All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Happy New Year

A special wish to all my blog friends.  May you have a happy and prosperous New Year!

BJW - New Years Eve Edition

A New Year's Wish

On New Year's Eve, Marilyn stood up in the local pub and said that it was time to get ready. At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living.

Well, it was kind of embarrassing.  As the clock struck - the bartender was almost crushed to death.

New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.  Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.
Mark Twain 

New Year's Day Prayer for One and All

Dear Lord

So far this year I've done well.

I haven't gossiped, I haven't lost my temper, I haven't been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. I'm very thankful for that.  But in a few minutes, Lord, I'm going to get out of bed, and from then on I'm probably going to need a lot more help.         Amen


Hey Giraffe

Fair warning, swallow your coffee before reading further.  Any damage done to your keyboard or monitor is your own fault.

I was going to save this for a Wednesday, but 1.) it's not a joke and 2.) I'm still laughing about it.

I got to head over to Yellow Jacket country this last month.  While over in South Dakota I learned about a problem that the South Dakota legislature via the Department of Public Safety decided to correct by using a state wide multimedia campaign.

The campaign was designed to help South Dakotans deal with a real and serious problem that is gripping the state.  Like any good ad campaign they had some slogans:

#4 "Keep calm and don't jerk"
#3 "Nobody likes a jerker"
#2 "Think before you jerk"
#1 "Don't Jerk and Drive"

The ads were obviously designed to deal with the problem over overcorrecting on icy roads.  Fortunately they yanked the ad campaign before it confused people involved in this other road related epidemic:

Survey: Fair amount of sex while driving among young S.D. motorists
University of South Dakota survey finds many students distracted while behind the wheel
When it comes to sex drive, at least among some young people in South Dakota, there’s a fair amount of sex while driving going on.
From the state that brought you — and then took away — the “Don’t Jerk and Drive” safety campaign comes a survey that revealed that nearly a third of men attending the University of South Dakota have had sex while driving, as have nearly 10 percent of women at the school in Vermillion.
Go ahead and reread that last line one more time.  Got it.  Good.  Now do the math. 1/3 of the guys have had sex while driving but only 10% of the girls have.  Either that means that...well we wont go into what that means.  I have it on good authority that the South Dakota Department of Public Safety has a sheep survey that is due back in at the end of February.  We'll have more on this story as it develops.

Getting "With It"

I had a item on my Christmas list this year that I thought I wanted, but I wasn't sure if it was going to work out for me.

You're going to laugh at this, but what I wanted was some form of electronic reader.  I wasn't sure if it would work out because I'm not really a techy type person.  As odd as this may sound I don't like much of our modern tech orientated culture.  Sure I got a cell phone back in the 90's, they were discontinuing my beeper service.  I still don't own a smart phone.  I know the time is coming, and I'm going to lose, but I'm fighting text messaging too.

Under the Christmas tree this year I discovered a Kindle and a gift card to Amazon.  I absolutely love it.  It has great access to media stuff like music and movies.  As part of that I can now listen to several specialty programs that I enjoy, for free.  What I'm really loving is the books.

I've loved books since I was a little boy.  As an adult its hard to get the time to read.  Now thanks to my Kindle I can read almost anywhere.  A lot of the books you can get are cheap for download, but there are a lot of them that are free too.  It's awesome.  It's almost like having a library at your finger tips.

So what am I doing with my modern technology toy?  I'm learning about ancient cultures and language.  That's right I'm a disgustingly antiquated old fart who loves the fact that I can now highlight terms and get an instant encyclopedic answer to almost anything I don't understand, without ever leaving the page I'm reading.

How are colleges and universities staying in business?  I can do a study that would have taken me a week back in college in an evening.  A few hours of free time now yields me new insights into topics that I've been eager to learn about for years.  I almost think that if this type of technology had been around when I was 12 (and I had the gumption to do the work) that I could have earned a PHD by the time I was 16. 

Mrs. Ipsa did good this year.


100 Years Ago

100 years ago today something happened that is note worthy in the history of human warfare.  World War I was in full swing.  The Great War, naively nicknamed "the war to end all wars" was a miserable affair that had broken down into fighting from fixed positions with machineguns and chemical weapons.  Hundreds sometimes thousands of men could die in a single day and not an inch of ground was won by either side.

By winter time both sides were tired, wet and cold.  On December 7th of 1914 the pope implored the belligerent nations to call a Christmas truce.  The leaders didn't think it important enough to act on. 
The military leadership had no intention of missing their Christmas dinner, brandy or a warm bed by being at the front and so they were largely absent along the defensive line that stretched from the Atlantic ocean in the west to Switzerland in the east. 

