Saturday, July 30, 2011
John Pelopidus Leach
1906: Only Old Veteran Fife and Drum Corps in existence, from the Lawrence O’Bryan Branch (died at Antietam) Kettle drummers: (left) Alphonso Haynes and Deany Smith (last on right);
Bass drummer: Mr. Lewis; Fifer: Mr. Johnson; from Greensboro area
Reminiscences of Roanoke Minute Men
"Oft in the stilly night,
Ere Slumber's chains have bound me,
Fond Mem'ry brings the light
Of other days around me."
When I remember all
The friends so link'd together,
I've seen around me fall -
Like leaves in wintry weather -
I feel like one who treads alone,
Some banquet hall deserted,
Whose friends are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed.
The Combat deepens - On ye brave,
Who rush to glory or the grave!
Wave, Munich, all the banners wave!
And charge with all thy Chivalry!
The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold.
Then shook the hills with Thunder riv'n;
Then rush'd the steed to battle driv'n;
And louder than the bolts of Heav'n
Far flash'd the red artillery.
The war is o'er, and Father Time has cleared the strife away,
And scattered golden sunbeams where once dark shadows lay,
Our heroes sleep; oh! let them rest, nor take their fame away,
For glory marks each sacred spot where sleep the Blue and Gray.
God it's wonderful—really diverting in a macabre sort of way, at least if you have a diseased sense of humor and enough Padre Kino red. Which I do. As I write the world's only delusional superflower, perennially in love with itself, navel-gazing as narcissistically as ever, ignorant, self-indulgent, gurbling like an insane relative in the attic and fondling electro-trinkets from Japan, is broke. Yes, we see a beautiful dive from the high board, two somersaults and a half-twist, into the Third World. And so richly deserved.
Congress, a collection of whores, con-men, and penny-ante sharpers from East Jesus, Nebraska, ponders the Great Question: Default now, and admit manfully to being the economic lepers everyone else already knows we are? Or raise the debt ceiling, keep spending like a spoiled Swarthmore sophomore with daddy's credit card, and collapse a bit later?
It's just lovely. The World’s Greatest Economy holding out the begging bowl to China. “Alms? Alms for the poor?” Maybe I don't have enough Padre Kino after all. Maybe there isn't enough.
On the lobotomy box, congressmen come and go, not talking of Michelangelo, like mayflies but without the brains, calling each other names. They seem to think that they are in an off-year election. I mean, it's only the future of the country. What, me worry? What if a huge cosmic flyswatter came down on Cap Hill and turned them into barely historical smears? How the hell do you start a cosmic flyswatter?
The Republicans want to protect the wars, the rich, and the military companies. The Democrats want to protect the entitlements. Well, ok, I guess killing Afghans matters more than feeding Granny in Spokane. Unless of course you are Granny. Who really cares? I mean, how many “defense” contracts does she have?
But actually the Dems have the best of the argument of national security. Entitlements are our friend. Welfare is the price we pay for not having the cities burn. Mailbox money is our protection, not gaudy aircraft carriers like the USS Thundertrinket, zooom-kerpow.
It's the Empire, stupid. You want spending cuts? Easy, if you don't want to rule the world for three more years before going down history's cloaca. Pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Japan, and NATO tomorrow. Pull out. Pull out. Coitus interruptus. Stop wasting precious engineering talent and non-existent money on pointless funsy weapons of no utility: the F35, the Airborne Laser.
Come to think of it, don't bother. It's too late. The only sensible answer is cheap Mexican red. The US really is poised to enter Central America. You know, continental drift. It can't be stopped. South Korea and Finland among others are far more advanced in their internets. Health care in America is first-priced and second-rate. The country is thirty-third in infant mortality. Schooling would be pathetic if we could raise it to that level, the universities largely farces. The Russians and Chinese have manned space programs; we don't. Industry flees Gringolandia or has fled. The great moiling gerbiltry out there hasn't figured it out. Wait.
I hear babbling about “the recovery.” Which recovery is that? There ain't none, boys and girls. There won't be one. We are not in a temporary recession or correction or what have you. We are going poor. The last dance just finished, and the band is leaving.
