"Inspiration" (full albumn) (opens in separate window)

why we lost our ability to mend stuff

friday, february 29th, 2019

I was folding away some laundry last Sunday – when I normally do laundry before F1 and IndyCar races come on CATV – when I noticed a hole in one of my 17 woolen Pendleton Board Shirts. It’s about the size of a dime, but threatens to get bigger, and it’s located in the very inconvenient place of my shirt’s r/s shirttail, probably from my Kimber 1911 .45cal ACP, on my belt holster, rubbing it for years. “I should mend that,” I thought, until I realized I don’t remember how to mend anything at all.

I used to.

Dad's Mother, Grandma Amy O. Shelley, of nearby Emigsville (PA), could sew, darm, quilt and do anything and everything with needle and thread, balls of yarm and needles; she was amazing and prolific.

I've been buying ($117-$139) and wearing Pendletons, since the late-90s. In fact, before they were The Beach Boys, they were The Pendletones. A bit of water cooler trivia that you can wow people with.

The idea of mending today feels more like a promise than a reality. An trade magazine article last month about how the spare button represents all the ways we fail to be good consumers. Everyone has a stash of spare buttons rattling around in some drawer, with each button still neatly tucked inside its original packaging until we gather the will to throw it away. We buy things because they’re supposedly “investment pieces” and “classics,” but when it comes time to actually take care of our clothes, we don’t actually know how – or, more often, can’t be bothered.

“Really, the button fix is the easiest sewing project you could possibly do,” the author wrote. “There’s evidence of where the old button was located, and the holes of the new button guide your needle, while the button itself hides any sloppy work or loose threads. As long as you pick a pattern – crisscross or parallel stitches – and pull the thread tight, you literally cannot mess this up. And yet even this home-economics 101 activity seems too much to ask of me and many people my age. Maybe spare buttons are just aspirational, designed to make us believe something about ourselves that’s not really true anymore. That we can have a fulfilling job and do crafty things in our spare time. That we could be satisfied with a capsule wardrobe of 30 items, which would free up so much time and psychic space that we would finally write that novel. That we could go plastic-free if we just put in a little more effort.”

There was once a time (30s-60s) when every American child was formally taught the basics of living. No girl graduated high school without knowing how to bake, budget, and sew, while her male counterpart took classes in autoshop and woodworking. On the domestic side, this type of education was formalized into the field of home economics sometime in the 19th century, partly to legitimize the housework that women were already performing. In her essay “Beyond Gender,” The author wrote: “While the early curricula in the schools focused on such then-essential household tasks as cooking and sewing, the tasks were sustained by knowledge of science, human relations, aesthetics, and ethics. Home economics aimed to provide the learning needed for ‘right living.’”

This all changed in the late-60s. For good reasons, second-wave feminists fought back against the rigid gender stereotypes of the previous decade and felt that mandatory home economic classes were pushing women into the confinement of "housewiffery" – dumbassed Gloria Steinem called this type of education a “cultural ghetto” in an idiotic Washington ComPost op-ed. Around the same time, the US Government pulled federal funding that had been previously earmarked for these types of classes for decades. If schools wanted to keep their home home-economics programs, they had to fund them through a larger pool of money reserved for “vocational education.”

The two biggest blows came in the 90s. The first was the shift in the US economy from manufacturing to knowledge-intensive services (a shift that has been in the making for a long time, but came to a head during the information technology revolution). Today, secondary and post-secondary education are mostly aimed at teaching students how to read, write, and think critically for the modern economy, not how to manage household chores that can either be done by looking up something on the internet or simply outsourcing the work to a professional – e.g. tailors, maids, and cleaners.

The second blow came with the advent of fast fashion, which has made sewing and mending all but pointless. A hundred years ago, men wore detachable collars because the shirts themselves were so expensive. Now, whenever something rips or frays, buyers shrug and replace it with something new. When a shirt can be as cheap as $10, who has the time or inclination to send the item out to a professional or repair it themselves?

While home economics has mostly been in the purview of women, men everywhere have also needed to learn how to sew. In Britain, for example, the outbreak of the Second World War put a strain on domestic production and limited imports. As such, the government had to reallocate precious resources towards the war effort, but also ensure that each citizen had what they needed to survive.

This resulted in some interesting changes. To save on materials, men’s jackets were typically made with just three buttons and two pockets; pants were flat fronted and made with plain hems. Similarly, women’s dresses were made without any pleats, elastic waistbands, or decorative belt detailing; their heel height was limited to two inches. The government around this time also had to limit clothing consumption, so they gave every citizen a certain number of “clothing coupons.” To purchase clothes, British citizens would go into shops and pay for an item using the requisite number of tickets. Generally speaking, each adult was given enough tickets to purchase one new outfit per year.

Out of this came a British “make-do and mend” ethos, whereby civilians were encouraged to patch up and repair old garments, rather than buy new and replace. When garments couldn’t be patched up any longer, they were “deconstructed” so that their raw materials could be recycled. Raggedy sweaters, for example, were sometimes “unknitted” so that the yarns could be used to darn old knits or makes new ones entirely. The Ministry of Supply even organized a fashion show even organized a fashion show to demonstrate how new clothes could be made from old garments.

Women weren’t the only people mending during this period; British soldiers and men back home were also encouraged to fix their clothes. In some of the “Make Do and Mend” ad campaigns, the government specifically targeted men. Pictured above are some of my favorite war-time tutorials on how to make buttonholes, reinforce areas for extra wear, darn holes, and patch shirts.

Like old friends and familiar places, old clothes bring a special kind of comfort that only time can reliably provide. Last fall, Ralph Lauren gave a rare interview on CBS Sunday Morning, where he talked about his career and how he’s been able to stay relevant so long in an industry that reinvents itself every season. The best thing about the interview was his outfit. He wore a pair of light-washed blue jeans, some brown suede roper boots, a neatly-tucked henley, and an unbuttoned, green flannel shirt.