Over on the German side of no mans land the line officers and men had reached their own conclusion on how to proceed with the holiday.  Sporadically white flags popped up along the trenches.  A messenger would then peek above the sandbags and waving the flag approach the allied lines.  We will not shoot at you if you will not shoot at us.

As the German guns went silent for Christmas little groups of 2 or 3 Germans would stand up out of the trenches.  They sang Christmas carols in English and German.  The men shook hands with men they were trying to kill just hours before.  They traded cigarettes, booze and rations.  The Red Barron didn't shoot Snoopy down.

The reason peace broke out? Frohe Weihnachten.  The men of the German army wanted to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Merry Christmas my friends. 

May the peace of Jesus bless each of you.  May you be blessed by the manifestation of His grace and mercy in your life.  May you know Him as the lover of your soul.  May you look upon His face with joy.  May we all lay down the guns of our own bitterness and strife and pick up the yoke that is easy and light.


May God bless each of you today and always.


BJW Christmas Eve Edition

Q: Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve?
A: Because it soot's him
Q: Why is Santa so jolly?
A: Because he knows where all the naughty girls live.
What do you call an obnoxious reindeer?

Q: Why was Santa's little helper depressed?
A: Because he had low elf esteem.

Q: What does Santa bring naughty boys and girls on Christmas Eve?
A: A pack of batteries which at the bottom says "toy not included".

Q: What's the difference between snowmen and snowladies ?
A: Snowballs.

Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
A: Frostbite

Q: What nationality is Santa Claus?
A: North Polish.
This holiday season, in lieu of gifts, I've decided to give everyone my opinion.

The year you stop believing in Santa Claus is the year you start getting clothes for Christmas.

A mafioso’s son sits at his desk writing a Christmas list to Jesus. He first writes, ‘Dear baby Jesus, I have been a good boy the whole year, so I want a new…’ He looks at it, then crumples it up into a ball and throws it away. He gets out a new piece of paper and writes again, ‘Dear baby Jesus, I have been a good boy for most of the year, so I want a new…’ He again looks at it with disgust and throws it away. He then gets an idea. He goes into his mother’s room, takes a statue of the Virgin Mary, puts it in the closet, and locks the door. He takes another piece of paper and writes, ‘Dear baby Jesus. If you ever want to see your mother again…’

Husband: A man who buys his football tickets four months in advance and waits until 24 December to do his Christmas shopping.


Jot and Tittle

For the last few months RabbiB has been striving to educate me on Judaism.  He has been teaching  me a lot about rabbinic thinking and Jewish spiritual processes.  The poor man has been bombarded with questions that must seem infantile to him.  Yet he has borne up and been a tremendous help in helping me discover a new way of exploring scripture.
For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
I've been thinking about the context of this quote, and its ramifications since before I met my friend RabbiB.  Like most things in life, the impact of what is being said depends on your point of view.  If you take the quote as a literal statement of fact, it imparts a level of intensity and reverence to the study of scripture beyond that of modern religious expectation.

Even if you accept the above quote as literally true, arriving at a correct understanding of how to interpret those jots, tittles and spaces between the letters isn't an easy task.  For about 4,000 years the Levites and rabbis have been preserving a tradition of interpretation and study that maintains that there is nothing insignificant in scripture.  I have been pursuing that understanding with my friend RabbiB.

Our good rabbi has decided to start his own blog, Ashrei.  I've added him to Archie's Neighborhood.  If you have even a passing interest in Jewish thinking or spirituality, even if its only to see how its different from your own, drop by.  I think you will find it rewarding no matter how deeply you like to delve into this subject.


Commenting Update

Blogger is blaming the word verification on two things 1. A "fix" and 2. people who use software that filters 3 party cookies.  So if you think that you are entitled some small shred of internet privacy and don't want 3 party cookies, YOU ARE THE PROBELM, according to the internet Gestapo at Google.  We all know that Geeks can never be wrong, so any "feature" they decide you need, is a good thing, no matter how badly it sucks.

One of the forums I read in my effort to fix the "fix" says that you should be able to publish your comment without filling in the captcha box, even if the box appears.  I have changed the blog settings to accommodate this feature, but I have no way of testing it.

Would someone (maybe 3 or 4 of you) please try to post a comment without filling in the captcha and let me know if this is working.  I realize that if it isn't, you will actually have to fill in the captcha to let me know.  My thanks in advance.

Waterboy,  I believe you use a mobile device to surf most of the time.  Do you get the same commenting experience when using a desktop that you do with your phone?


One Good Cop

The police get a bad rap.  Much of it deserved. The things that they do that they get the most attention for are the ones the media sensationalizes.  When that happens, more often than not the press gets it wrong.  Taking that into account though its hard to sympathize with the cops too much.  I don't know what percentage of the police are honest, good men doing a hard job verses how many shouldn't be trusted out in public unsupervised.  No matter what side of this debate you are one, I suspect you'd be surprised by the answer, if we knew it.

Every once in a while someone, probably by total accident, comes in contact with a good cop.  My brother had this happen late Wednesday night/Thursday morning.  He got pulled over taking the kids to see my folks.  The cop told him what he had observed about my brothers driving.  Then he told my brother that he was either drunk or tired.  My brother (not drunk) was advised to get a cup of coffee or maybe switch drivers with his wife.  Then the cop let him go.  He didn't even run his drivers license.

No real crime had occurred, no more of my brothers time was wasted than the 5 min for the stop.  All in all not a bad police encounter.

As we all know from watching the news, southern cops are nothing but redneck, low life, racist, cracker azz mo-fo's looking for any chance they can get to oppress a nigga.

Then I saw this story about a cop who decided not to make an arrest.
Tarrant Police officer delivered food to Helen Johnson, the grandmother caught stealing eggs at a Dollar General on Monday. Officer William Stacy responded to the scene and bought Johnson the eggs rather than arresting her. The act of kindness was caught on video and has become a viral sensation.
Tarrant is a suburb of Birmingham Alabama.  You may remember something about Birmingham and Dr. MLK.  So I guess we all know about these kind of white people.  I haven't seen anyone else say this so I'm going to.

Helen Johnson was a black women caught in the act of steeling.  She said she was steeling 5 eggs because she was 50 cents short of buying a dozen eggs and her grand children were hungry.  The store employees had called the police.  A white male cop showed up.  The store told him they weren't going to press charges for a pocket full of eggs.  All he had to do to fulfill his duty was escort her off the property.

If ABC/NBC/CBS or the Holder Justice Department was writing this story the next thing that happened would have been a beat down or a shooting. 

William Stacy isn't your normal stereotypical southern redneck (he is a normal redneck just like nearly everyone I've ever known).  Mr. Stacy went back in the store and bought her a dozen eggs.  Then the next day he showed up at Ms Johnson's house with two truck loads of groceries. 

Apparently officer Stacy missed the day they covered keeping the black man down at police academy.

I eagerly await the appearance of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Eric Holder or Barrack Obama at a press conference discussing the "situation" with the police and race relations in Alabama.


Blog Comments

I'm trying something new with blog comments. 

Apparently you have no choice with Blogger on the word verification "option".  If you use a pop up window for comments you must have word verification.  This "feature" is built in and it doesn't matter what your settings are, it cannot be taken off.

I hate word verification.  I also hate that some of my regular readers are having their comments sent to the spam box.  Black, I'm sorry man.  I didn't know you were getting the shaft.  I'd never intentionally block your comments.  I normally don't block people who argue or disagree with me.  I certainly wouldn't block you.

Less than 2% of my readers choose to comment.  The word verification was becoming such a pain in the butt that even the 2% almost never comment anymore.  There is one comment method that Blogger allows (at least for now) me to not use word verification on.  I've decided to give that a go and see how it works out.

Please let me know what you think.  If for some reason you are still seeing word verification come up, please take the time to let me know.



BJW - More X-Mass


The very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped. This is because the people giving those gifts had two very important characteristics:
  1. They were wise.
  2. They were men.
- Dave Barry

It's beginning to cost a lot like Christmas.

So when someone ask you " Where is your Christmas Spirit?" is it so wrong to point out your liquor cabinet?

What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a new job the next day.

Christmas light displays are the freestyle rap battles of the suburbs.

It was slightly before Christmas. The trip went reasonably well, and I was ready to go back. The airport on the other end had turned a tacky red and green, and loudspeakers blared annoying elevator renditions of cherished Christmas carols. Being someone who took Christmas very seriously, and being slightly tired, I was not in a particularly good mood.

Going to check in my luggage, I saw hanging mistletoe.  Not real mistletoe, but very cheap plastic with red paint on it.

With a considerable degree of irritation and nowhere else to vent it, I said to the attendant, "Even if I were not married, I would not want to kiss you under such a ghastly mockery of mistletoe."

"Sir, look more closely at where the mistletoe is."


"Ok, I see that it's above the luggage scale, which is the place you'd have to step forward for a kiss."

"That's not why it's there."


"Ok, I give up. Why is it there?"

"It's there so you can kiss your luggage goodbye."

In a small Southern town there was a "Nativity Scene" that showed great skill and talent had gone into creating it. One small feature bothered me. The three wise men were wearing firemen's helmets. Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, I left.

At a "Quick Stop" on the edge of town, I asked the lady behind the  counter about the helmets. She exploded into a rage, yelling at me, "You Yankees never do read the Bible!" I assured her that I did, but simply couldn't recall anything about firemen in the Bible. She jerked her Bible from behind the counter and ruffled through some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a passage.

Sticking it in my face she said, "See, it says right here, 'The three wise man came from afar.'"
 What do you call a bunch of Grandmasters of chess bragging about their games in a hotel lobby? Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer!

What does an electrician get for Christmas? Shorts.



Trivia Question:

What religious holiday did Jesus celebrate that isn't initiated in scripture?

Hint: It's not Christmas.

That's right it's Hanukah!

Since I've been doing a set of BJW's for Christmas, and since I officially have 3 Jewish readers now, I think I should give them a little BJW Hanukah Cheer! 

Top 10 reasons to like Hanukkah                   

10. No roof damage from reindeer
9. Never a silent night when you're among your Jewish loved ones
8. If someone screws up on their gift, there are seven more days to correct it
7. Betting Hanukkah gelt (the chocholate coins) on candle races
6. You can use your fireplace
5. Naked spin-the-dreidel games
4. Fun waxy buildup on the menorah
3. No awkward explanations of virgin birth
2. Cheer optional
1. No Irving Berlin songs
(FWIW, Irving Berlin born Israel Isidore Beilin, was a Jew)
There is a Rock'n Hanukkah song!


The Grandmother

Last year, just before Hanukkah, Miriam, a grandmother was giving directions to her grown up grandson who was coming to visit with his wife. 'You come to the front door of the condominium complex.  I am in apartment 2B.'
Miriam continued, 'There is a big panel at the door.  With your elbow push button 2B. I will buzz you in. Come inside, the elevator is on the right.  Get in, and with your elbow hit 2.  When you get out I am on the left.  With your elbow, hit my doorbell.'
'Grandma, that sounds easy,' replied Jonathan, the grandson, 'but why am I hitting all these buttons with my elbow.'
To which she answered, 'You're coming to visit empty handed?'
Mary goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Hanukkah cards and she says to the cashier, 'May I have 50 Hanukkah stamps?'
The cashier says, 'What denomination?'
Miriam says, 'Oy vey, has it come to this? OK, give me 6 Orthodox, 12 Conservative, and 32 Reform.'

Rudi, The Village Rabbi: 

It was Hanukkah and the tiny village outside Budapest in Hungary was frightened that they may not have any latkes [pancakes] because they had run out of potatoes.
Rudi, the Rabbi, was called upon to help solve the problem. He said, 'Don't worry, you can substitute matzo meal for the flour, and the latkes will be just as delicious.'
Sarah looks to her husband and says, 'Samuel, you think it'll work?'
'Of course,' Samuel replies, 'Everybody knows Rudolph the Rab knows grain, dear.'

OY! Almost forgot, Another Hanukkah Song Part II

Xmas vrs. Chanukah
Now, if anyone asks you what the difference is between Xmas and Chanukah, you will know what and how to answer!

1. Xmas is one day, same day every year, December 25.
Jews also love December 25th. It's another paid day off work. We go to movies and out for Chinese food and Israeli dancing. Chanukah is 8 days. It starts the evening of the 24th of Kislev, whenever that falls. No one is ever sure.

Jews never know until a non-Jewish friend asks when Chanukah starts, forcing us to consult a calendar so we don't look like idiots. We all have the same calendar, provided free with a donation from the World Jewish Congress, the kosher butcher, or the local Sinai Memorial Chapel (especially in Florida) or other Jewish funeral home.

2. Christmas is a major holiday.

Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays. They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat.

3. Christians get wonderful presents such as jewelry, perfume, stereos...

Jews get practical presents such as underwear, socks, or the collected works of the Rambam, which looks impressive on the bookshelf.

4. There is only one way to spell Christmas.

No one can decide how to spell Chanukah, Chanukkah, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannukah, etc, so even if you are an illiterate klutz you can't go wrong.

5. Christmas is a time of great pressure for husbands and boyfriends. Their partners expect special gifts.  Jewish men are relieved of that burden. No one expects a diamond ring on Chanukah.
6. Christmas brings enormous electric bills.

Candles are used for Chanukah. Not only are we spared enormous electric bills, but we get to feel good about not contributing to the energy crisis.

7. Christmas carols are beautiful...Silent Night, Come All Ye Faithful....

Chanukah songs are about dreidels made from clay or having a party and dancing the hora. Of course, we are secretly pleased that many of the beautiful carols were composed and written by our tribal brethren. And don't Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond sing them beautifully?

