This will be my longest post and in fact will clearly come off as a piled up mega-post kind of thing.
Folks can look for the bold font headings to find the parts that fit their personal tastes. Some of the headings will focus on the subjects near and dear to my blogging as well as reflecting upon some of the “series” I tried to cobble together here.
Throughout this post will be found some of my favorite images I have used since starting in2thefray back in 2007, including using the one that started it all from my post Gimme 5. I will also be loading up the linkage to previous frays as well as posting links to other sites,sources and general sharing type stuff,this last bit being what I always tried to be about regards blogging all along.
In this final post the reader will also find some final thoughts on the issues wrapped up in the closure of the blog. They are legion but fear not the post isn’t going to be that long. Lastly I will be including my personal thoughts on a number of the folks that have visited and on those I met out on the web through other blogs.
The backgrounders on the shuttering.
Leading up to the US Election 2012 I made a wager to myself concerning the outcome and put in2thefray up as the stakes. Obviously my predictions and hopes crashed in a rather total manner. Mitt Romney lost the Presidential contest and Scott Brown was beaten by Lizzie Warren in the MA Senate race. I said in a comment that if this happened I’d shutter and in affirming my seriousness I went the Seussian quotation route invoking the GOP elephant symbolism too:
I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one hundred percent.-Horton
My series where I tried to focus on some of the political points that are the American Public Education System. (archive of posts here) ** I apologize in advance that the link may not perform consistently**
The system is a joke folks. The unions run it in most if not all places and definitely so on the national scene. We as a nation should aspire to having an education system that is at the premium level. We need it,we deserve it.
I give Obama one thing and have so many times. His Administration has not been the dismal failure in education that it has been in other areas. I don’t know if Arne Duncan will stay around for the second show. I also doubt BHO has the cajones to bring the likes of Michelle Rhee to the game. That last thing would be just to bold.
I have been put under the impression that many folks view the future of charter schools to be somehow brighter post the 2012 Election. I don’t know why but I’ll toss my hopes in2 that pile seeing as my children do indeed attend a charter school and a fine one at that. They do so even though my home district is held in high regard. No matter what choice is good.
I am against extending the US public school year. I am for extending the school day. Ironically my beliefs are based in the same reasoning,much like the system itself a throwback to the early 20th Century,the economy,kids and family.
For the school year I am a strong supporter of summer vacation. Families can find better family flexibility over the short span of weeks that is summer vacation. The kids themselves of working age are not going to ever be a drain on our economy. They may indeed find themselves unemployable but that’s a different issue. I of course also believe kids need to have the opportunity to be kids. As for the school day I think the kids might as well get used to a work day schedule which helps the all too embraced two income family dynamic. I also believe the longer school day helps to get more out of school. More questions,discussion and structured extracurricular activities to name a few. Seeing as I am not a fan of homework a longer school day is a good fit and one that won’t negatively impact the children. In fact it is likely to be beneficial.
About this last election…
Keeping with the most generous rounding, 51%-48% is hardly a mandate and given the mashup that is the US Senate and House composition I really think confusing this all as anything resembling a mandate is fallacy. I will give the Obama-nites one thing though. This is as clear a notice any recent sitting POTUS has been given that much is still expected of him. I don’t think Obama will play it this way but we shall see.
Another thing about this last election. I know population groupings and the Electoral College and Popular Vote thing all applies but seriously:
and we’re gonna go ahead and call ourselves the United States of America?
Well I spoke about his leaf adventures. This past week he got his first taste of snow and he LOVES IT! He is a happy little puppy (not too little anymore but…) and he has this bounding deer romp thing he does. Well in doing this n the snow he creates snowballs which he then leaps at,which destroys the ball but creates others that go off in other directions. The cycle goes on and on. He also loves eating the stuff,dipping his nose in it and just running around in it. I told him not to eat any “yellow snow”,even though he’s the one yellowing it.
Tea Party….you kinda suck!
