Ramblings of an Antiquated Mind

This, all of it. remember it!

Practically Historical

Madison rolls over edition…

  • A US Congressman publicly proclaimed the US Constitution was written so the Federal government could expand its power- Madison rolls over…twice
  • So much time and effort is expended trying to refute Original Intent, considering all of our trouble lately, maybe it’s time to embrace it?
  • The Bill of Rights is not negotiable
  • Nine of the first ten amendments restrict government and enumerate individual rights- but gun control advocates want you to believe that the Second Amendment empowers government through a collective privilege?
  • Government did not give us the Bill of Rights- it was the creator
  • Instead of simply taking a selfie with Thomas Jefferson….visitors to Monticello should read some of his words.
  • Democrats unhappy with the current legislative agenda should try winning more elections, rather than wrinkling their $1,000 suits sitting on the floor.
  • So very sad when France deals with domestic terrorism in more forceful…

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And the last Word, for our British Friends and Cousins.

Out brexit

This was Tweeted by Elizabeth Hurley, and I’m inclined to give it credence. http://images1.fanpop.com/images/photos/1500000/Elizabeth-elizabeth-hurley-1548027-1024-768.jpg

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,–
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

We’ve talked here about all the reasons you should vote leave, and I will not rehash them, yet again. But Thomas Paine was speaking to you, even as he was us, back on 23 December 1776 when he wrote this:

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

And mind you, that is exactly what is at stake in this referendum, the heritage you built (and passed on to us) of a free people in a free land. Great Britain or Britannia as the Romans called it. A mere outpost of a nondemocratic empire.

Soon we will know what you have decided, we Americans, like your own writers have told you what we see, and what we think you should do. But, as it should be, it is up to you, the people of Great Britain, especially England, which will decide the issue. Vote as you think right.

But we will always remember the Great Britain that inspired us, and fought by our side throughout the last century, with awe and thanks, and we will always remember that your bequest to us was our freedom, and power, and ability to mostly do the right thing. You know, this Great Britain.

You may choose, of course, the temporary safety of the German Zollverein, that is your privilege, but the world needs Great Britain to help lead it to ‘the broad sunlit uplands’, of freedom and peace, and so do we.

And so, as Charles James Fox during the Revolution wore the buff and blue of the Continental Army into Parliament, today I shall be wearing, the Union Jack in my lapel.

I Tweeted this morning a comment from The Conservative Woman because it says it all, and besides, there is nothing little about England, it’s freedom and language is the aspiration of the entire world.



Monday Miscellany

w1056This is interesting:

If the data is any indication, most of us use our phones more than we think: Participants estimated an average of 37 uses throughout the day (anything that turns on the screen, from hitting snooze to making a call), but the actual number was around 85. The slight majority took less than 30 seconds. (Participants also underestimated duration of use by about an hour — the real total was 5.05 hours — which included phone calls and listening to music when the screen was off.)

If you are awake for 16 hours, turning on or checking your phone 85 times means doing so about once every 11 minutes (and doesn’t account for internet use on a computer), and 5.05 hours is over 30 percent of the day. What might be the effect on reflection of this compulsive behavior?

In 2010, researchers led by Dr. Stephen Fleming at the Wellcome Trust Center for Neuroimaging at University College London published a paper in the journal Science in which they correlated introspective ability with the amount of gray matter in the prefrontal cortex. (Introspective ability was defined for the study as the accuracy of measuring one’s own performance on a visual-perception task, a sign of metacognition, or “thinking about thinking.”)

via The End of Reflection – The New York Times

I think they may be on to something here, when’s the last time we really thought something through?

So is this:

The eight-hour workday is an outdated and ineffective approach to work. If you want to be as productive as possible, you need to let go of this relic and find a new approach.

The eight-hour workday was created during the industrial revolution as an effort to cut down on the number of hours of manual labor that workers were forced to endure on the factory floor. This breakthrough was a more humane approach to work 200 years ago, yet it possesses little relevance for us today.

Like our ancestors, we’re expected to put in eight-hour days, working in long, continuous blocks of time, with few or no breaks. Heck, most people even work right through their lunch hour!

This antiquated approach to work isn’t helping us; it’s holding us back.

The Best Way To Structure Your Day

A study recently conducted by the Draugiem Group used a computer application to track employees’ work habits. Specifically, the application measured how much time people spent on various tasks and compared this to their productivity levels.

via Why The 8-Hour Workday Doesn’t Work

Maybe that’s why I tend to be more productive when I need new glasses, in about an hour the headache gets started.:)

In an article on boredom, my friend Amyclae note that Evagrius said this about the ‘demon of acedia’.

Is the most oppressive of all the demons. He attacks the monk about [10 A.M.] and attacks the soul until [2 P.M.]… He makes it appear that the sun moves slowly or not at all, and that the day seems to be fifty hours long. Then he compels the monk to look constantly towards the windows, to jump out of the cell, to watch the sun to see how far it is from [3 P.M.]… he instills in him a dislike for the place and for his state of life itself… He finds it would be better if he were not there.

via But Boredom

I resemble that remark all too often, I fear, sometimes even when I’m doing things.

‘Merica, or why we lead:

Hey, if it’s crazy and it works, is it really crazy? Randy Wagner’s neighbors in Rosharon, Texas, thought he was crazy when he started walling off his house with a big rubber tube:

“I was the crazy guy. Everybody was kinda going by, laughing at me. But today they are really impressed with this AquaDam,” said Wagner.

The Brazos River, known to most Americans only as a geographical feature in the Westerns of the thirties through the sixties, became a real threat to many Texans’ homes and even lives when it flooded. When the people of Rosharon and Brazoria County were warned to be prepared to evacuate, Randy Wagner had a different idea: could he prepare to save his home?

via “Crazy Guy” Saves his House from Flood

I’ll have more to say about Orlando, perhaps tomorrow, but for now, I want you to think about this. The best friends the gay community has are those whom Obama characterized as “It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” Why? Because they’re the ones who will on their own initiative regardless of anything else, defend themselves and others. That too is the American Way.

Mike Rowe “Don’t follow your Passion, Live it”

There are only a few guys or girls that you see on TV that I really like. Leading that group is Mike Rowe. Why? because he tells us all the common sense things that many of us know. But there is a difference when I say it or Mike does. I suspect a fair number of you have seen this video from Prager University, but let’s watch it again together.


He’s right you know, the world doesn’t really need another gender studies major, but we do need people to keep the lights on and the toilets working, and you know, they get paid pretty damned well, if they’re good at it. I’m a fair example, I think, when I was in school, I had a pair of passions, first to fly Air Force bombers, and secondly to be an engineer. Well, I had hay fever and the Air Force (with good cause, once I understood it) didn’t want me anywhere near the cockpit of a B-52. You’ll understand if you’ve ever flown with a head cold. As for the engineering, well my brother in law was dead on when he said, he can do the work, but he’ll never make it through school. Maybe if I’d had better math teachers, but well, I didn’t.

But you know, I got my journeyman card as a power lineman on my 18th birthday, and by the time I was twenty-five, I was a master electrician. As an aside, it worked out for the best, I would’ve gone crazy stuck in an office when I was in my twenties, even my thirties. And I’ve made a pretty good living all these years, some better and some worse, of course. And I’ve turned into a near engineer as well. I’m one of those guys that can figure out how to do almost anything.

But Mike also did an interview lately that doesn’t have the 300K + views that the video above does. In it, he tells how he got to where he is today. I think it, although a bit longer, is even more powerful. Here it is. See if you don’t agree

And you know, that’s important. Look at everything around you in our civilized world, and think about this, most of what you (and I) take for granted, every day, was beyond the dreams of King George III, or Thomas Jefferson, or even the Pope. We have it because people, mostly without degrees, figured out how to do each and every step to get us here. I’d call that a pretty damned noble calling, especially when at oh dark thirty in the middle of a Nebraska blizzard, I don’t have to use a whale oil lantern to find the outhouse.

But somebody has to keep all this stuff working, and they get paid (usually well) to do it. Do you have what it takes to make it in my world?

Not many do.

Saturday Links, Mostly History Edition

stillman-300x200Well, it’s Saturday. The way this week started, I thought it would be rather terrible, but it’s worked out to be pretty good, both on the blog and in life. So we’re going to relax a bit and mostly enjoy. Lots of stuff accumulates around here, so let’s share some of it.

This one must be for a friend of mine, don’t you think Elinor?

[…] Lady Susan, Austen writes, is not only “excessively pretty,” but a “distinguished flirt.” She is in fact “the most accomplished coquette in England.” The object of considerable gossip, Lady Susan captivates men and infuriates women, who rightly see her as a self-serving seductress who has blithely left in her wake broken hearts, broken homes, and at least one dead husband. Having just been widowed, Lady Susan (Kate Beckinsdale) decides to descend upon her late husband’s brother, Charles Vernon (Justin Edwards) and his wife Catherine (Emma Greenwell) at Churchill, the Vernons’ grand estate out in the home counties.

True to form, Lady Susan wastes little time making a play for Catherine’s twentysomething brother Reginald De Courcy (Xavier Samuel), who is visiting at Churchill. A handsome but credulous young man, De Courcy assures his family that, no matter what, he will resist the legendary charms of the thirtysomething widow. It’s a challenge she cannot resist. As Lady Susan tells her confidante Alicia Johnson (Chloë Sevigny), she intends to wed Reginald partly to settle a score with Catherine Vernon and others in the De Courcy family who, she complains, assume superior airs. Besides, the wealthy Reginald is too easy a target to pass up. He falls completely for Lady Susan’s self-portrait as a helpless widow “bullied” by a cold, cruel world.

Complications ensue, however, when Lady Susan’s 16-year-old daughter Frederica (Morfydd Clark) unexpectedly turns up at Churchill, having been expelled from boarding school. (Lady Susan, who prefers to ignore Frederica, has also been ignoring her fees.) Sir James Martin then arrives, hot on Frederica’s trail.

via Jane Austen’s Memorable Con Woman – Online Library of Law & Liberty

Sounds to me like a fun way to spend an evening.