8. A home preparing for Christmas smells wonderful from sweet smell of cookies and cakes baking.

A home preparing for Chanukah smells of oil, potatoes, and onions. Jews burn their eyes and cut their hands grating potatoes and onions for latkes on Chanukah. Another reminder of our suffering through the ages. Unless of course you are in Israel where they celebrate by eating inedible cherry donuts call sufganiot.
9. Parents deliver presents to their children during Christmas.
Jewish parents have no qualms about withholding a gift on any of the eight nights.

10. The players in the Christmas story have easy to pronounce names such as Mary and Joseph.

The players in the Chanukah story are Antiochus, Judah Maccabee, and Matta-whatever. No one can spell it or pronounce it. On the plus side, we can tell our friends anything and they believe we are wonderfully versed in our history.

11. In recent years, Christmas has become more and more commercialized.

We save money on Chanukah, less gifts to buy, less to return, less junk to deal with, easier to sleep with.

Better to stick with Chanukah! 
Chanukah Songs that Never Quite Caught On
Oy to the World
Schlepping through a Winter Wonderland
Hava Negilah - The Megamix
Bubbie Yetta Got Run Over by a Reindeer
Enough with those facackennah Jingle Bells Already... Sheez!
Matzo Man (by the Lower East Side Village People)
I Have a Little Dreidel (the Barking Dog Version)
Come on Baby, Light My Menorah
Deck the Halls with Balls of Matzos
Silent Night? I Should Be So Lucky

Hanukah Song # 3

Don't blame me if Adam Sandler sings the best holiday songs you've got.  You could slipped Irving Berlin a couple of shekels back in the day and had some timeless classics too.



Tis The Season

Every year we seem to have a flap somewhere in this country about what constitutes the proper amount of "Christ" as in Jesus Christ, to have in "Christ-Mass".  For me personally, I don't believe that Jesus was born on Dec 25.  However, the holiday has been celebrated for around 1,700 years as Dec 25th.

A tradition with over 1,700 years worth of human history behind it, is rare.  I can't think of any other holiday celebrated in the western world that compares, unless it is Easter.  Easter however has never achieved the commercial and social standing of Christmas.  The importance of the two events and the comparative religious impact isn't the point.  The point is that as a holiday celebrated by both non-Christians alike Christmas is king of the Holidays.  In America we don't have a bigger holiday than Christmas, we never have.

My guess is that most Americans celebrate Christmas as a non or nearly non-religious holiday.  I suspect that this is true for many Christians as well.  As a Christian I have never celebrated Christmas in a religious way.  I never attended a Christmas service, unless Christmas happened to be on a Sunday, until I got married.  My wife's family are C&E Lutherans, so I went.

In any event, Christmas, the Christmas Story and sporadic church attendance are dwarfed by Santa Claus and retail trade considerations.  If we are strictly analytical about it, Christmas is a largely made up holiday with its roots in Christian church traditions.  That is how we as a society see it, accept it, and practice it.

Look Closely at the Sign Outside of This Firehouse. Atheists Are Calling It ‘Exclusionary and Alienating’ — and Demanding Its Removal

A Christmas-themed sign outside of a firehouse in Utica, New York, is drawing the ire of atheists, who argue that its message poses a constitutional violation.
“About 20% of Utica citizens are nonreligious and others follow non-Christian faiths — and that includes Utica firefighters. The Utica Fire Department should not send them this exclusionary and alienating message,” Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, said in a statement. ”How would Brooks feel if his local government put up a sign saying, ‘Happy Birthday, Mohammed. We love you!’? This sign is equally inappropriate because government bodies should not take sides on religion.”
How would Brooks feel if his local government put up a sign saying, ‘Happy Birthday, Mohammed. We love you!’?

That's a fair question.  Of course it wouldn't matter one little bit.  In countries where the government puts up signs endorsing Islam, your feelings about it don't matter.  If you throw a tantrum about Islam being "Exclusionary and Alienating", they chop your head off.

Most Americans don't strike me as fundamentally religious.  That includes the ones who profess a religious preference.  If I was an atheist, I think I would pick Christianity as the religion I would want my society to be most influenced by.  Christians believe that to become a Christian you have to profess a faith in Jesus and that no one can make you "Christian" except, you.

That means that they might try to have a bible study with you.  They might even knock on your door and invite you to church.  They might (gasp) pray for you, or worse yet put up a sign saying "Happy Birthday Jesus" around the end of December. 

In a war of religions, the smart atheist, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, etc should really consider backing the Christians over the Muslims.  Christians tend to do weird stuff like pot lucks and charity bazaars.  We don't make you go to our church, pray five times a day, or rape your wife and daughters for not believing. 

What would you rather do, open lots of presents, eat a big meal, have some pie, (or not its not like Christians have people who come around and make sure your tree is up the day after thanksgiving) or live under a repressive regime where you are obligated to kill everyone who doesn't agree with you? 


