Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Rebel's Rules

The Colonel celebrates another birthday this week.  

Well..., "celebrates" probably isn't the best descriptor.  "Observes" is a better word.

Birthdays for the Colonel are about as fun as a root canal.  Everybody means well, wishing him happy, but, now that the Colonel has crossed the border into the terrifying territory inappropriately known as his "golden years," birthdays have become nothing more than reminders of impending terrors.

What could possibly terrify the Colonel, you ask?  You thought he wasn't scared of "nuthin' or nobody, 'ceptin' the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda."  

Let's just say that there is indeed a list of things that terrify him, topped with "1. Loss of memory," but the Colonel can't remember where he left it.

The Colonel would rather take the occasion of his completion of another air-breathing ride around the sun to reflect on some very important life lessons.  He has been collecting these lessons -- mostly as a result of near-catastrophic events -- for over six decades now.  He began codifying them under the title "Rebel's Rules" many years ago. 

Why "Rebel's Rules?"

That's not important right now.   

And, now, in no particular order of importance or inspirational catastrophic event; and with no claim of originality nor exclusivity:

1.  Tractors don't swim. (Don't ask.)

2.  Loving a woman is like paddling a canoe in a stiff breeze -- both require constant attention, a little bit at a time.  

3.  First reports are nearly always false, but perfect intelligence is unattainable.

4.  That which does not kill you, may make you a cripple.

5.  E-mail kills.  The spoken word is thin as air, the written word is always there. 

6.  The speed and accuracy of an electron is inversely related to the urgency of the task involving the electron.

7.  Power tools don't discriminate.

8.  Low-information voting is not an exclusive province of either end of the political spectrum.

9.  "Please" and "Thank you" are power words.

10.  Trees and trucks are mortal enemies.

11.  Give a man a 4WD truck, a length of chain, and a chainsaw and he will play, not-so quietly, by himself for hours.

12.  Any store that doesn't sell duck calls and stink bait is a waste of bricks and mortar.

13.  Eating during hours of daylight is a sign of weakness.

14.  A mug of strong, hot coffee fuels inspiration.  

15.  Never trust a man who wears a hat indoors.

16.  Never trust a man who wears his hat backwards -- fashion statements are for women.

17.  Never trust a man who doesn't carry a pocket knife.

18.  The bigger the knife the smaller the man.

19.  Never underestimate the destructive potential of a squad of Marines, a three-year old grandson, or a six-month old labrador retriever.

20.  Empires that build walls aren't empires for much longer.

21.  The larger the known universe becomes, the greater God is.

22.  Gardens cause weeds and trailer parks cause tornadoes.

23.  Perception becomes reality.

24.  The best ideas in any organization usually come from the ranks.

25.  An organization is as great as the leader says.

26.  Hope is not an acceptable course of action.

27.  Training is everything and everything is training.

28.  Meetings that last longer than 15 minutes usually devolve into pole vaulting over mouse turds.

29.  Executive actions are indicative of legislative paralysis.

30.  No such thing as an "over-built" bridge.

31.  Change is a dragon; fight it and be eaten; ride it and live.

32.  The line beyond which a word or idea is considered "politically incorrect" incessantly encroaches on common sense and freedom of expression, and is destructive to society-binding customs, courtesies and traditions.

33.  Political correctness is antithetical to diversity.

34.  Pity the man who has everything to live for and nothing worth dying for.

35.  February is twenty-eight days of being pecked to death by a duck.

36.  Never pass up the opportunity to allow someone else the opportunity.

37.  Republics either continue to expand, or contract into irrelevance.

38.  Chewing gum is the devil.

39.  The highest responsibility of the government of a free people is to stay out of the way of the people it serves. 

40.  Limited war limits the possibility of a satisfactory outcome.

41.  Covering wood grain with a coat of paint is a crime against nature.

42.  Nothing calms the soul like a bird at your feeder.

43.  Men and women are different for a reason and equal by reason.

44.  No such thing as a fair fight.

45.  Nothing good happens after midnight, unless you're at home.

46.  Sleep is the reward of the righteous.

47.  One man's music is another man's noise; share accordingly.

48.  There's no such thing as a free lunch, a deep discount, or a pet rattlesnake.

49.  Wherever you go, that's where you are.

50.  The smartest man in any room is the man looking for the smartest man in the room. 

51.  The Pepsi Rule: Drinking more alcoholic drinks in one sitting than you would drink non-alcoholic drinks is alcohol abuse.

