s, most Americans wish you well and many have been active in doing so. The first statewide convention that formed a platform and nominated candidates under the name “Republican” was held near Jackson, Michigan on July 6, 1854. It declared their new party opposed to the expansion of slavery into new territories and selected a statewide slate of candidates. Republicans were the FIRST political party in America formed specifically to oppose slavery.

Six years later, Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States representing that party. And he did eliminate slavery in this land by presidential decree with an emancipation proclamation. And at no small cost. Some 550,000 American men died in the ensuing melee discussing the situation, barely 6000 of whom were actually black. They bled and died in agony in one of the most brutal wars if its age. American against American. In some cases brother against brother. And when the smoke cleared, you were no longer legally entitled to slavery.

The subsequent hundred years have indeed been a messy, ugly adjustment to this new status. And I would not claim it has been easy or nice for anyone involved. But it has proceeded, and more or less directly. But do not fail to miss the point, HUNDREDS of thousands of white men gave their LIVES so you could be free. You did not earn your freedom. You did not fight for your freedom. It was paid for with the blood and entrails of white men who believed you were being done wrong.

We have a small group of Chinese students who attend the local university come to our home each Sunday for dinner. They are far from home and have no family here and have been drawn to our tradition of a large family dinner around this huge round table in my dining room that seats 13. I grew quite fond of one particularly bright and articulate young man named Sun Jialu who graduated “cum laude” here last year. He confided that his dream was to find a way to stay in the United States and live here. I was a bit surprised as I knew he was close to his father and family in China and so I kind of grilled him about it. But it was clear that he was intense on this dream of finding a way to stay here after his Master’s program in California. Oh, and a Tesla. And a tall blonde wife with big hooters.

I told him that there are 375,000 Chinese nationals attending university here and asked him to estimate what percentage of them felt as he did. He looked at me deadly serious and told me “All of them Jack. Don’t listen to anything they might say. ALL Chinese students in their hearts want to live in America.”

And I reflected on what I had seen in Japan, and the Philippines, and Viet Name and Laos and Thailand, and Pakistan and Iran and in Mombassa Kenya. And in all of those places, in ways subtle and not so subtle, the prevailing and indeed nearly unanimous view was that America was somehow better and indeed anything fROM America was better. All are proud of their land and their people. But at the bottom of the conversation, America is better and would indeed be better for them if a choice were made.

And I would draw from that that with the exception of a few privileged people in a very few European countries, if you stripped away all the bluster and all the bullshit, everyone in Russia, and everyone in China, and everyone in most of the countries of the earth, if they thought they could have it, would choose to be an American.

Our blessings are eggregious. Understand that the United States of America sports 4.4% of the population of the world, and owns about 1/3 of all wealth and worldly goods IN that world.

And so my response to this bright educated man considering a life in Costa Rica was “Do you have any idea what you are saying?” America is a light unto the world, blessed by God and ordained to be so, and it IS worth fighting for. WHATEVER HAPPENS. If Hillerary the Godless heathen hussy felon is elected President of the United States, then she is MY President – of MY land. And I will stay and do whatever I can to have her replaced by someone pure and true and brave and honest, WORTHY to be the leader of the greatest nation in the history of the world. Assuming I can find someone like that of course – the hunt for one good man. John Wayne being deceased at the moment. BECAUSE AMERICA IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR!

I was in a military. And I was in a war. And I did come home. And I married and I had children and I became a millionaire. But you know, some guys I knew pretty well and actually grew to love as companions and teammates didn’t make the trip. I guess I was lucky. Lucky me. They did not return home. THey did not marry. They had no children. No successful career. They are dead. The young. And the dead.

And in this broad land of many peoples, blessed with abundance and freedom and actually created to serve as an embarrassment and reminder to the world of how they OUGHT to live, we have one moment in time, where we set aside our different opinions and our different agendas, and our different criticisms, and our protests. And we sing a stupid song that was stolen from a British drinking club. And with the words of Francis Scott Key we note that no matter how beset we are by the bombs and rockets of our enemies, more POWERFUL enemies in that particular instance, no matter how outnumbered, and no matter how great the odds against us, that we will unite and we will prevail and we will stand up and endure AS the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE. And that we, ALL OF US, would fight and die to preserve that. And that we stand and recognize and revere those who have already done so.

And no matter HOW BADLY the celebrity du jour, or the team owners niece, mangles that impossible to sing song, at the end we all stand and cheer like mad as if they had sung it very very well.

And how am I to react if a young person, who has grown up in that land, and whom we gathered together our resources to pay for his College education via a scholarship, which then led to his being drafted by the National Football League and eventually a $30 million dollar contract to PLAY FREAKING FOOTBALL ON TV ON SUNDAY, which is not precisely shoveling gravel for a living, wants to INTERRUPT that moment of almost prayerful observance with some kind of LOOK AT ME – I’VE GOT AN ISSUE HERE ALL ABOUT ME THAT I WANT PEOPLE TO PAY ATTENTION TO ME” shit. All about ME. And he is going to actually use the PRIVILEGED status and stage of the event to make this statement – during this national anthem.

They apparently DO lack a father figure and are unawares of their desperate need for a public spanking. They are ignorant, stupid children of unfathomable selfishness who truly believe the sun rises and sets in their own assholes. And most of all they are apparently TOTALLY UNAWARE of the statement they really ARE making. Oblivious to it. For those of them who DO have fathers, my heart goes out to you – the fathers. Your humiliation is heart rending, but I would say you should have done a better job of backhanding the little bastard when it was yours to do.

I do not think I am alone in my feelings for the land of my people and this shared moment of observance of common cause. And note that I do not advocate the following prediction. The coaches and the NFL leadership have abdicated their leadership role and all common sense in the usual cowardly nod to political correctness and thereby are simply going to have to suffer the consequences. I would predict that should the entire Miami Dolphins team and the entire Seattle Seahawks team put the finger to the National Anthem Sunday in the manner they plan, that the seats will empty onto the field in the most awful melee ever witnessed on live television. There will be hundreds of injuries and potentially the end of American football as we know it. And the crowd will exercise THEIR freedom of speech in a way that will not please anyone in the end. Yes, the players have the RIGHT to express themselves. That does not mean it is appropriate or that anyone else has to put up with it.

And for the football players to all squeal like little girls for the police to help and protect them from the crowds isn’t going to go over very well either.

Pray for our Land. Pray for our People.

Jack Rickard

Two Presidents:

52 thoughts on “A Moment of Silence in Prayer for the Stupid”

  1. Jack, so so sorry to hear of your loss. Please accept my condolences.

    I agree with your assessment of our country and our anthem. If I were attending the game you described, I would be one of those fans storming the field. If you can’t respect our country and our flag and our anthem, then do us all a favor, LEAVE

  2. Oh my… I’m very sorry to hear about your son! That is truly awful. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, that same thing is also happening to other people’s sons and sometimes daughters right here in this country. I do have to believe that in some cases these people deserved what they got. I can’t see how Michael Brown wasn’t liable for his own death by police officer. There are many other cases much less easy or possible to justify. Personally I don’t feel that any drugs should be illegal. It just gives the police an excuse to attack people who are largely either innocent or only hurting themselves. Oddly enough, for all the publicity that we see over black people being shot by the police, you are actually statistically more likely to be shot by the police when you are white. That’s odd, I know. Black people are more likely to be attacked by the police but white people are more likely to be shot and killed. Either way, it has to stop.

    I’m very disappointed in the direction this country is going and I don’t think either major party candidate is the right choice to correct it. I really can’t stand that felon Hillary but The Donald isn’t high on my list either. The creators of South Park call them “Giant Douche” and “Turd Sandwich”. Yup, pretty much.

    Really, prior to these last 7 years of Obama I thought that things were truly healing between people of different races. It seemed like we were all figuring out that every bleeds red and melanin doesn’t define a person. Then we (and I use we loosely here as I never voted for that fool) elected Obama twice. At first people considered it a good sign that we elected a half black man – apparently racism was solved! Not so fast! It seems like everything has gotten 10x worse since he became president. All of a sudden people are at each other’s throats again over the same old racial garbage. It seems like our president has fanned the flames by identifying much more strongly with the heritage of his father than he does his mother. His bias is incredibly evident. The things he has said have torn this country apart. His legacy is one of racial destruction not harmony. That is perhaps what I despise him for the most. We had a chance as a country to more completely put the mistakes of the past behind us and move forward as people instead of racial groups. Instead the fires of racial tension are getting nearly as bad as it sounds like they were in the 1970’s. That’s not progress. Of course, it isn’t all on one person (as much as I don’t like him). Very many people have allowed divisions of all sorts to tear at the fabric of this country.

    Personally I’d like for us to figure out how to turn it around before we’re The Philippines or Russia or Costa Rica.

  3. First let me share my condolences for the loss of your son. Greed knows no bounds and the political class of our country has been shown what is possible in other countries. It should not be possible to become rich as a public servant. If the laws that govern a people are not understandable by the people; how can we a government of the people by the people for the people?

    1. I am very sad to read about this first personally touching casualty of Rodrigo Duterte’s personal war on “criminals”, my condolences for the loss of your son.
      Having been born and raised in the Philippines myself I feel rather strongly about this, and can also feel very well with your sentiment that “there are just some conversations you can’t have with your friends.”
      The world at large is truly watching in amazement and horror what is going on with the presidential election in the US of A, with Mr. Trump being quite the Compadre of Duterte, and still a lot of Americans seem to be backing him. Somehow it seems to be boiling down to a choice between pest and cholera. Which of the two is more survivable by the US and the World at large for 4 years?

      At least we have our electric conversions and vehicles to serve as a distraction from a lot of worrysome developments in this world but also serve to focus on solving some of the really pressing issues we are causing to ourselves and our surroundings…

  4. I am very sad to read about this first personally touching casualty of Rodrigo Duterte’s personal war on “criminals”, my condolences for the loss of your son.
    Having been born and raised in the Philippines myself I feel rather strongly about this, and can also feel very well with your sentiment that “there are just some conversations you can’t have with your friends.”
    The world at large is truly watching in amazement and horror what is going on with the presidential election in the US of A, with Mr. Trump being quite the Compadre of Duterte, and still a lot of Americans seem to be backing him. Somehow it seems to be boiling down to a choice between pest and cholera. Which of the two is more survivable by the US and the World at large for 4 years?

    At least we have our electric conversions and vehicles to serve as a distraction from a lot of worrisome developments in this world but also serve to focus on solving some of the really pressing issues we are causing to ourselves and our surroundings…

    1. The talk this morning is that the two teams are going to provide some sort of display of unity in OBSERVING the National Anthem and this missive may have been a bit of an overreaction. I sincerely hope so.

      There is more than a bit of fatalism and acceptance in the Philippines and you might be surprised to learn that I am a wee bit proud that he was at least doing something entreprenurial to try to feed his family.

      That said, I am decidedly undecided on the whole question of drugs in America. And I have a daughter in Colorado who is a pot baroness. But I am haunted by China, who reached a state of 50% addiction to British supplied opiates a century ago. And the only way they could effectively address it was with the death penalty – and it remains in force today. There is no drug abuse in China.

      The body count from overdose and the widespread addictiton of our youth is non-trivial. My instincts are of course to legalize it, but then what? Do you just let a generation die in front of you?

      I suppose my primary point is that with each experience you have outside this country and among different peoples and different languages, the more aware you become how unique America is and how we are viewed worldwide.

      Yesterday, I was having lunch with my wife and Juliette, a young mother from Côte d’Ivoire who used to attend university here and now lives in New York City. But she was in town and treated us to a lunch of some sort of African shrimp and cabbage creole over rice. We really do have a very international dinner table. (Second wife, black, from San Francisco).

      We were discussing my blog, and my wife, who has travelled somewhat, was assuring me that not EVERYONE wanted to come to the United States. Juliette looked at her in surprise, “Oh no Ms. Young. EVERYONE in Côte d’Ivoire would want to come to the United States if they could.” My wife probed her several times trying to get her to back off of this, but Juliette was adamant.

      She then went on to tell the story of her father, who came to visit the U.S., didn’t know even one word of English, and a police officer in the St. Louis airport just took him by the hand and led him to the counter, helped him with his passport, and helped him to the gate. He never got over this kindness from a police officer, and tells the story over and over.

      Juliette went on to say not just Côte d’Ivoire, but France, and many other places she had been were the same. “If America goes down, there is no place else to go – no place.” She was almost pleading for us not to screw it up.

      My wife was stunned. She really had no idea. My point. Most people have NO IDEA who America is and how it is viewed in the world. Everyone chants that we are the greatest nation on earth, but in their minds, they think we have somehow edged out the competition by having more money. It has nothing to do with it. And there isn’t anybody else.

      My wife was surprised. She is an educated woman with a PHd with a thesis, believe it or not, on American Election Technology and Security. And she has travelled somewhat, albeit briefly and kind of as a tourist. She has SEEN Africa. But she hasn’t really BEEN there in the way I have.

      The media, similarly clueless, actually covers stories implying that the view of America is in decline or somehow has grown negative around the world. The only negativity is a FEAR that America will decline, and then as Juliette notes, “There will be no place left to go.” No one to appeal to. No one to intervene. If you remove America from the world, the world really does go dark.

      In most countries, it is considered right and appropriate to SHOOT political dissenters. Or throw them in prison – for dissenting.

      It is NOT that none of this HAPPENS in America. It is that it is an exception, and is viewed with alarm and repugnance by the electorate who when push comes to shove, however they rig it, feels they have the right to march on Washington DC and tear the place to the ground at any time. The preferable and traditional is to wait till November and vote the responsible parties out. And so a kind of political pendulum swings back and forth, slowly and awkwardly, but it does. We have revolutions, but more like the Teaparty congressional massacre of 2010.

      The bottom line is I have my own long personal list of all that is WRONG with America. And Kopernick’s concern for black deaths at the hands of police actually pales by comparison, though his issue IS very much on my list.

      But it is ok for a few moments to put all that aside and acknowledge that we ARE at least partially aware that America is a special place, the light of the world and the shining city on the hill, and that it IS worth fighting for – even if it means giving up your life and not having a long and successful one with lots of money and grandkids, and kids, and wives and electric cars. And it is appropriate to salute those who have made that sacrifice so you and I didn’t have to. It’s two minutes of bad singing. Small price to pay. But when you pay it, do you know why? YOU live IN the city on the hill. The light of the world.

      And if you DON’T appreciate it, it is a slap in the face not of all Americans, but in the face of everyone in the world who can only aspire to be here some day.

      So by all means trot out your own laundry list. Air it out and talk about it freely. And argue with each other until truth no longer matters for all I care. Squabble like Rock Stars. But don’t do it while the fat chick is singing….

      Jack Rickard

      1. Yes, thank you America. Thank you for invading the middle east under the false pretext of weapons of mass destruction. The result: more instability across the world, also leading to the rise of ISIS and fear among western countries, along with the loss of hundreds of thousands of Iraq’s, possibly a million, along with the loss of western young men. Perhaps America could now take responsibility and take in the the over one million refugees Germany and other European states took in as part of the US led invasion aftermath. In your sheltered company America might be held in high regard, but perhaps it’s time you re-experienced some time overseas and got some recent feedback.

        1. What has happened to the Internet? Who ARE you people? I could write a blog in praise of water and there would no doubt be some deranged assclown post something utterly HATEFUL, bitterly negative, and destructive. Are you just wanting attention? Is it some sort of twisted “look at me” urge? What?

          To sit there stewing in bitterness and negativity simply cannot be as much fun as you make it look like. You cannot as a sentient actually HAVE that point of view so why the post? I really don’t get it. And it is everywhere on the net. No one can post anything without a hater posting something that rarely even makes any sense. Just raw negativity and hate. No thoughts? No ideology. Just hate.

          Can somebody explain this to me?

          You had your visa application rejected for being a hater. So stay where you are.

          1. Let’s overlook your sophomoric negativity for a moment and address the point you raise about America “invading” the Middle East.

            I was opposed to the war in Iraq from MONTHS before there was any discussion of it. On the morning of September 11, 2001, my wife’s birthday coincidentally, I told her that it was a shame what they had done to us, but it paled by three orders of magnitude what we were about to do to ourselves. And I predicted the homeland security, the daily nightmare at our airports, and our “invasion” of the Middle East under George Bush, although I of course thought it would be directed at Afghanistan and Osama Bin Laden – it really never occurred to me that it would be Iraq. I was disgusted at the time and never did like either Bush as President Instead, the younger Bush tried to show his father what he SHOULD have done in Iraq, which had nothing to do with 911. Incredible.

            A word on war. We have enjoyed, as a planet, about 10 generations of peace spread over the past 5,000 years. With 200 years of peace, and 4800 years of war, obviously war has a purpose.

            Now wars have been fought over territory, over water, over religion, over family insults, and some just apparently because they wanted to have a war. So the ostensible reasons for going to war just don’t hold water because they are not consistent.

            So there must be some OTHER reason we have wars. And indeed there is and we can quickly determine what it is by finding out what all wars have in common:

            1. We mobilize a large group of YOUNG, VIRILE, HEALTHY young men. No 4Fs.

            2. We send them SOMEPLACE ELSE. Anyplace will do but it has to be somewhere else.

            3. Once there, if they WIN, they immediately go into a mode of rape, pillage, and plunder. They rape all the women, burn all the buildings and crops, and take anything of value and return home with it. It’s a tradition.

            So what happens? The invaded territory gets a massive injection of new genetic material, and they replace all the old burned down buildings with new ones.

            Who’s the winner? The loser in most cases. An entire generation of much healthier, stronger, smarter offspring because of the injection of new and different DNA into their genetic profile. These grow up, and of course return the favor by invading the first group, taking back all the gold, burning their buildings and raping all their women.

            So how does George Bush wage war.

            1. We invaded Iraq. We burned most of the buildings.

            2. We brought in OUR gold, rebuilt the buildings, installed new power plants, infrastructure and roads.

            3. We brought our OWN women, women in our own military, and incredibly allowed our service men to rape almost all of THEM leaving the locals untouched. Then brought those women home. What’s the point of that?????

            4. We ;then arranged an election, and then went home.

            No wonder they resent us. We didn’t adhere to any of the accepted rules of war. Where are the little half American kids in Iraq? We have them in VIet Nam. We have them in Korea. We have them in Germany. We have them in Japan. What happened? It is a very serious INSULT to not only Iraqi women, but women throughout the middle east. They must be mortified.

            Georgie wanted to bring democracy to Iraq and somehow fix it. This would only occur to an American.

            There’s just a half dozen problems with this.

            1. There is no Iraq. Iraq is not a country and never was. Iraq is a collection of Islamic families who have been squabbling over the same sand dunes for 10,000 years. The British invaded, drew up a map, gave a local clan head some gold, and told him he was the King of Iraq and should sign this here “oil agreement”. It is NOT a unified country and never was. With enough guns and bullets, clan heads can appear to “unify” by regularly murdering anyone who claims to oppose them.

            2. Shiite/Suni. The nth part of it. Actually there are a hundred clans and EACH family clan has their own Oman/ religious leader. All the others are WRONG.

            3. Vote on shit? Is your clan so lacking in a strong leader that the followers have to decide? How girlish.

            So the hubris is that we can “fix” a group of people that have been there for 500 generations doing the same thing over and over. They must like it. It probably gives them just enough genetic variation to survive.

            But the intentions were essentially laudable, just hopelessly naive. I HAVE been to that part of the world. I assure you, if I AWARDED you the entire territory of Iraq and Iran as your PERSONAL FIEFDOM, you would be negotiating to give it back within 30 days. We spent over 6000 American lives on this little adventure. I would not value the entire exercise as worth the lives of 6000 of our cats and dogs and goldfish.

            In this, I fall into the very clearly expressed sentiments of Donald J. Trump, Bernie Sanders, Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, and countless others. We do not OWE the world a fixin. Our job is to serve as an EXAMPLE. Not a constabulary. We are not REQUIRED to man and pay for 720 overseas military installations. We don’t have to spend a Trillion freakin dollars “making the world safe.”