It’s the same outfit that he wore to a photo shoot in 1977, which was taken for a magazine story about his then-rising career. Forty-two years later, he wore the same old flannel, looking as cool as ever, on CBS. And if you assumed the shirt is from his own line, you’d be wrong. RRL, his company’s workwear-inspired subline, didn’t even debut until sixteen years after this photo shoot. No, the flannel is actually something Lauren originally bought from K-Mart, of all places.

“This is living proof of what I believe in,” Lauren said of his slubby old flannel. “I love the aging of it, I love the rips, I love it all. I happen to like this because it’s one that I have memories of. I wore it today because I wanted to look great.”

The idea that clothes become more personal with time is hardly new.

Without knowing how to mend, however, most of us will likely ever only know an old jacket or a pair of shoes. Finer garments, such as merino knits and woven shirts, are typically thrown away at the sight of their first hole. In an essay on what we lost when we forgot how to sew, someone wrote: “As this unique skill set has faded, so has our personal connection to clothing. Instinct has us reaching or our wallets rather than our needles. Although North American home econ classes are still woefully underfunded and understaffed, young people are once again interested in making their own clothes. Perhaps the biggest difference between home economics and the DIY revival is that the former was seen as a duty and the latter is, for the most part, a choice. But from beginning-to-end runs a thread of creativity, possibility, and self-expression.”

If you’re even mildly wondering why I'd write something like this, I learned to mend, sew patches and do repairs on my Scout Uniforms and civilians clothes at BSA Summer Camp, and on weekend camping trips, back in the late-50s/early-60s. I watched Mom and also learned from Scoutmaster in the BSA Camps. I have Mom's, her Mother's and sister's sewing baskets and kits, stored on the basement shelves, but haven't used them in decades. Now, I simply take any items needing repairs to a local seamstress, who does good work, and fast. But not cheap. Heh.

In the meantime, I have a small hole in my left sock heel that I need to fix. On second thought, I'll throw it away, wait for a matching pair's sock to go bad, and match-up the two remaining good socks. Works for me.

© 3/27/2019 By JS.

A Day In The Life.

I got up at 5:45a, to make sure I wouldn't miss Tammie's installer, Ed, who took down the broken (cord) electric middle window blind in my office sunroom. I needed to get the heat, coffee and computer going, and be fully-awake to tell him what happened, so he could send it back to the factory for repairs. He [put up a temporary blind until he can repair the repaired unit. Even after having the heating pad on my back, all night, I was hurting, so I called a friend to see if she had any Oxycodone or Vicodin. She did, and gave me a small bottle of 2 Oxys and 6 Vics, to help get me thru the pain.

I laid down on the LR couch, until 1p, made a Ham & Swiss on Rye Sandwich, and some Shrimp & Roasted Corn Chowder, and went back to snoozing on the LR couch. The Oxys made me very drowsy, and since I wouldn't be driving anywhere and got the past days' errands done in the morning, I had nothing to do but sleep with a heating pad.

Pills, pills and more pills.

Stupid fucking New Zealanders: bend-over and take some muslim(SPIT!) d•ck up your Infidel asses! Wear their dirty, filthy headrags "in solidarity", you fucking moron shitheads. You're cowards and sheep, and will be overrun and dominated by those murderous subhumans with 5-7yrs, now that you're disarming and easy prey. You deserve all that's coming to you. Don't expect any help from US; we're going to be busy, killing hundreds of thousands/millions of murderous, subhuman muslims(SPIT!) to save our country. F•ck the EU, too, They're all but gone. You brought it on yourselves. I was just sorry to hear the gunman only killed 50 of those poisonous vermin.

Once you have eliminated the impossible, what ever remains, how ever improbable, must be the truth.

Hey, spic bitch: no one gives a flying f•ck how you pronounce your last name, Cortez skank, spic half-breed. Shove your diversity, sensitivity, and PC crap up your fat ass. Same to you O'Rourke drunk, criminal drunk hit-and-run POS. You belong back in that Puerto Rico Spic-ville shithole, not in America, you two-dollar un-American, commie/fascist/socialist whore. You're a menace to Western Civilization. Rock on with the skeezer-spic Cortez bitch, Fox News.

For as much Talk Radio that I listen to these days, except when playing my YT Playlist at home, or hauling-ass in my 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.7L DOHC with "Golden Oldies" blaring, I hear dozens of ads about people avoiding CC payment and IRS taxes. They've been delinquent for 5-15yrs, yet get-off with a few hundreds buckm payments and no jail time. Same for CC payments: they "don't have to pay it all back", as I always did. I've always paid my bills to-the-cent, on time, all the time. You realize that both IRS and CC payment delinquencies cause higher taxes and higher interest rates, for you and me, as the companies' and government's costs are passed on! It makes my blood boil when I hear those ads! Each of those sons-of-bitches should be made to pay-off their entire bills, with full interest and penalty, and then go to prison for a specified number of years, dammit! And don't get me started on those filthy ED ads, which should be banned from all radio and TV!

Best Chardonnay Ever!

Anyway, I stayed-up until 12:30a, listening to my YT Playlist. modifying and changing selections, having a small glass of 2016 "Butter" Chardonnay, and finally pulled the plug around 12:45a. I needed some sleep with the heating pad.

Up at 8:30a, a cold 33° outside, I got the heat, coffee and computer going, checked the news and weather, which looks good for the next few days.

And then I read that the so-called Mueller Report, which exonerates Trump & Co from the criminal set-up the demonkkkRATs tried to do on him, and his family, was now released to the USAG's office. Poor little leftists, commies, socialists, marxists, anarchists and other hate-filled lowlife filth, are crying in their vodka. TFB, assholes. Now drop dead, all of you, MFers.

My back pain was still with me, but it was less excruciating than the past 4 days. I had 4-5 Vicodin 5mg left, and they'd get me thru the next 2 days or so. I skipped breakfast – hard to eat when I'm hurting – and had a couple cartons of Ensure® MAX Protein Shakes. Later, Becky stopped-by with a boatload of Chinese from Wegman's, in Lancaster. I had some Steamed Pork Dumplings, Pork-Fried Rice and Noodles. That helped a bit.

Are mathematics, order, cause, and effect ideas we cast upon reality, or do those ideas precede our cerebral efforts?

I watched 3-5 hours of Science Channel's Expedition Unknown series and on History Channel, American Sniper movie until 12:30a, took my evening Rxs & OTCs, and called it a day.

I slept-in until 10:30a on Sunday, upped the heat, fired-up the computer and made coffee; 51° and sunny already outside. My r/s back's still in a lot of pain, especially when I cough the stuff out of my lungs. I took a Vicodin 5mg, and started watching the NTT IndyCar Series race from Texas' Circuit of The Americas race course, at 1:30p. As soon as the IndyCar race was over, I switched-over to the NASCAR STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway (lousy short track) in VA, for the last part of that race. I ordered some special plant materials from White Flower Farms for my Back Patio Garden, and I'll get what I need for the Front Porch Garden, locally from SKH, in nearby Hellam. But Winter isn't quite finished with us yet, until mid-April.

Hosta "Blue Ivory"

After a dinner of heated-up Chinese Food, I watched a special streaming channel of "American Pickers" on History's website, which I can't get to on my 82" Samsung TV, until 10:30p, took my evening Rxs & OTCs, unplugged and went to bed.

Up at 8a on Monday, I fired-up the heat, computer and made coffee. 50°, cloudy and rain to come. I checked the news and weather maps, and the week's to-do list

The "Trump Exonerated" was still the big story from the weekend document dump of "No Collusion With Russians", as if there ever was. Total BS. But the demonkkkRATs aren't giving-up, for the foreseeable future. IMO, they all need killing.

I needed to get down to Red Lion and p/u a large batch of starched shirts, so I had a couple of cups of coffee, listened to the "Chris Plante Show" (on my computer) for an hour, and left. Traffic was light, and I was back home within 30-35mins. The rain started around 11:30a, and was relentless thru the evening and night. My friend called with some more 5mg Vicodin, for my badly-bruised back, just to take the edge off the pain. Unfortunately, both Oxys and Vicodin constipate the user, so I have to go to Weis Market, to load-up on more fruits and vegs, and a few other things.

Jeff arrived at 10:30a, with my new, replacement, matched GE Microwave and filter kit, from nearby Lowe's. He had the old one removed and new unit installed in under 30mins, by himself. Later, I had some errands to get done, bills to pay online and settled-in to watch some old episodes of "American Pickers", streaming on the Samsung 82" Class Q6FN QLED Smart 4K UHD TV. Monday is an "NBC" (Nothing But Crap) night on CATV, so I watched the streaming TV shows' old re-runs, and there were a few unseen 'gems' during the evening. I lasted until 10:30p, and unplugged for the night.

Up at 7:45a on Tuesday, my back pain was about the same. I upped the heat, made coffee and checked the Net's news and weather sites. While having coffee and checking my food list for Weis Market, I listened to the "Chris Plante Show", and left around 10:30a. I was thru my list in 20mins, and noticed that the store had removed 3 cashier checkout lines and expanded the "self-checkout" area by 4 more stations. Additionally, they put 8 new scan/pay machines in, and those POS's have the same problems as the old ones did. I was home by 11:30a, unloaded the groceries, put them away and had the last of the Chinese Steamed Pork Dumplings, Chicken-Fried Rice and Teriyaki Noodles.

Fuck you, America!

As of today, Chicago is the second most corrupt city in America. (DC is the most corrupt.) The criminal commie puke, son of a Black Panther mother bitch, subhuman faggot, lowlife nigga filth, Jussie Smollett, walks free from 16 felony counts of a fake hate crime he manufactured and carried-out with two other subhuman niggas, back in January, in Chicago. It was a political payback "fix" for Trump getting a "no collusion with Russia" collusion from the demonkkkRAT-owned FBI/DpIJ scumbag, Bobby Mueller. Ain't America great?

One clear voice, calling out for me to listen. One clear voice, whispering words of wisdom.

High for the day was a sunny, cold 45°. After reorganizing some 2019 Medical Records into manilla files, I made a n Olive Loaf Sandwich & Chips, watched some recent and the newest episodes of The Curse of Oak Island until 10:30p, and called it a day. Dr's app't at 9:16a tomorrow.

Up at 6:30a on Wednesday, I got the heat, coffee and computer up-and-going, and despite the co0ffee, knew I'd be taking an afternoon snooze. I had a 9:15 foot dr's app't, for the inflamed left big toe, which I somehow keep bumping on things, and aggravating the condition. I've been on antibiotics for the past week, and it's done very little. 19° and bone-chilling, but 60s & 70s are on the way by weekend.

The Foot Dr's app't went well, and she's put me on a new course of tetracyclines, and I'll see her again in 2 weeks. After a lunch of Ham & Swiss w/ Lettuce and Tomato on Rye Sandwich, Bush's Baked Beans, and small bowl of Lobster Bisque, I slept on the LR couch while the 3hr "Chris Plante Show" Podcast played.

Later, on the front porch, in the sun, I had some Starbuck's Coffee Doubleshot Energy drink and a smoke, to wake-up, in the getting-cold air. I walked across and down the street to the CHCA Mailbox, got my past 3 days' mail, and my IRS Return Check ($695.00) had arrived, after only filing 2 weeks ago. This one came out of Kansas City; usually, if I get one, it comes from Philly. Nice.

Watch It.

I watched History Channel's excellent production of Jesus: His Life, Episode 1: "Joseph: The Nativity". I also watched Jesus: His Life, Episode 2: "John the Baptist: The Mission". Watch the 4 episodes, if you can get it, as it's extremely well-produced and narrated. By 11p, I was fading, had a lot to think about, took my evening Rx/OTC pill regimen, and climbed the stairs to sleep.

Sleeping-in until 9a on Thursday, I upped the heat and computer, made coffee, took my huge pile of morning Rx/OTC pills, and caught the news and weather. I started getting calls from WellSpan Health System at Apple Hill Medical Center, to confirm that I'd be there at 7a, for a 7:15 Echocardiogram, 8:45 and 10:00 Nuclear Stress Tests. I had already pre-registered and confirmed online, so I don't know why I got so many calls. Those 3 tests are going to take 4-6 hrs, basically ruining my entire day.

It was a beautiful day, sunny and sort-of-warm 51° outside, so I made a trip to meet Becky at the nearby SKH Garden Center, to see what perennials etc they'd gotten-in so far. She bought some, but I held-off, knowing that after 23yrs in the business, the end of March/beginning of April can be problematic for new plants. I have my Back Patio plants ordered, and will concentrate on getting those established this Spring; then maybe work on the front gardens. I also have that 60ft Pin Oak to contend with: shade or sun, or some of each, will dictate what plants I select, and where they will be installed.

It was just a little too cool to open-up the front and back Larson storm/screen doors; I was warm and comfy at 73° inside. I took a short 2hr snooze on the LR couch, and since I have to get to sleep very early, as I'm getting-up at 5a for my 7:15a Apple Hill Medical Center Echocardiogram and 2 NM Stress Tests, I didn't want to sleep too much. After getting back up, I got a can of Starbuck's Coffee Energy Drink and had a smoke on the just-swept (me) front porch, in the brisk evening air, to wake-up.

Tonite was another "NBC Night" (Nothing But Crap) on CATV, so I listened to my extensive YT Playlist of Peter Cetera and Chicago music, which I never tire of, and did some computer work. The opening for this week's "Journal", wasn't all that difficult to write, though I had to get into some fashion magazine archives, which I was completely unfamiliar with, but added new words to the article and to my vocabulary. I decided to take my evening Rx & OTC pills and quit around 9p.

Next week is clear of everything, except maybe for a trip to SKH Garden Center to p/u some pint or quart perennials, noy yet ready to dig-in gallon pots. Nice to have a week wo/ any medical shit going on, for a change.

The Dumbest Generation Yet.

For years, I've seen it coming: the "Dumbing Down" of America's next generation, and the so-called Millenials have finally and proudly "achieved it". There's just no end to their general stupidity and pervasive ignorance. To wit:

• One recent survey found that 74 percent of Millenial Americans don’t even know how many amendments are in the Bill of Rights.
• An earlier survey discovered that 37 percent of Millenial Americans cannot name a single right protected by the First Amendment.
• Shockingly, only 26 percent of Millenial Americans can name all three branches of government.
• During the 2016 election, more than 40 percent of Millenial Americans did not know who was running for vice-president from either of the major parties.
• North Carolina is considering passing a law which would “mean only scores lower than 39 percent would qualify for an F grade” in North Carolina public schools.
• 30 years ago, the United States awarded more high school diplomas than anyone in the world. Today, we have fallen to 36th place.
• According to the Pentagon, 71 percent of our young Millenial semi-adults are ineligible to serve in the U.S. military because they are either too dumb, too fat or have a criminal background.

America Has Become An “Idiocracy”.

What in the world has happened to us? Once upon a time, America had the greatest system of education on the entire planet, and our people were sharp, capable and extremely well-informed. Sadly, none of those things are true anymore.

In 2006, Mike Judge made a movie entitled “Idiocracy” in which an individual of below average intelligence wakes up after being asleep for 500 years thanks to a military hibernation experiment. When he wakes up, he quickly realizes that he is now the smartest man in America, and that is not a good thing. The film became an instant classic, but when I originally watched it I thought that such a thing could never actually happen in this country. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Since 2006 our nation has been “dumbed down” at a pace that is absolutely staggering, and it is difficult to see a positive future for America if this trend continues.

The following are 18 reasons that prove that America has become an “idiocracy".

#1 One recent survey found that 74 percent of Americans don’t even know how many amendments are in the Bill of Rights.
#2 An earlier survey discovered that 37 percent of Americans cannot name a single right protected by the First Amendment.
#3 Shockingly, only 26 percent of Americans can name all three branches of government.
#4 During the 2016 election, more than 40 percent of Americans did not know who was running for vice-president from either of the major parties.
#5 North Carolina is considering passing a law which would “mean only scores lower than 39 percent would qualify for an F grade” in North Carolina public schools.
#6 30 years ago, the United States awarded more high school diplomas than anyone in the world. Today, we have fallen to 36th place.
#7 According to the Pentagon, 71 percent of our young adults are ineligible to serve in the U.S. military because they are either too dumb, too fat or have a criminal background.
#8 For the very first time, Americans are more likely to die from an opioid overdose than they are in a car accident.
#9 One study discovered that one-third of all American teenagers haven’t read a single book in the past year.
#10 A recent survey found that 45 percent of U.S. teenagers are online “almost constantly”.
#11 Today, the average American spends 86 hours a month using a smartphone.
#12 Overall, the average U.S. adult “logs 6 hours, 43 minutes of total screen time daily”.
#13 In more than half of all U.S. states, the highest paid public employee in the state is a football coach.
#14 During one seven day period last summer, a total of 16,000 official complaints about human feces were submitted to the city of San Francisco. And apparently the problem is very real because one investigation found 300 piles of human feces on the streets of downtown San Francisco.
#15 Every 24 hours, more than a third of all Americans eat fast food.
#16 Less than half of all Americans know which country used atomic bombs at the end of World War II.
#17 Even though we fought a war in Iraq for eight long years, 6 out of 10 young adults cannot find Iraq on a map of the Middle East. And that same survey found that 75 percent of our young adults cannot locate Israel.
#18 Today, the average college freshman in the United States reads at a 7th grade level.

Sometimes it helps to go into the past to get some much needed perspective on the present.

A few years ago, an eighth grade exam from 1912 was donated to the Bullitt County History Museum. To me, it is absolutely amazing what kids living in rural Kentucky were expected to know a little over 100 years ago.

You can find a copy of the exam right here, and as I looked it over I quickly realized that most college students would have an exceedingly difficult time trying to pass such a test today.

In fact, I think that I would have a very hard time getting a passing grade. Here are just a few of the questions on the exam…

• Through which waters would a vessel pass in going from England through the Suez Canal to Manila?
• How does the liver compare in size with other glands in the human body?
• How long of a rope is required to reach from the top of a building 40 feet high to the ground 30 feet from the base of a building?
• Compare arteries and veins as to function. Where is the blood carried to be purified?
• During which wars were the following battles fought: Brandywine, Great Meadows, Lundy’s Lane, Antietam, Buena Vista?

If you would like to know the answers to all of the questions on the exam, you can find them right here.

In contrast, our system of education today is a total joke. Most of our students have never learned how to communicate effectively, they are fed an endless stream of “tests” that consist of multiple choice, true/false and fill-in-the-blank questions, and when they get out of school most of them have absolutely no idea how to succeed in the real world.

Perhaps that helps to explain why our kids are in the bottom half of all industrialized nations when it comes to math and science literacy.

If we do not educate our children well, we will continue to fall behind the rest of the world, and it will be just a matter of time before we lose our status as a global power.

Of course that assumes that we actually have enough time left to turn things around. At that rate that we are currently degenerating, we might not.

How Best to Age? Do it Your Way.

I can hit the golf ball any way I can and laugh if it goes in the lake. That's the breaks. I'm just happy I can still hit that golf ball.

As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

When we're kids, we can't wait to grow-up. When we're grown-up and getting older, we just hope time will slow down.

Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play, on the computer, until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50, 60 & 70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet passes? But, broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I believe in simple things, like the miracle this day brings.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.

So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. Though, as the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years pass, I do occasionally think about it. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).

The Provider.

A young woman brought her fiancé home to meet her parents. After dinner, her mother told the girl's father to find out about the young man. The father invited the fiancé to his study for a talk."So, what are your plans?" the father asked the young man.

"I am a biblical scholar," he replied.

"A biblical scholar, hmmm?" the father said. "Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in?"

"I will study," the young man replied, "and God will provide for us."

"And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?" asked the father.

"I will concentrate on my studies," the young man replied, "God will provide for us."

"And children?" asked the father. "How will you support children?"

"Don't worry, sir, God will provide," replied the fiancé.

The conversation proceeded like this...and each time the father questioned, the young idealist insisted that God would provide.

Later, the mother asked, "How did your talk go, honey?"

The father answered, "He's a Democrat. He has no job, he has no plans, and he thinks I'm God."

Why Do So Many Young People Embrace Socialism?

It’s not youth and inexperience. It’s not even government-run schools and idiotic celebrities. Not primarily.

Why do so many young people embrace socialism?

For the same reason any middle-aged or older person embraces socialism: Anxiety and envy.

By “anxiety” I mean neurotic anxiety, which means a false or exaggerated belief that one will be unable to properly survive or take care of oneself, so that unspecified help is needed to ensure survival.

Envy is often a byproduct of anxiety. If one starts out feeling, “I’m unable to care for myself,” then it’s not a stretch to look at someone else who has more than enough and say, “That’s not fair. He can more than provide for himself, and I’m unable to do so for myself”.

What about the fact that young people have not yet earned much money, and therefore don’t appreciate the value and justice of private ownership, i.e., being able to keep what you earn? Not all young people feel this way. Some young people understand the justice of keeping what you earn. Some do, and change their minds later and become socialists in middle-age.

Regardless, unless you have a significant amount of neurotic fear and/or envy, it’s unlikely socialism would grab your fancy for even five minutes, much less for years (and elections) on end.

It’s true that public schools are teaching the ideology of self-sacrifice and blind service to others (the same premises as Nazism and Communism) as self-evident givens in today’s government-run schools. But these faulty ideas are not new to the present era. Yet in earlier eras, the majority of young people did not turn as socialist as they appear to be doing today.

The more likely contribution of today’s mediocre schools — as well as an increasingly irrational culture — is that young people don’t know how to think. Thinking is your basic tool and precondition of survival. If you feel inadequate to think critically, rationally and objectively, you’ll develop a neurotic and pervasive sense that, “I’m not equipped to survive.” In a land of plenty, particularly, it seems logically appealing when someone comes along and says, “No worries. We’ll pick up your college tuition. And health care. And tons of other things too. You’re entitled to it, after all.” It comes as a relief to the anxiety-ridden souls who embrace socialism.

In older folk, and in some young people born into wealth, there’s the factor of guilt and atonement. That’s a form of anxiety, too. “I’m rich and I don’t deserve to be. It’s not fair.” So it becomes a form of virtue-signaling merged with a psychological tonic to make sure others see you support socialism.

It’s not that most young people are depraved and stupid any more than most older people are totally depraved and stupid. And it’s not just inexperience. It’s fear. And the envy that gets ignited by fear.

It’s truly sad. And yes, it’s dangerous for the future of a free society, but dangerous most of all for those young people who now seek to embrace socialism. It’s not going to end any better for them than it did for anyone else. And if they get their wish, and socialism gets enacted completely, then their fears will quickly become rational.

DemokkkRATs' Wet Dreams.

Rather than deal with Illegal immigrant wave number 2, the Democrats on the Hill engage in wet dreams and socialism.

A 70% tax rate?? This is the proposal that will bring in American votes - Yeah Right.

Government run healthcare "Medicare for all". Yeah Obamacare skyrocketed premiums. So instead lets Tax them to a literal death with European style healthcare.

Abolish the Electoral College so that New York, California, and Illinois rules - the little states be Damned.

100% renewable Energy. Lets just ban gasoline and diesel vehicles like Trucks and Cars, and depend on wind and solar energy for our needs even though they are not dependable nor sufficient.

Ban Guns. Who cares if illegal Aliens come across the border with them. Our Ranchers deserve to die and don't need no stinking 2nd Amendment. For that matter so do US Citizens, they don't need to protect themselves from MS-13, we Democrats will get around to protecting them eventually.

Democrats please engage in some more wet dreams. We are excessively entertained during this Shutdown.

Where's The Chaos?

The government shut down Dec. 21 over Sen. Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi petulantly not wanting Trump to have any border wall funding. The federal government spends $4.4 trillion a year; the $5 billion Trump wanted is one-tenth of 1 percent of that. About the same percent that Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren is Native American.

If you are like me, you are more worried about government starting back up than it being shut down.