52.  A long walk alone is therapy for a frantic mind.

53.  Righteous indignation is a dish best served rarely.

54.  A license to drive should not be issued to anyone without a full-time job.

55.  Never pass up the opportunity to catch the buck.

56.  The "perfect" leader would have perfect subordinates.

57.  Boredom is God's call to prayer.

58.  Understand the present by knowing history; understand history by knowing geography.

59.  Climate and culture are not static.

60.  A man who makes long lists of sophomoric sentences has far too much time on his hands.       

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Tides of Guff

The Colonel gets a lot of guff for promoting expansion of the Republic.

In complete disclosure, the Colonel gets a lot of guff for a lot of things he says and does.  If guff were gold, the Colonel would plaster his name on big buildings, host a reality TV show, and run for president.

He would be yuuuge!

Alas, guff ain't gold -- the Colonel will remain big ideas trapped in a diminutive physique.  

The biggest idea, the one that has bounced around in his brain-housing group for most of his life, is that the destiny of the American Republic is expansion.

The history of the American Republic was expansion.  The Colonel fervently believes the future of the American Republic is expansion.

Look, the Colonel admits that the Republic's previous two centuries of expansion have not been pretty.  Glorious, sure.  But, not squeaky clean.  To be sure, the indigenous populations extant on the North American continent five centuries ago suffered a terrible cultural inundation and physical loss.  A cottage industry of sorts has been established on the portrayal of the noble Native American as a victim of European racism.

The Colonel can relate.  His ancestors, Clan MacGregor, were in possession of lands, in the northern reaches of Britain, wanted by others.  The struggle for those lands did not go well for the MacGregors.  In fact, the name MacGregor was actually outlawed at one point.  The MacGregors lost nearly all of the lands they had originally controlled.  Lots of MacGregors left Britain and landed in America.

The truth is that had Clan MacGregor, and not their enemies the Campbells, been in the good graces of the English king instead, the MacGregors would have driven out and supplanted the Campbells.

It is the way of man.

And, if one takes an honest and clear-eyed look at the history of the inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere in general, and the North American Continent in particular, one will see that the "Native" Americans extant on lands at the arrival of Europeans, had themselves supplanted previous inhabitants, often violently.  So much for victimhood.

Widen one's scope of view worldwide, and millenniums long, and tides of humanity can be seen sweeping back and forth across the major continents, supplanting and/or assimilating the previous inhabitants.  

It is the way of man.

Focus forward centuries into the future, and one will see the trend continue -- tides of humanity sweeping back and forth, inundating and replacing. 

Given the way of man, the inexorable sweeping tides of humanity and cultures replacing and assimilating, there is no static option.  No standing still.  It's either grow or shrink.  Expand or wither.

The Colonel believes there has never been an empire in history possessed with a greater degree of altruism than the American Empire.  It has warts, certainly.  It has scars -- fading reminders of mistakes.  But, warts and scars are superficial.  Our Empire's heart -- our Constitution -- more than makes up, with beautiful protections and promises, for any superficial imperfections.

The Colonel further believes that the Constitution of the United States -- the beautiful beating heart of our Republic -- has no peer on the planet. 

It is the United States' Constitution, not our "culture," that makes us the greatest nation on the globe.

It is the United States' Constitution, not our military power, that makes us the strongest nation.

It is the United States' Constitution, not our economic power, that makes us the most prosperous nation.

Above and beyond the obvious cultural, security, and economic benefits of expanding the Republic, there shines the most brilliant reason for inclusion of greater territory -- the people.

The Colonel would have you reflect back to a point in our history when the United States annexed the northern half of the territory held by the Mexican government.  You can argue, effectively, the "legality" of that action.  It was a naked act of aggression. 

What you cannot argue is which half of that former Mexican empire has done the best for its inhabitants since.  The difference is not "culture."  That is a thinly-cloaked racist position.

The difference is our Constitution.  We should share it with more people.