            If we are to abandon war as a biological genetic mixing mechanism, and I guess the case can be made that with modern air travel and the Internet, if we all make a concerted effort to breed internationally (I’ve done my part) then it is perhaps no longer necessary.

            So let’s view war as a “tradition” and use it for entertainment. Here’s the new deal.

            1. You blow up one of our buildings and kill 3000 of our people.

            2. We select a city of our choice, more or less near to where we think the perpetrators might have at least visited.

            3. We announce our selection with three days notice. This is so any locals that want to can abandon it if they feel moved to do so. But it’s mostly to give our media time to get in place with 4k and hopefully 8k color cameras. They will be the only “boots on the ground” and mostly they are expendable.

            4. We commence an aerial bombardment to run from 6:00PM to 10:00 PM Eastern Time – Prime Time on our networks. We of course televise the whole thing. And I think give some attention to our ordinance to provide not just orange and white, but some really intense blues, greens, yellows, and purples.

            5. 9:55 Grand finale: 50 Megaton Thermonuclear device. But first a word from our sponsors.

            No ground troops. No occupation. We don’t rebuild anything. We don’t deal with refugees. But we do award rerun rights to the network with the highest bid. Everyone can carry it live but only the winning bidder can show reruns. Which networks wins the ratings war on the live event will probably be a function of patriotic music selection and star power. Basically it devolves to a talent telethon – kind of a cobranded America’s got talent running with the fireworks.

            Now, at this point, the enemy and or enemies, really whomever is offended, gets to pick another building…. and our network executives are specifically banned from financing or aiding any of that. No matter what the profits are from the TV wars they are specifically precluded from financing foreign efforts to blow up our buildings. Not that they would ever do that for money of course. But just in case. Hillerary – pay attention. Even you won’t get away with it. We have your e-mail.

            My own take is that just within a few generations we can pretty much eliminate this war thing – for the world not already pockmarked with our TV war radioactive glass zones.

            You see, America doesn’t REALLY need to go to war at all. We get our pick of genetic additions now and can let any group with desirable DNA immigrate whenever we like. If some refugees sport some unusual genetic traits, probably caused by radiation, that we want, yeah, we can take a few and see how it works out.

            I still don’t think people are generally aware of what America is. If you SUMMED the entire economic output of Germany, Japan, and China, you’ve pretty much matched the economic activity of CALIFORNIA. This is what I have been saying. There IS no second place. There is no third place.

            We can sport a prime time television war/fireworks display, and it will never even make it as a line item in our annual budget.

            Indeed, it can probably be financed entirely with Oxyclean and MyPillow commercials. If not, a couple of car insurance commercials added on would certainly do it.

            All of that would require strong leadership and a sentient Congress and Senate.

            We just don’t need to dominate the area we punish. We don’t want to own it. We don’t want their oil. We don’t care what happens to their people. We have no obligation to take their refugees.

            The massive expenditure of American wealth to feed and provide medicine to vast areas of the world is because we are GOOD. We don’t get anything for it. And we don’t need anything for it.

            Does this sound like let’s PUT AMERICANS FIRST? Does it reek of let’s quit being STUPID? Yeah, probably.

            Jack Rickard

          2. You did open the offer to air the laundry….
            What you call bitterness and negativity I call being realistic. There’s no hate, just stating the obvious. The West did cause and issue and then take no responsibility. Your other post below about America being so great economically is again, rubbish. The West again can thank America for greed and the GFC. The rest of that post doesn’t warrant responding to as it comes across as the ramblings of a lunatic.

          3. Oops, did miss one thing that should be responded to. You say “We don’t want their oil.” Of course you do, that is the reason the USA invaded Iraq in the first place. Also prudent to have multiple sources.

  5. Jack,
    I am very sorry to hear about your son. This post and your observations on the current political climate very closely match my own.

    Duterte’s policies and the violence they have spawned will not help that country in the long run. Like you I have served overseas and visited a few of the places you mentioned, and in every case, I was happiest when I returned home. This country really is that shining city on the hill and everyone who has lived for an extended period anywhere else knows it and wants to live here regardless of the party du jour.

    What all those professional athletes do not understand is that you and I and a bunch of other like minded people served, fought and bled for their pampered privilege. I don’t think there will be a melee on the field since we as a people won’t do it on our own and do not have the leadership capable of orchestrating it.

    By the way, I also certainly wouldn’t mind a Tesla and a blond wife with big hooters!

    Brian

    1. Thank you Brian. The son was a sport of my youth and I didn’t know him well. I did buy him an electric bus and a nice laptop and tried to get him going with a legitimate business in the Philippines but he rather knew a better way. He has suffered the consequences of that. And it’s all good. A shame. But I’m ok with it.

      It is an interesting and heartwarming story how using the Internet I helped create I was able to locate him at all and establish the connection.
      Sadly now severed. Bahala na.

      The military experience has proven in the years since to have been so valuable, in so many ways, that I almost would support a national draft after the fashion of Israel. I didn’t enjoy it. But it has been so very very valuable to me in the years since. I wouldn’t do it any differently. And I’m really pleased I don’t have to do it again.

      One of the issues on my list, is the return of servicemen to our country. So little of our country had any involvement in these recent wars at all, that it is kind of a mess. In the military, you learn to have responsibility for a lot – sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment and if you are good, within a few years you have people working for you to accomplish the mission and while it is in a state of constant SNAFU, it all somehow works because there are good people in it and working it, doing whatever they have to do.

      On return to the U.S., they are turned down for janitorial jobs and flipping burgers. There just is no analogue for what they were doing or even what they were being paid. You go from being somebody to being somebody who isn’t even as valuable as hamburger flippers.

      Adjustment is awkward for some. I was lucky with a fantastic background in electronics. A background as a sniper is not as welcomed. And so we currently have 25 guys a day committing suicide. Down from 33 anyway. What are we doing about that.

      Trump has absolutely been SLIMED by deliberate lies and distortions. In a sense, it is part of the price he pays to be sensational and be the ONLY topic of conversation. Hillerary really can’t even get any good ABUSE going – just no oxygen in the room. But Trump has an uncanny sense of mission selection. Virtually ALL topics IN this election, with the lone exception of Hilleraries e-mails, has been first brought up by Trump and as the 15 months have evolved, it has become apparent that he IS really onto something with immigration, refugees, ISIS, veterans, globalism, and more. You may find it surprising to learn that I DISAGREE with his stance on quite a few of these things. But I’m struck that he knew to identify them.

      Part of his issue with the media is that they keep wanting to know what specifically he is going to DO about them. He really doesn’t understand the question, and that’s largely because they don’t know what they are asking. Trump identfies problems and opportunities, gathers the best people he can find, tries to make sure they have tagged all the right information and sets them to argue about it. If they develop a concensus, good. We’ll go with that. If they don’t, no problem. He’ll issue a final decision and marching orders after being apprised of the pros and cons. It is a very effective LEADERSHIP style. Why would he KNOW how all that was going to come out? It’s going to come out GREAT. It’s going to be HUGE. TRUST ME.