Who will open our open-air national parks? Who will answer the phones when we call? Who will give us the runaround at the IRS? Who will put us into intractable wars? Who will use the Justice Department to go after political opponents? Who will put us $22 trillion in debt?

Most of NASA is shut down, including the division that we pay to monitor to see if aliens in outer space try to contact us. I trust they put their “Out of Office” message on their email before they went home, in case aliens contact us.

Shouldn’t there be chaos? Why are you not looting Target for a flat-screen TV? Who will let me know when the panda cam is back on at the Washington Zoo?

Two things become clear during a government shutdown: how little we need most of government, and how petulant public servants can be when they do not get their funding. Under Obama, there was much petty government intimidation. Remember how he hired extra people to make sure our open-air national parks were kept shut so citizens could not just walk through them?

Heavy-handed goons run a swollen government monster that intimidates its funders, the taxpayers. It is structurally incapable of spending just a little less than it did the year before and seeks revenge when asked to live within its means. This shutdown teaches us that it is no big deal getting 25 percent of the government out of our lives. Americans will adapt. Let’s shut down most of the government and just hire back any part that we miss.

With historically high employment, I suggest we let about one-third of government employees find real jobs in the real world. You know, jobs that require accountability and productivity. Trump should keep government closed. If you can find it in the Yellow Pages or online, government does not need to be doing it.

Washington and the Deep State hate Trump no matter what he does, even when he does Obama-like things. He has done prison reform, run a huge deficit, is pulling troops out of Syria and Afghanistan, etc. If Trump doesn’t stop acting like Obama, he might ask to see his own birth certificate.

Since the Democrats won the House, the stock market has cratered. The Dems want to investigate, not legislate. House Speaker Paul Ryan has ceded power and decided to let someone else not get anything done.

Schumer, Pelosi and fellow libs run our overreaching, ineffective and expensive government. Should we be happy when government is back? It feels to me like my niece got back together with an abusive husband when that happens.

Trump made an unannounced trip to Iraq over Christmas. With Mueller on his tail and Democrats spending inordinate time wanting to use the blunt force of the federal judiciary to investigate him further, Trump stands as the only president to go to a war-torn area for peace and quiet.

Government shutdowns have become a well-worn path of a dysfunctional Washington. It is like Schumer and Pelosi are walking the marble halls of the Capitol and 20 feet ahead of them they see a banana peel. They both say, “Here we go again.”

The government shutdown over border wall funding is petulant politics at its best. Government means more to Democrats like Schumer and Pelosi because it is their lives. There is no easy off ramp for either side on this standoff. Now it is a waiting game to see who blinks first. And Nancy Pelosi has had so much work done on her face that she can’t blink anymore. So expect her to not rest until she fully embarrasses Trump (a particularly hard man to embarrass) or she captures all 101 Dalmatians.

When the federal government was not working, Trump probably called Tech Support in India to get advice. He told the guy government isn’t working, and the Tech Support guy said, “Just try turning it off for a while, then back on and see if that does the trick.”

The Fake News Media Doesn’t Even Put Up A Pretense Anymore.

All fake news, all the time. If you still do not believe that our national media establishment is 100% in the pocket of the Democrat Party and coordinates messaging with that political party on a daily basis, consider the following story.

We are now in Day 9 of a partial “government shutdown” that exists over the issue of illegal immigration. Early this week, in the midst of this “government shutdown,” a California law enforcement officer was murdered by an illegal alien who he was attempting to arrest for what would have been the illegal’s THIRD DUI crime. Yes, that’s right: thanks to California’s sanctuary laws, this illegal had already been arrested for and convicted of two DUIs, has known gang affiliation, and despite all of that had been allowed to just get out of jail and roam free on the state’s highways to put more lives in danger.

Anyway, that murder took place four days ago now, and in all that time, not one Democrat officeholder has been asked by one intrepid “journalist” to comment on the situation. Think about that: California has 53 members of the house and 2 U.S. senators, and not one of them has had to field a single question about how they can continue to support open borders and sanctuary laws when their state’s police officers and citizens are being murdered by illegal aliens.

The reason why is obvious: The media and the Democrats are coordinating on a narrative, and that narrative dictates that only Republicans must field difficult questions about illegal immigration. Any “journalist” who violates the narrative runs the risk of being dis-invited from all the best dinner parties. This is not complicated, folks.

Speaking of fake news... – two other fake news stories dominated the fake media this week, and boy, were they doozies.

First, you had the “bone spurs” story. This story, which we’ve heard many, many times before, made a comeback this week, with “new” information. That “new” information came in the form of the two daughters of the doctor who treated Donald Trump for bone spurs in 1968 claiming that her father – who is conveniently dead – told them that he faked the diagnosis on orders from Trump’s father Fred Trump, so that Donald Trump could avoid the military draft in effect at the time.

1968 is half a century ago, for those who are chronologically challenged.

So, first of all, who cares? Other than a bunch of pedantic Millenial soy boys and valley girls staffing the fake reporter desks at CNN and MSNBC, that is.

Second of all, why should we believe these two women? In all seriousness – there is literally no reason at all to believe they are anything other than liberal attention-seekers. They bring with them zero supporting evidence – no documentation, no statements from their father or any other doctor. No media outlet would have dreamed of going forward with this story were it leveled at a Democrat president, yet every media outlet in America has parroted the claim this week.

Third of all, who cares? Yes, that deserves repeating.

The next big fake story of the week came from the pathetic McClatchy News Service, which updated its claim from earlier this year that ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen had visited Prague during the 2016 campaign to hold secret meetings with Russian agents. This story has been debunked more times than the one about the moon landings being faked, but that didn’t stop McClatchy running with an update claiming that...

“A mobile phone traced to President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area in late summer 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, leaving an electronic record to support claims that Cohen met secretly there with Russian officials, four people with knowledge of the matter say.”