I watched a bit of Michael Barone berating the TPM as having “wacko’s,weirdo’s and witches”. I agree. I have not been a big fan of the TPM and thought they had experienced the combination of running their natural course and being co-opted by others. From canning Mike Castle to failing to intelligently take out Harry Reid whence given the chance to snubbing Lugar for Mourdock they just don’t impress me. As for the victories of the TPM I don’t know if I agree they are victorious solely due to the tea they drink.
Don’t get me wrong I really enjoy people getting involved in civics,I really do. I also support the right to bear arms but I don’t like babies playing with loaded guns and I think this carries over to grass root groups that are so zealous for action they fail to see implications and coercive meddling from powerful manipulators.
The TPM is public enemy #2 for the GOP unless the GOP wants to change into something it isn’t. That said I will discuss what I view as the #1 issue facing the GOP’s future further down this post.
Dhimmi? Dummy? Thinker!
This was a strong favorite of mine. This series grew out of one primary instigator. Elric 66. I had early on fell into the online scrutinizing of radical Islam. I had a distinct difference though from the overwhelming majority of other blogs big and small. I wasn’t willing to flush all 1 billion + of the Earths Muslims down the loo. I recognized that one of the hardest hit entities of Islamic nuttiness is….folks who try to do the Five Pillars thing. It was also fun to point out the inanity of some press and pundits as well as then point out the incidents and folks we should be focusing on.
The series title came out of a comment thread where ole Elric was ranting that I was a dhimmi and I was stupid etc. Elric was one of many devout islamophobes who folks such as Robert Spencer and others make $$$ and ego wood off of. One day after being berated the series was born. The image that was used to headline a number of the posts was a manipulated image of Rodins Thinker. I also liked the poetic license of D.D.T. in relation to the truth booms the series in my opinion brought forth.
****If you type Dhimmi Dummy Thinker in the Find A Fray search bar you will see the series. Check them out! ****
A word about Hillary Clinton…
2016?? Great Secretary of State??? ARE YOU FUCKING FOR REAL???!??!?!??!?!?!?
Second part first. I am absolutely flummoxed that anyone can say she has been good at State. She has rapidly come to symbolize the failure of the Obama Administrations foreign policy. I know people,especially some wonks and media types who hold her in high regard. Even though I hate her I could give her some props for the early days even as I disagreed with most of it. TODAY? Fuck no!! The Arab Spring has sprung and shown the US to look pretty freaking stupid. Russia is back in the hands of Putin who has no care about anything we’ve got going on.
Latin America has remained painfully ignored,Mexico allowed to place the majority blame for their ills on us and China is in charge of so much. How anyone can think US diplomacy improved or even stabilized under Hill’s watch is mind numbing.
As for the first part. please, please please… Don’t let that thought even get legs. She should not under ANY
circumstances be the hopes for the Democrats in the future. She is by no means fresh. She appears physically weathered nay beaten. She quite obviously lacks the ability to lead in this new America let alone the world stage. She is tired. I hope we’re tired of her. I also think the Dem’s are not as advanced as they want you to believe;however I do agree that the puppet masters and king makers alike would love to create something really big in 2016. A female versus a Latino perhaps? (Clinton v Rubio) I think if our elections get to that point I’ll be glad I closed this place down.
Speaking of Hugo…
Early on I combined my fascination with Latin America,politics,history and everything else and focused some energies on Venezuela and its comical leader,Hugo Chavez. I was amazed by the American Left’s embrace of his red shirted chavista shows and the general antics of classic Banana Republic nature that he did as he railed against the devil George W Bush. Whether it was Citgo propaganda,crushing freedom of speech from internal dissenters or getting the neighbors riled up everything Hugo touched seemed to turn to oily shit and good blogging fodder for the likes of me.
More Holidays for Americans…
I touched on this subject in a recent post (Things I never got to blog on). I think Americans need to do a lot more as citizens to bring back the civc minded and civil society the people need and deserve and in my opinion not so secretly desire even if they fail in articulating it. I’ll have a paragraph after this one that expands on the all important matter. The damn total epiphany the last couple of election cycles have shown me this.
Anyway back to holidays. I think the days after Thanksgiving and Christmas should be national holidays. I am also open to something in the month of August,hell I am open to a day a month. I am against getting too ethnic or divisive in the holiday making though.
The new minimum for Federal Holidays,increased to 15 days, should look something like this: January 1 New Years Day,MLK Day should be eliminated for a number of reasons** February Presidents Day,March we need a new one here I suppose we can use the 17th but not get ethnic about it. April Patriots Day,the real one. May Memorial Day. June 14 Flag Day. July 4th Independence Day. August again we need to pick a newbie. September Labor Day. October,rename Columbus Day-or not. November * Election Day,Veterans Day 11th & Thanksgiving Day and day after. December Christmas Day 25th and the day after.
I also think it is time America does something about Election Day. We appropriately capitalize the words so why not see it through and make it a holiday. We need to assure turnout and focus and we need to bring the election process into the 21st non-agrarian society that we live in. Although the new November calendar gets choppy it isn’t like we have elections every year.
Bottom line I am all for stabilizing US productivity,bolstering civic pride,creating opportunity for family time and individual reflection and a gentle touch of the brakes upon the vapid consumerism of my fellow citizens all the while supporting a common ground foundation for us all as Americans….no hyphens need apply! This said I have to say I want some of these holidays to get ratcheted up and have more stuff closed on these days. Call it fascist social engineering if you like but something needs to be done about the 24/7,365 mentality we have.
** about MLK Day: This day has been co-opted to a disgusting degree and arguably shouldn’t have been created in the first place. We as a nation cannot pick days or months to single out groups of citizens. It belittles the people and the importance of folks that have done great things. The King Corporation is a fucking disgrace and we need not observe their commercial desires. Calendar makers do well to remember January 16th,you know MLK’s actual birthdate, and if 12% of the population see it fit not to go to school or work that day I’m as cool with that as I am all the Jewish days. Manipulating the day and placing false and ever-changing importance upon it is insane and beneath Kings memory and the service of the US citizen.
Our lost sense of Collective Purpose and Common Cause
I don’t believe it is a false perception of history or an overly romantic nostalgia for what was that supports my firm belief that we as a nation have lost what made us great. There can be no doubt that since the 1970′s we have been busy at dividing people ruthlessly even when folks do it under the guise of unity or fairness.
People may be surprised that I pick the 70′s and not say the 60′s. Quite simply I find the sixties to be a time where the people were in charge of doing the figuring out regards the divisive issues. The 1970′s found the government,judiciary and elites coming into focus on the matter and not for the better.
America has had its collective identity chewed away. Our civic organizations be they clubs,churches or other groups have been pasteurized,homogenized and just in general bastardized. This is important to recognize since we need these common cause things to unite us. Without them we are easily and at times naturally divided with disastrous results.
Our churches have become a point of divisiveness as well. I don’t think our history truly depicts how badly our faithful have lost their way.I am not totally jaded as many folks of faith do many a good deed on a daily basis. Clearly our religious freedoms here in America are a key to our collective success and periods of greatness. Sadly the people who enjoy and at times exploit these freedoms have given us more than a handful of sad times.
Our social units have become too agenda driven. Agendas outside of standing for a common good. For an example look at AARP. An organization that was supposed to be about the older Americans and their common issues and how it gels with the greater society. Is there any doubt that they are nothing more than a politically slanted shill group breeding a generation of “Gimme Geezers”? For another example you have organizations like the Boy Scouts of America. They do good stuff and have a positive impact on those they serve. How the fuck anyone can get their panties in such a twist about them to the point that they lead boycotts and lawsuits against them is testimony to how little we can be.
Race and class are two arenas we see huge divisions in. As I noted in a post not too long ago there is one great equalizer in America and it’s green,another tends to be blue or brown aka “port a-potties” but I digress. ( in2 My Day at the Golf Course….) I hate to point it out but if the Elections of 2008 and especially 2012 are not seen as examples of our disunity and divides one just isn’t paying attention.I shudder to think of what 2016 holds.
Back in November of 2008 I had this post where I picked the handful of countries that in my opinion “mattered most” and why. Now in 2012 I am revisiting them and thinking I’ve done pretty good overall. Let’s review:
Mexico: Well we’ve had Fast & Furious and continued human and drug trafficking issues. On the flip side and surprising under-noticed by many is that Mexico is upping the manufacturing segment again and doing well at replacing China as a source of goods and licensed manufacturing.
My Europe insight: I picked Poland as the county that mattered most. I chose them for a couple of reasons and still like them. In ’08 I opened with “Europe? Fuck ‘em”! Well upon further review I’ll tweak my critique and toss Germany in. Also back in 2008 I made a comment about picking individual countries for reasons as opposed to hugging the whole EU. I specifically spelled out Italy with a focus on North Africa and Libya. WOW ! I’m pretty cool huh?
For Africa I picked Algeria and South Africa. Algeria is somewhat a golden moment as for my predictive gig especially given the Arab Spring thing. South Africa has kind of screwed the pooch,so much so that I have to confess they are a loss for my skills.
Iran,India and Brazil round out the regional lists. The BRICs have lost some steam in some eyes. Iran is key but I’m shocked that I didn’t have Turkey on the list in ’08. I got them there not too long after that post and have held them up strong in the top 5 since. I’ll keep India but call it the Sub-Continent choice and will now look to Japan and Vietnam for Asia.
speaking as a veteran but more importantly as a citizen…
The US serviceman, the military, and veterans have been a subject I have touched on a number of times here at in2thefray. I grew up with a strong sense of duty and as such was involved in ROTC programs and did indeed enlist. I prided myself in knowing the good and bad history of our military and the policies that helped guide that history. I was impacted by my experiences in the military,of this I am painfully aware and have kept secrets to this day. I firmly believe we as a nation owe something to the men and women you join our Armed Forces. We as citizens owe it to them and ourselves to know the history of our military and policies that have unleashed and entangled them. We as a nation need to wake up about what we’ve created. On that perhaps cryptic clause I offer up some images I have used in previous posts.
those #1 issues facing the GOP…
The GOP is without a doubt in a phase of conflict and confusion. Much of this is internal and feeds the anti-GOP outsiders messaging as well as alienates those that could help. The die-hards who live in denial speaking of the conservative founding principles blah blah blah do so in a vacuum and to the detriment of the Party and the nation.
Divided make up: People bitch about the GOP exclusivity. I find this laughable since clearly one of the problems the GOP faces is that it has been open and welcoming to diversity. I’ll wait a second for any of the (D)’s to pick themselves up and stop laughing. ….Here’s the truth stick libbie. the Democrats are only inclusive if you accept that being pureed in a blender is somehow a good thing.
The GOP faces tensions from its internal factions and to some degree that is a good thing. The moderates,the Paulists,the conservatives,the true libertarians and where they refuse those umbrellas and demand their own mantle-the TPM.
I don’t want a blender switched on. I think metaphorically the GOP needs to learn how to make a really tasty stew with all of the ingredients it has at hand. That spells success.
Mashed Message: It drives me absolutely bonkers that the citizens of this country have become so insanely class orientated,lazy and so woefully ignorant. Seriously folks the blue votes of 2012 had two basic tenets to them. Government dependency and fuck the Constitution. That a candidate for any office in large swathes of this country can run on violating the law of the land and bankrupting the future to pay for the dependency of the present is just so fucking wrong I can’t stay on the topic without throwing the Mac out the window. That ain’t happening so let’s move on.