      This is not normal political narrative. Which works out because he’s not a politician. He has built an effective business this way. It’s brought him success in the past. He doesn’t mind paying the price for success. ANd he’s accustomed to winning and losing and winning more than he loses.

      And no he never DOES master ALL the details. Only the important ones. Ronald Reagan was actually quite similar in all respects.

      He’s had a good life. He has been successful. He’s 70 years old. He knows he needs to get out of the kids way. And he has decided to run for President, not for profit, but as a public service and kind of crowning achievement in his life. I’m good with all that. I understand it and I approve of it.

      Yah, he’s a bit of a clown. Very entertaining actually. That’s all good. I must say, I MOST enjoy the discomfiture of a smug, superior, elitist media who are not 1/10th as smart as they really truly believe they are. They are being played like a Steinway, they KNOW they are being played, and they deeply resent it. That they are simply unable to control themselves long enough to do anything about it without looking totally absurd is deeply entertaining and engaging for me personally. Though it is discouraging to see fellow citizens not really getting the scope of the thing.

      Jack Rickard

  6. Jack, my condolences on the tragic loss of your son. I could (and have) read your writings for days, in contrast to my impatience with the rambling video segments. Our politics are much more closely aligned than most might guess, as most Americans would find if they spoke with rather than over each other. My Chinese (now naturalized) bride would agree with your assessment that America is still a beacon on a hill. Let’s do all we can to prod our legislators to start living up to that standard, rather than continuing their long descent into a domain of deplorables.

  7. Jack, I am sorry for your loss at the hands of brutal and ignorant men.

    Having never served in the armed forces my opinion may not carry much weight. But I would like to think that if I had served to protect our freedoms, I would be viewing Kopernick’s protest not as a personal insult or as an insult to veterans. I’d like to think that I would be viewing it as a validation and an example of the freedom I had fought for. If the Anthem were mandatory, it would be meaningless. Just as any other ritual or observance loses its meaning the moment it becomes mandatory. Yes, he’s led an unbelievably privileged life even by American standards. That doesn’t diminish his right to dissent and his dissent is for honorable reasons. He is giving voice to his desire for a more perfect Union. I can’t find it in anywhere in my heart to disagree with his aims nor can I condemn his method. My respect for the Flag includes my respect for his right to dissent. The two are inseparable.

    1. I couldn’t possible agree less. I have no problem with his point of view or expressing himself. I actually find it deplorable that he would use his position as a privileged NFL sports figure to bring light to it. I find it inappropriate that he would express it in any team or football related activity AT ALL.

      To “call attention” to his issue during the National Anthem is INEXCUSABLE. That means there is nothing you can do or say to alter my opinion on this. There are NO issues that merit that total selfish, self centered – look-at-me childish nonsense during that moment. But if there were, what you are saying is that some issues trump others, and that HIS issues are more important than my issues or your issues.

      The obverse of all that is when we WOULD normally have the national anthem, why don’t we ALL stand and start shouting at the top of our lungs all of and each of our own issues, down to who used the toothpaste from the top of the tube instead of the bottom.

      Shame. And shame on you for defending it. It isn’t about serving in the military. It is a matter of love of country and reverence for those who died to defend it. And those who don’t really simply do not understand the statement they ARE making. Ignorant back country provincials of no particular upbringing.

      That this man, coincidentally.ADOPTED and RAISED by white parents, allowed a university education at no charge, and subsequently drafted by the NFL and eventually give a contract for a stupid amount of money, doesn’t even make it worse. It’s just typical.

      Jack Rickard

      1. Jack, no I’m not saying his issues are more important than yours and mine. (Although it appears we all three share a similar view towards police brutality/corruption, etc…) That he finds himself in a position of some public notariety is precisely why he’d choose that method of dissent; it’s not ironic. If you or I were to personally protest some issue by sitting out the Anthem there would be no public discourse, only a few curious or perhaps agitated fans in our section. One uses the tools available.

        As far as him doing this for a selfish result it seems he’s well aware of the likelihood of the exact opposite being true. It seems to me he’s risking the privileges that he now enjoys.

        And I don’t think it sheds much light to dismiss his protest by extrapolating it to the absurd conclusion of pre-game cacaphony in lieu of an Anthem. One could make the same argument for any protest including those in our history which we now look back on with reverence, agreement, or at least understanding. All of which were met with vehement disagreement and dismissal in their time. I’m old enough to remember those arguments.

        For me, reverence for those who died in service means reverence for the ideals they fought for. The same ideals this man wants us to uphold. They are not in conflict. Veterans are not being disrespected. The flag is not being tarnished. And however many tens of thousands of fans in attendance are still united in revering the *ideals*. Someone engaged in the mild protest of body position is not weakening this. They are strengthening it by reminding us that those ideals are not yet fully realized. We have work to do, and THAT is the task at hand in my opinion; not shooting the messenger.

        Respectfully, John

        1. There is not much to add to the video below, it just shows how we find the motive, to do what we do. I’m not talking about any particular place, but it reflects what happens everywhere in this world, and why things are the way they are.

          I think we as a human race have to understand, that we are driven by ideologies instilled in us early on, who are not always good for us as a species. And if we don’t wake up, to those who use us as so much cannon fodder, we may end up with a war, that will be a war that ends all wars, not because of the intend to end such wars, but because when over, the next fight will be with sticks and stones, so aptly described by Einstein.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPiO1GhojDw

          Btw, I have also lost a Son too early in his life.
          I feel your pain Jack.

          Roy

          1. Well, we apparently did strike a nerve here.

            I did watch your video, with a bit of amusement tinged with horror. I can’t recall seeing such a circular self-congratulatory piece of nonsense in DAYS. Posing as a pseudo-intellectual, vainly straining to be superior, and totally totally lost dazed and confused. It is horrifying to think anyone would watch this and buy into it.

            Unfortunately, the signs indicated that George Carlin’s lesser half is running at about 2/3 these days.

            But we are approaching the point where we are simply covering ground already covered in the blog. I am drawn to doing what I promised myself in 1979 that I just wouldn’t do – try to have a conversation with people who haven’t the faintest clue, but nonetheless hold extremely strong opinions anyway – ironically kind of the circular introduction to this moronic child-mind video.

            There are just conversations we can’t have. And we can’t have them because YOU just do not have a context to be in the discussion. I’m sorry. I would give it to you if I could but it just doesn’t work that way. In the absence of all information on the topic, you have deeply rooted beliefs and it isn’t MY YOB MAYNE to fix them.

            And providing YOUR laundry list of all that is wrong with America isn’t going to change anything. You all ARE Kopernick. Your head up your ass, oblivious to what you are saying, but wanting to say it LOUDLY and get the most people you can to hear the stridently hollow tones of your nonsense.

            I did watch the San Francisco 49’ers National Anthem last night. It was my last moment of watching young negroes paid to give each other concussions and lifelong brain injury. I will exercise MY freedom to simply not watch NFL football again – ever. After the anthem, I watched ALL of his BLACK team mates come hug him in an emotional display of TOTAL RACISM AND HATRED as if they had all participated and had done something really great. They did make a statement. I don’t think it was the one they thought they had made or intended to make. But make it they did.

            NFL football is little different from Roman slaves fighting gladiatorial battles in the arena – the circuses and bread of that age. In ours it is football and welfare.

            For the record, I am opposed to war generally and specifically against American interventionist military actions. But American exceptionalism IS worth fighting for and defending. And I did.

            I oppose violence in any form. I believe our mission on earth is to love each other and help each other.

            And I awaken each morning next to a beautiful, intelligent African American. We just had our morning coffee.

            But African Americans are eggregiously and disproportionately the perpetrators of more violent crimes than any other “group” in America and if that draws more attention from the constabulary, then they are suffering the consequences of their misspent black lives and proving that they essentially DON’T matter. That said, in absolute numbers there are many MORE white men shot by police in America than black. The entire narrative is muddied, confused, and stupid.

            On the topic of our constitutional right to free speech, it is an enumerated restriction on the GOVERNMENT’s action. Mr. Kaepernick cannot be jailed, arrested, fined, imprisoned or otherwise sanctioned BY THE GOVERNMENT for his political opinions. That obligates NO ONE and no other citizen to politely applaud nonsense. We do not have to “afford him his moment”. Our government can’t do anything about it at all and the expectation is that peer pressure will provide any moderation appropriate in a free society. I am under NO obligation to support his “free speech” whatsoever or to defend it, unless I observe inappropriate governmental action. The NFL doesn’t have to support it, the San Francisco 49’ers don’t have to support it, and you don’t either.

            If it comforts you to list ALL the things wrong with America in your opinion, I would again assure you that your list is much more limited than my own. But the conclusions are different. I am of the Churchill school – “Democracy it s a terrible form of government – all others being so much worse…”

            America is beyond exceptional, it is THE exception in a pretty ugly world overall. But it is not automatically so. That position and that way of life CAN be lost. As Juliette noted, “then we have no place left to go.” It is not our responsibility to maintain it just for Americans, but for the world.

            Your juvenile and sophomoric video implies an evil American imperial army driven by religion and manipulated by demogogues. Our military espouses no religion. Islamic violence is specifically rooted in the conversion or elimination of all religions not Islamic. They behead Christians for BEING Christian. Yet the author implores you to “be smart like I are” and resist evil plutocrats who wan’t you to fight against Islam. It would be comic if it were not so artless. That you would offer it as example of wisdom is pathetic. Sick and pathetic.

            I am discouraged that common sense is once again proving to be not very common.

            Jack Rickard

  8. I am sorry for the loss of your son. I will pray that he is in a better place, and hope that all that knew him, will be blessed for knowing him and his positive contribution in their lives. Fortunately for myself, I did not suffer the same fate as your son, during my self inflicted downward spiral in the 1970’s-80’s. I followed a similar path as your son here in California. Luckily, I was able to completely surrender my self will, and acknowledge my former misdeeds. I now contribute, as best I can, to make a peaceful and safe country for all, that make it my home.

    I hope those in the “Media Spot Light” will use their positions to endorse what makes this country great. Sports figures should use the lobbying power of our elected officials through outreach and charitable foundations to garner public support and good will for their personal causes. So much is about “Showboating” on the field. I can barely watch NFL professional sports, as they have become, merely self engradizing individuals posing as a team, providing WWF type entertainment.

  9. Saddened to hear the loss of your son. Must be tougher for her mother. I am also from the Philippines(working in the US) and it is tragic what’s happening there: shoot then tag them as drug users/pushers. It’s like every day someone is shot. Hopefully it will stop soon.

  10. Jack, Karin and me are sorry to hear about your son.

    Nevertheless please have a google at “vw natural gas explosion”

    Yet another VW disintegrated at the pump and both Aral and Esso about stopping to sell natural gas.

    Of coarse its not been electric. Its completely harmless and not of interest outside an unknown german town.

    Its only natural gas not hydrogen.

    Kind regards
    Peter and Karin

    1. But on the point of wars: since (and maybe including) WWII they’re only about the allocation of two resources – oil and gas. Even the current war in Syria – it’s just about that gas field (by accident the biggest one in the world) in the Persian Gulf near Kathar and piple-lines to the addicted Europe. It did cost already over 400’000 Syrians their life… as did the war on oil, ehm.. sorry for freedom and democracy in Irak leave over 1’000’000 dead Irakis…
      Leaving all the religious mumbojumbo and nationalism aside, we all share the same goal here: converting to sustainable mobility. Once we get there, no more wars will be fought about oil and gas because our economies and food industry continue to operate without them and we got rid of a devastating dependency on fossil fuel. Then no countries will be invaded for their oil fields which are worth hundreds of billions. Then we all can happily sing and chant around the bonfire – while new wars arise about clean water and food…
      And regarding the grandeur of nations, I can only refer to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16K6m3Ua2nw

      1. Then you have accepted a point of view as being factual that does fit your “world view”. Where does this world view itself derive? How many other countries have you lived in?
        This is just another laundry list of grievances. Kaepernick has one and I’ve never questioned the legitimacy of HIS list or this one in your video. As I have said, you should see mine.

        That changes nothing.

        And understand, I am talking about NICE countries. Countries like the Philippines, and Thailand, and Costa Rica. Vacation resort kind of countries that are our ALLIES and FRIENDS. Understand this. Unless you have lived abroad for a significant period of time and actually become involved in the local gestaldt, you are simply not qualified to comment. Yes, there are places like Sweden and Denmark and the UK and Switzerland that are very nice and in someways similar. But even there, I would predict that four or five years in residence and you will start to see the value of America. As a young man, at one point I actually viewed myself as an expatriot living overseas and knew many who never wanted to return to the United States. And indeed there was a bit of reacculturation on returning. But underlying all of it was that while for a period it was personally rewarding to live abroad, I became increasingly aware of what America was in the world and pretty much what the entire rest of the world simply was not. American exceptionalism is very real, it is still very real, and those turning it into a derisive slogan are simply among the lost dazed and confused. That they assume a superior air of intellectual elitism is an affectation – it is no more real than their misunderstanding of the world or their misguided miserable lives.

        One immediate thing that jumps out is that we chafe under the inspections and registration laws of the U.S. But in reality, we can do almost anything we like to our cars without restriction or really anyone ever checking it much. If you can pass a basic smog test and you have a horn and a turn signal, you are good to go. We are granted enormous freedom to make changes. Even very advanced European countries have very strict regulations on what you can do or not do to a car at all and any signficant change, like the drive train God forbid, you have to have tens of thousands of dollars of engineering done to even take it on the road. Gavin lost Gavin’s EV because he had a bit too much rust on the frame. We don’t have frame inspections. No one has ever looked at one of our frames. ANd that was in a supposedly VERY free New Zealand.

        Your video isn’t the greatest truth on video. It is a frustrated conservative lamenting his laundry list. I’m with him. But his conclusion is based on his never having really experienced other lands and other peoples. It’s ok to have grievances. It is ok to fight for the right and to want to see them addressed. It is ok to be GREATLY offended at injustice in America. And it is probably correct to believe we are “going in the wrong direction.” And so we should work to correct it and get back on track. And it is even ok, that what YOU are fighting for is very different from what I am fighting for, in vying to determine the future of America.

        But don’t lose the context. You are debating and fighting each other in the last great hope of the world. You are arguing in the shining city on the hill. And it is a terrible thing that you are oblivious to it and fail to appreciate what it is and how it got to be that.

    2. I appreciate all of your condolences. Jack Bertolfo was a son. He was born to a woman I was quite taken with for awhile but circumstances rather precluded our forming a permanent alliance. I met him as an infant shortly after his birth and was able to relocated him as an adult via the Internet believe it or not some 35 years later. Sadly to learn that his mother had passed of cancer a few years before. We hardly had any relationship. I bought him a laptop and an electric bus and corresponded a bit trying to get him off the ground as an entrepreneur. Apparently that was modified in his mind to take advantage of an enormous opportunity to make money as a drug dealer. And he was shot and killed by the Phillippine Constabulary for doing so. I can’t say we were close or that I even knew him well.

      All that said, I am aware of course that the loss of a child is considered a deep grief. It is not precisely so for me. I was raised in the Catholic Church but in recent years have studied these Near Death Experiences in detail and for several years. I’ve developed rather fully formed beliefs in the afterlife and indeed in our lives prior to those here on earth, and who and what we are, and why we are here, and what we are doing here, and so all of that rather gives me not just comfort, but an entirely different point of view on life, death and dying, and our position in the universe.

      SO my son is fine. And I’m fine with it. But with a daughter pot barroness in Colorado who is thriving, and a son shot dead for the same thing in the Phillippines, I am once again brought face to face with the differences in lands and peoples.

      Jack Rickard

  11. You’re embarrassed by the spread of reason and sanity (aka athiesm) but not by the simple minded beliefs in fairy tales and superstitions? And you’re in agreement with muslims that women should be virtual slaves because after all giving them equal rights means the destruction of the family?

    1. Yes. I am EMBARASSED by your athiesm, and your ignorance. And most of all by how STRONGLY you feel about the things you know nothing of. The rest I don’t even know how to respond to. It has no nexus with anything discussed here and appears to be nonsense typing.

    2. There is an interesting study from the Netherlands saying 4/5 of every religion are kind of reason rules over religion but 1/5 religion rules. That is all religions including atheism. Those are the people you cannot argue with, people like Kim Jong-un.

      I have come a long way from Roman Catholic to Buddhism. I do have a Tea Kettle left beside me and I argued with the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was the Flying Spaghetti Monster who finally tought me Buddhism because atheists can be so braindead. (only 1/5 of them)

  12. Agree with your instincts regarding the engine mount welding for the Doka. Seeing the mass of that motor just hanging from welds gives me the heebie jeebies. Better to have the weight supported by a metal framework, with welds being used to fix the positions instead of the welds being the structure. That way if a weld cracks you might get some slop instead of a cascade of failures and a Tesla motor meeting the tarmac.

  13. Two things:
    1. SpaceX explosion. Audio is 12 sec late on the famous video, for obvious reasons (speed of sound vs speed of light). I’ve prepared a re-synced version. Worth looking:
    https://youtu.be/0tYmeXjx1dE?t=1m5s

    2. There is a note “Requires Xcode 7.1” on https://github.com/jrickard/BLEBasics. This is not precisely correct. App works correctly on 7.3 and on 8.0 (after converting the project automatically to Swift 2.3). I assume you’ve written this remark when 7.1 was considered new. Not anymore.
    Btw, app works very well. I was able to find a lot of BLE devices around.

    1. Thanks. Yes, it’s running pretty smoothly so far.

      Requires 7.1 means it won’t work with versions EARLIER than 7.1. Of course it works with versions later.

      Or with Apple, is that not a given I suppose….

      Jack Rickard

      1. No, unfortunately not a given. Ohm69 referenced how xCode 8.0 causes a conversion to Swift 2.3. That’s the problem… Apple came out with a new version of the Swift language where they felt free to change everything. There’s an automatic converter because it would be far too tedious to manually make all of the thousands of changes you’d have to make to cause your existing projects to work with Swift 2.3.

        Supposedly this change is for the greater good. But, usually a huge change like that makes programmers grumpy. Nobody likes relearning a language. Microsoft has done it before too with such things as the change from Visual Basic 6 to VB.NET

    1. Looks very much like this one “www.intalek.com”

      As an experimenting radio amateur I have seen things that do look like Nicola Teslas scalar waves that is completely ignored after Maxwells equations. Only Hertzian waves have been explored. Maxwell had it. Tesla explored it. The Holy Religion of Science sends you to the lunatics asylum when you mention it.

      But in the wake you get things like the swiss “Raum Quanten Motoren AG” who used to be master of stealing money from people who do not even have it. May be they are for “science” what exorcism is for the church. They dont exist but you can buy their services.

  14. jack I wanted you to know that I came to this site to research converting my mini-cooper to an EV.
    I leave now with respect and appreciation for you. I disagree with your politics categorically, but your sentiment, your patriotism, your broad view of our Great Nation, and your warrior-poet expression of those traits, are admirable.
    I too served.
    I too went to war.
    I too lost people.
    I, for a long time, resented my government for sending me and my friends to be shot at and blown up so that rich American oil-barons could get richer.
    But above all that, I too learned to love, respect, and never marginalize what it means and what it is to have been born into the honor that it is to be “American”.
    Please accept my condolences and best wishes.

  15. Apparently, I am not alone…

    http://linkis.com/com/lEEQH

    http://hypeline.org/poll-13-of-nfl-viewers-are-boycotting-games-because-of-national-anthem-protests/

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/09/28/nfl-ratings-continue-plunge-third-week-national-anthem-protests/

    http://boston.cbslocal.com/2016/10/05/nfl-ratings-week-4-boycott-colin-kaepernick-national-anthem-protests/

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/item/24113-are-protests-the-cause-of-nfl-tv-ratings-collapse

    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2016/09/21/anthem-ratings-nfl-protests/

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/ratings-fumble-for-nfl-surprises-networks-advertisers-1475764108

    Here’s where the thinking was BEFORE the Kaepernick issue:

    http://www.si.com/more-sports/2016/01/10/media-circus-nfl-playoff-ratings-espn-nbc-cbs

  16. I am sorry for your loss. I understand your article fully having myself worked in the Philippines and yet come from and live now in England with my Spanish wife. Hiliary C is not what America needs and 17 million of my fellow countrymen also felt that we were heading to the 3rd world by remaining in the EEC (europe). Real British people fight corruption everywhere, in fact we fight for any good reason because to not to is to become a slave to others. Everyone in Britain was becoming a european slave and it was our last chance to save our country with the referendum vote. Britain will now become very intolerant of political correctness – only being British will count. Obama is no longer welcome in Britain and doubt he would visit publicly ever again.
    Once upon a time, the Queen of England said before the referendum vote “Can you give me three good reasons to stay in Europe?” she asked her advisors – “none your Majesty” was the answer and all her Royal Subjects voted leave and lived happily ever after.
    America now has that choice – choose wisely.

    1. I hope we will Dom. I applaud the BREXIT move and I do hope we strongly move toward the same thing. Globalism, Socialism, and all the other isms that we in the basket of deplorables abhor never provide what they promise. As your leader Winston Churchill said, “Capitalism is the unfair and unequal sharing of wealth. Socialism is the equal sharing of poverty.

      Well, he didn’t actually say that. But something pretty close.

      “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. ”

      I find it extremely interesting to watch the gyrations of Merkel in Germany after the recent elections. She is now striving manfully to get on the right side of this. BUt it is not her nature.

      However they want to paint Trump as a racist and anti-Muslim, Germany has learned the hard way what taking in a few million refugees from that area of the world actually means. Hillary won’t until again we have another one of those “unintended consequences” and of course we commoners will be the ones called on to endure and clean up the freakin mess.

      You get the government you deserve in a democracy. Our education system and media have sunk to such a low bar, I fear for a future with so many woefully clueless citizens, many posturing and preening as highly educated and intelligent while remaining trivially ignorant and incapable of clear thinking. On November 8th, we will find out. We will be who we as a body will be. But I’m not moving to New Zealand or any of that if it doesn’t go my way. I DO see signs of young people rejecting drugs and socialism right smartly. The pendulum swings on.

      The REALLY serious issue facing us here in America, and I suspect in the U.K. as well, is the displacement of human employment by technology. In the past, new technologies themselves spawned MORE employment and growth. In this case, much of the development of technology is specifically for the purpose of eliminating the necessity of employees, as Hillerary and her ilk have made it seriously a disadvantage to employ people. Experian has knocked out 4 million Travel Agent positions and Zillow promises to knock off 10 million Real Estate Agents. It is no longer the cannery worker or the textile worker or the shoe manufacturing worker who is being displaced. It is reaching into retail, and services such as travel and real estate. Yes, hundreds of thousands of jobs have gone overseas, but we are talking tens of millions of jobs to technology. And that genie just can’t be put back into the bottle. NONE of our political elite are talking of this because they are COMPLETELY unaware of it and our media, purporting to also be an intellectual elite, are likewise TOTALLY OBLIVIOUS. It isn’t they are on thte wrong side of this. They are totally UNAWARE of it.

      Charles Murray, author of Coming Apart has a new book out on this and he’s actually, as a very conservative, very libertarian writer/researcher, seriously positing a guaranteed minimum income – to replace Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security. This is kind of along the lines of Dr. Ben Carson’s thinking on subsidized health care savings accounts.

      I’m not wed to a solution. But its going to take some out of the box thinking by smart people familiar with the PROBLEM. Lacking that, the most probably end is civil war, violence, and anarchy in the out years and this is moving pretty quickly.

      I actually share almost none of Trump’s policies. But his leadership style is very effective. And I don’t think he’s an idealogue at all. He identifies problems and declares desirable outcomes. And then usually leads a team that formulates what the “solution is”. This is why he is somewhat exasperated by those demanding details fo his plan. He’s accustomed to targeting the problem or opportunity, and riding herd over the group that develops a “plan” to address the problem or target of opportunity. I’m amazed at how he starts talking about something and within just a few months it is unanimous that indeed that is a major problem and the key to fixing a lot of things. But it is preposterous to expect him to already have a solution from a group he hasn’t yet convened.

      By the way, that’s how all of our great presidents and most recently Ronald Reagan governed. He did much more good “napping” during meetings than Jimmy Carter, one of the most intelligent and truly Christian “good” men we’ve ever had did. And Carter was a freaking DISASTER as a president. I mean really really a disaster. The only notable positive out of his entire Presidency was the Billy Carter law allowing us to make beer and wine for our own consumption tax free. His main contribution was the 55 mph speed limit and an aborted attempt to mandate the metric measurement system.

      Jack Rickard

      1. Jack
        Have you read The Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson? It is a good read on the Subject of technology leading to income disparity, but overall GDP growth.

        David S

  17. The yellow Thing is off the lift and it looks like it may have gone out on a “trip” from the shop. I’m looking forward to the video of it on the road.

  18. Today I watched your video published March 22 or 23, 2018 regarding your solar power system. At once I came to realize that you are man worth knowing. I do want to take issue with you regarding your disgust with the “United States of America”.

    The “United States of America” is the Republic. The Articles of Confederation give it that name. The Republic includes the “Union States” and the District of Columbia. The Union States being the now 50 states that have been brought under the umbrella of that Republic. The District of Columbia is like the managing agent for the Republic. Not unlike the management company of an apartment complex.

    The District of Columbia is, today, the United States. Notice I wrote “United States”. There is a difference between the United States of America and the United States. The first being the Republic and the second being the DC.

    Today, the District of Columbia a/k/a United States is that management company. It is with the management company that you should take issue and not the Republic. There is much more to this than can be explained in a writing such as this.

    With very few exceptions the people of this nation are physically located within the external boundaries of the Republic. However, except for those few exceptions, the rest of us carry on our daily lives in commerce within the corporate structure created by the United States. That corporate structure is separate from our lives as living men and women and government interacts not with us as living men and women but rather through a trust for which we are presumed to be the trustee.

    We truly live in a matrix, however it is to the Republic that is at fault. It is the people that populate our so-called government that have stolen everything. John Wayne is credited as saying something like it is ok to criticize the government but not the nation. All too many people do not know that the government, now an international corporation, is not the people of this great nation. In the Republic, the State, the Body Politic is the people. The Republic is moribund and the United States is out of control.

    It may be that none of what I have written makes any sense but I think that what I write is correct. You can do your own research. There are good writings out there that are not just someone’s rant on a self serving web site.

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