Publick Skools

I'm not a fan of the public school system.  I think that more people in this country are sensing the discrepancies between what education should be and what it is.  That said, I think this is a little over the top:

Creative writing teacher resigns after student writes about Jesus, pot

Go ahead and follow the link to watch and read the story.  Lets break this down:
  1. The teacher gave a creative writing assignment
    1. The assignment was to take a fairy tale and rewrite it for modern times
    2. A student took a bible story and rewrote according to the students perspective
      1. The student chose to associate a biblical story as a "fairy tale"
      2. The student chose to "pretend" Jesus handed out pot to sick people instead of bread and fishes to hungry people
  2. When the stories were shared with the class, another student took offense and complained to their parents about the content of another students work.
  3. The teacher was called in for discipline
  4. The teacher resigned rather than face the school districts "review process"
Brace yourselves faithful readers.  Are you ready?  I sympathize with the teacher. 

I can't imagine too many things worse than having to read high school students thoughts on anything.  Seriously who gives a rip about the "deep thoughts" of teenagers?  What if it was your job to get a bunch of hormone addled kids to produce something that resembled English Literature?  I get nauseous and cold chills thinking about it.

What is a teacher to do?

First, tell the kids that whatever garbage (and its all garbage, even the inoffensive stuff) that comes out will be accepted because its creative.  "We won't judge you".

Second, promote every little brain dropping as "artistic" and "valuable" to the learning process.

Only then can the teacher move on to item number three.  Try to come up with a writing assignment that the kids will or actually can do.  Hopefully someone will learn something.

After spending the first half of the semester propagandizing the kids into thinking they have something to contribute and hopefully some instruction in the art of writing, they get a relatively benign assignment. Ok kid's, I want you take a fairy tale or legend and rewrite it in modern times.

What could happen?

The Three Little Pigs could end up in a industrialized farming facility where they never see the sun, before they end up as bacon.  The chicken who crossed the road could be going to work at an organically run, environmentally sustainable egg farm.  Little Red Riding Hood could get raped.  Who knows how this turns out?  Do the assignment in your head.  Did you come up with anything interesting and/or worthwhile?  Me either.

So some kid comes up with Jesus passing out pot to sick people.  You told a high school kid to be creative.  He was.  Was it semi-blasphemous and offensive to anyone with a tad bit of respect towards Christianity?  Yeah of course it is.  So what?

Unlike Islam, where they have to cut off the head of anyone who isn't instantly adoring and accommodating to their religious peculiarities, the Christian Deity is able to take care of Himself.  I don't speak for Jesus and He hasn't told me what His reaction to all this is, but I'm pretty sure He can fry or forgive as He sees best.  If past performance is predictive of future actions, bet on forgive. 

Back to the high school.  A Christian kid is upset and does the "grown up" thing and runs to their parents who "address the issue".  Fine and good.  Equal expression is important and part of a public venue like a school.  The long and short is the teacher quit.  Over what we aren't told.

If the teacher bailed because they were sick of spending their day pursuing meaningless and thankless nonsense only to get bawled out by her supervisors when a kid actually did an assignment, I can understand.  I sympathize even.  Otherwise she should have stayed on at her job. 

A student did the assignment.  She should have defended herself by saying that she "tried to provide an assignment that was open enough to maximize creativity and demonstrate competency according to the goals outlined in the syllabus".  That should have the end of that.  It wasn't.  I suspect there is a reason for that and it probably has to do with the philosophical bent of the teacher and her "educational agenda" as a change agent.

On its face however this whole situation is silly.



Will: Where do snowmen keep their money?
Bill: Beats me.
Will: In a snow bank.

“Christmas is in my heart twelve months a year and thanks to credit cards, it’s on my Visa card statement twelve months a year also.”

I tell my kids that Santa is fat because he eats the children who get up early on Christmas morning. That way, I get to sleep in.

Two kids are on their way to Sunday school when one says to the other, “What do you think about this Satan stuff?”

“Well, you remember Santa? This could turn out to be your dad too.”


My wife took our three-year-old to church for the first time. Getting impatient while waiting for the Mass to start, he turned to her and asked, "What time does Jesus get here?"

Just as I began my Christmas Eve service, the electricity in the church failed. The ushers and I found some candles and placed them around the sanctuary. Then I reentered the pulpit, shuffled my notes, and muttered, “Now, where was I?”

A tired voice called out, “Right near the end!”

If you see a fat man…
Who’s jolly and cute,
wearing a beard
and a red flannel suit,
and if he is chuckling
and laughing away,
while flying around
in a miniature sleigh
with eight tiny reindeer
to pull him along,
then lets face it…
Your eggnog’s too strong!!!

Q: Why weren’t there any nativity scenes in Washington D.C.?
A: They couldn’t find three wise men or a virgin.



Found It

This is how I remember most of the men that I knew that were in WWII.  It really was the attitude that they had.
I was watching a show from the 90's.  There was a line in it that I found interesting.  The charter was a middle aged man talking to his elderly father.  He told him, "We couldn't all fight in WWII dad".  That rebuke was right on the money.

I have great respect for the accomplishments of the so called "greatest generation".  I'm realistic about their greatest failure.  The gave us the baby boomers.  While they accomplished something great in their youth, they failed to raise up their children with the same values. 

Yes they fought the second world war, and won it.  Then they failed to win the most important battle of their lives.  They sucked when it came to raising children to embrace and continue the values that had made them great.

If we had kept our noses out of WWI, there wouldn't have been a WWII.  IF we had kept our nose out of WWII there wouldn't have been a cold war and probably not a welfare warfare state in the US.  Yes they won the war, but we aren't better of today because of their contributions to the nation.


Dec 7th

I was going to do a Pear Harbor Day post.  I didn't. 

I still see Dec 7th 1941 as a "day that will live in infamy".  Not because of the Japanese, because it was the beginning of the modern welfare warfare state.  I've come around to accept that much of the spirit of the historical revisionists are correct about the causes of WWII and WWI.  America didn't need to get involved in either of these wars and we as a country and the world in general suffered because of it.

However, as a boy I loved listening to the stories of the men who fought our wars.  There was something heroic associated with simply being "in the service" during "the war".  Part of me still wants to believe in those childhood impressions.

There is one story I heard as a boy that I remember associated with Dec 7th.  It wasn't about the actual fighting.  It was the story of another boy, whose exact age I don't remember.  He may have been as young as 14 or as old as 16. 

The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.  Irving Driscoll had no idea where Pearl Harbor was beyond what the radio said, Hawaii.  I'm not 100% sure he knew exactly where Hawaii was.  He was mad.  "Good and Goddamned mad" as he told me.  "The slant eyed bastards suckered punched us" he said.

Mr. Driscoll, then just "little Irvy" decided he was going to do something about it.  He went to join the Army.  They told him the Marines did the navy's fighting and that he wasn't old enough to join anyway.  Then he went to the Marines.  They told him he would need to be at least 17 and have a parents signature to join.  They gave him the form.  He tried another recruiter claiming he was 18.  No go, they weren't buying it. 

He settled on a ruse of saying he was 17 and forging his mother signature on the enlistment form.  Someone let him in and gave him a train ticket to boot camp.  He went home and told his mother.  She was heart broke.  She didn't want her little boy going off to war.  She didn't know what the rules about enlistment were or that her son had lied about his age to join the Marines.  It probably wouldn't have mattered anyway.  She knew that boys had to grow up to become men and that her son was going to be a man one day, unless he got himself killed first.

There is more to the story than that.  He went off to war, and came back home when it was over.  He wasn't even 21 yet when he was discharged.  Back home legally he couldn't buy a drink.  Back in those days Marines with purple hearts and a bronze star could get a beer in any self respecting tavern without showing an ID, which he did.  Someone in a bar in his home town remembered that he wasn't near legal age and objected one night.

One of the other men gruffly stepped in and said being a Marine made him man enough for a beer.  The person who objected quickly rethought his position on underage drinking and said, "I said he wasn't old enough to buy a drink, not old enough to have one, I'm paying for his beer".  That seemed to settle that question.

As time went on he got himself a job as a factory worker, had a family with his wife Roberta, and became friends with my grandparents.  Then one day back in the early eighties when he came up north to help install the plumbing in my grandparents retirement home upstairs bathroom, he caught me still in bed at 7am.  This was totally unacceptable and he gave me an earful about how when he was my age he was in the Marines fighting the Japs not laying around in bed all day.

This story is what I remember when the nation remembers Pear Harbor.

New Post

I'm sorry I've not had a new post for a couple of days.  I've been a bit off on my posting lately.  Part of that has been a result of my taking a break from the news.  News producers thrive on promoting the negative.  Even the conservative news outlets are focused on negative out comes.  Every so often I get to a point where I need a mental break form the entire mess.

I started writing a book.  If you count the title page, table of contents, and the forward, I've got seven pages written.  This project is more involved than I thought it would be.  Writing causes a different sort of fatigue than other activities.  One thing that reliably happens is that I don't feel much like writing anything else.  I suspect that I'll have a draft copy of my book done sometime around 2020 at the rate I'm going.

I hope you are well.  I'm still around.  The BJW queue is full through the start of next year and I'm sure I'll have something to say on some of the other days as well.