Those “four people with knowledge of the matter”? They are not merely anonymous sources – they are anonymous sources being quoted by other anonymous sources, as Brit Hume so ably pointed out:

Brit Hume? @brithume It turns out that the new McClatchy story on Michael Cohen in Prague is not based on intel their sources saw but what their sources’ sources said they saw. The story remains exclusive. (https://dailycaller.com/2018/12/28/michael-cohen-prague-mcclatchy/)

5,914 11:42 AM – Dec 28, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy

Michael Cohen Report Is Based On Third-Hand Information, Reporter Reveals McClatchy reporters did not see Cohen intelligence for themselves.

(dailycaller.com) 3,741 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy The reason why McClatchy’s story remains “exclusive” is that it is so obviously faked that none of the other fake media outlets want to touch it.

This is the sort of nonsense your OUR President has to put up with on a daily basis. It is intentional, it is relentless and it is unending.

The lowlife filth at AP clearly demonstrated their fake plan and hatred for Conservatives in the obit for Bre Payton, a conservative writer at The Federalist and frequent guest on television news outlets including Fox News Channel. AP is filth.

EVERYTHING Can Be Blamed On Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).

Here is the short list of things the media blamed on AGW:

Acne, agricultural land increase, Afghan poppies destroyed, Africa devastated, Africa in conflict, African aid threatened, African summer frost, aggressive weeds, air pressure changes, airport malaria, Agulhas current, Alaska reshaped, moves, allergy season longer, alligators in the Thames, Alps melting, Amazon a desert, American dream end, amphibians breeding earlier (or not), anaphylactic reactions to bee stings, ancient forests dramatically changed, animals head for the hills, animals shrink, Antarctic grass flourishes, Antarctic ice grows, Antarctic ice shrinks, Antarctic sea life at risk, anxiety treatment, algal blooms, archaeological sites threatened, Arctic bogs melt, Arctic in bloom, Arctic ice free, Arctic ice melt faster, Arctic lakes disappear, Arctic tundra to burn, Arctic warming (not), Atlantic less salty, Atlantic more salty, atmospheric circulation modified, attack of the killer jellyfish, avalanches reduced, avalanches increased, Baghdad snow, Bahrain under water, bananas grow, barbarisation, beer shortage, beetle infestation, bet for $10,000, better beer, big melt faster, billion dollar research projects, billion homeless, billions face risk, billions of deaths, Behold a pale horse, and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hell was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with plague and by the wild beasts of the earth. bird distributions change, bird loss accelerating, birds shrinking, bird strikes, bird visitors drop, birds confused, birds decline (Wales), birds driven north, birds return early, bittern boom ends, blackbirds stop singing, blackbirds threatened, Black Hawk down, blood contaminated, blue mussels return, bluetongue, brain eating amoebae, brains shrink, bridge collapse (Minneapolis), Britain one big city, Britain Siberian, brothels struggle, brown Ireland, bubonic plague, budget increases, Buddhist temple threatened, building collapse, building season extension, bushfires, business opportunities, business risks, butterflies move north, camel deaths, cancer deaths in England,cannibalism, cannibalism again, caterpillar biomass shift, cave paintings threatened, childhood insomnia, Cholera, circumcision in decline, cirrus disappearance, civil unrest, cloud increase, coast beauty spots lost, cockroach migration, coffee threatened, cold climate creatures survive, cold spells (Australia), cold wave (India), computer models, conferences, conflict, conflict with Russia, consumers foot the bill, coral bleaching, coral fish suffer, coral reefs dying, coral reefs grow, coral reefs shrink , coral reefs twilight, cost of trillions, cougar attacks, crabgrass menace, cradle of civilisation threatened, creatures move uphill, crime increase, crocodile sex, crops devastated, crumbling roads, buildings and sewage systems, curriculum change, cyclones (Australia), danger to kid’s health, Darfur, Dartford Warbler plague, death rate increase (US), deaths to reach 6 million, Dengue hemorrhagic fever, depression, desert advance, desert retreat, destruction of the environment, disappearance of coastal cities, disasters, diseases move from animals to humans, diseases move north, dog disease, Dolomites collapse, dozen deadly diseases, drought, ducks and geese decline, dust bowl in the corn belt, early marriages, early spring, earlier pollen season, Earth biodiversity crisis, Earth dying, Earth even hotter, Earth light dimming, Earth lopsided, Earth melting, Earth morbid fever, Earth on fast track, Earth past point of no return, Earth slowing down, Earth spins faster, Earth to explode, earth upside down, earthquakes, earthquakes redux, earthquakes redux 2, Egypt revolt, El Niño intensification, end of the world as we know it, erosion, emerging infections, encephalitis, English villages lost, equality threatened, Europe simultaneously baking and freezing, eutrophication, evolution accelerating, expansion of university climate groups, extinctions (human, civilisation, logic, Inuit, smallest butterfly, cod, ladybirds, pikas, polar bears, possums, walrus, toads, plants, salmon, trout, wild flowers, woodlice, a million species, half of all animal and plant species, mountain species, not polar bears, barrier reef, leaches, salamanders, tropical insects) experts muzzled, extreme changes to California, fading fall foliage, fainting, famine, farmers benefit, farmers go under, farm output boost, fashion disaster, fever, figurehead sacked, fir cone bonanza, fish bigger, fish catches drop, fish downsize, fish catches rise, fish deaf, fish get lost, fish head north, fish stocks at risk, fish stocks decline, five million illnesses, flames stoked, flesh eating disease, flood patterns change, floods, floods of beaches and cities, flood of migrants, flood preparation for crisis, Florida economic decline, flowers in peril, fog (more) in San Francisco, fog (less) in San Francisco, food poisoning, food prices rise, food prices soar, food security threat (SA), football team migration, footpath erosion, forest decline, forest expansion, frog with extra heads, frostbite, frost damage increased, frosts, fungi fruitful, fungi invasion, games change, Garden of Eden wilts, geese decline in Hampshire, genetic diversity decline, gene pools slashed, giant oysters invade, giant pythons invade, giant squid migrate, gingerbread houses collapse, glacial earthquakes, glacial