And it is self-inflicted. There is, I grant you, a pleasing monumentality about truly phenomenal stupidity. A certain brilliance is needed to be so witless. In this sense the American political system is a work of genius, relying on the principle of Sufficient Ditz-Rabbitry.
You don't need to fool all of the people all of the time. Enough of the people, enough of the time is entirely adequate. Lincoln knew this but, being a politician, didn't point it out. Here is the basis of what Americans believe to be a democracy. Curious: Mexicans know they have a corrupt government, but Americans don't. In the US, books are written about the scams and cons and rips practiced on the public. Few read them, though, and those who do already know what is in them. Enough of the people, enough of the time. If the talking heads on the blinking hamster-diverter don't talk about the swindles, the rubes never know.
The country is in fact ruled by the interlocking directorates of Wall Street, Washington, and the media, Triamese twins joined at the head and aimed at sucking money from the easily fleeced. We're not talking Senior Civics and the Federalist Papers. It's straight drain-the-dullards. And it works. Boy does it.
Can you name anything in America today that is not a disguised fraud? Credit cards are not a convenience, but a way of luring suckers into borrowing crippling amounts of money at usurious interest. The sub-prime circus was carefully designed to do just what it did. There's the student-loan racket, and Big Pharma: A tiny bottle of ophthalmic salt water from Bausch & Lomb, called Muro, costs $23 in Washington, and about $6 in Mexico. That's our government, fixing prices that weren't broken. Pure Third World.
I dunno. What's going to happen when what's left of the cream-flow dries up? Maybe it's the Padre Kino, but...in the last depression of '29, most of the country was rural or close. People, many of them, lived on farms, and didn't need much money.
Today most of the population is utterly dependent on remote mechanized farms winch are dependent on supplies of gasoline and chemicals and then on trucks to take the crop to cities that, if the foregoing chain broke down, could not possibly support themselves. The discovery that food doesn't really come from Safeway will astonish.
I guess I'm paranoid, and no real unrest and disruption could really occur. I guess. I mean, probably. I think. And that's a good thing, because with so many people dependent on entitlements, to the extent that they can't eat without them, and everything dependent on intricate systems that can't handle chaos—hooboy. Think: What happens to skyscrapers if there's no electricity for elevators?
I say invest in drug cartels. Some say gold, but you can't smoke gold. When times get bad people want booze, grass, crack, scag, crank, Oxys, and maybe shrooms for the more advanced. Investment is low, and governmental interference has proved minimal.
I hope I'm crazy. I'd better be.
" Eric Holder has been very good at dividing words."
MOREThese hearings cannot be good for the Obama administration, and testimony that appears to be less-than-candid is giving rise to a variety of conspiracy theories, the most plausible being that this gun trafficking operation allowed guns to deliberately walk in an effort to “pad the numbers” of recovered firearms at Mexican crime scenes that could be traced back to United States origin. As the theory goes, this would enable the Obama administration and anti-gunners on Capitol Hill to push for more gun control and a renewal of the ban on so-called “assault weapons.”
President Obama brought his debt battle to Twitter and he lost – more than 40,000 Twitter followers.
Obama asked Americans Friday to call, email, and tweet Congressional leaders to “keep the pressure on” lawmakers in hopes of reaching a bipartisan deal to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline.
Obama’s campaign staff used the @BarackObama Twitter account to post the Twitter handles of tweeting GOP leaders – state by state, tweet by tweet.
“Tweet at your Republican legislators and urge them to support a bipartisan compromise to the debt crisis,” Obama’s campaign staff wrote on his account before launching the day-long Twitter campaign.
The campaign appears to have served its purpose: Republican Twitter accounts were flooded with pleas for compromise.
Not everyone is a fan of the presidential spam. By Friday evening, the President had lost more than 40,000 Twitter followers - and counting.