All things change over time, as we know, and that includes our language, that is part of its strength. But how did it sound?

Via: Two Nerdy History Girls

My friend Deidra Alexander, lost the lottery this week, she had to go to the DMV, she told us about it.

I just had 24 hours’ worth of creativity sucked out of me through my nose. The jokes my parents and grandparents told were true. I spent two and a half hours at the DMV getting my driver’s license renewed.

This has to be a government conspiracy designed to make you feel old, tired and beaten. Probably so you don’t notice the extra property taxes you’re paying so the high school can have a parking garage. No other building in town has a parking garage. But I digress.

I had been in line for about an hour when I had to say, “The line moved much faster before we had computers and the internet. That was when I first got in line. I think they switched over since I got here.”

From DMV Conspiracy

This simply fascinates me.

The Museum of London Archaeology’s excavation of the site of Bloomberg’s future European headquarters in central London has proven to be an even richer archaeological motherlode than we knew. Thanks to its proximity to the Thames and the waterlogged embrace of the lost Walbrook River, organic remains from the earliest days of Roman London through the 5th century were preserved in exceptional condition: entire streets, hundreds of shoes, a cavalry harness and the largest collection of fist and phallus amulets ever found. When the story broke in 2013, archaeologists had unearthed more than 100 fragments of writing tablets. That was just the beginning. In the final tally, a total of 405 wood writing tablets were found during the Bloomberg Place excavation.

via The History Blog

And finally, Why we call it Great Britain

[…]We gave the world democracy, common law, the Bailey Bridge, tanks, gravity, the worlds most common second language, Led Zeppelin, fair play, queuing, the backhoe loader, metal bridges, the Magna Carta, modern economics, the industrial revolution and Hollywood villains.[…]

Tea drinking, chicken tikka masala, Shakespeare, Winston Churchill, battered Mars Bars, the BBC, the mini (car, roundabout and skirt), the Spice Girls, Darwin, football, Marmite, rugby, cricket, golf, tennis, ping pong, pubs, tea, sharp suits, Spitfires and the fact there are homosexuals, lesbians and transsexuals in the armed forces and you know what, no one gives two shits.

And More, from Think Defence

Happy Saturday!:)

When Did Optimism Become Uncool?

Credit Matt Chase Photo by: Matt Chase

I know, I hate to refer to (let alone link to) The New York Times, but sometimes they almost make sense. This piece, for example, he says several risible things in making his point, but he does have one, and he’s right.

What really is so bad? Yes, it could (and should) all be better, if we’d had better policies and perhaps better people. The economy, is firing on about 5 cylinders, and that makes a V8 run rather badly, but it’s running. Washington intrudes far too much, but we’re still better than anybody I can think of, and freer than most, mostly by our own hand.

GIVEN Donald J. Trump’s virtual lock on the Republican presidential nomination, you’d think he’d be a bit more upbeat. Instead, his campaign began last summer with “our country is going to hell,” then declared, “we’re becoming a third world country,” and by this month had progressed to the United States “losing all the time.”

This election season, the impending apocalypse has been issue No. 1 for presidential aspirants on both sides. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said he was running “because the world is falling apart.” Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, declared the United States “near an abyss.” On the left, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont says the economy has been “destroyed” for all but the wealthy few.

Presidential contenders are hardly alone in such bleak views. An April Gallup poll found that only 26 percent of Americans call themselves “satisfied” with “the way things are going” in the United States. It’s been this way for a while: January 2004, during the George W. Bush administration, was the last time a majority told Gallup they felt good about the nation’s course.

Yet a glance out the window shows blue sky. There are troubling issues, including the horror of mass shootings, but most American social indicators have been positive at least for years, in many cases for decades. The country is, on the whole, in the best shape it’s ever been in. So what explains all the bad vibes?

Social media and cable news, which highlight scare stories and overstate anger, bear part of the blame. So does the long-running decline in respect for the clergy, the news media, the courts and other institutions. The Republican Party’s strange insistence on disparaging the United States doesn’t help, either.

But the core reason for the disconnect between the nation’s pretty-good condition and the gloomy conventional wisdom is that optimism itself has stopped being respectable. Pessimism is now the mainstream, with optimists viewed as Pollyannas. If you don’t think everything is awful, you don’t understand the situation!

via When Did Optimism Become Uncool? – The New York Times

I think that is the key here, as well, it has simply become fashionable to be a pessimist, many of us have become defeatist, whether its politics, religion, education, or the generation(s) behind us, it’s all doom and gloom, all the time.

Time for a reality check, I see the same problems as you do, but I ain’t defeated. It’s a challenge, folks, how are we going to solve them? Remember it was about 42 months between Pearl Harbor, and Tokyo Bay, only a couple years between Apollo 1 and landing on the moon.

Whingeing never solved anything, and if we do our best to fix our local problems the big national ones will mostly disappear.

And I’m not overly interested in who you think is preventing from doing whatever, either, my experience says that 99% of the time, it’s an excuse, to sit around and have a beer.

And besides, it’s fun solving your own problems, so let get to it.

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