“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Better Times Than These.

I'm not thinking of the Winston Groom novel.

Actually,  I was thinking of how murky and convoluted life is today compared with even thirty years ago, let alone further back into our past.

I've always had a pretty straight forward view of life.  Things are right or wrong, black or white. Doubtless that's a gross oversimplification, but it's worked for me.  I suppose I'm lucky not to have gotten into trouble with that philosophy.  Maybe it has only been viable because I tend to limit my interaction with other people so my values are not frequently tested.

Everyone has seen the quote attributed to Edmund Burke (it may actually have been John Mill who said it)

Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.

 I have always believed this was true and have acted accordingly.  You have to wonder, though, if things are not so shades of gray today that this outlook is obsolete.  It's perfectly true that by intervening in some other persons situation, no matter how desperate, you are opening yourself up to all kinds of  trouble.  In some places more than others. I think you have more flexibility of action in a rural setting, because in general there is an attempt on the part of the Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's office to use common sense .  In cities, they just arrest everybody and grind them through the legal system.  Sort of a "kill them all, let God sort them out" attitude.

Maybe men today have to be different in this respect.  If you have seen The Road, or read the book, you probably remember the scene where the protagonist and his son see cannibals running down a woman and her child.  He has only one round for his little pistol.  He and his son run off and leave the woman and child to be eaten. I know, logically, that in this situation there was nothing else he could have done. Even so, the scene irritated me and really broke the connection between me and the father in the show that up until that moment had been positive. Well,  I've never denied I have some personality quirks and doubtless I would have done better during the Crusades than I do in today's society.

I see the logic behind the new , more realistic values but I don't accept either the logic or the values. Good thing I live up here on the mountain, I doubt I would last long in a city. Which gives me more to think about in terms of what happens after my wife retires. If  I leave here, I better go to the desert and not a Florida condo. I don't want to become the next Zimmerman.


19 comments:

  1. I so understand. Last September I came within mere seconds of becoming a Zimmerman. That night, on the drive home, I must have said, "Thank you, Lord," a hundred times. I too should be well out into the sticks.

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    1. Stephen, there are times when intervention is necessary and times when it isn't. I wouldn't leap out of my vehicle revolver in hand to stop somebody breaking into a car (unless it was mine) but I would call 911 and watch til the cops got there. However, if there was a woman or child in the car, I would get out and explain things to the assailant in terms he could understand. I'm sure you use the same guidelines.
      The thing that gets me is that our society has become so politicized, so politically correct, that an individual who intervenes to prevent harm to a helpless victim can wind up being pilloried. Zimmerman was a jerk, but there's no doubt he was acting in self defense (a situation he need never have gotten into if he had half a brain) when he shot Martin. That didn't keep him from being thrown to the wolves after the local police and DA had determined there was no cause. He was a victim of race baiters and the media. I notice he was "white" even though he was Hispanic. Things have gotten to the point where perfectly honorable men are having to discuss when they would and would not take action on someone else's behalf. I just get angry that we've reached such a low point. Part of the problem is that people from our generation remember when common sense and basic values mattered. Now they don't.

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  2. I seem to remember we had a discussion about this topic on your last blog. My opinion hasn't changed much on the topic, if your a White Male there is no safe way to be chivalrous or act the protector these days. It will always backfire on you.

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    1. I remember. I think your basic premise is correct. Like the guys on the blog I was reading today, your concern about being thrown under the jail house for your act of compassion is valid. I am constitutionally incapable of backing off from some situations. I notice that if you read in the paper about somebody taking the bull by the horns in this respect, it is almost always older guys. Perhaps we have Don Quixote syndrome or maybe we just can't stand to look on passively at some public outrage. In Florida and Georgia it's almost always the older guys who get involved in these incidents on behalf of others. I understand the factors causing this, but I don't approve of them.

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  3. You have summed up my feelings exactly. That is why I live on a farm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and sold my winter house in Punta Gorda Florida.

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    1. I have a very low tolerance for the foibles of others. Inconsiderate people who force their presence on me by playing loud music, or working on cars late at night, etc. cause me a lot of stress. Living out here prevents any regrettable incidents from transpiring. The further out you live, and the less you have to interact with people on a daily basis personally, the more tranquil your life will be. Even when I was working, I primarily worked with spreadsheets and never really saw anyone except for the tedious mandatory office lunches every day where I had to listen to the megalomaniac I worked for wax eloquent about getting over on people and making money by it on a daily basis. Isolation just helps prevent a lot of the negative aspects of life.

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  4. Harry - i am a big fan of chivalrous, white men whose ancestors came from caucasian europe - a big fan! i hate to see these men trampled by feminazis ( a word i stole from my friend pioneerpreppy), libtards, immigrants,etc. these men have ancestral blood in them that goes back to the crusades and even farther. you are one of them. add to that, you are a true southern gentleman. you would hate a city. so you and your wife need to re-think hers and your retirement strategy. buddy, i know of a great place that would take you both in a heartbeat. HERE. in framboise and fourchu. the nuttiest, craziest people you have ever met but the men know what their roles are and so do the women...and people act accordingly. git yer butt up here!

    your friend,
    kymber

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  5. Ah, Kymber. The Canadians would throw me in jail at the border, because I'd have to bring my little friends with me, a la Scarface. American society has reached such a low point that about all you can do is try to hide from it. I admit, here in a rural mountain area things are still pretty common sense, but it will change here . I'm just going to keep doing what I've always done and if someday I come to grief through it, at least it won't be anything I'll be ashamed of.