- 6 Fullerton CA cops who beat & tasered homeless man to death return to duty as FBI begins investigation  http://ow.ly/1v7Z92
- New York NY cops may face charges after man’s death from pepperspray induced asthma attack ruled a homicide  http://ow.ly/1v84Jb
- Clark Co NV school district police dept subject of FBI investigation into alleged beating of cuffed juvenile  http://ow.ly/1v88Uy
- Las Vegas NV cop ruled to have violated policies when he beat & arrested man for videotaping him, may face discipline http://ow.ly/1v85ar
- RCMP cops ruled to have violated numerous rights in drug case dismissed against 5 men left out in underwear in snow  http://ow.ly/1v7ASY
- Niagara Regional ON cop loses 90hrs of vacation for using unnecessary force while falsely arresting bicyclist  http://ow.ly/1v7VCq
- Canton OH cop in controversial video threatening CCW holder now investigated for losing temper in another video  http://ow.ly/1v7VpN
- New Orleans LA cop resigns while under investigation for allegedly falsely arresting & planting drugs on parolee  http://ow.ly/1v7yhI
- Sturgis MI cop subject of suit by doctor who lost everything after falsely convicted of trading sex for drugs  http://ow.ly/1v7wEZ
- Atlanta GA police sued over another bar raid where police detained & ID’d patrons not suspected of any crime  http://ow.ly/1v7t5m
- Assumption Parish LA sheriff’s lieutenant sentenced to 5yrs for tampering w/evidence in hundreds of drug cases  http://ow.ly/1v7ag8
- Shelby Co TN sheriff’s detective arrested on sexual battery charge for allegedly coercing woman into exposing self and taking photos of her  http://ow.ly/1v79QE
- Irondequoit NY cop & brother accused of beating man on video in bar as owner claims city is threatening him over it  http://ow.ly/1v80gX
- Orange TX police ordered by arbitrator to rehire police captain fired for questionable shooting death of unarmed man  http://ow.ly/1v7YIp
- Youngstown OH police officer fired for allegedly helping his friend collect drug money  http://ow.ly/1v7YsC
- Elgin IL cop facing suspension for racist joke rats out other cop for racist joke in 90′s, also faces suspension  http://ow.ly/1v7UUr
- Durham Regional ON cop charged w/dangerous driving in on-duty crash that injured motorcyclist  http://ow.ly/1v79oc
- Santa Clara CA cop convicted of passing info to Hells Angels in order to settle debt with member  http://ow.ly/1v79ha
- Cleveland OH cop suspended w/o pay after arrested for unauth use of police database & personal use of police data  http://ow.ly/1v6ZLn
- 12 New York NY cops disciplined w/10 day suspensions in “red light overtime” scam, no charges  http://ow.ly/1v6Xcv
- Panama City Beach FL police sgt suspended 10 days for obstructing DUI arrest of fellow cop who drove him from bar  http://ow.ly/1v89e0
- Hornell NY cop convicted on DUI charge that cost him job, still faces 35 charges for incident after he resigned  http://ow.ly/1v6WRk
- Spectrum IEEE on MANETs (ad hoc peer wireless networks), the OLSR protocol, and Commotion. Simply, open source and resilient communications development to route around government shutdowns of the Internet (e.g. "the Internet Kill Switch" as sponsored by the autocrats Lieberman, Collins, and Carper): Before OLSR can be employed to bypass a throttled Internet, the technology needs to "move out of the geek-o-sphere and into the mainstream," Meinrath says. The key, he adds, is to make it really easy to install and use. The installation media that Meinrath envisions—thumb drives and the like—would be both clandestine and user friendly. A CD-ROM, for instance, could automatically install OLSR if it was put into a computer on booting up. And with a thumb drive or an SD card, installation would involve a mere click of the mouse. In addition to making it easy to set up a MANET, Commotion needs to make sure that the ad hoc networks are secure and anonymous so that citizens can use them without being afraid of persecution. To do this, Commotion will be adding a piece of software called Tor, which masks the sources and destinations of network traffic, and testing it in urban areas in the United States, such as Detroit, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. "Before we put people’s lives on the line, we want to test this out in a real-world setting," Meinrath says. Open Internet coming to a wireless router near you.
- FunkFeuer. A grassroots community MANET in Vienna and Graz (Austria).
- FabFi. One of my favorite projects. Used to enable ethernet over several miles (being used in Afghanistan among other places). Adds DIY hardware construction to the mix... FabFi is an open-source, FabLab-grown system using common building materials and off-the-shelf electronics to transmit wireless ethernet signals across distances of up to several miles. With Fabfi, communities can build their own wireless networks to gain high-speed internet connectivity---thus enabling them to access online educational, medical, and other resources.
FabFi test over 7 miles: