Sarah Palin's enemies are automatically added to the Endangered Species List.

calendar   Monday - July 25, 2016

Desiderata, and the Road Back

I know I’ve been away from posting. If I’m honest, the events of the last month or so have been overwhelming. Just when one revelation of Hillary’s true colors comes, more police blood flows through the streets. Then comes a Jihad attack, speeches at the RNC, and yet more.  To follow them is one thing, that is my duty; but to try detailing at them all and post has been quite another.

But right now I am sitting on a bed in the home of one of my uncles, about to leave the paternal family with his


GO PLACIDLY AMID THE NOISE & HASTE & REMEMBER WHAT PEACE THERE MAY BE IN SILENCE. AS FAR AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly & clearly; and listen to others, even the dull & ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud & aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain & bitter; for always there will be greater & lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideas; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

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

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue & loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees & the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is un-folding as it should.

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

With all its sham, drudgery & broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be Happy.

I suppose this is what I really needed after all this time, and it did speak to me a lot given where I am now. In all the many ways. For those who are interested, Desiderata is Latin for “Things Desired”, and I suppose it is fitting for it.

The poster claims it was found in a Church in 1692. As it turns out, that is about as accurate as Madame Clinton claiming she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary for his climbing of Everest. In short, it’s a bit off. If 250~ years is a bit.

It was actually written in 1927 by a guy named Max Ehrmann, who really does strike me as one of those great cases of unexamined brilliance. He’s well work checking out; ditto for his other works.

But as for me now? I think I’ve caught my bearings and am prepared to carry on.

It’s good to be back.

Posted by Turtler   Canada  on 07/25/2016 at 12:46 PM   
Filed Under: • FamilyLiteratureMiscellaneousPersonalPhilosophy •  
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calendar   Friday - February 12, 2016

On This Day In History: February 11

1534: On what would be February 11th by the current calendar, An egotistical tyrant, murderer, lecher, and glory hound removes the right of Christian priests to appeal his decisions to Rome, effectively breaking with the Papacy and declaring himself head of the Church of England. God in Heaven, I am Protestant and I despise writing about that inflated bloodbag. The best I can say is that many of his successors exercised their powers far more responsibly than trying to stamp their names on any surface they could get their hands on. Another reason why I basically hate all the Tudors except for Elizabeth.....

1812:  The Gerrymander was born. This species of monster has been one of the great banes of liberty to have originated in the US since the fall of Britain’s military occupation over the Atlantic Seaboard. Long after North America basically tamed most of the animals that were hostile to human existence on the continent, this thing has not only remained strong but has if anything grown stronger and been exported off the continent. Bad mathematics and cartography helps to enable bad representation, which makes it a lot easier for things that are even worse to come to the fore. But whil a lot of people have heard of this term and a fair number of people know the name of the man who provided half the word Gerrymander, not many people know the detailed story behind it. Which I think is a shame, because I think knowing that story helps us understand how this mess- and other abuses- come to be. As well as how new, novel ones will be invented. These are threats to any free republic, constitution, or democracy just like the headhackers are, so I think it is worth discussing it.

The reason this day stands as the commemoration date one is because it is the anniversary of when Governor Elbridge Gerry (G’s pronounced like “G-uh") put his signature to a proposal for redistricting the state’s electoral districts to bring them into compliance with the US Constitution. That much was a fair and necessary objective for a new state in a new Republic. But as it turns out, the proposal was drafted by Gerry’s political allies (and cronies) in the Massachusetts state legislature. And- tell me if you’ve heard this before- in a few weeks the people of Massachusetts came to learn that compliance with the Constitution was not the only motive behind this particular bit of mapping. But the full story behind it, the political climate that saw it arise, and the man who penned his John Hancock to it go back years.

Gerry was one of the truly original Founding Fathers, serving on virtually every Patriot committee you could name in the Commonwealth years before the outbreak of the Revolution. He has the distinction of sending the colonial militia’s weapons stockpiles to Concord, and having the Redcoats march past him when they tried to confiscate them there. Throughout the Revolutionary War he became known for being one of the most prominent and honest suppliers of the Continental cause’s armed forces (and trust me when I say that supply was probably THE great struggle of the Revolution), but also one of the more statist for his early support of price controls. He served in the Second Continental Congress throughout the war, and was probably one of the key unsung figures in pushing the Declaration of Independence into approval.far more people know the name of this than they know the story of how it came around. Chances are, even those who know the basic story of what this strategy is and its’ first use do not know either the specifics of it, or about the man whose name forms the root of it. Governor Elbridge Gerry appended his signature to a proposal drafted by his political allies (and cronies) Massachusetts state. After the war he entered into state politics back home, and was called back for the Constitutional Convention.


Ironically given his most visible linguistic legacy, he spent most of his career suspicious of partisan politics and political parties- not unlike most of the Founders-. However, he was even more suspicious of the power of central government vis-ai-vis the local and state levels. Which is why he was one of the few delegates to reject the final draft of the Constitution, and as the party lines deepened he turned against the Hamiltonian Federalists in favor of Jefferson’s budding Democratic-Republicans. But this is also what led him to his role in this mess. Throughout the final years of the 18th century Massachusetts politics followed those of the nation at large in dividing between the two camps just as Elbridge was climbing the rungs of state politics before eventually getting into the Federal House of Representatives. But the final straw came not domestically, but overseas. He was one of the several sent as part of a commission to France, where they ran right into the infamous Talleyrand, who followed the finest traditions of the Ancien Regime by trying to make a bribe shakedown. Everybody refused as talks stalemated, but Talleyrand believed Gerry was the most pliable- or weakest- of the American mission. So he basically isolated Gerry for talks and froze out the rest. While his compatriots left for home, Gerry was kept there under threat of a war declaration if he left. Across the ocean it had already come to something like that; the correspondence of Gerry’s co-workers and continued French attacks on American shipping led to a Quasi-War, equaled by only a few similar conflicts in American history.

But “Weak link” or not, Gerry never gave in or broke when across the table with the most powerful diplomat in the world. Eventually, the French government got wind of what Talleyrand had done and called him to task for it, and once Napoleon took the reigns of power a peace was hashed out for the bitter naval war. Gerry went home unbowed, and claiming credit as the reason why there was never any declared state of war between the French and US governments through the bloody months of naval skirmishing and marine landings. He only found out when he got home that he was being branded a quisling or collaborator, mostly by the Federalists. He was accused of having been a tool of Talleyrand and was quite literally burned in effigy. Ultimately his own correspondence was published which cleared his name, but it would not clear the air. Understandably enraged at being labeled a traitor, Gerry openly declared himself for the Democratic-Republicans and the newly partisan grievances he had paved the way for the Gerrymander’s birth.

Gerry had a bit of bad luck; as the 19th century began and a Jeffersonian tide started to wash the Federalists away across the Union he had the bad luck of being resident to one fo the few states where the Federalists were actually gaining ground. Federalists dominated the governorship and legislature for the first decade of the new century, the Democratic-Republicans in the state were so divided Gerry could only count on the support of some of them, and just as the political troubles were mounting his brother’s financial malfeasance meant that Gerry had to guarantee a loan. It would wind up ruining him financially for the rest of his life, and so he stood out of politics. But then in 1810, he stood for election as Governor against the sitting Federalist. After a bitter and nasty fight that aired old laundry and personal accusations, he triumphed. For the first term in office, Gerry ruled as Governor with a Federalist state legislature and judiciary. So he kept his head down and charted a moderate course. But when he faced a rematch for the Governor’s seat the next year, he won again and saw a legislature dominated by fellow Dem-Reps be sworn in. Now he had a far freer hand, and he decided to use it in a way that we are still paying for.

See More Below The Fold

Posted by Turtler   United States  on 02/12/2016 at 02:37 AM   
Filed Under: • HistoryIranMiddle-EastMiscellaneousPhilosophyPolitics •  
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calendar   Tuesday - November 11, 2014

One From Rich

Mises’s greatest contribution: his demonstration that socialism cannot function as a rational economic system and that private ownership of the means of production is necessary if value is going to be maximized and waste is going to be minimized in the production process.


Mises’s arguments, and the arguments of those who have followed him, do not merely undermine arguments for pure, global socialism. They also undermine arguments for interventionism more generally.

A nice little essay about, and with links to, the works of an actual modern liberal, economics theorist Ludwig von Mises.

Or, as Rich put it,

“The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau.”

-- Ludwig von Mises


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/11/2014 at 12:15 AM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsPhilosophy •  
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calendar   Sunday - October 04, 2009

The most dangerous thing in the world today is the universities!

YouTube is amazing. Who knew you could find an interview with… Ayn Rand!

Part II

Part III

Presented without much comment. What I’ve read about Ayn Rand I like. But I’ve yet to read Ayn Rand’s writings.

h/t small dead animals


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 10/04/2009 at 08:17 AM   
Filed Under: • Philosophy •  
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calendar   Sunday - May 24, 2009

A timely reminder and thanks to:  Argentium G. Tiger

Originally posted by:

Argentium G. Tiger 05/22/2009 at 09:50 PM

The Tiger posted this excerpt last week and it belongs here, right now, and especially today.
I think I should also say thank you very much Tiger, and so I do.  Shamed to admit it but I had forgotten this. But not anymore.

If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to.  This is the last stand on earth.  And this idea that government is beholden to the people; that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to men.

This is the issue of this election.  Whether we believe in our capacity for self government, or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”

-- Ronald Reagan - From his speech to the Republican National Convention, October 27, 1964

Watch the whole thing, it’s got some good pearls of wisdom in it.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/24/2009 at 06:43 AM   
Filed Under: • Blog StuffPatriotismPersonalPhilosophy •  
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calendar   Sunday - April 12, 2009


I am not going to post the whole article. Not that it doesn’t have some interest. If you’re interested, the link is below.

Some background.
A journalist named Colin Freeman, working for the Telegraph, was kidnapped in Nov. of last year while covering the pirate story along with his photographer.  They were held captive for six weeks.
That’s he on the left in the photo.
Now then, I have a gripe with one statement he makes in the article, and I truly believe it’s indicitive of the thinking among many hand wringers who’d rather kiss and make up.  It also appears to me, though I may be entirely mistaken, that his thinking is very much a part of Brit mindset these days.  It’s as though they feel awful when they have to hurt someone who is hurting them.  ?? I’ll never understand that sort of thinking. 

Mr. Freeman says the following, and he can not be more wrong.

“When pondered for real, the mere thought that somebody might die because of you ---

even if it’s a kidnapper ---

---- is hard to face.”



Photo appears to have been taken while in captivity.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/12/2009 at 12:54 PM   
Filed Under: • PhilosophyPirates, aarrgh!Stoopid-People •  
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calendar   Sunday - February 08, 2009

Kitchen prose and gutter rhymes

Apologies to Ian Anderson, but for some reason this poem by H. P. Lovecraft keeps coming to mind under the B. Hussein Administration…

Come hither, my lads, with your tankards of ale,
And drink to the present before it shall fail;
Pile each on your platter a mountain of beef,
For `tis eating and drinking that bring us relief:
So fill up your glass,
For life will soon pass;
When you’re dead ye’ll ne’er drink to your king or your lass!

Anacreon had a red nose, so they say;
But what’s a red nose if ye’re happy and gay?
Gad split me! I’d rather be red whilst I’m here,
Than white as a lily and dead half a year!
So Betty, my miss,
Come give me kiss;
In hell there’s no innkeeper’s daughter like this!

Young Harry, propp’d up just as straight as he’s able,
Will soon lose his wig and slip under the table,
But fill up your goblets and pass `em around
Better under the table than under the ground!
So revel and chaff
As ye thirstily quaff:
Under six feet of dirt `tis less easy to laugh!

The fiend strike me blue! l’m scarce able to walk,
And damn me if I can stand upright or talk!
Here, landlord, bid Betty to summon a chair;
l’ll try home for a while, for my wife is not there!
So lend me a hand;
I’m not able to stand,
But I’m gay whilst I linger on top of the land!

Remember, back in HPL’s day ‘gay’ meant ‘happy’. It didn’t have the deadly life-choice meaning it has now.

Meanwhile, it’s ‘Eat, Drink, and Spend...’


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 02/08/2009 at 03:03 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffPhilosophy •  
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calendar   Sunday - December 28, 2008

Liberal, Conservative, what’s the difference?

Finally, somebody wrote a piece that succinctly defines the difference between liberal fascist moonbats and compassionate conservatives. He is Christopher Chantrill at The American Thinker. He wrote, in part:

“This is the basic conflict between liberals and conservatives. Liberals believe you can solve social problems with government programs. Conservatives believe that you must solve them person-to-person, face-to-face. Compassion means, literally, “suffering with.” Getting paid to run a government program to help the poor with tax dollars isn’t “suffering with.”

Exactly. This is the true ‘trickle down’ economics: government, be it local, state, or federal, rakes in billions through the threat of force, and ‘trickles down’ just enough to keep you breathing. Good times or bad, Government never seems to “suffer with” us at all.

I do my “charitable” works personally with people I know through various venues: family, church, work, neighborhood, etc. I don’t (usually) just send money off to some big, impersonal government ‘welfare’ organization (like United Way) so that they can skim a few hundred thousand off the top for themselves and ‘trickle down’ some pennies to those in need. That doesn’t count what those government ‘charities’ seize by force from my paycheck…

Go read the whole article entitled The Conservative Elevator Story.

I guess George W. Bush was right when he used the phrase ‘compassionate conservative’. I hated it because I thought it was redundant, but I couldn’t quite point out why I thought that.


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 12/28/2008 at 07:37 PM   
Filed Under: • EditorialsGovernmentPersonalPhilosophy •  
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calendar   Monday - December 01, 2008

The Truth Behind Thanksgiving

Back online after the long holiday weekend.  Brother-in-Law was down from maryland, so lots of lead went downrange (much to the chagrin of our aging mutt, who decided to run halfway across the county as a result) and much good conversation was had.

Whilst catching up on the news this morning, I found a link to this little article.

For What Do We Give Thanks?

As our modern gladiators chase a pigskin down the field in Dallas or Detroit, we settle into our living rooms, loosen our belts and remind the little ones this is the day we echo the thanks of the Pilgrims, who gathered in the autumn of 1621 to celebrate the first bountiful harvest in a new land.

The Pilgrims’ first winter in the New World had been a harsh one. The wheat the Pilgrims had brought with them to plant would not grow in the rocky New England soil. Nearly half the colonists died.

But the survivors were hard-working and tenacious, and — with the help of an English-speaking Wampanoag named Tisquantum (starting a long tradition of refusing to learn three-syllable words, the Pilgrims dubbed him “Squanto”) — they learned how to cultivate corn by using fish for fertilizer, how to dig and cook clams, how to tap the maples for sap. And so they were able to thank the Creator for an abundant harvest that second autumn in a new land.

The only problem with the tale, unfortunately, is that it’s not true.

Fascinating history lesson there, very relevent for today.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/01/2008 at 11:52 AM   
Filed Under: • PhilosophyPolitics •  
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calendar   Tuesday - November 04, 2008

This one’s for Grumpy

I just started reading Terry Pratchett’s works a couple of months ago. I find this quote to be especially relevant today.

The Ephebians believed that every man should have the vote. Every five years someone was elected to be Tyrant, provided he could prove that he was honest, intelligent, sensible, and trustworthy. Immediately after he was elected, of course, it was obvious to everyone that he was a criminal madman and totally out of touch with the view of the ordinary philosopher in the street looking for a towel. And then five years later they elected another one just like him, and really it was amazing how intelligent people kept on making the same mistakes.

This comes from Discworld #13, small gods.

Keep this in mind as you vote today. cool smile 


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 11/04/2008 at 05:19 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffPhilosophy •  
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calendar   Sunday - January 20, 2008

A Progressive’s Journey

If you’ve not stumbled upon it before, the Neo-Neocon has been writing a series for a long time (with a one-year break) about her journey from a liberal democrat to a thinking conservative.  It is a fascinating read; very well presented and thought out.  It is well worth the time.

Click below to see all of the segments.  Read from the bottom-up

A mind is a difficult thing to change: my journey

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I’ve found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon. My friends and family don’t want to hear about my inexplicable conversion, so I started this blog to tell the tale of my political change and provide a forum for others. I have a background as a therapist, and my politics make me a pariah in the profession, too. Little did I know that I moved in such politically homogeneous circles.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/20/2008 at 08:51 AM   
Filed Under: • Philosophy •  
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calendar   Friday - November 30, 2007

Freedom or Justice?

Bill Whittle asks a great question:  Do you want Freedom or Justice?  Can you really have both?

Are you in favor of Freedom? Well, who isn’t?

What about Justice? Put me down for that too.

Everybody wants freedom, and everybody wants justice… but it occurs to me, if you really get down to brass tacks, that pure freedom and pure justice are mutually exclusive.

For example, if one was truly free, utterly at liberty to do whatever one wanted, whenever they wanted to do it, then that person would leave a vast wake of injustice. To walk wherever you wanted: trespassing. To take what you wanted: stealing (or rape if it was who you wanted). If you were absolutely, utterly free you could murder at will. Or perhaps just drive as fast as you want.

The fact that you are not able to do any of these things puts constraints on your liberty. It limits your freedom to act. Thank God.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/30/2007 at 03:26 PM   
Filed Under: • Philosophy •  
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calendar   Tuesday - November 20, 2007

Less Guns, More Shooting

One for the “Duh” file.  From John Hawkins we see a report from the Boston Globe that wonders why the ban on guns in the nation’s capital has not had the swimming success it was purported to have.

Effectiveness of D.C. gun ban still a mystery

WASHINGTON - Three decades ago, at the dawn of municipal self-government in the District of Columbia, the city’s first elected mayor and council enacted one of the country’s toughest gun-control measures, a ban on handgun ownership that opponents have long said violates the Second Amendment.

All these years later, with the constitutionality of the ban now probably headed for a US Supreme Court review, a much-debated practical question remains unsettled: Has a law aimed at reducing the number of handguns in the District made city streets safer?

Bzzzzzzzt.  Yes, someone in the audience wants to answer this one.  Go ahead young lady.


Correct!  100 points for you.

Over the years, gun violence has continued to plague the city, reaching staggering levels at times.

But, But, can that be?????  There is a ban on guns.  No one is allowed to have them.  Surely everyone listens to and follows the law, right?  RIGHT?

In making by far their boldest public policy decision, Washington’s first elected officials wanted other jurisdictions, especially neighboring states, to follow the lead of the nation’s capital by enacting similar gun restrictions, cutting the flow of firearms into the city from surrounding areas.

“We were trying to send out a message,” recalled Sterling Tucker, the council chairman at the time.

We’re such a collosal failure, we thought we’d like some company in the effort.

“It’s a pretty common-sense idea that the more guns there are around, the more gun violence you’ll have,” D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer said.

Maybe to someone who lives in FantasyLand it does, but not to those of use who actually live in the real world.  You know, the world where there are actual bad people who don’t follow your laws and are intent on taking stuff and killing people?



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/20/2007 at 09:34 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsPhilosophyPolitics •  
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calendar   Wednesday - October 31, 2007

Deputies Seize Baby From Parents

From Wardmama.

Deputies Seize Baby From Parents

By: Anna Jo Bratton
Associated Press Writer

OMAHA, Neb.—A nearly 7-week-old baby is home after sheriff’s deputies seized him from his parents so doctors could perform a mandatory blood test that the boy’s parents object to on religious grounds.

Mary and Josue Anaya of Omaha say their due process rights were violated and they’re considering legal action against the state and county, which decided to “grab the baby and ask questions later,” said their attorney, Jeff Downing of Lincoln.

The Douglas County attorney’s office says it only did what was necessary to protect the baby’s health. The blood test—usually performed within 48 hours of birth—screens for dozens of rare diseases, some of which can cause severe mental retardation or death if left undetected.

“Our job is to uphold the law and provide for the safety of a child that’s at risk,” said Nicole Brundo Goaley, a deputy Douglas County Attorney. “We wanted to make sure the testing was going to get done.”

It’s the first time in Nebraska a child was taken from parents to draw the drops of blood from the baby’s heel for the screening, said Marla Augustine, spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Human Services. Nebraska is one of four states—South Dakota, Michigan and Montana are the others—that doesn’t offer a religious exemption for parents who don’t want the test performed.

Health officials say the newborn screening is one of the state’s most cost-effective public health programs. Last year, out of 26,819 babies tested, 537 tested positive for one of the dozens of diseases, and 43 of those results were confirmed, according to the state’s Newborn Screening Program.

The Anayas and some other families say the screening is not only unnecessary for them, it may be dangerous to their children’s physical and spiritual well-being.

The Anayas believe that the Bible instructs against deliberately drawing blood and that ignoring that directive may shorten a person’s life.

Now I don’t necessarily agree with these parent’s stance, but what does that have to do with anything?  They have a conviction about the way they provide for the health of their child.  Is it the state’s right to override that?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/31/2007 at 11:46 AM   
Filed Under: • Health-MedicinePhilosophyReligion •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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