Memorial Day 2015: Never Forget

Soldier, rest! Thy warfare o’er,
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
Dream of battled fields no more.
Days of danger, nights of waking.
-Sir Walter Scott

Begun on the 30th of May 1868, Decoration Day began as a way to honor those who died during the War Between the States. That war killed 623,026 total from both sides of the conflict, the costliest war in this great nations existence. (Source)

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).
It is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363). (Source)

Each generation of Americans has experienced the effects of war and, based on my observations of the human condition, will continue to do so.

When I think of this day each year, I am reminded of the men I’ve known who gave their all. I also then feel the weight of all the sorrow that those men’s deaths caused for so many in their families and friends.

We must never forget the sacrifices of our fallen.

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children.
-William Havard

The Thrill is Gone Away. May he rest in peace

Riley B. King was born on a cotton plantation in Berclair, Mississippi. He died last night at the age of 89. King began playing guitar at age 12 and started recording his music in 1949 with producer Sam Phillips who later founded Sun Records.

B.B. and Lucille will be missed. Rest in Peace.

It’s all in the Terms of Service

I never read the Terms of Service.

TOSI’ve scanned a few, but it always comes back to my not wanting to spend the time;  Plus the fact that they read like a Fund Prospectus, written by a Philadelphia lawyer:  dull, drab, and confusing.

This is America, after all.  We expect, demand, and in most instances receive the highest good faith from those that we deal with.  In fact, when the occasional bad apples are discovered, we expect them to be flushed from the pool with the simple act of exposing their misdeeds.  That’s the way we do business in the good old U.S. of A.

It shouldn’t be any different on the internet, but it is.  There are a lot more bad actors in this wild, wild west of commerce.  And, by not reading those pesky terms of service, I open myself up to their shenanigans, forfeiting whatever little may be left of my privacy, among other things.

But, this post isn’t about my lackadaisical approach to reading the fine print on commercial websites.  It’s about an idea I’ve been playing with in my mind for a few weeks now, and has only recently come to head in two unrelated cyber places:  Facebook, and GoFundMe.

In the first case, a FB friend of mine, Thomas Lipscomb was banned from FB with no explanation.  Questions to FB administration were unanswered, with a closing response of, “this decision is final,”  no appeal, no explanation, nothing.  No one is questioning that Facebook has the right to do what they did.  It’s all in the Terms of Service, you see.  Thomas, just like everyone else on FB must agree to those terms of service, or they will not be allowed to play.

The second case came about after the arrests of six Baltimore police officers.  Some well-meaning people started a campaign to raise money for defense costs at GoFundMe.  After a number of complaints by the politically correct crowd, the admins at GFM took down the site.  They shut down the fundraising campaign  in less than one hour, citing their right to do so, yada yada yada, in accordance with the Terms of Service.  And, just so you know, you MUST agree to abide by the Terms of Service, or you cannot enjoy the privileges of membership.

This practice isn’t exclusive to FB and GFM.  In fact, it is standard practice on the commercial internet.

The idea that has been swimming around my mind goes like this:  If commercial websites are allowed to pick and choose with whom they will interact, and if such practices are justified by the fine print in the Terms of Service, then why can’t brick and mortar firms be allowed to do the same thing?

If, for example, a Christian baker were to have carefully crafted TOS posted on their physical premises (or on their websites), in which they state unequivocally that any potential customer must agree to abide with the TOS prior to making a service request, well, you see where I’m going here. They could simply point to the TOS any time they want to, with or without explanation, it would make no difference.  No difference at all.

As a disclaimer, I am not a lawyer, nor have I played one on TV.  But, I did stay at a Holiday Inn recently.  (BTW,  I read the Terms of Service posted on the door of my room).

see also: One Way Contracts:

Paranoia. What me worry? – updated

Is it really paranoia if they truly are out to get you?  Or something else?

This ad from AARP touches the boundry.  Government conspiracy, martial law, the whole bit.  I’m beginning to feel like we’ve moved into the Twilight Zone.

Just see for yourself.

We report – you decide.

Update: Ann Barnhardt is batting .700

Breaking: US Ship Seized by Iranian Warships-updated

Photo by CNBCAl-Arabia reported that the Iranian Navy has confiscated the American trade vessel with all its 34 crew.

Other reports said the vessel has been seized for trespassing on Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf.

An Iranian warship is now taking the American vessel to Iran’s Southern port city of Bandar Abbas in the Persian Gulf.

Iranian officials have not confirmed the development yet, but Reuters said Pentagon officials have confirmed the report.

source

UPDATE: The ship is the MAERSK TIGRIS, Container Ship flagged in the Marshall Islands. Freeper tcrlaf is providing updates here
Also reported by Drudge,
Also reporting on Fox News.
Also at BBC
And, at American Military News

Speaking with former navy personnel, the Blog has learned that US flagged ships that would be operating over there (since Panamanian and Bahamian registry is so much easier) would be a civilian US Navy supply ship.

USNS ships, manned by civilian crews, would supply the CVN-70 with fuel and cargo when at sea. A US Navy civilian ship in custody would be huge news, and an opportunity for Obama to bow and scrape. He is no doubt, very busy practicing right now.

Update: Pentagon spokesman said the vessel involved was flagged to the Marshall Islands and that no Americans were on board.

Cat Owners Survival Guide

Cat Owners Carpet and Rug Cleaning Guide
The Cat Owners Guide to Caring for your Rugs and Carpets by The Rug Seller

“Dead Man Walking” An Enlightened Perspective

Since the 23 Apr scheduled Texas execution for Richard Vasquez was stayed, I thought instead I would post a fascinating article by John Nantz at Townhall.

To preface the article, I have found it fascinating and troubling over the past decade to encounter the various arguments opposed to the death penalty. I concluded many years ago that whether they were people with uninformed good intentions or intentionally determined to destroy society, the result is still the same.

The anti-DP arguers often make reference to Christianity and that we should be forgiving, or mock those of us who are Christian and fully support execution. Many won’t refer to the Old Testament and instead focus on the life and teachings of Jesus, while ignoring or never realizing Christ himself stated clearly that he did not abrogate God’s laws that came before him.

That said, there are some fascinating Biblical references in the Nantz article, which can be found HERE.

For me, this quote by a man that has had to deal with his sister’s murder is worthy of recognition:

“But I believe the gift of life and freedom he took from my sister precludes him from ever being allowed to enjoy that gift for himself,”

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