retreat, glacial growth, glacier grows (California), glacier wrapped, global cooling, global dimming, glowing clouds, golf course to drown, golf Masters wrecked, grandstanding, grasslands wetter, Great Barrier Reef 95% dead, Great Lakes drop, great tits cope, greening of the North, Grey whales lose weight, Gulf Stream failure, habitat loss, haggis threatened, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, harmful algae, harvest increase, harvest shrinkage, hay fever epidemic, health affected, health of children harmed, health risks, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes (Australia), heat waves, hibernation affected, hibernation ends too soon, hibernation ends too late, HIV epidemic, homeless 50 million, hornets, high court debates, human development faces unprecedented reversal, human fertility reduced, human health risk, human race oblivion, hurricanes, hurricane reduction, hurricanes fewer, hurricanes not, hydropower problems, hyperthermia deaths, ice age, ice sheet growth, ice sheet shrinkage, icebergs, illegal immigration, illness and death, inclement weather, India drowning, infrastructure failure (Canada), industry threatened, infectious diseases, inflation in China, insect explosion, insurance premium rises, Inuit displacement, Inuit poisoned, Inuit suing, invasion of cats, invasion of crabgrass, invasion of herons, invasion of jellyfish, invasion of king crabs, invasion of midges, island disappears, islands sinking, itchier poison ivy, jellyfish explosion, jets fall from sky, jet stream drifts north, Kew Gardens taxed, kidney stones, kidney stones again, killer cornflakes, killing us, kitten boom, koalas under threat, krill decline, lake and stream productivity decline, lake empties, lake shrinking and growing, landslides, landslides of ice at 140 mph, lawsuits increase, lawsuit successful, lawyers’ income increased (surprise surprise!), lawyers want more, legionnaires’ surge, lives saved, Loch Ness monster dead, locust plagues suppressed, Lopsided Earth, lush growth in rain forests, Malaria, mammoth dung melt, mango harvest fails, Maple production advanced, Maple syrup shortage, marine diseases, marine food chain decimated, Meaching (end of the world), Mediterranean rises, megacryometeors, Melanoma, Melanoma decline, methane emissions from plants, methane burps, methane runaway, melting permafrost, Middle Kingdom convulses, migration, migration difficult (birds), migratory birds huge losses, microbes to decompose soil carbon more rapidly, minorities hit, monkeys on the move, Mont Blanc grows, monuments imperiled, moose dying, more bad air days, more research needed, mortality increased, mountain (Everest) shrinking, mountaineers fears, mountains break up, mountains green and flowering, mountains taller, mortality lower, Myanmar cyclone, narwhals at risk, National security implications, native wildlife overwhelmed, natural disasters quadruple, new islands, next ice age, NFL threatened, Nile delta damaged, noctilucent clouds, no effect in India, Northwest Passage opened, nuclear plants bloom, oaks dying, oaks move north, ocean acidification, ocean acidification faster, ocean dead zones unleashed, ocean deserts expand, ocean waves speed up, oceans noisier, opera house to be destroyed, outdoor hockey threatened, ozone repair slowed, ozone rise, Pacific dead zone, penguin chicks frozen, personal carbon rationing, pest outbreaks, pests increase, phenology shifts, plankton blooms, plankton destabilised, plants lose protein, plants march north, plants move uphill, polar bears aggressive, polar bears cannibalistic, polar bears deaf, polar bears drowning, polar bears eating themselves, polar tours scrapped, popcorn rise, porpoise astray, profits collapse, prostitution, psychiatric illness, puffin decline, radars taken out, railroad tracks deformed, rainfall increase, rape wave, refugees, reindeer endangered, release of ancient frozen viruses, resorts disappear, rice threatened, rice yields crash, rift on Capitol Hill, rioting and nuclear war, Rise and Fall of Rome, river flow impacted, rivers raised, roads wear out, robins rampant, rocky peaks crack apart, roof of the world a desert, rooftop bars, Ross river disease, ruins ruined, Russia under pressure, salinity reduction, salinity increase, Salmonella, Salmon Decline, satellites accelerate, school closures, sea level rise, sea level rise faster, seals mating more, sewer bills rise, severe thunderstorms, sex change, sexual promiscuity, shark attacks, sharks booming, sharks moving north, sheep shrink, shop closures, short-nosed dogs endangered, shrinking ponds, shrinking shrine, ski resorts threatened, skin cancer, slow death, smaller brains, smog, snowfall increase, snowfall heavy, soaring food prices, societal collapse, soil change, songbirds change eating habits, sour grapes, space problem, spectacular orchids, spiders invade Scotland, squid aggressive giants, squid population explosion, squid tamed, squirrels reproduce earlier, stingray invasion, storms wetter, stormwater drains stressed, street crime to increase, subsidence, suicide, swordfish in the Baltic, Tabasco tragedy, taxes, tectonic plate movement, teenage drinking, terrorism, threat to peace, ticks move northward (Sweden), tides rise, tigers eat people, tomatoes rot, tornado outbreak, tourism increase, trade barriers, trade winds weakened, traffic jams, transportation threatened, tree foliage increase (UK), tree growth slowed, trees in trouble, trees less colourful, trees more colourful, trees lush, tropics expansion, tropopause raised, truffle shortage, truffles down, turtles crash, turtle feminised, turtles lay earlier, UFO sightings, UK coastal impact, UK Katrina, uprooted - 6 million, Vampire bats, Vampire moths, Venice flooded, violin decline, volcanic eruptions, volcanic eruptions redux, Iceland volcano eruption, walrus pups orphaned, walrus stampede, war, war between US and Canada, wars over water, wars sparked, wars threaten billions, wasps, water bills double, water scarcity (20% of increase), water stress, weather out of its mind, weather patterns awry, Western aid cancelled out, West Nile fever, whales lose weight, whales move north, whales wiped out, wheat yields crushed in Australia, wildfires, wind shift, wind reduced, wine - harm to Australian industry, wine industry damage (California), wine industry disaster (US), wine - more English, wine - England too hot, wine - German boon, wine - no more French, wine passé (Napa), wine stronger, winters in Britain colder, winter in Britain dead, witchcraft executions, wolves eat more moose, wolves eat less, workers laid off, World at war, World War III, World War IV, World bankruptcy, World in crisis, World in flames, Yellow fever.

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