Loud mouth louts: Both sides have their lunatics,the problem with the Right is that their lunatics have better market share and an opposition that is more keen on pointing out the lunacy of the Right. This often makes message presentation difficult. I have waged this battle right here on this blog. Fake emails,hyperbolic radio bullshit,and just crazy shit poured out there without regard to the impact it has on the credibility of those fighting the good fight. Once and for all….. Shut The Fuck Up you loud mouth idiots!!!!!!!!
the Obama Pail
Quite simply one of the best things I dreamed up here at in2thefray. Accused of carrying water for Obama simply by pointing out the truth I drew this “award” up. The flip side was meant to give them out to those who blindly supported the O.
Dear Rutherford, Here is on last Pail for you my friend.-Alfie
some final shout outs…
In no particular order I am reserving this spot to say something to and about some of the folks I met via in2thefray.
Rutherford: R has been pretty open and together we’ve shared an “e” relationship since 2007. I don’t know if i could grab a cup of coffee with the guy though. The divide between us is real and although we’ve respectfully accepted this truth I don’t think face to face would fare well. I wish you,your wife and Olivia well.
Tex Taylor: I voted Tex early on as far more likely to be nice to someone who broke down in front of his house with a Obama and COEXIST bumper sticker on their stricken car than some of the progressives on the various boards would be given a broken car with a Palin sticker on it. Sometimes hyper-venomous and volatile often times humorous Tex is a person I’m glad I got a chance to meet. I don’t doubt his passions and there in lies an important lesson for folks. Don’t wear things on your sleeve but then again don’t be afraid to be honest and willing to stand for your convictions.
Jonolan: Owner of the blog Reflections on a Murky Pond this guy offers up some of the most eclectic readings I’ve encountered in the non-professional writings world. His mix of humor and scathing commentary draws a reader into the writing. He is one of the few folks in the blogosphere who I’d recommend compiling his work into something to hit the marketplace.
Patrick Perry: A passionate constitutionalist as a rule Patrick has also shared some personal points. He and I share some real world experiences including military and EMS stuff. I think Patrick would be an interesting and fun person to have a beer with.
deadrabbit: The reincarnation of Job for the modern-day. This guy has shared a lot of personal stuff and that was via comment threads as opposed to his own blog. His story mirrors many a tale a number of Americans could share if they chose. The guy epitomizes the plucky and plug along character which are oh so worthy character qualities. I wish you and yours well.
Elric 66: Alas poor Elric I hardly knew thee. Well actually I came to know quite a bit about you and respected the internet privacy thing to a high degree on your behalf. Elric spawned debate as much as anyone and in many ways more so.
Stephi: One of the folks from across the Pond I made the acquaintance of and glad I did. Along with the others I got in2 regular conversations with from the UK,Germany,France,Pakistan and Australia I was afforded a Euro-view and beyond that was beneficial. My fellow Americans would do well to make a modern-day pen pal or two and see the perspective from other places.
freetothink: one of the few folks to take me up on the cross posting/guest post thing. Also one of the few folks I entered into real world conversation with. Hope you’re still free and free thinking.
the Towelians: Pakistani atheists,that says something. These guys were great. Hail Towelie!
Eric B.: Met this guy early in the game and was thankful he was open to sharing. I wish him well. I was afforded a chance to watch him evolve a little and it proved very interesting stuff.
Ric aka Grumpy Lion: A local as it were in the real world the snarling and gnashing from this guy was always entertaining and interesting.
Hippie Prof: Rest in Peace.Testimony that even electronic meetings can move you.
There are many many more I could list. Please don’t feel slighted if I didn’t single you out. As always I sincerely thank all who clicked and shared
Back to the beginning as it were…
I still wonder if the soldier made it through everything. I also wonder what the little kids status is. This image is what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will always mean to me.
And so I quote…
“There’s something quite good about coming,saying your bit and then going. I quite like that.”
-Joe Strummer,The Clash