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    1. Harry, buddy - things and stuff are smuggled between our two borders on a daily basis...i am sure that Senior Chief and i could come up with a real good plan (he is pretty familiar with a certain section of the new york/quebec border and the st. lawrence river entryways, as am i!). and if we need to land-cross your little buddies...there is always my favourite state, maine, and my favourite province, new brunswick - oh yeah baby! of course, we are talking about getting your precious ferrets here without any quarantine, right? bahahahahha!

      oh Harry, i'd hump all of your little ferret "friends" on my own back from there to here. just to get you here. and you know it.

      your friend,
      kymber

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  6. Maybe one of these days, you never know when I may have to flee the country. I wonder if the current regimes in our countries have an extradition treaty for cultural dissidents? : - )

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  7. Harry, I think you would do better in the desert or maybe semi rural Florida or South Carolina near but not quite on the coast. Then again it may be time the Mrs got the lions share of the say. Anyway here is a snippet of my reply to your comment since it is largely the same conversation.

    I got to thinking about the difference between your attitude and behavior and mine. Two things came up.

    First is attitude about how contacts with law enforcement, litigious stuff, etc all will go. You seem to think that since you are a good honest guy helping somebody the cops might let something minor slide (and that's been correct). Conversely I figure that I will probably be arrested then ruined with legal fees, fines and potentially law suits. Based on our otherwise numerous similarities I conclude that perspective difference is probably generational.

    Second for a cynical person you have a certain romantic streak. Conversely I am probably overly disenchanted for my age.

    As to the tragedy discussion I agree with you. That being said.

    1) My personal bar for involvement of life/ limb/ eyesight/ rape largely eliminates that as a consideration at least in my mind. White trash Bob slapping Betty Sue isn't going to ruin her life, for all I know it might just be Saturday for them.

    2) If the life/ limb/ eyesight/ rape bar is met the only way I'm not getting involved is if it would compromise the security of my loved ones. Given that my adult relatives can help or at least avoid the conflict that realistically means my kids. That I simply will not compromise on. I'll watch somebody die before I risk my kids getting hurt. Note specifically I did not say anything about my personal safety as I give a fig about it.


    Thanks for the conversation

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    1. Ryan, I realize that outside the unique environment I live in I would have had difficulties with the law. There is still a modicum of common sense and interaction here between a citizen , the sheriff's department and the district attorney that doesn't exist in many places in the country anymore. There is still common sense here.I know that is not the case everywhere. I'm not criticising the people who discuss the issue, I am lamenting the fact that it should have to be discussed at all. I know that in your environment the concerns expressed are valid.

      Not all of my contacts with our local law enforcement agencies have been amiable, but so far they have worked out alright in the end.

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  8. Sometimes it would be nice to live in the sticks.

    Where we went on vacation was peaceful. Crawford, Nebraska is in the middle of no where. When we made it to our first cabin, my husband Travis lead us to a house, not a cabin. I had a feeling we were in the wrong place. The boys were running all over, Travis was going to the bathroom, and there I was looking around realizing that we were totally in the wrong place. There was a check on the counter for $150. I had a feeling if the real owners came, they'd shoot us out of self defense. We were in their home. I was yelling for everyone to, "Get in here now!" Out the back window I saw a cabin. I knew it was where we were supposed to be. We left. We went to our cabin. 20 minutes later Travis realized his maps were missing. Where were they? Why in the house, that was not our house on the kitchen counter. He went back to get them. I felt like I was trapped in an episode of 48 Hours. My husband was going to be shot over maps. Luckily the owners were still not home. He made it out ok. I still feel bad for trespassing.

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    1. Since you and your kids were there I doubt anyone would have been ugly about it. They would have realized it was an honest mistake. No one brings their wife and kids along if they have evil intent. If,on the other hand, only your husband had been in the wrong house that could have ended badly. That's one vacation you'll remember for awhile!

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  9. And I thought you were semi-serious about that Florida retirement condo.
    --Troy

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    1. I honestly don't know, but I have to make it another four years plus so it's too early to get wrought up over yet I guess.

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  10. Harry,


    (captaincrunch)

    Harry,

    Move to Texas. we could use you out west. Harry we also need to 'relocate kymber and her husband via a CIA styled rendition and we can water board them with Coors beer or Shiner Bach Beer from Shiner,Texas.

    (something tells me, they really would not mind)

    everyone should move to Texas, Montana or Idaho that thinks like us.

    A good place for you Harry is Kerrville, Texas. Terlingua, Texas or anywhere. Texas is bigger than Canada and Africa put togather. We got deer the size of Elephants and 'jackolopes' the size of Volkswagon bugs. We got centerpedes the size of fire hose's and our Rattlesnakes can swallow and digest polar beers (Global Warming is not killing the Polar Bears, its imported Rattlesnakes from Texas) They (the Rattlesnakes) use large 'tube socks' to keep warm in the permafrost glacier's in Nova Scotia's 200 degree below zero windchill.

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    1. Considering some of the problems I've had here with some of the Hispanic population Texas might not be the place for me,CC.

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    2. Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      If you lived near the border of Mexico, Harry you would be miserable. If you lived near where I live and its not so bad. Jerks and Jackasses are everywhere.
      Most of the Hispanics in my area speak English only. In the hill country the Hispanic population is much less and the ones there are much more Americanized. It the cultural baggage that annoys me. I really don't care where someone is from, just leave some of the cultural baggage at the door. On that note however, Muslims are a concern. I don't want sharia law taking over local law. That sharia garbage don't fly with me. If a muslim wants to live in some kinda sharia compliant society. Feel free to move back to the sandbox. I had some bad experiences with muslims in that hot, saltwater pond in the sandbox that I would rather not repeat again.

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