A Thought on Ferguson

All good and worthwhile social causes have a catchy phrase or slogan.  Here's one for all of America's black population:
Pants Up, Don't Loot!
Embrace it.  We will be better off as a nation when you do.

The United States has a police problem.  That problem is systemic and getting worse.  We need to fix the problem with laws and a total make over of the police mentality.  I for one am all for it.

On the legal front:
  • End all asset forfeiture actions, unless accompanied by a conviction for a crime involving the assets
  • Decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana
  • Enact laws establishing the right of retribution against police and prosecutors who violate their office.  Make them personally, financially, and physically accountable.  For example:
    • A police squad that handcuffs and then beats a suspect would have to pay all of the suspects medical costs, plus damages, after which they would be handcuffed and beaten by a similar number of members of a vibrant community.
    • A person making a false statement in a case would receive the same criminal punishment as the person they were making it against.  This would hold true for prosecutors promoting the falsehood before the court. 
  • Demilitarize all police departments.
  • Extrajudicial kills earn the death penalty.
On the social front:
  • The police are never going to demilitarize when a significant portion of the population demonstrate they are basically lawless and simply waiting for a chance to act out.  Which is why, "Pants Up, Don't Loot!" needs to be the rallying cry for blacks in this country.
  • If you are going to act like a dangerous criminal as part of your "thug culture", you can pretty much expect that people are going to accept you at your word and treat you like a thug.
  • If you scream, "Burn This Mother Fucker Down" while looking at my house, I'm going to shoot you dead before you can do it.  This is called self-defense.  It has been a fundamental aspect of human interaction for approximately the last 6,000 years.  Someone should have clued you into this fact before now.
Act like a normal member of law abiding society.  Stop pretending that being black entitles you to anything.  Nobody owned you as a slave.  Nobody you have ever met has been or even knew anybody that was a slave.  No white person or anyone they have known has owned slaves in this country.  Get over it.  Pull your pants up.  Quit attacking random whites because they are white.  Quit going on TV and saying stupid crap about justice and peace.  Quit looting liquor stores owned by Koreans.

I'm all for police accountability.  After they are found guilty, bad cops deserve punishment.

In the mean time, pull your pants up and stop looting.

BJW X-Mass

Q: Why is Christmas just like your job?
A: You do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit.
Q: Whats the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the ordinary alphabet?
A: The Christmas alphabet has Noel.
Q: What's the difference between snowmen and snowladies?
A: Snowballs.

Dear Santa, I was framed.

The 4 stages of life:
1. You believe in Santa Claus
2. You don’t believe in Santa Claus
3. You dress up as Santa Claus
4. You look like Santa Claus

What A Boy Wants For Christmas

Darren remembers accompanying his father out shopping in the toy department of Hamleys one Christmas Eve.

Dad said, 'What a marvellous train set. I'll buy it.'

The girl behind the counter looked pleased and murmured, 'Great, I'm sure your son will really love it.'

Dad replied with a glint in his eye, 'Maybe you're right. In that case I'll take two.'

What A Girl Wants For Christmas

The Santa Claus at the shopping mall was very surprised when a Emily, young lady aged about 20 years old walked up and sat on his lap.  Now, we all know that Santa doesn't usually take requests from adults, but she smiled very nicely at him, so he asked her, 'What do you want for Christmas?'

'Something for my mother, please,' replied Emily sweetly.

'Something for your mother? Well, that's very loving and thoughtful of you,' smiled Santa. 'What do would you like me to bring her?'

Without turning a hair Emily answered quickly, 'A son-in-law.'

Reindeer's Story at Christmas

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December.

Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl.

We should have known... ONLY women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.


Going Down Swinging

Back in July  received a speeding ticket.  I was cited for 66mph in a 55mph zone.

This is the first speeding ticket that I've received in about 18 years, give or take.  So I fought it.  The last time I fought a ticket was 1994.  I won that case.

Today I didn't.

The last law class I had in college taught me the importance of evidence.  I knew I didn't have any.  My strategy relied on the officer testifying to a fact that I needed to introduce reasonable doubt.  He almost gave me what I needed.  Almost. 

He answered my question truthfully.  I do believe that he was truthful.  He couldn't remember a detail from July that was inconsequential to his duties, but vital to my defense.  That left me with, I believe the legal term here is; buttkiss or maybe that's jackdiddlysquat, for a defense.

So I rested.

And I lost.

If I had to do it all over again, I would still fight the ticket.  I recommend you do too.  I've lost all faith in the police's basic level of integrity.  I think this particular cop was honest, but mistaken.  I'm not sure about the honesty of America's police as a whole.  The only way citizens have to combat that is in a courtroom.  Don't wait till the stakes are high, fight them over every little alleged infraction of every little law.  Every. Time.